He was scowling down at Shadow one morning and puzzling over this when a happy idea came to him. “I know what I’ll do!” he exclaimed. Without another word he picked up the cage with Shadow in it and started off across the Green Meadows, which now, you know, were not green at all but covered with snow. Happy Jack watched him out of sight. He had gone in the direction of the Old Pasture. He was gone a long time, and when he did return, the cage was empty.
Happy Jack blinked at the empty cage. Then he began to ask in a scolding tone, “What did you do with him? What did you do with him?”
Farmer Brown’s boy just smiled and tossed a nut to Happy Jack. And far up in the Old Pasture, Shadow the Weasel was once more free. It was well for Happy Jack’s peace of mind that he didn’t know that.
HAPPY JACK IS PERFECTLY HAPPY
Never say a thing is so
Unless you absolutely know.
Just remember every day
To be quite sure of what you say.
Taking things for granted doesn’t do at all in this world. To take a thing for granted is to think that it is so without taking the trouble to find out whether it is or not. It is apt not only to get you yourself into trouble, but to make trouble for other people as well. Happy Jack saw Farmer Brown’s boy carry Shadow the Weasel away in a cage, and he saw him bring back the cage empty. What could he have done with Shadow? For a while he teased Farmer Brown’s boy to tell him, but of course Farmer Brown’s boy didn’t understand Happy Jack’s language.
Now Happy Jack knew just what he would like to believe. He would like to believe that Farmer Brown’s boy had taken Shadow away and made an end of him. And because he wanted to believe that, it wasn’t very hard to believe it. There was the empty cage. Of course Farmer Brown’s boy wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of trapping Shadow unless he intended to get rid of him for good.
“He’s made an end of him, that’s what he’s done!” said Happy Jack to himself, because that is what he would have done if he had been in Farmer Brown’s boy’s place. So having made up his mind that this is what had been done with Shadow, he at once told all his friends that it was so, and was himself supremely happy. You see, he felt that he no longer had anything to worry about. Yes, Sir, Happy Jack was happy. He liked the house Farmer Brown’s boy had made for him in the big maple tree close by his own house. He was sure of plenty to eat, because Farmer Brown’s boy always looked out for that, and as a result Happy Jack was growing fat. None of his enemies of the Green Forest dared come so near to Farmer Brown’s house, and the only one he had to watch out for at all was Black Pussy. By this time he wasn’t afraid of her; not a bit. In fact, he rather enjoyed teasing her and getting her to chase him.