OUR SPARROW. Come, friends, ’t is for all of you!
VERY OLD SPARROW. Do you know, stranger bird, that, with these crumbs, you have brought us in all one loaf?
[Our Sparrow drops the crust for the others. At once it changes into INGE. The birds fly away frightened.]
INGE. Ah! Now I understand. The loaf had to be made up, crumb by crumb.
[The WICKED ELF suddenly appears.]
WICKED ELF. Come, pretty maid, come to the Elf Hill!
INGE. No, no! I will not!
WICKED ELF. But we have such pretty things to tell you!
INGE. I care not for your pretty things!
I go to fetch wood for my mother.
I go to walk in the mud if need be. Away with you! I’ll have none of you!
Away, away, I say!
THE UGLY DUCKLING
TIME: one summer morning.
PLACE: the farmyard of the Moor Farm.
* * * * *
THE UGLY DUCKLING.
PLYMOUTH ROCK HEN.
* * * * *
[MADAM DUCK enters the farmyard with her new brood of DUCKLINGS. The other fowls approach.]
TURKEY (showing displeasure). A new brood of ducks! Look you all—a new brood of ducks!
GRAY GANDER (also displeased). As if there were not enough of us here already!
WHITE GOOSE (likewise displeased). True enough,—I can scarce find a corner for my afternoon nap!
RED ROOSTER. It seems to me, Madam Duck, that you should not have brought us a new brood this summer.
MADAM DUCK. What is that you are saying?
TURKEY. It seems to all of us, madam, that there is no room here for a new brood.
PLYMOUTH ROCK HEN. Friends, be just. Madam Duck has a perfect right to bring her ducklings here. Besides, the children are quite pretty.
MADAM DUCK. They are beautiful! You shall all see that for yourselves. Come, children, into a row with you!
[The Ducklings form themselves into a row. The Ugly Duckling is last.]
MADAM DUCK. Legs wide apart! Toes out! Now speak prettily to my old friends.
DUCKLINGS (all but the last). Quack! Quack!
MADAM DUCK. There now—are they not charming?
GRAY GANDER (looking down row). Why, yes, they all seem graceful enough—here—wait a moment! Does that last one there belong to you?
[All the fowls look at the last Duckling.]
MADAM DUCK. Oh yes! He is larger than the others and perhaps not so pretty, but—
TURKEY (interrupting). Make no excuses for him, madam. We can see for ourselves what he is.