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REDDY FOX PLAYS SPY
REDDY FOX didn't have to getup early to be hiding behind the fence back of Farmer Brown's corn-crib when jolly, round, red Mr. Sun chased the little stars from the sky. He didn't have to get up early, for the very good reason that he hadn't been to bed. You see, Reddy Fox does a great many things that he wouldn't like to have seen, and so he does them in the night when most of the other little people of the Green Meadows and the Green Forest are asleep. And so it happens that often he does not go to bed at all at night, but sleeps in the day, when most honest people are abroad.
He had been roaming about all this night, and now he had come to watch and see what was going on at Farmer Brown's corn-crib, and whether or not Farmer Brown's boy had been setting a trap there for Sammy Jay, as Sammy was so sure he had.
Just as the little stars disappeared and the first faint light from Mr. Sun began to chase away the black shadows, Reddy's sharp eyes saw something move over at the corner of the old stone wall at the edge of the Old Orchard. Then a little dark form scampered across the road, and there was the scratch of sharp little claws on the tree growing near the corn-crib. Reddy grinned and watched the top of the tree. In a minute the same little form ran out along a limb that overhung the corncrib and nimbly jumped to the roof. It ran along one edge and suddenly disappeared. Reddy guessed right away that there was a hole there. He arose and stretched.
"I thought as much," said Reddy to himself. "I thought as much." Then he lay down to watch again. After a while, out popped the same lively little form. It was quite light now, light enough for Reddy to see the red coat of Chatterer the Red Squirrel.
Chatterer's cheeks were stuffed so full of corn that his head looked twice as large as it really is. He ran along the roof to where the tips of the limb of the tree brushed the roof, climbed into the tree, looked sharply to make sure that no one was about, particularly Black Pussy, and then ran down the tree and scurried across the road to the safety of the old stone wall.
"Ha!" said Reddy Fox, "I thought so! Unless I am much, very, very much mistaken, Chatterer can tell Sammy Jay what caught him by the bill yesterday morning and frightened him nearly to death. I've wondered why he no longer came to that new store-house of his that he worked so hard to fill down at the edge of the cornfield, and now I know. My, but Chatterer is getting fat! I think he will make me a very good breakfast. I do, indeed!"
Reddy licked his lips as if he could already taste fat Red Squirrel, and then slipped away in the other direction, for it was getting so light that he dared stay no longer so near to Farmer Brown's house and Bowser the Hound.
All the way to the Green Forest Reddy grinned, partly at thought of the sharp trick he was sure Chatterer had played on Sammy Jay, and partly at thought of the good breakfast he was sure he would have one of these fine mornings, for already he had thought of a plan to catch Chatterer. But first he would find Sammy Jay. He wanted to see how foolish Sammy would look when he found out that it wasn't a trap of Farmer Brown's boy's at all that had frightened him so.