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

CURTAIN

ACT THIRD

THE GUINEA-HEN’S DAY

Corner of a kitchen-garden, enclosed on the sides by hedges.  At the back, espaliers.  Vegetables and flowers of all kinds.  Cold frames.  Among the fruit trees, an upright pole, rigged in an old frock-coat, pair of trousers, and opera hat, fills the function of scarecrow.

SCENE FIRST

The GUINEA-HEN, HENS, DUCKS, etc.; the PHEASANT-HEN, the BLACKBIRD, later PATOU.

At the rise of the curtain, multitudinous clatter and confused swarming of HENS and CHICKENS.

THE GUINEA-HEN [Going impetuously from one to the other.] How do you do?  How do you do?—­There is scarcely room to move!  My guests reach all the way to the cucumber patch!

CHORUS
[Up in the air.]
  Busily buzzing—­

THE GUINEA-HEN
A regular crush!

A HEN
[Gazing at a row of huge pumpkins.] What attractive objects!

THE GUINEA-HEN
Art pottery!  Rather good of its kind, if I do say so!

A CHICK
[Listening with his bill in the air.] Singers?

THE GUINEA-HEN
Yes,—­

CHORUS
  Busily buzzing—­

THE GUINEA-HEN [In her sprightliest manner.] The Wasps! [To a CHICKEN.] How do you do? [She flits from one guest to the other.]

THE WASPS
  Busily buzzing
  Estival glees. 
  Fill we with murmurs
  The mulberry trees
!

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Passing with the BLACKBIRD and laughing.] So you were caught?

THE BLACKBIRD [Finishing his story.] Exactly as if a hat had been plumped down over me.  But I managed by beating my wings to throw off the beastly pot. [Looking around him.] Chantecler has not come yet?

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Surprised.] Is he coming?

PATOU [Suddenly appearing on the wheelbarrow, from whence he can watch the scene as from a pulpit.] I still hope he may change his mind.

THE BLACKBIRD
Patou there, in the wheelbarrow?

PATOU [Shaking his surly head, and a bit of broken chain hanging from his collar.] Chantecler told me everything Blackbird, as he went by.  In a towering rage I broke my chain, and am here to keep an eye on the wicked lot of you.

THE GUINEA-HEN [To the BLACKBIRD.] Has he invited himself to my party, that moth-eaten old thing?

CHORUS
[Among the trees.]
  Our praises, Sun, our praises!

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Looking upward.] Music?

THE GUINEA-HEN
The Cicadas!

CHORUS OF CICADAS
  We simmer in thy gaze,
  We bask beneath thy blaze,
  Receive our grateful praise!

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