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The Farmyard Cock and the Weathercock

Hans Christian Andersen

The A-B-C Book The Angel Anne Lisbeth At the Uttermost Parts of the Sea Aunty Aunty Toothache "Beautiful" The Beetle The Bell The Bell Deep The Bird of Folklore The Bishop of Börglum and his Men The Bond of Friendship The Bottle Neck The Brave Tin Soldier The Buckwheat Butterfly The Candles Chicken Grethe's Family The Child in the Grave Children's Prattle Clumsy Hans The Comet The Court Cards The Cripple Croak! The Daisy Dance, Dance, Doll of Mine! Danish Popular Legends The Darning Needle The Days of the Week The Drop of Water The Dryad The Elder-Tree Mother The Elf Mound The Emperor's New Clothes Everything in its Proper Place Danish Popular Legends The Farmyard Cock and the Weathercock The Fir Tree Five Peas from a Pod The Flax The Flea and the Professor The Flying Trunk Folks Say - The Galoshes of Fortune The Gardener and the Noble Family The Garden of Paradise The Gate Key The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf The Goblin and the Grocer The Goblin and the Woman God Can Never Die Godfather's Picture Book Golden Treasure A Good Humor Grandmother Great-Grandfather The Great Sea Serpent The Happy Family Heartache Holger Danske Ib and Little Christine The Ice Maiden In the Children's Room In the Duck Yard It's Quite True! Jack the Dullard The Jewish Girl The Jumpers Kept Secret but not Forgotten The Last Pearl A Leaf from Heaven Little Claus and Big Claus The Little Green Ones Little Ida's Flowers The Little Match Seller The Little Mermaid Little Tuck Luck May Lie in a Pin Lucky Peer The Marsh King's Daughter The Metal Pig The Money Pig The Most Incredible Thing Moving Day The Naughty Boy The Neighboring Families The New Century's Goddess The Nightcap of the "Pebersvend" The Nightingale The Old Church Bell The Old House The Old Oak Tree's Last Dream The Old Street Lamp The Old Tombstone Ole Lukoie Ole, the Tower Keeper On Judgment Day Peiter, Peter, and Peer Pen and Inkstand The Penman The Phoenix Bird Picturebook Without Pictures A Picture from the Ramparts The Pigs The Poor Woman and the Little Canary Bird The Porter's Son The Princess and the Pea The Psyche The Puppet-show Man The Racers The Rags The Red Shoes The Rose Elf A Rose from Homer's Grave The Shadow The Shepherdess and the Chimney-Sweep She Was Good for Nothing The Shirt Collar The Silent Book The Silver Shilling The Snail and the Rosebush The Snowdrop The Snow Man The Snow Queen Something Soup on a Sausage Peg The Stone of the Wise Man The Storks The Storm Shifts the Signboards A Story A Story from the Sand Dunes The Story of a Mother The Story of the Year A String of Pearls Sunshine Stories The Swan's Nest The Sweethearts; or, The Top and the Ball The Swineherd The Talisman The Teapot There is a Difference This Fable is Intended for You The Thorny Road of Honor Thousands of Years from Now Thumbelina The Tinder Box The Toad The Traveling Companion Twelve by the Mail Two Brothers Two Maidens The Ugly Duckling Under The Willow Tree Urbanus A View from Vartou's Window Vänö and Glänö What Happened to the Thistle What Old Johanne Told What One Can Invent What the Old Man Does is Always Right What the Whole Family Said Which Was the Happiest? The Wicked Prince The Wild Swans The Will-o'-the-Wisps Are in Town The Windmill The Wind Tells about Valdemar Daae and His Daughters The World's Fairest Rose

Once there were two cocks, one on a dunghill and one on the roof, both of them conceited; but which of the two did the most? Tell us what you think - we'll keep our own opinion, anyway.

The chicken yard was separated by a board fence from another yard, where there lay a manure heap, and on this grew a great cucumber, which was fully aware of being a forcing - bed plant.

"That's a privilege of birth," said the Cucumber to herself. "Not everyone can be born a cucumber; there must be other living things, too. The fowls, the ducks, and the cattle in the next yard are creatures, too, I suppose. I now look up to the Farmyard Cock on the fence. He certainly is much more important than the Weathercock way up there, who can't even creak, much less crow, who has no hens or chickens, who thinks only about himself and perspires rust. No, the Farmyard Cock - he's a real cock! His walk is like a dance, to hear him crow is like music, and whenever he comes around people can hear what a trumpeter he is! If he would only come over here! Even if he should eat me up, stalk and all, it would be a happy death!" said the Cucumber.

That night the weather turned very bad. The hens and chickens and even the Cock himself sought shelter. The wind blew down the fence between the two yards with a terrific crash; tiles fell from the roof, but the Weathercock sat firm. He didn't even turn around, because he couldn't. Although he was young and just cast he was very steady and sedate. He had been "born old," and wasn't a bit like the sparrows and swallows that fly through the vault of heaven. He despised them; "Ordinary piping birds of no importance!" he called them. He admitted that the pigeons were big and glossy, and gleamed like mother-of-pearl, and almost looked like some kind of weathercock, but then they were fat and stupid, and all they could think of was stuff themselves with food.

"Besides, they're such terrible bores to associate with," said the Weathercock.

The migratory birds had also visited the Weathercock and told him tales of foreign lands - of caravans in the sky and fierce robber stories of encounters with birds of prey - and that was new and interesting the first time, but the Weathercock knew that afterward they kept repeating themselves, and that became monotonous.

"They're boring, and everything is dull. Nobody's fit to associate with; all of them are tiresome and dull. The world is no good!" he said. "The whole thing is a bore!"

The Weathercock was what you might call blas�, and that would certainly have made him interesting to the Cucumber if she had known about it; but she had eyes only for the Farmyard Cock, who had now come into her own yard.

The wind had blown down the fence, but the lightning and the thunder were over.

"How's that for crowing? the Farmyard Cock said to his hens and chicks. "It was a little rough perhaps - not elegant enough."

And the hens and chickens picked at the manure heap, while the Cock strutted to and fro on it like a knight.

"Garden plant!" he said to the Cucumber; and with that word she understood his great importance and forgot that he was pecking at her and eating her up - a happy death!

Then the hens came and the chickens came, for when one of them runs somewhere the rest run, too; they clucked and chirped and gazed at the Cock and were proud that he belonged to them.

"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" he crowed. "The chickens will immediately grow up to be fine large fowls if I make a noise like that in the chicken yard of the world!"

And the hens and chickens answered him with their clucking and their chirping. And then the Cock told them a great piece of news. "A cock can lay an egg, and do you know what that egg has inside it? In that egg there's a basilisk. But no one can stand the sight of a basilisk. People know that, and now you know it, too - you know what's in me, and what a wonderful fellow I am!"

With that the Farmyard Cock flapped his wings, swelled up his comb, and crowed again. All the hens shivered, and the little chickens shivered, but they were tremendously proud that one of their kind should be such a cock of the world. They clucked and they chirped until the Weathercock could hear it; he heard it, but he never moved.

"It's all stupid nonsense!" said a voice within the Weathercock. "The Farmyard Cock never lays eggs, and I'm too lazy to do it. If I wanted to I could lay a wind egg; but the world isn't worth a wind egg. It's all stupid nonsense. And now I don't even want to sit here any longer."

With that the Weathercock broke off; but he didn't fall on the Farmyard Cock and kill him, "although he intended to!" said the hens. And what's the moral of this? "It is better to crow than to be 'stuck-up' and break off!"

The End

Fables & Tales Nonfiction Poetry Short Stories

Aesop Andersen, H.C. Dickinson, Emily Frost, Robert Grimm Henry, O Kipling, Rudyard Longfellow, Henry Poe, Edgar Allan Shakespeare, William Thoreau, Henry Twain, Mark Wilde, Oscar