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Sammy Jay
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SAMMY JAY hadn't had so much fun for a long time as he was having at the expense of Chatterer the Red Squirrel. No, Sir, Sammy hadn't had so much fun for as long as he could remember. You see, he and Chatterer never had been very good friends and always had played sharp tricks on each other whenever they had the chance. Sammy had not forgotten how Chatterer had stolen the eggs of Drummer the Woodpecker in the spring and then laid the blame on him, so that all the birds of the Old Orchard had driven him out until they discovered who the real thief was. Sammy had never forgotten or forgiven that sharp, mean trick. And now he was getting even. Right down in his heart he didn't want any real harm to come to Chatterer, but he did love to see him frightened. But his greatest fun was in matching his wits against those of Chatterer, for you know both have very sharp wits, as scamps are very apt to have.

Now all the time he had been mumbling and finding fault with the corn, Chatterer had brought from his storehouse in the hollow rail on the edge of the cornfield Sammy had only been pretending. Yes, Sir, he had simply been pretending. You see, he had thought of that store-house before Chatterer had and had thought Chatterer very stupid not to have remembered it in the first place. Now that Chatterer had remembered it, Sammy was glad, although he pretended not to be. Why was he glad? Well, you see, he knew that Chatterer was greatly tickled inside because he thought that he had proved himself smarter than Sammy, and all the time Sammy saw another chance to prove to Chatterer that he wasn't so smart as he thought himself.

When he left Chatterer, he flew straight to the Green Forest and from there to the edge of the Green Meadows. His sharp eyes searched the Green Meadows until they saw his cousin, Blacky the Crow. Sammy flew straight over to where Blacky was sitting. For a few minutes they talked together, and then both looked over to a tall, lone tree out in the middle of the Green Meadows, in the top of which sat a black form very straight and very still. In fact, to eyes less sharp than those of Sammy Jay and Blacky the Crow, it would have looked very much like a part of the tree. It was Roughleg the Hawk watching for Danny Meadow Mouse.


"Will you do it?" asked Sammy. "I don't dare to myself because he might have a notion that a fat Jay like me would make him a good dinner."

"Of course I'll do it," replied Blacky. "Old Roughleg never bothers me, and it will be a great joke."

"All right," replied Sammy. "Be on hand where you can see what happens to-morrow morning." And with that, Sammy Jay flew back to the Green Forest where he could watch.

In a few minutes Blacky the Crow flew over near the tree in which sat Roughleg the Hawk. Presently Sammy heard Blacky's harsh voice.

"Caw, caw, caw," said Blacky. Sammy smiled. It was a signal, and he knew that Blacky had done as he had said he would. Then Sammy flew off to look for some new mischief with which to amuse himself for the rest of the day.

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