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REDDY FOX LOSES HIS TEMPER
EDDY FOX had caught Danny Meadow Mouse, and yet he hadn't caught
him. He had found Danny hiding in the old tomato can,
and it didn't enter Reddy's head that he couldn't get
Danny out when he wanted to. He was in no hurry. He had
had a pretty good breakfast of grasshoppers, and so he
thought he would torment Danny a while before gobbling
him up. He lay down so that he could peep in at the
open end of the old can and see Danny trying to make
himself as small as possible at the other end. Reddy
grinned until he showed all his long teeth. Reddy
always is a bully, especially when his victim is a
great deal smaller and weaker than himself.
"I've got you this time, Mr. Smarty, haven't I?"
Danny didn't say anything.
"You think you've been very clever because you have
fooled me two or three times, don't you? Well, this
time I've got you where your tricks won't work,"
continued Reddy, "so what are you going to do about
Danny didn't' answer. The fact is, he was too
frightened to answer. Besides, he didn't know what he
could do. So he just kept still, but his bright eyes
never once left Reddy's cruel face. For all his fright,
Danny was doing some hard thinking. He had been in
tight places before and had learned never to give up
hope. Something might happen to frighten Reddy away.
Anyway, Reddy had got to get him out of that old can
before he would admit that he was really caught.
For a long time Reddy lay there licking his chops and
assaying all the things he could think of to frighten
poor Danny Meadow Mouse. At last he grew tired of this
and made up his mind that it was time to end it and
Danny Meadow mouse at the same time. He thrust his
sharp nose in at the opening in the end of the old can,
but the opening was too small for him to get more than
his nose in, and he only scratched it on the sharp
edges without so much as touching Danny.
"I'll pull you out," said Reddy and thrust in one black
Danny promptly bit it so hard that Reddy yelped with
pain and pulled it out in a hurry. Presently he tried
again with the other paw. Danny bit this one harder
still, and Reddy danced with pain and anger. Then he
lost his temper completely, a very foolish thing to do,
as it always is. He hit the old can, and away it rolled
with Danny Meadow Mouse inside. This seemed to make
Reddy angrier than ever. He sprang after it and hit it
again Then he batted it first this way and then that
way, growing angrier and angrier. And all the time
Danny Meadow Mouse managed to keep inside, although he
got a terrible shaking up.
Back and forth across the patch of short grass Reddy
knocked the old can, and he was in such a rage that he
didn't notice where he was knocking it to. Finally he
sent it spinning into the long grass on the far side of
the open patch, close to one of Danny's private little
paths. Like a flash Danny was out and scurrying along
the little path. He dodged into another and presently
into a third, which brought him to a tangle of barbed
wire left there by Farmer Brown when he had built a new
fence. Under this he was safe.
"Phew!" exclaimed Danny, breathing very hard. "That was
the narrowest escape yet! But I guess I'll get that
special grass-seed I started out for, after all."
And he did, while to this day Reddy Fox wonders how
Danny got out of the old tomato can without him knowing
And so you see what temper does
For those who give it rein;
It cheats them of the very thing
They seek so hard to gain.
Danny has had many more adventures, but there isn't
room to tell about them here. Besides Grandfather Frog
is anxious that you should hear about the queer things
that have happened to him. They are told in the next