Happy Jack in "Farmer Brown's Boy Wakes With A Start"
Farmer Brown's Boy Wakes
With A Start
"Never think another crazy just because it happens you
Never've heard of just the thing that they have started out to do."
Isn't it queer how hard it seems to be for some boys to go to bed at the proper time and how much harder it is for them to get up in the morning? It was just so with Farmer Brown's boy. I suppose he wouldn't have been a real boy if it hadn't been so. Of course, while he was sick with the mumps, he didn't have to get up, and while he was getting over the mumps his mother let him sleep as long as he wanted to in the morning. That was very nice, but it made it all the harder to get up when he should after he was well again.
In summer it wasn't so bad getting up early, but in winter—well, that was the one thing about winter that Farmer Brown's boy didn't like.
On this particular morning Farmer Brown had called him, and he had replied with a sleepy "All right." and then had rolled over and promptly gone to sleep again. In two minutes he was dreaming just as if there were no such things as duties to be done. For a while they were very pleasant dreams, very pleasant indeed. But suddenly they changed. A terrible monster was chasing him. It had great red eyes as big as saucers, and sparks of fire flew from its mouth.
It had great claws as big as ice tongs, and it roared like a lion. In his dream Farmer Brown's boy was running with all his might. Then he tripped and fell, and somehow he couldn't get up again. The terrible monster came nearer and nearer. Farmer Brown's boy tried to scream and couldn't. He was so frightened that he had lost his voice. The terrible monster was right over him now and reached out one of his huge paws with the great claws. One of them touched him on the cheek, and it burned like fire.
With a yell, a real, genuine yell, Farmer Brown's boy awoke and sprang out of bed. For a minute he couldn't think where he was. Then with a sigh of relief he realized that he was safe in his own snug little room with the first Jolly Little Sunbeam creeping in at the window to wish him good morning and chide him for being such a lazy fellow. A thump and a scurry of little feet caught his attention, and he turned to see a Gray Squirrel running for the open window. It jumped up on the sill, looked out, then jumped down inside again, and ran over to a corner of the room, where he crouched as if in great fear.
It was clear that he had been badly frightened by the yell of Farmer Brown's boy, and that he was still more frightened by something he had seen when he looked out of the window.
A great light broke over Farmer Brown's boy. "Happy Jack, you little rascal, I believe you are the terrible monster that scared me so!" he exclaimed. "I believe you were on my bed, and that it was your claws that I felt on my face. But what ails you? You look frightened almost to death."
He went over to the window and looked out. A movement in the big maple tree just outside caught his attention. He saw a long, slim white form dart down the tree and disappear. He knew who it was. It was Shadow the Weasel.
"So that pesky Weasel has been after you again, and you came to me for help," said he gently, as he coaxed Happy Jack to come to him.
"This is the place to come to every time. Poor little chap, you're all of a tremble. I guess I know how you feel when a Weasel is after you. I guess you feel just as I felt when I dreamed that that monster was after me. My, but you certainly did give me a scare when you touched my face!" He gently stroked Happy Jack as he talked, and Happy Jack let him.
"Breakfast!" called a voice from downstairs.
"Coming!" replied Farmer Brown's boy as he put Happy Jack on the table by a dish of nuts and began to scramble into his clothes.