THE VAGABONDS. 63
carriage. Then the cock seated himself on the box and was coachman ; so off they went at a great pace, the cock crying out " Run, duck, as fast as you can !"
When they had gone a part of the way they met two foot-passengers, a pin and a needle. They cried "Stop ! stop!" and said that it would soon be blindman's holiday; that they could not go a step farther; that the ways were very muddy; might they just get in for a little ? they had been standing at the door of the tailors' house of call and had been delayed because of beer.
The cock, seeing they were slender folks that would not take up a great deal of room, let them both step in, only they must promise not to tread on his toes nor on the hen's.
Late in the evening they came to an inn, and there they found that they could not go any farther that night, as the duck's paces were not good, she waddled so much from side to side ; so they turned in. The landlord at first made some difficulty; his house was full already, and he thought they had no very distinguished appearance ; at last, however, when they had made many fine speeches, and had promised him the egg that the hen had laid on the way, and that he should keep the duck, who laid one every day, he agreed to let them stay the night; and so they had a very gay time.
Early in the morning, when it was beginning to grow light, and everybody was still asleep, the cock waked up the hen, fetched the egg, and made a hole in it, and they ate it up between them, and put the eggshell on the hearth. Then they went up to the needle, who was still sleeping, picked him up by his head, and stuck him in the landlord's chair-cushion, and having also placed the pin in his towel, off they flew over the hills and far away. The duck, who had chosen to sleep in the open air, and had remained in the yard, heard the rustling of their wings, and, waking up, looked about till she found a brook, down which she swam a good deal faster than she had drawn the carriage.
A few hours later the landlord woke, and, leaving his feather-bed, began washing himself; but when he took the towel to dry himself he drew the pin all across his face, and made a red streak from ear to ear. Then he went into the kitchen to light his pipe, but when he stooped towards the hearth to take up a coal the eggshell flew in his eyes.