Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Longbourn (Jo Baker)

I really loved this book and it's perspective. This is the story of the servants from Pride and Prejudice. I don't have much patience for people with money who are so concerned about things that really don't matter, especially the women who are so focused on looks and clothes and appearing to be proper and meet the approval of other fancy folk and the biggest goal of all: marriage. I have little patience for it all! I do, though, relate quite well to the feelings, work ethics and opinions of the servants!

The story is called Longbourn because that is the name of the house. The characters from Pride and Prejudice are background in this story. I would say that Mr. Bennett probably has the biggest role, while still remaining in the background. There are entertaining twists that add to the original story of Pride and Prejudice.

All of the story is not chronilogical. It is in the first two parts, but the third part rewinds and tells you the story behind James Smith. I was a little lost there when I read that, but it eventually is clear. You know really have to know Pride and Prejudice well to enjoy this book.

The servants are: 
Mrs. Hill - she basically runs the house
Mr. Hill - kind of an absent and seemily dotty old man. In the end we discover that theirs was a marriage of convenience as Mr. Hill was gay.
Polly - an orphan lucky enough to be spared the bleak fate that otherwise often awaited such girls (the streets, the poorhouse, a life of virtual slavery).
Sarah - a housemaid
James Smith - the footman who joins the "family" 

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.
In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice,the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. 

Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own. 

Passages I want to remember:

There is great excitement about a new servant that has come to Longbourne:

Page 34 He looked at her now. She met his look, and raised her eyebrows. Then she spun away and strode off to help Polly lay the kitchen table. She had succeeded in drawing his attention at last. It gave her surprisingly little satisfaction.

P. 39 Sarah, reflecting on James: He was such an exciting mixture of helpfulness, courtesy and in civility that she could indeed form no clear notion of him. One thing, though, she was certain: he was lying. He as not what he pretended to be. He might have fooled everybody else at Longborurn, but he did not fool her. Not for one minute.

P. 45 But now there was this, the invitation to a Family Dinner, and Mrs. B. was already in a fluster about fish and soup, because a Family Dinner was of course more difficult to get right than a formal one. You had to impress, but at the same time you had to look like you were not trying to impress at all. It had to be excellent, and it also had to seem as though it was how they were all used to dining every day.

The girls who work at Longbourn watch the life their employers have. They work very hard and long for some of the pleasures they see.
P. 55 Sarah dropped her voice, whispered, "That's what I mean: somewhere you could just be, and not be obliged to do, somewhere where you could be alone, and nobody wants or expects anything of you, just for a while, at least."

Love the description of discovering a  gift of time: 
P. 36 Polly sat down at the table and rested her cheek on her folded arms. Sarah, still dozy herself, took up the hearth brush and was about to hunker down and sweep the fallen cinders, but then she stopped short. The hearth was clean, the range gleamed, the fire was bright and crackling with new wood. She glanced at the log basket. It was full.

Someone had been up early.

Water next. She leaned into the scullery to lift her yoke. Candlelight fell through the open doorway, and caught on the inner shelsls of the wide wooden pails. She crouched to touch: her fingers came away wet. Straightening, she brushed her hand down her apron, then crossed over to the water-tank and laid her hand on the lead. She could feel the cold weight of water pressing out against the metal skin. Someone had mended the fire, and then fetched the water; they had filled the tank right up to the brim.

A brownie. A helpful little lubber fiend. They'd never had one if them before....

..and then she take this little gift (from James Smith, by the way!) to enjoy the beauty of the morning

On the handicaps of being too well off:
P. 57  It was one of those handicaps that afflicted gentlefolk, that they could not open a door for themselves nor get in or out of a coach without someone to assist them.

On people who think they are indispensable:
p. 104

....Behind her, in her absence, the house was grinding along, its cogs turning and teeth linking, belts creaking, and there must come a moment - any moment now - when a cog would bite on nothing, and spin on air: some necessary act would go unperformed, some service would not be provided; the whole mechanism would crunch and splinter and shriek out in protest, and come to a juddering halt, because she was not here. All the time she was pulling further and further away, like a spindle twisting out upon a thread of flax. Pull far enough, twist and stretch it too thing, and the thread would snap.

(It doesn't. But she does get a slap upside the head for not being where she was supposed to be.)

....she was off with Ptomely! ...and even tried smoking! :)

Even though their life is hard, the servants seems mostly satisfied with it. Sarah seems to express the most discontent, although, Mrs. Hill does here and there:
p. 108 And yet, and yet, the feeling still could not quite be quelled: there was also the fact of her, herself. Would she, at some time, have the chance to care for his own things, her own comforts, her own needs, and not just for the other people's? Could she one day have what she wanted rather than rely on the glow of other people's happiness to keep her warm?

Later Mrs. Hill says:
p. 269 Life was, Mrs. Hill had come to understand, a trial by endurance, which everybody, eventually, failed.

It's interesting to see the different take by Sarah to things most people consider accepted. She is taking to a minister:
p. 112 "I work hard." she shifted on her feet. "I try to be good. I do as I am told."
"Well, you do your duty then, and that's just as it should be. Work is sanctified and sanctifying. Consider the Parable of the Vineyard."
She nodded, though uncertain. That story was about being as well rewarded for doing very little as you were doing a great deal: it always made Sarah feel dispirited, and hopeless.
"But what about Martha?" she asied. "From Marths' story don't we learn hat there must be pause, that there must be time to listen and be still, and to learn."
"Ah, yes -" His eyes narrowed at her.
"And what about the Lilies of the field, that neither toiled nor spun nor did anything very much at all?"
"Yes, yes, but - you must see that to work is your duty, and like all of us you will find satisfaction in doing your duty."
"But it doesnot make me satisfied -" Sarah wanted to stamp. "It makes me feel tired and sore, and though I work so hard, it seems I cannot even take a moment, even a moment's pleasure, but I am scolded and found to be in he wrong."
"Pleasure?" Mr. Collins moved towards her, eyes wide now. He smelt of bed, and hair-oil and bad teeth. "Have you committed some error, my child?"

He goes on to question her as to what she might have done that wasn't proper. She considers life recently and confesses that she spoke with the neighbour's footman - but he can't seem to find much fault with that.

It wasn't wrong and it wasn't really a pleasure, but it makes her realize that pleasure could be something she could seek. It changes her attitude towards her duty and makes her want more from life.

While delivering a message, she hitches a ride with Ptomely, the neighbor's footman. She has been told to ignore him, so clearly she is not following what she has been told, but she delights in her little rule breaking.
P. 120 She trudged up to the village street, huddled inot herself; it was like a poke of hot chestnuts to carry with her, the knowledge that she had done this. She had done what she had been forbidden to do, and she had got away with it unseen, and nobody at Longbourn would ever know! She was so wrapped up in gleeful contemplation of her misdeed, that she did not notice the figure on the high path through the fields, who stood in a sodden coat, watching her from beneath a dripping hat brim.
(It was James Smith!)

It is interesting how some of these people aren't even noticed by the people of Pride and Prejudice. James Smith is a character that Jo Baker created. In the story he goes away. Sarah longs to know where he went and asks. When she asks the Bennet girls they hardly know who she is talking about.
p. 280 Relaying trays to and from Mrs. Bennet, running into Meryton to leave or collect letters, brushing past the neighbours and the neighbours' servants in the street, all of them looking for a nugget, a crumb, some little thing to help sustain the lumbering gossip-golem that Lydia's actions had conjured into being, and all he time with the loss of James gnawing at her: this had all become quite normal.
"No one even mentions him at all now," she said, one day, to Mrs. Hill. "He may as well have never been here at all."
"This is certainly not true."
"But he was somebody. He was."
"Sarah, I know."
"But you don't do anything." Sarah pushed back her chair. "I'm going looking for him."

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sleepless Knight (James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost)

Good summer book! Could also be a great one to read before a first camping trip. Lots of laughs and puns all along the way. Kids will really relate to the worry over losing his teddy bear while sleeping on his own. Fun book! Short sentences and simple language

The back of the book has instructions on how to draw the characters in the book. I can see this one staying hidden in a kid's desk so they can practice the drawing.

The Knight can't wait for her first camping trip! She and her horse Edward pack everything they need--including her beloved Teddy--and head out into the woods. But when it's time for bed, Teddy is nowhere to be found!

A helpful rabbit thinks this "Teddy" sounds familiar, and sends the Knight off to a cave... but that's no teddy bear in that cave. That's a real bear!

In this sweet, simple adventure, basic comics elements combine with the picture book format to create a picture book for the youngest of comics readers, and a fantastic introduction into the world of Adventures in Cartooning

Friday, July 10, 2015

Animal Epitaphs (J Patrick Lewis)

A rather dark and hilarious book. Would be great during a poetry unit for just the right kids - especially boys. If you look carefully you will see animals in illustrations from previous pages in the story.

Irony and wit permeate this darkly humorous collection in which each poem is the epitaph of a different animal. The pieces are grouped by animal type, and range in length from one to eighteen lines.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I Yam a Donkey (CeCe Bell)

I yam going to remember this one to read to my class when we start our first unit on grammar. It would be fun to show them the "Who's on first" video along with it. The book is fun because the donkey really doesn't get it despite the cranky yam's attempts to teach him how to speak properly. Language can be confusing and tricky and the book proves that if you are too much of a stickler, you might meet an early demise!

The ending reminded me of I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Goodreads summary: 

Even frustrated grammarians will giggle at the who’s-on-first routine that begins with a donkey’s excited announcement, “I yam a donkey!” Unfortunately the donkey’s audience happens to be a yam, and one who is particular about sloppy pronunciation and poor grammar. An escalating series of misunderstandings leaves the yam furious and the clueless donkey bewildered by the yam’s growing (and amusing) frustration. The yam finally gets his point across, but regrettably, he’s made the situation a little bit too clear . . . and the story ends with a dark and outrageously funny twist. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dory Fantasmagory (Abby Hanlon)

Abby Hanlon has done a great job of giving us a glimpse into the oh so real imagination of children around us. It was a delight!

I keep coming across blog posts about Abby Hanlon and her books. She seems to be the latest greatest thing! Here is an interview with her. Nerdy Book Club has a wonderful post by her that tells about a teaching experience she had. Travis Jonker has written about her on 100 Scope Notes. Mr. Schu listed Dory as one of the top books of 2014 (why did I not know about this until now?!) 

She has another book that was just put out in July called Dory and the Real True Friend, which I have on hold at the library as well as a delightful book called Ralph Tells a Story that I plan to use for teaching writing this year.

Not only that: She gets great reviews from kids!

(No comprehension issues with Molly, I'd say!)

Goodreads summary: 

As the youngest in her family, Dory really wants attention, and more than anything she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices—including her wild imagination and untiring energy. Her siblings may roll their eyes at her childish games, but Dory has lots of things to do: outsmarting the monsters all over the house, escaping from prison (aka time-out), and exacting revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. And when they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery, and finally get exactly what she has been looking for.

With plenty of pictures bursting with charm and character, this hilarious book about an irresistible rascal is the new must-read for the chapter book set.

Little kid concern number one: that everyone is having a good laugh:
P. 57 I try and get Luke and Violet to laugh at me. Cereal time, I've discovered, is the best time for laughing. If I can get milk to come out of my nose, they always laugh. And if my parents sleep late, I can make them laugh by saying bathroom words.

Dory has imaginative friends (well, and enemies) that seem real...not just real to her, but real to us as we are reading. One example is where Dory us pretending to be a dog with "Mrs. Goggle Gracker" and "Mr. Nuggy", two of her imaginative acquaintances:

P. 72: "Where did that little girl go? She was just out here. And where did this stupid dog come from?" Mrs. Gobble Gracker asks Mr, Nuggy.
"You must be imagining things," says Mr, Nuggy. "There is no girl here."
"I know you're up to something, Nuggy," she says. "Your silly little tricks have never worked on me."
"Watch out," says Mr. Nuggy. "This dog bites."
I bark my head off at Mrs. Gobble Gracker.
"Somebody get this dog to shut up!" says Mrs. Gobble Gracker. She has absolutely no idea it is me.
"Woof, woof!" I say, which means, "My human days are over." And boy, do I mean it.
Mr. Nuggy says, "I have to go now, my wife needs me home for dinner." He starts to climb back up the same tree.
"Woof, woof, woof," I bark up the tree after him, which means, "Wait! What's your phone number?"
"You can call me from any banana," he calls down. "No numbers."

Now and then, to get rid of someone, poisoning seems to be the perfect thing. Dory hatches a plan with "Mr. Nuggy" to get rid of "Mrs. Gobble Gracker":

P. 107: "I've brought ingredients for a poison soup," he says. "This is how we get rid of Mrs. Gobble Gracker...permanently."
"What will happen when she eats the soup?" I ask.
"Well, first she will choke a little bit, and then feathers will come out of her ears, and then her eyeballs will turn into gloppy yogurt, and then she'll drop dead."
"Oh!" I say, hugging him. "You are the best fairy godmother in the world!"

Of course, poisoning someone isn't without its hitches:
P. 117
"Do you have a cell phone." Asks Mr. Nuggy.
"No, but I really want one," she says. "Can you get me one?"
"Umm....?" Says Mr. Nuggy, looking unsure of what to say next.
"Do you have a cat?" I interrupt.
"I ate my cat," she says. "It was an accident."

A little glimpse into why it takes kids so long to clean up (errr, or why it never gets done):
P. 127 It takes a really long time to clean up the fort because I keep forgetting that I'm cleaning up.

And there is a little humor parents will really relate to about living with a kid with a great imagination:
P. 134 "Okay, calm down, she was real, whatever you say," my dad says, dragging me down the hallway to my room. "Just go to bed."
Even my dad said she's real!
"I have to be brave," I say, clinging to him. 
"No! You have to go to bed!" he says, dropping me on my head.
"Stay. In. Bed!" he says, pointing his finger at me, then he tucks me in tight. "Because it's not safe for you to come out!" he says as he shuts my door, and I think I hear him laugh a tiny bit.

Great picture of what is going on in a kid's imagination sometimes!
P. 148: 

I love this Dory kid! She reminds me very much of some of my incredibly imaginative play talented nieces and nephews!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Snow Day! (Lester Laminack)

Funny to be reading this in July! As I read, though, I could totally sense that awesome feeling that comes with a snow day. This story has a good twist at the end when you realize it is the dad telling the story (he is a teacher) rather than the boy.

Goodreads summary: 

When the television weatherman predicts a big snowfall, the narrator gleefully imagines the fun-filled possibilities of an unscheduled holiday from school.

Piling under warm blankets. Sipping hot chocolate in snowman mugs. Building a snow fort. Piling up a zillion snowballs inside. Sledding in the neighbor s field. In scene after snowy scene, from sunrise to sundown, a pair of siblings, with their father in tow, show how they would make the most of their day off.

But when the family wakes up the next morning, they are in for a disappointment. As the family members pile into the car so they won t be late for school, an unexpected twist reveals who wanted the snow day most of all.

Book Details: Format: Hardcover Publication Date: 9/1/2007 Pages: 32 Reading Level: Age 5 and Up

Monday, July 6, 2015

Max the Brave (Ed Vere)

This is a cute story that kids will find silly because the cat wants to chase mice, only he doesn't exactly know what a mouse is. The illustrations amaze me because they are very simple yet very effective. He captures emotions on the animals' faces perfectly.

Could be a could intro for a discussion on courage or animal instincts.

Goodreads summary:

Max the Brave is a brilliant new picture book from Ed Vere. This is Max. Max the Brave, Max the Fearless, Max the Mouse-catcher...But, in order to be a Mouse-catcher, Max needs to know what a mouse is, so off he goes to find out. This hilarious new picture book from the phenomenally-talented Ed Vere introduces a new and lovable character, with Ed's trademark bold illustrations and clever story. Other Ed Vere titles to look out for: Banana; Bedtime for Monsters; Mr. Big; The Getaway Ed Vere studied fine art at Camberwell College of Art and has been writing and illustrating children's books since 1999. He is published in both England and the US. Ed is also a painter, working from his studio in east London and is represented by galleries in London and Los Angeles. After a year and a half living in Barcelona, Ed now lives and works in London. 

It's Monday, What Are You Reading

My list hasn't changed much from last week. The books I am actively reading are Longbourne and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. What I read is often dictated by when holds appear at the library. I have been waiting for The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up for a while.

My TBR list:


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Ralph Tells a Story (Abby Hanlon)

I keep running into Abby Hanlon lately. I heard about this book from Travis Jonker at:

Then, soon after that, Abby Hanlon wrote a blog post for Nerdy Book Club, a blog I read pretty much every day:

It is amazing to me that she both wrote and illustrated the book. Talk about talent!

I love this story! I have been thinking that I should have my students do more free writing. I would like to start each day by letting them write whatever they would like to write. This book will be a great one for introducing students to this idea.

The book jacket says:

Nothing ever happens to Ralph. So every day when it's time to write stori s, Ralph think really hard. He stares at his paper. He stares at the ceiling.

But he had no stories!

With the help of his classmates, Ralph realizes that a great story can be about something very small...and that maybe he does have some stories to tell.

This book will be great for those kids who just get stuck with writer's block.

I so relate to his feeling about sharing his writing. Nerve racking!!

Not sure these tips will work in my classroom, but they are cute! Perhaps we could write our own tips!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Verdi (Janell Cannon)

This is another beautiful story by Janell Cannon (author of Stellaluna). Reading this story reminded me of what it is like to share Bill Peet stories. There is vocabulary that is beyond the children, yet the story is easy for them to grasp. Children can relate well to Verdi who doesn't want to grow up because adults just don't really seem to have fun most of the time.

Goodreads summary: 

Young Verdi doesn’t want to grow up big and green. He likes his bright yellow skin and sporty stripes. Besides, all the green snakes he meets are lazy, boring, and rude. When Verdi finds a pale green stripe stretching along his whole body, he tries every trick he can think of to get rid of it--and ends up in a heap of trouble. Despite his efforts, Verdi turns green, but to his delight, he discovers that being green doesn’t mean he has to stop being himself. “Cannon is on a roll, her gift for creating memorable characters and scenes on glorious display in this tale of a feisty python hatchling.”--Publishers Weekly

Friday, July 3, 2015

Life of Zarf (Rob Harrell)

As I read this, I could imagine my son chuckling away at the humour. I can't wait to share it with him! This book makes me think teaching middle school would be really fun :) They would really get a kick out of this humour.

This is kind of a mix of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and classic fairy tales. There is a troll (lowest in the middle school totem pole) named Zarf who gets teased because his names rhymes with barf. He has a bad temper and ends up beating up one of his classmates - the not so charming prince. The lunch lady at school is Goldilocks (yup, school lunches always involve porridge). Zarf's two best friends are a pig named Kevin (get it? Kevin Bacon??) who is a huge worrier and the Jester's son, Chester, whose jokes are just terrible. Their adventures together are hilarious. I hope there are more of these books to come!

Some of my favourite funny moments:

- Their cell phone provider is Grimm. "They are the worst!"

- The troll, the pig and the jester all go on an adventure. One night they end up staying with a family whose son has a nervous tic. Every twenty or so minutes he yells, "Wolf!" Of course, this doesn't go over well with Kevin the pig.

- Along the way they find a candy house!! They start indulging until suddenly it strikes them....Hansel and Gretl made this same mistake! In the end it turns out the lunch lady goldilocks bought the house from the original owner. The owner has. Now moved to Cabo and opened a tiki bar.m

One question I had:
Why does TrollPower always have a copyright symbol after the words? (I.e. P. 252)

Goodreads Summary: 

Shrek meets Wimpy Kid in this epically funny tale of a troll trying to figure out how to be more popular

It’s not easy being Zarf. As a troll, he's stuck at the bottom of the middle school hierarchy, way below
the prince and knights (populars), ogres and giants (jocks), and even the lowly minstrels (band geeks). Plus, trolls aren't exactly known for their brain power or cool demeanor. But it gets worse. When the king disappears and Zarf's archenemy, the prince, ascends the throne, he makes Zarf's life even more miserable. And so it is that Zarf and his two sidekicks (a neurotic, mutton-obsessed pig and the not-funny son of the court jester) set out to find the missing king as well as their way to middle school heroism. (Okay, the heroism part might be wishful thinking.)

The first book in this brilliant new illustrated series from comics creator Rob Harrell has the perfect mix of real world and fairy tale.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Just the Way You Are (Max Lucado)

When I first read this story I was really focused on the siblings who are busy preparing gifts for their father. I wondered if I was like that: so caught up in my to do lists that I miss the real purpose of the pursuit.

Then I discovered I had someone who I thought really loved me (well, actually, if I were to ask that person they would vehemently declare their love, I am sure). The trouble is, apparently there are many things about me that are disappointing. I am apparently just not quite enough. Not good enough at cleaning my house. Not providing enough attention for this person. Not fancy enough in my dress or my hairstyle. Apparently, the love for me is rather conditional. I could just be easier to love if only....

It took a toll on me for a number of days. One day while I was walking I was thinking about how this made me very sad. My thoughts suddenly turned to this story. I realized that by focusing on those things this person wasn't just being unkind, but they were truly missing out. (There is much to appreciate about me!) but more than that, by focusing on my perceived inadequacies, they are the ones really missing out. They are missing out on recognizing God's hand in their own life. They are missing our in sunshine. They are missing out on feeling God's love for people around them. Suddenly I didn't feel so bad for them anymore. I actually felt sorry that they are not only so focused on negatives, but also missing out on the love God has to give. I no longer felt like I needed to straighten them out for their opinions about me. Instead I felt like the best thing I could do is not worry about it and instead show love.

My daughter is one of those people who truly do see the good in people. She is kind. She puts others ahead of herself. She is nice to those kids no one really seems to care about. Because of that, when people are critical of her it makes me a little crazy. She isn't perfect, but she is kind and loving - and surely that is more important than any weaknesses she may have. 

This story is about an orphaned family who gets word they are going to be adopted. Their new adoptive father is a king! This is truly rare luck and they prepare for this great event as best they can.

The interesting thing is that although some of the children do not recognize him right away, he is patient and says that he will return and give them another chance to realize it is him. Yet in the meantime, they miss out on blessings they could immediately have. The story insinuates that they likely will, in time recognize their father. It made me think about how I don't want to waste any time. I would rather be living in a way that helps me recognize God in my life immediately. It is a great story.

I took this book to church the other day to use it in a lesson I was giving (isn't there always a picture book that makes every lesson just a little better?!) in the end, I didn't end up using it in my lesson. The interesting thing was during the next class I went to there was a perfect moment to share it. I didn't feel like I should ask to take over the lesson (could I just take 10 minutes and share this great story? Doesn't seem le a good idea when someone else is teaching) Instead I made a Book Creator video and shared it.

Untitled from Dawn Ackroyd on Vimeo.

Interestingly, I think the Goodreads summary total has this book wrong. It says: 

One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is the assurance that Mom and Dad love them just as they are, apart from anything that they do. But telling them once won't make it sink in

I really would disagree. That isn't at all what it is about!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Three Hens and a Peacock (Lester Laminack)

This book teaches a great lesson. Just be yourself! Know what you do well and don't try to be someone else. That never works. Do what you do and do it well.

The illustrations in this books are hilarious. The peacock is proud of how everyone is interested in him, but this really rankles the hens.

They decide they were there first so they should be able to show off and they send the peacock off to the hen house to sit on eggs. As you can tell by the picture, showing off really isn't the hen's forte.

Goodreads Summary: 

Three Hens and a Peacock When life on the Tucker farm is disrupted by the arrival of a peacock, whose shrieking and strutting bring many welcome visitors, the hens complain that they are doing all of the work until the hound suggests a trade.