CHANTECLER, THE WOODPECKER.
[Eagerly.] Keep watch! They are going to talk with me from home.
I thought he hated you.
He came near it, but the Blackbird cast of mind admits of compromise,
and it amuses him to keep me informed.
Is he coming?
CHANTECLER [Who is a different bird since the PHEASANT-HEN’S exit, light-hearted, boyishly cheerful.] No, but the blue morning-glory opening in his cage amid the wistaria, communicates by subterranean filaments with this white convolvulus trembling above the pool. [Going to the convolvulus.] So that by talking into its chalice—[He plunges his bill into one of the trembling milky trumpets.] Hello!
[Nodding to himself.] From the Greek, allos, another.
He talks with another.
Hello! The Blackbird, please!
THE WOODPECKER [Keeping watch.] Most imprudent, this is! To choose among the convolvuli exactly the one which—
CHANTECLER [Lighter and lighter of mood, returning to the WOODPECKER.] But it’s the only one open all night! When the Blackbird answers, the Bee who sleeps in the flower wakes up and we—
[Inside the convolvulus.] Vrrrrrrrrr!
CHANTECLER [Briskly running to the flower and listening at the horn-shaped receiver.] Ah? This morning, did you say?
[Filled with curiosity.] What is it?
CHANTECLER [In a voice of sudden emotion.] Thirty chicks have been born! [Listening again.] Briffaut, the hunting-dog, is ill? [As if something interfered with his hearing.] I believe it is the Dragon-flies, deafening us with the crackling of their wings—[Shouting.] Will you be so kind, young ladies, as not to cut us off? [Listening.] And big Julius obliges Patou to go with him on his hunting expeditions? [To the WOODPECKER.] Ah, you ought to know my friend Patou! [Burying his bill again in the flower.] So? Without me everything goes wrong? Yes! [With satisfaction.] Yes! Waste and carelessness naturally!
THE WOODPECKER [Who has been keeping watch, warns him suddenly under breath.] Here she comes!
[With his bill in the flower.] Indeed?
[Fluttering desperately.] Hush!
The Ducks spent the night under the cart, did they?
[Who has come upon the scene, with a threatening gesture at the
WOODPECKER.] Go inside! [The WOOD PECKER precipitately disappears.
She stands listening to CHANTECLER.]