"Of course," answered the hen, fluttering her wings and yawning.
"Why, as for that," answered the yellow hen thoughtfully, "I've clucked and cackled all my life, and never spoken a word before this morning, that I can remember.
So they went into the back yard, and after walking along winding paths some distance through the beautiful gardens they came to an attractive little house where the Yellow Hen sat on the front porch sunning herself.
Dorothy and Daniel are two good names, and I see no object in hunting for others," declared the Yellow Hen. "But just think, Dorothy, what a big chicken family we've grown to be, and our numbers increase nearly every day!
"The cock has crowed; we must start before the hens come out; they might shout to Mr.
(Aunt Pettitoes passed round the handkerchief again)--"beware of traps, hen roosts, bacon and eggs; always walk upon your hind legs." Pigling Bland, who was a sedate little pig, looked solemnly at his mother, a tear trickled down his cheek.
The birds that the two girls had brought in were duly returned to the yard, and the process was repeated till all the pet cocks and hens had been submitted to the old woman--Hamburghs, Bantams, Cochins, Brahmas, Dorkings, and such other sorts as were in fashion just then--her perception of each visitor being seldom at fault as she received the bird upon her knees.
As if attending to these curst cocks and hens here were not enough work for any girl.
"The secret is," said Phoebe, smiling, "that I have learned how to talk with hens and chickens."
"Ah, but these hens," answered the young man,--"these hens of aristocratic lineage would scorn to understand the vulgar language of a barn-yard fowl.
The old hen
ain't hurt a bit, and she's seven years old, I know, and as tough as whipcord; she couldn't lay another egg to save her life."
"Oh, Billina!" cried Dorothy, in a glad voice, and the yellow hen
flew to her arms, to be hugged and petted by turns.