And when Jasper looked, and saw Solomon’s great, round, pale, questioning face, all tied up in a red nightcap, he began to scream.
They were no ordinary screams—those shrieks of Jasper Jay’s. That blue-coated rascal was the noisiest of all the feathered folk in Pleasant Valley. And now he fairly made the woods echo with his hoarse cries.
“This is the funniest sight I’ve ever seen!” Jasper Jay said at last, to nobody in particular. “I declare, there’s a pair of them!”
At that, Reddy Woodpecker suddenly stopped laughing.
“A pair of what?” he asked.
“A pair of red-heads, of course!” Jasper Jay replied. “You’ve a red cap— and so has he!” Jasper pointed at Solomon Owl (a very rude thing to do!).
Then two things happened all at once. Solomon Owl snatched off his red night-cap—which he had quite forgotten. And Reddy Woodpecker dashed at Jasper Jay. He couldn’t pull off his red cap, for it grew right on his head.
“So that’s what you’re laughing at, is it?” he cried angrily. And then nobody laughed any more—that is, nobody but Solomon Owl.
Solomon was so pleased by the fight that followed between Jasper Jay and Reddy Woodpecker that his deep, rumbling laughter could be heard for half an hour—even if it was midday. “Wha-wha! Whoo-ah!” The sound reached the ears of Farmer Green, who was just crossing a neighboring field, on his way home to dinner.
“Well, well!” he exclaimed. “I wonder what’s happened to that old owl! Something must have tickled him—for I never heard an owl laugh in broad daylight before.”
After what happened when he came to his door without remembering to take off his red nightcap, Solomon Owl hoped that Reddy Woodpecker would stop teasing him.
But it was not so. Having once viewed Solomon’s red cap, Reddy Woodpecker wanted to see it some more. So he came again and again and knocked on Solomon’s door.
Solomon Owl, however, remembered each time to remove his nightcap before sticking his head out. And it might be said that neither of them was exactly pleased. For Reddy Woodpecker was disappointed; and Solomon Owl was angry.
Not a day passed that Reddy Woodpecker didn’t disturb Solomon’s rest at least a dozen times. Perhaps if Solomon had just kept still inside his house Reddy would have grown tired of bothering him. But Solomon Owl—for all he looked so wise—never thought of that.
But he saw before a great while that he would have to make a change of some sort—if he wanted to enjoy a good, quiet sleep again.
For a long time Solomon Owl pondered. It was a great puzzle—to know just how to outwit Reddy Woodpecker. And Solomon almost despaired of finding a way out of the difficulty. But at last an idea came to him, all in a flash. He would take his daytime naps somewhere else!