“I don’t know how you can find out who it is that’s making you all this trouble, but I’ll tell you how you can prove that it isn’t you that screams in the night,” said Blacky the Crow after a while.
“How?” asked Sammy Jay eagerly.
“Go away from the Green Meadows and the Green Forest and stay away for a week,” replied Blacky the Crow. “Go up to the far-away Old Pasture on the edge of the mountain, where Reddy and Granny Fox are living. Have Boomer the Nighthawk see you go to bed there, and then ask him to come straight down here and tell Peter Rabbit just where you are. Peter will tell every one else, for he can’t keep his tongue still, and then they’ll all know that it isn’t you that screams in the night.”
“The very thing!” cried Sammy Jay. “I’ll move at once!” And off he hurried to prepare to move up to the Old Pasture.
HOW BLACKY THE CROW’S PLAN WORKED OUT
“Thief! thief! thief!” Old Granny Fox, trotting along a cow-path in the Old Pasture on the edge of the mountain, heard it and grinned. Reddy Fox, sitting in the doorway of their new home under the great rocks in the midst of the thickest clump of bushes and young trees, heard it, too, and he grinned even more broadly than Granny Fox. It sounded good to him, did that harsh scream, for it was the first time he had heard the voice of a single one of the little meadow and forest people since he and Granny Fox had moved up to the lonesome Old Pasture.
“Now I wonder what has brought Sammy Jay way up here?” said Reddy, as he limped out to the edge of the thick tangle of bushes and young trees. Pretty soon he caught sight of a wonderful coat of bright blue with white trimmings.
“Hi, Sammy Jay! What are you doing up here?” shouted Reddy Fox.
Sammy Jay heard him and hurried over to where Reddy Fox was sitting.
“Hello, Reddy Fox! How are you feeling?” said Sammy Jay.
“Better, thank you. What are you doing way up here in this lonely place?” replied Reddy.
“It’s a long story,” said Sammy Jay.
“Tell it to me,” begged Reddy Fox.
So Sammy Jay told him all about the trouble he had had on the Green Meadows and in the Green Forest, and how hardly any one would speak to him because they said that he kept them awake by screaming in the night. He told how he had sat up all night and had heard what sounded like his own voice, when all the time he was sitting with his mouth shut as tight as tight could be. Then he told about Blacky the Crow’s plan, which was that Sammy should come to the Old Pasture and live for a week. Then, if the little people of the Green Meadows and the Green Forest heard screams in the night, they would know that it was not Sammy Jay who was waking them up. Reddy Fox chuckled as he listened. You know misery likes company, and it tickled Reddy to think that some one else had been forced to leave the Green Meadows and the Green Forest.