Sammy started for the Green Forest as fast as his wings could take him. He would tell Reddy Fox and Redtail the Hawk. They were very fond of young Chucks. It would be great fun to see the fright of Johnny Chuck and his family when Reddy Fox or Redtail the Hawk appeared.
Sammy Jay chuckled wickedly as he flew. When he reached the Green Forest and stopped in his favorite hemlock-tree to rest, he was still chuckling. But by that time it was a different kind of a chuckle. Yes, Sir, it was a different kind of a chuckle. It was a better chuckle to hear. The fact is, Sammy Jay was no longer chuckling over the thought of the trouble he could make. He was laughing at the memory of how funny those three little baby Chucks had looked sitting up on Johnny Chuck’s doorstep and trying to do whatever Johnny Chuck did. The more he thought about it, the more he tickled and laughed.
Right in the midst of his laughter along came Redtail the Hawk. Sammy Jay opened his mouth to call to Redtail and tell him about Johnny Chuck’s secret. Then he closed it again with a snap.
“I won’t tell him yet,” said Sammy to himself, “for he might catch one of those baby Chucks, and they are such funny little fellows that that would really be too bad. I guess I’ll wait a while.” And with that, off flew Sammy Jay to hunt for some other mischief. You see, he had had a change of heart. The little goodness way down deep inside had come out of hiding.
But of course Johnny Chuck didn’t know this, and over in his new house in the far corner of the old orchard, he and Polly Chuck were worrying and worrying, for they felt sure that now every one would know their secret, and it wouldn’t be safe for the dear little baby Chucks to so much as put their funny little noses outside the door.
JOHNNY CHUCK IS KEPT BUSY
Johnny Chuck is naturally lazy. You see, Johnny has very simple tastes and usually he is contented. He does not have to go far from his own doorstep to get all he wants to eat. He does not have to hunt for his food, as so many of the little meadow and forest people do, and so he has a great deal of time to sit on his doorstep and watch the world go by and dream pleasant daydreams and grow fat. Now people who do not have to work usually become lazy. It is the easiest habit in the world to learn and the hardest to get over. And so, because he seldom has to work, Johnny Chuck quite naturally is lazy.
But Johnny can work when there really is need of it. No one, unless it is Digger the Badger or Miner the Mole, can dig faster than Johnny Chuck. And when there is real need of working, Johnny works with a will. When he was a very tiny Chuck, old Mother Chuck had taught him this:
“When work there is
that must be done
Don’t fret and whine and spoil the day!
The quicker that you do your work
The longer time you’ll have to play.”