The Adventures of Johnny Chuck by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter IX. Another Strange Chuck
Johnny Chuck awoke just as jolly, round, red Mr. Sun pulled his own nightcap off. At first Johnny couldn't think where he was. He blinked and blinked. Then he rolled over. "Ouch!" cried Johnny Chuck. You see he was so stiff and sore from his great fight the day before, that it hurt to roll over. But when he felt the smart of those wounds, he remembered where he was. He was in the old hollow log that he had found on the edge of the Green Meadows just before dark. It was the first time that Johnny had ever slept anywhere, excepting underground, and as he lay blinking his eyes, it seemed very strange and rather nice, too.
"Well, well, well! What are you doing here?" cried a sharp voice.
Johnny Chuck looked towards the open end of the old log. There, peeping in, was a little face as sharp as the voice.
"Hello, Chatterer!" cried Johnny.
"I say, what are you doing here?" persisted Chatterer the Red Squirrel, for it was he.
"Just waking up," replied Johnny, with a grin.
"It's time," replied Chatterer. "But that isn't telling me what you are doing so far from home."
"I haven't any home," said Johnny, his face growing just a wee bit wistful.
"You haven't any home!" Chatterer's voice sounded as if he didn't think he had heard aright. "What have you done with it?"
"Given it to Jimmy Skunk," replied Johnny Chuck.
Now Chatterer never gives anything to anybody, and how any one could give away his home was more than he could understand. He stared at Johnny as if he thought Johnny had gone crazy. Finally he found his tongue. "I don't believe it!" he snapped. "If Jimmy Skunk has got your old home, it's because he put you out of it."
"No such thing! I'd like to see Jimmy Skunk or anybody else put me out of my home!" Johnny Chuck spoke scornfully. "I gave it to him because I didn't want it any longer. I'm going to see the world, and then I'm going to build me a new home. Everybody else seems to be building new homes this spring; why shouldn't I?"
"I'm not!" retorted Chatterer. "I know enough to know when I am well off.
"Who has a discontented heart Is sure to play a sorry part."
Johnny Chuck crawled out of the old log and stretched himself somewhat painfully. "That may be, but there are different kinds of discontent.
Who never looks for better things Will live his life in little rings.
Well, I must be moving along, if I am to see the world." So Johnny Chuck bade Chatterer good-by and started on. It was very delightful to wander over the Green Meadows on such a beautiful spring morning. The violets and the wind-flowers nodded to him, and the dandelions smiled up at him. Johnny almost forgot his torn clothes and the bites and scratches of his great fight with the gray old Chuck the day before. It was fun to just go where he pleased and not have a care in the world.
He was thinking of this, as he sat up to look over the Green Meadows. His heart gave a great throb. What was that over near the lone elm- tree? It was--yes, it certainly was another Chuck! Could it be the old gray Chuck come back for another fight? A great anger filled the heart of Johnny Chuck, and he whistled sharply. The strange Chuck didn't answer. Johnny ground his teeth and started for the lone elm-tree. He would show this other Chuck who was master of the Green Meadows!