Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 The history of two little...
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Group Title: Gockel and Scratchfoot, or, The adventures of two chickens : a tale for children
Title: Gockel and Scratchfoot, or, The adventures of two chickens
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002231/00001
 Material Information
Title: Gockel and Scratchfoot, or, The adventures of two chickens a tale for children
Alternate Title: History of two chickens
Adventures of two chickens
Physical Description: 59 p. 4 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Süs, Gustav, 1823-1881
Hazard, Willis P ( Willis Pope ), 1825-1913 ( Publisher )
Sinclair, Thomas S., ca. 1805-1881 ( Lithographer )
Publisher: Willis P. Hazard
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Publication Date: 1853
Subject: Chickens -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fables -- 1853   ( rbgenr )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1853   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1853
Genre: Fables   ( rbgenr )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Citation/Reference: Index to the Baldwin library of books in English printed before 1900.
Statement of Responsibility: translated from the German. ; Written for the use of the children of a friend ; with four illustrations.
General Note: Plates lithographed by T. Sinclairs, Philadelphia.
General Note: Color lithographed added title page.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002231
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002238220
oclc - 14361877
notis - ALH8717

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 1a
    Half Title
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    The history of two little chickens
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 8a
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 24a
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Pages 33-35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 54a
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Back Cover
        Page 59
        Page 60
Full Text

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When I have heretofore been your guest-whether in winter
I was received in your comfortable sitting room, or in summer
enjoyed my visit amidst the flowers and shade of your father's
beautiful garden, a cordial welcome, was always accompanied by
the request-" Do tell us a story-a tale of some kind-and
draw us some pictures." I have often told you of Gockel and his
Scratchfoot, and the pen and ink likenesses I made of these
handsome chickens, seemed to give you much pleasure.
From these detached portions and sketches, has arisen the
regular story of Gockel and Scratchfoot.
Hoping it may impart as much pleasure to others of the same
age as it has done to yourselves, I give it to the public, promising
to you, my young friends, that if my life is preserved, and in
Divine Providence I am again permitted to visit you, I will
tell you many other tales that will be calculated to amuse as
well as instruct.




IN a lonely mill, which stood in a forest and beside a rapid
stream, there dwelt, many years ago, an old miller and his wife.
The miller was an industrious man, and no sooner had the
first gray streak of dawn appeared in the east, than he was away
to his work: in his absence, his wife passed much of her time
alone, for they had no children. But in the mill yard was a
great number of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and pigeons, in
the possession of which the old woman had much pleasure, and
made them the chief objects of her care.
In the early morning, at noon, and evening, she might be seen
coming to the door with her apron full of oats and barley, call-
ing, Come, pi, pi, pi, pi, pi; come, pi, pi, pi;" and such a scream-
ing, cackling and gabbling they would set up, as they flew from


all sides, at these well known sounds, which was to them an in-
vitation to the feast she provided. And as they picked up the
grains from the earth, the old miller's wife would smile, and
seem so pleased, for she loved to see her favorites hopping so
actively round, and generally remained until not a grain was
"You have enough now, you dear creatures, in the morning I
will come again," she would say, and then closing the door,
went back to her room; the pigeons flew to the roof, the tur-
keys wandered through the nettles, the ducks and geese paddled
and splashed e ch other in the mill-brook, and the chickens
strutted about the barn yard.
Among the last were two, whom the miller's wife had named
Gickel and Gockel. The latter was a very handsome chicken,
he had a thick red comb on the top of his head, with gold and
purple plumage round his neck, and a tail of long, black feathers,
of which he was very proud, for it shone in the sun, and changed
to different shades of green and blue. You would know he
thought himself very handsome by the way in which he stretch-
ed forth his neck and raised on tiptoe, as he crowed loudly
" keokery coo." Even chickens have their preferences, and
among the young hens was one with snow white plumage, named
Scratchfoot by the miller's wife; he liked this one best of all,
because she was so busy and active, for when he had found some
grains or crumbs in the yard, and would call the hens with his
" tuck, tuck, tuck," Scratchfoot was always first there.


One time, (it was on a bright day in spring, and the buds were
beginning to break forth,) Gockel went to take a walk under a
blackberry hedge. How cheerful every thing seemed; the sun
shone brightly down on the earth; the birds flew so gaily from
bough to bough, and sung their cheerful welcome to the spring.
Gockel was very happy too, until as he strutted along, he sud-
denly espied his beloved Scratchfoot, sitting entirely alone, and
with sorrowful mien, under a bush. He went up to her and
inquired tenderly, "Why are you so sorrowful, my sweet
Scratchfoot ?" "Ah! I have to run about so much by myself,"
she replied, the other hens seem not to like to be with me, and
it troubles me greatly." "Indeed," rejoined Gockel, "well-
they treat me in the same manner. If I go out of the barn yard,
into the garden, or down to the mill race to pick up what I can
find, none of them ever goes with me." "And then I am so
pretty and white," sighed Scratchfoot, "and so friendly to all;
why, then, is there no one who will be kind, and go about with
me ?" My darling Scratchfoot," said Gockel, I will make a
proposal;-let us be very good friends and love each other, and
always go about together. Does this please you ?" "Yes, in-
deed," said Scratchfoot, joyfully, We will do so, dear Gockel."
And now, throughout the whole day they ran about the barn
yard in each other's company; wherever the one was, you were
sure to see the other.
In the evening, when it was time to go to roost, in the stable,
they sat upon the same perch, and closely side by side. As the



other hens remarked this, they looked very indignant, and began
to titter and whisper in such a rude manner, that there was
quite a confusion created in the stable, instead of the quiet
usually attendant on roosting time.
This conduct displeased Gockel, who arose from his perch,
crowed loudly, and commanded silence, whilst he made a long
speech, in which he announced that he had concluded a treaty
of friendship with the hen Mrs. Scratchfoot, and that they were
determined from this time to help each other, and share what-
ever weal or woe should fall to their lot. And so they did.
In the morning, when the first gray beams lighted the rude sta-
ble where they all roosted, Gockel and Scratchfoot flew down
from their perch to gather up grains in the mill or poultry yard;
when it rained, they would sit beside each other in the barn, or
on a beam over the horses' manger; but in fine weather they
always wandered by themselves in the garden or meadow, or
else by the mill brook, and they were always cheerful and happy
in each other's company.
This did not pass unobserved by the rest. With wonder and
silent envy, they remarked how happy these two chickens were,
and were not a little vexed to find that they really had with-
drawn from the general cackling and scratching. They cried,
"clack, clack, clack, kriak! see how proudly they go, and hold
themselves apart, as if we were not fit for them to associate
with." "Ah but we will soon drive the pride out of them,"
said Gickel, who had always been a rival of our hero, and so he



set himself in every possible way to annoy, and hold our loving
pair up to the ridicule of the whole community of the barnyard.
Sometimes he would rush past them so fiercely as to alarm the
delicate white Scratchfoot; at others he scratched so hard in
searching for such food as chickens love, that the sand and dust
would fly up in their eyes, and at each time these impertinences
were practised on the harmless pair, the malicious chicken world
would be overpowered with laughter. Gockel, for the sake of
peace, suffered him for a long time to proceed, and acted as if he
was entirely unconscious that any bad spirit was at work in the
poultry yard. But once, when the mockery became too great,
although a well disposed chicken, he sprang angrily at the spite-
ful Gickel, seized him by his comb, and hit him so severely
that he lost much blood, and lay as if dead. The hens
all cried, "Gacks, ga, ga, kriak! how frightful! 0, how shock-
ing." The miller's wife, who was looking out the window,
saw the battle, and taking up a rod which she kept for
the purpose, hastened down to the yard, intending to punish
Gockel; but he, guessing her meaning, flew over the hedge
into the garden, and hid himself under an alder bush; where
as he lay concealed, he had full time to consider, and repent
of his rash deed. With great anxiety he thought of what
might be its consequences; but what pained him most of all, was
the fear of what his beloved Scratchfoot might suffer, left thus
alone in the power of her most cruel enemy. He continued to
muse, until worn out with the weight of his trouble, he at length



fell asleep, and a wonderful dream which wove its airy tissue
before him, changed that sorrow at once into joy.
He dreamed that he sat with his white-feathered friend under
the alder bush, the pure flowers of which had changed to every
variety of hue; red, blue, yellow and violet. The wind swayed
the branches gently, bim! barn! and as they rocked to and fro,
thousand and thousands of those brilliant blossoms were shaken
off and fell to the earth, at the feet of Gockel and Scratchfoot,
where they were changed into large grains of oats and barley.
Both ate until they were satisfied, and then perfectly happy,
they mounted from branch to branch, until they gained the top
of the tree. Here they walked about quite at their ease, for the
leaves and flowers were so stiff and large, that it seemed like a
level plain.
All at once a song, sung in chicken tones and by many voices
was heard amid the boughs, Hail to our king and queen, Gock-
el and Scratchfoot!" Gockel astonished, looked around, and
found himself, with his fair Scratchfoot beside him, seated on a
throne of wheaten straw, and both were adorned with crowns,
made of wild poppies and cornflowers. Above them, were the
heavens enrobed in clearest blue, and the sun shone so warm and
bright, as if he too smiled on the happy pair, who shook their
feathers again and again,-a custom which chickens have when
greatly delighted. On the earth below, stood a number of the
inhabitants of the poultry yard, who were gazing up at the
throne, and at length began a concert of most brilliant chicken




music. The hens played on the fiddle, an old gander blew the
trumpet, some ducks chimed in with the pipes, and Gickel him-
self beat the big drum. All the rest cackled most noisily, and
sang in the chorus.

Of Gockel-great Gockel, the merits we sing,
He shall rule o'er us chickens, our leader and king;
The turkeys shall gobble-our faith we will crow,
And ducks, geese and all, to his sceptre shall bow.

But he wants a queen-0 Scratchfoot hen,
With feathers so white and of gentle mien-
Thou shalt sit on the throne of wheat straw by his side,
For thou of the whole chicken world art the pride.

The melody was fine, and the delighted Gockel was about to
crow forth a speech of thanks, which certainly was right and
proper, but at that moment a most ungentle punch in the ribs
awoke him, and dispersed the shadows of his enchanting dream.
Ah! the old miller's wife had found him at last, and began with
her long switch to give him the threatened beating. Cruel wo-
wan! she little thought what she was doing. Poor Gockel, who
but a few moments before had been greeted as a king, was in a sad
plight, and ran screaming back to the barn yard, where he found
all the rest of the chickens had gone to roost. And now, for the
first time, he remarked how far the evening had advanced, and


that feeding time was over. Hungry and cast down, he held his
way towards the stable, which he feared to enter, for he was
almost certain Gickel had died of his wounds, and he dreaded to
find his place vacant. But oh how great was his joy when he
saw him, enemy as he was, sitting upon his own perch.
This trouble removed, his next care was Scratchfoot; he look-
ed all around--she was nowhere to be seen; and he dared not
inquire of the other hens, for he knew he would not get a friendly
answer. He cared not to go up to his perch, so almost broken-
hearted, he crept into a corner unseen by any. The night had
now fairly come on; the moon shone clear among the sparkling
stars, and the chicken world within that stable were all asleep,
-all but Gockel,-he could not sleep for wondering what had
become of Scratchfoot.
As he turned over in his mind what might possibly have hap-
pened during his absence, he heard a moaning sound without-
a sort of cackling, as from a hen in distress; the voice seemed
not unknown to him; he listened, and heard his own name utter-
ed distinctly. He looked through an air hole in the wall, and
there, under the steps of the stable, stood his friend, gazing with
sorrowful countenance towards the door of the hen roost, which
it seemed she was not able to reach. Scratchfoot, is it your-
self?" cried Gockel, at once overjoyed and alarmed. Truly,
dear Gockel, it is myself," answered the hen, and I must lament
here all night, if you will not come down and help me up the
ladder." In an instant Gockel crept under the door, flew down



the steps, and was below with his Scratchfoot, who-ah!
lamentable to tell, was standing on one leg. The other was
bound with a piece of checked cloth, on which, by the light of
the moon, stains of blood were plainly seen, and it seemed to
drag along powerless, as if broken.
In this condition, it was plain she could not reach the roost in
the stable; and Gockel saw at the first glance, she must be pro-
vided with some other lodging place. The moon gave light
enough for them to find their way into the garden, and our hero
supported his limping friend with his wing, and advanced towards
a crooked pear tree, whose leaning stem he could climb without
any difficulty. Among the thick leaves towards the top, he
found a basket, which some one gathering pears had left tied to
a branch, and finding it large enough to hold them both conve-
niently, greatly did this good friend of the wounded Scratchfoot
rejoice. He supported her towards it, and-hop-both sat com-
fortably within it.
Dear Scratchfoot, are you not better now ?" inquired Gockel;
Sell me all that happened after I left the poultry yard, and how
you became wounded ?" Well then," said Scratchfoot, after
she had cleared her throat, for the night air made her hoarse,
When you finished the battle you fought with that silly Gickel
to day, and to my great joy beat him so valiantly, you ran away
in such a hurry, that I was not able to follow, nor to find you.
Gockel, my dear Gockel! I clucked, seeking you every where;
in all the bushes and hedges of the garden and the meadow.



You were nowhere to be found; and as I continued to seek you
sorrowing, a shepherd's dog coming over the field, sprang suddenly
upon me, and biting my leg with his sharp teeth, disabled me as
you see. Screaming with terror and pain, I flew into the bushes,
where a kind little girl, who was gathering blackberries found
me, and tearing a piece off her ragged apron, bound up my leg.
It was with the greatest difficulty I could limp at all, and you
know the meadow is quite a distance from our barn yard, so that
is the reason why I got there so late."
Gockel was so much affected by the recital of what his beloved
and delicate Scratchfoot had suffered, that he sobbed aloud,
How sad, how very sad it makes me, darling Scratchfoot, to
think that you should be bitten by that vile cur, the shepherd's
dog." "Goody gracious !" cried the white hen suddenly, and
drawing herself further into the basket, gave Gockel a pinch with
her bill, Look! look !" And he did look, and saw-oh, horri-
ble !-a fox standing directly under their sheltering tree. "Be
still, be still, whispered Gockel to his white feathered friend,-
we must dive deeper into the basket, for if he sees us we are
The fox had not remarked them, as they hung above him,
concealed in their leafy covert, but stood immovable and gazing
with fixed attention on that part of the miller's yard, where the
hen roost was situated; ah! he was watching for an opportunity
to have a nice chicken hunt.
But to his great vexation he saw Philax, the miller's great dog,



watching faithfully at his post. That you should be lying
there, you fat lazy cur," muttered the Fox, showing his teeth;
" if you did not block up the way to the chicken roost, I would
let the miller's old wife see what a spot of work I could make in
a few hours! But wait," he continued, after a short pause, in
which he matured a cunning plan, on this day week the old
miller will be going to the yearly market; he always takes
Philax with him; I shall then have a clear course and a free
hunt, and you, good folks of the chicken world, you will have
to pay for the frolic." As he finished his speech he moved
quietly away, and disappeared from the sight of our anxious lis-
teners, in the darkness of the night.
Gockel and Scratchfoot had not lost one word, aud they trem-
bled from head to foot. When they saw that the danger was
past, and had become composed, Gockel addressed a few consol-
ing words to his terrified companion. My dear Scratchfoot,"
said he in a soft, low voice, "let us not complain or murmur
because of your bitten leg. Had it not been for this, which half
an hour ago we regarded as a great misfortune, we had not over-
heard the Fox's plan, and had fallen a prey to his murderous
appetite, with all the rest." Ah!" sighed Scratchfoot, "what
a blood-thirsty tyrant that Fox is. He is not contented to have
already murdered many chickens, but seems determined to add
us to the number." "Well then," rejoined Gockel, "we ought
to be thankful for the accident which happened to your leg,
since it was the means of our roosting in this friendly basket.



Just eight days more, and we should, with all the others, have
been strangled by that thieving Fox, whereas we will now be
able to take such measures as shall ensure our safety. And now
as we have lost much rest, it is time to go to sleep; so good
night, my beloved Scratchfoot, a sweet sleep and pleasant dreams
to you." Good night, dear Gockel," answered his fair friend,
and in a moment more, both were sound asleep.
The gray morning had scarcely dawned in the east, when
Gockel awoke. His first inquiry was, My sweet Scratchfoot,
did you sleep well, and how is your leg ?" I did not sleep well,"
was the answer, my leg was very painful. Yet nevertheless I
had a charming dream. I saw you king of the chicken world,
dear Gockel, and myself as your queen." "That.is most won-
derful," exclaimed he joyfully; and then proceeded to relate his
own dream which he had under the alder bush, on the day the
miller's wife gave him such a beating. "You see," said he in
conclusion, as he rose out of the basket, and shook his feathers
with an air of importance; this is a very significant dream, and
betokens something; we will yet see ourselves the royal pair
who shall rule the barn yard. We shall then be without faults;
no one will dare to blame or wrong us; every one will dance to
our pipe."
As he concluded this speech, he placed himself upon a branch
of the pear tree, and crowed loudly, Kookery cuckoo;" good
morning, good morning! Gickel answered him from below, and



the two chickens descended together from the tree, where they
had found so friendly a shelter.
As the chicken world, already assembled in the court below,
saw them coming, and that poor Scratchfoot limped painfully
along, they laughed among themselves, and cackled and scream-
ed as loudly as if it had rained a shower of barleycorns. Cluck,
cluck, cluck, kriah! See, our stable is too rude and lowly for
this haughty pair; they would rather roost in a tree, with the
starry heavens for their canopy! And truly Madam Scratch-
foot has adopted the badge of the order of the garter,-see, she
carries it on her leg !" And so they continued their mocking
jests throughout the whole of this day and the next. Poor
Scratchfoot, remembering her dream, bore up very patiently; but
at last she became quite sad, although her leg did not give her
much pain, but gradually healed, so that by the seventh day she
could have danced if she had been so disposed.
On this last mentioned day, some little commotion was occa-
sioned in the poultry yard belonging to the mill, by the arrival
of an old fashioned country coach, which was filled with the
miller's relatives, who on their way to the yearly market which
was to be held on the next day, had resolved to pass the night
there. An elderly woman with several children descended from
the capacious vehicle, and was most cordially received by the
miller's wife. In the evening those little ones accompanied the
old woman when she went to the mill yard to feed her poultry,
and they were delighted with the activity of the feathered tribe



as they picked up the grains the good dame strewed, or snatched
them from each other.
SLook here children," she cried, "see how I can make them
dance and jump for your sport," and so saying she held a piece of
bread in her hand at such a height that it required a spring to
reach it. "Now see there; look at this proud fellow with the
red comb and glossy wings. I intend to kill him soon, for he is
always fighting; and it is not more than a week ago that he
nearly killed as handsome a chicken as himself-indeed, he bit
him almost to death. Here-Gockel, Gockel! come bi, bi, bi!"
Gockel heard these words, which he perfectly understood, and
was not a little startled to hear himself threatened with death.
But he was called, and must obey. He must jump to reach the
bread which was held so high, that notwithstanding all his activ-
ity, he could not reach it. At every failure, bursts of laughter
from the children, and cacklings from the envious crowd around
him, gave him fully to understand that none but enemies were
there, who rejoiced in his defeat. His comb swelled in anger
and scorn; he collected all his strength for one last and desperate
effort; once more he sprang towards the bread, and happily
reached it; but as he threw it to the earth and called Tuck,
tuck, tuck," which means Scratchfoot, come and share," he saw
to his great vexation, that the prize he had gained was nothing
more than a hard, dry crust.
Peals of scornful laughter, more boisterous than ever, issued
from the chicken world, and poor Scratchfoot, perfectly paralyzed



with amazement and sorrow for the mortification of her friend,
stuck her head under her wing; and Gockel, bewildered, and
losing all his self possession, with lowered crest and drooping tail
ran clear off, leaving the field to his conquerors. Many taunts
met him as he fled. False weather prophet," screamed the
mockers, the sun shines clear and bright, and he droops his
tail as if a storm was coming. Look at him! the coward! he
runs like a hare-he is a hero indeed; kriak !"
Scratchfoot did not for one moment hesitate to seek and share
the pain and disgrace experienced by Gockel. In the very eyes
of the envious multitude, she flew towards the little thicket
where he had taken refuge, and sought him with beating heart
and loud voice. "Gockel, dear Gockel, where art thou ?" she
called anxiously. At last she saw him at some distance, lying
under a hedge of hazel bushes. The last rays of the setting sun
shone brightly upon him; he gazed upon the golden light, and
exclaimed; May I, O glorious orb, never more behold thee!
Would that, like thyself, I at this moment could sink below the
earth to rise no more. Persecuted and disgraced, my life, once
so full of happiness, is embittered forever!" "Ah!" sighed
Scratchfoot," who at this instant stood beside him, "be not so
sorrowful, dear Gockel; it makes me very unhappy to see you
thus despairing. I love you so much, and am determined never
to forsake you; why then should you care for the rest. Let
them mock at and scorn us as they will, 'tis no matter; for our
own consciences tell us we do not deserve it."



No, we do not deserve it," rejoined Gockel, but Scratchfoot,
it is plain to me I can no longer live in our native barn yard.
Come with me; we will go far from here, and seek our happiness
in another place; the world is wide, and if we but remain true
to each other, we are certain to find our way through it." But
think of our good old dame, the miller's wife !" remarked
Scratchfoot; "she who has cared for us since we were little
chickens, and tends us every day so kindly-ought we to leave
her-will it be right?" The miller's wife a friend," rejoined
Gockel; "why she said in my hearing, this very day, that it
was her purpose to kill me." "To kill you!" interrupted
Scratchfoot, how you alarm me-the good old woman-you are
wrong-this cannot be so." No, I am not wrong," answered
her companion, "it is certainly her intention; I heard her tell
the children so, as plainly as I now hear you speak. Therefore
you see that our flight is absolutely necessary, and that we dare
not delay, From this spot we must commence our journey into
the wide world, not daring once to look back to the mill yard
where we were once so happy." But," said Scratchfoot, "in a
tone of anxiety," we do not know one step of the way, and when
we are journeying through the wide world as you call it, where
are we to find food and a roosting place; besides, may we not
fall into the power of foxes, or other wild robbers ?" Do not
be unhappy on that account, my dear Scratchfoot, the wide
world is not so bad nor dangerous as you suppose," replied Goc-
kel; do you not remember what the swallow, who was here



last spring, told us of what he had seen in his travels, for you
know he is almost always on the wing-how he described the
great cities, with their grand houses and beautiful gardens. Ah!
it is far better to be there and more pleasant, than here in this
miserable mill yard where one never sees anything; and besides
if you and I are yet to be king and queen, it is necessary we
should go to the cities; for such an event could never happen if
we were to remain at this lonely mill. Yes! this saucy pack of
fowls who have presumed to mock at us, will then find out how
greatly superior we are to themselves. But of what importance
is their good or bad opinion to me ? No, Scratchfoot, they shall
never live to experience how they have wronged us. To morrow
is the day when the miller and his people, taking Philax with
them, are to go to the yearly market, and then the fox will make
an irruption into our poultry yard. It will serve them right;
it is a just reward for their wickedness. Master Reynard will
silence their slanderous croakings."
Ah no, this must not be," rejoined the gentle Scratchfoot;
"if you love me, dear Gockel, give up your plan of going abroad,
-at least at this moment, when our barn yard friends are
threatened with so great a danger. I pray you, let us go back
and warn them to guard against the Fox; telling them what we
overheard, and then it will be time enough to begin our journey."
How can you thus counsel me, Scratchfoot," asked Gockel, a
little angrily. Ought I to warn those who have treated both
you and myself so basely? And if I did, it would do no good;



they would not believe in my friendly intention,-but suspect
some treacherous purpose, because they are envious and mali-
cious themselves."
But, dear Gockel," urged his white feathered friend, we
shall have the satisfaction of knowing we have done right in en-
deavouring to save them. No matter how they receive our
tidings, it is not less important to ourselves that we warn them
of their danger, for if the Fox succeeds, as he surely will, when
Philax is away, we are in great measure guilty of their death.
But suppose we go to my old, experienced aunt, Madam Quackle,
the duck, and advise with her how we ought to proceed, in order
to let our late friends of the mill yard know of master Reynard's
intended visit. If you do not wish to go yourself, permit that I
may, dear Gockel, and promise me that you will stay here until
I return." Scratchfoot accompanied these words with a counte-
nance of so much entreaty, as she nestled close to his side, and
looked into his eyes with such a tender expression, that Gockel's
stern purpose melted away like ice before the sun. He gave his
permission that she should visit Madam Quackle, at the same
time promising that he would not begin his travels into the wide
world until her return. Madam Quackle was a thoughtful old
duck, who dwelt at some distance further down the mill brook,
beside a worn out mill stone, half sunken in the marsh and
Scratchfoot found her aunt at home, but with head bowed
down, her visage sad, and standing on one leg, for she was in



deep sorrow." "Are you all alone aunt," inquired Scratchfoot,
" and why are you so sad ?" "Ah, my dear niece," sighed
Madam Quackle, I have great cause. Of fifteen eggs, over
which I brooded for four long weeks, only two produced duck-
lings. One of them, who was my favourite, although a greedy
fellow, ate too much swamp cabbage, and so brought on a colic
of which he died. Flatbill never was obedient, and I had ex-
pressly forbidden him to eat cabbage; but he had such a raven-
ous appetite. My last darling and best quackle, was this day"-
here poor old Madam Quackle wept aloud-" bitten to death by
those envious chickens in the mill yard, where he had gone to
be fed." Scratchfoot, who was very tender hearted, wept with
her out of pure sympathy; and when they had exhausted their
first emotion, she told her aunt of the many insults she and her
friend Gockel had received from their envious chicken relatives,
and that being unable to bear it any longer, they had resolved to
leave their native place. It is very true," she added, we now
have it in our power to avenge the wrong, and still to dwell
there in perfect peace by ourselves, for not long since we over-
heard a Fox planning how, on this very night, he would attack
and sweep the hen roost, for he knows the miller and his dog
are to be absent. But, unkind as our friends have been, we can-
not endure that they should meet with such a sorrowful fate; but
we fear that if we warn them of the Fox's intentions, they will
not believe us, and suspect we have some design to benefit our-



selves at their expense. Now, dear wise aunt, what do you
counsel us to do?"
When Madam Quackle heard this weighty question proposed,
she was still standing on one foot; and scratching behind her
ear with the other, she shut her eyes as if in deep thought, and
stuck her head under her wing. Some bright thought must have
struck her; for suddenly springing on both her waddle legs, she
burst forth with a loud "Quack, qua, qua-qua, qua, quack!
Now I have it-my dear niece-listen to me. Your intention is
most praiseworthy, and I entirely approve it, for to do good to
one's enemies is always the noblest revenge, and to have this, it is
certainly your duty to tell the chickens of the mill yard what
danger is threatened by the Fox. But you must do even more !
if you really wish to save them, you must go back to the mill,
and fill the place of the watchful Philax yourself. This will be
easily done by roosting in the pear tree, as you did on the
night you overheard the fox. Be wide awake! both you and
Gockel-and when you hear or see old Reynard creeping forward,
it will be well to set up a loud crowing and cackling, so as to
alarm the miller's people and bring help to the hen roost."
Scratchfoot thanked her aunt heartily for her excellent coun-
sel, and after giving her right foot (as people would shake
hands,) by way of farewell to Madam Quackle, she hastened
back to her friend Gockel, to tell him what the old duck had
advised. She found him in a better spirit. During her absence
he had time to think, and his anger having evaporated, and



being really a good-natured chicken, he was already turning over
in his own mind by what plan he could save the inhabitants of
the poultry yard from destruction. The counsel, therefore, of
his aunt Quackle, found a ready echo in his own heart; and as it
was already growing dark when Scratchfoot returned, he re-
traced his steps at once to the mill yard, and with his white
feathered friend, ascended the same pear tree, from whose leafy
covert they had overheard the planning of the roguish fox on
the previous week.
The chickens had already gone to roost; deep silence reigned
over the spot. No wind rustled in the branches; not a sound
was heard, save the occasional chirping of the wood cricket.
Gockel and his Scratchfoot sat with open eyes, and watched in
silence from their couch of leaves; but they were very weary, and
sometimes their heavy eyelids drooped, and they would nod, but
a pinch from the bill of each other never failed to drive away
the drowsiness. An hour had passed in this state of painful sus-
pense, when their listening ears took in a slight rustling sound,
at first distant, but each moment growing plainer, until at last
light and hasty steps were distinctly heard, under the tree.
"That is the Fox," whispered Gockel to his companion; "now
Scratchfoot-now is the time for us to scream with all our
might;" and so, raising themselves up, they filled the air with
cries of Keokery koo koo," and crowing and cackling from their
full throats.
The Fox startled at this sudden outcry among the chickens,



and puzzled to know what it meant, stopped for a moment or
two, but not hearing the voice of the dog, concluded that he
really was absent, and so determined not to let himself be disap-
pointed of his intended banquet in the poultry yard. They
may scream forever, if they like," said he to himself, it will
not hinder me from making a good meal;" and again he crept
forward, nearer to the hen roost, yet watching round very suspi-
ciously, for he did not know but that Philax might be hidden
somewhere. The continued crowing and cackling of our two
friends in the pear tree, although it did not frighten Reynard,
was not yet useless, for it attracted the attention of the mil-
ler's men, who, after having finished their supper, were still
sitting at the table, chatting with a farmer who had come to
visit them. Suspecting that all was not right, Stoffel* seized a
cudgel that stood in a corner, and with his comrade, rushed forth
towards the poultry yard; the farmer, calling to his dog who
had followed him into the kitchen, brought up the rear. After
all, Reynard's plans had all been vain. He found himself
watched. The fox! the fox !" screamed Stoffel, and hurled
his cudgel towards the adversary, kill him,-strike him dead !"
but unfortunately, in his haste he had not aimed correctly, and
the blow fell upon the farmer's dog, who forthwith set up a ter-
rible howling, and instead of attacking the fox, sprang to one
side, directly in the way of his master, who was running at the

* Christopher.



very top of his speed. Down came the latter headlong over the
dog; Stoffel and Peter stumbled over the farmer. There they
lay, all three of them; the dog, who was undermost, raising a
terrible outcry. Taking advantage of their overthrow, the Fox
made his escape over the nearest hedge, and reached the forest
unhurt; but although he made himself merry at the downfall of
his enemies, at the same time he was not a little vexed to have
lost so favourable an opportunity of making an invasion into the
hen roost, particularly at this time, when it promised to be so
"O, my goodness!" exclaimed Stoffel, as he rose from his
prostrate attitude, "ain't we great heroes. Now that knavish
Fox has escaped." You always were and always will be a
blockhead, Stoffel," said Peter, why did you throw your cudgel
at the dog instead of the fox." If you are so smart and clever
Mr. Peter, why did you not catch the sly villain yourself," was the
answer. The farmer said nothing, but slowly gathered himself
up, and after having rubbed his bruised shin, limped sulkily to-
wards his home. It is too bad," said the miller's men; to
think we were so near catching him;" and having lighted a lan-
tern, they proceeded to the little stable where the poultry roost-
ed, to see what damage had been done; but as they found no
torn feathers, nor discerned any trace of blood, they were satis-
fied that Reynard had been disappointed; so, carefully closing
the door, they went back to the house, and betook themselves to



In the meantime, Gockel and Scratchfoot had been observing
(from their tree,) all that was passing below, and were now
heartily rejoicing in the success of their benevolent project. Are
we not much happier, dear Gockel," said Scratchfoot, "than if
we had revenged our wrongs by letting the Fox prey on our en-
vious friends ? You are always right, my gentle Scratchfoot,"
answered Gockel, and if you should again see me angry or re-
vengeful, then try again the effect of soothing words. I can
never resist your tender appeals;" and so, wishing his fair friend
good night, he settled himself to roost.
With the first gray beams of morning he awoke, for his pro-
jected journey into the wide world, as he termed it; and the im-
patient anticipation of the strange and new life that awaited him
there, drove away all desire to waste time in useless sleep.
Rousing Scratchfoot, he flew down from his perch on the tree,
and ran with active step and cheerful heart across the poultry
yard, into the garden, over the meadow, and rested not until
he gained the summit of a little hill that overlooked the whole.
From this spot, he turned to take a last look at the mill,-the
home he was leaving forever; and he fancied it had never before
appeared so beautiful. His heart grew sad as he gazed; it was
the theatre where had been enacted all the scenes of his previous
life; where, if he had endured some sorrow, he yet had shared
in many, many pleasures; and had it not been for the threat
uttered by the miller's wife of her positive determination to take
his life, both would gladly have returned, deeming it better to



bear the trial imposed by their envious companions, than leave
a home so deservedly dear.
They turned away,-and the sun rising above the eastern
summit, like a ball of burnished gold, illumined the unknown
and distant world which lay before our wanderers. The birds
were chanting their forest hymns in the early light; the wild
flowers waved gracefully in the gentle breeze, and shook off the
glittering dew drops which night had bestowed, as an offering to
the beautiful morning; and all came so bright and bewitchingly
before them, that the desire to travel and see the world, returned
in full force, and obtained a complete victory over the feeling of
attachment which drew them to their home. And so, betaking
themselves to the road which led over the hill, they crowed a
last farewell to the lonely mill; Keokery koo,-gacks, ga, ga !
-adieu adieu! friends-enemies-all; farewell forever."
Their way led through a narrow pass, bordered on each side by
the bushes of wild roses and blackberry, until at length it ended
in a forest of stately oaks and beeches, so tall and thick, that
our travellers were amazed; for the trees in the wood surround-
ing the mill, could not compare with these. It was so wild, it
seemed as if the foot of man had never trodden there; the trees
were so close together, and their long branches interlacing each
other, made twilight there even at noon day. Gockel crowed
for very joy, and clapped his wings in ecstacy; and Scratchfoot,
always more moderate than he, cackled forth Kriah kriah !
oh, how lovely-how lovely !"



But what most delighted our faithful pair, was the life enjoyed
in the topmost branches of those lofty trees, by the choristers of
the forest; shrouded, as it seemed, from all danger by their leafy
covert, they hopped gaily from branch to branch, twittering with
each other, or warbling their songs. "I do wonder what they
are talking or singing about," said Gockel," it is an entirely dif-
ferent language from any that we have ever heard; it is a great
deal finer and more melodious than ours,-I wish we could un-
derstand it." "Listen Gockel," interrupted Scratchfoot, "I
hear tones even now, that sound like those of our own speech."
Tuck, tuck, tuck," was echoed through the forest, and Gock-
el answered with his "Kookery koo;" and at length a large
brown bird, half as large again as Gockel, flew down from a tree,
and came towards him. Although he much resembled them-
selves in form, and had a large comb like Gockel, Scratchfoot
was very much frightened; she thought him a strange looking
relative, and flew behind Gockel; who, with outstretched neck
and ruffled wings, at once prepared himself for her defence.
But his brown brother of the forest hastened to dispel his fear.
"Have no dread of me," he said, "I am no bird of prey, as you
seem to suspect, but a harmless mountain pheasant, living upon
grain and berries, and never doing injury to any one; and least
of all would I seek to wrong you, who seem to be a near relative.
We are of the same race; your great-great-great-grandfather
was a pheasant, and lived in a forest like this; but men, who
think every thing that has been created belongs to them, came




with rage, the gallant Gockel attacked the enemy with bill and
claws; the marten released Scratchfoot, and set himself to battle
in earnest, and seemed determined to gain the victory. There
was no safety for our hero now but in flight, and believing in
this case discretion the better part of valour," flew up into the
branches of an oak, whither the marten followed by climbing up
the trunk. The wily Gockel waited until he had gained the
body of the tree, in order to give Scratchfoot time to escape, then
saved himself by flying to a neighboring beech, and so on, he
finally succeeded in distancing his adversary. But the joy for
his own safety was greatly lessened when he thought of Scratch-
foot. Where was she ? He could not seek her in the darkness,
and he dared not call her, for fear of attracting the marten.
Long, long did his anxiety battle with his longing to know what
had become of his fair friend. At length, he comforted himself
with the thought, that the same chance of escape had been open
to her as to himself, and that she was most probably at this
moment resting securely somewhere in a neighboring tree.
Scarcely, however, had the gray dawn begun to lessen the
deep darkness, than he made the forest resound with his call,
" Kookery coo! tuck, tuck, tuck! come Scratchfoot, where are
you ?" He imagined that he was answered from a distance; but
alas! it was only the echo of his own voice. Filled with sad
forebodings, he flew down from his perch, and ran about without
knowing whither, stopping from time to time, and crowing with



all his might; but, O sad to tell! no Scratchfoot answered to
his call.
Would that I had never come into this horrible wood,"
cried Gockel, almost beside himself with sorrow and vexation;
"Scratchfoot, dear Scratchfoot, where art thou ? Hearest thou
me not? Kookery coo! cluck, cluck, cluck !" Thus complain-
ing, he wandered until he reached the edge of the wood; the
clear blue sky was seen distinctly through the green branches,
and he came forth on a broad plain where he could see all
around him, and he crowed and crowed and crowed with all his
might, in hopes his cry would meet the ear of Scratchfoot. Lis-
ten! what sound is that echoing from a distant part of the
forest? it is truly the painfully expected answer. Yes, Scratch-
foot is still living, for "Clack, clack, clack! kriak !" sounded far
and wide, and each flying with blessed haste, in another moment
the friends had met. 0, what a billing and cooing and flapping
of wings was there! What questions and answers, what an ex-
changing of histories of their several destinies through the pre-
ceding night of horrors, had to be related without ceasing, and
what they thought and what they did, during their separation
and search.
How happy and thankful were they, to be once more together,
and to have been delivered from so great a danger, without any
loss but that of Scratchfoot's tail; but what did it matter, the
harm done to a few of her beautiful feathers, by the teeth of that
ugly marten, in comparison with the peril threatening her life.



And rejoicing in the light of that beautiful, sunshiny morning,
they sung their matin hymn:

Kookery clack, clack! Kookery coo!
Gockel is happy, and Scratchfoot too.
What should trouble us,-clack, clack, clack!
I am happy, and thou art back.

When parted so sadly, we knew no rest,
But wandered around alone and distressed
'Till we found each other; kookery coo!
Gockel is happy and Scratchfoot too.

No murderous Marten, or Chicken world strife-
No hunger nor cold, o'er the pathway of life
Shall cast a dark shadow,-kookery coo !
Which dear Scratchfoot and I together pursue.

Our blessings are many, then why should we care,
If, still undivided, our portion we bear
In the trials that wait us,-kookery coo!
Gockel is happy and Scratchfoot too.



And when death shall come, as come he must,
That one stroke shall end us, we still will trust;
We could not live parted,-kookery coo!
Gockel is happy and Scratchfoot too.
Let us sing forth our joy, clack, clack, clack !
I am living and thou art back.

In this manner they sung their song of jubilee, accompanied
with much flapping of wings; and most joyful in their re-union,
they left the forest, and soon reached a neighboring grain field,
where from between the yellow stalks and ears of ripening
wheat, red poppies and blue corn flowers, peeped forth in profuse
variety. See there, dear Scratchfoot, said Gockel, pointing to
the rich, ripe ears; see there, we have wheat to eat once more;
yes, now we will have the best meal we have had since we left
the mill yard. I thought," proceeded he, rather pompously,
"that there was more freedom, and that they had things much
better in the wide world than in our obscure poultry house. It
is only now that we have got to the right place. Besides, we
have one comfort, our meal will taste all the better after our
many privations. And so, his appetite scarcely permitting him
to finish his speech, he sprang forward with wide steps, and
snatched greedily at the ripe grain.
0 stop, Gockel, stop," said the conscientious Scrachfoot, we
ought not to take this grain, which no one has strewn before



us !" "Why not ?" answered he, did not you hear our cousin
Forest-bird say, that in the great world, every one appropriated
whatever came in the way, to himself? Why should not we
do so too? See, here some folks are coming, who may likewise
be cousins, or, at least, distant relations, for they are very much
like ourselves in form, only they carry their tails downward
like a train, instead of upward, as do our cousins Mountain Phea-
sant, and our family. Let us ask them if we have not a right
to help ourselves. Tell us, dear comrades," continued Gockel,
addressing a flock of partridges, who were trailing along one
after another, for they were rather afraid of their chicken rela-
tives, of what use is this rich, golden grain, which seems to be
growing wild here? is it not like the berries in the wood, free to
all; and cannot every one who passes by, take of it what he
pleases ?"
Reb, rerreb, rerreb, red," murmured the partridges to one
another, and then they answered Gockel's question with-" eat
to your heart's content, and ask no questions about it, where it
comes from or to whom it belongs.' It certainly did not grow of
itself, for a farmer sowed, expecting to reap it for his own use;
and his horses, cows and chickens are to be fed upon it; but
until then, we take as much as we want, and never say 'by
your leave.' And then they sprang nimbly in among the
grain, tore down the stalks, and feasted on the golden ears with
great apparent satisfaction.
Gockel, with Scratchfoot, was about to follow, when suddenly



a huntsman's dog sprang up from the hedge, and bounding
through the grain, barked loudly. Swift as a flash, the whole
covey of partridges arose, and with a loud, piercing, '" Reb, rerreb,
reb," they mounted to the heavens, believing they had tarried
there long enough. A shot fell; then a second, and a third-
and behold! there lay a half a dozen of the flying troop, struck
by the murderous shot; they strove to fly, but were not able,
and fluttering about in the corn, were seized upon by the dogs
and carried forth to the marksmen, as trophies of their unerring
On the appearance of the first dog, Gockel and Scratchfoot
had flown to one side of the field, and found shelter beneath a
friendly thorn bush, from which retreat they saw the sad ending
of a scene that promised so much joy in the beginning. No,"
said Gockel, I do not want any more feasting, if one must pay
for the rich food with his life. I will do without it, if it were as
good again." 0 yes, indeed," sighed Scratchfoot, it was no
better in reality, than stealing. Those who planted the grain
did not plant it for us; so the poor creatures who are shot told
us themselves, although they did not stop to take what was
wanted. Truly, they have reason to drag along with their tails
so drooping, for they are not upright, straight-forward folks;
and they have now received the reward of their thieving. But
oh dear Gockel, I am so tired of the wide world, with its dan-
gers and temptations!-I wish we were back in the mill yard
once more." Indeed, you are right, Scratchfoot," sighed Goc-



kel, "I wish so too; for if we dare not eat the grain we find
standing open in the fields, we will have to go hungry at last
in the wide world. 'Tis odd indeed;-the wild berries that we
may eat do not nourish us, that which would nourish us we dare
not take. I cannot pass a night even on the bare earth, without
being wetted to the skin, or having my sleep disturbed, or you
torn from me. Ah it was much better at the old mill yard.
There we had food enough by day, and a safe, comfortable lodg-
ing at night, and all for the eggs we gave the miller's wife. If
only my old mistress had not threatened to kill me! I could
have borne the insults and envy of the poultry, for they
would have got tired at last themselves, when they found we
gave it no attention, and it did us no harm. Besides, I would
not know how to find the way back, for we did not follow any
direct path, but ran hither and thither through the woods; and
in what part of the forest we now are, or in what direction the
mill lies from here, I certainly do not know. Ah! if our hea-
venly Father would but pity, and send us a helper in our dis-
He will help us," said Scratchfoot, since we no longer know
how to help ourselves. Come, let us give up all our care, and
rely on that kind Providence, who suffers none of his creatures
to perish.

Father thou! without whose will,
No sparrow from the thatch can fall,



Bid our anxious cares be still-
Hear thy creatures when they call.

Thou dost bird and beast sustain,
Though they neither sow nor reap;
Screen'st them from the storms and rain;
Caring for them while they sleep.

When the young ravens to thee cry,
Food thou givest gracious Lord;
0 do thou our wants supply,
And all needful help afford.

Our bewildered wanderers began to feel their hearts somewhat
lighter; their sunken courage once more began to rise in the
assured belief of a never ceasing Providence, and that by some
means, they could not tell what, they should be delivered from
their present helpless condition. Expecting this assistance, they
therefore wandered to the other side of the wood, the same from
which they had come, for they were afraid to go forward, lest
they should stray farther from their home, and they dared not
enter the grain field for fear of meeting a like fate with the par-
tridges. And behold! having reached the first tree, they once
more saw their unfortunate companions, and those of them who
had escaped death from the marksman's rifle, were trailing along
in a melancholy manner through the wood.



Different indeed was their appearance now from the moment
in which they rushed into the field to possess themselves of ano-
ther's property. Slowly and solemnly one walked behind the
other, in silence and with head bowed down, gazing on the earth
before him. The first carried a sort of little cross, made of wheat
stalks, and all had a few straws, with the ears of wheat in their
bills. One, at the rear of the party, stopped to adjust his disor-
dered feathers, and Gockel advancing towards him, inquired
what their present procedure meant, and where they were going.
" To the forest chapel," was the answer, we are very sad at the
loss of our companions; we would do penance for our own sins,
and show our thankfulness for the lives that have been spared."
The small, old forest chapel was not far from there. A rude,
wooden building, half in ruins from age, lay in the midst of the
high dark trees. As the troop of partridges, to which Gockel
and Scratchfoot joined themselves, had reached it, the pilgrims,
bending low both wings and head, laid down their offerings, as
they sung:-

All sad we our great unworthiness mourn,
And deeply repentant, most humbly have come
Forgiveness to seek.
And our thanks for the lives that were graciously spared
From death, when temptation we wantonly dared,
We gladly would speak.



Around us we saw our brethren fall,
Struck down by the marksman's murderous ball,
But own it was just.
While their guilt and our own, we deeply deplore,
And resolving most firmly to do wrong no more,
To be aided we trust.

'Tis in mercy alone that our lives have been spared,-
That the fate of our comrades we have not shared,
And time allowed yet.
For the future to profit and still to beware,-
And fly from temptation, for many a snare
For the thoughtless is set.

Our humble gift on the altar we'll place,
And ask for forgiveness and helping grace,
To live in the world aright.
In gratitude then a promise we make,
The rule of commandment never to break,
But keep our duty in sight.

After their song was ended, the birds having picked up their
ears of grain, carried and laid them upon the little altar, in
token of their gratitude and submission, they again ran off into
the forest. Gockel and Scratchfoot, who had observed and lis-
tened to all very devotionally, now found themselves once more



alone, and had a great deal to say about the singular scene they
had witnessed. If they will only keep the promise they have
made," said Scratchfoot to her friend, and for the future give
up their lives of robbery; for if they do not, I think they never
could dare to come here on the same errand." Yes, to be
sure," answered Gockel, "it would be well if they did; but in
that case they will cease to be partridges, and submit like our-
selves, to live honourable and orderly, in a poultry yard."
Let us now leave our travellers for awhile, comparing their
lot with that of others, and see what had been going on at the
old mill during their absence.
In the day succeeding the night when, as we have seen, the
Fox was disappointed in his murderous intention of breaking
into the hen-roost, the miller, with his wife and relatives, re-
turned from the fair, with the large country carriage well
packed, not only with the children, but with a variety of groce-
ries and necessary utensils for the kitchen and cellar, besides
some presents for the servants who had been left at home. All
rejoiced to see each other again; one party pleased at the faith-
ful execution of the business left behind; the other, at the sight
of the dashing gifts brought from the town; and all in the house
and about the mill yard, was in lively movement, the children
especially, who seemed never to grow weary of trying their
drums, trumpets, whistles, and other noisy playthings, which
had been purchased for them at the fair, and which they insisted
every one should see and hear. Philax, in his great joy to get



home again, was perfectly beside himself, rummaging in every
corner, and springing on all his old friends, with loud barkings
and awkward gambols.
After the first greetings were over, the miller's wife inquired
what was the news, and if all had gone on well during her
Everything has gone on as usual," said Peter, but a great
misfortune had nearly happened to the hen roost." To the
hen roost-to my favourites?" interrupted the miller's wife,
alarmed, "tell me how was this?"
"Yes, indeed," said Stoffel, the Fox was ready to take them
all that same night on which you went away, but we sent him
home faster than he came." And are you sure he did not get
hold of some ?" inquired the mistress. "Not one, I know," was
the answer."
"How dreadful this would have been," said the old dame,
turning to her husband, "it was our own fault that the dear
creatures were so exposed, for we took Philax with us. But
who would have thought, that on the only night in the whole
year when the poultry yard is unwatched, the Fox should come.
But tell me,-how did you know the Fox was there, when no
Philax was near to give the alarm. Were you watching in his
place ?"
No indeed," answered Peter, "we were sitting in the room,
talking to each other after supper, when all at once we heard a
couple of the chickens set up a loud cackling and crowing. We



went out to see what was the matter, and as soon as we got out-
side of the door, we saw the Fox running toward the hen roost."
You heard some of the chickens making a loud noise in the
poultry yard; why were they not in the stable with the rest?
asked the old woman. The clown shrugged his shoulders, by
way of saying I do not know;" and the miller's wife, without
staying to question him further, went straight to the mill yard,
to see with her own eyes if her favourites were all still in life.
" Come, bibi, bibi, bi come, bibi, bi, bi !" she called to her chick-
ens in her accustomed manner, and throwing crumbs and grains
before the door, they were soon assembled.
Hastily reviewing her little troop, she rejoiced to find them
looking so well; and was particularly delighted with the proud
bearing of Gickel, who carried himself with the air of a con-
queror, but she missed Gockel and Scratchfoot from her muster.
She looked in the stable-it was empty-she sought in every
nook and corner of the poultry yard; she called everywhere,
"Come Gockel, come Scratchfoot, come bibi, bibi, bi but they
came not. She inquired of the dairy maids and mill servants if
they had seen aught of them, but that they did not was the un-
varying answer, until at last Peter recollected, that on the night
in which'they chased the fox, they afterwards sought through
the stable with a lantern, and that Gockel and his white fea-
thered friend were not there.
Ah, then," cried the miller's wife, it must have been their
outcry you heard, when the Fox was breaking in! If so, we



have to thank them for the preservation of all the rest. And
to think that it was on that same morning they were so shame-
fully treated. Yes I made them ridiculous in the sight of the
others myself, and was determined to have Gockel killed, for I
could not have the poultry yard in continual strife on his ac-
count. O, how wrong I was! I considered them useless, and a
disgrace to the henroost; and it is to these despised ones the rest
owe their lives." "But where are they now ?" asked one of the
maids. "Truly they must have run away from this place,
where they were so badly treated," replied her mistress. "We
must have them again,-they must be sought for every where.
I will send messages for leagues around. I could not bear to
lose them. They cannot be very far, for it was only yesterday
morning that they left. Stoffel, run quickly down to the vil-
lage, to the schoolmaster; give him my nicest compliments, and
tell him when school is out, to send me as many children as he
can; I have a pleasant pastime for them, and by which they
will be able to earn something."
Stoffel waited not for a second bidding, but betook himself at
once to the village, which lay a quarter of a league distant from
the mill, and delivered his message to the master, who was hold-
ing the afternoon session of his school. It was near the hour of
dismissal; and when the books were laid by, he told the children
what the miller's wife had said, and desired all those who had
nothing to do at home, in the evening, and with the permission
of their parents, to go up to the mill as soon as possible.



In the space of an hour, twenty boys and girls were assem-
bled in the mill yard, and with much jesting and laughter,
planned among themselves in what manner the chicken pair
might most easily be caught. But most of all was Caspar teased;
for he had brought a great malt sack with him, and believed
his plan the best of all, since it was only to slip up quietly be-
hind Gockel and Scratchfoot, and draw the bag over their heads.
The miller's wife now came out, and welcoming the noisy little
crew with a smile of kindness, told them what she desired of
them. She described the appearance of Gockel and Scratchfoot;
bade them, when they had found her favourites, to coax, not
drive them; pointed out the different directions in which they
were to go; and then coupled them, two and two, so that they
should not be lonesome. They were to look for them until it
grew dark, and then return to the mill, where each one should
receive a large Bretzel* and two Groschens; but the pair who
should be so fortunate as to find them, was to have a Florin.t
Full of zeal, and wild with expectation, the little messengers
set off in their designated directions around the mill; the miller's
wife, however, counted the minutes, and could scarcely wait
until the twilight fell, and the children should return.
The threatening storm drove most of them back before the
time; and those who wandered on, regardless of the clouds

Bretzel, a hard cake, made with salt instead of sugar.
t A German coin, worth two shillings and sixpence.



which spread over the heavens, returned to the mill in dark-
ness, and wet to the skin. But not one of them had been able
to see or hear anything of Gockel or Scratchfoot.
The miller's wife, very cheerfully rewarded them as she pro-
mised; but to those who got wet she gave double,-inquired
how far they had been,-and desired that on the morrow, when
there was to be no school in the afternoon, that they should all
come to her directly after dinner, in order to renew the search.
On the second day, instead of ten pair, the good old woman
sent out fifteen; promised the same reward, and gave each a
large slice of bread and butter to eat on the way.
Among the little seekers, were a brother and sister, the chil-
dren of a poor widow, and whose names were Henry and Chris-
tina. They were not of the number who had been out the day
before, for they had chosen to stay beside the bed of their sick
mother, and only left her at this time for the sake of the pro-
mised groschens, with which they intended to buy something
comfortable for her. Four groschens was something to them;
and two bretzels-ah! they would not eat them-they would
carry them home; and for that end they had brought a basket.
" Ah," said Henry to his little sister, as they sought around, if
we only were so lucky as to find the chickens, then we would
have a florin to carry home to mother! would it not be grand ?"
"0 yes, indeed, Henry," answered Christy; "when I said my
prayers this morning, I did ask from my very heart that we
might find the chickens, so that we might earn the florin. 0,



how glad I would be! only think,-a whole florin to give to
mother !"
As the brother and sister thus trotted along, beguiling the
way with cheerful talk, they came to the edge of the forest, and
happening to look up, they saw something white, which con-
trasted strongly with the dark green foliage of the oak; and as
they looked sharper to see what it was, they saw near it other
colours of red and gold.
O, Henry! Henry! there are the good dame's chickens,"
cried the little girl, almost wild with joy, and pointing to the
branch; "there they are! and looking just as she described
them." Huzza!" cried Henry, throwing up his tattered cap;
" but stop, I had better be quiet, lest I frighten them." And
now he advanced cautiously up to the tree, and called as he had
been told to do by the miller's wife, Come bibi, bi, come bibi,
Gockel and Scratchfoot, after finishing their song, had settled
themselves quietly on the branch, resolved to wait patiently for
whatever was to follow; for they could think of no way for
themselves by which they could be released from their present
unhappy condition.
As soon as they heard the well known call, which had so often
cheered them in the mill yard, they turned towards the side
from which it proceeded, and saw the children as they came
near, holding bits of bread towards them.
Although those youthful faces were not familiar, there was



something so friendly and good natured in the tones of their
voices, that at once inspired confidence; they never thought of
fear, but flew down from the tree, and fed greedily on the bread
thrown before them. 0, what a cordial refreshment it was to
our hungry travellers! good, strengthening bread; how delight-
ful to them who for two days had fed only on the sour, watery
berries found in the forest,
"Gockel and Scratchfoot," said the children to the chickens,
whilst they were picking at their feet, come back with us to
the good miller's wife and your old roost; she sent us after you,
and wants you home again. What did you run away for?"
0, she was going to kill us," answered Gockel.
0 do not think any more about that," said Henry, she will,
on that very account, treat you far better than before. For she
now knows that on the night before last, the Fox was trying to
break into the hen roost, and that it was by your outcry all the
rest were saved; and the other chickens know too that they
have to thank you for their lives; and only think now how they
will reward you with love and kindness, if you will only return
and live once more among them."
The two friends regarded Henry as he spoke, with eyes ex-
pressive of hearts full of gladness and emotion, then clapping
their wings, they crowed and cackled forth their joy at the hap-
py termination of their adventures. Come now," said Christy,
showing them the basket, get in here; we will carry you home
so nicely."



Without a second invitation, Gockel and Scratchfoot took the
seat prepared for them by Henry. He had ornamented the bas-
ket with leaves and flowers, and hung it on a stick, which he
had also wreathed with leaves, on which the two friends hopped,
as to a perch. Henry took one end of the stick himself, and
giving the other to his sister, they raised it on their shoulders,
and thus laden, trudged joyfully and quickly back to the mill.
Now as the village was very little out of the way, Henry, who
was somewhat of a wag, resolved to have some sport by march-
ing through it with his singular equipage. The sending out of
so many children on a chicken hunt, had created a great deal
of talk in every house; and all, especially the children world,
were curious to know whether the runaways would be brought
back. Old and young, therefore, looked out at the doors and
over the hedges, as the children passed by with Gockel and
Scratchfoot in the gaily trimmed basket; a troop of children ran
before and after, screaming at the top of their voices, Only look
here!" pointing first to Henry and his sister, then to Gockel
and Scratchfoot, who, amidst all the noise, sat up in their bas-
ket, quite fearless and contented.
As they drew near to the mill, the cavalcade increased. The
children who had hurried on before, spread the news of their
coming, and all the dwellers were assembled at the door to wel-
come the arrival. All the feathered population, chickens, ducks,
geese and turkies, flew to the gate in the hedge to meet them;
but Philax, their faithful guardian, was far in advance of all.



He greeted them with a furious barking; he snuffed and fro-
licked around them. All joined in the general joy; expressed
as it was, in shouts, barking, gabbling and crowing, which was
set up by all who were able. Kookery koo !-clack, clack,
clack !-qua, qua, qua,-kriak !" which, as far as we are able to
interpret, means, "Welcome to us, our kind deliverers! let it
please you to live amongst us once more, and we will strive to
make your lot pleasant; and each one will hold you in the
honour you so well deserve."
As Gockel listened, he whispered to his friend; "0, Scratch-
foot-our dream! Is not this all like what the swallow told us
about the reception of kings in their capital city, by their sub-
jects? Truly, I am now a king; you are my queen; and the
mill yard my kingdom." Then, rising from his seat, he stood
upright on his perch, clapped his wings, and crowed with all his
might, "Kookery kool cluck, cluck, cluck! Kookery koo!"
which is, "I thank you my friends for your love. I rejoice
from the bottom of my heart to be with you once more, and
hope that our future lives may be in harmony with, and profit-
able to each other;" and Scratchfoot, as he spoke, testified her
wishes, by friendly noddings of her little white head.
The reception of the party at the gate of the mill-yard, was
grand and imposing. The miller's wife glanced kindly at the
widow's children; but she stroked the backs of her feathered
favourites, and taking them up in her arms, carried them to the
stable. There she showed them a new nest that she had made



for them, formed of different coloured straw without, but lined
with soft moss within. She called all their acquaintances round
them with the well known, "Come, bibi, bi, bi!" and placing
Gockel and Scratchfoot in the midst of the cackling multitudes,
said: "See here, the lost ones are among you once more! now
behave yourselves well to them, lest you have occasion to repent
it, and they regret to have come back. Consider that you owe
your lives to their considerate goodness; and study therefore to
show your gratitude, by trying to make things pleasant. But,
above all, give up your quarrels and jealousy. Bite and scratch
each other no more; but live in peace and in good fellowship
with each other."
"Kookery koo!-gacks, ga, ga!-qua, qua, quack !-kriak!"
was echoed from all who wore feathers, as if with one voice; and
it meant, Yes, that we do! indeed we will."
This being settled, the miller's wife went to the grain chest,
and gathering several handfuls of wheat and barley in her
apron, she strewed it on the ground, and called them all around
her; they wanted no second bidding, but came picking up and
swallowing greedily the good food scattered before them. What
running about was there; what snatching from each other; one
might have imagined that they had fed all their lives on berries,
until now.
After this good old chicken mother had thus taken care of her
favourites, she returned to the children who had been out on
the search, and who in the meantime, were amusing themselves



in the mill yard, where they waited for the promised reward.
She brought a large basket filled with bretzels out of her pantry,
and drawing a purse from her pocket, she gave each one two
groschens and a bretzel; but to the widow's children, who had
found the chickens, she gave a new gold piece, and their basket
full of bretzels. How happy was Henry and his sister; how
grateful to the good miller's wife; and how they did run home
to give their treasures to their sick mother!
And thus happily ended the day, that had begun in such sad-
ness for Gockel and Scratchfoot. In the morning they were
ready to despair; in the evening, their changed circumstances
made them happy as kings; they had all that their hearts de-
sired, and more than they dared to hope for. Before they, with
the other occupants of the hen house betook themselves to rest,
they mounted the crooked pear tree, and from the same branch
which sheltered them on that important night when the Fox
made his visit, they sung forth their evening song:

"Kookery koo-o let us crow our best,
We are home again! As we seek our rest
Our thanks and our joy we will crow once more,
For all our troubles forever are o'er.

Kookery kao-o most loudly we'll crow,
That the chicken world far and near may know



Of our royal estate as king and queen,
And blest beyond what earthly monarchs have been.
Yet our great advancement meekly we'll bear,
For we'll never forget that night of care.

Kind and gentle to all, we will wear our crown,
Until in death we calmly lie down-
Kookery koo-o once more let us crow,
So that all around our wishes may know;-
That our chicks and our grafid-chicks our crown may wear,
And our own noble hearts in their bosoms bear.
Kookery koo-o! we'll crow once more
For all our troubles forever are o'er."

And as Gockel and Scratchfoot sung in the tree, so also it
really turned out. They lived to a good old age, spending many
bright days and many happy years in the yard of the old mill.
They were beloved by old and young; respected by men and
animals, and fowls; and rejoiced in a great number of descen-
dants, who resembled them, not only in beauty of plumage, but
in their cheerful, contented, and honourable dispositions. And
even at this day, wherever you see a flock of chickens showing
no spite or envy, but living peaceably in one common barn yard,
and getting out of the way, instead of quarreling, you may be
sure they are of the race of Gockel and Scratchfoot. And you
can, if you will, have such a triumphal procession as that of




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