The next day, with Johnnie to help him, he set to work to build a monster scarecrow. It was twice as high as the tallest man that was ever seen. And for a hat Farmer Green set on its straw head a huge tin pan, which glittered when the sun shone upon it.
“That’ll fix him!” said Farmer Green, as he stood off and looked at the giant. And as for his son Johnnie, he danced up and down and shouted—he was so pleased.
But Mr. Crow was not pleased when he flew toward the cornfield the next day and saw the great figure of a man there, with a terrible glittering helmet upon his head. And Mr. Crow noticed something upon the giant’s shoulder that looked very like a gun.
The old gentleman swerved quickly to one side and never stopped his flight until he had reached the woods.
And that night Farmer Green felt quite merry.
“I’ve scared that old crow away at last,” he said.
It was several days before Mr. Crow stopped sulking. He was very angry with Farmer Green for placing the giant in the cornfield. And he told his friends that he had about made up his mind he would move to some other neighborhood.
“Farmer Green will be sorry after I’m gone,” he remarked. “He’ll miss me when he finds that his crops are being eaten by mildreds of insects.” Whether he meant millions or hundreds it would be hard to say. You see, Mr. Crow was not good at arithmetic. He always had trouble counting higher than ten.
And then, the very day before he had planned to move, Mr. Crow noticed something that made him change his mind. He was sitting in the top of a tall pine, looking mournfully across the cornfield, where he dared not go, when he saw a small bird drop down upon the giant’s head and disappear.
“He’s eaten her!” Mr. Crow exclaimed. But as he stared, the little bird appeared again and flew away.
Old Mr. Crow knew it was a mother wren; and he was not long in discovering that she had built a nest under the tin pan that the giant wore in place of a hat!
That was enough for Mr. Crow. The secret was out! The thing he had feared was nothing worse than a straw scarecrow, with a stick stuck over its shoulder to look like a gun.
The old gentleman felt quite foolish for a time. But he did not let that fact prevent his scratching up enough corn to make up for the meals he had lost.
After that he quickly recovered his spirits. And he forgot all about moving.
But if Mr. Crow felt merry, you may be sure that Farmer Green did not. It was his turn to feel foolish. And he vowed that he would get even with Mr. Crow, if it took him all summer.
Meanwhile, Mr. Crow grew careless. He really thought that Farmer Green wouldn’t be able to think of any other way of keeping him out of the cornfield. And he spent so much of his time there that he grew quite fat. He became somewhat short-breathed, too. And his voice grew wheezier than ever. But Mr. Crow did not mind those things. He was getting all the corn he could eat. And he was happy.