Chapter XIX: Sammy Jay Is Modest
 

As soon as the angry hunter with the terrible gun had disappeared among the trees of the Green Forest, and Lightfoot was sure that he had gone for good, Lightfoot came out from his hiding-place on top of the ridge and walked down to the pond of Paddy the Beaver for a drink. He knew that it was quite safe to do so, for Sammy Jay had followed the hunter, all the time screaming, "Thief! thief! thief!" Every one within hearing could tell just where that hunter was by Sammy's voice. It kept growing fainter and fainter, and by that Lightfoot knew that the hunter was getting farther and farther away.

Paddy the Beaver swam out from his hiding-place and climbed out on the bank near Lightfoot. There was a twinkle in his eyes. "That blue-coated mischief-maker isn't such a bad fellow at heart, after all, is he?" said he.

Lightfoot lifted his beautiful head and set his ears forward to catch the sound of Sammy's voice in the distance.

"Sammy Jay may be a mischief-maker, as some people say," said he, "but you can always count on him to prove a true friend in time of danger. He brought me warning of the coming of the hunter the other morning. You saw him save Mr. and Mrs. Quack a little while ago, and then he actually drove that hunter away. I suppose Sammy Jay has saved more lives than any one I know of. I wish he would come back here and let me thank him."

Some time later Sammy Jay did come back. "Well," said he, as he smoothed his feathers, "I chased that fellow clear to the edge of the Green Forest, so I guess there will be nothing more to fear from him today. I'm glad to see he hasn't got you yet, Lightfoot. I've been a bit worried about you."

"Sammy," said Lightfoot, "you are one of the best friends I have. I don't know how I can ever thank you for what you have done for me."

"Don't try," replied Sammy shortly. "I haven't done anything but what anybody else would have done. Old Mother Nature gave me a pair of good eyes and a strong voice. I simply make the best use of them I can. Just to see a hunter with a terrible gun makes me angry clear through. I 'd rather spoil his hunting than eat."

"You want to watch out, Sammy. One of these days a hunter will lose his temper and shoot you, just to get even with you," warned Paddy the Beaver.

"Don't worry about me," replied Sammy. "I know just how far those terrible guns can shoot, and I don't take any chances. By the way, Lightfoot, the Green Forest is full of hunters looking for you. I 've seen a lot of them, and I know they are looking for you because they do not shoot at anybody else even when they have a chance."