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MR. CHIPPY’S SON
RUSTY WREN was hurrying out of his house to find some supper for his family, when he almost bumped into a young chap who was gazing at the sign, “Boy Wanted,” which still hung outside Rusty’s door.
He was a likely-looking lad, who wore a bay cap on his head. And he had excellent manners, too. He said “Good-evening!” to Rusty very pleasantly and touched his cap. No doubt he would have taken it off had it not grown right on his head. “I see you want a boy,” he observed.
“I certainly do!” said Rusty Wren. “What’s your name?”
“They call me ‘Chippy, Junior,’” the youngster told him.
“Is that so?” Rusty exclaimed. “Then your father must be Mr. Chippy, who lives in the wild grapevine on the stone wall by the roadside.
Chippy, Jr., nodded brightly. And when he said, “Chip, chip, chip, chip,” Rusty knew that there could be no doubt about it.
“Wait just a moment!” he told Chippy, Jr. “I want to speak to my wife about you.” And then he darted back into his house.
“My dear,” he said to Mrs. Rusty, “I’ve found the very person! Little Mr. Chippy’s son is outside and I’m sure we ought to be glad to have a modest young man like him to help us.”
“He comes from a good family,” Mrs. Rusty admitted. “But don’t you know that the Chippys are bigger than we are ? Not much bigger, to be sure. But Mr. Chippy certainly couldn’t get through our doorway.”
“Quite true, my love!” Rusty Wren agreed. “But it’s his son — not he — that wants to work for us. And this young lad is not full grown. I should say he was hardly my size.”
Though his wife hesitated, she could think of no further objection. So at last she told Rusty that he might ask Chippy, Jr., to come back early the next morning.
“But I have a feeling that this is going to lead to trouble,” she said once more. Rusty Wren said, “Nonsense!” He was overjoyed at the prospect of having a spry young helper. And he hurried out to tell Mr. Chippy’s son that he might start to work at daybreak.
That polite young man touched his cap again, promised that he would return without fail, and then went chip-chipping away toward home, for it was already his bedtime.
For all he was still hungry, Rusty Wren slept better that night than he had for a long while. He felt as if a great load had been lifted off his shoulders.
He slept so soundly, in fact, that he never waked up at all when Fatty Coon and Tommy Fox came at midnight to view his sign, “Boy Wanted.”
They made a good deal of noise, too, grumbling not a little because there was not the least sign of a sign anywhere they looked.
As soon as he had engaged Chippy, Jr., to work for him, Rusty Wren had taken down the sign, “Boy Wanted.” And so all further callers were bound to be disappointed.