Said the big white rooster, “Gosh all Hemlock. Things are tough.
Seems that worms are getting scarce and I cannot find enough.
What’s become of all those fat ones is a mystery to me;
There were thousands through the rainy spell, but now where can they be?”

The little red hen, who heard him, didn’t grumble or complain,
She had been through lots of dry spells, she has lived through floods of rain;
So she flew up on the grindstone and she gave her claws a whet,
And she said, “I’ve never seen a time there were no worms to get.”

She picked a new and undug spot; the earth was hard and firm.
The big white rooster jeered, “New ground! That’s no place for a worm.”
The little red hen spread her feet, she dug fast and free,
“I must go to the worms,” she said, “the worms won’t come to me.”

The Rooster vainly spent his day, through habit by the ways,
Where fat worms have passed in squads, back in the rainy days.
When nightfall found him supper-less, he growled in accents rough,
“I’m as hungry as a fowl can be. Conditions sure are tough.”

He turned to the little red hen and said, “It’s worse with you,
For you’re not only hungry, but you must be tired too.
I rested while I watched for worms, so I feel fairly perk;
But how are you? Without worms too? And after all that work?”

The little red hen hopped to her perch and dropped her eyes to sleep,
And murmured, in a drowsy tone, “Young man, hear this and weep,
I’m full of worms and happy, for I’ve dined both long and well,
The worms were there, as always - but boy I had to dig!”

(Unknown)