That very afternoon Fatty Coon heard some very pleasant news. It was Jasper Jay who told him.
Jasper Jay was a very noisy blue jay who lived in the neighborhood. He did not go south with most of the other birds when the cold weather came. He liked the winter and he was forever tearing about the woods, squalling and scolding at everybody. He was a very noisy fellow.
Well! when Fatty and his mother had reached home after their hunt, Fatty stayed out of doors. He climbed to the top of a tall pine tree nearby and stretched himself along a limb, to enjoy the sunshine, which felt very good upon his broad back. It was there that Jasper Jay found him and told him the pleasant news. And Fatty was very glad to hear the news, because he was still hungry.
This is what Jasper Jay told Fatty: he told him that Farmer Green had as many as forty fat turkeys, which roosted every night in a spreading oak in Farmer Green’s front yard.
“If I liked turkeys I would certainly go down there some night and get one,” said Jasper Jay.
FORTY FAT TURKEYS
When Jasper Jay told Fatty Coon about Farmer Green’s forty fat turkeys Fatty felt hungrier than ever.
“Oh! I mustn’t go near Farmer Green’s house!” he said. “My mother told me to keep away from there. . . . What time did you say the turkeys go to roost?”
“Oh! they go to roost every night at sundown,” Jasper Jay explained. “And there they sit, up in the tree, all night long. They’re fast asleep. And you would have no trouble at all in catching as many as you wanted. . . . But of course, if you’re afraid—why there’s no use of my talking about it. There’s a plenty of other coons in these woods who’d be glad to know about those turkeys. And maybe they’d have the manners to say ‘Thank you!’ too.” And with a hoarse, sneering laugh Jasper Jay flew away.
That was enough for Fatty. He made up his mind that he would show Jasper Jay that he was not afraid. And he wanted a turkey to eat, too. He said nothing to his mother about Jasper’s news. But that very night, when the moon came up, and the lights in Farmer Green’s house were all out, Fatty Coon went stealing across the fields.
He was not afraid, for he knew that Farmer Green and all his family were in their beds. And it was so cold that Fatty felt sure that Farmer Green’s dogs would be inside their kennels.
Fatty did not intend to make any noise. The turkeys were asleep—so Jasper Jay had told him—and he expected to grab one of them so swiftly and silently that the other turkeys would never know it.