“It’s not necessary,” Mr. Frog explained glibly. “I’ve become so skilful that one look at an elegant figure like yours is all that I need.”
Naturally, Mr. Frog’s remark pleased Solomon Owl. And he uttered ten rapid hoots, which served to make Mr. Frog’s fingers fly all the faster. Soon he was sewing Solomon’s coat with long stitches; and though his needle slipped now and then, he did not pause to take out a single stitch. For some reason, Mr. Frog was in a great hurry.
Solomon Owl did not appear to notice that the tailor was not taking much pains with his sewing. Perhaps Mr. Frog worked so fast that Solomon could not see what he was doing.
Anyhow, he was delighted when Mr. Frog suddenly cried:
“It’s finished!” And then he tossed the coat to Solomon. “Try it on!” he said. “I want to see how well it fits you.”
Solomon Owl held up the garment and looked at it very carefully. And as he examined it a puzzled look came over his great pale face.
There was something about his new coat that he did not understand.
Yes! As he held up his new coat and looked at it, Solomon Owl was puzzled. He turned his head toward Mr. Frog and stared at him for a moment. And then he turned his head away from the tailor and gazed upon the coat again.
Mr. Frog was most uncomfortable—especially when Solomon looked at him.
“Everything’s all right, isn’t it?” he inquired.
Solomon Owl slowly shook his head.
“This is a queer coat!” he said. “What’s this bag at the top of it?”
“Oh!” exclaimed Mr. Frog. “That’s the hood! Knowing that you spend your winters here in Pleasant Valley, I made a hood to go over your head.... You’ll find it very comfortable in cold weather—and it’s the latest style, too. All the winter coats this year will have hoods, with holes to see through, you know.”
Solomon Owl looked relieved at Mr. Frog’s explanation. But there was still something more that appeared to trouble him.
“How shall I get into the coat?” he inquired. “It doesn’t open in front, as it should.”
“Another cold-weather style!” Mr. Frog assured him. “It’s wind-proof! And instead of buttoning the coat, you pull it on over your head.”
Solomon Owl said he didn’t like that style very well.
“Then I can easily change it,” the tailor told him. “But just try it on!” he urged. “It may please you, after all.”
So Solomon Owl pulled the coat over his head. And it fell down about him, almost reaching his feet. But the coat did not seem to suit him at all, for he began to splutter and choke.
“What’s the matter now?” Mr. Frog asked him.
“I can’t see—that’s what’s the matter!” Solomon Owl cried in a voice that sounded hollower than ever, because it was muffled by the hood, which covered his head.