And he had learned how to make the best use of it. Yes, indeed, he knew how to make the best use of it. It was by doing just what he was doing now, — sitting perfectly still. Just before he had alighted on that stump he had seen something move at the entrance to a little round hole in the snow. He was sure of it.
“A Mouse,” thought Whitey, and alighted on that stump. “He saw me flying, but he’ll forget about it after a while and will come out again. He won’t see me then if I don’t move. And I won’t move until he is far enough from that hole for me to catch him before he can get back to it.”
So the two watchers in white sat without moving for the longest time, one watching for a dinner and the other watching the other watcher.
CHAPTER XI: Jumper Is In Doubt
When doubtful what course to pursue
’Tis sometimes best to nothing do.
Jumper the Hare was beginning to feel easier in his mind. He was no longer shaking inside. In fact, he was beginning to feel quite safe. There he was in plain sight of Whitey the Snowy Owl, sitting motionless on a stump only a short distance away, yet Whitey hadn’t seen him. Whitey had looked straight at him many times, but because Jumper had not moved so much as a hair Whitey had mistaken him for a little heap of snow.
“All I have to do is to keep right on sitting perfectly still, and I’ll be as safe as if Whitey were nowhere about. Yes, sir, I will,” thought Jumper. “By and by he will become tired and fly away. I do hope he’ll do that before Whitefoot comes out again. If Whitefoot should come out, I couldn’t warn him because that would draw Whitey’s attention to me, and he wouldn’t look twice at a Wood Mouse when there was a chance to get a Hare for his dinner.
“This is a queer world. It is so. Old Mother Nature does queer things. Here she has given me a white coat in winter so that I may not be easily seen when there is snow on the ground, and at the same time she has given one of those I fear most a white coat so that he may not be easily seen, either. It certainly is a queer world.”
Jumper forgot that Whitey was only a chance visitor from the Far North and that it was only once in a great while that he came down there, while up in the Far North where he belonged nearly everybody was dressed in white.
Jumper hadn’t moved once, but once in a while Whitey turned his great round head for a look all about in every direction. But it was done in such a way that only eyes watching him sharply would have noticed it. Most of the time he kept his fierce yellow eyes fixed on the little hole in the snow in which Whitefoot had disappeared. You know Whitey can see by day quite as well as any other bird.