As soon as the ceremony was concluded, all the furniture in the room joined in singing a beautiful song, which had been composed by the lead pencil, and which went to the melody of a military tattoo.
“What merry sounds are on the wind,
As marriage rites together bind
A quiet and a loving pair,
Though formed of kid, yet smooth and fair!
Hurrah! If they are deaf and blind,
We’ll sing, though weather prove unkind.”
And now came the present; but the bridal pair had nothing to eat, for love was to be their food.
“Shall we go to a country house, or travel?” asked the bridegroom.
Then they consulted the swallow who had travelled so far, and the old hen in the yard, who had brought up five broods of chickens.
And the swallow talked to them of warm countries, where the grapes hang in large clusters on the vines, and the air is soft and mild, and about the mountains glowing with colors more beautiful than we can think of.
“But they have no red cabbage like we have,” said the hen, “I was once in the country with my chickens for a whole summer, there was a large sand-pit, in which we could walk about and scratch as we liked. Then we got into a garden in which grew red cabbage; oh, how nice it was, I cannot think of anything more delicious.”
“But one cabbage stalk is exactly like another,” said the swallow; “and here we have often bad weather.”
“Yes, but we are accustomed to it,” said the hen.
“But it is so cold here, and freezes sometimes.”
“Cold weather is good for cabbages,” said the hen; “besides we do have it warm here sometimes. Four years ago, we had a summer that lasted more than five weeks, and it was so hot one could scarcely breathe. And then in this country we have no poisonous animals, and we are free from robbers. He must be wicked who does not consider our country the finest of all lands. He ought not to be allowed to live here.” And then the hen wept very much and said, “I have also travelled. I once went twelve miles in a coop, and it was not pleasant travelling at all.”
“The hen is a sensible woman,” said the doll Bertha. “I don’t care for travelling over mountains, just to go up and come down again. No, let us go to the sand-pit in front of the gate, and then take a walk in the cabbage garden.”
And so they settled it.