“Yo’ eat that!” she said shortly. “Yo’ look as if yo’ hadn’t had anything to eat to-day” (which was true). “Then yo’ hustle up to bed; it’s all ready fo’ yo’.”
Unc’ Billy did as he was bid, and as he tucked himself into his snug, warm bed he murmured sleepily:
“Ol’ Mrs. Possum has a sharp,
But her bark is worse than her bite.
For Ol’ Mrs. Possum has a soft, soft heart
Though she hides it way out of sight.”
SAMMY JAY IS INDIGNANT
Sammy Jay was indignant. Yes, Sir, Sammy Jay was very much put out. In fact, Sammy was just plain downright mad! It is bad enough to be found out and blamed for the things you really do, but to be blamed for things that you don’t do and don’t even know anything about is more than even Mr. Jaybird can stand. It had begun when he met Jimmy Skunk early in the morning.
“Hello, Sammy Jay! What were you doing up so late last night?” said Jimmy Skunk.
“I wasn’t up late; I went to bed at my usual hour, just after Mr. Sun went to bed behind the Purple Hills,” replied Sammy Jay.
“Oh, come, Sammy Jay, be honest for once in your life! It was a long, long, long time after Mr. Sun went to bed that I heard you screaming and making a great fuss over in the Green Forest. What was it all about?”
Sammy Jay stamped one foot. He was beginning to lose his temper. You know he loses it very easily. “I am honest!” he screamed. “I tell you I went to bed just as I always do, and I didn’t wake up until this morning.”
“Then you must talk something dreadful in your sleep,” said Jimmy Skunk, turning his back on Sammy Jay, who was so mad by this time that for a few minutes he couldn’t find his tongue. When he did, he flew off screaming at the top of his lungs. He was still screaming when he flew over the Old Briar-patch where Peter Rabbit was just beginning to doze off.
Peter was sleepy. He didn’t like to have his morning nap disturbed.
“Hi, Sammy Jay! Didn’t you make racket enough last night to give honest folks a little peace and quiet to-day?” shouted Peter Rabbit.
Sammy Jay flew up into a young cherry tree on the edge of the Old Briar-patch, and his eyes were fairly red with anger as he glared down at Peter Rabbit.
“What’s the joke, Peter Rabbit? That’s the second time this morning that I’ve been told that I was screaming last night, when all the time I was fast asleep,” said Sammy Jay.
“Then it’s a funny way you have of sleeping,” replied Peter Rabbit. “Come, Sammy, be honest and tell me what you were yelling ‘thief’ for, over in the Green Forest?”
“Peter Rabbit, you and Jimmy Skunk are crazy, just as crazy as loons!” sputtered Sammy Jay. “I tell you I was asleep, and I guess I ought to know!”
“And I guess I know your voice when I hear it!” replied Peter Rabbit. “It’s bad enough in daytime, but if I was you, I’d quit yelling in the night. Some one of these times Hooty the Owl will hear you, and that will be the end of you and your noise. Now go away; I want to sleep.”