XVII. Fatty Finds the Moon
 

Wandering through the woods one day, Fatty Coon's bright eyes caught a strange gleam from something--something that shone and glittered out of the green. Fatty wanted to see what it was, though he hardly thought it was anything to eat. But whenever he came upon something new he always wanted to examine it. So now Fatty hurried to see what the strange thing was.

It was the oddest thing he had ever found--flat, round, and silvery; and it hung in the air, under a tree, just over Fatty's head. Fatty Coon looked carefully at the bright thing. He walked all around it, so he could see it from all sides. And at last he thought he knew what it was. He made up his mind that it was the moon!

He had often seen the moon up in the sky; and here it was, just the same size exactly, hanging so low that he could have reached it with his paw. He saw nothing strange in that; for he knew that the moon often touched the earth. Had he not seen it many a time, resting on the side of Blue Mountain? One night he had asked his mother if he might go up on the mountain to play with the moon; but she had only laughed. And here, at last, was the moon come to him! Fatty was so excited that he ran home as fast as he could go, to tell his mother, and his brother Blackie, and Fluffy and Cutey, his sisters.

"Oh! the moon! the moon!" Fatty shouted. He had run so fast that, being so plump, he was quite out of breath. And that was all he could say.

"Well, well! What about the moon!" Mrs. Coon asked. "Anybody would think you had found it, almost." And she smiled.

Fatty puffed and gasped. And at last he caught his breath again.

"Yes--I've found it! It's over in the woods--just a little way from here!" he said. "Big, and round, and shiny! Let's all go and bring it home!"

"Well, well, well!" Mrs. Coon was puzzled. She had never heard of the moon being found in those woods; and she hardly knew what to think. "Are you sure?" she asked.

"Oh, yes, Mother!" Fatty could hardly wait, he was so eager to lead the way. And with many a shake of the head, Mrs. Coon, with her family, started off to see the moon.

"There!" Fatty cried, as they came in sight of the bright, round thing. "There it is--just as I told you!" And they all set up a great shouting.

All but Mrs. Coon. She wasn't quite sure, even yet, that Fatty had really found the moon. And she walked close to the shining thing and peered at it. But not too close! Mrs. Coon didn't go too near it. And she told her children quite sternly to stand back. It was well that she did; for when Mrs. Coon took her eyes off Fatty's moon and looked at the ground beneath it--well! she jumped back so quickly that she knocked two of her children flat on the ground.

A trap! That was what Mrs. Coon saw right in front of her. And Farmer Green, or his boy, or whoever it was that set the trap, had hung that bright piece of tin over the trap hoping that one of her family would see it and play with it--and fall into the trap. Yes--it was a mercy that Fatty hadn't begun knocking it about. For if he had he would have stepped right into the trap and it would have shut--snap! Just like that. And there he would have been, caught fast.

It was no wonder that Mrs. Coon hurried her family away from that spot. And Fatty led them all home again. He couldn't get away from his moon fast enough.