“I never knew such a rooster. Now, do you know I believe that chicken actually takes an interest in politics? Oh, you may laugh, but last fall during the campaign he was so excited about something that he couldn’t eat, and the night they had the Republican mass-meeting here he roosted on the chandelier in the hall, and every time General Trumps made a good point that chicken would cackle and flap his wings, as much as to say, ‘Them’s my sentiments!’ And on the day of the parade he turned out and followed the last wagon, keeping step with the music and never dropping out of line but once, when he stopped to fight a Democratic rooster belonging to old Byerly, who was on the Democratic ticket. And in the morning, after the Republicans won, he just got on the fence out here and crowed so vociferously you could’ve heard him across the river, particularly when I ran up the American flag and read the latest returns.
“Yes, sir. Now, I know you’ll think it’s ridiculous when I tell you, but it’s an actual fact, that that very day my daughter was playing the ‘Star-spangled Banner’ on the piano, and that rooster, when he heard it, came scudding into the parlor, and after flipping up on the piano he struck out and crowed that tune just as natural as if he was an educated musician. Positive truth; and he beat time with his tail. He don’t crow like any other rooster. Every morning he works off selections from Beethoven and Mozart and those people, and on Sundays he frequently lets himself out on hymn-tunes. I’ve known him to set on that fence for more’n an hour at a time practicing the scales, and he nearly kicked another rooster to death one day because that rooster crowed flat. I saw him do it myself. And now I really must be going. Good-morning.”
I think I shall send out and kill that rooster at the first opportunity. I want Keyser to have one thing less to fib about. He has too much variety at present.
AN UNRULY METER.—SCENES IN A SANCTUM.
During one of the cold spells of last winter the gas-meter in my cellar was frozen. I attempted to thaw it out by pouring hot water over it, but after spending an hour upon the effort I emerged from the contest with the meter with my feet and trousers wet, my hair full of dust and cobwebs and my temper at fever heat. After studying how I should get rid of the ice in the meter, I concluded to use force for the purpose, and so, seizing a hot poker, I jammed it through a vent-hole and stirred it around inside of the meter with a considerable amount of vigor. I felt the ice give way, and I heard the wheels buzz around with rather more vehemence than usual. Then I went up stairs.
I noticed for three or four days that the internal machinery of the meter seemed to be rattling around in a remarkable manner; it could be heard all over the house. But I was pleased to find that it was working again in spite of the cold weather, and I retained my serenity.