The Sky Is Falling
, better known as
isan old fable about a chicken (or a hare in early versions) who believes the sky is falling.The phrase, "The sky is falling," has passed into the English language as a commonidiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent.
Although sometimes mistakenly listed as one of Aesop's Fables, the story actuallyoriginates from the
of Buddhist Indian folklore. The basic motif and manyof the elements of the tale can be found in the
(J 322). The
comprise a large body of folklore dating from around Gautama Buddha's time (6thcentury BC) to the third century AD. However, this ancient version features a hare as thecentral character rather than a chicken, and the wise protagonist is a lion (the Bodhisattvaor future Buddha).
Nan A. Talese/DoubledayFiction/Essays ISBN: 1400097010
Never one to rest on her artistic laurels, Margaret Atwood, authorof THE BLIND ASSASSIN and THE HANDMAID'S TALE, hascompiled a clever sketchbook of images and ideas; short,imaginative prose pieces, one long-form poem, all complementedby her own illustrations. Poking fun at the archaic views of conventions such as motherhood, science and love, Atwood turnsthese ideas on their ear, as in her piece, "Chicken Little Goes TooFar," where the well-known nervous character who proclaims thatthe sky is falling gets a modern twist in this version. Here, hetakes his announcement to the media and forms anenvironmentally conscious group, only to be assassinated by thehead of a large development company who builds retirementcommunities in the sky.