Happy Jack in "A Dream Comes True"

 

 

A Dream Comes True

 

 

"What are all our dreams made up of
That they often are so queer?
Wishes, hopes, and fond desires
All mixed up with foolish fears."

 

Which is worse, to have a very beautiful dream never come true, or to have a bad dream really come true? Happy Jack Squirrel says the latter is worse, much worse. Dreams do come true once in a great while, you know. One of Happy Jack's did. It came true, and it made a great difference in Happy Jack's life. You see, it was like this:

 

Happy Jack had had so many things to think of that he had almost forgotten about Shadow the Weasel. Happy Jack hadn't seen or heard anything of him since Farmer Brown's boy had chased him into the Green Forest and so saved Happy Jack's life. Since then life had been too full of pleasant things to think of anything so unpleasant as Shadow the Weasel. But one night Happy Jack had a bad dream. Yes, Sir, it was a very bad dream.

 

He dreamed that once more Shadow the Weasel was after him, and this time there was no Farmer Brown's boy to run to for help. Shadow was right at his heels and in one more jump would have him. Happy Jack opened his mouth to scream, and—awoke.
He was all ashake with fright. It was a great relief to find that it was only a dream, but even then he couldn't get over it right away. He was glad that it was almost morning, and just as soon as it was light enough to see, he crept out.

 

It was too early to go over to Farmer Brown's house; Farmer Brown's boy wouldn't be up yet. So Happy Jack ran over to one of his favorite lookouts, a tall chestnut tree, and there, with his back against the trunk, high above the ground, he watched the Green Forest wake as the first Sunbeams stole through it. But all the time he kept thinking of that dreadful dream.

 

A little spot of black moving against the white snow caught his sharp eyes. What was it? He leaned forward and held his breath, as he tried to make sure. Ah, now he could see! Just ahead of that black thing was a long, slim fellow all in white, and that black spot was his tail. If it hadn't been for that, Happy Jack very likely wouldn't have seen him at all. It was Shadow the Weasel! He was running swiftly, first to one side and then to the other, with his nose to the snow. He was hunting. There was no doubt about that. He was hunting for his breakfast.

 

Happy Jack's eyes grew wide with fear. Would Shadow find his tracks? It looked very much as if Shadow was heading for Happy Jack's house, and Happy Jack was glad, very glad, that that bad dream had waked him and made him so uneasy that he had come out. Otherwise he might have been caught right in his own bed. Shadow was almost at Happy Jack's house when he stopped abruptly with his nose to the snow and sniffed eagerly. Then he turned, and with his nose to the snow, started straight toward the tree where Happy Jack was.

 

Happy Jack waited to see no more. He knew now that Shadow had found his trail and that it was to be a case of run for his life.
"My dream has come true!" he sobbed as he ran. "My dream has come true, and I don't know what to do!" But all the time he kept on running as fast as ever he could, which really was the only thing to do.

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