Another Bedtime Story (You Shouldn’t Read to your Children)

I find it funny that the most popular blog post on this blog was one I didn’t actually write.  I couldn’t help but post another story from the best/worst children’s book ever.  Without further ado, I give you…

Henny Penny (editorial comments in italics)

Once upon a time there was a chicken named Henny Penny.  Henny Penny lived on a farm with her animal friends.  They were all Christians and knew Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  They had a good life and always got along well with each other.  Their joy and happiness would have been perfect, if Old Slew Foot, the wolf hadn’t lived so close by. (Old Slew Foot, the uncle of Witchcraft Wolf.  What does this lady have against wolves?)

Now Slew Foot was a mean old wolf. (Aren’t they all?) All he ever  thought about was how he could catch one of the animals in his traps and have them for supper.  He watched the animals closely everyday trying to figure out the best way to trick them into going into one of his traps.  As he watched and observed the animals, (Stalker!) he began to notice that Henny Penny was indeed the weakest of all the Christians.  She never studied her Bible, and she was quick to believe anything that was told her.  “Ahh!” said the wolf.  “She is like ‘… a child tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine;…’ Ephesians 4:14 (KJV) (Note to self: Wolves know Scripture.  They use it to their advantage.) “It will be easy for me to lie in wait to deceive her by using the tricks of men and my cunning craftiness.” (Umm, why don’t you drop the tricks of men and just use your large teeth and claws.  That has worked for generations of wolves before you.)

It was no time at all before he had a great plan.  If everything went right he would not only catch Henny Penny, but he would also catch her nice, juicy little friends as well.  “Best of all,” he thought proudly to himself, “I’ll use Henny Penny to do all my dirty work for me, and she will never be the wiser.  Until it is too late, that is.  Hee, hee! Ha, ha, ha! Ho, ho! (That is the weirdest ‘evil’ scream ever put to paper.) I will plant a fear tree!  I will put this fear seed in the barnyard next to Henny Penny’s house.  It will grow fast and won’t be too long before the tree is big enough to bear fruit.  When it is, I’ll climb up its branches and wait for Henny Penny.  As she passes under it, I’ll shake one of the limbs and make a fear nut fall off and hit her in the head.  I’ll tell her the sky is falling.  If I know Henny Penny, like I think I know Henny Penny, she will be quick to tell all her friends the bad news.  the fear nut will do its job from there.  As she tells them the sky is falling, fear will hit them.  They also will become afraid.  Hee, hee, hee! How I love those little fear nuts.  It takes only one to change anyone it hits and make them just the opposite of what they really are.  It will only be a matter of time, and I will have them all in my little trap.  Yum, yum! Drool, drool! (THIS is your “great plan”?  I am sorry but I am no Scripture quoting wolf, but fear tree, fear nut?  How about this, climb into said tree.  When Henny Penny walks under it, jump down and eat her.  Or how about this, your a wolf, she’s a chicken.  Walk up to her and eat her.  Nature kind of helped you out there.  This has got to be the worst plan ever thought of in the history of worst plans.  So much could go wrong.  What happens if someone sees you, or the fear nut doesn’t hit Henny on the head, or if it does  hit her on the head what happens if Henny is listening to Steppenwolfe on her Ipod, then she will rightly be afraid of you instead? Other plans Old Slew Foot has come up with include: Sub-prime mortgage lending, Leaded Gasoline, New Coke,  and Betamax video tapes.)

As the months passed, (and the wolf became emaciated like a skinny girl on Survivor) the fear tree grew.  Henny Penny noticed it, but didn’t realize what kind of tree it was.  One day, as she passed benneath it, Old Slew Foot was waiting (about to pass out from hunger because he had been up in a tree for months)Shake. Shake. Shake. A fear nut fell on her head, and as it did, Old Slew Foot whispered ever so gently in her ear, “The sky is falling.”

Oh! The sky is falling!” yelled Henny Penny as fear suddenly gripped her heart. “I must go tell the others.”

(So Henny Penny runs off to tell her friends and tell the king!  Unlike Animal Farm, Henny and her friends are goverened by a mysterious king.  We pick the story back up and Henny now has her entourage, Patience Pig, Peaceful Puppy, Joyful Rabbit, Meekness Lamb, and Temperance Turkey)

Soon the little group came to a pond, where (here comes my favorite) Love Duck was splashing about playfully.  “Hi! Come join me” he invited.  “The water is great!” (Now here you’ve got Love Duck inviting a group of people into the water with him.   For some reason I get a picture of Love Duck hanging out around his Love Duck hot-tub, Love Duck golden chain around his neck, Love Duck cocktails all around, winking at Henny Penny and Meakness Lamb as he basks in the water.  Creepy.)

(So Love Duck joins them, along with Gentle Dog and Goodness Goat.)

Down in the valley, Faith Horse was grazing.  As he looked up from the grass he was eating, he beheld the strangest sight he ever saw.  There were all of his friends coming lickey-split, shoving and fighting, all the way down the trail.  When they reached him, he asked, “What’s up? Why are you all so upset?”

“The sky is falling, and we are on our way to tell the king.  You can come along with us if you want.”

Faith Horse lived up to his name and knew that Romans 10:17 (NIV) said, “…faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”  He was full of God’s Word and studied it faithfully.  He knew something very strange was going on here.  Fear did not grip his heart.  He figured Old Slew Foot was at the bottom of this.  “How do you know the sky is falling?”  he asked

“Henny Penny felt a piece of the sky hit her on the head this morning, that’s how.  Now are you going with us or not?”  growled Gentle Dog.

“No, I think I’ll pass.” said Faith Horse.  Disgusted because Faith Horse wouldn’t join them, they all scampered down the road.  “Let’s see.” said Faith Horse, after they left.  “There is only one person I know that could have made, Patience Pig anxious, Peaceful Puppy upset, Joyful Rabbit sad, Meakness Lamb proud, Temperance Turkey greedy, Love duck hateful, Gentle Dog harsh, and Goodness Goat mean; and that is Old Slew Foot!  I think I’ll just go over to his place and see what is going on.”

Meanwhile, as the grumbling group traveled down the road, they met up with Old Slew Foot, the wolf.    Once again fear filled all of them.  “Don’t be afraid of me.  I won’t hurt you!  I just happened to notice you all going down the road (beacuse I’m a stalker). You looked so upset.  I wondered what was the matter.”  “The sky is falling, and we are on our way to tell the king.”  Why that is terrible.  Say, I know a shortcut on the way to the king’s castle.  Follow me, we will be there in no time. (I just have to stop by the Jordan River and meet up with my cousin Witchcraft Wolf and eat a Gingerbread Boy.) Quickly, they all followed him.  They were so blinded by fear and all his lies that they didn’t even question him.

Meanwhile, at Old Slew Foot’s house, Faith Horse was looking the place over. (Obviously there is nothing about breaking and entering in Romans.) “What is that I see in his back yard?”  he wondered.  “Ahhh! Just as I thought, a stew pot.  It’s full of hot water and vegetables, and just waiting for all my friends to make Old Stew Foot’s meal complete.  I must run back and warn them.”  Quickly, he galloped off.

In the meanwhile, the grumbling group came to the end of the trail.  There was a huge ravine over which the wolf had made a wooden bridge.  Unknown to them, on the other side, hidden in the thick of the woods, was the wolf’s house and his big black stew pot!

“Go on across,” said the wolf. “It’s safe.”

“It looks dangerous.  I don’t want too!”  cried Henny Penny.

“Ahh! Ain’t nothing.  Here I’ll show you.”  And with that, he went bouncing across.  When he got to the middle of the bridge, he jumped up and down yelling, “See how safe and strong it is” (Nice athleticism for a Wolf with an old, slew foot.)

As the wolf was still jumping and talking, Faith Horse went galloping up to the little group and shouted, “Old Slew Foot is planning to eat you all up.  I’ve seen his big black stew pot, and it’s steaming hot with vegetables, just waiting for that old wolf to plop you in it.”

When the band of little friends heard that, they quickly rushed towards the wolf and pushed him off the bridge into the deep dark ravine below. (Yeah, Murder!) The last they heard from him was a spine tingling scream, “HEEEEELP!”

Faith Horse explained to them what Old Slew Foot had done, and how he so easily trapped them. “Never let fear enter your heart.  Stay away from Old Slew Foot’s lies.  He will be back (from the dead?).  More determined than ever to try and deceive you.  Study your Bibles.  If you had studied God’s Word everyday like you should have done, you would not have been tricked. (Thank you Faith Horse.  I appreciate your help and your overwhelming shame and condemnation.  Nothing makes better Christians then shaming them into reading God’s Word.)

Everything you need to know about Old Slew Foot and his tricks are in there. (I looked, no Slew Foot, No Fear Tree, and nothing, absolutely nothing about a Fear Nut in the Bible.  Boo-yahh, who needs to read the Bible more now, Mr Faith Horse?!) Don’t let him find you unawares again,” he warned.

They were all very ashamed of themselves. (Of course they were.  Legalistic Faith Horse did a wonderful job of that.) Henny Penny felt the worse of all, because she had been the one to lead the others astray.  That night as she studied her Bible to see if God could ever forgive her for what she had done, she came across I John 1:9 (NIV), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  What joy filled he heart.  “Oh, Jesus I am sorry for what I have done.  Please forgive me.”  And do you know what? God did, because God always keeps His Word. (There is so much theologically wrong here.)

Henny Penny wanted so much to do well and be pleasing in the sight of God.  She hoped she would never make the same mistake again.  Suddenly, she knew she had nothing to fear, because she read in the wonderful Word of God, two more promises the Lord had given to His children.  The first was “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” The second was “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.   What joy she felt!  She would not be the dumb cluck she had been. (Don’t think I would have put that. Careful how you read it!) She would study His word every day and hide it in her heart.  Like Faith Horse, she, too, would recognize Old Slew Foot when he came around again.  Yes, from now on she would be more legalistic different.

And she was!  Early the next morning she went out and chopped down the fear tree that had grown up next to her house.  Then, she went right out and told all her friends the “Good News” she had read in her Bible the night before.  Last I heard she’s still doing the same thing today.  Only now she goes out and helps others chop down their fear trees, as she shares the “Good News” with them. ( Translation: She hands out tracts and stands on college campus street corners yelling at people.)


About Todd Van Dyke

Father, Husband, Son, and most of all lover of Christ.
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5 Responses to Another Bedtime Story (You Shouldn’t Read to your Children)

  1. So, why do people call the devil “Old Slew Foot”? I never have been able to figure out the reference…

    • I have never heard of people calling Satan “Old Slew Foot”. I “googled” and found out lots of bluegrass bands use the term and it was a bear’s nickname in the book “The Yearling”, but that’s all I got.

  2. I think you have found your niche. You are like the Sklar Brothers of cheesy Christian Bedtime Stories.

  3. Pingback: 2010 in review | Moose at a Full Gallop

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