Turkey and Bones and Eating and We Liked It — A Play by Gertrude Stein

Turkey and Bones and Eating and We Liked It

A Play


Gertrude Stein


He was very restless. He does not like to stand while he picks flowers. He does not smell flowers. He has a reasonable liking for herbs. He likes their smell. He is not able to see storms. He can see anything running. He has been able to be praised.


Polybe and seats.

Straw seats which are so well made that they resemble stools. They are all of straw and thick. They are made with two handles.

Genevieve and cotton.

I do not like cotton drawers. I prefer wool or linen. I admit that linen is damp. Wool is warm. I believe I prefer wool.

Minorca and dogs.

I like a dog which is easily understood as I have never had the habit of going out except on Sunday. Now I go out every day.

Anthony and coal.

I believe that coal is better than wood. If coal is good it burns longer. In any case it is very difficult to get here.

Felix and a letter.

I do not wish to reply to a telegram, not because I find it difficult to explain in it that I wished to see you. I did wish to see you.

Mr. Clement.

It gives me great pleasure to meet you. I am feeling well today and I see that you are enjoying the mild weather. It will continue so. I hope you will be pleased. I will present myself to you in saying that I am certain that you are deriving pleasure from your winter. I am certainly eager.


He is too difficult. I mean he is too difficult. I don’t believe you understand me yet. He is too difficult.


She would not insist. We were to have a saddle of mutton. We were served first with a not distasteful supply of vegetables. There was ham in it and pork. These had boiling and they were a sauce. Let me tell you about the german.

A little girl.

I can tell blue when I see it.

A German.



We expect to go home.


When the cigarettes come. I know these were stale. If I go to the war I will be readily excused because I am lame. You have every reason to be lame. You are a waiter but the out of door life may do you good.


I could not leave the house as I was expecting the reparation of a mattress.

You did not find it necessary to leave the house.

Not in the morning.

William and Mary.

William is William and he does not use any precaution. He is not very adroit.

She. Will you drink wine.

I do.

I know that but will you take any now.

I don’t mind the taste of it.

This is really not wine. It is a concoction of brown sugar and water and fermented juice. I call it wine it is a drink. I did not know it was not wine.

The count.

Why does the count wish for this house. He wishes for it because it has all conveniences. It really hasn’t but it is better situated than the one he has now.

Raymond and Jenny.

I do like a Spanish name a Spanish name always begins with a V.

We went together.

We went together and we did not go to the Opera. The opera that was being given was Boris Goudonoff.


A whole collection of stamps. A family meeting.

Where did you get it.

I got it when I saw the envelope.

Where did you see it.

Don’t hold it.

Don’t spoil it.

Let me see it.


Thanks so much.

I thank you.

I thank you for your kindness.

Please make a collection of flowers.

Collecting flowers is not a misery. You have to carry something a handkerchief will do and more than that is perfectly selfish.

We are not perfectly selfish.

William. Do be persevering.

Mrs. Clement. I am. I do not leave my house.

Genevieve. Don’t you leave your house.

Mr. and Mrs. Clement. We do.

Maud. The hills would be better than water. We like water.

Mrs. Clement. Everybody likes water.

Maud. And fish.

Genevieve. I do not care for the fish here.

William. Radishes.

Maud. Radishes are strong.

Mrs. Clement. I am glad to have seen you.


An interlude.

If you were a Breton and read a book and understood Spanish would you be richer than a frenchman who talked in a field. If a man talked in a field and told about papers and contraband and laughed would you see a resemblance in him to a Swiss. I would. This is what happened. He says it is very necesssary to be young to be young and unmarried and then you can not do as you please. You can not go where you please. He believed that it was alright. I am certain that he understood talking. He also laughed. I am not convinced that ploughing is safe. Ploughing is done with a plough and under a tree. Dogs bark, little dogs bark the horse and sometimes a mule and sometimes a donkey. The people say leave it to me. I will not.



Listen to me.

I will not.

Then do not listen to me.

I heard you when you said it. I like to see goats feed.

And so do I like to see them lay the tracks.

They are laying them for the electrical railroad.

Sarah. I don’t like him. I don’t like his ways. I don’t like it and I will not say it. I will do as you do and you do it so nicely. I will do as you do and then we were right. We were right to ask him to come in. He will not come in. I will not go out. We will not stay there. We will say yes certainly, we are not very busy. Yes please see that you have the things you want. You have not been given them. Don’t fail to come again when you need them.

A Farmer.

A fisherman.

We don’t like to look at a wall.

A Fisherman and a farmer.

They both believe in fish. Fish is a fertilizer. It cannot be found in the bay. You do not have to go out far. You have to have a great many boats.

An English mother.

You make me quite afraid of dogs.


A water faucet.

We were very likely to meet one another. None of us have running water. The count Rangle had.

We were all fond of winter. We said we liked summer. The trouble with the summer is that it is too hot. You see I am convinced.


Harold is your name. I thought it was Martin.

It is Martin or Mark.

Thank you.

You speak English.

Yes certainly.

And french.

Very nicely.

And Hindustani.

My mother does.

I supposed she did.

We had never thought about it.



We are deserted. We are left alone. They are going to Paris. We stay here.

Minorca. And there is such a nice view.

A dinner.


Every day.

Yes every day.

In the morning.

We will ride. We will come home. Yes we will. Don’t bother. Yes you need to we understand. We will meet you at half past one old time. You need never be drunk. It is an older word.

Do be clear.

Golly Moses it is damp out here.

Any little piece of paper makes a wind.

Yes yes.

Anthony and Cleopatra.

Do you like him. I must go and see the workingmen.

Do you like them they are giving our son a knife.

Whom does he resemble. The son resembles his mother. Don’t say it.

Why not.

Because the father does not prefer to hear it. He prefers to hear that the son resembles him.

The son resembles him but he looks like his mother.

They wish him to have every advantage.

Change of scene.

In walking home we did not go that way. I had my reason for not going that way. I did not care about losing a button. As a matter of fact I didn’t lose it.

Winnie and William.

How are they today.

They are going away.

We are going away.

I am sorry.

We are not sorry.

No I cannot say whether we are not sorry.

We are not sorry.

Another climate.

The ponds are frozen. We did not read that today.

Mike wrote it.

We were very careful to look at the water.

It was not cold here.

There are a great many times when there is rain.

Oh yes.

All right.


He came in.

What is the name of it.

I cannot say it.

Do not say it.

I do not care to look at any one.

I do.

Then please yourself.

I do not understand electricity.

I do.

I do not understand hail.

I can explain it.

I do not care for history.

I can read it.

I do not care about individual wishes.

I understand it.

Plenty of people do love another.


Loud voices are attractive. When two people talk together they have to talk louder.

I wish you would not talk about summer. Say anything you please but don’t say that you are not to stay here altogether. I do not want it known.

Alright. We will stay here altogether.

That is not my wish. We will stay here for the winter. The summer climate is not possible.

I quite agree with you.

Do you.

Yes I do.

No I can’t say that.


You know it is the words of a song.

I know what you mean.

Of course you do.

This is the end of this month.

Next month will be shorter.


Because it is December.

I understand that.

Of course you do.

They have gone away.

William. I am drinking.

Maria. I am so sorry to go.

Henrietta. I cannot understand departure because if you are french you attend mass.

Sarah. I quite agree with you I think it unforgiveable.

Mrs. Clement. And they are.

Mr. Penfield. We are very often forgetful.

Many of us think of things.

How many times have you been defeated.



Turning and sleeping.

What did you say. I said I am closing the door. Very well.

Henrietta. John and I are bewildered.

So are William and Monica.

Henrietta. The difference between us is that we know what we want.

Oh do you.

Henrietta knows.

Henrietta. Why are you shutting the door.

Because it is the habit. It really isn’t necessary.

Then why do you do it.

Henrietta. Every one knows William and Monica.

Yes and every one knows how they started.

How did they start.

By quarreling with their landlord.

Indeed yes.

It was not a comfortable house in summer.

They knew this.

No they didn’t.

You are quite right they didn’t.


Go on.

Go on and on.

The day I was settled down to making a fire I found that it came very easily. All I had to do was to be here when the wood came. We had not ordered any water.


Mrs. Chambers. When did you leave him.

I didn’t leave you.

I know you didn’t then and I am vainly wishing for a postman.

What did you wish of him.

I wish to tell him that I don’t want my packages open.

How do you know where they are open.

I know that they are not opened here I mean in this house.

I understand what you mean.


A mother. Do not listen to a mass.

Another mother. I have left my children at home.

A son. I have no engagement on Wednesday.

A niece. I go out frequently.

Do you.

Oh yes.

Do you go out with your aunt.

We go out together.

Mrs. Hitchcock. I do not understand wishes.

A large time is not a sentence we use.

That I understood.

Two Englishmen have searched for a Polish flag. They found it not the flag of the nation the flag of war and commerce.

Thank you so much.


The life of the turkey.

Who is cruel.

Not the little boy he lifts it in his arms.

No the other one. He is a guardian. They are all placing their confidence in them.

The life of the turkies here exist after Christmas. We were surprised to see that. So many of them were eaten that we supposed there were no more.

The life of the turkey.

In church.

Here in church.

Nonsense I will not say I prefer suckling pig.

I don’t know but that I do.

I like grouse.

To eat.

And also.

Chicken liver.

Arthur Llynn. Come and rest.

Helen Lewis. We are waiting for the letter carrier.

Is he coming today.

I don’t know.


Come in Come in

Mary and Susan. Shall we come again.

Andrew. Yes that’s the name.

What I want you to know is the origin of it all.

The one is a soldier, the other an admiral the third a gypsy.

We were not pleased.

Captain Rose. You must pronounce after me. A fire in the kitchen not against the outer wall.

Yes we know that.

I have been convinced.

Don’t you like it’s appearance.

Very much.

I am not satisfied.

With what with it’s appearance.

I expected it to be white.

Oh that can be arranged afterward.

Yes I see.

You are going.

May we stay a little while.


It was rarely neglected. Come in Herbert.

I recognise the name Herbert.

Come in.

We are going out.

Do you like walking.

Very much.

Do you like the sound of the waves.

Yes certainly.

Do you like them near or at distance.

The effect is different far and near.

Yes so it is.

Which do you prefer.

I have no choice.

This evening we will have to be cold.

But not at all.

Yes indeed and I mean to speak to my landlord about it.



Clarence for a change.

If you have as vacation one day a month and you take it every six months you have six days vacation. In those six days you can visit your family in the country or you can work in your garden or you can make changes in the position of the wall you can do all this and then there will be six days in six months. If you are not able to be about this will be counted off of the days.

The french language.

Who is it.

What was I saying.

You were saying that you were able to be at home.

Yes I am able to be at home.

Then this is what troubles you.

No it does not trouble me. It makes me realize that I do not wish to leave.

Of course you do not wish to leave.

Yes that was understood.

Did you say that you listened.

Were you speaking what did you wish.

I wish not to be disturbed.

Oh yes we will leave in the spring.

I am not satisfied with what is right.


Come again.

Mr. Picard. He was dedicated to him.

Was he.

Do you feel happy.

All the time.

Do not be


I was.

And I saw


There are mountains.

And the water.

We are really not interested in the country if there is no water.

You mean salt water.


Do not dispute about it.

It is unlucky to wish any one happy new year before the new year.


Do you want me to go on.

Yes I want you to go on.

Where shall we walk tomorrow.

Tonight you mean.

Not not this evening.

Yes I understand.

Where shall we walk tomorrow.

To Fernville.

No not to Fernville.

To Arbuthnot.

No not to Arbuthnot.

In the park.

No not the park.

Well then let’s walk along by the water.

No let’s not go that way.

Then let us walk to Wintersdale.

Yes let’s walk to Wintersdale.

Very well then.

Where are you going this afternoon.

We are going down town.

Oh yes you have a good deal to do.

Yes we have a good deal to do.

Will you go in the morning.

As you like.


Come happily.

Yes we come very happily.

There is very good reason for suspecting Mr. Bournville.

Is there.

Yes very good reason.

What is the reason.

The real reason is that he has been incorrect.

How has he been incorrect.

He has been altogether incorrect as to the necessity of having water.

Do you mean to say that he said it would be difficult to have water.

He said so.

But it hasn’t been

No indeed.

That may be because the season is different.

That may be the reason. In any case he is pardonable.

In any case he is pardonable.

You agree with me.

Yes I agree with you.

Do you always agree with me.

You know I always agree with you.

Then that is satisfactory.

To me.

And to me too.


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