FARMER BROWN'S BOY ARRIVES
HE light crept farther under the door of Farmer Brown's
henhouse, and by this time the hens were all awake.
Furthermore, they had discovered Jimmy Skunk down below
and were making a great fuss. They were cackling so
that Unc' Billy was sure Farmer Brown's boy would soon
hear them and hurry out to find out what thenoise was
"If yo' would just get out of sight, Brer Skunk, Ah
reckons those fool hens would keep quiet," Unc' Billy
"I don't mind their noise. It doesn't
 trouble me a
bit," replied Jimmy Skunk, and grinned. It was plain
enough to Unc' Billy that Jimmy was enjoying the
But Unc' Billy wasn't. He was so anxious that he
couldn't keep still. He paced back and forth along the
shelf in front of the upper row of nests and tried to
make up his mind whether it would be better to go down
and face Jimmy Skunk or to try to hide under the hay in
one of the nests, and all the time he kept listening
and listening and listening for the footsteps of Farmer
At last he heard them, and he knew by the sound that
Farmer Brown's boy was coming in a hurry. He had heard
the noise of the hens and was coming to find out what
it was all about. Unc' Billy hoped that now Jimmy Skunk
would retreat through the hole in the
 floor and give
him a chance to escape.
"He's coming! Farmer Brown's boy is coming, Brer Skunk!
Yo' better get away while yo' can!" whispered Unc'
"I hear him," replied Jimmy calmly. "I'm waiting for
him to open the door for me to go out. It will be much
easier than squeezing through the hole."
Unc' Billy gasped. He knew, of course, that it was
Jimmy Skunk's boast that he feared no one, but it was
hard to believe that Jimmy really intended to face
Farmer Brown's boy right in his own henhouse where
Jimmy had no business to be. He hoped that at last
Jimmy's boldness would get him into trouble. Yes, he
did. You see, that might give him a chance to slip away
himself. Otherwise, he would be in a bad fix.
The latch on the door rattled. Unc'
 Billy crept into
one of the nests, but frightened as he was, he couldn't
keep from peeping over the edge to see what would
happen. The door swung open, letting in a flood of
light. The hens stopped their noise. Farmer Brown's boy
stood in the doorway and looked in. Jimmy Skunk lifted
his big plume of a tail just a bit higher than usual
and calmly and without the least sign of being in a
hurry walked straight towards the open door. Of course
Farmer Brown's boy saw him at once.
"So it's you, you black and white rascal!" he
exclaimed. "I suppose you expect me to step out of your
way, and I suppose I will do just that very thing. You
are the most impudent and independent fellow of my
acquaintance. That's what you are. You didn't get any
eggs, because I gathered all of them last night. And
you didn't get a
 chicken because they were wise enough
to stay on their roosts, so I don't know as I have any
quarrel with you, and I'm sure I don't want any. Come
along out there, you rascal."
Farmer Brown's boy stepped side, and Jimmy Skunk calmly
and without the least sign of hurry or worry walked
out, stopped for a drink at the pan of water in the
henyard, walked through the henyard gate, and turned
towards the stone wall along the edge of the Old
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