SAMMY JAY DOES SOME GUESSING
AMMY JAY is a queer fellow. Although he is a scamp and
dearly loves to make trouble for his neighbors, he is
always ready to take their part when others make
trouble for them. Many are the times he has given them
warning of danger. This is one reason they are quite
willing to overlook his own shortcomings. So, though in
many ways he is no better than Reddy Fox, he dearly
loves to upset Reddy's plans and is very apt to rejoice
when Reddy gets into trouble. Of course, being right
there, he saw all that happened when Reddy ran against
the old barrel at the top of the hill and sent it
 He had been quite as much surprised as Reddy
to find that there was some one inside, and he had
followed Reddy to see who it was. So, of course, he had
seen what happened to Reddy.
Now, instead of being sorry for Reddy, he had openly
rejoiced. It seems to be just that
way with a great many people. They like to see others
who are considered very smart get into trouble. So
Sammy had laughed and made fun of poor Reddy. In the
first place it was very exciting, and Sammy dearly
loves excitement. And then it would make such a
splendid story to tell, and no one likes to carry tales
more than does Sammy Jay. He watched Reddy sneak away
to the Green Forest, and Jimmy Skunk slowly walk away
in a very dignified manner. Then Sammy flew back to the
Old Orchard to spread the news among the little people
 It wasn't until he reached the Old Orchard that
he remembered Peter Rabbit. Instead of flying about
telling every one what had happened to Jimmy Skunk and
Reddy Fox, he found a comfortable perch in an old
apple-tree and was strangely silent. The fact is, Sammy
Jay was doing some hard thinking. He had suddenly begun
to wonder. It had popped into that shrewd little head
of his that it was very strange how suddenly Peter
Rabbit had disappeared.
"Of course," thought Sammy, "Jimmy Skunk is sure that
Reddy rolled that barrel down hill purposely, and I
don't wonder that he does think so. But I saw it all,
and I know that it was all an accident so far as Reddy
I didn't know that Jimmy was in that barrel, and Reddy
couldn't have known it, because he didn't come
 up here
until after I did. But Peter Rabbit may have known. Why
did Peter run so that he would have to jump over that
barrel when he could have run right past it?
"Of course, he may have thought that if he could make
Reddy run right slam bang against that barrel it would
stop Reddy long enough to give him a chance to get
away. That would have been pretty smart of Peter and
quite like him. But somehow I have a feeling that he
knew all the time that Jimmy Skunk was taking a nap
inside and that something was bound to happen if he was
disturbed. The more I think of it, the more I believe
that Peter did know and that he planned the whole
thing. If he did, it was one of the smartest tricks I
ever heard of. I didn't think Peter had it in him. It
was rather hard on Jimmy Skunk, but
 it got rid of Reddy
Fox for a while. He won't dare show his face around
here for a long time. That means that Peter will have
one less worry on his mind. Hello! Here comes Jimmy
Skunk. I'll ask him a few questions."
Jimmy came ambling along in his usual lazy manner. He
had quite recovered his good nature. He felt that he
was more than even with
Reddy Fox, and as he was none the worse for his wild
ride in the barrel, he had quite forgotten that he had
lost his temper.
"Hello, Jimmy. Have you seen Peter Rabbit this
morning?" cried Sammy Jay.
Jimmy looked up and grinned. "Yes," said he. "I saw him
up here early this morning. Why?"
"Did he see you go into that old barrel?" persisted
"I don't know," confessed Jimmy.
 "He may have. What
have you got on your mind, Sammy Jay?"
"Nothing much, only Reddy Fox was chasing him when he
ran against that barrel and sent you rolling down the
hill," replied Sammy.
Jimmy pricked up his ears. "Then Reddy didn't do it
purposely!" he exclaimed.
"No," replied Sammy. "He didn't do it purposely. I am
quite sure that he didn't know you were in it. But how
about Peter Rabbit? I am wondering. And I'm doing a
little guessing, too."