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The Blue Bird: A Fairy Play in Six Acts by Maurice Maeterlinck

Part 3 out of 3

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TYLTYL
Where?...

LIGHT
Here, in the graveyard behind that wall.... It appears that one of the dead
in the graveyard is hiding it in his tomb.... We must find out which one it
is.... We shall have to pass them under review....

TYLTYL
Under review?... How is that done?...

LIGHT
It is very simple: at midnight, so as not to disturb them too greatly, you
will turn the diamond. We shall see them come out of the ground; or else we
shall see those who do not come out lying in their tombs....

TYLTYL
Will they not be angry?...

LIGHT
Not at all; they will not even know.... They do not like being disturbed,
but, as it is their custom, in any case, to come out at midnight, that will
not inconvenience them....

TYLTYL
Why are Bread, Sugar and Milk so pale and why do they say nothing?...

MILK (_staggering_)
I feel I am going to turn....

LIGHT (_aside to TYLTYL_)
Do not mind them.... They are afraid of the dead....

FIRE (_frisking about_)
I'm not afraid of them!... I am used to burning them.... Time was when I
burnt them all; that was much more amusing than nowadays ...

TYLTYL
And why Is Tylo trembling?... Is he afraid, too?...

THE DOG
I?... I'm not trembling!... I am never afraid; but if you went away, I
should go too....

TYLTYL
And has the Cat nothing to say?...

THE CAT (_mysteriously_)
I know what's what....

TYLTYL (_to LIGHT_)
Are you coming with us?...

LIGHT
No; it is better that I should remain at the gate of the graveyard with the
Things and the Animals.... Some of them would be too frightened and I fear
that the others would misbehave.... Fire, in particular, would want to burn
the dead, as of old; and that is no longer done.... I shall leave you alone
with Mytyl....

TYLTYL
And may not Tylo stay with us?...

THE DOG
Yes, yes, I shall stay; I shall stay here I... I want to stay with my
little god!...

LIGHT
It is impossible.... The Fairy gave formal orders; besides, there is
nothing to fear....

THE DOG
Very well, very well, it makes no difference. If they are vicious, my
little god, all you have to do Is this ... (_he whistles_) and you
shall see.... It will be just as in the forest: Wow! Wow! Wow!...

LIGHT
Come, good-bye, dear children ... I shall not be far away.... (_She
kisses the_ CHILDREN.) Those who love me and whom I love always find me
again.... (_To the_ THINGS _and the_ ANIMALS) This way, all of
you....

(_She goes out with the_ THINGS _and the_ ANIMALS. _The_
CHILDREN _remain alone in the middle of the stage. The curtain, opens and
discloses the next scene_.)

SCENE 2.--_The Graveyard_.

_It is night. The moon is shining on a country graveyard.. Numerous
tombstones, grassy mounds, wooden crosses, stone slabs, etc_. TYLTYL
_and_ MYTYL _are standing by a short stone pillar_.

MYTYL
I am frightened!...

TYLTYL (_not too much at his ease_)
I am never frightened....

MYTYL
I say, are the dead wicked?...

TYLTYL
Why, no, they're not alive!...

MYTYL
Have you ever seen one?...

TYLTYL
Yes, once, long ago, when I was very young....

MYTYL
What was it like, say?...

TYLTYL
Quite white, very still and very cold and it didn't talk....

MYTYL
Are we going to see them, say?...

TYLTYL
Why, of course, Light said so....

MYTYL
Where are they?...

TYLTYL
Here, under the grass or under those big stones....

MYTYL
Are they there all the year round?...

TYLTYL
Yes.

MYTYL (_pointing to the slabs_)
Are those the doors of their houses?...

TYLTYL
Yes.

MYTYL
Do they go out when it's fine?...

TYLTYL
They can only go out at night....

MYTYL
Why?...

TYLTYL
Because they are in their shirts....

MYTYL
Do they go out also when it rains?...

TYLTYL
When it rains, they stay at home....

MYTYL
Is it nice in their homes, say?...

TYLTYL
They say it's very cramped....

MYTYL
Have they any little children?...

TYLTYL
Why, yes; they have all those that die....

MYTYL
And what do they live on?...

TYLTYL
They eat roots....

MYTYL
Shall we see them?...

TYLTYL
Of course; we see everything when I turn the diamond.

MYTYL
And what will they say?...

TYLTYL
They will say nothing, as they don't talk....

MYTYL
Why don't they talk?...

TYLTYL
Because they have nothing to say....

MYTYL
Why have they nothing to say?...

TYLTYL
You're a nuisance....

(_A pause_)

MYTYL
When will you turn the diamond?

TYLTYL
You heard Light say that I was to wait until midnight, because that
disturbs them less....

MYTYL
Why does that disturb them less?...

TYLTYL
Because that is when they go out to take the air....

MYTYL
Is it not midnight yet?...

TYLTYL
Do you see the church clock?...

MYTYL
Yes, I can even see the small hand....

TYLTYL
Well, midnight is just going to strike.... There!... Do you hear?...

(_The clock strikes twelve_)

MYTYL
I want to go away!...

TYLTYL
Not now.... I am going to turn the diamond....

MYTYL
No, no!... Don't!... I want to go away!... I am so frightened, little
brother!... I am terribly frightened!...

TYLTYL
But there is no danger....

MYTYL
I don't want to see the dead!... I don't want to see them!...

TYLTYL
Very well, you shall not see them; shut your eyes....

MYTYL (_clinging to_ TYLTYL'S _clothes_)
Tyltyl, I can't stay!... No, I can't possibly!... They are going to come
out of the ground!...

TYLTYL
Don't tremble like that.... They will only come out for a moment....

MYTYL
But you're trembling, too!... They will be awful!...

TYLTYL
It is time, the hour is passing....

(TYLTYL _turns the diamond. A terrifying minute of silence and
motionlessness elapses, after which, slowly, the crosses totter, the mounds
open, the slabs rise up...._)

MYTYL (_cowering against_ TYLTYL)
They are coming out!... They are there!...

(_Then, from all the gaping tombs, there rises gradually an efflorescence
at first frail and timid, like steam; then white and virginal and more and
more tufty, more and more tall and plentiful and marvellous. Little by
little, irresistibly, invading all things, it transforms the graveyard into
a sort of fairy-like and nuptial garden, over which rise the first rays of
the dawn. The dew glitters, the flowers open their blooms, the wind murmurs
in the leaves, the bees hum, the birds wake and flood the air with
the first raptures of their hymns to the sun and to life. Stunned and
dazzled,_ TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL, _holding each other by the hand,
take a few steps among the flowers while they seek for the trace of the
tombs_.)

MYTYL (_looking in the grass_)
Where are the dead?....

TYLTYL (_looking also_)
There are no dead....

CURTAIN

SCENE 3.--_The Kingdom of the Future_.

_The immense halls of the Azure Palace, where the children wait that
are yet to be born. Infinite perspectives of sapphire columns supporting
turquoise vaults. Everything, from the light and the lapis-lazuli
flagstones to the shimmering background into which the last arches run
and disappear, everything, down to the smallest objects, is of an unreal,
intense, fairy-like blue. Only the plinths and capitals of the columns,
the key-stones, a few seats and circular benches are of white marble or
alabaster. To the right, between the columns, are great opalescent doors.
These doors, which_ TIME _will throw back towards the end of the
scene, open upon actual life and the quays of the Dawn. Everywhere,
harmoniously peopling the hall, is a crowd of_ CHILDREN _robed in
long azure garments. Some are playing, others strolling to and fro, others
talking or dreaming; many are asleep, many also are working, between the
colonnades, at future inventions; and their tools, their instruments, the
apparatus which they are constructing, the plants, flowers and fruit which
they are cultivating or plucking are of the same supernatural and luminous
blue as the general atmosphere of the Palace. Figures of a taller stature,
clad in a paler and more diaphanous azure, figures of a sovereign and
silent beauty move among the_ CHILDREN _and would seem to be angels.

Enter on the left, as though by stealth, gliding between the columns in
the foreground_, TYLTYL, MYTYL _and_ LIGHT. Their arrival causes
a certain movement among the_ BLUE CHILDREN, _who come running up on
every hand, form a group around the unwonted visitors and gaze upon them
with curiosity_.

MYTYL
Where are Sugar, the Cat and Bread?...

LIGHT
They cannot enter here; they would know the future and would not obey....

TYLTYL
And the Dog?...

LIGHT
It is not well, either, that he should know what awaits him in the course
of the ages....I have locked them all up in the vaults of the church....

TYLTYL
Where are we?...

LIGHT
We are in the Kingdom of the Future, in the midst of the children who are
not yet born. As the diamond allows us to see clearly in this region which
is hidden from men, we shall very probably find the Blue Bird here....

TYLTYL
Certainly the bird will be blue, since everything here is
blue....(_Looking all around him_.) Heaven, how beautiful it all
is!...

LIGHT
Look at the children running up....

TYLTYL
Are they angry?...

LIGHT
Not at all....You can see, they are smiling, but they are surprised....

THE BLUE CHILDREN (_running up in ever-increasing numbers_)
Live children!...Come and look at the little live children!...

TYLTYL
Why do they call us the little live children?

LIGHT
Because they themselves are not alive yet....

TYLTYL
What are they doing, then?...

LIGHT
They are awaiting the hour of their birth....

TYLTYL
The hour of their birth?...

LIGHT
Yes; it is from here that all the children come who are born upon our
earth. Each awaits his day.... When the fathers and mothers want children,
the great doors which you see there, on the right, are opened and the
little ones go down....

TYLTYL
What a, lot there are! What a lot there are!...

LIGHT
There are many more.... We do not see them all.... There are thirty
thousand halls like this, all full of them.... Just think, there are enough
to last to the end of the world!... No one could count them....

TYLTYL
And those tall blue persons, who are they?...

LIGHT
No one exactly knows.... They are believed to be guardians.... I have heard
that they will come upon earth after men.... But we are not allowed to ask
them....

TYLTYL
Why not?...

LIGHT
Because it is the earth's secret....

TYLTYL
And may one talk to the others, the little ones?...

LIGHT
Certainly; you must make friends.... Look, there is one who is more curious
than the rest.... Go up to him, speak to him....

TYLTYL
What shall I say to him?...

LIGHT
Whatever you like, as you would to a little playfellow....

TYLTYL
Can I shake hands with him?...

LIGHT
Of course, he won't hurt you.... But come, don't look so constrained.... I
will leave you alone, you will be more at ease by yourselves.... Besides, I
want to speak to the tall blue person....

TYLTYL (_going up to the_ BLUE CHILD _and holding out his hand_)
How do you do?... (_Touching the_ CHILD'S _blue dress with his
finger_.) What's that?...

THE CHILD (_gravely touching_ TYLTYL'S _hat_)
And that?...

TYLTYL
That?... That is my hat.... Have you no hat?...

THE CHILD
No; what is it for?...

TYLTYL
It's to say How-do-you-do with.... And then for when it rains or when it's
cold....

THE CHILD
What does that mean, when it's cold?...

TYLTYL
When you shiver like this: brrrr! brrrr!... When you blow into your hands
and go like this with your arms....

(_He vigorously beats his arms across his chest_.)

THE CHILD
Is it cold on earth?...

TYLTYL
Yes, sometimes, in the winter, when there is no fire....

THE CHILD
Why is there no fire?...

TYLTYL
Because it's expensive and it costs money to buy wood....

THE CHILD
What is money?...

TYLTYL
It's what you pay with....

THE CHILD
Oh....

TYLTYL
Some people have money and others have none....

THE CHILD
Why not?...

TYLTYL
Because they are not rich.... Are you rich?... How old are you?...

THE CHILD
I am going to be born soon.... I shall be born in twelve years.... Is it
nice to be born?...

TYLTYL
Oh, yes!... It's great fun!...

THE CHILD
How did you manage?...

TYLTYL
I can't remember.... It is so long ago!...

THE CHILD
They say it's lovely, the earth and the live people!...

TYLTYL
Yes, it's not bad.... There are birds and cakes and toys.... Some have them
all; but those who have none can look at them....

THE CHILD
They tell us that the mothers stand waiting at the door.... They are good,
aren't they?...

TYLTYL
Oh, yes!... They are better than anything in the world!... And the grannies
too; but they die too soon....

THE CHILD
They die?... What is that?...

TYLTYL
They go away one evening and do not come back....

THE CHILD
Why?...

TYLTYL
How can one tell?... Perhaps because they feel sad....

THE CHILD
Has yours gone?...

TYLTYL
My grandmamma?...

THE CHILD
Your mamma or your grandmamma, I don't know....

TYLTYL
Oh, but it's not the same thing!... The grannies go first; that's sad
enough.... Mine was very kind to me....

THE CHILD
What is the matter with your eyes?.... Are they making pearls?...

TYLTYL
No; it's not pearls....

THE CHILD
What is it, then?...

TYLTYL
It's nothing; it's all that blue, which dazzles me a little....

THE CHILD
What is that called?...

TYLTYL
What?...

THE CHILD
There, that, falling down....

TYLTYL
Nothing, it is a little water....

THE CHILD
Does it come from the eyes?...

TYLTYL
Yes, sometimes, when one cries....

THE CHILD
What does that mean, crying?...

TYLTYL
I have not been crying; it is the fault of that blue... But if I had cried,
it would be the same thing....

THE CHILD
Does one often cry?...

TYLTYL
Not little boys, but little girls do.... Don't you cry here?...

THE CHILD
No; I don't know how....

TYLTYL
Well, you will learn.... What are you playing with, those great blue
wings?...

THE CHILD
These?... That's for the invention which I shall make on earth....

TYLTYL
What invention?... Have you invented something?...

THE CHILD
Why, yes; haven't you heard?... When I am on earth, I shall have to invent
the thing that gives happiness....

TYLTYL
Is it good to eat?... Does it make a noise?...

THE CHILD
No; you hear nothing....

TYLTYL
That's a pity....

THE CHILD
I work at it every day.... It is almost finished.... Would you like to see
it?...

TYLTYL
Very much.... Where is it?...

THE CHILD
There, you can see it from here, between those two columns....

ANOTHER BLUE CHILD (_coming up to_ TYLTYL _and plucking his sleeve_)
Would you like to see mine, say?...

TYLTYL
Yes, what is it?...

THE SECOND CHILD
The thirty-three remedies for prolonging life.... There, in those blue
phials....

A THIRD CHILD (_stepping out from the crowd_)
I will show you a light which nobody knows of!... (_He lights himself
up entirely with an extraordinary flame_.) It's rather curious, isn't
it?...

A FOURTH CHILD (_pulling_ TYLTYL'S _arm_)
Do come and look at my machine which flies in the air like a bird without
wings!...

A FIFTH CHILD
No, no; mine first! It discovers the treasures hidden in the moon!...

THE BLUE CHILDREN (_crowding round_ TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL _and all crying
together_)
No, no, come and see mine!... No, mine is much finer!... Mine is a
wonderful invention!... Mine is made of sugar!... His is no good!... He
stole the idea from me!...

(_Amid these disordered exclamations, the_ LIVE CHILDREN _are
dragged towards the blue workshops, where each of the inventors sets his
ideal machine going. There ensues a cerulean whirl of wheels, disks,
flywheels, driving-wheels, pulleys, straps and strange and as yet unnamed
objects shrouded in the bluey mists of the unreal. A crowd of odd and
mysterious mechanisms dart forth and hover under the vaults or crawl at the
foot of the columns, while_ CHILDREN _unfold charts and plans, open
books, uncover azure statues and bring enormous flowers and gigantic fruits
that seem formed of sapphires and turquoises_.)

A LITTLE BLUE CHILD (_bending under the weight of some colossal blue
daisies_)
Look at my flowers!...

TYLTYL
What are they?... I don't know them....

THE LITTLE BLUE CHILD
They are daisies!...

TYLTYL
Impossible!... They are as big as tables!...

THE LITTLE BLUE CHILD
And they smell so good!...

TYLTYL (_smelling them_)
Wonderful!...

THE LITTLE BLUE CHILD
They will grow like that when I am on earth....

TYLTYL
When will that be?...

THE LITTLE BLUE CHILD
In fifty-three years, four months and nine days....

(_Two_ BLUE CHILDREN _arrive, carrying, like a lustre hanging on a
pole, an incredible bunch of grapes, each larger than a pear_.)

ONE OF THE CHILDREN (_carrying the grapes_)
What do you say to my fruits?...

TYLTYL
A bunch of pears!...

THE CHILD
No, they are grapes!... They will all be like that when I am thirty.... I
have found the way....

ANOTHER CHILD (_staggering under a basket of blue apples the size of
melons_)
And mine!... Look at my apples!...

TYLTYL
But those are melons!...

THE CHILD
No, no!... They are my apples and they are not the finest at that!... They
will all be alike when I am alive.... I have discovered the system!...

ANOTHER CHILD (_wheeling a blue barrow with blue melons bigger than
pumpkins_)
What do you say to my little melons?...

TYLTYL
But they are pumpkins!...

THE CHILD WITH THE MELONS
When I come on earth, the melons will be splendid!... I shall be the
gardener of the King of the Three Planets....

TYLTYL
The King of the Three Planets?

THE CHILD WITH THE MELONS
The great king who for thirty-five years will bring happiness to the Earth,
Mars and the Moon.... You can see him from here....

TYLTYL
Where is he?...

THE CHILD WITH THE MELONS
There, the little boy sleeping at the foot of that column.

TYLTYL
On the left?...

THE CHILD WITH THE MELONS
No, on the right.... The one on the left is the child who will bring pure
joy to the globe....

TYLTYL
How?...

THE CHILD (_the one that first talked to_ TYLTYL)
By means of ideas which people have not yet had....

TYLTYL
And the other, that little fat one with his fingers to his nose, what will
he do?...

THE CHILD
He is to discover the fire that will warm the earth when the sun is paler
than now....

TYLTYL
And the two holding each other by the hand and always kissing; are they
brother and sister?...

THE CHILD
No; they are very comical....They are the Lovers....

TYLTYL
What is that?...

THE CHILD
I don't know.... Time calls them that, to make fun of them.... They spend
the day looking into each other's eyes, kissing and bidding each other
farewell....

TYLTYL
Why?...

THE CHILD
It seems that they will not be able to leave together...

TYLTYL
And the little pink one, who looks so serious and is sucking his thumb,
what is he?...

THE CHILD
It appears that he is to wipe out injustice from the earth....

TYLTYL
Oh!...

THE CHILD
They say it's a tremendous work....

TYLTYL
And the little red-haired one, who walks as if he did not see where he was
going, is he blind?...

THE CHILD
Not yet; but he will become so....Look at him well; it seems that he is to
conquer Death....

TYLTYL
What does that mean?...

THE CHILD
I don't exactly know; but they say it's a great thing....

TYLTYL (_pointing to a crowd of_ CHILDREN _sleeping at the foot of
the columns, on the steps, the benches, etc_.)
And all those asleep, what a number of them there are asleep!... Do they do
nothing?...

THE CHILD
They are thinking of something....

TYLTYL
Of what?...

THE CHILD
They do not know yet; but they must take something with them to earth; we
are not allowed to go from here empty-handed....

TYLTYL
Who says so?...

THE CHILD
Time, who stands at the door.... You will see when he opens it.... He is
very tiresome....

A CHILD (_running up from the back of the hall and elbowing his way
through the crowd_)
How are you, TYLTYL?...

TYLTYL
Hullo!... How does he know my name?...

THE CHILD (_who has just run up and who now kisses_ TYLTYL _and_
MYTYL _effusively_.)
How are you?... All right?... Come, give me a kiss, and you too, Mytyl.
It's not surprising that I should know your name, seeing that I shall be
your brother.... They have only just told me that you were here.... I was
right at the other end of the hall, packing up my ideas.... Tell mummy that
I am ready....

TYLTYL
What?... Are you coming to us?...

THE CHILD
Certainly, next year, on Palm Sunday.... Don't tease me too much when I am
little.... I am very glad to have kissed you both beforehand.... Tell daddy
to mend the cradle.... Is it comfortable in our home?...

TYLTYL
Not bad.... And mummy is so kind!...

THE CHILD
And the food?...

TYLTYL
That depends.... We even have cakes sometimes, don't we, Mytyl?...

MYTYL
On New Year's Day and the fourteenth of July.... Mummy makes them....

TYLTYL
What have you got in that bag?... Are you bringing us something?...

THE CHILD
I am bringing three illnesses: scarlatina, whooping-cough and measles....

TYLTYL
Oh, that's all, is it?... And, after that, what will you do?...

THE CHILD
After that?... I shall leave you....

TYLTYL
It will hardly be worth while coming!...

THE CHILD
We can't pick and choose!...

(_At that moment, a sort of prolonged, powerful, crystalline vibration is
heard to rise and swell; it seems to emanate from the columns and the opal
doors, which are irradiated by a brighter light than before_.)

TYLTYL
What is that?...

THE CHILD
That's Time!... He is going to open the gates!...

(_A great change comes over the crowd of_ BLUE CHILDREN, _Most of
them leave their machines and their labours, numbers of sleepers awake and
all turn their eyes towards the opal doors and go nearer to them_.)

LIGHT (_joining_ TYLTYL)
Let us try to hide behind the columns.... It will not do for Time to
discover us....

TYLTYL
Where does that noise come from?...

A CHILD
It is the Dawn rising.... This is the hour when the children who are to be
born to-day go down to earth....

TYLTYL
How will they go down?... Are there ladders?...

THE CHILD
You shall see.... Time is drawing the bolts....

TYLTYL
Who is Time?...

THE CHILD
An old man who comes to call those who are going....

TYLTYL
Is he wicked?...

THE CHILD
No; but he hears nothing.... Beg as they may, if it's not their turn, he
pushes back all those who try to go....

TYLTYL
Are they glad to go?...

THE CHILD
We are sorry when we are left behind, but we are sad when we go.... There!
There!... He is opening the doors!...

(_The great opalescent doors turn slowly on their hinges. The sounds of
the earth are heard like a distant music. A red and green light penetrates
into the hall_; TIME, _a tall old man with a streaming beard, armed
with his scythe and hourglass, appears upon the threshold; and the
spectator perceives the extremity of the white and gold sails of a galley
moored to a sort of quay, formed by the rosy mists of the Dawn_.)

TIME (_on the threshold_)
Are they ready whose hour has struck?...

BLUE CHILDREN (_elbowing their way and running up from all sides_)
Here we are!... Here we are!... Here we are!...

TIME (_in a gruff voice to the_ CHILDREN _defiling before him to go out_)
One at a time!... Once again, there are many more of you than
are wanted!... It's always the same thing!... You can't deceive
me!...(_Pushing back a_ CHILD.) It's not your turn!... Go back and
wait till to-morrow.... Nor you either; go in and return in ten years.... A
thirteenth shepherd?... There are only twelve wanted; there is no need for
more; the days of Theocritus and Virgil are past.... More doctors?... There
are too many already; they are grumbling about it on earth.... And
where are the engineers?... They want an honest man, only one, as a
phenomenon.... Where is the honest man?... Is it you?... (THE CHILD _nods
yes_.) You appear to me to be a very poor specimen!... Hallo, you, over
there, not so fast, not so fast!... And you, what are you bringing?...
Nothing at all, empty-handed?... Then you can't go through.... Prepare
something, a great crime, if you like, or a fine sickness, I don't care ...
but you mast have something.... (_Catching sight of a little_ CHILD
_whom the others are pushing forward, while he resists with all his
strength_.) Well, what's the matter with you?... You know that the hour
has come.... They want a hero to fight against injustice; you're the one:
you most start....

THE BLUE CHILDREN
He doesn't want to, sir....

TIME
What?... He doesn't want to?... Where does the little monster think he
is?... No objections, we have no time to spare....

THE CHILD (_who is being pushed_)
No, no!...I don't want to go!... I would rather not be born!... I would
rather stay here!...

TIME
That is not the question.... When the hour comes, it comes!... Now then,
quick, forward!...

A CHILD (_stepping forward_)
Oh, let me pass!... I will go and take his place!... They say that my
parents are old and have been waiting for me so long!...

TIME
None of that!... You will start at your proper hour, at your proper
time.... We should never be done if we listened to you.... One wants to
go, another refuses; it's too soon or it's too late.... (_Pushing back
some_ CHILDREN _who have encroached upon the threshold_.) Not so
near, you children!... Back, you inquisitive ones!... Those who are not
starting have no business outside.... You are in a hurry now; later, when
your turn comes, you will be frightened and hang back.... Look, there are
four who are trembling like leaves.... (_To a_ CHILD _who, on the
point of crossing the threshold, suddenly goes back_.) Well, what is
it?... What's the matter?...

THE CHILD
I have forgotten the box containing the two crimes which I shall have to
commit....

ANOTHER CHILD
And I the little pot with my idea for enlightening the crowd....

A THIRD CHILD
I have forgotten the graft of my finest pear!...

TIME
Run quick and fetch them!... We have only six hundred and twelve seconds
left.... The galley of the Dawn is already flapping her sails to show that
she is waiting.... You will come too late and you won't be born!... Come,
quick, on board with you!... (_Laying hold of a_ CHILD _who tries to
pass between his legs to reach the quay_.) Oh, no, not you!... This is
the third time you've tried to be born before your turn.... Don't let me
catch you at it again, or you can wait forever with my sister Eternity;
and you know that it's not amusing there!... But come, are we ready?... Is
every one at his post?... (_Surveying the_ CHILDREN _standing on the
quay or already seated In the galley_.) There is still one missing....
It is no use his hiding, I see him in the crowd.... You can't deceive
me!... Come on, you, the little fellow whom they call the Lover, say
good-bye to your sweetheart....

(_The two_ CHILDREN _who are called the Lovers, fondly entwined,
their faces livid with despair, go up to_ TIME _and kneel at his
feet_.)

THE FIRST CHILD
Mr. Time, let me stay behind with her!...

THE SECOND CHILD
Mr. Time, let me go with him!...

TIME
Impossible!... We have only three hundred and ninety-four seconds left....

THE FIRST CHILD
I would rather not be born!...

TIME
You cannot choose....

THE SECOND CHILD (_beseechingly_)
Mr. Time, I shall come too late!...

THE FIRST CHILD
I shall be gone before she comes down!...

THE SECOND CHILD
I shall never see him again!...

THE FIRST CHILD
We shall be alone in the world!...

TIME
All this does not concern me.... Address your entreaties to Life.... I
unite and part as I am told....(_Seizing one of the_ CHILDREN.)
Come!...

THE FIRST CHILD (_struggling_)
No, no, no!... She, too!...

THE SECOND CHILD (_clinging to the clothes of the_ FIRST)
Leave him with me!... Leave him!...

TIME
Come, come, he is not going to die, but to live!... (_Dragging away
the_ FIRST CHILD.) Come along!...

THE SECOND CHILD (_stretching her arms out frantically to the_ CHILD
_that is being carried off_)
A sign!... A sign!... Tell me how to find you!...

THE FIRST CHILD
I shall always love you!...

THE SECOND CHILD
I shall be the saddest thing on earth!... You will know me by that!...

(_She falls and remains stretched on the ground_.)

TIME
You would do much better to hope.... And now, that is all....
(_Consulting his hour-glass_.) We have only sixty-three seconds
left....

(_Last and violent movements among the_ CHILDREN _departing and
remaining. They exchange hurried farewells_.)

THE BLUE CHILDREN
Good-bye, Pierre!... Good-bye, Jean!... Have you all you want?... Announce
my idea!... Have you got the new turnscrew?... Mind you speak of my
melons!... Have you forgotten nothing?... Try to know me again I... I shall
find you!... Don't lose your ideas!... Don't lean too far into space!...
Send me your news!... They say one can't... Oh, try, do try!... Try to
tell us if it's nice!... I will come to meet you I... I shall be born on a
throne!...

TIME (_shaking his keys and his scythe_)
Enough! Enough!... The anchor's raised!...

(_The sails of the galley pass and disappear. The voices of the_
CHILDREN _in the galley are heard in the distance_: "The Earth! The
Earth!... I can see it!... How beautiful it is!... How bright it is!... How
big it is!"... _Then, as though issuing from the depths of the abyss, an
extremely distant song of gladness and expectation_.)

TYLTYL (_to_ LIGHT)
What is that?... It is not they singing.... It sounds like other voices....

LIGHT
Yes, it is the song of the mothers coming out to meet them....

(_Meanwhile_, TIME _closes the opalescent doors. He turns to take
a last look at the hall and suddenly perceives_ TYLTYL, MYTYL
_and_ LIGHT.)

TIME (_dumbfoundered and furious_)
What's that?... What are you doing here?... Who are you?... Why are you not
blue?... How did you get in?... (_He comes forward, threatening them with
his scythe_.)

LIGHT (_to_ TYLTYL)
Do not answer!... I have the Blue Bird.... He is hidden under my cloak....
Let us escape.... Turn the diamond, he will lose our traces.... (_They
slip away on the left, between the columns in the foreground_.)

CURTAIN

ACT VI

SCENE I.--_The Leave-taking_.

_The stage represents a wall with a small door. It is the break of
day_.

(_Enter_ TYLTYL, MYTYL, LIGHT, BREAD, WATER, SUGAR, FIRE _and_
MILK) You would never guess where we are....

TYLTYL
Well, no, Light, because I don't know....

LIGHT
Don't you recognise that wall and that little door?...

TYLTYL
It is a red wall and a little green door.

LIGHT
And doesn't that remind you of anything?...

TYLTYL
It reminds me that Time shewed us the door....

LIGHT
How odd people are when they dream.... They do not recognise their own
hands....

TYLTYL
Who is dreaming?... Am I?...

LIGHT
Perhaps it's myself.... Who can tell?... However, this wall contains a
house which you have seen more than once since you were born....

TYLTYL
A house which I have seen more than once since I was born?...

LIGHT
Why yes, sleepy-head!... It is the house which we left one evening, just a
year ago, to a day....

TYLTYL
Just a year ago?... Why, then....

LIGHT
Come, come!... Don't open great eyes like sapphire caves.... It's the dear
old house of your father and mother....

TYLTYL (_going up to the door_)
But I think.... Yes, really.... It seems to me.... This little door.... I
recognise the wooden pin.... Are they in there?... Are we near mummy?... I
want to go in at once.... I want to kiss her at once!...

LIGHT
One moment.... They are sound asleep; you must not wake them with a
start.... Besides, the door will not open till the hour strikes....

TYLTYL
What hour?... Is there long to wait?...

LIGHT
Alas, no!... A few poor minutes....

TYLTYL
Aren't you glad to be back?... What is it, Light?... You are quite pale,
you look ill....

LIGHT
It's nothing, child.... I feel a little sad, because I am leaving you....

TYLTYL
Leaving us?...

LIGHT
I must.... I have nothing more to do here; the year is over, the Fairy is
coming back to ask you for the Blue Bird....

TYLTYL
But I haven't got the Blue Bird!... The one of the Land of Memory turned
quite black, the one of the Future turned quite pink, the Night's are dead
and I could not catch the one in the Forest.... Is it my fault if they
change colour, or die, or escape?... Will the Fairy be angry and what will
she say?...

LIGHT
We have done what we could.... It seems likely that the Blue Bird does not
exist or that he changes colour when he is caged....

TYLTYL
Where is the cage?...

BREAD
Here, master.... It was entrusted to my diligent care during our long
journey; to-day, now that my mission is drawing to an end, I restore it to
your hands, untouched and carefully closed, as I received it.... (_Like
an orator making a speech_) And now, in the name of all, I crave
permission to add a few words....

FIRE
He has not been called upon to speak!...

WATER
Order!...

BREAD
The malevolent interruptions of a contemptible enemy, of an envious
rival....

FIRE
An envious rival!... What would you be without me?... A lump of shapeless
and indigestible dough....

WATER
Order!...

FIRE
I won't be shouted down by you! ...

(_They threaten each other and are about to come to blows_.)

LIGHT (_raising her wand_)
Enough!...

BREAD
The insults and the ridiculous pretensions of an element whose notorious
misbehaviour and whose scandalous excesses drive the world to despair....

FIRE
You fat pasty-face!

BREAD (_raising his voice_)
Will not prevent me from doing my duty to the end.... I wish, therefore, in
the name of all...

FIRE
Not in mine!... I have a tongue of my own!...

BREAD
In the name of all and with a restrained but simple and deep emotion,
to take leave of two distinguished children, whose exalted mission ends
to-day.... When bidding them farewell, with all the grief and all the
fondness which a mutual esteem....

TYLTYL
What?... You are bidding us farewell?... Are you leaving us too?...

BREAD
Alas, needs must, since the hour when men's eyes are to be opened has not
yet come.... I am leaving you, it is true; but the separation will only be
apparent, you will no longer hear me speak....

FIRE
That will be no loss!...

WATER
Order! Silence!...

FIRE
I shall keep silence when you cease babbling in the kettles, the wells, the
brooks, the waterfalls and the taps....

LIGHT (_threatening them with her wand_)
That will do, do you hear?... You are all very quarrelsome; It is the
coming separation that sets your nerves on edge like this....

BREAD (_with great dignity_)
That does not apply to me.... I was saying, you will no longer hear me
speak, no longer see me in my living form.... Your eyes are about to close
to the invisible life of the Things; but I shall always he there. In the
bread-pan, on the shelf, on the table, beside the soup, I who am, if I may
say so, with Water and Fire, the most faithful companion, the oldest friend
of Man....

FIRE
Well, and what about me?...

LIGHT
Come, the minutes are passing, the hour is at hand which will send us back
into silence.... Be quick and kiss the children....

FIRE (_rushing forward_)
I first! I first!... (_Violently kissing the_ CHILDREN.) Good-bye,
Tyltyl and Mytyl!... Good-bye, my darlings.... Think of me if ever you want
any one to set fire to anything....

MYTYL
Oh! Oh!... He's burning me!...

TYLTYL
Oh! Oh!... He's scorched my nose!...

LIGHT
Come, Fire, moderate your transports.... Remember you're not in your
chimney....

WATER
What an idiot!...

BREAD
What a vulgarian!...

FIRE
There, look; I will put my hands in my pockets.... But don't forget me....
I am the friend of Man.... I shall always be there, in the hearth and in
the oven; and I will come sometimes and put out my tongue for you when
you are cold or sad.... I shall be warm in winter and roast chestnuts for
you....

WATER (_approaching the_ CHILDREN)
I shall kiss you without hurting you, tenderly, my children....

FIRE
Take care, you'll get wet!...

WATER
I am loving and gentle; I am kind to human beings....

FIRE
What about those you drown?...

WATER
Love the wells, listen to the brooks.... I shall always be there....

FIRE
She has flooded the whole place....

WATER
When you sit down, in the evening, beside the springs--there is more than
one here in the forest--try to understand what they are trying to say....

FIRE
Enough! Enough!... I can't swim!...

WATER
I shall no longer be able to tell you as clearly as I do to-day that I love
you; but you will not forget that that is what I am saying to you when you
hear my voice.... Alas!... I can say no more.... My tears choke me and
prevent my speaking....

FIRE
It doesn't sound like it!...

WATER
Think of me when you see the water-bottle.... Alas! I have to be silent
there; but my thoughts will always be of you.... You will find me also in
the ewer, the watering-can, the cistern and the tap....

MILK (_approaching timidly_)
And me in the milk-jug....

TYLTYL
What, you too, my dear Milk, so shy and so good?... Is everybody going?...

SUGAR (_naturally mawkish and sanctimonious_)
If you have a little corner left in your memory, remember sometimes that my
presence was sweet to you.... That is all I have to say.... Tears are not
in harmony with my temperament and they hurt me terribly when they fall on
my feet....

BREAD
Jesuit!...

FIRE (_yelping_)
Sugar-plum! Lollipop! Caramel!...

TYLTYL
But where are Tylette and Tylo gone to?... What are they doing?...

(_The_ CAT _is heard to utter shrill cries_.)

MYTYL (_alarmed_)
It's Tylette crying!... He is being hurt!...

(_Enter the_ CAT, _running, his hair on end and dishevelled, his
clothes torn, holding his handkerchief to his cheek, as though he had the
toothache. He utters angry groans and is closely pursued by the_ DOG,
_who overwhelms him with bites, blows and kicks_.)

THE DOG (_beating the_ CAT)
There!... Have you had enough?... Do you want any more?... There! There!
There!...

LIGHT, TYLTYL and MYTYL (_rushing forward to part them_)
Tylo!... Are you mad?... Well, I never!... Down!... Stop that, will you?...
How dare you?... Wait, wait!...

(_They part the_ DOG _and the_ CAT _by main force_.)

LIGHT
What is it?... What has happened?...

THE CAT (_blubbering and wiping his eyes_)
It's the Dog, Mrs. Light.... He insulted me, he put tin tacks in my food,
he pulled my tail, he beat me; and I had done nothing, nothing, nothing at
all!...

THE DOG (_mimicking him_)
Nothing, nothing, nothing at all!... (_In an undertone, with a mocking
grimace_) Never mind, you've had some, you've had some and you're going
to have some more!...

MYTYL (_pressing the_ CAT _in her arms_)
My poor Tylette, where has he hurt you?... Tell me.... I shall cry too....

LIGHT (_to the_ DOG, _severely_)
Your conduct is all the more, unworthy since you have chosen for this
disgraceful exhibition the already most painful moment when we are about to
part from these poor children....

THE DOG (_suddenly sobered_)
To part from these poor children?...

LIGHT
Yes; the hour which you know of is at hand.... We are going to return to
silence.... We shall no longer be able to speak to them....

THE DOG (_suddenly uttering real howls of despair and flinging himself
upon the_ CHILDREN, _whom he loads with violent and tumultuous caresses_.)
No! No!... I refuse!... I refuse!... I shall always talk!... You will
understand me now, will you not, my little god?... Yes! Yes! Yes!... And we
shall tell each other everything, everything, everything!... And I shall be
very good.... And I shall learn to read and write and play dominoes!... And
I shall always be very clean.... And I shall never steal anything in the
kitchen again.... Shall I do a wonderful trick for you?... Would you like
me to kiss the Cat?...

MYTYL (_to the_ CAT)
And you, Tylette?... Have you nothing to say to us?...

THE CAT (_in an affected and enigmatic tone_)
I love you both as much as you deserve....

LIGHT
Now let me, in my turn, children, give you a last kiss....

TYLTYL and MYTYL (_hanging on to_ LIGHT'S _dress_)
No, no, no, Light!... Stay here with us!... Daddy won't mind.... We will
tell mummy how kind you have been....

LIGHT
Alas! I cannot!... This door is closed to us and I must leave you....

TYLTYL
Where will you go all alone?...

LIGHT
Not very far, my children; over there, to the Land of the Silence of
Things....

TYLTYL
No, no; I won't have you go.... We will go with you.... I shall tell
mummy....

LIGHT
Do not cry, my dear little ones.... I have not a voice like Water; I have
only my brightness, which Man does not understand.... But I watch over him
to the end of his days.... Never forget that I am speaking to you in every
spreading moonbeam, in every twinkling star, in every dawn that rises, in
every lamp that is lit, in every good and bright thought of your soul....
(_Eight o'clock strikes behind the wall_.) Listen!... The hour is
striking!... Good-bye!... The door is opening!... In with you, in with
you!...

(_She pushes the_ CHILDREN _through the door, which has half-opened
and which closes again behind them_. BREAD _wipes away a furtive
tear_, SUGAR _and_ WATER, _etc., all in tears, flee precipitously
and disappear in the wings to the right and left. The_ DOG _howls
behind the scenes. The stage remains empty for a moment and then the
scenery representing the wall and the little door opens in the middle and
reveals the last scene_.)

SCENE 2.--_The Awakening_.

_The same setting as in_ ACT I, _but the objects, the walls and the
atmosphere all appear incomparably and magically fresher, happier, more
smiling. The daylight penetrates gaily through the chinks of the closed
shutters. To the right, at the back_, TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL _lie
sound asleep in their little beds. The_ DOG, _the_ CAT _and
the_ THINGS _are in the places which they occupied in_ ACT I,
_before the arrival of the_ FAIRY.

_Enter_ MUMMY TYL

MUMMY TYL (_in a cheerfully scolding voice_)
Up, come, get up, you little lazybones!... Aren't you ashamed of
yourselves?... It has struck eight and the sun is high above the trees!...
Lord, how they sleep, how they sleep!... (_She leans over and kisses
the_ CHILDREN.) They are quite rosy.... Tyltyl smells of lavender and
Mytyl of lilies-of-the-valley.... (_Kissing them again_) What sweet
things children are!... Still, they can't go on sleeping till midday.... I
mustn't let them grow up idle.... And, besides, I have heard that it's
not very healthy.... (_Gently shaking_ TYLTYL) Wake up, wake up,
Tyltyl....

TYLTYL (_waking up_)
What?... Light?... Where is she?... No, no, don't go away....

MUMMY TYL
Light?... Why, of course it's light... Has been for ever so long.... It's
as bright as noonday, though the shutters are closed.... Wait a bit till I
open them.... (_She pushes back the shutters and the dazzling daylight
invades the room_.) There! See!... What's the matter with you?... You
look quite blinded....

TYLTYL (_rubbing his eyes_)
Mummy, mummy!... It's you!...

MUMMY TYL
Why, of course, it's I.... Who did you think it was?...

TYLTYL
It's you.... Yes, yes, it's you!....

MUMMY TYL
Yes, yes, it's I.... I haven't changed my face since last night.... Why do
you stare at me in that wonderstruck way?... Is my nose turned upside down,
by any chance?...

TYLTYL
Oh, how nice it is to see you again!... It's so long, so long ago!... I
must kiss you at once.... Again! Again! Again!... And how comfortable my
bed is!... I am back at home!...

MUMMY TYL
What's the matter?... Why don't you wake up?... Don't tell me you're
ill.... Let me see, show me your tongue.... Come, get up and dress....

TYLTYL
Hullo, I've got my shirt on!...

MUMMY TYL
Of course you have.... Put on your breeches and your little jacket....
There they are, on the chair....

TYLTYL
Is that what I did on the journey?...

MUMMY TYL
What journey?...

TYLTYL
Why, last year....

MUMMY TYL
Last year?...

TYLTYL
Why, yes!...At Christmas, when I went away....

MUMMY TYL
When you went away?... You haven't left the room.... I put you to bed last
night, and here you are this morning.... Have you dreamed all that?...

TYLTYL
But you don't understand!... It was last year, when I went away with Mytyl,
the Fairy, Light--how nice Light is!--Bread, Sugar, Water, Fire: they did
nothing but quarrel!... You're not angry with me?... Did you feel very
sad?... And what did daddy say?... I could not refuse... I left a note to
explain....

MUMMY TYL
What are you talking about?... For sure, either you're ill or else you're
still asleep.... (_She gives him a friendly shake_.) There, wake
up.... There, is that better?...

TYLTYL
But, mummy, I assure you.... It's you that's still asleep....

MUMMY TYL
What! Still asleep, am I?... Why? I've been up since six o'clock.... I've
finished all the cleaning and lit the fire....

TYLTYL
But ask Mytyl if it's not true.... Oh, we have had such adventures!...

MUMMY TYL
Why Mytyl?... What do you mean?...

TYLTYL
She was with me.... We saw grandad and granny....

MUMMY TYL (_more and more bewildered_)
Grandad and granny?...

TYLTYL
Yes, in the Land of Memory.... It was on our way.... They are dead, but
they are quite well.... Granny made us a lovely plum-tart.... And then the
little brothers--Robert, Jean and his top--and Madeleine and Pierrette and
Pauline and Riquette, too....

MYTYL
Riquette still goes about on all fours!...

TYLTYL
And Pauline still has a pimple on her nose....

MUMMY TYL
Have you found the key of the cupboard where daddy hides his brandy
bottle?...

TYLTYL
Does daddy hide a brandy bottle?...

MUMMY TYL
Certainly. One has to hide everything when one has little meddlesome
good-for-nothings like you.... But come, out with it, confess that you took
it.... I would rather it was that.... I sha'n't tell daddy.... I sha'n't
beat you....

TYLTYL
But, mummy, I don't know where it is....

MUMMY TYL
Just walk in front of me, so that I may see if you can walk straight....
(TYLTYL _does so_) No, it's not that.... Dear heaven, what is the
matter with them?... I shall lose them too, as I lost the others!...
(_Suddenly mad with alarm, she calls out_) Daddy Tyl!... Come, quick!
The children are ill!...

(_Enter_ DADDY TYL, _very calmly, with an axe in his hand_.)

DADDY TYL
What is it?...

TYLTYL and MYTYL (_running up gaily to kiss their father_)
Hullo, daddy!... It's daddy!... Good-morning, daddy!... Have you had plenty
of work this year?...

DADDY TYL
Well, what's the matter?... They don't look ill; they look very well....

MUMMY TYL (_weeping_)
You can't trust their looks.... It will be as with the others.... They
looked quite well also to the end; and then God took them.... I don't know
what's the matter with them.... I put them to bed quite quietly last night;
and this morning, when they woke up, everything was wrong.... They don't
know what they're saying; they talk about a journey.... They have seen
Light and grandad and granny, who are dead, but who are quite well....

TYLTYL
But grandad still has his wooden leg....

MYTYL
And granny her rheumatics....

MUMMY TYL
Do you hear?... Run and fetch the doctor!...

DADDY TYL
Why, no, no.... They are not dead yet.... Come, let us look into this....
(_A knock at the front door_.) Come in!...

(_Enter_ NEIGHBOUR BERLINGOT, _a little old woman resembling the_
FAIRY _in_ ACT I _and leaning on a stick_.)

THE NEIGHBOUR
Good-morning and a Merry Christmas to you all!...

TYLTYL
It's the Fairy Berylune!...

THE NEIGHBOUR
I have come to ask for a bit of fire for my Christmas stew.... It's very
chilly this morning.... Good-morning, children, how are you?...

TYLTYL
Fairy Berylune, I could not find the Blue Bird....

THE NEIGHBOUR
What is he saying?...

MUMMY TYL
Don't ask me, Madame Berlingot.... They don't know what they are saying....
They have been like that since they woke up.... They must have eaten
something that wasn't good....

THE NEIGHBOUR
Why, Tyltyl, don't you remember Goody Berlingot, your Neighbour
Berlingot?...

TYLTYL
Why, yes, ma'am.... You are the Fairy Berylune.... You're not angry with
us?...

THE NEIGHBOUR
Bery... what? Goodness gracious me!...

TYLTYL
Berylune.

THE NEIGHBOUR
Berlingot, you mean Berlingot....

TYLTYL
Berylune or Berlingot, as you please, ma'am.... But Mytyl knows....

MUMMY TYL
That's the worst of it, that Mytyl also....

DADDY TYL
Pooh, pooh!... That will soon go; I will give them a smack or two....

THE NEIGHBOUR
Don't; It's not worth while.... I know all about it; it's only a little fit
of dreaming.... They must have slept in the moonbeams.... My little girl,
who is very ill, is often like that....

MUMMY TYL
By the way, how is your little girl?...

THE NEIGHBOUR
Only so-so.... She can't get up.... The doctor says that it's her
nerves.... I know what would cure her, for all that. She was asking me for
it only this morning, for her Christmas box; it's a notion she has...

MUMMY TYL
Yes, I know; it's Tyltyl's bird.... Well, Tyltyl, aren't you going to give
it at last to that poor little thing?...

TYLTYL
What, mummy?...

MUMMY TYL
Your bird.... It's no use to you.... You don't even look at it now.... And
she has been dying to have it for ever so long!...

TYLTYL
Hullo, that's true, my bird!... Where is he?... Oh, there's the cage!...
Mytyl, do you see the cage?... It's the one which Bread carried.... Yes,
yes, it's the same one, but there's only one bird in it.... Has he
eaten the other, I wonder?... Hullo, why, he's blue!... But it's my
turtle-dove!... But he's much bluer than when I went away!... Why, that's
the blue bird we were looking for!... We went so far and he was here all
the time!... Oh, but it's wonderful!... Mytyl, do you see the bird? What
would Light say?... I will take down the cage.... (_He climbs on a chair
and takes down the cage and carries it to the_ NEIGHBOUR.) There, Madame
Berlingot, there you are.... He's not quite blue yet, but that will come,
you shall see!... Take him off quick to your little girl....

THE NEIGHBOUR
Really?... Do you mean it?... Do you give it me like that, straight away
and for nothing?... Lord, how happy she will be!... (_Kissing_ TYLTYL)
I must give you a kiss!... I fly!... I fly!...

TYLTYL
Yes, yes; be quick.... Some of them change their colour....

THE NEIGHBOUR
I will come back to tell you what she says....

(_She goes out_.)

TYLTYL (_after taking a long look around him_)
Daddy, mummy, what have you done to the house?... It's just as it was, but
it's much prettier....

DADDY TYL
How do you mean, it's prettier?...

TYLTYL
Why, yes, everything has been painted and made to look new, everything is
clean and polished.... It was not like that last year....

DADDY TYL
Last year?...

TYLTYL (_going to the window_)
And look at the forest!... How big and fine it is!... One would think
it was new!... How happy I feel here!... (_Going to the bread-pan and
opening it_) Where's Bread?.... I say, the loaves are very quiet.... And
then here's Tylo!... Hullo, Tylo, Tylo!... Ah, you had a fine fight!... Do
you remember, in the forest?...

MYTYL
And Tylette.... He knows me, but he has stopped talking....

TYLTYL
Mr. Bread.... (_Feeling his forehead_) Hullo, the diamond's gone!...
Who's taken my little green hat?... Never mind; I don't want it any
more.... Ah, Fire!... He's a good one!... He crackles and laughs to make
Water angry.... (_Running to the tap_) And Water?... Good-morning,
Water!... What does she say?... She still talks, but I don't understand her
as well as I did....

MYTYL
I don't see Sugar....

TYLTYL
Lord, how happy I am, happy, happy, happy!...

MYTYL
So am I, so am I!...

MUMMY TYL
What are you spinning round for like that?....

DADDY TYL
Don't mind them and don't distress yourself.... They are playing at being
happy....

TYLTYL
I liked Light best of all.... Where's her lamp?... Can we light it?...
(_Looking round him again_.) Goodness me, how lovely it all is and how
glad I feel!...

MUMMY TYL
Why?...

TYLTYL
I don't know, mummy....

(_A knock at the front-door_.)

DADDY TYL
Come in, come in!...

(_Enter the_ NEIGHBOUR, _holding by the hand a little girl of a
fair and wonderful beauty, who carries_ TYLTYL'S _dove pressed in her
arms_.)

THE NEIGHBOUR
Do you see the miracle?...

MUMMY TYL
Impossible!... Can she walk?...

THE NEIGHBOUR
Can she walk?... She can run, she can dance, she can fly!... When she saw
the bird, she jumped, just like that, with one bound, to the window, to see
by the light if it was really Tyltyl's dove.... And then, whoosh!... Out
into the street, like an angel!... It was as much as I could do to keep
pace with her....

TYLTYL (_going up to her, wonderstruck_)
Oh, how like Light she is!...

MYTYL
She is much smaller....

TYLTYL
Yes, indeed!... But she will grow bigger....

THE NEIGHBOUR
What are they saying?... Haven't they got over it yet?...

MUMMY TYL
They are better, they are mending.... It will be all right when they have
had their breakfasts....

THE NEIGHBOUR (_pushing the_ LITTLE GIRL _into_ TYLTYL'S _arms_).
Come along, child, come and thank Tyltyl....

(TYLTYL, _suddenly frightened, takes a step back_.)

MUMMY TYL
Well, Tyltyl, what's the matter?.... Are you afraid of the little girl?...
Come, give her a kiss, a good big kiss.... No, a better one than that....
You're not so shy as a rule!... Another one!... But what's the matter with
you?... You look as if you were going to cry....

(TYLTYL, _after kissing the_ LITTLE GIRL _rather awkwardly, stands
before her for a moment and the two children look at each other without
speaking; then_ TYLTYL _strokes the dove's head_.)

TYLTYL
Is he blue enough?...

THE LITTLE GIRL
Yes, I am so pleased with him....

TYLTYL
I have seen bluer ones.... But those which are quite blue, you know, do
what you will, you can't catch them....

THE LITTLE GIRL
That doesn't matter; he's lovely....

TYLTYL
Has he had anything to eat?...

THE LITTLE GIRL
Not yet.... What does he eat?...

TYLTYL
Anything: corn, bread, Indian corn, grasshoppers....

THE LITTLE GIRL
How does he eat, say?...

TYLTYL
With his beak. You'll see, I will show you....

(_He moves in order to take the bird from the_ LITTLE GIRL'S _hands.
She resists instinctively; and, taking advantage of the hesitation of their
movements, the_ DOVE _escapes and flies away_.)

THE LITTLE GIRL (_with a cry of despair_)
Mother!... He is gone!... (_She bursts into sobs_.)

TYLTYL
Never mind.... Don't cry.... I will catch him again.... (_Stepping to the
front of the stage and addressing the audience_.) If any of you should
find him, would you be so very kind as to give him back to us?... We need
him for our happiness, later on....

CURTAIN

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