Chantecler eBook

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

SCENE EIGHTH

THE PHEASANT-HEN, PATOU, later the WOODPECKER, RABBITS, and, all the
VOICES of the awakening forest.

PATOU
[To the PHEASANT-HEN.] Mourn!

THE SPIDER
[In the centre of her-web which now sifts the gold dust of a sunbeam.]
  Spider at morn,
  Cometh to warn!

THE PHEASANT-HEN [Furiously, tearing down the cobweb with a brush of her wing.] Be still, hateful Spider!—­Oh, may he perish for having disdained me!

THE WOODPECKER [Who from his window has been watching CHANTECLER’S departure, suddenly, frightened.] The poacher has seen him!

THE OWLS
[In the trees.] The Cock is in danger!

THE WOODPECKER
[Leaning out to see better.] He breaks his gun in two!

PATOU [Alarmed.] To load it!  Is that murderous fool in sheepskin gaiters going to fire upon a rooster?

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Spreading her wings to rise.] Not if he sees a pheasant!

PATOU
[Springing before her.] What are you doing?

THE PHEASANT-HEN
Following my calling! [She flies toward the danger.]

THE WOODPECKER [Seeing that in her upward swing she must touch the spring of the forgotten snare.] Look out for the snare! [Too late.  The net falls.]

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Utters a cry of despair.] Ah!

PATOU
She is caught!

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Struggling in the net.] He is lost!

PATOU
[Wildly.] She is—­He is—­

[All the RABBITS have thrust out their heads to see.]

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Crying in an ardent prayer.] Daybreak protect him!

THE OWLS [Rocking themselves gleefully among the branches.] The gun-barrel shines, shines—­

THE PHEASANT-HEN Dawn, touch the cartridge with your dewy wing!  Trip the foot of the hunter in a tangle of grass!  He is your Cock!  He drove off the darkness and the shadow of the Hawk!  And he is going to die.  Nightingale, you, say something!  Speak!

THE NIGHTINGALE
[In a supplicating sob.] He fought for a friend of mine, the Rose!

THE PHEASANT-HEN Let him live!  And I will dwell in the farmyard beside the ploughshare and the hoe!  And renouncing for his sake all that in my pride I made a burden and torment to him, I will own, O Sun, that when you made his shadow you marked out my place in the world!

[Daylight grows.  On all sides, rustles and murmurs.]

THE WOODPECKER
[Singing.] The air is blue!

A CROW
[Cawing as he flies past.] Daylight grows!

THE PHEASANT-HEN
The forest is astir—­

ALL THE BIRDS
[Waking among the trees.] Good-morning!  Good-morning!  Good-morning! 
Good-morning!  Good-morning!

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Chantecler from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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