Robin waited, for he was afraid to move.
“If I begin to wander about,” he said to himself, “David will not find me, and he will go home and tell father I’m lost, when all the time he threw me off the horse because he was afraid and wanted to save himself.”
So the boy sat still, waiting to be fetched. The robin came and looked at him again, as if wondering that he did not pull up flowers by the roots and dig, so that worms and grubs might be found, and finally flitted away.
Then all at once there was the pattering of feet, and half-a-dozen deer came into sight, with soft dappled coats, and one of them with large flat pointed horns; but at the first movement Robin made they dashed off among the trees in a series of bounds.
Then there was another long pause, and Robin was thinking how hungry he was, when something dropped close to him with a loud rap, and looking up sharply, he caught sight of a little keen-eyed bushy-tailed animal, looking down from a great branch as if in search of something it had let fall.
“Squirrel!” said Robin aloud, and the animal heard and saw him at the same moment, showing its annoyance at the presence of an intruder directly. For it began to switch its tail and scold after its fashion, loudly, its utterances seeming like a repetition of the word “chop” more or less quickly made.
Finding its scolding to be in vain, and that the boy would not go, the squirrel did the next best thing—bounded along from bough to bough; while, after waiting wearily in the hope of seeing David, the boy began to look round this tree and the next, and finally made his way some little distance farther into the forest, to be startled at last by a harsh cry which was answered from first one place and then another by the noisy party of jays that had been disturbed in their happy solitude.
To Robin it was just as if the first one had cried “Hoi! I say, here’s a boy.” And weary with waiting, and hungry as he was, the constant harsh shouting irritated the little fellow so that he hurried away followed by quite a burst of what seemed to be mocking cries, with the intention of finding the track leading across the forest; but he had not gone far before he found himself in an open glade, dotted with beautiful great oak trees, and nearly covered with the broad leaves of the bracken, which were agitated by something passing through and beneath, giving forth a grunting sound. Directly after he caught sight of a long black back, then of others, and he saw that he was close to a drove of small black pigs, hunting for acorns. One of the pigs found him at the same moment and saluted him with a sharp, barking sound wonderfully like that of a dog.
This was taken up directly by the other members of the drove, who with a great deal of barking and grunting came on to the attack, for they did not confine themselves to threatening, their life in the forest making them fierce enough to be dangerous.