Farmer Brown’s boy stopped work and looked over towards the old orchard.
“When a jay screams like that there is usually a fox around,” he muttered, as he unfastened Bowser the Hound.
FARMER BROWN’S BOY MAKES A DISCOVERY
Reddy Fox glared up at Sammy Jay. “What’s the matter with you?” snarled Reddy Fox. “Why don’t you mind your own affairs, instead of making trouble for other people?” You see, Reddy was afraid that Johnny Chuck would hear Sammy Jay and take warning.
“Hello, Reddy Fox! I thought you had gone down to the Green Meadows!” Sammy said this as if he was very much surprised to see Reddy there. He wasn’t, for you know he had been watching Reddy hunt for Johnny Chuck’s new house, but Reddy had pretended that he was going down to the Green Meadows early that morning, and so now Sammy pretended that he had thought that Reddy really had gone.
“I changed my mind!” he snapped. “What are you screaming so for?”
“Just to exercise my lungs, so as to be sure that I can scream when I want to,” replied Sammy, screaming still louder.
“Well, go somewhere else and scream; I want to sleep,” said Reddy crossly.
Now Sammy Jay knew perfectly well that Reddy Fox had no thought of taking a nap but was hiding there to try to catch Johnny Chuck. And Sammy knew that Farmer Brown’s boy could hear him scream, and that he knew that when Sammy screamed that way it meant there was a fox about. Sitting in the top of the apple-tree, Sammy could see Farmer Brown’s boy starting for the old orchard, with Bowser the Hound running ahead of him.
Farmer Brown’s boy had no gun, so Sammy knew that no harm would come to Reddy, but that Reddy would get a dreadful scare; and that is what Sammy wanted, just out of pure mischief. So he screamed louder than ever.
Reddy Fox lost his temper. He sat up and called Sammy Jay all the bad names he could think of. He forgot where he was. He told Sammy Jay what he thought of him and what he would do to him if ever he caught him.
Sammy Jay kept right on screaming. He made such a noise that Reddy didn’t hear footsteps coming nearer and nearer. Suddenly there was a great roar right behind him. “Bow, wow, wow! Bow, wow, wow, wow!”— just like that.
Reddy was so frightened that he didn’t even look to see where he was jumping, and bumped his head against the apple-tree. Then he started for the Green Forest, with Bowser the Hound at his heels.
Sammy Jay laughed till he lost his breath and nearly tumbled off his perch. Then he flew away, still laughing. He thought it the greatest joke ever.
Farmer Brown’s boy had followed Bowser the Hound into the old orchard.
“I wonder what a fox was doing up here in broad daylight,” said he, talking to himself. “Perhaps one of my hens has stolen her nest down here, and he has found it. I’ll have a look, anyway.”