Chantecler eBook

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

Frrrt!  The bumblebee emerges from the flower, shaking the yellow dust—­A Hen comes on the scene as in La Fontaine’s fable.  A Cuckoo calls, as in Beethoven’s symphony.

Hush!  Let the chandelier draw in its myriad lights—­for the curious call-boy of the woods has, airily, to summon us, repeated thrice his double call—­

And since Nature is one of our performers, and feathered notables are on our staff—­Hush! the curtain must go up:  A wood-pecker’s bill has rapped out the three strokes!

ACT I

THE EVENING OF THE PHEASANT-HEN

A farmyard such as the sounds from behind the curtain have described.  At the right, a house over-clambered with wistaria.  At the left, the farmyard gate, letting on to the road.  A dog-kennel.  At the back, a low wall, beyond which distant country landscape.  The details of the setting define themselves in the course of the act.

SCENE FIRST

The whole barnyard company, HENS, CHICKENS, CHICKS, DUCKS, TURKEYS, etc.; THE BLACKBIRD in his cage, THE CAT asleep on the wall, later A BUTTERFLY on the flowers.

THE WHITE HEN
[Pecking.] Ah!  Delicious!

ANOTHER HEN
What are you eating?

ALL THE HENS
[Rushing to the spot.] What’s she eating?

THE WHITE HEN
A small green beetle, crisp and nice, tasting of the rose-leaves he had
lived on.

THE BLACK HEN [Standing before the BLACKBIRD’S cage.] Really, the Blackbird whistles amazingly!

THE WHITE HEN
Any little street urchin can do as much!

THE TURKEY
[Solemnly.] An urchin who had learned of a shepherd in Sicily!

THE DUCK
He never whistles his tune to the end—­

THE TURKEY That’s too easy, carrying it to the end! [He hums the tune the BLACKBIRD has been whistling.] “How sweet to fare afield, and cull—­and cull—­” You should know, Duck, that the thing in art is to leave off before the end!  “And cull—­and cull—­” Bravo, Blackbird!

[The BLACKBIRD comes out on the little platform in front of his cage and bows.]

A CHICK
[Astonished.] Can he get out?

BLACKBIRD
Applause is salt on my tail!

THE CHICK
But his cage?

THE TURKEY He can come out, and he can go in again.  His cage has that sort of spring.—­“And cull—­and cull—­” The whole point is missed if you tell them what you cull!

THE BLACK HEN [Catching sight of a BUTTERFLY alighting on the flowers above the wall at the back.] Oh, what a gorgeous butterfly!

THE WHITE HEN
Where?

THE BLACK HEN
On the honey-suckle.

THE TURKEY
That kind is called an Admiral.

THE CHICK
[Looking after the BUTTERFLY.] Now he has settled on a pink.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Chantecler from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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