Happy Jack in "Happy Jack Has A Happy Thought"
Happy Jack Has A
"Who runs when danger comes his way
Will live to run some other day."
Frightened and breathless, running with all his might from Shadow the Weasel, Happy Jack Squirrel was in despair. He didn't know what to do or where to go. The last time he had run from Shadow he had run to Farmer Brown's boy, who had just happened to be near, and Farmer Brown's boy had chased Shadow the Weasel away. But now it was too early in the morning for him to expect to meet Farmer Brown's boy. In fact, jolly, round, red Mr. Sun had hardly kicked his bedclothes off yet, and Happy Jack was very sure that Farmer Brown's boy was still asleep.
Now most of us are creatures of habit. We do the thing that we have been in the habit of doing, and do it without thinking anything about it. That is why good habits are such a blessing. Happy Jack Squirrel is just like the rest of us. He has habits, both good and bad. Of late, he had been in the habit of getting his breakfast at Farmer Brown's house every morning, so now when he began to run from Shadow the Weasel he just naturally ran in the direction of Farmer Brown's house from force of habit. In fact, he was halfway there before he realized in which direction he was running.
Right then a thought came to him. It gave him a wee bit of hope, and seemed to help him run just a little faster. If the window of Farmer Brown's boy's room was open, he would run in there, and perhaps Shadow the Weasel wouldn't dare follow! How he did hope that that window would be open! He knew that it was his only chance. He wasn't quite sure that it really was a chance, for Shadow was such a bold fellow that he might not be afraid to follow him right in, but it was worth trying.
Along the stone wall beside the Old Orchard raced Happy Jack to the dooryard of Farmer Brown, and after him ran Shadow the Weasel, and Shadow looked as if he was enjoying himself. No doubt he was. He knew just as well as Happy Jack did that there was small chance of meeting Farmer Brown's boy so early in the morning, so he felt very sure how that chase was going to end, and that when it did end he would breakfast on Squirrel.
By the time Happy Jack reached the dooryard, Shadow was only a few jumps behind him, and Happy Jack was pretty well out of breath. He didn't stop to look to see if the way was clear. There wasn't time for that. Besides, there could be no greater danger in front than was almost at his heels, and so, without looking one way or another, he scampered across the dooryard and up the big maple tree close to the house. Shadow the Weasel was surprised. He had not dreamed that Happy Jack would come over here.
But Shadow is a bold fellow, and it made little difference to him where Happy Jack went. At least, that is what he thought.
So he followed Happy Jack across the dooryard and up the maple tree. He took his time about it, for he knew by the way Happy Jack had run that he was pretty nearly at the end of his strength. "He never'll get out of this tree," thought Shadow, as he started to climb it. He fully expected to find Happy Jack huddled in a miserable little heap somewhere near the top.
Just imagine how surprised he was when he discovered that Happy Jack wasn't to be seen. He rubbed his angry little red eyes, and they grew angrier and redder than before.
"Must be a hollow up here somewhere," he muttered. "I'll just follow the scent of his feet, and that will lead me to him."
But when that scent led him out on a branch the tip of which brushed against Farmer Brown's house Shadow got another surprise. There was no sign of Happy Jack. He couldn't have reached the roof. There was no place he could have gone unless—. Shadow stared across at a window open about two inches.
"He couldn't have!" muttered Shadow.
"He wouldn't dare. He couldn't have!"
But Happy Jack had. He had gone inside that window.