Chapter XXII. Sammy Jay Becomes Curious
Learn all you can about others, but
keep your own affairs to yourself.
                                 Peter Rabbit.

Of course it was Sammy Jay who first found out that Peter Rabbit was back in the dear Old Briar-patch. Sammy took it into his head to fly over there the very morning of Peter's home-coming. Indeed, little Miss Fuzzytail hadn't had time to half see the clear Old Briar-patch which, you know, was to be her new home, when Peter saw Sammy Jay coming. Now Peter was not quite ready to have all the world know that there was a Mrs. Peter, for of course that was what little Miss Fuzzytail was now that she had come to make her home with Peter. They wanted to keep by themselves for a little while and just be happy with each other. So as soon as Peter saw Sammy Jay headed towards the Old Briar-patch, he hid little Miss Fuzzytail under the thickest sweet-briar bush, and then hurried out to the nearest sweet-clover patch.

Of course Sammy Jay saw him right away, and of course Sammy was very much surprised.

"Hello, Peter Rabbit! Where'd you come from?" he shouted, as he settled himself comfortably in a little poplar-tree growing on the edge of the Old Briar-patch.

"Oh," said Peter with a very grand air, "I've been on a long journey to see the Great World."

"Which means," said Sammy Jay with a chuckle, "that you've been in the Old Pasture all this time, and let me tell you, Peter Rabbit, the Old Pasture is a very small part of the Great World. By the way, Tommy Tit the Chickadee was down here the other day and told us all about you. He said that you had fallen in love with little Miss Fuzzytail, and he guessed that you were going to make your home up there. What's the matter? Did her father, Old Jed Thumper, drive you out?"

"No, he didn't!" snapped Peter angrily, "It's none of your business what I came home for, Sammy Jay, but I'll tell you just the same. I came home because I wanted to."

Sammy chuckled, for he dearly loves to tease Peter and make him angry. Then the imp of mischief, who seems always to live just under that smart cap of Sammy's, prompted him to ask: "Did you come home alone?"

Now Peter couldn't say "yes" for that would be an untruth, and whatever faults Peter may have, he is at least truthful. So he just pretended not to have heard Sammy's question.

Now when Sammy had asked the question he had thought nothing about it. It had just popped into his head by way of something to say. But Sammy Jay is sharp, and he noticed right away that Peter didn't answer but began to talk about other things,

"Ha, ha!" thought Sammy to himself, "I believe he didn't come alone, I wonder now if he brought Miss Fuzzytail with him."

Right away Sammy began to peer down into the Old Briar-patch, twisting and turning so that he could see in every direction, and all the time talking as fast as his tongue could go. Two or three times he flew out over the Old Briar-patch, pretending to try to catch moths, but really so that he could look down into certain hiding-places. The last time that he did this he spied little Mrs. Peter, who was, you know, Miss Fuzzytail. At once Sammy Jay started for the Green Forest, screaming at the top of his voice:

"Peter Rabbit's married! Peter Rabbit's married!"