Happy Jack in "Striped Chipmunk Is Kept Very Busy"
Stripped Chipmunk Is
Kept Very Busy
"I prefer big acorns but I never refuse little ones.
They fit in between."
Striped Chipmunk was sitting just inside a hollow log, studying about how he could fill up his new storehouse for the winter. Striped Chipmunk is very thrifty. He likes to play, and he is one of the merriest of all the little people who live on the Green Meadows or in the Green Forest. He lives right on the edge of both and knows everybody, and everybody knows him.
Almost every morning the Merry Little Breezes of Old Mother West Wind hurry over to have a frolic with him the very first thing. But though he dearly loves to play, he never lets play interfere with work. Whatever he does, be it play or work, he does with all his might.
"I love the sun; I love the rain;
I love to work; I love to play.
Whatever it may bring to me
I love each minute of each day."
So said Striped Chipmunk, as he sat in the hollow log and studied how he could fill that splendid big new storehouse. Pretty soon he pricked up his funny little ears. What was all that noise over in the Green Forest? Striped Chipmunk peeped out of the hollow log. Over in the top of a tall hickory tree a terrible fuss was going on. Striped Chipmunk listened. He heard angry voices, such angry voices! They were the voices of his big cousins, Happy Jack the Gray Squirrel and Chatterer the Red Squirrel.
"Dear me! Dear me! How those two do quarrel! I must go over and see what it is all about," thought Striped Chipmunk. So, with a flirt of his funny, little tail, he scampered out of the hollow log and over to the tall hickory tree. He knew all about that tree. Many, many times he had looked up at the big fat nuts in the top of it, watching them grow bigger and fatter, and hoping that when they grew ripe, Old Mother West Wind would find time to shake them down to him.
You know Striped Chipmunk is not much of a climber, and so he cannot go up and pick the nuts as do his big cousins, Happy Jack and Chatterer. When he reached the tall hickory tree, what do you think was happening? Why, those big, fat nuts were rattling down to the ground on every side, just as if Old Mother West Wind was shaking the tree as hard as she could. But Old Mother West Wind wasn't there at all. No, Sir, there wasn't even one of the Merry Little Breezes up in the tree-tops.
The big fat nuts were rattling down just on account of the dreadful quarrel of Striped Chipmunk's two foolish cousins, Happy Jack and Chatterer. It was all because Happy Jack was greedy. Chatterer had climbed the tree, and now Happy Jack, who is bigger but not so spry, was chasing Chatterer round and round and over the tree-top, and both were so angry that they didn't once notice that they were knocking down the very nuts over which they were quarreling.
Striped Chipmunk didn't stop to listen to the quarrel. No, Sir-ee! He stuffed a big fat nut in each pocket in his cheeks and scampered back to his splendid new storehouse as fast as his little legs would take him. Back and forth, back and forth, scampered Striped Chipmunk, and all the time he was laughing inside and hoping his big cousins would keep right on quarreling.