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utterly forgotten she ever was a pullet, and is very severe upon every little indiscretion among the poultry. Her age is her protection, and she makes the most of her privilege, grows garrulous precisely as she grows foolish, and is as captious and consequential as an old Dowager.
Longer Biographies of "bipeds without feathers," have been manufactured out of less material than the adventures of this venerable PARTLET would supply. In her youth, an accident, or, to be briefer, an axe, deprived her of her toes; and then, just to think of it! what perils by club and stone, and mop and broom, she has encountered; what imminent danger from hungry hawks she has escaped; what weasels have poached her innocent eggs! Nearly abducted by Reynard ; quite looked out of countenance by an Owl; half frozen “that cold winter;" almost drowned in the wash-tub; and what a family she has reared in her day, that were all “well to do,” until they were well done. What themes for pathos and patriotism ; what opportunities for ode and episode would these incidents furnish!
It rains this morning, and half a score of cocks in red and yellow uniform, stand in the corners of the fences, under the wagon, or the lee of an old plough,
heads drawn into feather mufflers, and looking, with their drenched and drooping plumes, like Militia Captains on parade day, when Barometers and water are reported “falling." There is not a crow of defiance, or triumph, or complacence; not a call-you have heard it, and I cannot describe it, unless it is like a laugh in a muff—to the women folks,' at the discovery of some rare delicacy, real or imaginary, in the freshly-raked earth; imaginary, for it must be confessed they are "gay deceivers,” some of them, and call very affectionately, when they find no corn.
Observation, both of Cocks and Capitalists, enables me to say, that any “Rooster,” having from three pecks to one and a half bushels of some current grain at command, can come into this neighborhood, and among eighty or so (counting chickens) of the feathered race, be THE courted, caressed, and clucked about, of the whole roost; but- an awkward invention is 'but,' for an awkward necessity—let him take care of his corn.
Small lawyers very Johnsonian; red-visaged Bonifaces
very Boswellian; officers of the Army all Brigadiers; “Martinets” of the Navy very peremptory ; little Quakeresses very modest ; mothers very bustling, and gossips very busy—all are represented among
that parti-colored, cackling, clucking, crowing sowd of Locomotive Mills for the grinding of all sorts of produce, and called “ for short” HENS.
These “small deer" are vocal but not musical, unless one has an ear for sawing and filing. Their language is too rich in consonants ---too decidedly Saxon; and because, I suppose, no William the Conqueror ever broke shell, and thus made his debut into breathdom, it is without the softening accents of the Norman-French. Harsh as it is, however, no one can deny to it expressiveness, and, sometimes, eloquence : the great cry when an egg is laid is as good as an announcement in the London Times, thus : “Mrs. SPECKLED, of an Egg.” The alarm, when a wing somewhat too broad sweeps over the Farm-Yard, is as significant as the old Saxon Tocsin. The call of something “found,” is quite as intelligible as the Town Crier with his bell. The defiant voice of the Cock is a challenge in honest vernacular, and the triumphant crow is a "hurrah" in plain English. The Mother's incessant 'cluck, clucking,' with her family, is veritable “baby-talk," while her tones, gathering the callow wanderers together, are as full of love as an old Ballad. And the notes of the chickens! There is not a rural sound softer and
sweeter than the home-note of the little creatures, when nestled at night beneath the Mother's brooding wing. Were it translated into the language of “Paradise Lost”-that subdued "
yeep, eep, eep”-it would be, beyond a doubt, the word defined by some Webster yet unborn, " perfect happiness at home, and home once more !"
The transition from chickens on the perch to chickens in the pie, seems more natural and easy according to Whateley and Newman than it is according to Poultry. I abominate Chicken-pies as edibles, but, be assured, from no “fellow feeling.” I love to see them, to think of them, but not to eat them. I would as soon make a meal of reminiscences, or call for a Metaphor, “rare done,” at dinner. They are suggestive; they are melancholy-Chicken-pies are ; they bring to mind days that went down long ago at home; the capacious and burnished tin pan, wherein “mother”-your mother and mine-used to bake them aforetime; the old family table, round
which we five, and no more, used to gather, Christmas Days and Thanksgivings; when to hold the lantern at night, while some body robbed the hen-roost, was an era ; when we used to run away before they were beheaded, because we couldn't bear to see it;' when we just wanted to hold one a minute, “ to see how it would seem ;' when a wing was a treasure, and we played' it was a bird, and 'poored' it, and offered it crumbs of bread every day, and wrapped it up in an apron, and hid it in the trundle-bed; when we--you and I-grasped the 'wish-bone and wished, and both pulled, and both held a fragment; but yours was the larger, so you had your wish, as they all told us. Don't
remember? Can't you see it all ? Ah! there's more beneath that swelling crust than every body dreams of, and the chickens are a small item indeed.
That mnemonic pie “minds” me, too, of the days when to find a Hen's nest was to have an ecstacy; the more eggs, the more ecstacy. Many a man-perhaps you havehas found name and fame since then, and it never quickened a pulse! How the chip hat was doffed, preparatory to “ the removal of the deposites," and the eggs transferred thereto; and no Roman, returning from flushed fields