693 THE FARM-YARD GOCK AND WEATHERCOCK
up to the Yard Cock on the fence. He certainly is of much greater consequence than the Weathercock, who is so highly placed, and who can't even creak, much less crow; and he has neither hens nor chickens, and thinks only of himself, and perspires verdigris. But the Yard Cock—he 's something like a cock ! His gait is like a dance, his crowing is music ; and wherever he comes, one hears directly what a trumpeter he is ! If he would only come in here ! Even if he were to eat me up, stalk and all, it would be quite a blissful death,' said the Cucumber.
In the night the weather became very bad. Hens, chickens, and even the Cock himself sought shelter. The wind blew down the fence between the two yards with a crash ; the tiles came tumbling down, but the Weathercock sat firm. He did not even turn round ; he could not turn round, and yet he was young and newly cast, but steady and sedate. He had been * born old ', and did not at all resemble the fluttering birds of heaven, such as the sparrows and the swallows. He despised those, considering them piping birds of trifling stature—ordinary song birds. The pigeons, he allowed, were big and shining, and gleamed like mother-o'-pearl, and looked like a kind of weathercocks; but then they were fat and stupid, and their whole endeavour was to fill themselves with food.
' Moreover, they are tedious things to converse with,' said the Weathercock.
The birds of passage had also paid a visit to the Weathercock, and told him tales of foreign lands, of airy caravans, and exciting robber stories ; of encounters with birds of ■piey ; and that was interesting for the first time, but the Weathercock knew that afterwards they always repeated themselves, and that was tedious.
1 They are tedious, and all is tedious,' he said. ' No one is fit to associate with, and one and all of them are wearisome and stupid. The world is worth nothing,' he cried. ' The whole thing is a stupidity.'
The Weathercock was what is called used up ' ; and that quality would certainly have made him interesting in the eyes of the Cucumber if she had known it; but she had only eyes for the Yard Cock, who had now actually come into her own yard.