“That’s what?” asked Mr. Crow in a sulky tone.
“I’ll tell you!” said Jimmy. “Yesterday the train stopped because it saw your red coat. That’s the way to stop a train. You wave a red flag or a red lantern at a train and it will always stop. But I’ve noticed that a train pays no attention to any other color. Now, you could wave something green, or yellow, or blue in front of a train; and no matter how hard you waved, it would go right on as if it never saw you at all.”
“Maybe you know,” Mr. Crow snapped. “And maybe you don’t. I said the train was afraid to stop. And I still think so.”
Jimmy Rabbit winked at the crowd in the tree.
“I must hop along now,” he told them. “I’m glad I came to see the race, for it has been even more fun than I expected.”
Then Jasper Jay gave Mr. Crow a great start.
“It’s too bad—” he said—“it’s too bad you can’t wear your red coat any more, Mr. Crow.”
“How’s that?” asked Mr. Crow quickly.
“You promised that if we didn’t say it was a good joke you’d never wear a checkered red coat again.”
Now, Mr. Crow had forgotten all about that remark. And for a moment he looked worried. Then he turned cheerful all at once.
“Look here!” he cried. “When I came back to this tree you all laughed, didn’t you?”
Everybody admitted that.
“Then there must have been a good joke somewhere,” Mr. Crow said. “And I shall wear my red coat as often as I please.”
No one really cared, anyhow, whether he did or whether he didn’t. But Mr. Crow was angry with Jasper Jay. And he refused to finish the game of checkers with him.
MR. CROW’S NEW COAT
When Mr. Crow decided, one fall, that he would stay in Pleasant Valley during the winter, instead of going South, he remembered at once that he would need a thick overcoat.
That was when he went to Mr. Frog’s tailor’s shop, for Mr. Frog, you know, was a tailor.
“I want you to make me a warm overcoat.” Mr. Crow told him. “Can you do it?”
“Certainly!” said Mr. Frog. “You’ve come to the right place. Everybody says that I’m the best tailor in Pleasant Valley.” And that was quite true—because he was the only one. “What’ll you have—stripes, checks, or spots?” Mr. Frog asked briskly.
“What do you suggest?” Mr. Crow replied. He had not thought much about his new coat—except that he wanted it to be warm.
“Spots, by all means!” said Mr. Frog. “I always wear ’em myself. They’re the best, to my mind. For if you happen to get a spot on your coat, what’s one spot more?”
“That’s a good idea,” Mr. Crow said. “And how much will you ask to make me a spotted coat?”
“I charge by the spot,” said Mr. Frog. “The more spots, the more the coat will cost. So I’d advise you to take a coat with large spots, because there’ll be fewer of ’em and the price will be less.”