Late that afternoon Farmer Brown’s boy, who had been at school all day, came whistling into the yard. He noticed Happy Jack right away. “Hello! You back again! Isn’t one good meal a day enough?” he exclaimed.
“He’s been there all day,” said his mother, who had come to the door just in time to overhear him. “I don’t know what ails him.”
Then Farmer Brown’s boy noticed how forlorn Happy Jack looked. He remembered Happy Jack’s fright that morning.
“I know what’s the matter!” he cried. “It’s that Weasel. The poor little chap is afraid to go home. We must see what we can do for him. I wonder if he will stay if I make a new house for him. I believe I’ll try it and see.”
HAPPY JACK FINDS A NEW HOME
They say the very darkest
Are lined with silver bright and fair,
Though how they know I do not see,
And neither do I really care.
It’s good to believe, and so I try
To believe ’tis true with all my might,
That nothing is so seeming dark
But has a hidden side that’s bright.
Certainly things couldn’t look much darker than they did to Happy Jack Squirrel as he sat in the big maple tree at the side of Farmer Brown’s house, and saw jolly, round, red Mr. Sun getting ready to go to bed behind the Purple Hills. He was afraid to go to his home in the Green Forest because Shadow the Weasel might be waiting for him there. He was afraid of the night which would soon come. He was cold, and he was hungry. Altogether he was as miserable a little Squirrel as ever was seen.
He had just made up his mind that he would have to go look for a hollow in one of the trees in the Old Orchard in which to spend the night, when around the corner of the house came Farmer Brown’s boy with something under one arm and dragging a ladder. He whistled cheerily to Happy Jack as he put the ladder against the tree and climbed up. By this time Happy Jack had grown so timid that he was just a little afraid of Farmer Brown’s boy, so he climbed as high up in the tree as he could get and watched what was going on below. Even if he was afraid, there was comfort in having Farmer Brown’s boy near.
For some time Farmer Brown’s boy worked busily at the place where the branch that Happy Jack knew so well started out from the trunk of the tree towards the window of Farmer Brown’s boy’s room. When he had fixed things to suit him, he went down the ladder and carried it away with him. In the crotch of the tree he had left the queer thing that he had brought under his arm. In spite of his fears, Happy Jack was curious. Little by little he crept nearer. What he saw was a box with a round hole, just about big enough for him to go through, in one end, and in front of it a little shelf. On the shelf were some of the nuts that he liked best.