Gockel and scratchfoot, or, The adventures of two chickens


Material Information

Gockel and scratchfoot, or, The adventures of two chickens a tale for children
Portion of title:
Adventures of two chickens
Caption title:
History of two little chickens
Physical Description:
111 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 20 cm.
Brentano, Clemens, 1778-1842
Henry A. Sumner & Company ( Publisher )
Henry A. Sumner & Co.
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Chickens -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Love -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Jealousy -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fables -- 1882   ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1882   ( local )
Bldn -- 1882
Fables   ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Illinois -- Chicago


Statement of Responsibility:
translated from the German ; with illustrations.
General Note:
Frontispiece is hand-colored.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002230536
notis - ALH0896
oclc - 15511490
System ID:

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
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 1 am
again permitted to visit you, I will tell you
many other tales that will be calculated to
amuse as well as instruct.

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AW --

........ ...




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 ap-
peared 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, calling,
" Come pi, pi, pi, pi, pi; come pi, pi, pi;"
and such a screaming, cackling and gabbling
they would set up, as they flew from all
sides, at these well known sounds, which
was to them an invitation 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 left.
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 turkeys wandered
through the nettles, the
ducks and geese paddled
and splashed each other THE MILLER
in the mill-brook, and the chickens strut Led
about the barn yard.
Among the last were two, whom the mil-
ler's wife had named Gickel and Guckel.
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 stretched 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 al-
ways 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 black-
berry 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 suddenly es-
pied his beloved Scratchfoot, sitting entirely


alone, and with a 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," re-
joined 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, indeed," 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 com-
manded silence, whilst he made a long
speech in which he announced that he had

concluded a treaty of peace with the hen,
Mrs. Scratchfoot, and that they were deter-
mined from this time to help each other, and
share whatever weal or woe should fall to
their lot. And so they did. In the morning
when the first gray beams lighted the rude
stable 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 withdrawn 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 pos-
sible way to annoy, and hold our loving pair
up to the ridicule of the whole community
of the barn yard. 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 imperti
nences were practised on the harmless pair,
the malicious chicken world would be over-
powered with laughter. Gockel, for the sake
of peace, suffered him for a long time to pro-
ceed, and acted as if he was entirely uncon
scious 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
spiteful Gickel, seized him by his comb, and
bit 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 shocking." The miller's wife, who was
looking out the window, saw the battle, and
taking up a rod which she kept for the pur-
pose, 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 con-
sider, 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
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! bar! and
as they rocked to and fro, thousands and thou-
sands 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 per-
fectly 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, Gockel
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 corn
flowers. Above them, were the heavens en-



robed 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 himself beat the big drum. All the
rest cackled most noisily, and sang in the
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-O 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 threat-
ened beating. Cruel woman! 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 the feeding time was over
Hungry and cast down, he held his way to-
wards 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 looked all around-she was
nowhere to be seen; and he dared not in-
quire 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
As he turned over in his mind what might
possibly have happened 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 uttered distinctly.
He looked through an air hole in the wall,
and there, under the steps of the stable,
stood his friend, gazing with sorrowful coun-
tenance towards the door of the hen roost,
which it seemed she was not able to reach,
" Scratchfoot, is it yourself?" 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 provided
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 comfort-
ably within it.
"Dear Scratchfoot, are you not better
now ?" inquired Gockel; "tell 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 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 sor-
rowing, 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, hor-
rible !-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 lost."
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 1
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 listeners, in the darkness of the
Gockel and Scratchfoot had not lost one
word, and they trembled from head to foot.
When they saw that the danger was past,
and had become composed, Gockel addressed
a few consoling words to his terrified com-
panion. "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
overheard 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

The gray morning had scarcely dawned in
the east, when Gockel awoke. His first in-
quiry 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 wonderful,"
exclaimed he joyfully; and then proceeded
to relate his own dream which he had undei
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 im-
portance; this is a very significant dream,
and betokens something; we will yet see
ourselves the royal pair who shall rule the
barn yard. Wq 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

IIv 0-11%


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 de-
scended 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
the poor Scratchfoot limped painfully along,
they laughed among themselves, and cackled
and screamed as loudly as if it had rained
a showerof barleycorns. "Cluck, cluck
cluck, kriah! See, our stable is too rude
and lowly for this haughty pair; they would
rather roostin a tree, with the starry heavens
for their canopy And truly Madam Scratch-
foot has adopted the badge of the garter,-
see, she carries it on her leg !" And so they
continued their mocking jests throughout
the whole of this day and next. Poor Scratch-
foot 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 occasioned 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 re-
solved to pass the night here. An el-
derly woman with several children de-
scended from the capacious vehicle, and
was most cordially received by the miller's
wife. In the evening those little ones ac-
companied the old woman when she went to
the mill yard to feed her poultry, and they
were delighted with the activity of the feath-
ered tribe as they picked up the grains the
good dame strewed, or snatched them from
each other.

"Look 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 under-
stood, 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 activity, 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 col-
lected all his strength for one last and des-
perate 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 mortifi-
cation 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 cow-
ard! he runs like a hare-he is a hero indeed;
Scratchfoot did not for one moment hesitate
to seek and share the pain and disgrace ex-
perienced 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, 0 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 for-
ever I" Ah!" sighed Scratchfoot, who at
this moment 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 con-
sciences 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
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 mil-
ler's wife a friend," rejoined Gockel; why
she said in my own 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 Scratch-
foot, in a tone of anxiety, we do not know
one step of the way, and when we are jour-
neying 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 Gockel;
'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 expe-
rience how they have wronged us. Tomorrow
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, Scratch-
foot," 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 treach-
erous purpose, because they are envious and
malicious themselves."
"But, dear Gockel," urged his white
feathered friend, "we shall have the satis-
faction of knowing we have done right in
endeavoring to save them. No matter how
they receive our tidings, it is not less impor-
tant 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


) "--" ,:--I ."

we ought to proceed, in order to let our late
friends of the mill yard know of master Rey-
nard'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 countenance of so much en-
treaty, as she nestled close to his side, and
looked into his eyes with such a tender ex-

pression, 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 reeds.
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 ducklings. One of them, who
was my favorite, 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 expressly forbidden
him to eat cabbage; but he had such a
ravenous appetite. My last darling and best
quackle, was this day"-here 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 ex-
hausted 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
overheard 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 cannot 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 ourselves at their ex-
pense. 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 in-
tention is most praiseworthy, and I entirely
approve it, for to do gooq 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 see or hear old Rey-
nard 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 counsel, 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 de-
struction. 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 retraced 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 over-
heard 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 eye-
lids drooped, and they would nod, but a
pinch from the bill of each other never failed
to drive away the drowsiness. An hour had

" . .rl, '.;cT ,+ '.. .


I f

06 -..


passed in this state of painful suspense, 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, con-
cluded that he really was absent, and so
determined not to let himself be disappointed
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 around very suspiciously, 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 miller'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 terrible
howling, and instead of attacking the fox,
sprang to one side, directly in the way of
his master, who was running at the 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 him-



self 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, par-
ticularly at this time, when it promised to
be so successful.
0, 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 towards his
home. It is too bad," said the miller's men;
"to think we were so near catching him;"
and having lighted a lantern, they proceeded
to the little stable where the poultry roosted,
to see what damage had been done; but as
they found no torn feathers, nor discerned
any trace of blood, they were satisfied that
Reynard had been disappointed; so, care-
fully closing the door, they went back to the
house, and betook themselves to bed.
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 envious friends? "You are always
right, my gentle Scratchfoot," answered
Gockel, "and if you should again see me
angry or revengeful, 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 projected journey into the
wide world, as he termed it; and the impatient
anticipation of the strange and new life that
awaited him there, drove away all desire to
waste time in useless sleep. Rousing Scratch-
foot, 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 he had endured
some sorrows, 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 bur-
nished 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 be
stowed, as an offering to thef beRntiful morn



ing; 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 attach-
ment 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 surrounding 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 Scratch-
foot, always more moderate than he, cackled
forth Kriah kriah oh, how lovely-how
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 Gockel answered with his
" Kookery koo ;" and at length large brown
bird, half as large again as Gockel, flew down
from a tree, and came towards him. Al-
though he much resembled themselves 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 moun-
tain 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 hunting one
day; so he and his hen were taken and shut
up in a barn yard. And so as I have told,
all the chickens have sprung from the same
race as we mountain pheasants. Do you
not think it is so, and that we are nearly
that we are nearly related?"
Yes indeed," crowed Gockel, and I am
overjoyed to have found a kinsman so un.
expectedly, with whom we can converse, and
can inquire about many things that are new



and incomprehensible to us. Tell us then,
if we may ask you, what do all these birds
mean with their various and endless twit-
tering and singing? Do you understand
their speech ?"
"Certainly," answered the Pheasant, "I
understand them, having lived in this same
forest since my earliest youth. That bird


sitting there on the border of the wood, with
his warbling note of Tiri-tiri,' as he flies,
always rises higher and higher towards
heaven, is the lark; he proclaims, God is
almighty!' That other, nestling so modestly
in those dark bushes, whose tones float so
softly on the summer breeze, is the Night-
ingale;-she sings,' God is love!' This one
,ere, with his cry of 'cuckoo,' praises the



'God who is over all!' And last of all, these
lively little birds in the golden dress, who
hop so cheerily among the branches, of these
lofty beeches, are finches ; they bid us, Fear
God, and stay ourselves upon him.'"
"0, how glorious is all here, "exclaimed


Scratchfoot, full of astonishment and de-
light; do let us stay in this wood, and learn
to hop as lightly, and sing as sweetly as
these birds." "You see, Scratchfoot," said
Gockel, with an ostentatious air, "that I
was right in bringing you to see the wide
world. Here we are perfectly free, and have
no ill treatment to bear from our envious
comrades, we need no longer dance to the
pipe of our capricious old mistress, nor fear
her threat of the murderous knife. But tell
me, my dear cousin, where do you find any-
thing to eat; I am becoming quite hungry,
for we left the mill yard this morning long
before feeding time." "We find plenty
every where," answered the Pheasant; "see
here! under the leaves and grass we can
always find a feast;" and therewith he began
to help himself, picking a bilberry here, and
a buck-acorn there; then scratching up a
worm or seizing a fly which he devoured with
seeming satisfaction. But to our dainty

chicken pair, these forest viands were emi-
nently distasteful; they could not relish
those juicy berries, and even less palatable
were the insects; the bucknuts were hard
and bitter, and after picking about a long
time, they were at last but half satisfied;
ah! it was different far from the nourishing
grain with which they had hitherto been fed.
"It is a great pity," said Gockel to himself,
"that there is no oats or barley to be found
in this forest world; we shall grow thin, I
fear;" and Scratchfoot was quite low spirited,
and began to sigh, Oh, if we were only in
the mill yard once more; how we would
prize the feeding of the miller's good old
And even as she spoke, loud peals of
thunder echoed through the forest; the trees
waved their long branches wildly in the
wind, and large drops of rain began to patter
among the leaves, "It is going to rain,
Gockel," said Scratchfoot, We must seek

shelter." "Yes," answered he, "but where?
I see no place, but on these trees, and there
we shall be wet through and through. But
come-we will press closely to this large
oak, its trunk will protect us on one side at
The music of the birds had long since
ceased, and the voice of the storm wind, as
it howled in the branches and tore them
asunder, alone was heard. The rain poured
down in torrents, and dripping from bough
to bough, and leaf to leaf, streamed to the
very earth, leaving not a single dry spot.
Driven from the friendly trunk, which for a
time had sheltered them, Gockel and Scratch-
foot in vain sought another asylum, but still
were dislodged by the pelting of the pitiless
storm. Ah!" said Gockel, "if we were in
our old stable now, how nice and dry we
would be." And poor Scratchfoot, as she
mingled her tears with the rain sobbed aloud,
" Oh! if we were only at home again!" To

crown their sadness, as night came on the
storm did not abate; deep darkness veiled
'the forest, broken only by flashes of light-
ning, which served but to make the succeed-
ing darkness seem but the deeper; our weary
travellers could proceed no farther, and
sitting down on the root of a tree which pro-
jected a few inches above the wet earth,
they covered their heads with their wings
and at last fell asleep. But their quiet was
of short duration. Gockel was aroused by
a piercing scream from his gentle companion.
A marten, many of whom lived in that
forest, had seized her, and pulled out many
of her feathers. Transported 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," he flew up into the


branches of an oak, whither the marten fol-
lowed 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 suc-
ceeded in distancing his adversary. But
thejoy for his own safety was greatly lessened
when he thought of Scratchfoot. 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 an-
swered 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, 0 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; "Scratch-
foot, dear Scratchfoot, where art thou?
Dost thou not hear me? Kookery coo! cluck,
cluck, cluck!" Thus complaining, he wan-
dered 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. Listen! what

sound is that echoing from a distant part of
the forest ? it is truly the painfully expected
answer. Yes, Scratchfoot 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 an-
swers, what an exchanging of histories of
their several destinies through the preceding
night of horrors, had to be related without
ceasing, and what they thought and what
they did, during their separation and
How happy and thankful were they, to
be once more together, and to have been de-
livered 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
ugly feathers, by the teeth of that ugly
marten, in comparison with the peril threat-
ening 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 both, 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
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 com-
fort, 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 conscien-
tious Scratchfoot, "we ought not to take this
grain, which no one has strewn before us !"
"Why not?" answered he, "did you not
hear our cousin Forest-bird say, that in the
great world, every one appropriated what-
ever 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 Pheasant and our family. Let us
ask them if we have not a right to help our-
selves. 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, reb," 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
apparently great 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 flew towards 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 birds,
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 tro-
phies of their unerring aim.
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. "Now," said Gockel,
" I do not want any more feasting, if one
must pay for the food with his life. I would
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 dit not plant it for us; so
the poor creatures who are shot told us
themselves, although they did not hesitate 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 dangers and temptations!-I wish we
were back in the mill yard once more."
"Indeed, you are right, Scratchfoot," sighed
Gockel, "I wish so too; for if we dare not

eat the grain we find standing in the open
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 lodging at
night, and all for the eggs you 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 them-
selves, when they found we gave it no at-
tention, 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 distress!"
"He will help us," said Scratchfoot,
"since we no longer know how to help our-
selves. 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

courage once more began to rise in the as-
sured 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 partridges. And behold! having reached
the first tree, they once more saw their un-
fortunate 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
aow from the moment in which they rushed
into the field to possess themselves of
another'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 disordered 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, and again
ran off into the forest. Gockel and Scratchfoot
who had observed and listened 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 ourselves, 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, returned 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
cellar, besides some presents for the servants
who had been left at home. All rejoicing to
see each other again; one party pleased at
the faithful 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 anill 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 per-
fectly 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 my favou-
rites?" 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

"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 outside
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 chickens in her accustomed manner,
and throwing crumbs and grains before the
door, they were soon assembled.
Hastily reviewing her little troop, she re-
joiced to find them looking so well; and
was particularly delighted with the proud
bearing of Gickel, who carried himself with
the air of a conqueror, 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 unvarying 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 feathered 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 shamefully 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 a continual strife on his account.
0, how wrong I was! I considered them
useless, and a disgrace to the henroost; and
it is to these despised ones that 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 messengers
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 village, to
the schoolmaster; give him my nicest com-
pliments, 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 holding the afternoon ses-
sion 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 assembled 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 teazed; for he
had brought a great malt sack with him,
and believed his plan best of all, since it
was only to slip up quietly behind 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
chem. 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 direc-
tions 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 desig-
nated directions around the mill; the miller's
wife, however, counted the minutes, and
could scarcely wait until the twilight fell,
and those who wandered on, regardless of
the clouds which spread over the heavens,
returned to the mill in darkness, and wet
to the skin. But not one of them had been
able to see or hear anything of Gockel or
The miller's wife very cheerfully rewarded
them as she promised; but to those who got
wet she gave double,-inquired how far they
* Bretzel, a hard cake, made with salt instead of sugar.
t A German coin, worth two shillings and sixpence.