Happy Jack in "Happy Jack And Chatterer Feel Foolish"

 

 

Happy Jack And Chatterer

Feel Foolish

 

 

"If you get and spend a penny,
Then of course you haven't any.
Be like me—a Happy Jack—
And put it where you'll get it back."

 

Happy Jack and Chatterer were out of breath. Happy Jack was puffing and blowing, for it is not so easy for him to race about in the tree-tops as it is for his smaller, slim, nimble cousin, Chatterer. So Happy Jack was the first to stop. He sat on a branch way up in the top of the tall hickory tree and glared across at Chatterer, who sat on a branch on the other side of the tall tree.

 

"Couldn't catch me, could you, smarty?" taunted Chatterer.
"You just wait until I do! I'll make you sorry you ever came near my hickory tree," snapped Happy Jack.
"I'm waiting. Besides, it isn't your tree any more than it's mine," replied Chatterer, and made a face at Happy Jack.
Happy Jack hopped up as if he meant to begin the chase again, but he had a pain in his side from running so hard and so long, and so he sat down again.

 

Right down in his heart Happy Jack knew that Chatterer was right, that the tree didn't belong to him any more than to his cousin. But when he thought of all those big, fat nuts with which the tall hickory tree had been loaded, greedy thoughts chased out all thoughts of right and he said to himself again, as he had said when he first saw his cousin, that Chatterer shouldn't have one of them.

 

He stopped scolding long enough to steal a look at them, and then—what do you think Happy Jack did? Why, he gave such a jump of surprise that he nearly lost his balance. Not a nut was to be seen! Happy Jack blinked. Then, he rubbed his eyes and looked again. He couldn't see a nut anywhere! There were the husks in which the nuts had grown big and fat until they were ripe, but now every husk was empty.

 

Chatterer saw the queer look on Happy Jack's face, and he looked too. Now Chatterer the Red Squirrel had very quick wits, and he guessed right away what had happened. He knew that while they had been quarreling and racing over the top of the tall hickory tree, they must have knocked down all the nuts, which were just ready to fall anyway. Like a little red flash, Chatterer started down the tree. Then Happy Jack guessed too, and down he started as fast as he could go, crying, "Stop, thief!" all the way.

 

When he reached the ground, there was Chatterer scurrying around and poking under the fallen leaves, but he hadn't found a single nut. Happy Jack couldn't stop to quarrel any more, because you see he was afraid that Chatterer would find the biggest and fattest nuts, so he began to scurry around and hunt too. It was queer, very queer, how those nuts could have hidden so! They hunted and hunted, but no nuts were to be found.

 

Then they stopped and stared up at the top of the tall hickory tree. Not a nut could they see. Then they stared at each other, and gradually a foolish, a very foolish look crept over each face.

"Where—where do you suppose they have gone?" asked Happy Jack in a queer-sounding voice.

 

Just then they heard some one laughing fit to kill himself. It was Ryder Rabbit.

"Did you take our hickory nuts?" they both shouted angrily.

"No," replied Ryder, "no, I didn't take them, though they were not yours, anyway!" And then he went off into another fit of laughter, for Ryder had seen Striped Chipmunk very hard at work taking away those very nuts while his two big cousins had been quarreling in the tree-top.

Next!

Buster Bear in "Buster Bear Goes Fishing"
Buster Bear in "Buster Bear Goes Fishing"

Or read this!

Mrs. Quack in "Sammy Jay Sees Something Green"
Mrs. Quack in "Sammy Jay Sees Something Green"