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CHATTERER IS MADE FUN OF
"A, ha, ha! Ho, ho, ho!
Smarty caught at last!"
But he couldn't stop very long to make fun of poor Chatterer. In the first place Farmer Brown's boy had put his head out the barn door to see what all the fuss was about. In the second place, Sammy fairly ached all over to spread the news through the Green Forest and over the Green Meadows. You know he is a great gossip. And this was such unusual news. Sammy knew very well that no one would believe him. He knew that they just couldn't believe that smart Mr. Chatterer had really been caught. And no one did believe it.
"All right," Sammy would reply. "It doesn't make the least bit of difference in the world to me whether you believe it or not. You can go up to Farmer Brown's house and see him in prison yourself, just as I did."
So late that afternoon, when all was quiet around the farmyard, Chatterer saw something very familiar behind the old stone wall at the edge of the Old Orchard. It bobbed up and then dropped out of sight again. Then it bobbed up again, only to drop out of sight just as quickly.
"It looks to me very much as if Peter Rabbit is over there and feeling very nervous," said Chatterer to himself, and then he called sharply, just as when he was free in the Green Forest. Right away Peter's head bobbed up for all the world like a jack-in-the-box, and this time it stayed up. Peter's eyes were round with surprise, as he stared across at Chatterer's prison.
"Oh, it's true!" gasped Peter, as if it were as hard work to believe his own eyes as it was to believe Sammy Jay. "I must go right away and see what can be done to get Chatterer out of trouble." And then, because it was broad daylight, and he really didn't dare stay another minute, Peter waved good-by to Chatterer and started for the Green Forest as fast as his long legs could take him.
A little later who should appear peeping over the stone wall but Reddy Fox. It seemed very bold of Reddy, but really it wasn't nearly as bold as it seemed. You see, Reddy knew that Farmer Brown's boy and Bowser the Hound were over in the Old Pasture, and that he had nothing to fear. He grinned at Chatterer in the most provoking way. It made Chatterer angry just to see him.
"Smarty, Smarty, Mr. Smarty,
Glad to see you looking hearty!
Weather's fine, as you can see;
Won't you take a walk with me?"