"It would be interesting to hear about it, anyway!" the lobster replied, as he crawled after the crab.
The little gnome with the large kettle sat upon the beach and pretended he did not see the crab and lobster, but continued crying: "Old coats changed to new! Green ones changed to red! Old coat changed to new! Old coats changed to new!"
When the crab and the lobster came up quite near the little gnome pulled a number of pieces of colored cloth from his pocket and placed them upon the sand.
"How pretty!" said the crab.
"Very lovely!" said the lobster.
"Do you wish your coats changed in color?" asked the little gnome.
"Ah, no, thank you!" the two hypocrites said. "We were just looking around a bit!"
"Well, I am glad to have your company," said the little gnome as he took a piece of scarlet cloth and laid it over the lobster's back.
"How do you like that?" he asked of the crab.
"It looks fine!" said the crab. "Try it on me!"
The little gnome placed the scarlet piece of cloth over the crab's back.
"How do you like it?" he asked the lobster.
"Did I look that well in that color?" asked the lobster by way of reply.
"I think both of you will look far better if you let me change you to scarlet. It's in far better taste, too!" the little gnome added, pinching himself to keep from laughing.
"Shall we change?" the crab asked the lobster and the lobster asked the crab.
"You will find the color a great deal warmer," said the little gnome. "Green is decidedly cold, you know!"