Happy Jack in "Sammy Jay Upsets Happy Jack"
Sammy Jay Upsets
"A good deed well done often is overlooked, but you never are allowed to forget a mistake."
Sammy Jay chuckled as he flew across the snow-covered Green Meadows on his way to his home in the Green Forest. He chuckled and he chuckled. To have heard him you would have thought that either he had thought of something very pleasant, or something very pleasant had happened to him. Once he turned in the direction of Farmer Brown's house, but changed his mind as he saw the Black Shadows creeping out from the Purple Hills, and once more headed for the Green Forest.
"Too late to-day. Time I was home now. It'll keep until to-morrow," he muttered. Then he chuckled, and he was still chuckling when he reached the big hemlock tree, among the thick branches of which he spent each night.
"Don't know what started me off to the Old Pasture this afternoon, but I'm glad I went. My, my, my, but I'm glad I went," said he, as he fluffed out his feathers and prepared to tuck his head under his wing.
"It pays to snoop around in this world and see what is going on. I learned a long time ago not to believe everything I hear, and that the surest way to make sure of things is to find out for myself. Nothing like using my own eyes and my own ears. Well, I must get to sleep." He began to chuckle again, and he was still chuckling as he fell asleep.
The next morning Sammy Jay was astir at the very first sign of light. He waited just long enough to see that every feather was in place, for Sammy is a bit vain, and very particular about his dress. Then he headed straight for Farmer Brown's house. Just as he expected he found Happy Jack Squirrel was awake, for Happy Jack is an early riser.
"Good morning," said Sammy Jay, and tried very hard to make his voice sound smooth and pleasant, a very hard thing for Sammy to do, for his voice, you know, is naturally harsh and unpleasant.
"You seem to be looking as happy as ever."
"Of course I am," replied Happy Jack. "Why shouldn't I be? I haven't a thing to worry about. Of course I'm happy, and I hope you're just as happy as I am. I'm going to get my breakfast now, and then I'll be happier still."
"That's so. There's nothing like a good breakfast to make one happy," said Sammy Jay, helping himself to some suet tied to a branch of the maple tree.
"By the way, I saw an old friend of yours yesterday. He inquired after you particularly. He didn't exactly send his love, but he said that he hoped you are as well and fat as ever, and that he will see you again some time. He said that he didn't know of any one he likes to look at better than you."
Happy Jack looked flattered. "That was very nice of him," said he.
"Who was it?""Guess," replied Sammy.
Happy Jack scratched his head thoughtfully. There were not many friends in winter. Most of them were asleep or had gone to the far away southland.
"Ryder Rabbit," he ventured.
Sammy shook his head.
Again Sammy shook his head.
"Jumper the Hare!"
"Guess again," said Sammy, chuckling.
"Little Joe Otter!"
"Wrong," replied Sammy.
"I give up. Who was it? Do tell me," begged Happy Jack.
"It was Shadow the Weasel!" cried Sammy, triumphantly.Happy Jack dropped the nut he was just going to eat, and in place of happiness something very like fear grew and grew in his eyes.
"I—I don't believe you," he stammered. "Farmer Brown's boy took him away and put an end to him. I saw him take him."
But you didn't see him put an end to Shadow," declared Sammy, "because he didn't. He took him 'way up in the Old Pasture and let him go, and I saw him up there yesterday. That's what comes of guessing at things. Shadow is no more dead than you are. Well, I must be going along. I hope you'll enjoy your breakfast."
With this, off flew Sammy Jay, chuckling as if he thought he had done a very smart thing in upsetting Happy Jack, which goes to show what queer ideas some people have.
As for Happy Jack, he worried for a while, but as Shadow didn't come, and there was nothing else to worry about, little by little Happy Jack's high spirits returned, until he was as happy as ever. And now, though he has had many adventures since then, I must leave him, for there is no more room in this book. Perhaps if you ask him, he will tell you of these other adventures himself. Meanwhile, bashful little Mrs. Ryder Rabbit is anxious that you should know something about her. So I have promised to call the next book, "Mrs. Ryder Rabbit."