Queer Little Folks
When Gray Cock came home, he found that Master Freddy had been before him, and had established Mrs. Feathertop upon eight nice eggs, where she was sitting in gloomy grandeur. He tried to make a little affable conversation with her, and to relate his interview with the doctor and Goody Kertarkut; but she was morose and sullen, and only pecked at him now and then in a very sharp, unpleasant way. So after a few more efforts to make himself agreeable he left her, and went out promenading with the captivating Mrs. Red Comb, a charming young Spanish widow, who had just been imported into the neighboring yard.
"Bless my soul," said he, "you've no idea how cross my wife is."
"O you horrid creature!" said Mrs. Red Comb. "How little you feel for the weaknesses of us poor hens!"
"On my word, ma'am," said Gray Cock, "you do me injustice. But when a hen gives way to temper, ma'am, and no longer meets her husband with a smile -- when she even pecks at him whom she is bound to honor and obey --"
"Horrid monster! talking of obedience! I should say, sir, you came straight from Turkey." And Mrs. Red Comb tossed her head with a most bewitching air, and pretended to run away; and old Mrs. Scratchard looked out of her coop and called to Goody Kertarkut, --
"Look how Mr. Gray Cock is flirting with that widow. I always knew she was a baggage."