COAL. But, Sausage, you should stay within.
SAUSAGE. Not I, sir! I’ll out of the pot and out of the house, I will! I’ll see a bit of the world, I will!
SUGAR LOAF (sighing). Well, if she will, she will!
SAUSAGE (getting slips). Come, now, and draw for it.
[She holds the slips for the others to draw.]
STRAW (drawing; reading from slip). “Who gets this must make the fire.”
SUGAR LOAF (drawing; reading from slip). “Who gets this must draw the water.”
SNOWFLAKE (drawing; reading from slip). “Who gets this must stir the pot and flavor it with herself.”
COAL (drawing; reading from slip). “Who gets this must lay the table nicely.”
SAUSAGE (reading from last slip). “Who gets this must bring the wood.” Well, that pleases me! Straw, see if the fire needs wood.
Come, come, do your duty!
[Straw crosses the hearth and looks into the fire. He is very careful, but the fire reaches him and he is gone in a puff!]
SNOWFLAKE. Poor Straw! Well, ’t is my duty to stir the pot and to flavor it with myself.
[She crosses to the hearth, but just as she reaches it, she disappears without so much as a cry.]
SUGAR LOAF. Poor Snowflake! Well, ’t is my duty to draw the water.
[She forgets that the pail is full, falls into it, and is seen no more.]
COAL. Poor Sugar Loaf! Well, ’t is my duty to lay the table nicely.
[He forgets that he is still burning from having lately tended the fire. As he places the plates, the tablecloth catches fire and wraps itself around him.]
COAL (from inside the burning cloth). This is the end of me!
SAUSAGE (weeping). Dear me! Dear me! Who would have thought ’t would turn out so badly! Well, ’t is my duty to bring in wood.
[She opens the door and is face to face with a hungry dog who is sniffing about.]
DOG. Ah, I thought you’d be coming out soon!
SAUSAGE (pleased). Do you want to see me, sir?
DOG. Why, yes, I’ve been waiting for you.
SAUSAGE. How good to be out in the world! They always said my place was within.
DOG. They did, eh? Well, just to please them, I’ll put you there.
[He swallows her quickly, which ends both Sister Sausage and our story.]
WHAT THE GOODMAN DOES IS ALWAYS RIGHT
TIME: early one morning.
PLACE: a very old farmhouse.
* * * * *
* * * * *
[The GOODMAN and his WIFE are seated in their spare room because it is Fair-day.]