Thursday, June 29, 2017

Master Coenred


Then the great old, young, beautiful princess turned to Curdie.

“Now, Curdie, are you ready?” she said.

“Yes, ma’am,” answered Curdie.

“You do not know what for.”

“You do, Ma’am. That is enough.” 
George MacDonald ~ The Princess and Curdie

“Look, Skandar!” Amalia said. “It’s a sunny day. That means we can go visit Master Coenred and his blacksmith.”

“Who is Master Coenred,” asked Skandar, “and what does he have to do with a sunny day?”

“Master Coenred is a magnificent rooster. He is amazingly tall and thin, with a sweeping black plume for a tail and a red comb. His feathers are bluish-black, laced with a sort of dark orange color, like the sunset. Egric is his blacksmith.”

“What do you mean ‘his blacksmith’? How can a rooster own a blacksmith?”

“I’m not entirely sure of the arrangement, having never read the contract,” said Amalia, “but Egric has assured me on more than one occasion that he belongs to Master Coenred.”

When they arrived at the blacksmith’s workshop, Amalia introduced Skandar to Egric and Master Coenred. The latter was indeed a notable rooster. Egric assured Amalia and Skandar that Master Coenred was pleased by their visit.

“Is it because it’s a sunny day?” asked Skandar.

“Yes, it is,” said Egric. “Sunny days are the only days Master Coenred doesn’t crow so he catches a few more winks of sleep. It makes him more sociable, if you know what I mean.”

“Why doesn’t he crow on sunny days?” asked Skandar.

“Well, the truth is Master Coenred fancies himself a better blacksmith than me, and it smokes his toast for me to do anything at the forge without his supervision. He doesn’t crow on sunny days because he doesn’t want to wake me. Since I fancy a few more winks of sleep myself, I go along with him.”

“That means he only crows on cloudy days,” said Amalia.

“But what about people that don’t want to sleep late?” said Skandar. “When we walked through the village this morning, there were all sorts of people out and about. Who wakes them up?”

“If it’s a sunny day, then the sun does the job,” said Egric. “Master Coenred doesn’t want to supervise everybody; he has enough to do managing my life. It’s only on cloudy days, that he gives them a little extra help. Otherwise, he assumes anyone with an ounce of wit can determine that the sun is up, and the day has begun.”

“Master Coenred is a very strict about interfering in anyone’s life—except Egric’s, of course,” said Amalia. “He’s really a rather remarkable bird.”

“I’ll say,” said Skandar. “He could give lessons to people on when and where to crow, especially on sunny days.”

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