The Baldwin Library
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'BOSSY AN -ONNY.
BOSSY AND BONNY.
I. BOSSY AND BONNY.
II. SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
III. BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
IV. SQUIRREL WOOING.
ILLUSTRATED BY MISS L. B. HUMPHREY,
LEE AND SHEPARD, PUBLISHERS.
LEE, SHEPARD, AND DILLINGHAM.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by
GEORGE M. BAKER,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
ELECTROTYPED AND PRINTED BY RAND, AVERY, & C.
BOSSY AND BONNY.
BossY and Bonny were as fond of one another as brother
and sister. Their mothers stood side by side in the stable,
and had been intimate all winter. Old Mooley, Bossy's
mother, a wise and experienced cow, was much rejoiced
when Bonny came a month later; for Bossy had been the
only calf in the barn that spring, and she knew that only
bossies, like only children, were in great danger of growing
"up selfish and inconsiderate. Bonny's mother had never
had any children before; and her heart was overflowing
with pride and delight in her new baby. But Mooley
shook her head at her raptures, as she pensively munched
a turnip, remembering too well the babies she had loved
and mourned for in years past. Was she not living now
in daily terror lest Bossy should be torn from her, and
carried away in that dreadful butcher's cart? One morn-
ing she thought the evil hour had come; for, just after
the children had finished their breakfast, Farmer John led
them out of the barn. Mooley lifted up her voice in a
6 BOSSY AND BONNY.
heart-rending cry for mercy. Bonny's mother struck in
at that; and for a few minutes the old beams and rafters
resounded with their pitiful moans. But Farmer John
took no heed, and I dare say they might have grieved all
day; but good Mrs. John happened to come out to the barn
with a pan of pea-pods, and, hearing the outcry, stopped to
rub their heads with her motherly old hands, and to assure
them that the butcher hadn't taken their bossies off. They
were only going down to Brooks's pasture to stay a while.
Mooley cheered up directly, tried to lick the kind fingers;
and, though she never cared much for pea-pods, she ate
up every one that morning to show her gratitude. Mooley
knew all about Brooks's pasture. It had been the favorite
summer resort of all the cattle on the place, time out of
mind. How delighted the children would be Their
mothers talked it over, and agreed to bear their own loss
cheerfully. Then they licked each other's heads, and felt
more friendly than ever in their loneliness.
Meanwhile the little ones, wild with joy at their escape
from the dark stable, were capering down the road, pulling
at their ropes, bounding hither and thither, nipping at the
roadside leaves, tossing their heads, and frisking their tails,
till the farmer declared, that, "for lively young critters,
they was the beat-all."
BOSSY AND BONNY. 7
Wish I could get this darned old rope off! exclaimed
Bossy. I am sorry,to be obliged to record such an ex-
pression; but indeed Bossy knew no better. You may
possibly have heard boys talk like that: at any rate,
Bossy had; and he could only use the language he had
heard. You see how careful you should be never to teach
ugly words to the calves or pigs or little kittens, or any
of the innocent creatures that may happen to be listen-
ing ; and, besides these, there are the wise old horses and
the good-natured cows. They may be too sensible to imi-
tate you; but you never know how much they talk you
over among themselves. Be sure it is just as important
to have a good reputation in the barnyard as in the
Bossy and Bonny found Brooks's pasture a right jolly
place. It was made up of two or three pastures, with the
bars all down between them. There was a gay little brook
dancing over bright pebbles across the meadow; and all
along one side was a row of pines, that made a thick shelter
when it rained. Then there were deep, soft beds of moss,
and sunny slopes to lie on, and nothing to do but to be as
happy as the day was long. They explored their pretty
home from end to end, and ate till they couldn't eat another
morsel ; and Bonny declared she had never been so happy
8 BOSSY AND BONNY.
in her life. But towards night she began to grow tired;
and at last she laid her head on Bossy's shoulder, and
asked if he thought their mothers would ever come to see
them, and if he didn't think it was a little, just a little, bit
lonesome. Bossy was too proud to own it; but he licked
Bonny's head all over very tenderly ; and they went to
sleep in a corner of the lot nearest the bars.
"Bossy, Bossy, Bossy Oh, you dear little boi,:s "
They opened their eyes, and pricked up their ears; and
there, peeping through the bars, was the very loveliest face
they had ever seen. How their hearts fluttered as they
listened to the sweet ringing voice !
Bossy, Bossy, Bossy Don't be afraid. I'm only Jennie
Darling; and I love you dearly."
A little brown, beckoning hand was put through the bars;
and in a minute Bonny had her nose in it. Then such
coaxing and petting, such bunting and lapping! The whole
trio seemed quite infatuated with one another; and, when
Jennie at last tore herself away, her hat was dangling on
her shoulders, her hair all in a tumble about her face, and
Bonny had sucked two-thirds of her apron into a perfect
After that, Jennie stopped every morning and night on
her way to and from school; and it would be impossible
BOSSY AND BONNY. 9
to tell which enjoyed it most. The moment they heard
the blithe voice calling, bounce, bounce, bounce, they would
come from the farthest end of the pasture, to be petted and
praised, to have their heads rubbed, and to eat grass from
her hand. To be sure, it was the stiff and dusty roadside
grass, not half so tender and sweet as grew in the meadow;
but from her dear little hand they ate it with as much
enjoyment as they would the richest clover of their own
So the summer went by. Farmer John used to come
and look at them occasionally ; but it was weeks before
they saw any one else from home. They got quite used
to living alone. Indeed, with little Jennie calling every
day, and the gray squirrel that used to sit on the wall, and
scold and chatter by the hour together, the birds that sang
to them in the pines, a queer old brown-coated woodchuck
that lived under the wall, to say nothing of the moles and
musquiash ,1 in the meadow, they had plenty of society, and
soon forgot all about Tommy and Joe; and ten to one they
wouldn't have known their own mothers, if they had come
to visit them.
One night in the early fall Farmer John told the boys
they might go down to Brooks's pasture, and bring home
the calves. The air was cool and fresh; and the boys were
10 BOSSY AND BONNY.
just bubbling over with fun and frolic. They never thought
that the calves might have forgotten how boys behaved.
But the truth was, they had been used to little Jennie's
gentle ways so long, the shrill hallooing of the boys was.
quite a shock to their nerves. They submitted quietly
enough, however, to having the ropes fastened round their
necks, and to be led out. They would have had a brisk
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run home, and all would have been well; but no sooner
were they out in the open road than Tommy sent up a
shout that startled the echoes for miles around. Bonny
gave a great leap, whisked the rope out of Tommy's hand,
and bounded away into the wood that bordered the road-
side. Bossy wasn't frightened; but he only thought he
must follow Bonny, or she would be lost; and he sprang
after her. But Joe was pretty strong, and held on to the
BOSSY AND BONNY. 11
rope, while Bossy led him a chase over sticks and stones
and fallen logs, till he stubbed his toe. Down he went, and
Bossy was free. He was up again in an instant, though;
and on they went, farther and farther into the wood, till it
grew quite dark, and they lost sight and hearing of the
At last Joe stopped short. "Darn the critters 'Taint
no kind o' use. I d'no what father'll say. But we can't
ketch 'em to-night."
At a late hour, and with very crestfallen faces, they pre-
sented themselves at the supper-table, and told their story.
Sho said Farmer John. Didn't ye know no better
than to go hollerin' arter them critters ? They'll be wild as
chip-squirrels. I've knowed calves to get scared, and roam
off ten miles. Wal, I must go carter 'em myself to-morrow
Bossy and Bonny slept soundly that night in a little
opening in the wood, where they made a nice supper of
tender grass, and had plenty left for breakfast next morn-
ing. Then they strolled about a long time in the pleasant
wood. For it was a large wood, quite a forest, indeed; and
they crossed their own track so often, that Farmer John
was well puzzled when he came to search for them. At
last they came to the boundary of the wood, a low stone
12 BOSSY AND BONNY.
wall, which they could easily jump; and there they were
in a broad and lovely meadow. They stopped here for
lunch, and then kept on with their travels. Bonny had an
adventurous spirit, and thought she should never tire of
this wandering life. They crossed the meadow, climbed
the steep hill beyond, and came down into another long
meadow at its foot. They crossed it very leisurely, and
found the opposite side shaded by a steep bank. They
were pretty tired by this time ; and the shadow looked
so cool and inviting, Bonny thought she would like to lie
down for a nap before going any farther. They fell fast
asleep almost the moment their heads touched the cool
green pillow. Bossy was just dreaming that he was at
home again, and Jennie was patting his head, and calling
him little beauty," when suddenly there broke on their
slumbers a terrible shriek and roar. They sprjIng up, trem-
bling with affright. The noise came near and nearer, till
it seemed right over their heads. Away went Bossy and
Bonny down the long meadow, as fast as their little hoofs
could carry them. The horrible sound grew fainter, and
ceased; but their terror nowise abated. It was a wonder
they did not dash their foolish heads against the wall; but
fear lent wings to their feet; and, with one flying leap, they
cleared it, Bonny first, with Bossy at her heels, and
BOSSY AND BONNY. 13
dropped, nose-first, into a muddy pool among the frogs and
lily-pads. Such a time as they had, floundering out, and
licking one another back to dryness and respectability!
Then they felt so tired and low-spirited, they had no heart
to go any farther, but lay down, close together, under a
And that was why Farmer John missed them when he
tramped across the field, calling, Caboss, caboss," and
searching for them, he thought, in every likely place.
They slept too soundly for any such familiar sound to
waken them. But when the late train came by, it startled
them from their slumbers again.
However, it did not send them off in a mad flight as
before. They only staggered to their feet, and stood quite
still, watching the huge black monster as it shrieked
It was hardly out of sight, when, close beside them, a
voice, hoarse and heavy and grum, broke the succeeding
Better go home."
Instantly, from the opposite side of the pond, another
voice, hoarse and heavy and grum, confirmed the advice.
Better go home; go home ; go home."
Bossy and Bonny looked at one another in dumb amaze-
14 BOSSY AND BONNY.
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BOSSY AND ,BONNY. 15
"Who are you, if you please ?" she asked, trying not to
betray her fears; and why don't you want us to stay
here ? "
'Cause we don't; we don't; we don't. Better go home."
Then, of a sudden, all was still.
A minute after, there popped up on a stone, right before
them, a monstrous bull-frog.
The moon had risen; and by its light they could see him
quite plainly, as he sat swelling and puffing, and making
great eyes at them.
Now, Bossy and Bonny had often seen little green frogs
hopping about Brooks's pasture. They had always admired
their active habits, and were on as friendly terms with them
as they were with all their out-door neighbors of every sort.
But they had never happened to hear a bull-frog croak; nor
had they ever met such a pompous old fellow as this, who
sat staring at them from the rock.
"Why do you stare at us so? said Bossy.
But the frog deigned no reply. Very likely he didn't
know that he was staring at all.
You have quite a large family, haven't you, sir? asked
Bonny, growing more courageous, but very anxious to be
polite and sociable.
"' Humph! said the frog. Family, indeed! How could
16 BOSSY AND BONNY.
I attend to the wants of a family, and devote myself to art
at the same time ? Why, this is the great Musical Festival
of the Bull-Frogs. We've been rehearsing for it all sum-
Oh, indeed!" said Bonny. "Hasn't it made you a
Hoarse!" croaked the frog. "Not in the least. My
voice was pronounced the finest in the whole pond ; and I
was chosen unanimously not a dissenting croak, madam,
- to sing the solos in the grand oratorium of Chunkitybum.
You see that big rock, yonder ? "
"Yes," said Bonny.
That is the platform. The chorus are ranged round the
sides. They applaud the solos. When they say, 'Chunk,
chunk,' it means, 'sing it again.' They have chunked me
three times to-night."
"How nice!" said Bonny, bent on being friendly with
their new acquaintance.
"There! I must go back," said Mr. Solo, as a solitary
croak sounded from the vicinity of the platform-rock.
"Intermission is over."
Are you going to sing any more about our going home? "
asked Bonny anxiously.
"About your going home? Indeed, it is quite impossible.
BOSSY AND BONNY. 17
We should like to; but it isn't in the programme," replied
Mr. Solo hastily, not understanding Bonny, but thinking,
perhaps, she wanted a sentimental song about herself and
Then you didn't mean "-
But Mr. Solo had already taken his leave, with a great
splash; and, in a moment or two, the concert opened
But Bossy and Bonny heard nothing now like, "Better
begone ; better begone though, indeed, to your ears,
the singing would have sounded very much as before.
Every now and then the Chunk, chunk," came in, fol-
lowed by renewed bursts of croaking from the full frog
orchestra; and the bossies listened with interest, pleased
to think that their new friend was achieving still greater
victories by his superior voice.
"But," said Bonny to Bossy, don't you think it is a
little bit queer singing ?"
"Well, I tell you, Bonny," answered Bossy, I've been
thinking, if that is singing, we might sing too, perhaps."
"Why, to be sure we could! said Bonny; and, waiting
for what they considered the right moment, they mingled
their loudest ba-a-as" with the Babel of noises coming
up from the pond.
18 BOSSY AND BONNY.
This produced an instantaneous quiet on the part of the
frogs; at which these volunteers were not a little concerned.
But their fears were soon relieved; for Mr. Solo appeared
again on the stone before them, swelling with the impor-
tance of his errand; and in a voice no less hoarse, but
more deferential than before, addressed them thus: -
Dear sir and madam, you do us honor, and yourselves,
I am sure; and, if you could time your notes properly, you
might represent the cannon for us. We need only artil-
lery to make this affair quite equal to any World's Peace
And off he dived again into the water.
From this time till ten o'clock, Bossy and Bonny, assured
of their welcome as performers, spared not, but bla-a-d
lustily at every point where cannon seemed to be required;
and at such times the uproar to any passer-by would have
been truly terrific.
But at last the programme of the frogs must have been
exhausted; for Bossy and Bonny, after making an unusual
effort, heard nothing but the sound of their own voices
echoed back from the distant woods. With throats some-
what the worse for this vigorous cannonading, they with-
drew from the pond side, and laid themselves down to
BOSSY AND BONNY. 19
Isn't your throat sore ? asked Bossy next morning, in
a tone almost as hoarse as Mr. Solo's own.
Awful! said Bonny. But wasn't it a splendid cop-
Grand! replied Bossy. "I had no idea I was so fond
Nor I," said Bonny. Do you suppose the little frogs
in Brooks's pasture will sing so when they are grown up ? "
I don't know. We might teach them when we go back,
Bonny assented to this; and, going to the stream, they
drank their morning-draught, and nibbled the tender grass
growing by the margin, and began their (lay joyously.
Bonny got frightened once. She had been standing a
long time by the side of the brook, looking in; and all at
once she found herself going round and round and round
and round, while the water had all at once stopped flowing.
She endured it for a few seconds; but finding that she
could do nothing to stop herself from whirling around in
this mysterious way, and beginning to be very dizzy, she
called out in piteous tones, 0 Bossy! Do come and stop
me from turning round so."
Bossy hurried down to her side; and seeing that Bonny
was standing as usual, but looking very steadily down into
20 BOSSY AND BONNY.
the water, he cried out, "Bonny, Bonny! look up, or you
will be under the water-witches' spell."
Bonny made a great effort, and withdrew her gaze from
the fascinating water, and looked at the trees beyond. In
a moment she was dizzy no longer. The brook had begun
to flow, whirling and eddyingover the pretty stones at the
bottom, as usual. With a sigh of relief, she turned away.
0 Bossy Isn't it dreadful ?"
"Isn't what dreadful, Bonny? "
"Why, to be spinning round and round so, and to have
the water stand still."
"That is,the spell," said Bossy. Come away, quick."
Bonny was only too glad to do so, especially when she
found that even Bossy, whom she thought so brave, was
also alarmed. With rapid steps they left the scene of so
much pleasure and peril for the swamp near by.
Some little boys and girls who have stood by running
streams, and felt themselves spinning around, as Bonny did,
may be inclined to laugh at her and Bossy for thinking it
was the water-witches' spell. But they must remember that
these adventurers were very young yet, and that calves, at
best, seldom get more than a common school education.
Poor Bonny was fated to have her agitation increased,
rather than diminished, by what came next.
BOSSY AND BONNY. 21
They approached two paths, leading in different direc-
tions, where the bushes and young trees were very tall;
and, without knowing it, Bonny took one, while Bossy took
the other; and in a few minutes they were far apart. When
at last they found themselves separated, they called to each
other without ceasing. But, owing to their efforts of the
night before, the sound of their voices amounted only to a
loud wheezing, which fell far short of crossing the space,
and penetrating the bushes between them.
So there they were,--far away from Brooks's pasture;
far away from Jennie Darling, or Farmer John ; and, cruel-
est of all, far away from each other.
Just here Bonny, who had come near the corner of the
wood-lot adjoining the swamp, saw a woodchuck so like the
one in Brooks's pasture, that she thought it must be his
brother. She was about to ask him if he wasn't, when a
dog bounded into view, and, giving chase, drove the wood-
chuck into the wall.
"Oh, dear, dear!" thought Bonny. "I wish Bossy were
here! It is so ugly in that dog to worry a little woodchuck
Close upon the dog followed a man, two men; and
they began to tumble down the great stones, making
two gaps in the wall, one each side of where the dog
22 BOSSY AND BONNY.
had stationed himself, rending the air with his fearful
Bonny didn't understand what they were doing that for;
but she soon saw they were helping the dog to catch his
The woodchuck would look out from between the stones
near one gap, and, meeting the dog there, would disappear.
A moment after, lie would put his nose out where the other
man was at work; and there was the dog again.
So he flew back and forth, from gap to gap. But the two
men were gradually taking down the short piece of wall
between the gaps; and Bonny saw that the woodchuck
would soon have to run out of his hiding-place.
In another moment he did so; and, oh how sickening
to Bonny's heart! The dog gave chase again, soon over-
took his game, and with a few shakes and bites it was lying
dead, or fast dying, on the ground.
Bonny could restrain her feelings no longer; but regain-
ing her voice, in her insupportable grief she uplifted it in
the most plaintive of cries.
At this, Bossy, who had been attracted by the noise of
the hound, and come near, without knowing that Bonny too
was there, came breaking through the underbrush, and
rejoined his lost and now grieving companion.
BOSSY AND BONNY. 23
Then Bonny turned, and, laying her head on Bossy's
neck, said in a piteous voice, "0 Bossy! I thought you
never would come. Take me home, please. I am so
tired! and it is so dreadful here! "
But Bossy shook his head despondently.
"I don't know as we ever shall find our way home;"
and, with a quick breath that was as near a sob as could
be, he added, nor ever see little Jennie again."
That almost broke Bonny's heart; for she was as loving
as she was impulsive and wayward.
She rubbed Bossy's nose very hard in token of penitence,
and promii,,.,l over and over that she would never lead him
away again. And she was sure they could find their way
home by inquiring. Everybody must know where Brooks's
Bossy cheered up at that ; and they agreed to set out that
very night. It was already evening; and, entering the wood,
they soon found a well-trodden path, and they trotted along
in the bright moonlight, feeling sure they were on the right
track, and not caring to ask the way, even if there had been
anybody to ask; which there wasn't, without getting people
out of their beds, and they were far too considerate to do
SSo they travelled on and on, till the light through the
24 BOSSY AND BONNY.
trees showed them they were near the end of the wood.
Presently they came to a rail-fence; and, peeping through,
they saw some cows lying asleep in the pasture beyond.
It wasn't Brooks's pasture, nor the road, nor any place
they ever had seen before; but the cows lying there made
them feel quite comforted, and at home.
Sure of being befriended, Bossy put his head through the
rails, and gave a loud Ba-a." The cows slowly lifted their
heads, one after another; but only one of them got upon her
feet. She came galloping towards them. Bossy baa-d"
again, and pushed his head farther through the fence;
whereupon the strange cow made a low, ugly noise, and
tossed her horns, and whisked her tail, in a manner which
struck Bossy and Bonny, ignorant though they were, as very
far from hospitable. Bossy hastily drew back his head; and,
with one accord, they scampered back into the heart of the
wood. There they went to sleep for the night, ruminating
on the cruelty of their kind. But the truth was, that there
was only that one of the half-dozen cows they saw lying
there, who would have treated them so unkindly; and she
had just waked out of a nightmare, caused by eating a
hasty supper of raw turnips, snatched from a heap in the
door-yard as she was driven out to pasture after milking.
That was what made her so cross. The others, as is often
BOSSY AND BONNY. 25
the case with good-natured people, were too sleepy to be
quickly roused: so they lost the chance of being kind to
the little wanderers.
The next morning it rained; and Bossy and Bonny did
not care to stir out of the shelter of the oak-tree, under
which they had slept, but cowered and shivered, and nib-
bled disconsolately at the wet grass, a thoroughly
drenched and homesick pair. They longed for the thick
shelter of the pines, and the bed of soft brown needles,
where they had slept so sweetly all summer; and, though
neither mentioned Jennie's name, their hearts ached for a
pat of her little hand, and the sound of her loving voice.
About noon the rain ceased, the sun came streaming
through the trees, and their courage rose again.
"Let's ask somebody to tell us the way," said Bonny.
Whom can we ask ? Nobody knows, I suppose, about
Brooks's pasture and little Jennie."
Tchi, tchi, tchi! Nobody knows little Jennie Maybe
not; maybe not. Tchi! They looked up astonished; and
a hard green acorn hit Bossy right on the star in his fore-
head. A saucy gray squirrel was winking his bright eyes
at them, whisking his bushy tail, and laughing fit to kill
himself in the tree overhead.
"Tchi Don't know little Jennie White apron, apple
26 BOSSY AND BONNY.
cheeks, shiny dinner-pail, pretty Jennie, singing Jennie,
down the road where the hazel-nuts grow? Tehee, tchee,
"Yes, yes!" cried Bossy and Bonny in the same breath;
"and we are Jennie's bossies."
Knew it all the time. Tehee, tchee, tchee! "
"Please show us the way home," cried Bonny.
Chipper, chipper, chipper. Go as well as not. Come
right along. Tchi!" And off he darted over their heads,
leaping from bough to bough where the tree-branches met,
frisking down one gray trunk, and up another, like a flash,
dancing and prancing, winking and twinkling, in and out
among the leaves, while the bossies trotted along below, -
the merriest trio that ever you saw.
Before Bossy and Bonny thought of being at their jour-
ney's end, they came right out into the old road where the
BOSSY AND BONNY. 27
hazel-nuts grew; the very same road they had come that
night when Tommy scared them so with his shouting.
They stopped a moment, looking up and down the white
and dusty road, while their merry guide nipped off a hazel-
nut, and seated himself on the wall to strip off its green
ruffle; and, as they stood there, they heard the patter of
feet, and directly a sweet voice singing, -
Five times five are twenty-five;
Five times six are thirty;
Five times seven are thirty-five;
And live times eight are forty."
A tiny, well-known figure appeared around the bend in
the road. Then feet and voice stopped together. Little
Jennie stood still an instant: the next, she bounded to
meet them with a glad cry,-
"My bossies Oh, my darling bosses "
With an arm round the neck of each, she led them back
into their old pasture, and carefully put up the bars. Then
such a time as they had Nobody could tell which was the
gladdest, Jennie, or the bossies, or the squirrel, who was
frisking and chattering like mad among the hazel-bushes.
I don't know what promises they made never to run away.
again; I don't know how much they told her about their
adventures, nor whether they made her understand that it
28 BOSSY AND BONNY.
was merry brown Bunn who had shown them the way home :
I only know, that when, at last, she bade them good-night,
and went down the road towards home, she opened her
dinner-pail, and took out a slice of bread and a bit of
-------------------- ----------=-_ =----
gill n I II dii l ilZ14 .1 111 tilc.l kl l zi ii d =- 1 1
s-mootl w hite stone at tihl roadside, i --~
and called very sweetly, Bunny, Bunny! come, have some
supper. Good Bunny Then she turned, and walked away
very fast; and, when she looked back, there sat Bunny, with
the crust in his mouth, and a nut in each cheek, looking,
for all the world, like a jolly 1ia-l.liiper. Jennie laughed,
and clapped her hands softly, and then ran home to tell her
BOSSY AND BONNY. 29
mother, arid to ask leave to carry the good news to Farmer
At the farm the pretty messenger of good tidings got a
pat on the head from the farmer, a kiss from kind Mrs.
John, and an apronful of great juicy pears and red wine-
apples from Tommy and Joe.
And, when Jennie knelt to say her prayer that night,
she went all through it to, "And thine be the kingdom, and
the power, and the glory; then gravely added, and I
am so glad you sent the bossies home! Thank you, ever
so much, for ever and ever. Amen."
. J I, ,
BUNN, who showed Bossy and Bonny the way home when
they were lost, was, for the most part, a chippery, happy
squirrel. His two sisters, Teena and Fara, liked quite as
well to be with him as with his big brother Whisker. And
such delight as it gave the three to romp off together -
under, over, and through stone walls, exploring every nook
which even a squirrel's eye could discover, then bounding,
with squeals and a great flirting of tails, to the trees; where,
if you ever saw so many squirrels together, you will know
there was no end to their pranks. And such odd noises! ---
squeaking, chattering, drumming, and grunting. So many
ways of talking with each other surely no other creatures
can have. And where do you suppose this merry family
lived ? In the trunk of an old butternut, in a hole pecked
out at first by a woodpecker, and afterwards greatly enlarged
by the gnawing of Bunn's father and mother, before he and
his brother and sisters were born. And in this deep hole
these four thoughtless young things were nightly gathered,
6 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
._ i v..:
iiin tlil le i u 1' 1 [' l ";trledl over
N. O t 1 .111 ts.
Not thl;t the '1 thir s taid
N/ '- til-In Ai ll e e niAll.s till lrou
S, il N liAftll t I l i ir l l .,i were
--.I Ui ti lW th r 4 .1101' sIl.l l tIirrels
iII the z dn(i.^^l all ami to pro-
11,.' 1.,.' i, %I t l kt st fIr11.. tl foir ft ,.1 il w y ;
li e "l e,, ,,,, ver, -,, llii .-.o lir as,,
Slnut to nol:xv if t1ny dian;xer tlhreat-
_- ended f.vir ,,i ldren.
h appy, for the almost part ; but, at
/ the time of which I write, Whisker,
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 7
with his lordly ways, his cuflings and bitings, was making
it more and more uncomfortable in the family nest for little
Bunn, who had the misfortune not to grow quite so fast or
so strong as his brother. I don't know whether a squirrel,
of himself, would ever become such a tyrant over his small-
er brother; but let me tell you that Whisker had spent a
good many days in the orchard near Farmer John's, and had
seen something of the way in which larger boys treated
smaller ones. He had seen Joe give his orders to Tom;
and the way in which such orders were enforced was not
lost upon Whisker. Still, in justice to Joe, I must say that
Whisker did not learn to boss it" over Bunn from him so
much as from some boys in the neighborhood, who often
came there to play. How little Bunn was astonished one
day, when Whisker had just returned from Farmer John's
orchard, to be told to chee, chee, sic, sic, ook, ook, chee,.
chee! What do you think that was ? Why, it was, in
squirrel language, "Bunn, keep your tail down." Just
think of it,-a squirrel to keep his tail down! How could
it be done? That was the question poor Bnnn asked in his
" Chirr, chee, chirr, chee, vee, vee, vee? But Whisker cared
nothing for the unreasonableness of his command, and,
because it was not obeyed, proceeded to cuff and scratch
poor little Bunn most unmercifully. And, as they were
8 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
both running at the top of their speed all the while up
among the boughs of an oak, Bunn was trembling all over
with fright lest he should sometime miss a branch for
which he leaped, and fall to the ground. When Whisker
had vented his ill-will upon his poor little brother to his
wicked heart's content, he turned away, and ran to tell his
friend Bushy-another little bully of a squirrel living
near by what a trouncing he had given Bunn; while
his sore and sobbing little victim was making his way
slowly and with timorous leaps home to the butternut.
How thankful he felt that night for the sympathy of his
sisters, who lay one on each side of him, and hugged him
up so warm and close, until he ceased to sob, and fell
After that Whisker grew more and more domineering,
playing all sorts of ill-natured tricks on his brother, till
poor Bunn's life became a burden to him ; and dearly as he
loved his parents and sisters, and their home in the old
butternut, he resolved to run away. He had been lying
awake a long time, one morning, feeling very sore of heart
with thinking of his wrongs, and feeling as if he couldn't
endure Whisker's cruelty another day, yet hardly daring to
move a paw, for fear of waking his tyrant, when, all at once,
he felt a sharp kick in his side; and Whisker ordered him
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 9
to go to the top of the hole, and see if the moon was up.
This was his time. Without a word he scrambled out of
the warm nest, and was at the top of the hole in a twin-
kling. Here a wonderful sight met his eyes. The ground, as
far as he could see, was carpeted in white. The pines had
pretty white caps on their heads; and all the bushes and
twigs were tipped with white.
It must be the snow mamma told us about," thought
Bunn. How nice! I wish I could wake Teena and Fara,
and have a race with 'em before breakfast. But Whisker
would come too, and cuff my ears, maybe, and tell me to
put my tail down. Why don't he put his own down, I'd
like to know? No: I'll run away." And down he went.
In the mean time Whisker, after waiting a few minutes
for Bunn's return, curled down for another nap, muttering
He's gone off on a lark, I'll bet. He'll know how my
claws feel when I catch him, though."
But, ah! Whisker little dreamed he had sent Bunn on
his last errand, and cuffed his ears for the last time. So he
slept while Bunn raced away under the pines, sprinkling
himself with little snow-showers from the laden boughs
and briers with every whisk of his bushy tail. He ran so
fast, he got a long way from home before lie thought about
10 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
breakfast. All at once he began to feel hungry. At the
same moment he perceived a faint fragrance in the air.
Seems as if I smelt something nice (sniff, sniff) : it
makes me think of the apple-orchard (sniff, sniff).
Just then, down among the underbrush, he spied a white
rabbit with his dainty nose in the air.
"I declare!" said Bunn to himself: "he smells it too."
So he sat on the wall, and watched till the rabbit started,
hop, hop, hop, over the snow. Then Bunn started too,
keeping pace with him, and stopping whenever he stopped
to sniff anew the enticing fragrance. All at once the rabbit
sat very still, looking steadily at some green object half-
hidden in a thicket not far from the wall. Bunn saw it at
the same instant; and, being an impulsive fellow, he forgot
his manners, and skipped down the wall, past the rab-
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 11
bit's very nose, to examine the object of his curiosity. It
was a strange, box-like thing; and there, sure enough, was
a great piece of apple inside. Bunn was so hungry, and so
afraid the rabbit would get it first, that, without turning to
look back, he darted into the queer little hole, and set his
teeth and claws both at once into the delicious sweet apple.
Alas! at that instant, with a dreadful slam, something
came down behind him, and every thing was dark. He
extricated his tail from something, lie didn't know what,
with a dreadful pull; and in his fright whirled round and
round, only to feel the walls of his prison on every side.
"Oh, dear! it's a trap! What did father tell me about
traps? Will some cruel boy come and take me, and shut
me up in a wire-cage ? Then I shall die. I couldn't live
in a little cage in the house. I shouldn't know but they
were going to kill me every time any one came near. Oh,
dear! oh, dear!"
Poor little Bunn, a moment before so greedy for the
apple, now sat up on his haunches, perfectly indifferent to
it in his distress. Hunger was driven quite out of his
tremulous little body by fright at finding himself caught
in a trap.
One moment his claws were done up into little fists,
and he rubbed his eyes fast and grievously: the next, he
12 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
was down upon all fours, running frantically around his
"Oh, dear! oh, dear! can't I get out before the great
boy comes ? What is the box made of, I wonder? Why, it
is wood! Now, if I can only bite and pull fast enough, I'll
get out yet." And it really did seem as though he would.
Such industry Bunn had never shown in the work of gath-
ering nuts for the winter. You would have thought he
liked hard-pine better than sweet-apple.
He was at length rewarded by faint glimmerings of light
through the corner he had selected for his efforts at escape.
A few minutes more of gnawing, and he thinks how glad
he shall be to get back to his home in the butternut But
he hears voices. He ceases gnawing: he sits up, and
listens. Oh, how his heart beats! His hard gnawing is
in vain: the cruel boys are upon him.
"By jingo, Tom The trap's sprung."
D'ye 'spose there's any thing in it ?"
"He'll have to open it to find out," says Bunn to him-
self, sitting up breathlessly before the door, ready to make
a spring out, if he should.
"Hold on! I ain't going to open it here, you'd better
Oh, dear! says Bunn, inside.
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 13
No, Joe; but just le'me take it up, and shake it. Golly!
there's something in it, by the scratching."
It's a squirrel, Tom : a rabbit wouldn't claw so. Be-
sides, he's been trying to gnaw out. D'ye see this corner ?
He'd 'a' got out in about a minute more ; wouldn't he ?"
Look here! I'm going to take the trap up to the house
before I open it."
The worst fate was in waiting for poor Bunn,--a cage,
and constant terror of being killed. No more freedom for
him, he thought; no more wild sport with his sisters on
the great, swinging boughs of the trees. He felt, for the
moment, as if Whisker's teasing and tormenting were noth-
ing in comparison with his terrible fate.
Arrived at the house, there was going hither and thither,
to find an entirely safe place in which to take Bunn out.
As often as Tom proposed to open it a teeny bit, just to
get a look at him," Bunn prepared to spring out. But, no.
Joe was cautious. "The cover shouldn't be lifted a mite
till he got a cage ready for him." And Joe was good for
contriving. His father had one day brought home from a.
button-factory a sheet of tin from which buttons had been
cut, leaving it as full as it could be of little round holes.
Joe's eye lighted upon this; and in a twinkling he had it
nailed over a soap-box in place of its cover. Then he
14 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
loosened a part of one side for a door, made some leather
hinges for it, a leather hasp to fasten it by, and Bunn's sec-
ond prison was ready for him; and, when he made the leap
for which he had been waiting so long, there he was, and
not, as he had hoped, at liberty.
Hi, hi, my man! There you are, are you? What did
ye get in there for, then ? was Bunn's first salutation from
Joe. And he thought he could have nothing to hope for
from such a boy.
Oh, Jiminy! ain't he a gay old nut-cracker?" was Tom's
Bunn was certainly not gay in spirits, if his bright eyes,
and his plume-like tail arching over his back, did give him
that appearance. From side to side of his new prison he
rushed, hoping against hope to get farther off from his cap-
tors. "What could such beings have been created for ?"
sighed Bunn, when at last left to himself for the night.
It was a long time before he could come down from his
sitting-posture, and curl himself up to sleep in the cotton
Joe had thrown in for his bed. In the morning his legs
ached as though they would come off, for lack of exercise.
But momentary expectation of the return of his captors left
him no more appetite for the walnut-meats which Tom had
given him than he had the night before.
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 15
But when good Mrs. John opened the woodhouse-door to
get the kindlings, and, peeping into his cage, said, -
"Bunn, Bunn! poor little Bunn," in her kind, motherly
tones, he felt more re-assured than he had done since his
captivity. He thought it so queer she should know his
name; for he didn't know that in human language it was
the common squirrel-name. It did him a world of good to
hear it; and, though he shrank into a corner when she
dropped some crumbs into the cage, as soon as she was gone
he wished she would come back. Presently, taking heart, he
ate up the walnut-meats. Then he tried the crumbs, and
found they tasted good, though different from any thing he
ever ate before. Pretty soon the boys came and gave him
more nuts, and wished they had a bigger cage for him, and
peeped in with such good-natured faces, laughing at his
funny ways, and were altogether so delighted with him,
that Bunn's fears were more and more relieved. Still his
little bones ached as they never had ached from Whis-
ker's beating; and, longing with all his squirrel's heart for
the great freedom of his native woods, he determined, that,
if there were any virtue in teeth, no Bunn should be there
when next the boys looked into the cage.
But he had seen enough of Joe and Tom, by this time, to
know they were not the kind of boys to wish to kill or tor-
16 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
ment him; and enough of Mrs. John to know, that, if he
were a well-behaved squirrel, no hurt would come to him
from her hands. In short, as he was no longer working for
dear life, as he thought he was while in the trap, Bunn's
zeal for gnawing gave out before he had begun to see his
way through the soap-box; and saying to himself, "That'll
do for now: I'll show 'em to-morrow how gay a nut-cracker
I can be when I'm out of this old cage," he turned his
attention to the hens standing about the open doorway.
Ic-ic-ic," says he. What good does it do you to stretch
out your necks at me in that way, old biddies ? Old Cock-
a-doodle, I've seen you before."
Cuddar-cut-cuddar. Yes; to my sorrow, I remember
you, you imp," says fiery-tailed Chanticleer; "and my
nerves ain't steady yet, when I think of how you popped
up on to the log I was wallowing beside, when nobody
expected you. You absurd imp your body only about
as large as a good-sized mouse, while your tail is near
about as big as mine. Ugh! how you made me jump that
time! And with disgust, in which fear, too, had a share,
Cock-a-doodle marched off, followed by his flock; and Bunn
didn't get a chance to say another word.
He now thought again of getting out; but, seeing how
little there was to do, concluded he could do it in the
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 17
morning, before Joe and Tom got up; and so, feeling sleepy,
lie poked his nose into the cotton, and, following it with his
entire body, laid himself away in one corner; and, unless
you had looked sharp, you would hardly have known there
was any squirrel there, so well had he concealed himself.
But Joe did look sharp, not only at Bunn in his bed, but at"
the place Bunn had gnawed in the box; and, the first thing
Bunn knew, he was waked by the thunder of a hammer
close to his ears. He thought his little career was to be
ended now. But, no. After a little, Joe peers in at him,
throws him a handful of walnuts, says, You'll find I'm
up to snuff, too, old fellow," and goes away;, and Bunn
doesn't find out what the hammering upon his cage meant
until the next morning, when, resuming his gnawing for
liberty, he comes at once upon something too hard for his
teeth. Joe had nailed a bit of tin on the outside.
"If I'd only gnawed clean through at first! Bunn says,
and turns away in despair.
For several days after this disappointment, Bunn made no
further attempts to escape. He only ate the food that was
set before him, and rolled himself up in the cotton, and was,
altogether, quite a sulky little squirrel. Still he was not
unmindful of the kindness, and the looks of interest, with
which the family regarded him. He became less and less
18 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
afraid of them, and more and more interested in what was
going on about him.
But at length this prison-life became really insupporta-
ble to'him, and he made up his mind to try once more to
regain his liberty. So, one night, after the house was still,
he set his teeth into the soap-box, determined to find a way
through it before morning; and, putting all the pent-up
energies of his little body to the task, before the day
dawned he was free. When Joe opened the door, there was
Bunn scudding away over the chips.
"Tom, shut the door quick. Don't let him get away.
You little rascal! you've done it this time."
Look, look !" screamed Tom, as Bunn scampered up the
Keep still, Tom; you'll scare him. I wish he's tame
enough to stay without any cage. That box is awofi small.
Bnnn, Bunn! come have some nuts. Give me the hammer,
Tom: I'll crack him some more."
Bunn watched, with no small curiosity, this improved
method of getting at the sweet kernels; and when Joe had
cracked a good handful, and called him again, he shyly drew
nearer and nearer, and finally grabbed a shell, and ran back
to the very top of the wood-pile, to pick out the meat.
The boys thought they should never tire of watching his
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 19
graceful motions and cunning tricks; but breakfast was
ready, and they decided to leave him at large in the wood-
house that forenoon, making fast the outer door, and char-
I'- I.t I I r t-I It .t
"--- way. Bunnl inked his ap-
proval of this plan, and resolved to show his gratitude by
the most discreet behavior.
Bunn did a good deal of thinking, that forenoon, as he sat
looking down at the empty cage. He wasn't quite sure,
that, even if the door were left open, he should run home
to the old butternut: for there was Whisker; and these
20 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
Tiy,-i y -'.i boys had been far
S..'... kinder to him than
:. ever Whisker had.
'-' sAnd, if he didn't go
S 'i' home, where should
..r.I I- -- ,1, 1': ,l he go this cold
,i'' 11v1 i weather ? Here he
S.l, i' had warm shelter,
plenty of food, nuts
aI Z111 ua .dled for him, and then
U Csl wi,:nderfully nice smells as
Ii caiLe out from the kitchen! If
1 tlhev \\,,ii1ll only let him in there,
1and .1 allow himn to run about the
Iliu'ise, IIe thought he should be
lluite ciinitented to stay a while.
Tls in i-door life was growing
\er funny and interesting to
SJuist then Mrs. John came out
for ,"11lne wood, and spoke to
"" - -'P--"r little Bunn! Lonesome,
.ain't he ?"
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 21
Bunn winked, and nodded his tail, which is squirrel for
"Yes." And when she came back with a crust which she
offered him, after a minute or two of coquetting, he came
and nibbled at it, eying her brightly all the while, and
finally ran up her sleeve, perched on her shoulder, and was
carried into the kitchen, where he straightway made him-
self at home.
However, lie tried very hard to behave with propriety;
for the dread of being shut up in prison again weighed
heavily on his mind. So lie sat demurely on the top of
the cupboard, stuffing his cheeks full of pop-corn. And
when the tiny white pussy came in, and, spying him, put
up her small back, and spit, though lie longed to leap
down, chase her round the room, and scare her out of her
little wits, he restrained himself with a great effort, and
only relieved his feelings by chattering very fast, and call-
ing her names in the squirrel-tongue ; which, as pussy was
young, and had never travelled far, she couldn't understand.
So Bunn was domesticated at Farmer John's; and he
tried very hard to make himself an acceptable member of
the household. But he was only a squirrel after all, and
by nature a very light-hearted and frolicsome squirrel, too;
and, as lie got better acquainted, he couldn't help playing
22 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
There were days when he was so freakish, and full of
mischief, that Mrs. John declared he was the torment of
Every night he slept in the wood-house, in the barrel of
shavings; and whoever went for the kindlings in the morn-
ing was liable to a nip from Bunn's teeth, or a bump from
his nose, as he sprang out of bed. Then, if it happened to
be one of his naughty days, lie would be in twenty places
at once, -up on the mantle-piece (Mrs. John had care-
fully set the lamps, and every thing breakable, out of his
reach at the outset); down at pussy's plate, eating her
breakfast, or scattering it about the hearth in all direc-
tions; rolling himself up in the rugs, or running away with
the holders; alive with fun and sauciness from the end of
his nose to the tip of his tail, every atom of his little body
alert for mischief. In one corner of the room a cord was
stretched across, on which hung the weekly newspapers.
It was Bunn's delight to run up the back of the tall rock-
ing-chair, spring across, and swing a minute on top of the
papers till he felt them sliding from under him, then spring
back again just as they came whisking down in a heap on
the floor. One morning, when the family sat at breakfast,
Tommy cried out, -
Ma! Thought we's going to have some cranberry-
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 23
"Why, to be sure I forgot all about it."
Mrs. John opened the pantry-door. There stood the large
yellow nappy full of cranberry, left there to cool; and there
on the edge sat Bunn, clawing and eating as fast as his lit-
tle feet could fly. Mrs. John seized the long-handled skim-
mer, and struck at him. Away went Bunn, leaving crimson
foot-prints on the snowy shelves.
Open the door, Tom, and let me drive the little rascal
But Tom only sat still, and shouted, as Bunn ran up the
window-curtain, over the clock, made a flying leap to the
cupboard, and, seeing the skimmer approaching, leaped
down on Tom's head, and thence into the middle of the
sausage-plate, spattering the gravy in all directions.
Sho, sho!" said Farmer John, rising hastily to open the
woodhouse-door. "We can't have sech works as this, boys."
Bunn scud out through the open door, and straight into
Now I've done it!" he thought, as he buried his head
in the shavings, feeling very naughty and ashamed.
The next half-hour he devoted to penitence and his toi-
let; for, with the cranberry and the sausage-fat together,
his handsome gray suit was sadly defaced.
Once more made tidy, he sprang to the beam over the
24 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
door; and there Joe found him, sitting up so motionless,
that, after watching him a moment, you would have won-
dered if lie ever would move again. But Joe had something
on his mind, and didn't stop to see how demurely Bunn
"I'm going to fix you, old chap! at last says Joe, look-
ing up. You ain't a-going to have all my shagbarks to
run to, now, I tell you. I wish 1 knew where you'd hidden
all you've hooked and lugged off. You'd 'a' busted afore now
if you'd eat 'emr all, you scamp! "
Ic, ic, chee, chee, ook, ook, ook, ook, chee-e-e," and more
of the like sort, replies Bunn. That was to say,-
Oh, ho! You and father (don't agree. He says all pru-
dent squirrels put four nuts away in a safe place for every
(one they eat. That's what I've done; and you don't like it.
What should a fellow do in such a case ? "
It was well for Bunn, perhaps, that Joe had no idea what
all his chattering was about, but went on with his work,
nailing up a few of his best shagbarks in a box, to make
sure of having them for his own use when lie wanted them;
having done which, he went to school with Tom, wonder-
ing what mischief Bunn would be getting into next. Well,
I will tell you what it was, though Joe didn't find it out for
two weeks afterwards. It was to make his way through
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 25
that box of shagbarks, that very same day. A good big
hole. he made, too, on the side turned towards the wall.
And when, a fortnight later, Joe, feeling hungry for nuts,
took the box in his hands, oh wasn't he vexed ? The box
was so much lighter than lie thought it! and the few nuts
remaining from Bunn's ravages ran out of the hole through
which the others had been conveyed in Bunn's cheeks
Confound that imp Mother, the squirrel has gnawed
through my box of shagbarks, and eat 'em all up, or car-
ried 'em off. I'm tired of having the old thing round."
Mother didn't hear, but Bunn did; and it was with a
rapidly-sinking heart that he learned how, by his last per-
formance, he had finally worn his welcome out with Joe, as
he had with all except the boys before, by his dashing flight
from cranberry to sausage-gravy, and other pranks in the
kitchen. He thought with despair that at Farmer John's
his character was lost, and no amount of good behavior in
the future could redeem it. What was there for him, then,
but to leave them, and either venture into another family,
where they would all be strangers to him, or to return to
his home in the butternut? When he thought of Teena and
Fara, from whom he had been absent so long, the thought
of returning home was very attractive. But this thought
26 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
brought another: Whisker was there too. No: he could
not go home. Such was Bunn's state of mind, when Mrs.
John came to the woodhouse door, and called, "Bunny,
Bunny, Bunny!" and then, seeing Joe, said, Bring him
in, Joe, for Jennie to see."
Jennie, Jennie !" says Bunn to himself. Why, I won-
der if it is Jennie Darling! If it is, I know I shall have
another chance to be a good squirrel. I know Jennie. She
left some dinner on a stone for me once, when I had led
Bossy and Bonny home. I love Jennie, and I will go home
With that, he almost flew past Joe into the kitchen; and,
to the surprise of every one (Tom and his father had just
come in from the barn), and to the greatest surprise of
Jennie, causing her to start a little at first, but a moment
afterwards to feel the keenest delight in his fearlessness
of her, Bunn sprang to her shoulder amid exclamations of
wonder from all. Here, after whisking around to the other
shoulder, and back again over Jennie's head, he sat up, as
though at last he had found, of all places, the one most
delightful to his squirrel-heart. Jennie remained motion-
loss all the while, fearing to disturb Bunn's confidence in
her, and only called, in a soft, caressing way, Bunny,
Bunny, Bunny Pretty Bunny !"
SQUIRREL MISCHIEF. 27
She doesn't know I am the same squirrel, after all,"
says Bunn to himself. And she didn't; for he was so much
like other squirrels, that Jennie had no means of recogniz-
Oh, how I wish I had a squirrel! Isn't he splendid ?"
Jennie soon exclaims admiringly.
"I wish you had him, child," resmll ided Mrs. John with
fervor. He is a terrible torment."
She may have him, for all I care," said Joe rather
crossly, remembering ruefully his stolen shagbarks.
Oh may I have him ? cries Jennie, breathless with
delight. There's lots of shagbarks up stairs, at home, for
him ; and butternuts and chestnuts, and pop-corn. Will he
eat pop-corn ? "
You bet !" said Joe emphatically.
"And may I carry him right home now ? asked Jennie,
with sparkling eyes.
Wait till night, and we'll bring him over in a basket,"
But, when Joe approached to take him from Jennie's
shoulder, Bunn took the matter into his own hands; and
by dodging this way and that, from Jennie to the rocking-
chair, from there to the clothes-horse, and back again to
Jennie, eluded Joe's utmost endeavor to catch him. But,
28 SQUIRREL MISCHIEF.
when Joe paused for a moment in the chase, Bunn was
back again in a flash to Jennie's shoulder, thus indicating
unmistakably his preference for her.
Let me see if I can take him," said Jennie at last; and,
putting up her hand, she took him down into her lap, with-
out receiving even Bunn's customary remonstrance at being
handled, which was a slight imprint of his teeth on the
Maybe I can take him home so, right in my apron, with-
out any basket," said Jennie. The boys were doubtful about
it: but Jennie was confident; and, gathering up the cor-
ners of her apron around her pet, she started for home at
a rapid pace.
Bunn was overjoyed. He felt that a new career was be-
fore him. He loved Jennie; and from her account of the
good things for him up stairs, at her house, he felt that he
should not need to hoard them up in secret places, as he
had done at Joe's; and so would be delivered from that
temptation to offend.
Yes : truly Bunn was again to be held in high favor.
But what happened to him in Jennie's home, and what
pranks he still played there, I must tell you in another
""V I I, Il I i '
EUN.'S AD VN T. E;'
I 1111 1! Ic ll I
I,,,llll~' i ' , ,,:i, ,,l ,ll_,,t.l',",,, ',,,,,
!' '": \ '"i' I ,, ""i ll ...."l1 ii,,,,,o ,' '
f ~I ''' ', "'"":
-- ---------- -% (. 111" 1 I"I
a I ., ENNIE didn't always walk so
Fast as she did that day, with
Bunn in her apron; not al-
ways, even when sent upon
i ' errands by her mother. Every
i- minute or two Bunn would
SI feel her warm fingers gently
encircling his body from the
S ',, outside of the apron; and he
would say, in his squirrel lan-
fear, Jennie: you're a lovely
f -- girl. I don't care to run away
It may be Jennie didn't
"- altogether understand this
assurance from Bunn; for, when the squirming little bundle
of fur would occasionally insist upon poking his nose out
6 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
of his close carriage (for it was as a close carriage that he
considered Jennie's apron) to look about him, she was not
a little fearful that he might, after all, leap away, and dis-
appear from her sight forever. But when he withdrew his
nose, and curled down, a willing captive, Jennie said aloud
to herself, "Isn't it wonderful ? He seems to like me.
What does he think, I wonder? "
What do I think? chattered Bunn, his voice somewhat
muffled by his wrapping. I'm thinking what a queer life
this is for a squirrel to lead ; but I may be a little differ-
ent from some squirrels. Since I've been at Joe's home, I
have become interested in folks, and especially in little
girls. How pretty Jennie is! Wonder how her home
looks. I'm only afraid there will be some great ugly cat
or dog there, to make me tremble for my life. But what
would I care for cat or dog, only let me get on a tree
like that great hickory yonder?" (He was peeping out
of a very little hole in the apron now.) "A cat may be
a spry climber, but she'd make a clumsy race over the
swinging boughs, with a squirrel to lead the way. Aha,
Dame Buzz! There you are, with your noisy brood," as
he heard a flock of quails rise, and fly away from behind
the roadside-wall. Bunn had never heard quails called
any thing but "buzzes" among squirrels,-a name given
them on account of the noise they make in flying.
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 7
"Aha! I know you, although I can't see you just this
minute. I know where you live; and I know how you teach
your young ones to skulk and- scud through the grass and
bushes, when you think some danger is about. Don't you
all look foolish enough, with your heads close to the ground,
and your necks stretched out a mile? Oh!" (peeping out)
" it's good to be out of doors. I can't think of never living
like a squirrel again, even to be with Jennie. If she only
wouldn't think she had lost me, now, and cry, I would jump
out of this, and run on ahead of her; and, when she got
home, there I would be sitting up on the gate-post. I won-
der if Whisker"-
Bunn didn't finish what he was going to say; for Jennie
had got home with him.
"Now for it! he thought, alive with curiosity as to what
he should see, and what would happen to him, in his new
home. Jennie opened and shut the door hastily, and ran
straight to her mother. Marmie, marmie see what Joe
gave me ; and he's just as tame !"
Marmie gave a little start, as, out of Jennie's apron, there
popped up a bright-eyed squirrel's head, as though there
had been a steel-spring under it. But she had no time to
remark upon it; for there was another spectator of the scene,
whose interest in Bunn was of such a nature as to occupy
8 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
the attention of both Marmie and Jennie, and of Bunn too,
who had, now left Jennie's protection before discovering
his foe. You may be sure Bunn's first terror, in his new
home, had beset him. His foreboding of a great ugly cat
seemed terribly fulfilled; for there, on the cushion of the
rocking-chair, with wickedly-waving tail, and glaring green
eyes, stood, ready to spring upon him, the hugest monster,
in the form of a cat, that Bunn had ever seen. Brownie, an
innocent and good-natured old plaything and pet, in Jen-
nie's eyes, was to Bunn a very tiger, with jaws yawning to
devour him. And Bunn had no tree to run up, where, from
some small branch wholly beyond Brownie's reach, lie could
sit and laugh at his pursuer. No : it was close quarters.
An instant's delay, and he might be hanging, bleeding, from
the cat's jaws. He saw that safety depended on his own
efforts now; and, with a wild spring, he bounded upon the
flower-stand by the window. This was not out of Brown-
ie's reach. Bunn knew that; and, though his strength
seemed to have forsaken him under the cat's evil magnet-
ism, he instantly made another leap, just in time to elude
the unsheathed claws that reached out for him, and caught
by the curtain-tassel. Brownie was now upon the flower-
stand, also, directly under his trembling victim; and the
cord was untying, and letting Bunn down, and he could
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 9
not gather strength to leap again. All this had happened
in so short a time, that Jennie had been too much surprised
to interfere. But, fortunately for poor, quivering Bunn, just
as he was actually falling into his mouth, Marmie's hand
was laid upon Brownie; and with, Oh, you naughty,
naughty Brownie!" she cuffed his ears, and put him out
of the room. Then Bunn sprang to the top of the window-
casing; and no amount of coaxing could get him down for
the space of half an hour. He dared not trust himself any
nearer the floor until he heard Jennie say, There goes
Brownie to the barn. I shall have to whip him, if he ever
offers to touch Bunn again. Poor Bunny! poor Bunny! How
frightened he is "
At that, Bunn left his perch, and snuggled himself down
on Jennie's shoulder, close to her neck, and thanked his
fortune that he had escaped this terrible danger.
Brownie, meanwhile, had been sitting on the doorstep,
grumbling away to himself at his abrupt dismissal.
"This is a pretty way to treat a cat when he is doing his
duty. What's the mighty difference, I wonder, between a
squirrel and a mouse, except his humbug of a tail, that
looks big enough for a hearty dinner, and doesn't amount
to half a mouthful? Squirrels are very nice to eat, though.
How it made my mouth water! I'll go and catch a mouse.
10 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
iii Then they will
pat my back,
Sand call me
It's a queer
ii I world, to be
sure." And off
TI, lie trotted to
" the barn.
ln t ill\vwnie was wise, as
well ;Is good-natured, and
"" lie ilvr molested Bunn
S;lter 1 t it; and, as Bunn
SLi w' vs created him with
'. i l'lw.l I.espect, they came,
il tiii. t,, be on quite coin-
llullm greatlyy improved in
j 'I :III;iIJii'. s fter he came to
li\v willi J:ennie. It seemed,
"S.Il(llco, (easier to be good
titanic it did at Farmer
SIJohln's ; partly, perhaps, be-
cause tlicre were no harum-
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 11
scarum boys in the house, to infect him with their wild
spirits; partly because Jennie was on the watch to keep
him out of mischief. Jennie did not go to school that win-
ter, the weather was so rough, and the schoolhouse a long
way off; and she would have been quite lonesome without
her little family of pets. A very happy family they soon
came to be. Brownie would lie on his cushion, and sleepily
watch Bunn's capers; and, when he came near, would often
give his head a roguish twist, or playfully put out a paw;
and Bunn, though he generally kept out of reach, would
laugh and chatter at him by the hour together. Still he
never grew so confidential with him as with the pretty yel-
low canary, that hung in a cage before the south window.
SHe was always so sorry for her! for Bunn never could for-
get those days when he had been shut up in a cage, nor
how he had ached to get out; but he only showed his sym-
pathy by chattering, and playing his pranks, to amuse her,
and keep up her spirits. He was a source of entertainment
to birdie; and time never hung heavily on her hands (no,
no, I must say "feet" or bill:" canaries don't have hands),-
time never hung heavily on her bill when Bunn was dart-
ing about the room, winking his bright eyes, and making
funny remarks about every thing that went on in the
house. And yet it made her long to get out: the cage
seemed smaller than ever.
12 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
Oh, dear! she plaintively chirped, one day, when they
were left alone.
What's the matter now, little yellow-wings ? said Bunn,
from the top of the door.
Well, how would you like it yourself," piped Canary,
"to be cooped up in a tiresome old cage, with' only a ring
to swing in, and one dish not half big enough to take your
bath in, pecking at the same lump of sugar for a week at a
time ? I'm sick of sugar; and I hate that silly ring, up there.
Didn't you hear Jennie reading about the country where
canaries fly free in the woods ? I just wish I could get out
in the woods, and get my own living."
"But you're not in that country, Canary; and you know
you never could get there alone," said Bunn. Little you
know what it is for a birdie like you to get her own living
in the woods here. Besides, what's a cage? I lived in a
cage once myself."
You did ? said Canary. How did you ever get out ?"
Gnawed myself out," said Bunn.
0 Bunn! gnaw me out, please," cried Canary, in eager
Bless you, dear, I should break every tooth in my head.
Mine was only a wooden cage, --a little dark box, with a
few holes in one side ; and it stood in a dismal, cold wood-
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 13
house. Now, if I had a handsome wire-cage right in a
sunny window, good company, and every thing nice -
Bunn stopped here. He was not quite satisfied of the
honesty of this manner of going on. He knew he shouldn't
like a cage under any circumstances. A new thought
Canary, do you want me to tell you a story?"
"Yes, yes! please do," twittered Canary.
Well," said Bunn, "once on a time" (squirrels begin sto-
ries in this way, as well as other folks, you see),- once on
a time, there was a canary that flew away from just as good
a mistress as you have; and she had a queer and a hard
and a scary old time of it, I tell you. First she was ogled
by a toad, who sat tipping his head down to the ground,
and back again, like a tip-cart, and swallowing a worm or a
bug every time he tipped. And when Canary asked, very
innocently, how he did it to swallow them so quick, Get
out of my way,' says the toad, or I'll swallow you.' "
Oh, oh !" said Bunn's listener, how hateful! "
"Then, when it began to grow dark, Canary heard a dread-
ful sound in the air; and a big owl, with eyes that burned
like two lanterns, and great loose, flapping wings, half
scared the life out of her by calling out in a hoarse voice,
' Halloo, Canary What business have you out here ?'
14 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
Sir,' said Canary, I wanted to be free as well as the
rest of you.'
"'Tush and nonsense!' said the owl, who was a great
ruffian; and, with one sweep of his heavy wing, lie knocked
poor Canary senseless.
She lay on the ground all night; and when she came
to, in the morning, the brightest and longest feather of her
tail was gone. The old owl had plucked it out. But this
wasn't the end of the poor runaway's trouble.
She accosted what appeared to be two beautiful butter-
flies; and in an instant they grew to be great hawks, who
flew upon her, and would have torn her limb from limb, had
not two king-birds flown along just then, and, pouncing
upon the hawks, driven them off.
But, when the king-birds found what a beautiful bird
they had rescued, they both fell in love with her, and fought
each other, from very jealousy, till one was dead. Then
Canary had to marry the other; and she led a miserable life
with him, I tell you. He turned out a regular old tyrant of
a husband ; and she was dreadfully disappointed in her
young ones. They were neither so brave as king-birds, nor
so beautiful as canaries, but the homeliest little drab and
brown birds you ever saw; and, as for singing, why, they
hadn't the throats for it. And what do you suppose folks
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 15
call them ? They're sparrows; and that's where all the
sparrows came from. There! that's what happens to cana-
ries when they run away."
With this, Bunn turned to Canary with an air of warn-
ing; but, upon seeing how much affected she already was,
how she leaped about, and fluttered her wings in a purpose-
less sort of way, his kind heart misgave him; and he at
once set himself about calming her from her tremor.
"But you are not going to fly away, Canary : so no toad
will threaten to swallow you, and no owl will knock you
down, and steal your prettiest tail-feather; and, -and noth-
ing of that dreadful sort will happen to you, you know, my
Canary had, indeed, resolved that she would not fly away
from Jennie; but how comforting and re-assuring it was to
her heart to hear Bunn say that nothing of that dreadful
sort would happen to her, and to be called my pretty
singer." It was very friendly in Bunn ; and it was nice,
after all, she remarked to him next morning, to be in
Jennie's home, wasn't it?
Bunn replied, it was, with great emphasis.
And I'm glad you are here, Bunn," Canary added shyly.
Ah says Bunn, endeavoring to conceal his pleasure,
" it is very good in you to say so."
16 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
From that time it was a never-ending surprise to the
family, who knew nothing of this passage between them, to
see how much Bunn frequented the vicinity of Canary's
cage, and how little troubled Canary seemed even when
Bunn came with a jump from the top of the secretary, near
by, down on to the very cage itself, and went through more
antics on the outside than Canary had ever thought of inside
her domicil. .
Bunn, you see, was happy. Jennie Darling was a dar-
ling indeed to him, as he knew he was to her. His life
was a bright one; and he knew how to make it cheerful for
his friend, the pretty singer."
So the winter sped away, and spring approached. Bunn
did get into mischief occasionally, in spite of his good reso-
lutions, and his desire to do only what would please Jennie.
For instance: Jennie's Uncle Hiram came to see them
one day; and, as he sat eating an apple, between bites he
let his hand, holding it, drop by his side. Bunn took up
his position on one of the lower rounds of the chair; and,
the next time the half-eaten apple came down in his vicin-
ity, he snatched it with both teeth and claws; and, having
Secured it, bounded out of reach, to the top of the window-
casing, upsetting, on his way, a watering-pot half filled with
water, which stood on the flower-stand. The affair was so
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 17
cunningly conducted, that Bunn was even suspected of
upsetting the watering-pot "on purpose," that he might
divert attention from himself, and eat the apple while the
water was being sopped up. And he was, indeed, so comi-
cal, sitting up there, finishing what Uncle Hiram had begun,
il iiTi I -TC
that, instead of scolding him, they could only laugh till
their sides ached at the sight.
Uncle Hiram had come to take Jennie home with him
for a visit; and, when they were all ready to start, behold!
one of his mittens was missing. There was searching high
and low; but nobody could find it till Jennie, going to the
18 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
basket where Bunn always slept, to bid him good-by, there
it was, very strangely puffed out for an empty mitten; yes,
and very active, too, for a mitten without a hand in it.
"Why, why!" cries Jennie, stepping back as Bunn
thrusts his head out at the wrist. "Here it is! Just see
him! just see him! "
They gather around the basket, and again they are con-
vulsed with laughter to see Bunn's quirks and motions
inside the mitten. The rogue had found it somewhere,
and evidently thought he would try it on; and, as his hands
were not big enough to fill it, he got into it all over. He
was soon emptied out without much ceremony, however.
Uncle Hiram enjoyed Bunn's trick, but could hardly think
of leaving his mitten with him.
Tlhllghts of the woods came back to Bunn with these
spring days, especially after Jennie went away; and, in
spite of every thing so pleasant about him, he was filled
with vague longings for the trees and squirrel-companions.
He thought of his sisters in the old butternut, and the time
seemed very long since he left them. He wondered if his
father and mother would know him, and whether Whisker
wouldn't be kinder to him now if he should return, after so
long an absence. He loved Jennie, oh, yes! and he didn't
like to think of leaving her and the canary. No; and he
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 19
wouldn't need to altogether. He could come and see them
"as often as he chose. But he did want to see how it would
seem to be at home again. He was afraid he had already
been gone so long, that, if he went back, he shouldn't find
them living in the old nest; and how should he find them
if they were not?
You see what the state of little Bunn's feelings was at
this time, and you will, therefore, sympathize with him in
the next event of his life ; for now something happened to
Bunn which he never forgot. It was not a return to his
home in the woods. No : he made a journey, but it was
not to the woods. His adventures during the next few
days formed a very interesting part of the story he after-
wards told of the time when he lived among boys and girls;
but, at the time, it was a very painful experience to him.
At first the house seemed desolate without Jennie; but
there came on some mild, lovely April weather, all at once.
The south window was opened, and Canary's cage hung out-
side; and Bunn was so lively, and frisked about so among
the honeysuckle and sweetbrier twigs, telling her every
thing that went on about the yard, and was in such frolic-
spirits from morning to night, that Canary thought she had
never had such good times in her life.
On one of these bright mornings a tin-peddler's cart
20 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
stopped at the gate; and Mrs. Darling and the maid went
out to see his wares. They wanted a new wash-boiler;
and, as the man opened them, and flourished the shiny cov-
ers about in the sunshine, Bunn's curiosity was awakened.
I wonder what's going on out there," he said to Canary.
"There's a big cart with the funniest lot of stuff on it. I'm
going to see."
Come back quick, and tell me," twittered Canary, stand-
ing on one foot, and longing with all her heart to go too.
"In just a minute," promised Bunn, as he whisked round
the corner of the house, down the yard, and, before any-
body saw him, was playing hide-and-seek among the tubs
and pails and brooms on the top of the cart.
Isn't this a jolly place ? What fun it would be to ride
off on the top of a broom, this fine morning, and see the
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 21
country! If I wasn't afraid of being carried to some
strange place where I couldn't find my way back--There
they are, coming round this side. If Marmie sees me,
she will just grab me, and laugh, and put me in her
apron. I'll hide, and maybe go a little ways, and jump
off, and run home when I get ready." So over he went
across the driver's seat; and, seeing one of the boilers
still uncovered, he dropped into it.
But, alas! once in, it was not so easy a matter to climb
the slippery sides, and get out. Though he clawed with all
his little might, it was in vain.
The bargaining over, Mrs. Darling and the girl went into
the house. The peddler came round, clapped on the cover,
remounted his load, and drove away, little dreaming of the
unwilling passenger he was taking along.
Oh, I must get out! I must get out! thought Bunn;
and, in desperation, he applied teeth and claws to the hard
and slippery sides of his new prison. It was all in vain.
He would never be able to gnaw out of this trap. He
thought of his basket at home, filled with soft, warm cot-
ton; of the sunny south window, with its honeysuckle-
vines, where Canary was waiting his return, till his heart
ached with grief as much. as his bones did with weariness.
Every time the cart stopped, he listened eagerly, hoping
22 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
that, in some way, his prison would be opened, yet fearing
lest discovery should bring some new peril.
Oh, how heavy poor Bunn's heart became, when hour
after hour passed wearily on, and he seemed no nearer to
release than at first!
Now rumbling on over rough roads, when the motion of
the cart threw him first to one side, and then to the other,
of his wearisome prison; now stopping at some house to
trade, and Bunn would hear voices talking about the va-
rious wares, as they were rattled about by the peddler in
his search for the thing wanted; sometimes at the farther
end of the cart; sometimes so close to him, that he was
sure the next thing opened must be the boiler. He dared
make no noise. If he did, the peddler, knowing he was
there, might not take off the cover until he had got some
other sort of a cage to put him in. No: he must wait
until some one wanted a boiler,-this boiler; and it should
be opened without knowing he was there. Then he could
leap out. (Ah but he had tried that before the cover was
put on. Bunn had forgotten that.)
But as house after house was visited, and still the wagon,
with all its rattling contents, moved on without his having
one opportunity for escape, despair settled down upon
Bunn's spirit. The approach of hunger presented to his
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 23
mind the fate of being kept there until he was dead with
starvation. At the thought of Jennie, and the canary, and
even of great Brownie, whom he had quite ceased to fear,
and the home he had left, where his condition was so en-
viable compared with this, Bunn completely broke down.
You might not have seen any tears; but, as squirrels can
cry, lie cried. Anguish tilled his breast, and must burst
forth in sobs and bitter lament. How much better," he
thought, "to live with Jennie always, and never have a real
squirrel's life in the woods, than to be taken away from
both Jennie and the woods in this way!" How ruefully
he thought of his foolishness in frolicking about the ped-
At last the weary day was over. The cart rumbled over
S something that was not the road. Bunn believed they had
stopped for the night at some farm-house, and driven into
the barn. He soon became certain of it, as he heard the
sounds of unharnessing, and the peddler's directions about
feeding the horse.
"But, after all, what better was it?" Bunn thought.
There was nothing for him but to lie there in his cold, hard
prison all night, and all the next day, for aught he knew.
He was very hungry, but still more tired than hungry; and,
uncomfortable as his bed was, he soon fell asleep. In
24 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
his sleep he dreamed that he was at home again, playing
with his little sisters about the old butternut, and frolicking
through the woods. And they found a pile of beautiful
plump chestnuts; and, just as Bunn was going to pick one
up, Whisker pounced on him, and cuffed his ears, and bit
him so hard that he cried out with pain. And Bunn ran
and ran; and, as he ran, Whisker changed into an enor-
mous black dog howling after him.
But now observe how Whisker, or, rather, Bunn's dream of
Whisker, distressing as it was, proved to be the greatest
boon he could have asked.
Bunn's deliverance was at hand, and all because of Whis-
kde's cruelty; that is, his cruelty in the dream, which was
really only a little worse than Bunn had often suffered from
him when they lived together in the butternut.
Bunn cried out in his dream, very loudly, Scree, scree,
scree, scree-e-e !" that was to say to Whisker, "Don't,
don't, don't Oh, don't! and suddenly waked up to hear a
great confusion of sounds, -among the rest the barking
of the house-dog, which, probably, made him dream of
Whisker's change to a frightful dog.
Bunn would never have dared to make that noise, had he
been awake; for he would then have known that it was
already morning, and that the peddler was at that moment
sorting over his goods on the other side of his cart.
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 35
The first thing that Bunn fairly realized was hearing the
peddler exclaim, What in thunder! and then he heard
him coming round to where he was in the boiler. Bunn
knew then what he had done. lie had betrayed himself by
the outcry he had made while asleep. lie knew that at
last the cover would be raised, and he must escape now, if
ever. lie gathered his energies for a spring. The cover
was lifted; but the boiler was just as tall, and just as slip-
pery as ever, and fasting had not added to his strength.
"Oh, what a fool I am! he said to himself, as he fell
back. 1 have tried that before."
But, as great good-luck would have it, the peddler, not
being able to see down into the boiler from where lie stood,
instead of getting up on the wheel to look in, put his hand
up, saying, Wal, here's something to pay, I swow! and
tipped the boiler down. This gave Bun the opportunity
lie needed, and he used it promptly. In a flash he was out.
Hurrah! On to the peddler's own head first; then on to
the beam over the mow. Bunn asked odds of no one now.
lie was at liberty to use a squirrel's devices again. lie
would defy peddler, cat, or dog, now. It would be easy to
leave the barn, even if there wasn't sufficient chance to
elude them inside. IIe sat up on the beam, looking his
Siiui.-st at the man below, as much as to say, Catch me in
any of your old traps again, and it will be after to-day."
26 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
Wal, to be sure," drawls the peddler, looking at the
squirrel with astonishment. Where in the old Harry
did I pick yeou up ? Got a free ride, anyhow, didn't ye ?"
(" Yes: and no thanks either," chattered Bunn.) Wal,
teo be sure! I hain't opened that 'ere biler sence yes'day
morning Guess the little scamp's some hungry !"
Bunn was indeed "some hungry." In fact, hunger was
no word for what Bunn felt in his famished condition.
When the excitement of escape had passed, as it did
quickly, when the red wagon with its glittering tins had
rattled off, and all was still again, he was all but frantic for
something to eat. Running around the timbers till he came
to the cobwebbed window, he had a good view of the door-
yard and the house.
Oh, dear!" he sighed. "How far away from Jennie's
home this must be! I shall never see her again, I suppose.
How kind she always was to me! What am I to do ? Oh,
dear! I must have something to eat! Everybody has hens.
They. are standing round, down there, waiting for corn, I
The thought hadn't crossed Bunn's mind, to do a thing so
bold; but a minute later, when a maid came out of the
house, and he saw her feeding the biddies, and heard the
sound of the grain as it was scattered on the ground, all
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 27
sense of prudence and caution forsook him; and, scarce
waiting for the maid to re-enter the house, he left his place
by the window, scampnered round the beams, to the ladder
which leaned against the hay-mow, down one side of that
to the floor, and, in half the time it takes to tell it, lie was
in the midst of the flock.
0 Binn, you will rue it! Bunn cared nought for the indig-
nation of the hens, nor the croaking cry of the rooster. IHe
was conscious only of hunger; and corn he was going to
have, liens or no hens. But, alas while his cheeks were
yet but half-tilled with the yellow kernels, a character
app)leared upon the scene which no degree of hunger could
make him indifferent to. It was a dog, which, in size and
blackness, was quite as terrible as the one Whisker had
turned into, in his dream. So suddenly had this dog burst
out on him, that his great shadow on the ground beside
him was Bunn's first intimation of danger. The next mo-
ment he was actually in the dog's jaws, and being shaken
in a way that threatened the speedy extinction of his event-
ful life. But what does he hear? Can it be that any one
here will care to save the life of a little squirrel ?
"Uncle Hiram Uncle Hiram !" in a terrified scream.
Come, oh, come quick! "
His Jennie Darling's own voice! But, before Uncle Hiram
28 BUNN'S ADVENTURES.
can come, Jennie's vigorous little hand itself comes down
sharply on Rover's head.
Let go! Put him down Naughty Rover!"
And Rover, diverted an instant by her cries, and amazed
to find himself scolded when he thought he was doing no
more than a dog's duty, dropped his victim in a heap on
the ground. Bunn righted himself in a twinkling, and
leaped not back to the barn, but, to Jennie's surprise,
straight into her arms; where, bruised and trembling in
every limb, he cuddled down safe, and so happy!
As for Jennie, she just covered him up with her apron,
and dropped down on the ground, crying and trembling too.
"There Uncle Hiram found them, and gathered up the weep-
ing little armful, and bore it into the house to be soothed
and comforted by Aunt Mary. This didn't occupy her long;
as Jennie at once forgot her grief, and squirrel's, in caring
for his wounds, which were slight, and fairly cramming him
with the nicest of butternut-meats and gingerbread.
Jennie declared it was her own little Bunn; and though
nobody could understand how Jennie's pet squirrel could
have found his way to Uncle Hiram's, and though she
couldn't say as he looked in any wise different from other
squirrels, still, when they saw how perfectly at home he
was with her, they concluded she must be right. And so it
BUNN'S ADVENTURES. 29
proved, when, two days afterwards, Jennie returned with
Bunn to Marmie and the canary. But the mystery of his
appearance at Uncle Hiram's was not explained till three
months later, when the peddler, coming round again, told
what he knew about Bunn.
What a happy ride Bunn had in the old chaise, over the
same road he had travelled three days before, a pining
prisoner in the tin-boiler! And what a joyful meeting it
was to them all! Marmie had mourned Bunn as lost both
for herself and for Jennie, to whom she thought his disap-
pearance would be a sad piece of news.
And the canary, -well, she told Bunn that night, before
the cloth was spread over her cage, something from which
he guessed how sad a bird she had been during his absence,
and how glad she was at his return.
The next few weeks saw nothing but unalloyed happiness
for Jennie and Bunn and Canary. Bunn was perfectly con-
tent to settle down with them, -rogueing it a little, of
course, but committing no serious misdemeanor, and doing
much to make it interesting for Canary.
We have not finished Bunn's story, as we expected to do
in this book. Something is still left untold of Bunn and
Canary, and much of Whisker too. But in one more book
you will know it all.
-- '- --,, -
-- .- . ._ = ,
:1 s17; [11.
-- ~~~I ----o-"---:- ----:-: ;: -,' %t-,
":_ y. ~ ~ y:-._ -
S. -.-I ._ .
0% t. A
-V_. _--_- _
..-'-~.. :- .-_= .. _
_. ., .--= _ -
'1 ;e :r' 'PP'C~i
,' .,' .''
Now let us return to the morning when Bunn disap-
peared from the nest in the butternut, -that white and
blue morning after the first snow-fall of the winter; white
below, as only snow is white; blue above, as only sky is
Oh, what a sight! Five squirrels all sitting about the
foot of a tree! And the mound is so white you can see
their every motion.
The two largest sit up together on a dead limb which has
fallen from the tree. The other three are gathered about
them. One of them steps about impatiently, now as
though ready to spring up the tree, and a moment after as
if he wanted to be off across the snow, but waited for some-
thing. I should say the other two were afraid of this one;
for, when he comes near, they drop their heads, make a lit-
tle chattering, and shy off, as if expecting to be bitten.
Ah, Whisker! I have told some little folks about you
and your lordly ways before, and they know you.
6 SQUIRREL WOOING.
Yes, this is the very morning when Whisker sent Bunn
up, long before it was light, to see if the moon had risen.
Not that he cared whether it had, or not, only he de-
lighted to make Bunn uncomfortable.
As you well know, Bunn did not come back. And the
old squirrels have called their children to breakfast, and
Bunn is not there.
Where is Bunn ? asks the father squirrel.
Where is Bunn ?" inquires the mother at the same
"Sure enough!" says Whisker, as though he were as
much surprised as any of them.
Teena looks at Fara, and then both look at Whisker.
The father sees the look.
"Who came down from the nest last ? ihe inquires.
"I did," replies Fara. Bnnn wasn't there then."
"Who came down first ? "
I did," says Whisker; "and I've been Iup so long, I'm
hungry. Why can't I have some acorns? Bunn will be
round by and by."
But Whisker's father did not heed his impatience.
Whisker, was Bunn in the nest at all last night ? "
Whisker, sulking, I s'pose so."
"Yes, he was," says Teena; "for, after we went to
SQUIRREL WOOING. 7
ed, he told me a story about a snake that tried to swallow
S" Whisker, do you know when he left the nest? "
Whisker casts a glance around, sees a look in Teena's face
by which he knows that she was awake when he routed
Bunn out, and will tell if he does not, and answers, I sent
him out to see if the moon was up; and he run off some-
where, I s'pose. I didn't tell him not to come back to
Mother and Fara look anxious at hearing this; and the
Son Whisker, I fear no good will come to you for the
unhappy life you are leading Bunn."
Whisker, putting on an air of unconcern, makes no reply
Teena, you may fetch out the breakfast."
Teena obeyed, bringing nuts of various kinds from a hole
in the ground close by. And they ate in silence.
The moment it was over, as lonesome as she felt for Bunn,
Fara couldn't refrain from asking Teena what happened to
the snake that tried to swallow a toad; for she was asleep
when the story was told.
"Why," said Teena, "it was a growing toad. Bunn says
some toads grow ever so slow, and never get larger than a
8 SQUIRREL WOOING.
walnut; while others grow ever so fast, and get to be big.l
ger than two of our heads put together. This toad was of
the big sort; and, when the snake swallowed him, he had
just eaten an enormous meal of worms and bugs, and so
grew faster than ever. The snake could get him no farther
than his throat, the best he could do ; and, when lie found
the toad growing at such a rate, he would have been glad
to throw him out of his mouth altogether. But this he
"So the toad staid right there, and grew and grew and
grew, till the snake's skin burst open, and he hopped away.
So the toad killed the snake, after all."
"A great story to tell!" said Whisker. Wonder where
he picked that up."
Whisker troubled himself but little about Bunn until he
had been over to his friend Bushy's; and Bushy had seen
nothing of him. And dinner-time came, and still no tidings
had been received at the butternut. Then Whisker became
uneasy. He recalled the cruelties he had heaped upon
Bunn, and said to himself, Suppose he should never come
back ? He thought of how patient Bunn had been under
it all; and his heart smote him.
He did not tell his sisters this. His pride would not allow
him to say lie was sorry to them.
SQUIRREL WOOING. 9
Night came; and Whisker pretended to sleep while
Teena and Fara lay sobbing with grief: but the truth
was, he hardly slept a wink. Morning came at last. Whis-
ker had thought it would never come. Another day went
by. They had searched far and wide, and inquired of every
live thing in the woods; but neither the little red-squir-
rels, the rabbits, the robins, nor the cat-birds, could give
them any news of missing Bunn.
But, the next morning, a brown thrush lit upon the but-
ternut, and told Teena to go to an old white rabbit who
lived in the alder-thicket near by, and she would hear
something about her lost brother.
Teena went, and came back with the sad tidings, that the
white rabbit had seen a squirrel answering to the descrip-
tion of Bunn run right into a trap, and heard the cover
slam down over him.
She didn't stay to see what became of him, as she was in
a hurry just then to get home to her babies. She was very
sorry; and she added, with some severity, she thought no
little squirrel would have been out alone at that time in
the morning, if he had anybody to care for him. The others
were too full of their grief to notice how Whisker hung his
head at this.
From this time they sadly gave up Bunn for lost. Whis-
10 SQUIRREL WOOING.
ker did feel badly for many days. Teena and Fara noticed,
that, for a while, he was less rude to them than formerly.
Soon, however, this wore off; and Whisker was the same
as before, -a great favorite with the bullies among squir-
rels; but with the smaller and weaker ones he was a tyrant,
who gave them no peace.
You will not, of course, understand by this, that he made
himself hateful to the girl-squirrels. Oh, no! He was
very kind to them, that is, to all except his own sisters;
and the fear-nought, swa.-.ering way in which he carried
himself made him quite a hero among them. And then he
was handsome and strong: there was no denying that. He
knew it himself as well as any one; and he used his good
looks to captivate the girls, while his t lglh was devoted
to tormenting the smaller boys.
But Whisker's turn to suffer came at last, as, of course,
it would to one who had so recklessly inflicted pain upon
One (lay-it was about the time when Bunn was carried
off in the tin-peddler's cart, I think-a man camin- striding
through the woods with a dog by his side, and a bag hang-
ing in front of him, slung by a stralp which passed over his
shoulder. He carried something in his hand, which made
Whisker very curious,-a stick, long and slender, except at
SQUIRREL WOOING. 11
one end, where it bent off a little, and flattened out; but,
unlike any stick which grew in the woods, it was black and
What could this man want, Whisker wondered. Had
',I,; .-'- "' ^
"I \ ,!
12 SQUIRREL WOOING.
he lost something? Or why did he look this way and that
so sharply as he strode through the underbrush ?
Teena, whose sport with Fara he had just rudely inter-
rupted, was near, and besought Whisker to come away;
for the appearance of this man, with that mysterious thing
in his hand, filled her with a terror she could not explain.
But Whisker, unheeding, leaped from tree to tree, to keep
up, as the man and dog passed along, until the dog, seeing
Then the man stopped, and looked up at Whisker.
At this, Teena was more than ever frightened, and called
again to Whisker to come away.
Shut up, you silly thing! said Whisker. I'm going
to see what he does with that shiny stick. Oh, just look!
He's holding it up for me to see, pointing it right this
Teena could say no more; for (as she told the story after-
ward) a little cloud burst out of the end of the stick just
then, and thunder and lightning came out of the cloud.
And poor Whisker gave a cry, and dropped down into the
fork of the tree.
What saved Whisker from another flash of lightning she
did not know; but the cruel man turned then, and walked
away, calling his dog.
SQUIRREL WOOING. 13
You will know what the young squirrels found out
afterward from their parents that this man was a hunter,
and the thing he carried in his hand was a gun. The reason
why he didn't discharge it at Whisker again was, that, see-
ing Fara bounding off in her fright the moment after he
had shot, he suppi.i-,:-d it was Whisker, and that, therefore,
he had not hit him. So he gave him up, knowing, that,
after frightening him so, it would be long before he should
get near enough for another shot.
Whisker had already paid dearly for his daring, however.
He was not dead, but in dreadful pain; and his right fore-
leg hung useless by his side.
Where now had fled the haughty Whisker's valor?
Bleeding and faint, keeping himself from falling to the
ground only by the greatest effort, what a picture of
helplessness! The hero whom nothing could daunt, will
he scorn now the kind attentions of his sisters ?
Ah, no! In piteous tones he tells them how badly he is
hurt. And they, as though he had always been to them the
kindest brother in the world, keep along by his side as lie
limps home; and tears fill their eyes to witness the pain
the journey costs him.
Arrived at home, he becomes the centre of affectionate
attention from them all. His father knows of a plant
14 SQUIRREL WOOING.
which helps wounds to heal, and gets it for him. Teena
and Fara run hither and thither to bring the softest moss
for his bed, and the choicest nuts for him to eat. His
mother places the broken bones in position to heal, binds
up his wounds; and they all take turns in sitting by him,
and telling him stories. Nobody seems to remember his
sharp words, or his rude ways. They only think how they
may comfort and amuse him.
Whisker was not sick very long. He was so strong and
healthy, that the limb soon healed.
But the time was long enough for Whisker to do a good
deal of thinking. It would have been strange indeed, if
all their kindness had not softened his heart. Hitherto he
had seemed to think very little of anybody but himself.
Now he began to notice how pretty and graceful and enter-
taining his sisters were.
I declare, Teena's a regular beauty! he said to himself
one day, as her handsome, feathery tail disappeared over
the top of the hole. What patient, good-natured sisters
they are too! -sitting here in this poky old place (I'm
awful tired of it), chattering and telling me stories, when
the sun shines, and all the squirrels are out at play. And
what an old owl I've been to them! Poor Bunn too! I
SQUIRREL WOOING. 15
Whisker hadn't time to finish wondering; for just then
Fara's nose popped in between him and the light; then
Teena's; and they both sprang down beside him.
Whisker spoke right out then,-
"I tell you what 'tis, little sisters, you are the jolliest
pair of nurses a good-for-nothing fellow ever had; and I
deserve to have all my legs broken, if ever I'm cross to
This was a great confession for Whisker to make. His
sisters were touched by it.
Fara said nothing, but rubbed her nose lovingly over
his fur to smooth it down for him; while Teena, who had
too much tact to receive it as a confession, only gave a
playful nip at his ear as she said, "We'll have a jolly
brother again pretty soon. What do you think? Mother
says you may go up and sit a little while on the big limb
to-day: it is such a nice day! And I've told Tricksy and
Flit, and they are both coming. Flit has inquired about
you every other thing. Such fun as we'll have "
After this, Whisker went out every sunny day, and soon
got well. He was a different squirrel, though, in many
ways. He was always gentle with his sisters now; and
among his smaller companions he soon came to be looked
upon as a protector, instead of a tyrant.
16 SQUIRREL WOOING.
He thought of Bunn a great deal; and, as you will see,
he was soon to learn something about him.
One day he was sitting on a tree-branch just above the
orchard wall, when he saw Joe coming up the hill with a
girl beside him. Such a pretty girl, in a jaunty hat and
bright frock, all ruffles and ribbons!
Who can that be ? thought Whisker.
There was nobody to answer his question. But it was
Joe's Cousin Nettie from Boston; and he was taking her
up to the seat in the crooked apple-tree.
As they came near, Whisker heard Joe talking very fast;
and Nettie was laughing in great merriment.
Yes," he said, sure as you live, he lit right in the
middle of the sausage-platter. You never saw any thing
cut up as that squirrel did."
Whisker pricked up his ears.
"What became of him ?" asked the girl eagerly. "Oh, I
wish you had him now!"
I gave him to Jennie Darling. She's got him now. She
likes Bunn first-rate. So did I. He was an awful plague,
though. Stole my shagbarks, and did mischief like"-
" Like the old Harry," Joe was going to say; but it didn't
seem just the thing to say to Cousin Nettie. And it wasn't
SQUIRREL WOOING. 17
necessary to finish the sentence; for Nettie asked who Jen-
nic Darling was, and where she. lived.
Right over the hill," Joe said.
Let's go and see her this afternoon. You run down to
the house and ask mamma, while I sit here in the tree.
Isn't it a splendid seat? And bring my parasol, please,"
she called after him as he ran down the hill. Joe wasn't
used to being ordered around in this way by little girls; but
he seemed to rather like it.
Not a word of this had been lost on Whisker as he sat
on a projecting stone just over the other side of the wall,
and very near the top.
Ah!" he mused. "A pet squirrel! What if it should
be our Bunn? I'll bet 'twas Joe's trap the white rab-
Whisker had formed his plans by the time Joe had
returned with the parasol and a little gray sack mamma
had sent, with a charge to be home early. And if it was a
squirrel merely, which they were going to see, why, there
was one just behind them all the way; though, to be sure,
they would need to have had their eyes peeled to have
seen him, for he did not expose himself to view unneces-
sarily. It was only where the wall was broken by a gap,
or where, for a short distance, he had a fence only to hide
him, that he came in sight.
18 SQUIRREL WOOING.
Tom had come too, when he found where Joe and Nettie
were going: so here were two boys, a girl, and a squirrel,
on their way to see Bunn and Jennie Darling.
Whisker kept near enough to make good use of his ears;
and he gathered, from what he heard, that to be Jennie's
captive wasn't so bad as some things he knew of, being
shot in the leg, for instance. Fussing with him all the
time." Thinks more of him than she does of her eyes."
"You'd s'pose there wa'n't but one squirrel in the world,
and never's goin' to be another."
Such were some of the words Whisker caught from
Joe and Tom; and he thought, if they meant any thing,
they meant that Bunn hadn't been so very unhappy a
squirrel, after all. It made him lighter of heart than he
had been before for many a day.
And now I must explain to you how it was, that,
when they arrived at Jennie's, no Bunn was there to be
As I have told you before, for several weeks after Bunn
returned with Jennie from his painful journey in the tin-
peddler's cart, he thought he should never care to run
He was quite content to spend his days in frolicking
about Jennie as she sat reading or sewing by the window,
SQUIRREL WOOING. 19
and in chattering all sorts of nonsense to Canary, over Jen-
nie's head. Jennie did not restrict his freedom at all. He
could go out when he pleased, and stay as long as he liked.
The hens and the pigs were not so interesting as Jennie
and the Canary, however; and for some time he staid but
little away from them.
But one day Bunn was gone nearly all the afternoon.
Canary hopped about and chirped disconsolately. Even
Jennie missed Bunn's companionship, and grew lonesome
for him. At last he sprang in through the open window,
frisked around, and settled down as usual on Jennie's
But from this time Canary could see that Bunn did not
appear the same, even when he was in the house; and that
was not nearly so much as formerly.
Canary thought it over, and wondered most. But Jennie,
too, was curious as to how Bunn amused himself when away.
Canary made no inquiries of Bunn, however, but bore her
loneliness in silence.
It wasn't long before Bunn would go off very soon after
breakfast, and no more would be seen of him till late in
the afternoon; and, when he came in, he would often sit for
a long time silent and thoughtful. What in the world had
come over him ? What could make a squirrel act so? He
20 SQUIRREL WOOING.
wasn't sick; for he ate his food, though not with quite his
usual appetite, Canary thought.
The mystery was this: Bunn had seen one of his own
kind again; and that one was Elfie, his own former play-
mate, now almost grown up, as well as himself.
What wonder, that, all at once, Bunn should become very
fond of being out of doors! His old longings for a wild,
free squirrel's life, returned. Yes, and more than his old
longings. In a very few days he had come to love Elfie
dearly. He had asked her to live with him forever. Sit-
ting upon the budding bough of the apple-tree beside him,
she had pressed her head gently against his shoulder, and
whispered, "Yes, Bunn. But you live in the house; and-
oh, dear! I don't think I should like that, Bunn."
Then you shall not," replied Bunn. For you I will
leave Jennie Darling, much as I love her; and, if she knew
how glorious it is for me to love you, I think she would be
willing. And we could both go and see her and Canary
sometimes; and then she would see how much better it is
for me to be free."
Then Elfie partly hid her head in Bunn's side, and said
shyly, Where should we live, Bunn? "
"Wherever you like best in all the woods, dear Elfie,"