The Cock And The Crested Hen
: STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA
: Boys And Girls Bookshelf
There was once a Cock who had a whole farmyard of hens to look after and
manage; and among them was a tiny little Crested Hen. She thought she
was altogether too grand to be in company with the other hens, for they
looked so old and shabby; she wanted to go out and strut about all by
herself, so that people could see how fine she was, and admire her
pretty crest and beautiful plumage.
So one day when all
he hens were strutting about on the dust-heap and
showing themselves off, and picking and clucking, as they were wont to
do, this desire seized her, and she began to cry:
"Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, over the fence! cluck, cluck, cluck, over
the fence!" and wanted to get away.
The Cock stretched his neck and shook his comb and feathers, and cried:
"Go not there!" And all the old hens cackled:
"Go-go-go-go not there!"
But she set off for all that; and was not a little proud when she got
away, and could go about pluming and showing herself off quite alone.
Just then a hawk began to fly round in a circle above her, and all of a
sudden he swooped down upon her. The Cock, as he stood on top of the
dust-heap, stretching his neck and peering first with one eye and then
with the other, had long noticed him, and cried with all his might:
"Come, come, come and help! Come, come, come and help!" till the people
came running to see what was the matter. They frightened the hawk so
that he let go the Hen, and had to be satisfied with her tuft and her
finest feathers, which he had plucked from her. And then, you may be
sure, she lost no time in running-home; she stretched her neck, and
tripped along, crying:
"See, see, see, see how I look! See, see, see, see how I look!"
The Cock came up to her in his dignified way, drooped one of his wings,
"Didn't I tell you?"
From that time the Hen did not consider herself too good to be in the
company of the old hens on the dust-heap.