“Then the saucepan went on with his story, and the end was as good as the beginning.
“The plates rattled with pleasure, and the carpet-broom brought some green parsley out of the dust-hole and crowned the saucepan, for he knew it would vex the others; and he thought, ‘If I crown him to-day he will crown me to-morrow.’
“‘Now, let us have a dance,’ said the fire-tongs; and then how they danced and stuck up one leg in the air. The chair-cushion in the corner burst with laughter when she saw it.
“‘Shall I be crowned now?’ asked the fire-tongs; so the broom found another wreath for the tongs.
“‘They were only common people after all,’ thought the matches. The tea-urn was now asked to sing, but she said she had a cold, and could not sing without boiling heat. They all thought this was affectation, and because she did not wish to sing excepting in the parlor, when on the table with the grand people.
“In the window sat an old quill-pen, with which the maid generally wrote. There was nothing remarkable about the pen, excepting that it had been dipped too deeply in the ink, but it was proud of that.
“‘If the tea-urn won’t sing,’ said the pen, ‘she can leave it alone; there is a nightingale in a cage who can sing; she has not been taught much, certainly, but we need not say anything this evening about that.’
“‘I think it highly improper,’ said the tea-kettle, who was kitchen singer, and half-brother to the tea-urn, ‘that a rich foreign bird should be listened to here. Is it patriotic? Let the market-basket decide what is right.’
“‘I certainly am vexed,’ said the basket; ‘inwardly vexed, more than any one can imagine. Are we spending the evening properly? Would it not be more sensible to put the house in order? If each were in his own place I would lead a game; this would be quite another thing.’