Fatty Coon felt better when he heard that. And he had a good deal of fun, peeping down at the loggers and watching them work. But he took care that they should not see him. He knew what their bright axes could do.
When night came Fatty had still more fun. When the loggers were asleep Fatty went to their camp in the woods beside the brook and he found many good things to eat. He did not know the names of all the goodies; but he ate them just the same. He ’specially liked some potatoes which the careless cook had left in a pan near the open camp-fire. The fire was out. And the pan rested on a stump close beside it. Fatty Coon climbed up and crawled right inside the pan. And after he had had one taste of those potatoes he grew so excited—they were so good—that he tipped the pan off the stump and the potatoes rolled right into the ashes.
Fatty had jumped to one side, when the tin pan fell. It made a great clatter; and he kept very still for a few moments, while he listened. But no one stirred. And then Fatty jumped plump into the ashes.
Whew! He jumped out again as fast as he could; for beneath the ashes there were plenty of hot coals. Fatty stood in them for not more than three seconds, but that was quite long enough. The bottoms of his feet burned as if a hundred hornets had stung them.
He stood first on one foot and then on another. If you could have seen him you would have thought Fatty was dancing. And you might have laughed, because he looked funny.
But Fatty Coon did not laugh. In fact, he came very near crying. And he did not wait to eat another mouthful. He limped along toward home. And it was several days before he stirred out of his mother’s house again. He just lay in his bed and waited until his burns were well again.
It was very hard. For Fatty did not like to think of all those good things to eat that he was missing. And he hoped the loggers would not go away before his feet were well again.
FATTY GROWS EVEN FATTER
When Fatty Coon’s burned feet were well once more, the very first night he left his mother’s house he went straight to the loggers’ camp. He did not wait long after dark, because he was afraid that some of his neighbors might have found that there were good things to eat about the camp. And Fatty wanted them all.
To his delight, there were goodies almost without end. He nosed about, picking up potato peelings, and bits of bacon. And perhaps the best of all was a piece of cornbread, which Fatty fairly gobbled. And then he found a box half-full of something—scraps that tasted like apples, only they were not round like apples, and they were quite dry, instead of being juicy. But Fatty liked them; and he ate them all, down to the smallest bit.
He was thirsty, then. So he went down to the brook, which ran close by the camp. The loggers had cut a hole through the ice, so they could get water. And Fatty crept close to the edge of the hole and drank. He drank a great deal of water, because he was very thirsty. And when he had finished he sat down on the ice for a time. He did not care to stir about just then. And he did not think he would ever want anything to eat again.