Chapter XXXV: Lightfoot Is Reckless
 

In his search for the new stranger who had come to the Green Forest, Lightfoot the Deer was wholly reckless. He no longer stole like a gray shadow from thicket to thicket as he had done when searching for the beautiful stranger with the dainty feet. He bounded along, careless of how much noise he made. From time to time he would stop to whistle a challenge and to clash his horns against the trees and stamp the ground with his feet.

After such exhibitions of anger he would pause to listen, hoping to hear some sound which would tell him where the stranger was. Now and then he found the stranger's tracks, and from them he knew that this stranger was doing: just what he had been doing, seeking to find the beautiful newcomer with the dainty feet. Each time he found these signs Lightfoot's rage increased.

Of course it didn't take Sammy Jay long to discover what was going on. There is little that escapes those sharp eyes of Sammy Jay. As you know, he had early discovered the game of hide and seek Lightfoot had been playing with the beautiful young visitor who had come down to the Green Forest from the Great Mountain. Then, by chance, Sammy had visited the Laughing Brook just as the big stranger had come down there to drink. For once Sammy had kept his tongue still. "There is going to be excitement here when Lightfoot discovers this fellow," thought Sammy. "If they ever meet, and I have a feeling that they will, there is going to be a fight worth seeing. I must pass the word around."

So Sammy Jay hunted up his cousin, Blacky the Crow, and told him what he had discovered. Then he hunted up Bobby Coon and told him. He saw Unc' Billy Possum sitting in the doorway of his hollow tree and told him. He discovered Jumper the Hare sitting under a little hemlock-tree and told him. Then he flew over to the dear Old Briar-patch to tell Peter Rabbit. Of course he told Drummer the Woodpecker, Tommy Tit the Chickadee, and Yank Yank the Nuthatch, who were over in the Old Orchard, and they at once hurried to the Green Forest, for they couldn't think of missing anything so exciting as would be the meeting between Lightfoot and the big stranger from the Great Mountain.

Sammy didn't forget to tell Paddy the Beaver, but it was no news to Paddy. Paddy had seen the big stranger on the edge of his pond early the night before.

Of course, Lightfoot knew nothing about all this. His one thought was to find that big stranger and drive him from the Green Forest, and so he continued his search tirelessly.