So they wandered over the Green Meadows, Polly leading the way. Johnny had learned by this time to waste no time digging. And he had made up his mind to one thing. What do you think it was? It was this: He would follow Polly until she found a place to suit him, but when she did find such a place she shouldn’t have a chance to change her mind again.
A NEW HOME AT LAST
Home, no matter where
Or it be big or small,
Is just the one place in the world
That dearest is of all.
Johnny Chuck was thinking of this as he worked with might and main. It was a new house that he was building, but already he felt that it was home, and every time he thought of it he felt a queer little tugging at his heart. You see, while it was his home, it was Polly Chuck’s home, too, and that made it doubly dear to Johnny Chuck, even before it was finished.
And where do you think Johnny was building his new home? It was clear way over on the edge of Farmer Brown’s old orchard! Yes, Sir, after all the fuss Johnny Chuck had made over any other Chuck living on the Green Meadows, and after driving the old gray Chuck back to the Old Pasture, Johnny Chuck had left the Green Meadows himself!
It wasn’t of his own accord that Johnny Chuck had left the Green Meadows. No, indeed! He loved them too well for that. But he loved Polly Chuck more, and although he had grumbled a little, he had followed her up to the old orchard, and now they were going to stay there. Sometimes Johnny shivered when he thought how near were Farmer Brown and Farmer Brown’s boy and Bowser the Hound.
He had never been so far from his old home on the Green Meadows before, and it was all very strange up here. It was very lovely, too. Besides, it was in this very old orchard that Polly Chuck had been born, and she knew every part of it. Johnny felt better when he found that out. So he set to work to build a home, and this time he meant business. Polly Chuck could change her mind as many times as she pleased; that was going to be their home and that was where they were going to live.
Now Johnny Chuck had grown wise in the ways of the world since he first ran away from the home where he was born. Twice since then he had built a new home, and now this would be better than either of the others. He paid no heed to Polly, when she pouted because he did not dig where she wanted him to. He went from tree to tree, big old apple-trees they were, and at the very last tree, way down in a corner near a tumbled-down stone wall, he found what he wanted—two spreading roots gave him a chance to dig between them.
Polly watched him get ready for work and she pouted some more.
“It would be a lot nicer out in that grassy place, and a lot easier to dig,” said she.