THE FLYING TRUNK 167
' " No, I don't like to talk about myself," retorted the Pot. " Let us get up an evening entertainment. I will begin. I will tell a story from real life, something that every one has experienced, so that we can easily imagine the situation, and take pleasure in it. On the Baltic, by the Danish beech-trees------"
1 " That's a pretty beginning ! " cried all the Plates. " That will be a story we shall like."
' " Yes, there I spent my youth in a quiet family where the furniture was polished, and the floors scoured, and new curtains were put up every fortnight."
1 " What an interesting way you have of telling a story ! " said the Carpet Broom. " One can tell directly that the narrator is a woman. There's something pure runs through it."
1 " Yes, one feels that," said the Water Pot, and out of delight it gave a little hop, so that there was a splash on the floor.
* And the Pot went on telling her story, and the end was as good as the beginning.
' All the Plates rattled with joy, and the Carpet Broom brought some green parsley out of the dust hole, and put it like a wreath on the Pot, for he knew that it would vex the others. " If I crown her to-day," it thought, " she will crown me to-morrow."
' " Now I'll dance," said the Fire Tongs, and she danced. Preserve us ! how that implement could lift up one leg ! The old Chair Cushion burst to see it. " Shall I be crowned too ? " thought the Tongs ; and indeed a wreath was awarded.
' " They're only common people, after all! " thought the Matches.
Now the Tea Urn was to sing ; but she said she had taken cold, and could not sing unless she felt boiling within. But that was only affectation ; she did not want to sing, except when she was in the parlour with the grand people,
' In the window sat an old Quill Pen, with which the maid generally wrote : there was nothing remarkable about this pen, except that it had been dipped too deep into the ink, but she was proud of that. " If the Tea Urn won't sing," she said, " she may leave it alone. Outside hangs