Cock-A-Doodle-Doo! Or, The Crowing of the Noble Cock by Herman Melville

By Herman Melville

A brief tale from the vintage Shorts assortment: The chuffed Failure by way of Herman Melville

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Extra info for Cock-A-Doodle-Doo! Or, The Crowing of the Noble Cock Beneventano

Sample text

Another upturned and exultant crow, mated to the former. The pallor of the children was changed to radiance. Their faces shone celestially through grime and dirt. They seemed children of emperors and kings, disguised. The cock sprang upon their bed, shook himself, and crowed, and crowed again, and still and still again. He seemed bent upon crowing the souls of the children out of their wasted bodies. He seemed bent upon rejoining instanter this whole family in the upper air. The children seemed to second his endeavors.

Like a Hurrah ! like a Three-times-three! hip! hip! He strode out of the shanty. I followed. He flew upon the apex of the dwelling, spread wide his wings, sounded one supernatural note, and dropped at my feet. CO C K- A - D O O D L E - D O O ! // 31 The cock was dead. If now you visit that hilly region, you will see, nigh the railroad track, just beneath October Mountain, on the other side of the swamp—there you will see a grave-stone, not with skull and cross-bones, but with a lusty cock in act of crowing, chiseled on it, with the words beneath: O death, where is thy sting?

Approaching the place, there were no signs of motion about the shanty. I felt a strange misgiving. But the cock crew from within doors, and the bod- CO C K- A - D O O D L E - D O O ! // 29 ing vanished. I knocked at the door. A feeble voice bade me enter. The curtain was no longer drawn; the whole house was a hospital now. Merrymusk lay on a heap of old clothes; wife and children were all in their beds. The cock was perched on an old hogshead hoop, swung from the ridge-pole in the middle of the shanty.

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