THE OAK I will not conceal from you the deep and painful nature of my emotion.... This is the first time that it is given to us to judge Man and make him feel our power.... I do not think that, after the harm which he has done us, after the monstrous injustice which we have suffered, there can remain the least doubt as to the sentence that awaits him.
ALL THE TREES AND ANIMALS No! No! No!... No doubt at all!... Hanging!... Death!...
TYLTYL(to the CAT) Are they displeased?
THE CAT Don't be alarmed.... They are a little annoyed because Spring is late....
THE OAK We must now decide, in order to avoid reprisals, which form of execution will be the most practical, which will leave the fewest accusing traces when Man finds the little bodies in the forest.
TYLTYLWhat is all this about? I am getting tired of this.... He has got the Blue Bird; let him hand it over.
THE BULL(coming forward) The most practical and the surest way is a good butt with thehorns in the pit of the stomach.... Shall I go at him?
THE COW It would be better to keep quiet.... I won't meddle with it.... I have all the grass to browse in the field which you can see down there in the blue light of the moon.... I have quite enough to do.
THE BEECH I can offer my highest branch to hang them on.
THE IVY And I the slip-knot.
THE FIR-TREE And I the four planks for their little coffin.
THE CYPRESS And I a perpetual grant of a tomb.
THE WILLOW The simplest way would be to drown them in one of my rivers.
THE LIME-TREE I will undertake to form by plantingmyself all around.
THE PIGI think we should first eat the little girl.... She ought to be very tender.
THE OAK Silence!... What we have to decide is which of us shall have the honour of striking the first blow.
THE FIR-TREE That honour falls to you, our king and our patriarch.
THE OAK I am too old!... You, brother, ever green, to you be the glory, in default of myself, of the noble act of our deliverance.
THE FIR-TREE I thank you, venerable father.... But as I shall, in any case, have the honour of burying the two victims, I should be afraid of arousing the just jealousy of my colleagues; and I think that, next to ourselves, the Beech.
THE BEECH You know I am worm-eaten.... But the Elm and the Cypress have powerful weapons.
THE ELM I should be only too pleased; but I can hardly stand upright.... A mole twisted my great toe last night.
THE CYPRESS As for me, I am ready.... But, like my brother, the Fir-Tree, I shall have, if not the privilege of burying them, at least the advantage of weeping over their tomb.... Ask the Poplar.
THE POPLAR Me?... Are you serious?... Why, my wood is more tender than the flesh of a child!... And, besides, I don't know what's the matter with me.... I am shivering with fever.... I must have caught cold.
THE OAK You are afraid of Man!... Even those little children inspire you with the mysterious terror which has always made us the slaves that we are!... Enough of this! Things being as they are and the opportunity unequalled, I shall go forth alone, old, crippled, trembling, blind as I am, against the hereditary enemy!... Where is he?