Johnny Chuck smiled and made the dirt fly. “It certainly would be easier to dig,” said he, when he stopped for breath, “easier for me and easier for Bowser the Hound or for old Granny Fox, if either wanted to dig us out. Now, these old roots are just far enough apart for us to go in and out. They make a beautiful doorway. But Bowser the Hound cannot get through if he tries, and he can’t make our doorway any larger. Don’t you see how safe it is?”
Polly Chuck had to own up that it was safer than a home in the open could possibly be, and Johnny went on digging. He made a long hall down to the snuggest of bedrooms, deep, deep down under ground. Then he made a long back hall, and all the sand from this he carried out the front way. By and by he made a back door at the end of the back hall, and it opened right behind a big stone fallen from the old stone wall. You would never have guessed that there was a back door there.
His new house was finished now, and Johnny Chuck and Polly Chuck sat on the door-step and watched jolly, round, red Mr. Sun go to bed behind the Purple Hills and were happy.
SAMMY JAY FINDS THE NEW HOME
Johnny Chuck was missed from his old home on the Green Meadows. If he had known how much he was missed, he certainly would have tried to go back for at least a call on his old neighbors. There had been great surprise when it had been discovered that Jimmy Skunk was living in Johnny’s old house, and at first some of the little meadow people were inclined to look at Jimmy a wee bit distrustfully when he told how Johnny Chuck had given away his house.
When Johnny sent back word by the Merry Little Breezes that it was true, they believed Jimmy Skunk and forgot the unpleasant things that they had begun to hint at about him. But they one and all thought that Johnny Chuck must be crazy. Yes, Sir, they thought that Johnny Chuck must be crazy. They were sure of it when the Merry Little Breezes brought word of how Johnny had started out to see the world.
But everybody was so busy about their own affairs in the beautiful bright spring-time that they couldn’t spend much time wondering about Johnny Chuck. They missed him every time they passed his old house and then forgot him; that is, most of the little meadow people did.
Peter Rabbit didn’t. Peter used to stop every day to gossip with Johnny Chuck and tell him all the news, and now that Johnny Chuck was no longer there, Peter missed him greatly. Jimmy Skunk was always asleep or off somewhere. Besides, he was such a traveler that he knew all the news almost as soon as Peter himself.
The Merry Little Breezes told Peter that Johnny Chuck was still on the Green Meadows, hunting for a new home, so Peter made up his mind that just as soon as Johnny got settled, Peter would hunt him up and call. You see, he never dreamed that Johnny would leave the Green Meadows, and he thought that of course the Merry Little Breezes would tell him just where Johnny Chuck’s new house was, whenever it was built. But there is where Peter made a mistake.