HAPPY JACK SQUIRREL IS TOO BUSY TO TALK
ETER RABBIT sat with his mouth wide open staring up into the blue,
blue sky, where Ol' Mistah Buzzard was growing smaller
and smaller. Finally he was just a teeny, weeny speck,
and then Peter couldn't see him at all. Peter hitched
up his trousers and sat for a long time, looking very
thoughtful. He was troubled in his mind, was Peter
Rabbit. First Johnny Chuck had said: "I'll see you in
the spring," and had disappeared underground; then
Grandfather Frog had said: "I'll see you in the
spring," and had disappeared in the Smiling Pool; now
Ol' Mistah Buzzard had said: "Ah'll see yo' in the
spring," and had disappeared up in the blue, blue sky.
"And they all spoke just as if they meant it," said
Peter to himself. "I believe I'll go over and see Happy
Jack Squirrel. Perhaps he can tell me what it all
So off started Peter Rabbit, lipperty-lipperty-lip,
through the Green Forest, looking for Happy Jack
Squirrel. Pretty soon he caught a glimpse of Happy
Jack's gray coat.
"Hi, Happy Jack!" called Peter, hurrying as fast as he
"Hello, Peter Rabbit! Don't bother me this morning.
I've got too much to do to be bothered," said Happy
Jack, digging a little hole in the ground while he
Peter grew curious at once, so curious that he forgot
all about what he was going to ask Happy Jack. He sat
down and watched Happy Jack put a nut in the hole and
cover it up. Then Happy Jack hurried to dig another
hole and do the same thing over again.
"What are you doing that for?" asked Peter Rabbit.
"Doing it for? Why, I'm getting ready for winter, of
course, stupid!" said Happy Jack, as he paused for
"But I thought you stored your nuts and corn in a
hollow tree!" exclaimed Peter Rabbit.
"So I do," replied Happy Jack, "but I would be foolish
to put all my supplies in one place, so I bury some of
"But how do you remember where you bury them?"
"I don't always, but when I forget, my nose helps me
out. Then I just dig down and get them," said Happy
Jack. "Now I can't stop to talk any more, for I am late
this year, and the first thing I know winter will be
Then Peter remembered what he had come for. "Oh, Happy
Jack, what did Johnny Chuck and Grandfather Frog and
Ol' Mistah Buzzard mean by saying that they would see
me in the spring?" he cried.
"Can't stop to tell you now!" replied Happy Jack,
running this way and that way, and pulling over the
fallen leaves to hunt for another nut. "Winter's
coming, and I've got to be ready for it. Can't stop to
And that was all Peter Rabbit could get out of him,
although he followed Happy Jack about and bothered him
with questions until Happy Jack quite lost his temper.
Peter sighed. He saw Chatterer the Red Squirrel and
Striped Chipmunk both quite as busy as Happy Jack.
"It's of no use to ask them, for they are doing the
same thing as Happy Jack is," thought Peter. "I don't
see the use of all this fuss about winter, anyway. I
don't have to get for it. I believe I'll go down to the
Smiling Pool again and see if maybe Grandfather Frog
has come up."
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