Bowser The Hound by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter VI. The Surprise of Blacky the Crow
The harder it is to follow a trail The greater the reason you should not fail. Bowser the Hound.
At all seasons of the year Blacky the Crow is something of a traveler. But in winter he is much more of a traveler than in summer. You see, in winter it is not nearly so easy to pick up a living. Food is quite as scarce for Blacky the Crow in winter as for any of the other little people who neither sleep the winter away nor go south. All of the feathered folks have to work and work hard to find food enough to keep them warm. You know it is food that makes heat in the body.
So in the winter Blacky is in the habit of flying long distances in search of food. He often goes some miles from the thick hemlock-tree in the Green Forest where he spends his nights. You may see him starting out early in the morning and returning late in the afternoon.
Now Blacky knew all about that river into which Bowser the Hound had fallen. There was a certain place on that river where Jack Frost never did succeed in making ice. Sometimes things good to eat would be washed up along the edge of this open place. Blacky visited it regularly. He was on the way there now, flying low over the tree-tops.
Presently he came to a little opening among the trees. In the middle of it was a little house, a rough little house. Blacky knew all about it. It was a sugar camp. He knew that only in the spring of the year was he likely to find anybody about there. All the rest of the year it was shut up. Every time he passed that way Blacky flew over it. Blacky's eyes are very sharp indeed, as everybody knows. Now, as he drew near, he noticed right away that the door was partly open. It hadn't been that way the last time he passed.
"Ho!" exclaimed Blacky. "I wonder if the wind blew that open, or if there is some one inside. I think I'll watch a while."
So Blacky flew to the top of a tall tree from which he could look all over the little clearing and could watch the door of the little house.
For a long time he sat there as silent as the trees themselves. Nothing happened. He began to grow tired. Rather, he began to grow so hungry that he became impatient. "If there is anybody in there he must be asleep," muttered Blacky to himself. "I'll see if I can wake him up. Caw, caw, ca-a-w, caw, caw!"
Blacky waited a few minutes, then repeated his cry. He did this three times and had just made up his mind that there was nobody inside that little house when a head appeared in the doorway. Blacky was so surprised that he nearly fell from his perch.
"As I live," he muttered, "that is Bowser the Hound! It certainly is. Now what is he doing way over here? I've never known him to go so far from home before."