Happy Jack in "Sammy Jay Is Quite Upset"
Sammy Jay Is Quite Upset
"I know of nothing sweeter than
Success to Squirrel or to man."
Very few people can be all puffed up with pride without showing it. Happy Jack Squirrel couldn't. Just to have looked at him you would have known that he was feeling very, very good about something. When he thought no one was looking, he would actually strut. And it was all because he considered himself a very bold fellow. That was a new feeling for Happy Jack.
He knew that all his neighbors considered him rather timid, and many a time he had envied, actually envied Jimmy Skunk and Reddy Fox and Unc' Billy Possum and even Sammy Jay because they did such bold things and had dared to visit Farmer Brown's dooryard and henhouse in spite of Bowser the Hound.
But now he felt that he dared do a thing that not one of them dared do. He dared go right into Farmer Brown's house and make himself quite at home in the room of Farmer Brown's boy. He felt that he was a tremendously brave fellow. You see, he quite forgot one thing. He forgot that he had found out that love destroys fear, and that though it might look to others like a very bold thing to walk right into Farmer Brown's house, it really wasn't bold at all, because all the time he knew that no harm would come to him. It is never brave to do a thing that you are not afraid to do.
It had been brave of him to go in at that open window the first time, because then he had been afraid, but now he wasn't afraid, and so it was no longer either brave or bold of him.
Tommy Tit the Chickadee knew all this, and he used to chuckle to himself as he saw how proud of himself Happy Jack was, but he said nothing to any one about it. Of course, it wasn't long before others began to notice Happy Jack's pride. One of the first was Sammy Jay.
There is very little that escapes Sammy Jay's sharp eyes. Silently stealing through the Green Forest early one morning, he surprised Happy Jack strutting.
"Huh," said he, "what are you feeling so big about?"Like a flash the thought came to Happy Jack that here was a chance to show what a bold fellow he had become.
"Hello, Sammy!" he exclaimed.
"Are you feeling very brave this morning?"
"Me feeling brave? What are you talking about? If I was as timid as you are, I wouldn't ever talk about bravery to other people. If there is anything you dare to do that I don't, I've never heard of it," retorted Sammy Jay.
"Come on!" cried Happy Jack. "I'm going to get my breakfast, and I dare you to follow me!"Sammy Jay actually laughed right out.
"Go ahead. Wherever you go, I'll go," he declared.
Happy Jack started right away for Farmer Brown's house, and Sammy followed. Through the Old Orchard, across the dooryard and into the big maple tree Happy Jack led the way, and Sammy followed, all the time wondering what was up. He had been there many times. In fact, he had had many a good meal of suet there during the cold weather, for Farmer Brown's boy had kept a big piece tied to a branch of the maple tree for those who were hungry.
Sammy was a little surprised when he saw Happy Jack jump over on to the window-sill. Still, he had been on that window-sill more than once himself, when he had made sure that no one was near, and had helped himself to the cracked nuts he had found there.
"Come on!" called Happy Jack, his eyes twinkling.Sammy Jay chuckled.
"He thinks I don't dare go over there," he thought. "Well, I'll fool him."
With a hasty look to see that no danger was near, he spread his wings to follow Happy Jack on to the window-sill. Happy Jack waited to make sure that he really was coming and then slipped in at the open window and scampered over to a table on the farther side of the room and helped himself from a dish of nuts there.
When Sammy saw Happy Jack disappear inside he gave a little gasp. When he looked inside and saw Happy Jack making himself quite at home, he gasped again.
And when he saw a door open and Farmer Brown's boy enter, and still Happy Jack did not run, he was too upset for words. He didn't dare stay to see more, and for once in his life was quite speechless as he flew back to the Green Forest.