That night Sammy Jay found a comfortable place which seemed quite safe in which to go to sleep. Just after jolly, round, red Mr. Sun went to bed behind the Purple Hills, Sammy saw Boomer the Nighthawk circling round high in the air catching his dinner. Sammy screamed twice. Boomer heard him and down he came with a rush.
“Why, Sammy Jay, what under the sun are you doing way off here?” exclaimed Boomer.
“Going to bed,” replied Sammy. “Say, Boomer, will you do something for me?”
“That depends upon what it is,” replied Boomer.
“It’s just an errand,” replied Sammy Jay, and then he asked Boomer to go down to the Green Meadows and tell Peter Rabbit how he, Boomer, had seen Sammy going to bed up in the far-away Old Pasture.
Boomer promised that he would, and off he started. He found Peter and told him. Of course Peter was very much surprised and, because he cannot keep his tongue still, he started off at once to tell everybody he could find, just as Blacky the Crow had thought he would do.
NO ONE BELIEVES PETER RABBIT
Peter Rabbit sat in his secret place in the middle of the Old Briar-patch. Peter was doing some very hard thinking. He ought to have been asleep, for he had been out the whole night long. But instead of sleeping, he was wide awake and thinking and thinking.
You see early the night before Boomer the Nighthawk had told Peter that Sammy Jay was up in the far-away Old Pasture. Boomer had seen him going to bed there and had come straight down to tell Peter. This was great news, and Peter could hardly wait for Boomer to stop talking, he was so anxious to spread the news over the Green Meadows and through the Green Forest, for Peter is a great gossip and cannot keep his tongue still.
So he had hurried this way and that way, telling every one he met how Sammy Jay had moved away to the Old Pasture. But no one believed him.
“Wait and see! Wait and see!” said Jimmy Skunk.
“It’s just a trick,” said Bobby Coon.
“But Boomer the Nighthawk saw him up there going to bed and talked with him!” cried Peter Rabbit.
“Perhaps he did and then again perhaps he didn’t,” replied Bobby Coon, carefully washing an ear of sweet milky corn that he had brought down to the Laughing Brook from Farmer Brown’s corn-field, for Bobby Coon is very, very neat and always washes his food before eating. “For my part,” he continued, “I believe that Boomer the Nighthawk just made up that story to help Sammy Jay fool us.”
“But that would be a wrong story, and I don’t believe that Boomer would do anything like that!” cried Peter.
Just then there was a shrill scream of “Thief! thief! thief!” over in the alder bushes. It certainly sounded like Sammy Jay’s voice.
“What did I tell you? Now what do you think?” cried Bobby Coon.