Happy Jack in "Who Saved Happy Jack Squirrel?"
Who Saved Happy
"Blessed he whose words of cheer
Help put hope in place of fear."
It never has been fully decided among the little people of the Green Forest and the Green Meadows just who really did save Happy Jack Squirrel. Some say that Tommy Tit the Chickadee deserves all the credit, and some say that—but wait. Let me tell you just what happened, and then perhaps you can decide for yourself who saved Happy Jack.
You see, it was this way: Happy Jack had run and run and run and tried every trick he knew to get away from Shadow the Weasel, but all in vain. At last he was so out of breath and so tired that he felt that he couldn't run any more. He had just made up his mind that he would wait right where he was for Shadow and then put up the best fight he could, even if it was hopeless, when he heard Tommy Tit calling to him in great excitement.
"Dee, dee, chickadee! Come here quick, Happy Jack! Come here quick!" called Tommy Tit.
A wee bit of hope sprang up in Happy Jack's heart. He couldn't imagine what possible help Tommy Tit could be, but he would go see. So taking a long breath he started on as fast as he could in the direction of Tommy's voice. He couldn't run very fast, because, you know, he was so tired, but he did the best he could. Presently he saw Tommy just ahead of him flying about in great excitement.
"Dee, dee, dee, there he is! Go to him! Go to him, Happy Jack! Hurry! Hurry! Dee, dee, dee, oh, do hurry!" cried Tommy Tit.
For just a second Happy Jack didn't know what he meant. Then he saw Farmer Brown's boy watching Tommy Tit as if he didn't know what to make of the little fellow's excitement.
"Go to him! Go to him!" called Tommy. "He won't hurt you, and he won't let Shadow the Weasel hurt you! See me! See me! Dee, dee, see me!" And with that Tommy Tit flew right down on Farmer Brown's boy's hand, for you know he and Farmer Brown's boy are great friends.
Happy Jack hesitated. He knew that Farmer Brown's boy had tried to make friends with him, and every day since the ice and snow had come had put out nuts and corn for him, but he couldn't quite forget the old fear of him. He couldn't quite trust him. So now he hesitated. Then he looked back.
Shadow the Weasel was only a few jumps behind him, and his little eyes glowed red and savage. Farmer Brown's boy might not hurt him, but Shadow certainly would. Shadow would kill him. Happy Jack made up his mind, and with a little gasp raced madly across the snow straight to Farmer Brown's boy and ran right up to his shoulder.
Shadow the Weasel had been so intent on catching Happy Jack that he hadn't noticed Farmer Brown's boy at all. Now he saw him for the first time and stopped short, snarling and spitting. Whatever else you may say of Shadow the Weasel, he is no coward. For a minute it looked as if he really meant to follow Happy Jack and get him in spite of Farmer Brown's boy, and Happy Jack trembled as he looked down into those angry little red eyes.
But Shadow knows when he is well off, and now he knew better than to come a step nearer. So he snarled and spit, and then, as Farmer Brown's boy took a step forward, leaped to one side and disappeared in the old stone wall.
Very gently and softly Farmer Brown's boy talked to Happy Jack as he took him to the nearest tree. Then, when Happy Jack was safely up in the tree, he went over to the stone wall and tried to drive Shadow the Weasel out. He pulled over the stones until at last Shadow jumped out, and then Farmer Brown's boy chased him clear into the Green Forest.
"Dee, dee, dee, what did I tell you?" cried Tommy Tit happily, as he flew over to where Happy Jack was sitting.
Now who really saved Happy Jack—Tommy Tit or Farmer Brown's boy?