For a long time Happy Jack looked and looked. Was it a trap? Somehow he couldn’t believe that it was. What would Farmer Brown’s boy try to trap him for when they were such good friends? At last the sight of the nuts was too much for him. It certainly was safe enough to help himself to those. How good they tasted! Almost before he knew it, they were gone. Then he got up courage enough to peep inside. The box was filled with soft hay. It certainly did look inviting in there to a fellow who had no home and no place to go. He put his head inside. Finally he went wholly in. It was just as nice as it looked.
“I believe,” thought Happy Jack, “that he made this little house just for me, and that he put all this hay in here for my bed. He doesn’t know much about making a bed, but I guess he means well.”
With that he went to work happily to make up a bed to suit him, and by the time the first Black Shadow had crept as far as the big maple tree, Happy Jack was curled up fast asleep in his new house.
FARMER BROWN’S BOY TAKES A PRISONER
The craftiest and cleverest,
the strongest and the bold
Will make mistakes like other folks, young, middle-aged, and old.
Happy Jack Squirrel was happy once more. He liked his new house, the house that Farmer Brown’s boy had made for him and fastened in the big maple tree close by the house in which he himself lived. Happy Jack and Farmer Brown’s boy were getting to be greater friends than ever. Every morning Happy Jack jumped over to the window-sill and then in at the open window of the room of Farmer Brown’s boy. There he was sure to find a good breakfast of fat hickory nuts. When Farmer Brown’s boy overslept, as he did sometimes, Happy Jack would jump up on the bed and waken him. He thought this great fun. So did Farmer Brown’s boy, though sometimes when he was very sleepy he pretended to scold, especially on Sunday mornings when he did not have to get up as early as on other days.
Of course, Black Pussy had soon discovered that Happy Jack was living in the big maple tree, and she spent a great deal of time sitting at the foot of it and glaring up at him with a hungry look in her eyes, although she wasn’t hungry at all, for she had plenty to eat. Several times she climbed up in the tree and tried to catch him. At first he had been afraid, but he soon found out that Black Pussy was not at all at home in a tree as he was. After that, he rather enjoyed having her try to catch him. It was almost like a game. It was great fun to scold at her and let her get very near him and then, just as she was sure that she was going to catch him, to jump out of her reach. After a while she was content to sit at the foot of the tree and just glare at him.
Happy Jack had only one worry now, and this didn’t trouble him a great deal. It was possible that Shadow the Weasel might take it into his head to try to surprise him some night. Happy Jack knew that by this time Shadow must know where he was living, for of course Sammy Jay had found out, and Sammy is one of those who tells all he knows. Still, being so close to Farmer Brown’s boy gave Happy Jack a very comfortable feeling.