Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

There is No Doubt About It

There is No Doubt About ItThere is No Doubt About It

There was once a hen who accidentally pulled a feather out of herself. She didn’t think much of it. She said the more feathers she plucked the more beautiful she would get, but she was a respectable hen and would have done no such thing. Another bird heard what she had said.

Soon a story was being passed about a hen that intended to pluck all of her feathers out. Then it turned into two hens. They wanted to impress the rooster. Then it was three hens. Then it was five. Five hens would pluck out all of their feathers to appear more slender for the rooster. This story got back to the original hen, who could not recognize herself as the originator of the story. She determined that she would get the story in the newspaper and she did. One feather grew into five hens.


I want to draw a parallel to our modern-day life and these hens. While the story they told was not true, how long would it be before hens started plucking out their feathers to impress the roosters? It might have happened. As humans, the females of the species didn’t use to shave their legs, their armpits, and their everything. It all came about because someone thought it looked good and it would impress other people. Do we actually have to shave our legs? No, we don’t, but to be socially accepted we do. While this story is a silly little story, it describes human nature. We go along with everyone else in what they think is good even if it is time-consuming or even detrimental to our health.


This story is sort of like that game Telephone. You tell one person something, they tell the next person what they think they hear, and by the time it gets to the end, it’s something completely different. This story went from a feather to five hens in a short amount of time and it’s all because people/birds decided to spread rumors.

Spreading rumors is nasty business. It’s best that you don’t repeat them.


Don’t pluck your feathers out.

Weigh In

Do you think birds gossip among themselves?

If you had feathers instead of hair, would you pluck it out?


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