Happy Jack in "Happy Jack Squirrel Grows Very Bold"
Happy Jack Squirrel Grows
"When you find a friend in trouble
Pass along a word of cheer.
Often it is very helpful
Just to feel a friend is near."
Every day Happy Jack visited the window sill of Farmer Brown's house to call on Farmer Brown's boy, who was always waiting for him just inside the window. In fact Happy Jack had got into the habit of getting his breakfast there, for always there were fat, delicious nuts on the window-sill, and it was much easier and more comfortable to breakfast there than to hunt up his own hidden supplies and perhaps have to dig down through the snow to get them. Most people are just like Happy Jack—they do the easiest thing.
Each day Farmer Brown's boy looked more and more like himself. His cheeks stuck out less and less, and finally did not stick out at all. And now he smiled at Happy Jack with his mouth as well as with his eyes. You know when his cheeks had stuck out so, he couldn't smile at all except with his eyes. Happy Jack didn't know what had been the matter with Farmer Brown's boy, but whatever it was, he was better now, and that made Happy Jack feel better.
One morning he got a surprise. When he ran out along the branch of the tree that led to the window-sill he suddenly discovered something wrong. There were no nuts on the sill! More than this there was something very suspicious looking about the window. It didn't look just right. The truth is it was partly open, but Happy Jack didn't understand this, not then, anyway. He stopped short and scolded, a way he has when things don't suit him. Farmer Brown's boy came to the window and called to him. Then he thrust a hand out, and in it were some of the fattest nuts Happy Jack ever had seen.
His mouth watered right away. There might be something wrong with the window, but certainly the sill was all right. It would do no harm to go that far.
So Happy Jack nimbly jumped across to the window-sill. Farmer Brown's boy's hand with the fat nuts was still there, and Happy Jack lost no time in getting one. Then he sat up on the sill to eat it. My, but it was good! It was just as good as it had looked. Happy Jack's eyes twinkled as he ate. When he had finished that nut, he wanted another. But now Farmer Brown's boy had drawn his hand inside the window.
He was still holding it out with the nuts in it, but to get them Happy Jack must go inside, and he couldn't get it out of his head that that was a very dangerous thing to do. What if that window should be closed while he was in there? Then he would be a prisoner.
So he sat up and begged. He knew that Farmer Brown's boy knew what he wanted. But Farmer Brown's boy kept his hand just where it was.
"Come on, you little rascal," said he. "You ought to know me well enough by this time to know that I won't hurt you or let any harm come to you. Hurry up, because I can't stand here all day. You see, I've just got over the mumps, and if I should catch cold I might be sick again. Come along now, and show how brave you are."
Of course Happy Jack couldn't understand what he said. If he could have, he might have guessed that it was the mumps that had made Farmer Brown's boy look so like Striped Chipmunk when he has his cheeks stuffed with nuts.
But if he couldn't understand what Farmer Brown's boy said, he had no difficulty in understanding that if he wanted those nuts he would have to go after them. So at last he screwed up his courage and put his head inside. Nothing happened, so he went wholly in and sat on the inside sill. Then by reaching out as far as he could without tumbling off, he managed to get one of those nuts, and as soon as he had it, he dodged outside to eat it.
Farmer Brown's boy laughed, and putting the rest of the nuts outside, he closed the window. Happy Jack ate his fill and then scampered back to the Green Forest. He felt all puffed up with pride. He felt that he had been very, very bold, and he was anxious to tell Tommy Tit the Chickadee, who had not been with him that morning, how bold he had been.
"Pooh, that's nothing!" replied Tommy, when he had heard about it. "I've done that often."