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CHATTERER AND SAMMY JAY MAKE UP
WHEN Chatterer heard Sammy Jay say that he was going straight to the Green Forest to tell Shadow the Weasel that Chatterer was living in the Old Orchard, a great fear filled his heart. He forgot his quarrel with Sammy. He forgot his greed for all the corn in Farmer Brown's corn-crib. He forgot everything but his terrible fear of Shadow the Weasel. It was because of Shadow that Chatterer had left the Green Forest to live in the Old Orchard. If Shadow should find him here, he didn't know what he could do or where he could go. He knew that Sammy Jay meant just what he said, for though it would be a dreadful thing to do, people do dreadful things when they are angry, and Sammy Jay was very, very angry indeed. He had already spread his wings when Chatterer spoke.
"Please don't do that, Sammy Jay," he begged, "I — I — I didn't mean all the bad things I have said."
Sammy Jay's eyes snapped. He saw right away that Chatterer was very much frightened, and he knew that hereafter so long as Shadow the Weasel was anywhere around, Chatterer would be so afraid that he would do anything Sammy might want him to. You see, Sammy Jay is very sharp.
"Am I any more of a thief than you are?" he demanded.
"No-o-o," replied Chatterer slowly, as if it were the hardest work to say it.
"No-o-o," REPLIED CHATTERER SLOWLY
"Will you play any more tricks on me?" asked Sammy.
"No," replied Chatterer more promptly this time.
"Well, I'll think it over and make up my mind in the morning," said Sammy. "Perhaps I will and perhaps I won't tell Shadow where you are living. I'll think it over."
Now Sammy knew perfectly well that Chatterer wouldn't sleep a wink that night for worrying. Already he had made up his mind not to tell Shadow, for like all the other little meadow and forest people he hated Shadow. But of course Chatterer couldn't know that he had so made up his mind, and a great fear that Sammy might tell clutched his heart.
"If you'll promise not to tell Shadow where I am, you — you are welcome to all the corn you want at Farmer Brown's corn-crib," said Chatterer, in a very meek voice.
"Indeed!" replied Sammy. "How very generous of you, seeing that it doesn't belong to you, anyway, and I have just as much right to it as you have."
"And — and — well, I'll help you get it," continued Chatterer, his sharp wits working their hardest to think of some way to get Sammy to make that promise.
"How?" asked Sammy suspiciously.
"Why, when you can't get it between the cracks, I'll bring some out for you and hide it in the stone wall where you can find it," replied Chatterer. But in his heart he said that he would hide it so that Sammy would have to hunt a long time to find it. It seemed almost as if Sammy read that thought, for cocking his head on one side, he said:
"I'll promise not to tell Shadow, if you'll promise to get me corn whenever I want it and put it just where I tell you to."
Chatterer didn't like that idea at all, but what could he do? He thought it over so long that Sammy Jay spread his wings as if to start that very instant for the Green Forest.
"I promise!" cried Chatterer hastily.
And so these two scamps of the Green Forest made up and planned how they would live all winter on Farmer Brown's corn.