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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 104 pages of information about Chantecler.

THE PHEASANT-HEN [Thoughtfully.] One feels that you have a soul.—­A soul then may find wherewithal to grow, so far from life and its drama, shut in by a farmyard wall with a cat asleep on it?

CHANTECLER With power to see, capacity to suffer, one may come Ito understand all things.  In an insect’s death are hinted all disasters.  Through a knot-hole can be seen the sky and marching stars!

THE OLD HEN
[Appearing.] None knows the heavens like the water in the well!

CHANTECLER [Presenting her to the PHEASANT-HEN_ before the basket-lid drops._] My foster-mother!

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Politely approaching.] Delighted!

THE OLD HEN
[Slyly winking at her.] He’s a fine Cock!

THE PHEASANT-HEN
He is a Cock, moreover, for whom that fact is not the only thing in the
world!

CHANTECLER [Who has gone toward PATOU.] There, my dear boy, is a Hen with whom one can have a bit of solid conversation.

SCENE SEVENTH

THE SAME, the GUINEA-HEN, and the whole POULTRY-YARD

Cries outside, nearer and nearer, “Ah!—­” Enter all the HENS in tumult, preceded by the agitated GUINEA-HEN.

THE BLACKBIRD
[In his cage.] The next course will be Guinea-hen!

THE GUINEA-HEN [Running to the PHEASANT-HEN.] Ah, my dear, my dear, my dear!—­A beauty, a very beauty!—­We have come to make your acquaintance, my dear!

[General admiration, “Ah!—­” The PHEASANT-HEN is surrounded.  Conversation, cries, clucking.]

CHANTECLER [Watching the PHEASANT-HEN, aside.] How well she walks, with free and graceful gait!—­[He looks at the HENS.] So differently from my Hens! [Irritably, to the HENS.] Ladies, you walk as if you had blisters!  You walk as if you trod on your own eggs!

PATOU
No mistaking the symptoms!  He is very much in love.

THE GUINEA-HEN
[Presenting her son to the PHEASANT-HEN.] The Guinea-cock, my son.

THE YOUNG GUINEA-COCK
[Looking admiringly at the PHEASANT-HEN.] What a jolly shade of blond!

A HEN
[Disparagingly.] Like butter!

CHANTECLER
[Turning, dryly to the HENS.] It is time you went indoors.

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Amiably.] So soon?

CHANTECLER
They retire early.

A HEN
[A little mortified.] Yes, we must turn in.

THE PHEASANT-HEN
They go in by a ladder!

THE GUINEA-HEN
[To the PHEASANT-HEN.] Let us be great friends, my dear, shall we?

CHANTECLER [Looking at the PHEASANT-HEN, aside.] Her sumptuous court-dress sets her apart from the rest, and removes her far above.—­My Hens are dowdies!

THE PHEASANT-HEN [To the GUINEA-HEN, excusing herself.] I return to my forest home to-night.

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