Whitefoot the Wood Mouse by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter V: The End Of Whitefoot's Worries
You never can tell! You never can tell! Things going wrong will often end well. - Whitefoot.
The next time you meet him just ask Whitefoot if this isn't so. Things had been going very wrong for Whitefoot. It had begun to look to Whitefoot as if he would no longer have a snug, hidden little home in Farmer Brown's sugar-house. The pile of wood under which he had made that snug little home was disappearing so fast that it began to look as if in a little while there would be no wood at all.
Whitefoot quite lost his appetite. He no longer came out to take food from Farmer Brown's boy's hand. He stayed right in his snug little home and worried.
Now Farmer Brown's boy had not once thought of the trouble he was making. He wondered what had become of Whitefoot, and in his turn he began to worry. He was afraid that something had happened to his little friend. He was thinking of this as he fed the sticks of wood to the fire for boiling the sap to make syrup and sugar. Finally, as he pulled away two big sticks, he saw something that made him whistle with surprise. It was Whitefoot's nest which he had so cleverly hidden way down underneath that pile of wood when he had first moved into the sugar-house. With a frightened little squeak, Whitefoot ran out, scurried across the little sugar-house and out though the open door.
Farmer Brown's boy understood. He understood perfectly that little people like Whitefoot want their homes hidden away in the dark. "Poor little chap," said Farmer Brown's boy." He had a regular castle here and we have destroyed it. He's got the snuggest kind of a little nest here, but he won't come back to it so long as it is right out in plain sight. He probably thinks we have been hunting for this little home of his. Hello! Here's his storehouse! I've often wondered how the little rascal could eat so much, but now I understand. He stored away here more than half of the good things I have given him. I am glad he did. If he hadn't, he might not come back, but I feel sure that to-night, when all is quiet, he will come back to take away all his food. I must do something to keep him here."
Farmer Brown's boy sat down to think things over. Then he got an old box and made a little round hole in one end of it. Very carefully he took up Whitefoot's nest and placed it under the old box in the darkest corner of the sugar-house. Then he carried all Whitefoot's supplies over there and put them under the box. He went outside, and got some branches of hemlock and threw these in a little pile over the box. After this he scattered some crumbs just outside.
Late that night Whitefoot did come back. The crumbs led him to the old box. He crept inside. There was his snug little home! All in a second Whitefoot understood, and trust and happiness returned.