Happy Jack in "Happy Jack Suspects Striped Chipmunk"

 

 

Happy Jack Suspects

Striped Chipmunk

 

 

"Thrift is one test of true loyalty to your country."

 

Happy Jack didn't look happy a bit. Indeed, Happy Jack looked very unhappy. You see, he looked just as he felt. He had set his heart on having all the big, fat nuts that he had found in the top of that tall hickory tree, and now, instead of having all of them, he hadn't any of them. Worse still, he knew right down in his heart that it was his own fault. He had been too greedy. But what had become of those nuts?

 

Happy Jack was studying about this as he sat with his back against a big chestnut tree. He remembered how hard Ryder Rabbit had laughed when Happy Jack and his cousin, Chatterer the Red Squirrel, had been so surprised because they could not find the nuts they had knocked down. Ryder hadn't taken them, for Ryder has no use for them, but he must know what had become of them, for he was still laughing as he had gone off down the Lone Little Path.

 

While he was thinking of all this, Happy Jack's bright eyes had been wide open, as they usually are, so that no danger should come near. Suddenly they saw something moving among the brown-and-yellow leaves on the ground. Happy Jack looked sharply, and then a sudden thought popped into his head.
"Hi, there, Cousin Chipmunk!" he shouted.
"Hi, there, your own self!" replied Striped Chipmunk, for it was he.
"What are you doing down there?" asked Happy Jack.

 

"Looking for hickory nuts," replied Striped Chipmunk, and his eyes twinkled as he said it, for there wasn't a hickory tree near.
Happy Jack looked hard at Striped Chipmunk, for that sudden thought which had popped into his head when he first saw Striped Chipmunk was growing into a strong, a very strong, suspicion that Striped Chipmunk knew something about those lost hickory nuts. But Striped Chipmunk looked back at him so innocently that Happy Jack didn't know just what to think.

 

"Have you begun to fill your storehouse for winter yet?" inquired Happy Jack.
"Of course I have. I don't mean to let Jack Frost catch me with an empty storehouse," replied Striped Chipmunk.
"When leaves turn yellow, brown, and red,
And nuts come pitter, patter down;
When days are short and swiftly sped,
And Autumn wears her colored gown,
I'm up before old Mr. Sun
His nightcap has a chance to doff,
And have my day's work well begun
When others kick their bedclothes off."

 

"What are you filling your storehouse with?" asked Happy Jack, trying not to show too much interest.
"Corn, nice ripe yellow corn, and seeds and acorns and chestnuts," answered Striped Chipmunk.
"And now I'm looking for some big, fat hickory nuts," he added, and his bright eyes twinkled.

 

"Have you seen any, Happy Jack?"
Happy Jack said that he hadn't seen any, and Striped Chipmunk remarked that he couldn't waste any more time talking, and scurried away. Happy Jack watched him go, a puzzled little frown puckering up his brows.
"I believe he knows something about those nuts. I think I'll follow him and have a peep into his storehouse," he muttered.

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