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Rosster Sing-True Cock-A-Doodle-Doo

2006-07-13 22:59

  Lassies and ladies

  tiny as peas,

  Listen to this tale of mine,

  if you please!

  In our yard there once lived a rooster and a hen. The rooster was called Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo and the hen, Cackle-Cack. The two of them always had plenty to eat:

  crumbs galore,

  all sorts of seeds,

  worms big and small,

  grasses and weeds.

  From morn to night Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo and Cackle-Cack

  strolled about and dug at the ground

  and cackled in glee

  when a worm they found.

  Shaking his comb as if in play,

  this is what Sing-True

  would up and say:

  “Cock-a-doodle!

  Here's a worm like a noodle.“

  And Cackle-Cack would reply:

  “Cack-cackle, cack-cack,

  He'll do for a snack.

  Cut him up in two-

  I want some, too!“

  And thus it was that Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo and Cackle-Cack passed their days.

  They worked very hard for their livelihood

  and they shared all they found

  in the way of food.

  But what grieved them sorely and made them cry,

  though there wasn't a cloud in the whole of the sky,

  was

  that they had no children to bring them joy,

  Not one yellow chick, either girl or boy.

  “Cock-a-doodle-doo!

  What am I to do?“

  Cock-a-doodle-doo would say with a sigh: “When I die who will get my red cup and sharp spurs?”

  But one day Cackle-Cack laid an egg, not an ordinary one, but one of gold, and hatched a chick, a little son.

  He was fluffy and small and white of breast

  and of all the chicks by far the best!

  His mother and father were so delighted with him that they could not take their eyes off him.

  Said Cackle-Cack:

  “Let us call him Yellow Nose,

  so the wasps don't dare come close.“

  “Oh, no, a name like that would only suit a crow!” said Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo. “If we want our son to be feared by all,

  fox and ox and kite and hawk,

  we must call him Twitter-Squawk.“

  But this Cackle-Cack would not stand for. Said she:

  “You must be out of your mind! I never heard of such an ugly name. Twitter-Squawk indeed!”

  Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo was very angry.

  “Cock-a-doodle-doo!

  It's up to me, not you!“

  cried he, flapping his wings.

  “But I don't want to make you weep,

  so let the chick be called Cheep-Cheep!“

  To this the mother agreed, and the matter of the chick's name was settled.

  But they had hardly celebrated Cheep-Cheep's name-day and treated their friends to a pail of beer and ale when a terrible misfortune occurred: Sharp-Beak the Hawk, the fiercest hawk of them all,

  carried off Cackle-Cack,

  and she never came back!

  Cheep-Cheep wailed and cried for days on end. Time passed, and Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo grew tired of

  sitting at home looking after his son

  and never having a moment's fun.

  So he soon found himself a new wife and brought her home to live with them. Her name was Speckle and she disliked Cheep-Cheep and treated him badly.

  One day an egg cracked under Speckle's wing and a chick was hatched out of it, a naked, ugly little thing.

  Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo wanted to call his second son Angry or Mighty or even Fierce, but Speckle put her foot down, for she felt

  that her son was born to fame

  and deserved a better name.

  “No, no!” crackled she.

  “None can compare to this chick of mine,

  so let's choose him a name

  that is really fine.

  Never was there a chick like him,

  so fluffy and yellow and straight of limb!

  In olden times, so my grandmother says, chickens lived to a hundred if they had long names. I want my son to have a long life, too, so this is the name I have thought up for him:

  Little yellow fluffy ball,

  Best and dearest chick of all;

  Not another on the farm

  Boasts such beauty, wit and charm;

  Has a voice as loud and clear

  As a grown-up chanticleer;

  Being Sing-True's nightful heir,

  Wears his father's prideful air;

  Being Speckle's firstborn son,

  Is a joy to look upon;

  Little yellow fluffy ball,

  Dearest chick among them all.“

  Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo

  agreed to the name,

  but was cross all the same.

  “It's so long that by the time you get to the end of it,

  you can be born, grow up and die!“

  said he with a sigh.

  As for Cheep-Cheep, the poor little orphan whose name was so short and easy to say, much sorrow fell to his lot. Whenever his stepmother Speckle wanted someone to help her or Sing-True, she would call him, crying:

  “Come, Cheep-Cheep,

  wake up and don't sleep!

  Light the stove

  and sweep the floor,

  bring some water

  and close the door!“

  Nor was he treated much better by his father. For Sing-True, too lazy to call out his younger son's long name, would more often than not address Cheep-Cheep instead, telling him to do this or that.

  “Help your father, Cheep-Cheep!

  Find me a puddle that's not too deep,“

  he would say, or:

  “Let's look for worms under this stone,

  I cannot be doing it all alone!“

  And the orphan was kept rushing about the yard all day while his half-brother loafed in the sun doing nothing at all. But one day he got into trouble, for

  while with his friends he was at play

  he lost Sing-True's chisel and pipe of clay.

  Sing-True was very angry, and, wanting to punish him, flew up on to the fence and called for the whole yard to hear:

  “Little yellow fluffy ball,

  Worst, most stubborn chick of all;

  Not another on the farm

  Boasts so little wit and charm.

  No, it's not the time for tears-

  First, I mean to box your ears!“

  But before Sing-True could come to the end of his son's name and tell him what he meant to do with him, the chick ran away and hid in a growth of mettles.

  And so it went.

  Once, when Cheep-Cheep was busy pecking at some hemp seeds, a fox came stealing up from the forest.

  Had she caught the chick, let me tell you, friend, I would now have been at my story's end.

  But this she could not do, for Cheep-Cheep called out at the top of his voice:

  “He-e-e-elp! The fox has got me!”

  Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo heard his son's voice, and, flying up on to the roof, crowned for the whole yard to hear:

  “Cock-a-doodle-doo!

  Come to me, pigs, come, dogs and sheep,

  for Mistress Fox has caught Cheep-Cheep!

  If you have sharp claws

  and are quick on your feet,

  help me rescue my son,

  I beg and entreat!“

  The big heard him and jumped up.

  “Oink-oink-oink!

  Wait for me, Sing-True,

  I'm coming with you!“

  she cried.

  The sheep heard him and started baaing and bleating.

  “We're coming too,

  to give fox her due!“

  called they.

  The dogs heard him, they began barking loudly and made noise than anyone.

  “Bow-wow-wow!” went they.

  “Away we go

  Mistress Fox to lay low!“

  And the fox, she of the fluffy tail, was frightened and let go of Cheep-Cheep. Thus was his life saved and he returned home unharmed.

  The fox, however, was a wily one and she was hungry, too. So she kept her eyes open and

  at break of day,

  with the sun's first ray,

  crept up to the yard again.

  Not meeting anyone who could stop her,

  she up and seized Speckle's plump little son

  and, in a twinkling, was away and gone!

  Speckle heard her beloved son's cry and rushed to save him, crackling loudly.

  “Come, pigs! Come, sheep, wake up, I pray, before Mistress Fox has run away!” she cried.

  “If you have sharp teeth and are quick on your feet,

  run and stop the thief, I beg and entreat! She has stolen

  Little yellow fluffy ball,

  Best and dearest chick of all;

  Not another on the farm

  Boasts such beauty, wit and charm……

  Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck! ……“

  “Oink-oink!” said the pig.

  “Though of wit I'm keen as keen,

  I don't know just whom you meant!“

  “Bow-wow-wow!” said the dog.

  “What a foolish hen and slow!

  Whom she means I so not know.“

  At this Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo sang out:

  “Cock-a-doodle-doo! I'm sorry, friends, my wife Speckle has got a little muddled. What she meant to say was that the fox caught

  Little yellow fluffy ball,

  Best and dearest chick of all;

  Not another on the farm

  Boasts such beauty, wit and charm;

  Has a voice as loud and clear

  As a grown-up chanticleer;

  Being Sing-True's prideful heir,

  Wears his father's prideful air;

  Being Speckle's first born son,

  Is a joy to look upon;

  Little yellow fluffy ball,

  Best and dearest chick of all!“

  Only then did the pigs, sheep and dogs understand what had happened. Off they rushed after the fox, firing their guns and clapping their hands, yelling and calling and shouting commands.

  But it had taken Sing-True Cock-a-doodle-doo so long to speak his son's name that by the time he got to the end of it

  the fox was out of sight and deep in the

  wood

  and they couldn't catch her try as they

  would.

  Soon nothing was left of Speckle's young son-the poor little loafer was dead and gone.

  And as for Cheep-Cheep,

  he grew up to be handsome and tall

  and was loved and made much of by one and all!

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