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OLD MR. TROUBLE GETS CHATTERER AT LAST
OF course you have guessed what it was that Chatterer had been meddling with. It was a mouse-trap, and he had sprung it without getting hurt. Chatterer didn't know that it was a trap. He ought to have known, but he didn't. You see, it was not at all like the traps Farmer Brown's boy had sometimes set for him in the Green Forest. He knew all about those traps and never, never went near them. Now that there was nothing more exciting about the mousetrap, Chatterer turned his attention to the other queer thing. He walked all around it and Jooked at it from every side. It certainly was queer. Yes, Sir, it certainly was queer! It looked something like a little house only he could see all through it. He put one paw out and touched it. Nothing happened. He tried it again. Then he jumped right on top of it. Still nothing happened. He tried his sharp teeth on it, but he couldn't bite it. You see, it was made of stout wire.
Inside was something that looked good to eat. It smelled good, too. Chatterer began to wonder what it would taste like. The more he wondered, the more he wanted to know. There must be some way of getting in, and if he could get in, of course he could get out again. He jumped down to the floor and ran all around the queer little wire house. At each end was a sort of little wire hallway. Chatterer stuck his head in one. It seemed. perfectly safe. He crept a little way, in and then backed out in a hurry. Nothing happened. He tried it again. Still nothing happened.
"Better keep away," said a small voice down inside of him.
"Pooh! Who's afraid!" said Chatterer. "This thing can't hurt me."
Then he crept a little farther in. Right in front of him was a little round doorway with a little wire door. Chatterer pushed the little door with his nose, and it opened a teeny, weeny bit. He drew back suspiciously. Then he tried it again, and this time pushed the little door a little farther open. He did this two or three times until finally he had his head quite inside, and there, right down below him, was that food he so wanted to taste.
"I can hop right down and get it and then hop right up again," thought Chatterer.
"Don't do it," said the small voice inside. "Corn is plenty good enough. Besides, it is time you were getting back to the Old Orchard."
"It won't take but a minute," said. Chatterer, "and I really must know what that tastes like."
With that he jumped down. Snap! Chatterer looked up. The little wire door had closed. Old Mr. Trouble had got Chatterer at last. Yes, Sir, he certainly had got Chatterer this time. You see, he couldn't open that little wire door from the inside. He was in a trap — the wire rat-trap set by Farmer Brown's boy.