The Adventures of Reddy Fox by Thornton W. Burgess
XIV. Granny Fox Finds What Became of the Chicken
Old Granny Fox was in a terrible temper. Dear, dear, it certainly was a dreadful temper! Jimmy Skunk laughed at her, and that made it worse. When he saw this, Jimmy Skunk just rolled over and over on the ground and shouted, he was so tickled. Of course, it wasn't the least bit nice of Jimmy Skunk, but you know that Granny Fox had been calling Jimmy a thief. Then Jimmy doesn't like Granny Fox anyway, nor do any of the other little meadow and forest people, for most of them are very much afraid of her.
When old Granny Fox finally got out of the bramble bush, she didn't stop to say anything more to Jimmy Skunk, but hurried away, muttering and grumbling and grinding her teeth. Old Granny Fox wasn't pleasant to meet just then, and when Bobby Coon saw her coming, he just thought it best to get out of her way, so he climbed a tree.
It wasn't that Bobby Coon was afraid of old Granny Fox. Bless you, no! Bobby Coon isn't a bit afraid of her. It was because he had a full stomach and was feeling too good-natured and lazy to quarrel.
"Good morning, Granny Fox. I hope you are feeling well this morning," said Bobby Coon, as old Granny Fox came trotting under the tree he was sitting in. Granny Fox looked up and glared at him with yellow eyes.
"It isn't a good morning and I'm not feeling fine!" she snapped.
"My goodness, how you have torn your skirts!" exclaimed Bobby Coon.
Old Granny Fox started to say something unpleasant. Then she changed her mind and instead she sat down and told Bobby Coon all her troubles. As she talked, Bobby Coon kept ducking his head behind a branch of the tree to hide a smile. Finally Granny Fox noticed it.
"What do you keep ducking your head for, Bobby Coon?" she asked suspiciously.
"I'm just looking to see if I can see any feathers from that chicken," replied Bobby Coon gravely, though his eyes were twinkling with mischief.
"Well, do you?" demanded old Granny Fox.
And just then Bobby Coon did. They were not on the ground, however, but floating in the air. Bobby Coon leaned out to see where they came from, and Granny Fox turned to look, too. What do you think they saw? Why, sitting on a tall, dead tree was Mr. Goshawk, just then swallowing the last of Granny's chicken.
"Thief! thief! robber! robber!" shrieked old Granny Fox.
But Mr. Goshawk said nothing, just winked at Bobby Coon, puffed out his feathers, and settled himself for a comfortable nap.