A little spot of black moving against the white snow caught his sharp eyes. What was it? He leaned forward and held his breath, as he tried to make sure. Ah, now he could see! Just ahead of that black thing was a long, slim fellow all in white, and that black spot was his tail. If it hadn’t been for that, Happy Jack very likely wouldn’t have seen him at all. It was Shadow the Weasel! He was running swiftly, first to one side and then to the other, with his nose to the snow. He was hunting. There was no doubt about that. He was hunting for his breakfast.
Happy Jack’s eyes grew wide with fear. Would Shadow find his tracks? It looked very much as if Shadow was heading for Happy Jack’s house, and Happy Jack was glad, very glad, that that bad dream had waked him and made him so uneasy that he had come out. Otherwise he might have been caught right in his own bed. Shadow was almost at Happy Jack’s house when he stopped abruptly with his nose to the snow and sniffed eagerly. Then he turned, and with his nose to the snow, started straight toward the tree where Happy Jack was. Happy Jack waited to see no more. He knew now that Shadow had found his trail and that it was to be a case of run for his life.
“My dream has come true!” he sobbed as he ran. “My dream has come true, and I don’t know what to do!” But all the time he kept on running as fast as ever he could, which really was the only thing to do.
HAPPY JACK HAS A HAPPY THOUGHT
Who runs when danger comes
Will live to run some other day.
Frightened and breathless, running with all his might from Shadow the Weasel, Happy Jack Squirrel was in despair. He didn’t know what to do or where to go. The last time he had run from Shadow he had run to Farmer Brown’s boy, who had just happened to be near, and Farmer Brown’s boy had chased Shadow the Weasel away. But now it was too early in the morning for him to expect to meet Farmer Brown’s boy. In fact, jolly, round, red Mr. Sun had hardly kicked his bedclothes off yet, and Happy Jack was very sure that Farmer Brown’s boy was still asleep.
Now most of us are creatures of habit. We do the thing that we have been in the habit of doing, and do it without thinking anything about it. That is why good habits are such a blessing. Happy Jack Squirrel is just like the rest of us. He has habits, both good and bad. Of late, he had been in the habit of getting his breakfast at Farmer Brown’s house every morning, so now when he began to run from Shadow the Weasel he just naturally ran in the direction of Farmer Brown’s house from force of habit. In fact, he was halfway there before he realized in which direction he was running.
Right then a thought came to him. It gave him a wee bit of hope, and seemed to help him run just a little faster. If the window of Farmer Brown’s boy’s room was open, he would run in there, and perhaps Shadow the Weasel wouldn’t dare follow! How he did hope that that window would be open! He knew that it was his only chance. He wasn’t quite sure that it really was a chance, for Shadow was such a bold fellow that he might not be afraid to follow him right in, but it was worth trying.