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The Adventures Of Chanticleer And Partlet

1. How They Went To The Mountains To Eat Nuts«The nuts are quite ripe now,» said Chanticleer to his wifePartlet, «suppo...

The Adventures Of Chanticleer And Partlet

1. How They Went To The Mountains To Eat Nuts
«The nuts are quite ripe now,» said Chanticleer to his wifePartlet, «suppose we go together to the mountains, and eat as manyas we can, before the squirrel takes them all away.» «With all myheart,» said Partlet, «let us go and make a holiday of it together.»

So they went to the mountains; and as it was a lovely day, theystayed there till the evening. Now, whether it was that they had eatenso many nuts that they could not walk, or whether they were lazy andwould not, I do not know: however, they took it into their heads thatit did not become them to go home on foot. So Chanticleer began tobuild a little carriage of nutshells: and when it was finished,Partlet jumped into it and sat down, and bid Chanticleer harnesshimself to it and draw her home. «That’s a good joke!» said Chanticleer;«no, that will never do; I had rather by half walk home; I’ll sit onthe box and be coachman, if you like, but I’ll not draw.» While this waspassing, a duck came quacking up and cried out, «You thievingvagabonds, what business have you in my grounds? I’ll give it you wellfor your insolence!» and upon that she fell upon Chanticleer mostlustily. But Chanticleer was no coward, and returned the duck’s blowswith his sharp spurs so fiercely that she soon began to cry out formercy; which was only granted her upon condition that she would draw thecarriage home for them. This she agreed to do; and Chanticleer gotupon the box, and drove, crying, «Now, duck, get on as fast as youcan.» And away they went at a pretty good pace.

After they had travelled along a little way, they met a needle and apin walking together along the road: and the needle cried out, «Stop,stop!» and said it was so dark that they could hardly find their way,and such dirty walking they could not get on at all: he told them thathe and his friend, the pin, had been at a public-house a few milesoff, and had sat drinking till they had forgotten how late it was; hebegged therefore that the travellers would be so kind as to give them alift in their carriage. Chanticleer observing that they were but thinfellows, and not likely to take up much room, told them they mightride, but made them promise not to dirty the wheels of the carriage ingetting in, nor to tread on Partlet’s toes.

Late at night they arrived at an inn; and as it was bad travelling inthe dark, and the duck seemed much tired, and waddled about a good dealfrom one side to the other, they made up their minds to fix theirquarters there: but the landlord at first was unwilling, and said hishouse was full, thinking they might not be very respectable company:however, they spoke civilly to him, and gave him the egg which Partlethad laid by the way, and said they would give him the duck, who was inthe habit of laying one every day: so at last he let them come in, andthey bespoke a handsome supper, and spent the evening very jollily.

Early in the morning, before it was quite light, and when nobodywas stirring in the inn, Chanticleer awakened his wife, and, fetchingthe egg, they pecked a hole in it, ate it up, and threw the shellsinto the fireplace: they then went to the pin and needle, who were fastasleep, and seizing them by the heads, stuck one into the landlord’seasy chair and the other into his handkerchief; and, having done this,they crept away as softly as possible. However, the duck, who slept inthe open air in the yard, heard them coming, and jumping into the brookwhich ran close by the inn, soon swam out of their reach.

An hour or two afterwards the landlord got up, and took hishandkerchief to wipe his face, but the pin ran into him and pricked him:then he walked into the kitchen to light his pipe at the fire, but whenhe stirred it up the eggshells flew into his eyes, and almost blindedhim. «Bless me!» said he, «all the world seems to have a design againstmy head this morning’: and so saying, he threw himself sulkily into hiseasy chair; but, oh dear! the needle ran into him; and this time thepain was not in his head. He now flew into a very great passion, and,suspecting the company who had come in the night before, he went tolook after them, but they were all off; so he swore that he neveragain would take in such a troop of vagabonds, who ate a great deal,paid no reckoning, and gave him nothing for his trouble but their apishtricks.

2. How Chanticleer And Partlet Went To Vist Mr Korbes
Another day, Chanticleer and Partlet wished to ride out together;so Chanticleer built a handsome carriage with four red wheels, andharnessed six mice to it; and then he and Partlet got into thecarriage, and away they drove. Soon afterwards a cat met them, andsaid, «Where are you going?» And Chanticleer replied,

«All on our way A visit to pay To Mr Korbes, the fox, today.»

Then the cat said, «Take me with you,» Chanticleer said, «With allmy heart: get up behind, and be sure you do not fall off.»

«Take care of this handsome coach of mine, Nor dirty my pretty red wheels so fine! Now, mice, be ready, And, wheels, run steady! For we are going a visit to pay To Mr Korbes, the fox, today.»

Soon after came up a millstone, an egg, a duck, and a pin; andChanticleer gave them all leave to get into the carriage and go withthem.

When they arrived at Mr Korbes’s house, he was not at home; so themice drew the carriage into the coach-house, Chanticleer and Partletflew upon a beam, the cat sat down in the fireplace, the duck got intothe washing cistern, the pin stuck himself into the bed pillow, themillstone laid himself over the house door, and the egg rolled himselfup in the towel.

When Mr Korbes came home, he went to the fireplace to make a fire; butthe cat threw all the ashes in his eyes: so he ran to the kitchen towash himself; but there the duck splashed all the water in his face;and when he tried to wipe himself, the egg broke to pieces in thetowel all over his face and eyes. Then he was very angry, and wentwithout his supper to bed; but when he laid his head on the pillow, thepin ran into his cheek: at this he became quite furious, and, jumpingup, would have run out of the house; but when he came to the door,the millstone fell down on his head, and killed him on the spot.

3. How Partlet Died And Was Buried, And How Chanticleer Died Of Grief
Another day Chanticleer and Partlet agreed to go again to the mountainsto eat nuts; and it was settled that all the nuts which they foundshould be shared equally between them. Now Partlet found a very largenut; but she said nothing about it to Chanticleer, and kept it all toherself: however, it was so big that she could not swallow it, and itstuck in her throat. Then she was in a great fright, and cried out toChanticleer, «Pray run as fast as you can, and fetch me somewater, or I shall be choked.» Chanticleer ran as fast as he couldto the river, and said, «River, give me some water, for Partlet lies inthe mountain, and will be choked by a great nut.» The river said, «Runfirst to the bride, and ask her for a silken cord to draw up thewater.» Chanticleer ran to the bride, and said, «Bride, you must give mea silken cord, for then the river will give me water, and the water Iwill carry to Partlet, who lies on the mountain, and will be choked bya great nut.» But the bride said, «Run first, and bring me my garlandthat is hanging on a willow in the garden.» Then Chanticleer ran tothe garden, and took the garland from the bough where it hung, andbrought it to the bride; and then the bride gave him the silkencord, and he took the silken cord to the river, and the river gave himwater, and he carried the water to Partlet; but in the meantime shewas choked by the great nut, and lay quite dead, and never moved anymore.

Then Chanticleer was very sorry, and cried bitterly; and all thebeasts came and wept with him over poor Partlet. And six mice builta little hearse to carry her to her grave; and when it was readythey harnessed themselves before it, and Chanticleer drove them. On theway they met the fox. «Where are you going, Chanticleer?» said he.«To bury my Partlet,» said the other. «May I go with you?» said thefox. «Yes; but you must get up behind, or my horses will not be able todraw you.» Then the fox got up behind; and presently the wolf, the bear,the goat, and all the beasts of the wood, came and climbed upon thehearse.

So on they went till they came to a rapid stream. «How shall we getover?» said Chanticleer. Then said a straw, «I will lay myself across,and you may pass over upon me.» But as the mice were going over, thestraw slipped away and fell into the water, and the six mice allfell in and were drowned. What was to be done? Then a large log ofwood came and said, «I am big enough; I will lay myself across thestream, and you shall pass over upon me.» So he laid himself down; butthey managed so clumsily, that the log of wood fell in and was carriedaway by the stream. Then a stone, who saw what had happened, cameup and kindly offered to help poor Chanticleer by laying himselfacross the stream; and this time he got safely to the other sidewith the hearse, and managed to get Partlet out of it; but the fox andthe other mourners, who were sitting behind, were too heavy, and fellback into the water and were all carried away by the stream anddrowned.

Thus Chanticleer was left alone with his dead Partlet; and having duga grave for her, he laid her in it, and made a little hillock over her.Then he sat down by the grave, and wept and mourned, till at last hedied too; and so all were dead.

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