“I know it,” replied Reddy right out loud, forgetting that it was only a small voice inside of him.
“What do you know?” asked Prickly Porky. He was still keeping Reddy in and Granny out and he had overheard what Reddy said.
“It is none of your business!” snapped Reddy.
Reddy could hear Prickly Porky chuckle. Then Prickly Porky repeated as if to himself in a queer cracked voice the following:
“Rudeness never, never pays,
Nor is there gain in saucy ways.
It’s always best to be polite
And ne’er give way to ugly spite.
If that’s the way you feel inside
You’d better all such feelings hide;
For he must smile who hopes to win,
And he who loses best will grin.”
Reddy pretended that he hadn’t heard. Prickly Porky continued to chuckle for a while and finally Reddy fell asleep. When he awoke it was to find that Prickly Porky had left and old Granny Fox had brought him something to eat.
Just as soon as Reddy Fox was able to travel he and Granny had moved to the Old Pasture. The Old Pasture is very different from the Green Meadows or the Green Forest. Yes, indeed, it is very, very different. Reddy Fox thought so. And Reddy didn’t like the change, — not a bit. All about were great rocks, and around and over them grew bushes and young trees and bull-briars with long ugly thorns, and blackberry and raspberry canes that seemed to have a million little hooked hands, reaching to catch in and tear his red coat and to scratch his face and hands. There were little open places where wild-eyed young cattle fed on the short grass. They had made many little paths all crisscross among the bushes, and when you tried to follow one of these paths you never could tell where you were coming out.
No, Reddy Fox did not like the Old Pasture at all. There was no long, soft green grass to lie down in. And it was lonesome up there. He missed the little people of the Green Meadows and the Green Forest. There was no one to bully and tease. And it was such a long, long way from Farmer Brown’s henyard that old Granny Fox wouldn’t even try to bring him a fat hen. At least, that’s what she told Reddy.
The truth is, wise old Granny Fox knew that the very best thing she could do was to stay away from Farmer Brown’s for a long time. She knew that Reddy couldn’t go down there, because he was still too lame and sore to travel such a long way, and she hoped that by the time Reddy was well enough to go, he would have learned better than to do such a foolish thing as to try to show off by stealing a chicken in broad daylight, as he had when he brought all this trouble on them.