“If they are not all crazy, then I must be,” said. Sammy Jay to himself, as he turned away from the breakfast which he could not eat. Then he had a happy idea. “Why didn’t I think of it before? I’ll sleep all day, and then I’ll keep awake all night and see what happens then!” he exclaimed.
So Sammy Jay hurried away to the darkest part of the Green Forest and tried to sleep through the day.
SAMMY JAY SITS UP ALL NIGHT
Sammy Jay sat in the dark and shivered. Sammy was lonely, more lonely than he had ever supposed anybody could be. And to tell the truth Sammy Jay was scared. Yes, Sir, that was just the way Sammy Jay felt—scared. Every time a leaf rustled, Sammy jumped almost out of his skin. His heart went pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat. He could hear it himself, or at least he thought he could, and it seemed to him that if Hooty the Owl should happen to come along, he would surely hear it.
You see it was the first time in all his life that Sammy Jay had not gone to sleep just as soon as jolly, round, red Mr. Sun had pulled his rosy night-cap on and gone to bed behind the Purple Hills. But to-night Sammy sat in the darkest, thickest part of a big pine-tree and kept blinking his eyes to keep from going to sleep. He had made up his mind that he wouldn’t go to sleep at all that night, no matter how lonely and frightened he might be. He just would keep his eyes and his ears wide open.
What was he doing it for? Why, because all the little meadow and forest people insisted that every night lately Sammy Jay had spent a great part of his time screaming in the harsh, unpleasant way he does during the day, and some of them were very cross, because they said that he waked them up when they wanted to sleep. Now Sammy knew better. He never in his life had screamed in the night unless—well, unless he did it in his sleep and didn’t know it. So he had made up his mind to keep awake all of this night and see if in the morning any one would say that he had waked them up.
He had watched the black shadows creep through the Green Forest and grow blacker and blacker. The blacker they grew, the lonesomer he became. By and by it was so dark that he couldn’t see anything at all, and every little noise made him shiver. It is easy to be brave in daylight, but in the dark, when you cannot see a thing, every little sound seems twice as loud as it really is and gives you such a creepy, creepy feeling. Sammy Jay had it now. He felt so creepy that it seemed as if he would crawl right out of his skin. He kept saying over and over to himself: “There’s nothing to be afraid of. There’s nothing to be afraid of. I’m just as safe as if I was fast asleep.” But still he shivered and shook.
By and by, looking up through the top of the big pine-tree, he saw the little stars come out one by one. They seemed to be looking right down at him and winking at him in the jolliest way. Somehow, he didn’t feel quite so lonely then, and he tried to wink back. Then little, soft, silvery bars of light began to creep through the branches of the trees and along the ground. They were moonbeams, and Sammy could see just a little, a very little. He began to feel better.