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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The Chickens Build a Wall

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A hedgehog with sharp quills shows up in the barnyard one day and nobody knows how he got there. The chickens, ducks and geese are suspicious of this stranger. Soon their fear gathers into a ball of paranoia that sweeps throughout the place. So the community decides to build a wall around the henhouse so no wild animals can get inside. After completing the task, they are in for a big surprise that shocks them into a more loving and sane answer to their fears.

Jean-François Dumont has written a convincing parable for children ages 4 to 8 about the folly and danger of allowing our paranoia to get the best of us. Instead of building more walls we should be dismantling them. Then we could expend our energies on opening our hearts and communities to strangers. We even might find that we have more in common with them than we ever imagined (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers).


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