Fatty thought it great sport to hunt squirrels at night. Whenever he tried it he usually managed to get a good meal. And after he had almost forgotten about the fright the goshawk had given him in the tall hemlock he began to roam through the tree-tops every night in search of squirrels and sleeping birds.
But a night came at last when Fatty was well punished for hunting squirrels. He had climbed half-way to the top of a big chestnut tree, when he spied a hole in the trunk. He rather thought that some squirrels lived inside that hole. And as he listened for a few seconds he could hear something moving about inside. Yes! Fatty was sure that there was a squirrel in there—probably several squirrels.
Fatty Coon’s eyes turned green. It was a way they had, whenever he was about to eat anything, or whenever he played with his brother Blackie, or Fluffy and Cutey, his sisters; or whenever he was frightened. And now Fatty was so sure that he was going to have a fine lunch that his eyes turned as green as a cat’s. He reached a paw inside the hole and felt all around.
Wow! Fatty gave a cry; and he pulled his paw out much faster than he had put it in. Something had given him a cruel dig. And in a jiffy Fatty saw what that “something” was. It was a grumpy old tramp coon, whom Fatty had never seen before.
“What do you mean, you young rascal, by disturbing me like this?” the ragged stranger cried.
“Please, sir, I never knew it was you,” Fatty stammered.
“Never knew it was me! Who did you think it was?”
“A—a squirrel!” Fatty said faintly. And he whimpered a little, because his paw hurt him.
“Ho, ho! That’s a good one! That’s a good joke!” The tramp coon laughed heartily. And then he scowled so fiercely that poor Fatty nearly tumbled out of the tree. “You go home,” he said to Fatty. “And don’t you let me catch you around here again. You hear?”
“Yes, sir!” Fatty said. And home he went. And you may be sure that he let that tree alone after that. He never went near it again.
FATTY COON GOES FISHING
One day Fatty Coon was strolling along the brook which flowed not far from his home. He stopped now and then, to crouch close to the water’s edge, in the hope of catching a fish. And one time, when he lay quite still among the rocks, at the side of a deep pool, with his eyes searching the clear water, Fatty Coon suddenly saw something bright, all yellow and red, that lighted on the water right before him. It was a bug, or a huge fly. And Fatty was very fond of bugs—to eat, you know. So he lost no time. The bright thing had scarcely settled on the water when Fatty reached out and seized it. He put it into his mouth, when the strangest thing happened. Fatty felt himself pulled right over into the water.