Chapter XXVIII. Reddy Fox Dreams of Chickens
 
    It's a poor watch-dog who sleeps with both eyes closed.

    Bowser the Hound.

Reddy Fox watched Blacky the Crow grow smaller and smaller until he was just a black speck in the distance. Finally he disappeared. Reddy looked very thoughtful. He looked that way because he was thoughtful. In fact, Reddy was doing a lot of hard thinking. He was thinking about those chickens Blacky had told him of. The more he thought of them, the hungrier he grew. You see, Reddy had been having rather a hard time to get enough to eat.

"Yes, Sir," said Reddy to himself, "I would go a long, long distance to get a good plump hen. I wish I knew just where that farm is that that black rascal talked about. I wonder if he has gone that way now. If I were sure that he has, I would make a little journey in that direction myself. But I'm not sure. That black rascal flies all over the country. That farm may lie in the direction he has gone now, and it may be in quite the opposite direction. Somehow I've got to find out in just which direction it is."

Reddy yawned, for he had been out all night, and he was sleepy. He decided that the best thing he could do would be to get a good rest. One must always be fit if one is to get on in this life. The harder one must work, the more fit one should keep, and a proper amount of sleep is one of the most necessary things in keeping fit. So Reddy curled up to sleep.

Hardly had his eyes closed when he began to dream. You see, he had been thinking so hard about those fat hens, and he was so hungry for one of them, that right away he began to dream of fat hens. It was a beautiful dream. At least, it was a beautiful dream to Reddy. Fat hens were all about him. They were so fat that they could hardly walk. Not only were they fat, but they seemed to think that their one object in life was to fill the stomachs of hungry foxes, for they just stood about waiting to be caught.

Never in all his life had Reddy Fox known anything so wonderful as was that dream. There were no dogs to worry him. There were no hunters with dreadful guns. All he had to do was to reach out and help himself to as many fat hens as he wanted. He ate and ate and ate, all in his dream, you know, and when he could eat no more he started for home. When he started for home the fat hens that were left started along with him. He led a procession of fat hens straight over to his home in the Old Pasture.

Just imagine how Reddy felt when at last he awoke and there was not so much as a feather from a fat hen anywhere about, while his stomach fairly ached with emptiness.