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首页 » 儿童英文小说 » Doctor Rabbit and Tom Wildcat » CHATTY RED SQUIRREL HAS AN ADVENTURE
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CHATTY RED SQUIRREL HAS AN ADVENTURE

Next day, while all the little creatures of the Big Green Woods were wondering just what Doctor Rabbit could be doing, Chatty Red Squirrel had an exciting time. It was a beautiful morning. The sun shone bright, and everything in the woods smelled so fresh and sweet that it was very fine to be out.

Chatty Red Squirrel was out, jumping about on the limbs of his tree and enjoying himself generally. He would frisk about first on one big limb, then on another, and every now and then he would bark a little. This was his way of laughing sometimes when he was as glad to be alive as he was this morning.

Pretty soon Chatty Squirrel scrambled[Pg 70] down his tree and went frisking around on the ground. Sometimes he would pick up an old worm-eaten nut and bite into it, and laugh, and throw it away. Then he would frisk around again, so fast that it would almost make anyone dizzy to look at him. And as sure as anything, some one was watching Chatty Squirrel, and watching him very closely, too. Not far away—just behind the nearest dogwood thicket, in fact—Tom Wildcat lay hiding and watching every movement that Chatty made. Old Tom was very hungry, and he believed here was a fine chance for a breakfast.

Now when Tom Wildcat hides in the woods, he can lie so still that unless you happen to look right at him you would never know he was there. And he can lie still so long you would think he[Pg 71] couldn’t stand it; but somehow he can, for that’s his nature.

Tom Wildcat lay behind that thicket and watched for nearly an hour while Chatty Squirrel played around and had a fine time—never thinking, of course, that Tom Wildcat was anywhere near.

Then at last Chatty started straight toward the thicket where Tom Wildcat lay. Tom crouched down close to the ground and got all ready to spring. He thought now surely he would get a breakfast. But after all he was the one who was the most surprised, for a little way off he heard some one cry out, “Run for your tree, Friend Chatty. Here’s Tom Wildcat!”

It was Doctor Rabbit who had shouted. He just happened to be passing that way to get a drink at the Murmuring Brook, and he couldn’t bear to see[Pg 72] Chatty Red Squirrel get caught, just when he was having such a good time.

My! how frightened little Chatty was, and how he did run for his tree! As he went up the trunk Tom Wildcat sprang after him; but Chatty Red got away, and ran into his hole, high up in the tree. Tom Wildcat could not squeeze in there, he knew, so he didn’t try. He was terribly angry, and, seeing Doctor Rabbit, who had stopped to see if Chatty Squirrel had escaped, started for him with a wild bound. Well, sir, Tom Wildcat ran so fast that before Doctor Rabbit could get away he felt a little of his tail pulled out. Then for a time there was an exciting race. It seemed as if Tom Wildcat ran twice as fast as usual, and Doctor Rabbit was kept dodging so often he couldn’t get a start. But presently, when Doctor Rabbit made a[Pg 73] sudden jump to one side, Tom couldn’t quite stop in time, and he butted his head square against a tree.

Tom Wildcat yelled and started out after Doctor Rabbit harder than ever, and Chatty Squirrel, who was watching from his hole in the tree, laughed right out when he heard that loud yell.

Doctor Rabbit had a good start now, and, reaching his back door, he darted in, shut the door, and locked it. “My!” he exclaimed, when he was safe inside, “that certainly was a narrow escape for me! But I’m glad I happened along that way. If I hadn’t, Chatty Squirrel would have been caught sure enough. I’ll attend to T. Wildcat!” And Doctor Rabbit began laughing to himself again. “Yes, sir,” he said, “I certainly will attend to him, and that before very long, too. Ha! ha! ha!” Doctor Rabbit[Pg 74] laughed and laughed every time he thought about the fine new scheme he was going to use just as soon as he could get ready. Once Doctor Rabbit thought he would tell one or two of his friends so they could help him with his plan. But at last he decided it would be best for him to do it all himself. Then it would not be possible for Tom Wildcat to find out the least thing about Doctor Rabbit’s secret.


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