Reddy promised, and so it came about that Farmer Brown’s boy hunted up a trap all for nothing so far as Reddy and Granny were concerned. Very carefully he bound strips of cloth around the jaws of the trap, for he couldn’t bear to think of those cruel jaws cutting into the leg of Reddy, should he happen to get caught. You see, Farmer Brown’s boy didn’t intend to kill Reddy if he should catch him, but to make him a prisoner for a while and so keep him out of mischief. That night he hid the trap very cunningly just inside the henhouse where any one creeping through that little hole made for the hens to go in and out would be sure to step in it. Then he purposely left the little sliding door open part way as if it had been forgotten, and he also left the henyard gate open just as he had done the night before.
“There now, Master Reddy, " said he, talking to himself, “I rather think that you are going to get into trouble before morning.”
And doubtless Reddy would have done just that thing but for the wisdom of sly old Granny.
Danger comes when least expected;
’T is often near when not expected.
— Old Granny Fox.
The long hard winter had passed, and Spring had come. Prickly Porky the Porcupine came down from a tall poplar-tree and slowly stretched himself. He was tired of eating. He was tired of swinging in the tree-top.
“I believe I’ll have a sun-bath,” said Prickly Porky, and lazily walked toward the edge of the Green Forest in search of a place where the sun lay warm and bright.
Now Prickly Porky’s stomach was very, very full. He was fat and naturally lazy, so when he came to the doorstep of an old house just on the edge of the Green Forest he sat down to rest. It was sunny and warm there, and the longer he sat the less like moving he felt. He looked about him with his dull eyes and grunted to himself.
“It’s a deserted house. Nobody lives here, and I guess nobody’ll care if I take a nap right here on the doorstep,” said Prickly Porky to himself. “And I don’t care if they do,” he added, for Prickly Porky the Porcupine was afraid of nobody and nothing.
So Prickly Porky made himself as comfortable as possible, yawned once or twice, tried to wink at jolly, round, red Mr. Sun, who was winking and similing down at him and then fell fast asleep right on the doorstep of the old house.
Now the old house had been deserted. No one had lived in it for a long, long time, a very long time indeed. But it happened that, the night before, old Granny Fox and Reddy Fox had had to move out of their nice home on the edge of the Green Meadows because Farmer Brown’s boy had found it. Reddy was very stiff and sore, for he had been shot by a hunter. He was so sore he could hardly walk, and could not go very far. So old Granny Fox had led him to the old deserted house and put him to bed in that.