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SAMMY JAY TELLS HIS TROUBLES TO REDDY FOX
SAMMY JAY could think of nothing but the terrible fright he had had at Farmer Brown's corn-crib. He had thrust his bill through a crack for a few grains of corn when something had seized his bill and hung on. Sammy didn't have the least bit of doubt that it was a trap of some kind set by Farmer Brown's boy. He flew down to the Green Forest to think it over and plan some way to get even with Farmer Brown's boy. As he sat there muttering to himself, along came Reddy Fox. For a wonder Reddy saw Sammy before Sammy saw him Reddy grinned. "Sammy certainly has got something on his mind," thought Reddy. Then he said aloud: "Hello, Sammy! What's the matter? You look as if you had the stomach-ache and the head-ache and a few other aches."
"Matter enough, Reddy Fox! Matter enough!" snapped Sammy. Then, because he felt that he just had to tell some one, he told Reddy all about his terrible fright that morning.
"It was a trap," said Sammy. "It was some kind of a trap set by Farmer Brown's boy. Just as if he couldn't spare a few grains of corn when he has got so much! I — I — I'd like to — to peck his eyes out! That's what I'd like to do!"
Sammy said that because it was the most dreadful thing he could think of, but he didn't really mean it. Reddy knew it and grinned, for he also knew that Sammy didn't dare go near enough to Farmer Brown's boy to more than scream at him. All the time he had been listening, Reddy had sat with his head cocked on one side, which is a way he has when he is thinking. Inside he was laughing, for Reddy knows a lot about traps and about Farmer Brown's boy, and he didn't believe that Farmer Brown's boy would ever set a trap in such a queer place as a crack in the wall of a corn-crib.
"He wouldn't bother to try to trap Sammy Jay; he would just watch with his gun and shoot Sammy if he really cared about the few grains of corn Sammy has taken," thought Reddy. "It was some one or something else that frightened Sammy. But it isn't the least bit of use to tell him so. I believe I'll have a look and see what is going on at that corn-crib." Aloud he said:
"That was a terrible experience, Sammy Jay, and I don't wonder that you were frightened. Are you going up there to-morrow morning?"
"What?" screamed Sammy. "Going up there again? What do you take me for? I guess I don't need but one lesson of that kind. There's plenty to eat in the Green Forest and on the Green Meadows without running any such risk as that. No, Sir, you won't catch me around Farmer Brown's corncrib again very soon. Not if my name is Sammy Jay!"
"You are wise, very wise," replied Reddy gravely. "It is always wise to keep out of danger." And with this Reddy trotted on up the Lone Little Path, and inside his red head were busy thoughts. Reddy had made up his mind that there was something very queer about Sammy Jay's fright, and he meant to find out about it. He would be on hand at the first peep of day the next morning and see what was going on around Farmer Brown's corn-crib.
And all day long Sammy Jay flew about through the Green Forest telling every one who would listen how Farmer Brown's boy had tried to trap him. Late that afternoon he visited the Old Orchard and told his story all over again to Chatterer the Red Squirrel, and Chatterer didn't so much as smile until after Sammy had left. Then he threw himself on the ground and rolled over and over and laughed until his sides ached.