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Sammy Jay
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When people lose their tempers

     Oh what a sorry sight!
They call each other dreadful names,
     And sometimes scratch and bite.
The Merry Little Breezes ran
     And hid themselves away
When Chatterer his temper lost,
     And so did Sammy Jay.

IT really was too dreadful! It quite spoiled the day for all the little people who were within sound of their voices. You see, when Sammy Jay discovered that it was Chatterer and not a trap set by Farmer Brown's boy that had given him such a fright at Farmer Brown's corn-crib, right away Sammy's temper just boiled right over. Chatterer had his mouth so full of corn that he couldn't say a word, but he could run; and run he did, scampering across Farmer Brown's dooryard to the shelter of the old stone wall at the edge of the Old Orchard with Sammy after him, screaming "Thief! thief! thief!" at the top of his lungs.

"My gracious, what a racket!" exclaimed Farmer Brown's boy, as he opened the door. "That Jay is making such a fuss that I should think there was a fox about." He put his milk-pails down and stepped back into the house. In a minute he was out again, with his terrible gun in his hands. He went straight to the old stone wall where only a few minutes before Reddy Fox had been hiding, and it was well for Reddy that he had slipped away the minute Sammy Jay began to scream at Chatterer. Farmer Brown's boy looked disappointed when he saw no signs of Reddy. Then he went over to the little house of Bowser the Hound and unchained Bowser.

Bowser wagged his tail and yelped with delight when he saw the gun, for he dearly loves to hunt. He ran ahead back to the Old Orchard, and almost at once his great, deep voice told all within hearing that his wonderful nose had found the tracks of Reddy Fox.

"I thought so," said Farmer Brown's boy. "I thought there had been a fox here." Then he sighed, for he would have liked nothing better than to go hunt for Reddy. But there were the empty milk-pails, and Farmer Brown's boy is not the kind who run away for pleasure when there is work to be done.

Sammy Jay had flown away as soon as he saw Farmer Brown's boy and his terrible gun. Chatterer had hidden in the old stone wall, where he safely stored away the corn with which his cheeks had been stuffed. As soon as Farmer Brown's boy had gone to the barn to milk the cows, Sammy Jay slipped back to the Old Orchard to look for Chatterer, and his temper hadn't improved a bit. He soon saw Chatterer running along the old wall and once more began to scream "Thief! thief!" And now that his mouth was empty, Chatterer could reply, and you know Chatterer has one of the worst tongues of all the little people of the Green Forest.

"Thief yourself!" he screamed back. "Thief yourself! You stole my corn!"

"It isn't your corn any more than it's mine!" screamed Sammy. "I told you about it in the first place. Thief! thief! thief!"

And from that, they fell to calling each other worse things. The Old Orchard never had heard such a quarrel, never. It was dreadful! All day long they kept it up. Twice Farmer Brown's boy came down to see if that fox had come back, and scratched his head, and wondered what all the fuss was about. At last Sammy Jay had a thought.

"I'm going straight over to the Green Forest to tell Shadow the Weasel where you are living! "he cried suddenly. "When he finds you, you won't steal any more corn or be so greedy that you won't let other people have a share."

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