GRANDFATHER (embarrassed). Dear me! Dear me!
MAN. Here, father, is your plate of meat.
[The old man takes the plate, but lets it fall.]
WIFE (angrily). There now! Just see
you have done!
GRANDFATHER. My hand shook so—I’m sorry—so sorry!
WIFE. That won’t mend the plate!
MAN. Nor buy a new one!
WIFE (to her husband). He should eat from wooden dishes.
MAN (nodding, pointing to a wooden dish). Let him have that one for his meat.
[The Grandfather sighs sadly. The Wife gets a wooden dish and fills it with meat. Little Hans leaves the table and plays with his blocks on the floor.]
WIFE (handing the wooden dish to the Grandfather). Here’s one you can’t break. Go now and sit in the corner behind the oven. You shall eat there hereafter. I cannot have my tablecloths soiled—that I cannot!
[The Grandfather takes his wooden plate and goes to the seat in the corner behind the oven. His eyes are filled with tears.]
MAN. Come, little Hans, and finish your dinner.
WIFE (turning to Hans). Bless me! What are you making, child?
HANS. A wooden trough for you and father to eat out of when I grow big.
[The Man and his Wife look at each other; there is a pause.]
MAN (showing shame). He will treat us as we have treated father!
WIFE (weeping). ’T will serve us right!
MAN (kindly). Father, throw that wooden dish out of the window. I am ashamed of what I have done; forgive me!
WIFE (kindly). Father, come back to the table. I too am ashamed. Forgive me, dear father.
THE CROW AND THE FOX
TIME: yesterday noon.
PLACE: a high tree in a grove.
* * * * *
MISS CROW, her Daughter.
* * * * *
[MADAM CROW sits in the tree. Enter MISS CROW. She carries a large piece of cheese in her mouth.]
MADAM. O joy! O joy! Come, dear daughter, come! We’ll dine as if we were queen and princess!
[Miss Crow flies to Madam Crow. Enter MASTER FOX.]
FOX. I bid you good morning, dear madam.
MADAM. Good morning to you, dear sir.
FOX (sitting under tree). With your permission, I’ll speak with your daughter.
MADAM. She’ll be pleased to listen, that she will—you are so clever.
FOX (modestly). Nay, madam, not so clever, only thoughtful.
[He sighs deeply twice.]
MADAM. You have something on your mind.
FOX (sighing). Yes, dear madam,—I am thinking of your daughter.