Go ask Happy Jack Squirrel. He knows. He knows because he has proved it. It began when Farmer Brown’s boy saved him from Shadow the Weasel. Perhaps I should say when Farmer Brown’s boy and Tommy Tit saved him, for if it hadn’t been for Tommy, it never would have entered Happy Jack’s head to run to Farmer Brown’s boy. After that, of course, Happy Jack and Farmer Brown’s boy became great friends. Farmer Brown’s boy came over to the Green Forest every day to see Happy Jack, and always he had the most delicious nuts in his pockets. At first Happy Jack had been a wee bit shy. He couldn’t quite get over that old fear he had had so long. Then he would remember how Farmer Brown’s boy had saved him, and that would make him ashamed, and he would walk right up and take the nuts.
Farmer Brown’s boy would talk to him in the nicest way and tell him that he loved him, and that there wasn’t the least thing in the world to be afraid of. Pretty soon Happy Jack began to love Farmer Brown’s boy a little. He couldn’t help it. He just had to love any one who was so kind and gentle to him. Now as soon as he began to love a little, and felt sure in his own heart that Farmer Brown’s boy loved him a little, he found that love and love make more love, and it wasn’t any time at all before he had become very fond of Farmer Brown’s boy, so fond of him that he was almost jealous of Tommy Tit, who had been a friend of Farmer Brown’s boy for a long time. It got so that Happy Jack looked forward each day to the visit of Farmer Brown’s boy, and as soon as he heard his whistle, he would hasten to meet him. Some folks were unkind enough to say that it was just because of the nuts and corn he was sure to find in Farmer Brown’s boy’s pockets, but that wasn’t so at all.
At last there came a day when he missed that cheery whistle. He waited and waited. At last he went clear to the edge of the Green Forest, but there was no whistle and no sign of Farmer Brown’s boy. It was the same way the next day and the next. Happy Jack forgot to frisk about the way he usually does. He lost his appetite. He just sat around and moped.
When Tommy Tit the Chickadee came to call, as he did every day, Happy Jack found that Tommy was anxious too. Tommy had been up to Farmer Brown’s dooryard several times, and he hadn’t seen anything of Farmer Brown’s boy.
“I think he must have gone away,” said Tommy.
“He would have come down here first and said good-by,” replied Happy Jack.
“You—you don’t suppose something has happened to him, do you?” asked Tommy.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what to think,” replied Happy Jack, soberly. “Do you know, Tommy, I’ve grown very fond of Farmer Brown’s boy.”
“Of course. Dee, dee, dee, of course. Everybody who really knows him is fond of him. I’ve said all along that he is the best friend we’ve got, but no one seemed to believe me. I’m glad you’ve found it out for yourself. I tell you what, I’ll go up to his house and have another look around.” And without waiting for a reply, Tommy was off as fast as his little wings could take him.