THE PLOT OF TWO SCAMPS
AMMY JAY, looking around for mischief, found Reddy Fox sitting on
his door-step with his chin in both hands and looking
as if he hadn't a friend in the world.
"What are you doing?" asked Sammy Jay.
"I'm just a-studying," replied Reddy Fox.
"What are you studying? Perhaps I can help you," said
Reddy Fox heaved a long sigh. "I'm a-studying how I can
catch Peter Rabbit," replied Reddy.
Sammy Jay scratched his head thoughtfully. Reddy Fox
still sat with his chin in his hands and thought and
thought and thought. Sammy Jay sat on one foot and
scratched and scratched and scratched his head with the
other. Suddenly Sammy looked up.
"I have it!" said he. "You remember the hollow log over
beyond the old hickory-tree?"
Reddy nodded his head.
"Well, I'll go down and invite Peter Rabbit to come
over there and see the strangest thing in the world.
You know what great curiosity Peter Rabbit has. Now,
you be hiding in the hollow log, and when you hear me
say to Peter Rabbit, 'the strangest thing in the world
is waiting for you over there, Peter,' you spring out,
and you'll have Peter."
Reddy Fox brightened up. This plan certainly did look
good to Reddy. Peter had fooled him so many times that
he was almost in despair. He knew that if he sent
another invitation to Peter, Peter would suspect right
away that I meant mischief. But Peter wouldn't think
that Sammy Jay was planning mischief, because he knew
that Sammy is the greatest news teller in the Green
So Reddy Fox trotted off to the hollow log down by the
big hickory-tree and crept inside. Sammy Jay flew over
to the Old Briar-patch to look for Peter Rabbit. He
found him sitting under a big bramble bush.
"Good morning, Peter Rabbit," said Sammy Jay, with his
Peter looked at Sammy sharply as he returned his
greeting. Sammy Jay wasn't in the habit of being so
polite to Peter, and Peter began to study just what it
"I saw the strangest thing in the world this morning,"
said Sammy Jay.
Peter pricked up his ears. In spite of himself, he
began to grow curious. "What was it, Sammy Jay?" he
Sammy looked very mysterious. "I really don't know what
it is," he replied, "but I can show it to you, if you
want to see for yourself, Peter Rabbit."
Of course Peter wanted to see it, so he started out
across the Green Meadows with Sammy Jay. Now the
farther he went, the more time he had to think, and by
the time he had nearly reached the old hickory-tree,
Peter began to suspect a trick.
Sammy Jay motioned Peter to approach very carefully.
"It's right over there, in that hollow log, Peter," he
whispered. "You go peep in, and you'll see it." Then
Sammy prepared to give the signal to Reddy Fox.
Peter hopped a couple of steps nearer, and then he sat
up very straight and gazed at the hollow log. Somehow
he didn't just like the looks of it. He didn't know
why, but he just didn't. Then along came one of Old
Mother West Wind's Merry Little Breezes, dancing right
past the hollow log and up to Peter Rabbit, and with
him he brought a funny smell.
Peter's little wobbly nose wrinkled. That funny smell
certainly reminded Peter of Reddy Fox. He wrinkled his
nose again. Then he suddenly whirled about. "Excuse me,
Sammy Jay," he exclaimed. "I just remembered something
very important!" And before Sammy Jay could open his
mouth, Peter had started like a little brown streak for
the Old Briar-patch.
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