Thank You for Henny Penny, The Curse of Cassandra, and Three kinds of Crazy

“The sky is falling!”

Disaster is imminent.

I read a story about Henny Penny when I was a kid.

She was a chicken who got bonked on the head by some unidentified object and came to believe the sky was falling.

She gathered up a group of other fowl (a goose, a rooster, a turkey and I can’t remember the others) on her way to tell the king that the sky was falling.

On the road, with her new posse in tow, to inform the King of this tragic revelation, she and her fine feathered pals met a fox who told them they were heading in the wrong direction. He tricked them all into becoming his dinner (except Henny Penny, who ran away home and never made it to the king with her news about the sky falling).

Henny penny believed the sky was falling.

She spread her conspiracy around and got a bunch of animals killed on the way to inform the authority figure.

Cassandra was a mythological character who was granted the gift of prophesy by some God that fell in love with her.

When she did not respond to his love the way he preferred, she was also cursed with the addendum that no one would believe her when she exercised this gift of prophesy.

She saw the ramifications of the Trojan war but couldn’t do anything about it on account of everybody just thought she was crazy with her prophetic diatribe.

“There’s a terrible war on the way!”

Disaster is imminent.

There’s two kinds of crazy in these unrelated tales.

One is self generated, the other imposed by one’s environment.

Both with unpleasant ramifications to one who dares to share it with others.

Both, a bane to the messenger.

Sometimes it feels like the sky is falling, but it’s not.

Sometimes we know terrible truths but no one believes us, so we are relegated to the loony bin because the truth seems so absurd.

But the worst kind of crazy is when you know something is true but refuse to believe yourself.

painting of Cassandra is by Evelyn De Morgan

~ by leakelley on January 11, 2010.

One Response to “Thank You for Henny Penny, The Curse of Cassandra, and Three kinds of Crazy”

  1. Yes. In the past,I’ve been the worst kind of crazy far too often.
    And the worst kind of crazy can feel very comfortable in these
    troubled times.

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