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SAMMY JAY'S SHARP EYES
EVERYBODY knows that Sammy Jay has sharp eyes. In fact, there are very few of the little forest people whose eyes are as sharp as Sammy's. That is because he uses them so much. A long time ago he found out that the more he used his eyes, the sharper they became, and so there are very few minutes when Sammy is awake that he isn't trying to see something. He is always looking. That is the reason he always knows so much about what is going on in the Green Forest and on the Green Meadows.
Now of course Chatterer the Red Squirrel couldn't disappear without being missed, particularly by Sammy Jay. And of course Sammy couldn't miss Chatterer and not wonder what had become of him. At first, Sammy thought that Chatterer was hiding, but after peeking and peering and watching in the Old Orchard for a few days, he was forced to think that either Chatterer had once more moved or else that something had happened to him.
"Perhaps Shadow the Weasel has caught him, after all," thought Sammy, and straightway flew to a certain place in the Green Forest where he might find Shadow the Weasel. Sure enough, Shadow was there. Now of course it wouldn't do to ask right out if Shadow had caught Chatterer, and Sammy was smart enough to know it.
"Chatterer the Red Squirrel sends his respects and hopes you are enjoying your hunt for him," called Sammy.
Shadow looked up at Sammy, and anger
blazed in his little, red eyes. "You tell Chatterer that I'll get him yet!"
"You tell Chatterer that I'll get him yet!" snarled Shadow.
Sammy's eyes sparkled with mischief. He had made Shadow angry, and he had found out what he wanted to know. He was sure that Shadow had not caught Chatterer.
"But what can have become of him?" thought Sammy. "I've got no love for him, but just the same I miss him. I really must find out. Yes, Sir, I really must."
So every minute that he could spare, Sammy Jay spent trying to find Chatterer. He asked every one he met if they had seen Chatterer. He peeked and peered into every hollow and hiding place he could think of. But look as he would and ask as he would, he could find no trace of Chatterer. At last he happened to think of Farmer Brown's corn-crib. Could it be that Chatterer had moved over there or had come to some dreadful end there? Very early the next morning, Sammy flew over to the corn-crib. He looked it all over with his sharp eyes and listened for sounds of Chatterer inside. But not a sound could he hear. Then he remembered the hole under the edge of the roof through which Chatterer used to go in and out. Sammy hurried to look at it. It was closed by a stout board nailed across it. Then Sammy knew that Farmer Brown's boy had found it.
"He's killed Chatterer, that's what he's done!" cried Sammy, and flew over to the Old Orchard filled with sad thoughts. He meant to wait until Farmer Brown's boy came out and then tell him what he thought of him. After that, he would fly through the Green Forest and over the Green Meadows to spread the sad news.
After a while, the door of the farmhouse opened, and Farmer Brown's boy stepped out. Sammy had his mouth open to scream, when his sharp eyes saw something queer. Farmer Brown's boy had a queer looking box in his arms which he put on a shelf where the sun would shine on it. It looked to Sammy as if something moved inside that box. He forgot to scream and say the bad things he had planned to say. He waited until Farmer Brown's boy had gone to the barn. Then Sammy flew where he could look right into the queer box. There was Chatterer the Red Squirrel!