“I’ll try Johnny Chuck; he’ll know,” said Sammy to himself.
He found Johnny sitting on his doorstep, watching the world go by.
“Good morning, Johnny Chuck,” said Sammy, with a low bow.
“Good morning,” replied Johnny Chuck, who always is polite.
“Isn’t that a fine secret of Peter Rabbit’s?” exclaimed Sammy, just as if he knew all about it.
Johnny Chuck raised his eyebrows and put on the most surprised look.
“Do tell me what it is!” he begged.
“Oh, if you don’t know, I won’t tell, for that wouldn’t be fair,” replied Sammy, and tried to look very honest and innocent, and then he flew over to the Green Forest. And as he flew, he said to himself: “Johnny Chuck can’t fool me; he does know Peter Rabbit’s secret.”
Over in the Green Forest he found Drummer the Woodpecker making a great racket on the hollow limb of an old chestnut. Sammy sat down near by and listened. “My, that’s fine! I wish I could do that. You must be practising,” said Sammy at the end of a long rat-a-tat-tat.
Drummer the Woodpecker felt very much flattered. “I am,” said he. “I’m practising for Peter Rabbit’s party.”
“I thought so,” replied Sammy Jay. Of course he hadn’t thought anything of the kind.
“Won’t Unc’ Billy Possum be surprised?” remarked Drummer the Woodpecker, as he sat down to rest.
“He surely will,” replied Sammy Jay, and then he flattered and flattered Drummer the Woodpecker until finally Drummer told all about Peter’s plan for a surprise party for Unc’ Billy Possum.
By and by, as he flew home, Sammy Jay chuckled and said:
“You’ve got to rise
’fore break of day
If you want to fool old Mr. Jay.”
FOUR LITTLE SCAMPS PLAN MISCHIEF
“Some folks think they’re
Oh, la me! Oh, la me!
Like the knave who stole the tart—
Oh, la me! Oh, la me!
Some folks will waken up some day—
And find they can’t fool Mr. Jay!”
Sammy Jay was mightily pleased with himself. He had found out all about Peter Rabbit’s plan to give Unc’ Billy Possum a surprise party when his family came up from “Ol’ Virginny.” He had found out that all the little forest and meadow people but himself and his cousin, Blacky the Crow, and Reddy Fox and Shadow the Weasel had been invited, and that each was to bring something good to eat. Sammy Jay smacked his lips as he thought of this. Then he looked up at jolly, round, red Mr. Sun and winked.
Now on all the Green Meadows and in all the Green Forest, there live no greater scamps than Sammy Jay and Blacky the Crow and Reddy Fox and Shadow the Weasel. The worst of it is, they are not honest. They steal whenever they get a chance, and always they try to get others into trouble. That was why Peter Rabbit had left them out, when he planned his surprise party for Unc’ Billy Possum.