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´╗┐Title: Buddy Jim
Author: Gordon, Elizabeth
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Buddy Jim" ***

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produced from images generously made available by The
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                               BUDDY JIM

                         _By_ ELIZABETH GORDON

                        _Pictures by_ JOHN RAE

                            _Published by_
                       THE P.F. VOLLAND COMPANY
                           JOLIET, ILLINOIS
                         NEW YORK      BOSTON

                            Copyright, 1922
                         P. F. VOLLAND COMPANY
                            CHICAGO, U.S.A.

                          All rights reserved

                     Copyright Great Britain, 1922

                           Printed in U.S.A.

                        _Twenty-third Edition_


Out in the Park one day, children, I met a little boy not bigger than
you are, who told me that he liked stories about a boy and a dog and
the things they did together.

He said that it must be a _real boy_ and a _real dog_, and there must
be other animals in the story, not great, big, fierce ones, but just
_neighborly_ ones--animals a boy might, perhaps, meet when he went for
walks in the woods--and take pictures of and get to know.

So this is the story of the way a _real boy_ and a _real dog_ spent
their first summer in the _real country_; and the fun they had together.

Buddy Jim and old Dog Sandy are waiting for us over on the front page.

                            Your very own,
                            Elizabeth Gordon

         [Illustration: They were going to get an early start]


                       LEAVING HOME IN THE CITY

                    _"We're going to the Country,"
                      Said little Buddy Jim.
                    And all his little play-mates said,
                      "How dull 'twill be, for him."
                    "It's like a great, big, vacant lot,
                      Just land and air and sky!"
                    "No boys! No games! Oh dear!" said Jim,
                      "Don't want to say Goodbye!"_

But he had to say "Goodbye," because all the other boys' Mothers were
calling them in to go to bed, and as Buddy Jim and his family were
going to get an early start for their trip to the country in their
automobile, there would be no time for saying farewells in the morning.

So all the boys ran home, shouting last messages to Buddy Jim as they
went. "Bring us a tame bull-frog," said one, and "I'd like a grey
squirrel to keep in a cage," said another.

As Buddy Jim heard the last door close behind the last small boy he
felt very lonely indeed; so he sat down on the porch swing to think it

He could hear Daddy moving around in the house, getting everything
ready for the early morning start, and he knew that it would not be
very many minutes before he would be called in to go to bed; and he
wanted to get his thinking done first, so he had to do it quickly.

There was one thing that he was very sure of; he did _not_ want to go
away and leave all his play-mates behind. "Course," he thought, "there
would prob'ly be _some_ fun in the country,"--but he _knew_ that there
was loads and _loads_ of it in the city, base ball and three old cat,
and swimming in the lake, and chasing butterflies, and working in the
school gardens, helping Alex the crippled boy in the wheel chair to
train his bull-pups, and "Oh, Goodness' Sakes! So _many_ things! So
many _int'resting_ things to do."

"I don't _want_ to go," he murmured aloud. "There'll be no one to play
with; three whole months, and no one to play with! Not much fun to
think about! I'll prob'ly just fade away and _die_!" he wailed.

Then somebody laughed, "Ha, ha, ha!" To be sure, it was a queer,
squeaky little laugh, and Buddy Jim had never heard anything like it
before, but it sounded very jolly.

"Now I wonder," said Buddy Jim, "what _that_ was? It _sounded_ just
like somebody laughing! But there's no one here 'cept me."

"Hello, Buddy Jim," said the same squeaky little voice, "Hello! Can't
you see me? Here I am, up above you, in the corner of the porch
ceiling, hanging on a nail."

Buddy Jim peered up into the darkness above him, and sure enough he saw
a funny, fussy little body, hanging head downward, so that a pair of
little eyes, in a funny little fox-like face, were laughing down at him.

"Why!" said Buddy Jim in surprise, "Why! Who are you?"

"I? Oh! I'm just Reddy Bat, and when I heard you say that you were
sad because you were going to the Country to live this summer, I just
couldn't help laughing. I just laughed right out loud! Why, I'd almost
give my right wing to go to the Country to live."

"Then why don't you?" asked Buddy Jim. It's "not very far." "Can't"
said Reddy Bat, "Can't, I've got a family to support. Can't afford to
leave these good hunting grounds just for the pleasure of living in the

"What do you hunt, here?" asked Buddy Jim, politely.

"Oh, flies and mosquitoes, and dragon flies, and bugs of all sorts,"
said Reddy Bat. "Don't you ever hear us swooping around after dark?"

"Now I come to think of it," said Buddy Jim, "I think I have. But I
thought you were some night bird. Anyway, do you really think there
will be any fun in the Country?"

"There will be if you make it," said Reddy Bat, "there never _is_ any
fun anywhere _unless_ one makes it for himself. But _I_ could have a
good time there. I've some cousins who live there, and if you happen to
meet them, just give them my best wishes, will you, like a good chap?"

"Why yes, I certainly will," said Buddy Jim, "if I _see_ them," he
added. "But maybe I won't see them! I've never seen you before in all
my life until now, you know."

Reddy Bat laughed again. "I know it," he said, "and I live right here
on your front lawn, in your own oak trees, and bring my family out for
supper and exercise every evening."

"Where do you leave your children when you come out?"

"Leave the _children_!" said Reddy Bat in surprise. "Leave the precious
_children_! Why, we wouldn't _think_ of such a thing. Mrs. Reddy Bat
always takes our children with her when we leave home. Why we would
not have an easy moment all the time we were away if we left _them_ at

"I think you are very tender-hearted," said Buddy Jim. "Most folks say
the Bats are ugly and not friendly." "Well," said Reddy Bat, "_I know_
we are _not_ very beautiful to look at, but I suppose we are very much
like other people; we try to defend ourselves when we are molested. But
if people treat _us_ kindly, we treat _them_ kindly."

"But, Reddy Bat," said Buddy Jim, "tell me what fun _is_ there in the

"You'll see," laughed Reddy Bat, "living in the Country will make your
eyes open wide so that you _can_ see! And now Goodnight and Goodbye,
Buddy Jim. It's time for me to go to work and for you to go to bed."
And Reddy Bat unhooked the tip of his wing from the nail in the corner
of the porch roof, and flew past Buddy with a laugh and a whizz and was

Buddy Jim sat up and looked after him. He felt much happier! Just then
Daddy called, "Bedtime, Son!"

"Dad," said the little boy, "I b'lieve I'm going to like living in the
Country, after all!"

"Sure to, Son," said Daddy, and they gravely shook hands on it.




                    _The summer shower had scurried by
                      And left the world all new;
                    And the fleecy clouds were floating
                      In a sky of clearest blue;
                    The plants were all so grateful
                      You could almost see them grow;
                    Said Buddy Jim, "The Country is
                      The nicest place I know!"_

Buddy Jim was in the hammock on the porch with a book. But he had not
been reading. It was much more fun to watch the zigzag streaks of
lightning flash across the world, and to see the tall trees bend and
sway in the wind, and to hear the big boom of the thunder-bird's wings.
It was all so different from a shower in the city, when you had to rush
and close all the windows, and stay indoors until it was over.

Buddy Jim laughed to himself when he thought about how much he had
disliked to leave the city, and come to his Father's farm for the
summer. His Father had bought it just so that they could have a summer
home where the little boy could run and play and be interested. "I
_'xpected_ to be lonesome," said he to himself, "but I'm not. I've
never had so much fun before in my life!" And he settled back in the
hammock to read his new book.

But he had hardly begun to read, when he sat up with a start. There was
a great chattering and scolding from the branches of an old elm tree
on the front lawn. And there was a cry that sounded to Buddy Jim like
a call for help, so he threw his book aside and running out to the old
elm tree peered up into its leafy branches.

Old Dog Sandy got up from the porch steps, shook the rain drops from
his shaggy coat, and followed his master.

But the leaves of the old elm tree were very thick and they could see
nothing, though the chattering and scolding and calls for help were
still going on.

"Sounds as though old Red Squirrel was trying to help himself to Mrs.
Robin Redbreast's eggs," said Old Bob the gardener, as he came by.

"Is _that_ what it is?" said Buddy Jim. "Well, you watch me! I'm going
up there and spoil that old fellow's game."

"I'll give you a boost, if you're going up," said Old Bob the gardener.
"You'll get there quicker." And he swung Buddy Jim up to his shoulders.
From there Buddy Jim could reach up and catch the lower branches of the
old elm, and so clinging with his bare brown feet like a regular little
monkey, he was soon in sight of Mrs. Robin Redbreast's nest.

It was just as Old Bob the gardener had suspected. There was old Red
Squirrel chattering and scolding at poor Mrs. Robin, doing his best to
chase her away from her nest; and she, poor brave little Mother bird,
was sticking tight and refusing to leave her precious blue eggs.

When old Red Squirrel saw Buddy Jim he knew his game was up, and so he
turned and ran, like the coward he was, past Buddy Jim, and down the
trunk of the old elm tree.

[Illustration: Old Dog Sandy doesn't like Cats!]

Of course he did not know that old Dog Sandy was waiting there for him,
and he ran right into him! If old Dog Sandy had been young Dog Sandy it
would have gone hard with old Red Squirrel. But even if old Dog Sandy
could not catch him, he _could_ chase him away and that is just what he
did, barking so loudly it gave him a very good scare anyway, so that he
made up his robber mind that he would keep away from _that_ place in
the future!

Up in the elm tree poor little Mother Robin was trembling all over.
"I thought you never _would_ come, Buddy Jim," she said. "And then I
thought perhaps you were one of those boys who don't care much what
becomes of birds."

"Indeed I am not," said Buddy Jim. "I care very much for birds, indeed
I do, but you see I'm just out from the city, and I did not know what
your call for help meant. I don't know much about Country life yet.
Does old Red Squirrel bother you much?"

"I should say he does," said Mother Robin. "If he can only find out
when Father Robin is away after worms for my dinner, he is sure to come
and try to frighten me away so that he can have a chance to eat my
beautiful blue eggs for _his_ dinner. He is a _dreadful_ pest. Between
him and Peter Prowler the Cat, who is very likely to catch my babies
before they are big enough to fly, it's a wonder I am ever able to
bring up a family."

"Well, little Mother Robin," said Buddy Jim, "you can be quiet now,
and forget all about it. Old Dog Sandy will be sure to see that Peter
Prowler does not come around here. He doesn't like cats. And I'm going
to live here all summer, and I'll see that old Red Squirrel keeps away.
Goodbye, little Mother bird." And Buddy Jim slid back down the old elm
tree, and found old Dog Sandy just coming back from his long chase
after old Red Squirrel.

"Sandy," said Buddy Jim, "If you happen to see Peter Prowler the cat
around here after Mrs. Robin's babies, I want you to chase him away. Do
you hear?"

"Woof, woof!" promised Old Dog Sandy. And he kept his word, and so
after awhile there were four very fat, speckly young robin birds
running around the lawn, and they got so tame they would hop right up
on the swing and chatter to Buddy Jim.


        [Illustration: Buddy Jim loved to look at his Mother.]



                    _"The Strawberries are ripening,"
                      Old Bob the gardener said,
                    "And I must thin the beets next week,
                      They're crowded in their bed;
                    So I shall go to town today,
                      While there's not much to do;"
                    "O dear, O dear," said Buddy Jim
                      "I wish I might go too!"_

For Buddy Jim _knew_ that he was going to have a _very_ lonely day!
There was no doubt about it. He liked well enough being in the country,
when he could tramp about after Old Bob the gardener, and plant things,
and pull up other things, and learn the name of every thing and the
reason for it.

Old Bob the gardener said every day that he had never before seen a
"city chap" who learned so easily to tell the weeds from the plants,
and who knew just which things to take from the garden to feed to his
pet rabbits.

But Old Bob the gardener was going to town for a whole long day! And
there was nothing to do; and even if there had been anything to do,
there was nobody to do it _with_; and he was just plain lonesome; but
he s'posed he'd have to feed his rabbits; so he started to the garden
for some weeds.

Just then Mother called: "Buddy Jim! Are you there?" "Yes, Mother,"
said Buddy Jim, running back to the porch where Mother was standing in
her pretty, cool-looking pink dress, with her hair blowing in little
curls around her face.

Buddy Jim loved to look at his Mother. She was _so_ pretty!

"Buddy," said his Mother, "do you think you could go down to the edge
of the Fir thicket and get me some more Fir tips for the Porch pillows?"

"Why, yes, Mother, of course I can, and I will, too, just as soon as I
have fed my rabbits," said Buddy Jim.

"That's a good son," said Mother, "and you'd better go around to the
kitchen and ask Mary the maid for a basket and some blunt-pointed
scissors. And be careful about poison ivy, son; there's a bunch of it
down near the edge of the Fir thicket that Bob the gardener has not had
time to destroy."

"Don't worry, Mother," said Buddy Jim, "I know that stuff when I see
it, and I'll be sure to keep away from it." And the little boy whistled
to Old Dog Sandy to come along, happy that he had found something to do.

It was lots of fun running across the fields to the woods. The
grass was long and wet with the dew of the morning, and it curled
around Buddy Jim's little bare legs just as though it loved to have
little bare-legged boys wade through it. Old Dog Sandy thought it
was wonderful to chase the big gray Grasshoppers that flew up in all
directions, with a ch-r-r-r, that sounded just like a pin-wheel on the
Fourth of July.

Pretty soon they came to the Fir thicket, where all the young Fir trees
were standing like tall young ladies in pale green dresses ready to go
to church on a Sunday morning.

Buddy began carefully to cut off the pale green tips of the boughs as
his Mother had shown him, while Old Dog Sandy roamed through the bushes
amusing himself.

Buddy Jim's basket was almost full of the fragrant Fir tips, and he was
just going to whistle for Old Dog Sandy, to come home with him, when
there was a _dreadful_ commotion from inside of the Fir thicket. It
was Old Dog Sandy barking for all he was worth, in a way that Buddy
knew meant, "Come here, _quickly_, and see what _I've_ found!"

So Buddy Jim put his basket down and ran into the Fir thicket, where he
found Old Dog Sandy doing his best to climb an old dead Fir tree, which
was much taller than the rest of the trees, at the same time barking
his _very fiercest_ at something that was perched up on a limb of the
tree. Something that was very much alive, and looked like a big round
pin-cushion stuck full of pins, points up.

"Hello!" said Buddy Jim, "What's the matter here?" "Matter enough, _I_
should say," chattered a very indignant little voice, "and you'd better
call off that foolish old dog of yours if you want to save him trouble.
He'll be a sorry dog if he bites me!"

"Don't be afraid of Sandy," said Buddy Jim. "He _is_ an old dog. I've
had him always, and his bark is worse than his bite; besides, he can't
climb a tree anyway; he just thinks he can!"

The round Pin-cushiony Person in the tree just laughed. "Bless your
heart," he said, "_I'm_ not _afraid_ of Old Dog Sandy; I'm just being
polite to him because he's a _City_ dog and doesn't know any better
than to try to bite me; any country dog would _know_ better."

"You go outside and lie down, Sandy," said Buddy Jim, and when the old
dog had gone, growling deep down in his throat because he did not want
to go, he turned to the Pin-cushiony Person and said, "Now tell me what
your name is and _why_ Sandy would be a sorry dog if he should bite

"You must have read about me in books," said the Pin-cushiony Person,
"and if you would think a bit you would know that my name is Prickly
Porcupine. My pins are stuck in _very loosely_, so if a dog bites me he
gets something to remember me by. He gets a mouthful of pins that do
not come out very easily and I don't get hurt very much. Sometimes,
just for fun, I let one start to bite me, and just as he thinks he has
me I hit him in the mouth with my tail, and he goes home in a hurry to
ask his master to pull my pins out!"

"I don't call that being very friendly," said Buddy Jim. "It isn't
very friendly for dogs to try to bite me, either, just because they're
bigger than I am," said the Pin-cushiony Person. "Mother Nature made me
the way I am, so I'd have some way of defending myself. I'm so _fat_,
and my legs are so _short_ that I do not run very well, and besides, I
don't feel like running away from my enemies."

"Well, I don't blame you for that," said Buddy Jim. "Nobody likes to
run, even if the other fellow _is_ the biggest. I don't! I know just
how you feel about that. But do tell me. What do you do all the time?
Do you live all alone?"

"Not all the time," answered the Pin-cushiony Person, "I have a family;
but we are rather independent people and _like_ to be alone. Days I
sleep mostly, unless I am disturbed, as I was by your Old Dog Sandy
just now, and nights I go out for food."

"What do you eat?" asked Buddy Jim. "I'm almost afraid to tell you,"
said the Pin-cushiony Person, "for fear that you'll tell old Bob the
gardener, but I live in this Fir thicket because it is so near to the
farm of your Father."

"Why should Bob the gardener care?" asked Buddy Jim. "Well you see,"
said the Pin-cushiony Person, "I go out at night and I nibble a bit
here, and a bit there, from old Bob's garden, and I know how very
particular he is about his garden and so I know if he ever catches me
at it I shall be driven away from the Fir thicket."

"Do people hunt you much?" asked Buddy Jim. "Not very much nowadays"
answered the Pin-cushiony Person, "but I've heard old Grandfather
Porcupine tell stories to the Young Ones. He said his Grandfather had
told him about the times when the Red Men lived in the forests, and
used to hunt our people with bows and arrows. And how the Red Women
used to cook us to feed their children, and to use our quills that
Mother Nature had given us to defend ourselves with to trim their
dresses and moccasins." "But those dreadful days are all over," he
went on, "and now about all we have to fear are the eagles and the
larger animals." "Aren't they afraid of your sharp pins?" asked Buddy
Jim. "Some of them are, after they get one mouthful," answered the
Pin-cushiony Person, "but Old Man Fisher is always hungry and willing
to take a chance of getting stuck full of pins. But if you don't mind,
Buddy Jim, I'm a bit sleepy--it always makes me drowsy to talk--so I'll
say Goodbye and just turn over and have my nap out."

"Goodbye, old Mr. Porcupine," said Buddy Jim, "and good luck to you."
And he picked up his basket of Fir tips and whistled to Old Dog Sandy,
who was still growling.

"Old Dog Sandy and I ran on to Old Prickly Porcupine down in the Fir
thicket today," said Buddy Jim to Old Bob the gardener, that night.
"And Old Dog Sandy wanted to bite him."

"He would have been a sorry old dog if he had," said Old Bob the

But Old Dog Sandy just opened one eye, and tapped the ground with his

He was thinking that some day when there was nobody looking, he was
going back to that Fir thicket alone! And he was going to _show_ that
old Pin-cushiony Person!


        [Illustration: They were very pretty little Neighbors]



                    _The sun came climbing up the hills
                      As red as red could be,
                    And not a leaf was moving on
                      Any shrub or tree;
                    The little birds forgot to sing,
                      The winds forgot to roam;
                    "There's nothing to do," said Buddy Jim,
                      "But stay around at home."_

Just then Old Bob the gardener came along, mopping his brow with his
old, red bandana handkerchief which he wore tied around his neck, like
a cowboy in a wild west movie.

"O Bob," said Buddy Jim, "Isn't it hot? I don't feel as though I'd
_ever_ be cool again!"

"It is, _so_," said Old Bob the gardener, "for the last week in June,
it is about as hot as I've ever seen it; you look a bit peaked, Son,
seems to me," said he, sympathetically, "has the heat got hold of you?"

"Oh, I don't think so, Bob," said the little fellow. "But it just seems
as though there were not a thing in the world to _do_!"

"Old Dog Sandy seems a bit tuckered out, too," said Old Bob the
gardener. Old Dog Sandy, stretched out flat under a lilac bush, didn't
bother to open his eyes. He just thumped the ground feebly with his
tail. It was too hot to _move_, if one didn't have to, but one must
always be polite!

"Now let's see," said Old Bob the gardener, "there _should_ be
something that a boy could do on a hot day, and get some fun out of it?
Can you swim?"

"Some," said Buddy Jim. "I learned in the pool at the gymnasium, at
home--I mean in the city."

"_Pool!_" said Old Bob the gardener, contemptuously, "run and get your
bathing suit and I'll take you down to the old swimming hole, where I
used to swim when I was your age, and where I've been swimming every
year since! I think I would enjoy a swim myself, this morning," he
added. Buddy Jim forgot all about the weather, but went tearing like a
small whirl-wind to Mother, asking _where_ was his bathing suit, and
hopping excitedly around until she had found it. He was so enthusiastic
that he could hardly wait until Old Bob the gardener had found his
own suit and was ready to go. Even Old Dog Sandy waked up and decided
to go along, and it was a happy little procession which went, Indian
file, along the narrow path which led through the alder bushes to the
swimming hole.

Someone who loved boys must have made that swimming hole. The sand had
been scooped out from the bed of the brook, and used to make a fine,
wide beach; the brook had been made deeper and wider, and a big old
tree had been felled in just the right place for a clean, high dive.
The alders grew thickly around the beach, and made the nicest dressing
room imaginable, and very soon, all three, the old man, the little boy,
and the old dog were splashing happily around in the cool water.

Old Bob the gardener taught Buddy Jim many things that he had not
learned at the gymnasium; how to tread water like a dog, how to keep
his eyes open under water, and how to lie on his back and just float;
it was great fun, and they were soon as cool as though jolly old Mr.
Sun had not tried to see how hot he could _make_ a day in June.

After awhile Old Bob the gardener said that they had been in the water
long enough for one day, and that he had some work to do, and must go
back, but Buddy Jim said that he was going to stay and lie on the beach
for a while; it was cooler there.

Old Bob the gardener said, all right, if he wouldn't go in the water
alone, because he couldn't yet swim well enough to go in alone, and
Buddy Jim promised that he would not. Old Bob knew that when Buddy said
he would do a thing, that it was just as good as done, because he was
very careful to _always_ keep his word. Mother said that a real man
always did. And Buddy Jim meant to be a _real_ man.

It was so cool and comfy there under the alder bushes that Buddy Jim
fell fast asleep, and then he was aware of voices, and that Old Dog
Sandy was grumbling and complaining that "a fellow never could get
forty winks, but that _someone_ had to chatter and wake him up."

"Lie down, Sandy," whispered Buddy Jim, "and keep quiet." The old dog
obeyed, though he did not want to, and Buddy Jim _crawled_ quietly over
towards the voices and lay _very_ still until they began again.

"I saw it first," said a queer lispy little voice. It was not a very
good-natured sounding voice either.

"Why the very idea," said a calm, quiet, little voice, "how can you say
so, when we were already here when you arrived? _We_ saw it first, and
we intend to keep it; isn't that so, Brother?"

"Of course," answered another little voice, "that's what we intend to
do. You go and find another nest if you are hungry."

"No, no," lisped the first voice, "this nest is mine and I'm going to
have it."

"Well now, Mrs. Garter Snake," said the first little voice, "you know
well enough it's no good wrangling; we are not going to give up our
rights to you; finding's keepings; anyway Mrs. Snapping Turtle lays so
many eggs that very likely there will be some left, after we have had
enough, and we don't mind sharing them with you; you are quite welcome
to what we cannot use."

"All right," said Mrs. Garter Snake, "go on and dig them out, then,
because I want to get back home to my children."

Buddy Jim crawled a bit nearer to see if he could discover who the
little neighbors were who were not a bit afraid of Mrs. Garter Snake.

They were very pretty Little Neighbors indeed, in cool-looking
black-and-white suits and they were as frisky as kittens. It was only
the work of a moment for them to dig open Mrs. Snapping Turtle's nest
in the sand, where she had trustingly laid her eggs to be hatched out
by kind Mr. Sun while she was cool and happy in the bed of the brook,
or swam around catching frogs for her dinner.

It did not take them long to eat their lunch, either, and when they
were no longer hungry, they ran away together, laughing, leaving what
was left of the eggs to Mrs. Garter Snake, who immediately ate them and
then rustled away out of sight among the bushes.

"I guess that's the last of Mrs. Snapping Turtle's children," said
Buddy Jim as he dressed, "it does seem too bad, that her eggs are all
lost, but she could not expect anything else to happen. Let's go,
Sandy," he called to the old dog.

Old Dog Sandy made believe that he didn't hear; he knew that the Little
Neighbors must live somewhere near, and he wished very much to call on
them; they had spoiled his nap, and he wanted to give them a chance to

"Come along, Sandy," said his little master, who knew his tricks, "I
know what you want to do; you want to find our Little Neighbors, and
you know I do not allow _that_!"

After lunch Buddy Jim went out to the tool house to find Old Bob
the gardener. "Feel better, Son?" asked the old man kindly. "I feel
fine, Bob, thank you," said the little fellow, "but I want to ask
you something. Who were the Little Neighbors that I saw digging Mrs.
Snapping Turtle's eggs out of the sand this morning? They were black
and white and looked something like Peter the Prowler, only much
prettier. Old Dog Sandy wanted to go after them," he added, "but I made
him keep away."

Old Bob the gardener laughed. "It's a good thing for him that you did,"
said he, "and for all the rest of us, too; that was Brother and Sister

"_Why_ is it a good thing, Bob?" asked Buddy Jim. "They were just as
good-natured as could be, and generous also; they let Mrs. Garter Snake
have part of the eggs."

"O yes, they're _generous_," said Old Bob the gardener, "and easy to
get along with, too, if you let them alone; I hope Old Dog Sandy was
not enough interested in them to go back and try to find them, because,
in the matter of perfume, now, they're _more_ than generous."

"O yes," said Buddy Jim, laughing, "Now I remember!"

But Old Dog Sandy didn't remember; he just couldn't forget; and he told
himself that he knew the way back there, and that no black-and-white
kitteny looking things like that could wake him up without explaining
why; and _some_ day,--_well_ they'd _see_.


                [Illustration: "I don't see any Joke"]


                        BUDDY JIM GOES FISHING

                    _The Bob-o-link was whistling
                      His merry-hearted song,
                    To tell his name, and the wondrous news
                      His babes would fly 'fore long;
                    "I'd like," said Buddy Jim "to go
                      A-fishing in the brook,
                    The day is fine and all I need
                      Is a rod, and line, and hook."_

"Look in the upper left hand drawer of my work table in the tool
house," said Old Bob the gardener, "and you will find a line and hooks.
You can cut yourself an alder pole for a rod."

When Buddy Jim had found the tackle and had cut the alder sapling for a
rod, he took them to Old Bob the gardener and asked him to help him put
them together.

"These have not been used," said Bob, "since my small city cousin was
down here a few summers ago."

"Did he catch any trout in the brook?" asked Buddy Jim. "No, he
didn't," said Bob, "he claimed something always chased the fish away.
But there's nothing in the brook except some little spotted trout,

"What bait shall I use?" asked Buddy Jim. "Angleworms," said Old Bob
the gardener, "if old Robin Red Breast has left any. He has fed at
least a dozen to that fat child of his since morning."

"I believe he hears them walk," laughed Buddy Jim. "Just look at him
with his head on one side listening. If I were an angleworm, I would
not even _wiggle_ while he was around."

"Well," said Old Bob, the gardener, "I suppose they are his meat."

"Prob'ly," said Buddy Jim. "But he must spare me a few for bait. I'll
get mine in the back yard, though, because I make bigger holes getting
them out than father Robin does."

It was very still and pleasant down by the brook, under the alder trees.

There was no living thing in sight, except a whole family of Snapping
turtles, asleep on a log which had fallen partly across the brook at
the deepest place.

Buddy Jim baited his hook. Then he cast it far into the deep shadows
under a big rock, and waited. He waited a long time. Then just as he
was sure he felt a nibble, the tiniest turtle jumped "pl-o-o-m-p!" into
the water.

"O dear!" said Buddy Jim. "That scared away my fish!" He pulled in his
line, and found that his bait was gone. So he put on some more, and
tried again.

Then just as he was _certain sure_ that he felt a nibble, "pl-o-o-m-p!"
went the next smallest turtle.

Patiently, Buddy Jim put on more bait, and tried again. But just as he
_knew_ he had a _bite_ "pl-o-o-m-p!" went the third turtle into the
water. Once more he tried, and again the same thing happened. Until
there were only the father and mother turtle left on the log.

"I'm going to drive those two old turtles away," said Buddy Jim. So he
threw a stone and hit the log, but the father turtle and the mother
turtle did not stir. "They are sound asleep," said Buddy Jim, "I'll
try again." So he did. But just as he was _sure_ he had a nibble, both
those old turtles woke up and jumped "Ker-plunk!" into the water.
"Now," said Buddy Jim, "they are all gone, and this time I'll catch
that old trout."

But just as he got his bait on the hook, there were all those
meddlesome turtles back on the log, looking as though they would never
wake up in the world.

"O, what a joke! O, what a joke. Ha Ha Ha-a," cried a voice very near.
Buddy Jim looked up. There was Old Jim Crow, on an old hemlock stump,
dancing with glee, and nearly doubling up laughing.

"I don't see any joke," said Buddy Jim.

"That's always the way with folks when the joke is on them," gurgled
Old Jim Crow; "they never can see it. The joke is on you today, instead
of on Old Man Kingfisher."

"Do you mean to say those turtles jumped in the water just to warn the
fish?" asked Buddy Jim, his eyes wide open.

"Certainly they did," said Old Jim Crow, "that's their regular job.
There are always some of Spotty the Trout's young ones, who don't know
any better than to nibble at hooks, and go near enough shore so they
can be caught by prowlers. So they must be looked after."

"Who tries to catch them?" asked Buddy Jim. "Well," said Jim Crow,
"Old Man Kingfisher is about the _worst_ one, and then there is Slinky
Minky, and _always_, of _course_, boys, like you, who come fishing just
for fun. Not because they need fish to eat at all, but just for fun."
Buddy Jim somehow felt very small, and ashamed of himself. "Fun!" went
on Old Jim Crow. "Destroying a beautiful bit of life just for fun. And
you look like a _nice_ boy, too."

"I _am_ a nice boy," said Buddy Jim. "Nobody ever told me that it's
wrong to catch fish." "It isn't," said Old Jim Crow, "if you need them
to eat. But it would take six of Spotty's babies to make a mouthful."

"Well, I may as well go home," said Buddy Jim. "Old Bob the gardener
will laugh at my empty basket."

"Fill it full of wintergreen berries," said Old Jim Crow. "They are
just scrumptious now. Fat and mealy!"

So Buddy Jim lined his basket with fresh green leaves, and then
gathered enough of the spicy crimson berries to fill it.

"Any luck, Son?" asked Old Bob the gardener, "Well," said Buddy Jim,
"I had several nibbles, but the turtles kept jumping off a log and
frightening the fish away."

"Same old trick," said Bob the gardener. "They've been doing that ever
since I was your age. But I'll take you down to Long Lake some day next
week, and let you catch some real fish. Perch and Pickerel and, like
enough, an eel."

"O Goody, Goody!" said the little boy. "Have some berries, Bob?" "Iv'ry
Plums," said Old Bob the gardener.

"I thought they were wintergreen berries," said Buddy Jim. "Some folks
call 'em that," said Old Bob the gardener. "But _we_ always called 'em
iv'ry plums. See any one else down to the brook?" he asked.

"Nobody but Old Jim Crow," said Buddy Jim. "He prob'ly had one eye on
Mrs. Snapping Turtle, hoping to find her nest full of eggs," said Bob
the gardener.

Buddy Jim, opened his eyes wide. "Do turtles lay eggs?" he asked.
"Sure," said Old Bob the gardener. "In the sand."

"And he looked like such a _nice_ Crow, too," said Buddy Jim.



                     BUDDY JIM AND THE HOUSE MICE

                    _The new moon up above the world
                      Looked like a silver boat
                    That some wee playmate of the sky
                      Had launched and left to float;
                    The night winds all went laughing by
                      To drive the heat away;
                    "Almost I think," said Buddy Jim,
                      "I like night more than day!"_

"That settles it, then," said a tiny, squeaky little voice from the
corner of the sleeping porch where Buddy was cosily tucked in bed,
"that settles it! He _likes_ night better than day; so, just as likely
as not, he will stay awake all night to enjoy himself, or anyway so
long that we shall get no supper at all! And the whole family so
hungry, too!"

"Now be patient, little sister," said another little voice. "That is
not a grown-up person, there in the bed,--that's a boy, and boys never
stay awake very long. It won't hurt us to wait a bit for our supper.
My!" he went on in a lower tone, "I think he has heard us, but never
mind, sister, we both know the way out, and there isn't a _bit_ of

Buddy had heard the voices and, always interested in his Little
Neighbors, he sat up in bed and peered into the corner of the porch in
the direction of the voices--of course he could not see a thing, but he
knew that someone must be there.

So he called very softly, "Who are you, Little Neighbors?"

[Illustration: Old Bob was outside]

"I'm just Buddy Jim and I won't harm you--you must have heard of me--I
_live_ here in this house."

"Oh," cried both little voices in a relieved tone, "You don't know what
a load you have taken off our minds! Why of _course_ we have heard of
you. Mrs. Harvest Mouse says that you really saved the lives of her
whole family the day Red-Headed Woodpecker came to collect the rent.
But you see that was different. She was in her own house and we are in
yours, and for some reason we have never been able to find out, people
dislike to have us come in their houses."

"They set traps for us," said Little Sister Mouse, "and kill us--and we
are _no good_ to them--our fur is so soft that it is useless--and then
the _cats_! Why! we are in constant fear of _their_ dreadful claws!"

"Yes indeed," said Brother Mouse, "we never came in this house until
Old Dog Sandy came here to live and made Peter Prowler live under the

"In that case," said Buddy, "I can not imagine why you go into people's
houses. I would certainly not go where I was not welcome."

"Why, dear me," said Brother Mouse, "we're House Mice--we always live
in houses. _We_ don't know _why_, we just know it's _so_! and we're no
trouble to any one; we take only the tiniest crumbs of food, when Mary
the cook leaves us anything at all--she doesn't often--and the children
are so hungry and Mother hasn't a bit of anything in the nest to give
them." "And they're hungry," chimed in little Sister House Mouse.

"What would you like for their supper, and yours too?" asked Buddy,
"because I think I can get you something, and if you will _promise_
not to go into the kitchen again I will promise to leave your supper
wherever you say every evening this summer. _Will_ you promise?"

"_Will_ we?" choroused the little Mice, "we certainly _will_! Honest 'n
true 'n black and blue."

"Well, then," said Buddy, "just you wait right where you are--" and he
slipped out of bed and ran to the kitchen.

He was back in almost no time at all, with some bread and some bits of
cheese and a cookie, which he broke into bits and placed on the porch
floor, and then, just to show the little neighbors that he meant to
play fair, he hopped back into bed again.

It just did his kind little heart good to hear the delighted squeals
of the Little Neighbors when they found the food. He smiled to himself
as he heard them scamper away with as much as they could carry. It was
only a moment until they were back again, and this time they stayed to
eat their own supper.

"Mum, mum," said Sister Mouse with her mouth full of food, "Mary is a
wonderful cook!"

"Where do you live, Little Neighbors," asked Buddy, "so I shall know
where to leave your food every day."

"Up in the woodshed loft," said Brother Mouse. "We like it there,
because there is always moss and shavings to make warm nests of; and
sometimes Bob the gardener leaves an old coat there for us to chew up
and line our nests with. But we must go home now and let you go to
sleep, because you must be very sleepy."

"No indeed," said Buddy, "I'm really not sleepy at all, and I've
_loved_ to have you visit me!"

"We are so grateful to you," said Brother House Mouse, "and we both
wish we could do something for you. Would you care to hear us sing, so
long as you're not so very sleepy?"

Buddy laughed. "That _would_ be _lovely_," he said. "Just like little
Tommy Tucker, who sang for his supper. But _can_ you sing? Let's hear
you," he invited, eagerly.

There was a soft little scrambling sound, and then, in the moonlight,
Buddy saw on his bed rail two grey Little Neighbors. It was Brother
Mouse, holding Sister Mouse by the hand. They were _bowing_ and looking
for all the world like the two little concert singers that they were.

They made no excuses, they did not even say they were out of practice,
nor that they couldn't think what to sing, but began in the sweetest of
small voices to sing what sounded to Buddy like a little lullaby.

Buddy lay very still. He was delighted with the song, but he did not
dare to applaud, because he was afraid that his Little Neighbors would
not understand. Not being much used to singing to mortals, they might
be frightened at the noise.

But what do you think? Before he even knew that he was sleepy, and
while he was enjoying the concert, he went _fast_ asleep.

And the next thing he knew, Old Bob the gardener was outside, wanting
to know if he meant to stay in bed all day.

"Bob," said Buddy, "have you ever heard a House Mouse sing?" "No,
Buddy," said Old Bob the gardener, "I never have, but I have talked
with folks who say _they_ have heard them."

"Well, Bob," insisted the little boy, "do you _believe_ they can sing?"

"Why, yes, Buddy," said Old Bob the gardener, "I believe everything
until I find out for certain that it isn't so. It's much the happiest
way, don't you think?"

"Your ways are all happy ways, Bob," said Buddy. "You're the best chum


               [Illustration: "I didn't look behind me"]


                      BUDDY JIM SEES MADAME MINK

                    _'Twas a misty, moisty morning
                      And the big clouds overhead
                    Looked like balloons all weighted down
                      With tons and tons of lead,
                    The trees held up their dusty leaves
                      For a freshening drink of rain,
                    "It's plain to see," said Buddy Jim,
                      "It's going to rain again."_

Even Robin Redbreast knew it, and sang his "cheer up" song from the
topmost bough of the old elm tree, as much as to say, "What's a little
wetting, anyway?" And the chickens knew it and went singing dolefully
about because they didn't like wet weather; and Mother Duck and her
twelve yellow ducklings knew it, and went about quacking merrily and
looking happy because they _did_ like it; and Buddy Jim knew it and
didn't care either way; he liked the rain or he liked the shine. But
first, he thought he would go and see what Old Bob the Gardener was

He found Bob in the tool house, reeling up some fascinating-looking
fishing lines.

Old Bob looked up as Buddy Jim entered, smiling in his cheery way, and
the little boy thought that as long as Bob smiled that way he didn't
care how much it rained.

"Like to go fishing with me, over to Long Lake, Son?" asked Bob. "I
promised you I'd take you fishing some day, and this is going to be a
good day for the fish to rise."

"_Would_ I?" said Buddy Jim. "Thanks for asking me, Bob, and I'll be
ready in no time."

"Be ready in half an hour from now," said Old Bob the Gardener, "and
ask Mary the cook to put us up some lunch, because we shall be gone all
day. I'll go and harness old Maud."

By the time that Old Bob the gardener was at the door with Maud and the
buggy, Buddy Jim was ready.

He looked exactly _like_ a little fisherman in his yellow slicker, and
long rubber boots, with his old felt hat turned down. Mother laughed as
she kissed him "goodbye" and wished him luck.

It was great fun riding along the road through the woods, and listening
to the rain falling on the leaves. But there wasn't a thing in sight
except a flock of crows.

"Have you aways lived around here, Bob?" asked Buddy Jim.

"Sure," said Old Bob the gardener, "ever since I was a baby; right over
in that field yonder was where I used to go to school; the school house
is gone now, and there's nothing left to mark the place except a clump
of lilac bushes that I helped the teacher to set out one spring day,
when I wasn't a mite bigger than you are now."

"I remember that day well," he went on. "I was late getting the bushes
planted and so I took a short cut through these woods and just as I got
about where we are now, who should come from behind a big hemlock tree
but old lady Black Bear, thin as a rail from her long winter sleep, and
looking hungry."

"My!" said Buddy Jim, his eyes wide open. "_What_ did you _do_?"

"I'm afraid I was rude to the lady," said Old Bob, "because I did not
even wish her 'good evening,'--I ran for home just as fast as my legs
could carry me."

"Did she run after you?" breathlessly asked Buddy Jim.

The old man laughed. "I couldn't truthfully say," said he, "I didn't
look behind me."

"I _think_ I should have done the same thing," said Buddy Jim.

"And I wouldn't blame you, Son," said Old Bob the gardener, "but here
we are, hook, line, _and_ sinker, and we will soon find out if Mr. and
Mrs. Perch are at home."

As soon as old Maud was hobbled and turned loose to graze, Buddy Jim
and Old Bob the gardener launched the old flat-bottomed boat at the
landing, and began fishing.

Bob "baited" the hooks, and they both cast off. Old Bob the gardener
caught the first fish, a beautiful big perch, and in no time at all
Buddy Jim had one also.

It was such good fishing that they soon had all they wanted, and Old
Bob the gardener said that they would go ashore now. But Buddy Jim
begged so hard for just one more cast that Old Bob said, "all right,"
and stooped to put the fish in the basket.

A startled exclamation from Buddy Jim made him turn, just in time to
catch the little chap as he was going head first out of the boat.

"Here, Son," said the old man as he pulled him back into the boat,
"aren't you wet enough yet?"

"O, Bob," panted the little fellow, "I've got a bite--and I _think_
it's a whale--he pulls so--help me land him." So together they pulled
him in--about two feet of wiggly, _snaky-looking_ fish!

"What is it, Bob?" asked Buddy Jim. "I don't _like_ him--he isn't
pretty!" "It's an eel," said old Bob the gardener, laughing, "do you
want to keep him or shall I throw him overboard?"

"'Deed I _do_ want to keep him," said Buddy Jim, proudly, "I want to
show him to Mother."

"All right," said Old Bob the gardener, "but he can't go in the basket
with the regular fish. And now we'll go ashore and cook some of our
catch for our luncheon."

"How can we make a fire, Bob?" asked Buddy Jim. "Everything's wet."

"That's easy," said Bob, "I'll go over in the woods and gather some
birch bark, and you may pick up some small twigs that will dry quickly,
and pile them on that flat rock by the water's edge."

It took only a few minutes for Buddy Jim to gather a big pile of the
small dead twigs and branches, and then he sat down on another rock to
look at his big eel and think about the fun it had been to land him.

There was no sound at all except the gentle splashing of the rain, when
Buddy Jim heard soft footsteps, and then voices. "Now, isn't that a
shame?" said a voice. "Some one has been catching our fish again, right
out of our own lake!"

"Ssh, Children," said an older voice, "keep quiet--some one may hear
you. They have gone away and left the basket open, and I will go and
get the fish back again. Just wait here and keep quiet."

Buddy Jim kept quiet, because he very much wished to know which Little
Neighbor it was; so quiet indeed, that Mrs. American Mink came fully
into sight before she saw him. Buddy Jim knew her at once, because her
picture was in one of his Nature books; and he knew also that she is
very fond of fish to eat.

She was very much surprised when she saw Buddy Jim and immediately
tried to look just like a bit of brown earth, but Buddy Jim spoke, and
she knew she had been seen.

"How do you do, Little Neighbor," said he, "and what can I do for you?"

"You can go away from here, and stay away, and not come catching my
fish," said Mother Mink, very crossly. "How _do_ you think I can make a
living for my children, if you come and take the food away from me?"

Buddy Jim laughed. "Don't be impolite, Little Neighbor," he said. "The
fish belong to us all, but I'm willing you should have your share."

"I'm going to _take_ my share whether you are willing or not," said
Mother Mink, and without saying "thank you," she grabbed Buddy Jim's
big eel and ran away with it!

Buddy Jim looked after her in astonishment! No other Little Neighbor
had ever been so impolite.

Just then Old Bob the gardener came back with a load of birch bark.
Buddy Jim's throat felt a little choky, but he was brave about it.

"Mrs. Mink called to see me while you were away, Bob," he said, "and
she took my big eel away with her."

"Well, well!" said Old Bob the gardener, "wasn't she bold? She must
have had young ones with her. But don't you care, Son, Mary wouldn't
have cooked him anyway. She thinks eels aren't fish."

"I _wanted_ to show him to Mother," said Buddy Jim, "He was such a big

"We'll go out again right after lunch," said Old Bob the gardener, "I
know where there's a pickerel hole, and a pickerel is a _regular fish_!"


[Illustration: Little Mermen and Mermaids were playing all around him]



                    _The cobwebs were a-glistening,
                      Dew-spangled, all about;
                    As though the fairy folk had spread
                      Their dainty washing out;
                    The wild rose wore her pinkest gown,
                      And saucy old Blue-Jay
                    Called out for all the world to hear,
                      "Strawberries are ripe today!"_

"That's so, Mr. Blue-Jay," said Old Bob the gardener, as he came by the
place where Buddy Jim was weeding his vegetable garden, "that's so;
wild ones too, and I only wish I had time to go and gather some."

"Why, Bob," said Buddy Jim. "Are wild strawberries any better than the
big ones that you grow in the garden?"

"Better!" exclaimed Old Bob the gardener, "better! Well I should
_think_ so! _Wild_ strawberries are the sweetest things that grow! Only
wish that I were going to have some for my breakfast tomorrow morning."

"Well, you're going to have some," said Buddy Jim, "if you will tell me
where they grow, for I'll go and get enough for us both, and we'll eat
breakfast right out here on the porch, together!"

"Do you see that open patch of ground off yonder in the far field?"
asked Old Bob the gardener. "Well, that's where they grow; around the
edge of the old stone wall is where the best ones will be."

"I like to pick berries," said Buddy Jim. "I'll ask Mary to let me have
a pail to put them in, and go right away to get them."

"The dew will be nicely dried up before you get over there," said Old
Bob the gardener, "and it will be fine picking; if I were not so busy
I'd go with you."

Mary had a pail, all nice and shiny, which used to hold lard, and she
was very glad to lend it to Buddy Jim, who first ran to tell Mother
goodbye, and then, whistling to Old Dog Sandy to come along, was off
across the fields.

It was a very pleasant run across the dewy meadows and they met no one
at all except Mrs. Black Garter Snake who was out looking for breakfast
for herself and children, and it was not very long before they came to
the place where the berries were, and Buddy Jim began to pick them.
They were so large and plentiful that he soon had his pail full. He
covered them from the heat of the sun with a big burdock leaf which he
picked from the side of the stone wall, and putting them aside he began
picking some to eat.

Then he thought he would rest before going home, so he stretched out on
his back and fell fast asleep and dreamed that he was afloat on a calm,
blue ocean in a little white boat, surrounded by mermen and maidens.
Suddenly he was awakened by Old Dog Sandy who was barking furiously.

"Now I wonder what's the matter with Sandy?" said he to himself,
running as fast as he could go in the direction of the sounds. "That
isn't a fun bark; that's a business bark!"

He found Old Dog Sandy doing his best to climb a big hawthorn tree
that grew near the side of the old stone wall, all the time barking as
loudly as he could. He was not succeeding very well in climbing the
tree, but he was sending a very earnest warning to whatever was in the
tree that it would be much better not to come down again, or something
would be sure to happen.

"What is it, Sandy?" asked Buddy Jim, but Old Dog Sandy was too busy to
pay attention to his little master, and besides, he wanted to attend to
this matter himself--the long, slim, brown, cruel _thing_ hidden among
the branches of the hawthorn tree really _needed_ a good _shaking_, and
he, Old Dog Sandy, was just the dog to give it to him.

So he paid no attention to his master, and did not answer, but a queer,
chuckling little voice from the top of the old stone wall _did_.

"It was Mrs. Weasel who ran up in the tree," said the chuckling little
voice. "She was determined that she would have one of my children for
lunch, and almost caught one, when your old dog came along and made her
stop. Goodness only knows what might have happened if he had not come
just at that moment."

"You're little Mrs. Bob White, aren't you?" asked Buddy Jim. "Why
didn't you and your children fly away or hide somewhere?"

"Why," said Mrs. Bob White, "my children cannot fly yet. They're
only about three weeks old, just little bits of chickens, and as
for _hiding_ from Mrs. Weasel or her young ones, it simply can't be
done--she is so slender she can go _anywhere_, and if we run away
from her we are likely to run right into the jaws of one of her young
ones--they hunt together you see, and they're almost sure to get one of
us--I don't know _what_ to do. I simply can't move away from here until
the children are older."

Buddy Jim thought a minute. It seemed as though there must be some way
to help the little mother. "I'll tell you," he said, "Sandy seems to
be very much interested in Mrs. Weasel, and I'm sure he will be glad
to run down here every day, and perhaps Mrs. Weasel will let you alone
when she sees that you have friends."

"O thank you, Neighbor," said little Mrs. Bob White. "That will be
_such_ a help!"

Just then came a clear call from across the fields. "Bob White, Bob
White, Bob, Bob White."

Instantly little Mrs. Bob White answered, "Ooo, ooh! _All_ right, Bob

"That was Daddy calling to see if we were safe and happy," said the
little mother. "He always does that if he has to be away from home."

Just then came another call, "Hoo, oo, Hoo, oo." Buddy Jim laughed.
"That's Old Bob the gardener calling me home to lunch," said he, "so
goodbye, and the best of luck, Little Mother Quail."

"Get any berries?" asked Old Bob the gardener. "Lots," answered Buddy
Jim, "and I'll get some more tomorrow, because I'm going down again.
Old Dog Sandy wouldn't come home with me--he has a new job down in the
far field."

"What sort of a job?" asked Old Bob the gardener. He was always so
_interested_ in things.

"He is going to protect little Mrs. Bob White and her family from Mrs.
Weasel," said Buddy Jim.

"He has his work cut out for him then," said old Bob the gardener,
"because Mrs. Weasel is a very clever lady, and fond of small quail. If
she is working around here I think I'll set a trap in the chicken yard,
just as a hint to her to keep away from _our_ chickens."

"Would she dare to come up here?" asked Buddy Jim. "She would _so_,"
laughed Old Bob the gardener.

Buddy Jim sighed. "What makes Mrs. Weasel so cruel and dishonest, Bob?"
he asked.

"She isn't 'specially," answered the old man, "she has to get food for
her family, and that's her way of doing it."

"But she frightens little Mrs. Bob White so, and it seems so cruel,"
said the little boy, who wanted all his Little Neighbors to be happy.

"Yes, I know," said Old Bob the gardener, "but I have no doubt that the
bugs and caterpillars that little Mrs. Bob White catches feel quite the
same way about her, that _she_ does about Mrs. Weasel.

"Like to help me transplant some more plants before supper time?"

"Sure would," said Buddy Jim as he went to give Mother some wild
strawberries for her luncheon.


         [Illustration: It looked like a very tiny Air-plane]



                    _'Twas lots of fun to help the men
                      Bring in the new-mown hay;
                    Far better than the newest game
                      A boy could ever play;
                    "There couldn't be" said Buddy Jim,
                      "A happier time for you
                    Than haying time, for it's so full
                      Of jolly things to do."_

Buddy Jim was a bit hot and tired when the last load of hay had been
stowed away in the loft in the barn.

It was almost time for supper he knew, but it was so cool and dim up
there under the rafters, and the hay was so cool and fragrant, that he
decided he would stay and take a little rest.

And you know how it is; when you're a bit weary and very comfy; well,
Buddy Jim _nearly_ fell asleep.

But just as he was on the thin edge of dreamland, he woke up. And he
heard voices! Very earnest little voices, too, they were.

"Don't worry, Mother," said one little voice, "I don't believe there
will be many more loads of hay this year. And anyway it will never, I'm
sure, reach up as high as this cross beam we are on. I don't think we
shall have to move."

"I would _not_ take the chance of staying in this nest one single day
more," answered a second little voice. "Why, there was one time this
afternoon whey I thought _surely_ that our home and our babies were
going to be ab-so-lute-ly covered up under great forks-ful of hay.

"So we are going to move, Daddy," went on the voice, "and we are going
to move this _very night_!"

"O well, if you feel that way about it," said the first voice, "I
will look around while I'm out to dinner, and see if I can find a new

"Yes, Daddy, please do that," said the second little voice earnestly,
"and while you are out, I'll get the children to sleep, so they won't
be stupid when moving time comes."

Then there came the sound of something almost, but not quite, like the
flutter of wings, and Buddy Jim was surprised to see what looked like a
very tiny air-plane sailing across the loft and out at the window that
had been left open for the barn swallows.

"Now I wonder," said Buddy Jim, "who these funny little people can
be?" Just then across the loft, came the sound of a little, croony,
sleepy-time song. Just the kind of a song that mothers the world over
sing to their babies at bed time.

Presently it died away, and all was still, and Buddy Jim knew that the
babies, whoever they were, had gone to sleep.

"I'm going to find out who that is," said he, crawling softly across
the hay towards the place from where the sound of the voices and the
singing had come. Presently, in the dim light he could just make out a
tiny creature in a tawny dress sitting on a tuft of hay. She had been
daintily munching the seeds from a buttercup stalk. But now she sat
very still. Buddy sat very still, too. He knew that the small Mother
person had seen him.

But she did not run away. She couldn't, you see. Because her precious
babies were there. So she sat quite still and hoped that Buddy Jim had
not seen her.

"Don't be afraid of me," said Buddy Jim, "I'm just a neighbor, and I
won't hurt you."

"My! you make me breathe easier," said the small Mother person, "most
boys would drive me away and take my babies away to live in one of
those dreadful prisons they call cages. My! I'm glad that you are not
_that_ kind of boy. Why," she went on, "we came into this hay loft to
live because we thought there wasn't a boy on the farm."

"There wasn't until my Daddy bought it," said Buddy Jim. "We came in
the Springtime. Daddy wants me to know all about my little country
neighbors. You see I'm from the city, and I've never seen many wild
creatures--nobody but Reddy Bat--so I just want to know them all. I
wouldn't hurt your babies, and I wouldn't think of taking them away."

"Well, that surely makes me feel better," said the little Mother person.

"But won't you please tell me your name?" said Buddy Jim. "Why,
surely," said the small Mother person, "we are the Flying Squirrels,
though we of course do not really fly, we just get our balance and sail
through the air. Like this," she said, giving a little jump and sailing
across the loft and back again.

"I heard you planning to move," said Buddy Jim. "Why! This is such a
safe big place for the babies to play around in."

"That's what we thought," said Mother Flying Squirrel, "and that
is why we moved into Barn Swallow's old nest instead of making one
for ourselves--he isn't using it this year--see, it's up on that
cross-beam. But now that they are filling the barn so full of hay, I'm
afraid my children will be buried under it, so Father Squirrel has gone
out to see if he can find us a new place to live in."

"Wait a minute," said Buddy Jim, "I think I can help you. You just sit
tight until I come back."

Buddy Jim slid down from the hayloft and went out to his own little
work bench which Daddy had given him. There he hunted until he found
just what he wanted. It was a wooden box that used to hold soap. In a
few minutes with hammer and nails he had made just the nicest little
house you could wish for. And then he covered the floor of it with
soft, fine shavings, and took it back to the hayloft.

Then he climbed up on the cross beam, and nailed the house way up high,
so high that the hay just never could come up to it.

And then he sat down to watch little Mother Flying Squirrel move. First
she fixed the shavings to suit herself. Then, for fear it was not soft
enough she got some hay and put that in and trampled it down.

Then she moved the babies, taking one at a time, in her mouth, just
the way Tabby the Cat moves hers. When they were all safely in the
new nest, she sat up on the top of the house to look for Daddy Flying

Presently he came in and sailed straight over to where his house used
to be.

You should have seen his face! But Mother Squirrel called, "We've
moved, we live up here now."

"Well, well," said Daddy Flying Squirrel, "_where_ did you ever get
this house? And where are the babies?"

"All safely tucked in bed, bless their hearts," said Mother Flying
Squirrel. "This house is a present from our new neighbor, Buddy Jim.
There he is over there on the hay."

"A Boy!" gasped Daddy Flying Squirrel. "Now we _shall_ have to move."

"Indeed we _won't_," said Mother Flying Squirrel, "Buddy Jim is the
right _kind_ of a boy. He takes care of small creatures instead of
hurting them."

Just then came the call to supper. "Where have you been so long Buddy
Jim?" asked his father.

"I was fixing a house for the flying Squirrels and their babies, up in
the hay loft, Daddy," answered the little boy. "I'm going to tame them.
I'm going to get them so tame that they will eat out of my hand before
the summer is over."

"He will do it, too," said Old Bob the gardener to Mary the maid. "All
the little animals around the place seem to love Buddy. He's so good to



                    _The lovely Blackeyed Susans
                      Were nodding drowsily,
                    And the Katy-dids were singing
                      In the old red cherry tree,
                    The dusky, ripe blueberries called
                      An invitation sweet
                    "Come Buddy Jim, come up and see
                      How good we are to eat."_

Buddy Jim ran around the house to the back porch where Mary the cook
was busy shelling green peas for dinner.

"I wonder what kind of pie I can have for dessert tonight," she said.
"The red raspberries are all gone, so Old Bob the gardener says, and
I'm tired of pie-plant, aren't you, Buddy?"

"I was just thinking I would go and get some blueberries," said Buddy
Jim, "and I'll get some so you can make a pie, if you want me to, Mary."

"Bless the lad," said Mary the cook, "that will be fine. Wait till I
make you some sandwiches, and find a pail for the berries."

So with one pocket full of doughnuts and one full of sandwiches and one
full of cookies--(you never can tell _how_ hungry a boy is going to get
when he is working hard picking berries, so Mary the cook said)--Buddy
Jim called to Old Dog Sandy and started for the blueberry bushes.

Old Bob the gardener was very proud of those bushes. He had found them
many years before, bravely growing in the open pasture, just little
wild bushes that had strayed up there from the low places, and he had
treated them well, and had given them what they liked best to eat,
and had taken such good care of them they had grown into a wonderful
blueberry orchard, and the sweet dusky berries were twice as large as
any blueberries had ever been before.

So, Buddy Jim had lots of fun filling his pail with them, and long
before it was filled he simply could not have eaten a single berry
more, and his face looked just like a little black boy's face.

Blueberries do stain so! But Buddy could not see his face, and he would
not have cared if he _could_ have seen it, he was having so much fun.

All at once, Old Dog Sandy barked at something. Buddy knew what _that_
meant. Sandy had found some Little Neighbor. So he ran quickly. He
was always afraid that the silly old dog would at some time hurt some
little helpless creature.

He found him in a thicket of brakes at the edge of the woods, dancing
around an old stump, barking like mad at Molly Cotton-tail and her two
babies, who were trying to squeeze themselves into a little hollow at
the foot of the stump.

Molly Cotton-tail was trying to shelter the two little ones with her
body, but she wasn't quite big enough.

"Sandy," said Buddy, "stop that barking and go and lie down until I

Old Dog Sandy trotted off, looking foolish and disgusted, and talking
to himself. He could not understand Buddy! Here he took all this
trouble to hunt up game for him, and every time he got blamed for it.
It was no way to _treat_ a dog. He was going to stay at the house after

[Illustration: Mary was shelling Peas for Dinner]

"My!" said Molly Cotton-tail, drawing a long breath, "I'm glad you
called off that old dog. I thought we were surely done for just before
you came. I thank you ever so much, not only for me, but for my poor
babies who are only four weeks old."

"I am sorry my old dog was so rude," said Buddy. "Somehow he won't stop
barking at the little neighbors. He thinks it's fun!"

"It may be--for him," said Molly Cotton-tail, "but not for us. You
see we cannot climb trees, as some animals can, and we do not swim to
speak of, and we have no holes in the ground to dodge into, unless we
use some other person's house, and then we may be running into danger,
because the snakes use the old houses of the wood-chucks and gophers,
and of course mothers _cannot_ run away and leave their babies--so you
can see it's not very easy being a rabbit."

"I guess not," said Buddy. "Do you live near here?"

"My home is right around the corner, under an old log," said Molly
Cotton-tail. "I have a very nice home, all lined with my last year's
coat, and as comfy as can be. But I brought the children out here to
sleep today, it was so pleasant and cool and dim in here. We were
having such a _good_ nap when your old dog found us."

"It is so early in the day," said Buddy, "that I don't see how you
could have _needed_ a nap."

"Oh, but you see," said Molly Cotton-tail, "we work nights and sleep

"Why do you do that?" asked Buddy Jim. "Well," said Molly Cotton-tail,
"it is so light in the day, and we can see so many things to frighten
us--we're not very brave you know--and it's so much fun to come out
when it's cool and dark to play our games and find our food."

"It's a funny way to live," said Buddy. "I couldn't find my way about
in the dark."

"I suppose we are made differently," said Molly Cotton-tail, "so that
we can all use the same world; it would be too crowded if we all had
to be out in it at the same time. But if you will excuse me now I will
get my children to sleep again, so Goodbye," and she started for the
comfy fur-lined nest under the old log.

"Goodbye," said Buddy Jim. "I'm glad I met you."

"Get many blueberries, Buddy?" asked Old Bob the gardener.

"Lots," answered Buddy. "And Old Dog Sandy scared up Molly Cotton-tail
and her two little baby Cotton-tails, in the edge of the woods."

"That so?" said Old Bob the gardener, "did you see them?"

"Yes, I did," answered Buddy, "the babies were cute little things.
Say, Bob," he went on, "why do people always say that rabbits have no

"I don't know," said Old Bob the gardener, "I've always thought myself
that Molly Cotton-tail was a pretty bright Little Neighbor."

"I think so too," said Buddy.


             [Illustration: "They must think it's Candy"]


                    BUDDY JIM AND THE HARVEST MICE

                    _The golden glow was waving
                      Her pom-poms in the sun,
                    And the click of busy reapers said
                      That harvest had begun;
                    The Sumac trees were dressing up
                      In gowns of crimson hue
                    But there didn't seem to be a thing
                      A little boy could do._

Buddy Jim sat on the top step of the porch and didn't know _what_ to
do! He had fed the rabbits and chickens, and everybody else was busy!
He had been told that he must not go to the harvest field because the
men didn't want little boys around machinery; and _nearly_ he was
_lonesome_! Then Old Bob the gardener came by with his cheery whistle
and his "Hello, Buddy, old scout, what's doing today?" "Nothing," said
Buddy. "Why, Bob?" "Well," said Old Bob the gardener, "I'm pretty busy,
myself, today, and I was wondering if perhaps a little boy about your
size wouldn't be so kind as to go down to the far pasture and salt the
sheep for me."

"Why, of course I will," said Buddy Jim. "But, Bob, how _do_ you salt

"Oh," said Old Bob the gardener, "you just take some salt along and
sprinkle it on the ground. I always put it near the big flat rock just
inside the five barred gate. The sheep will come and get it. They will
be there by the time _you_ are most likely, because they can smell salt
a long way."

"Shall I take Old Dog Sandy along, Bob?" asked Buddy. "Better not,"
advised old Bob the gardener, "he wouldn't hurt them, I know, but the
sheep would not understand. They think all dogs are their enemies."

When Buddy got to the far pasture the sheep were all in sight nibbling
at the short grass. As soon as they saw him scattering the salt on
the ground, how they _did_ run to get it! Buddy climbed up on the
five-barred gate to watch them eat it. "They must think it's candy," he
said to himself.

After they had eaten every tiniest bit of the salt, the old bell
wether started away and all the others followed him. "They are going
to the spring now to get a drink," thought Buddy Jim. "So I think I'll
go home." But just then who should fly gracefully along and light
on the top bar of the five-barred gate quite near to Buddy Jim, but
Mr. Red-headed Woodpecker, dressed all in his very best. He paid no
attention at all to Buddy. He just sat there thinking about something.
Then he flew over to an old stump with a hole in one side of it for a
door, and began knocking loudly with his long bill on the side of the

Presently a little bit of a Mother person came to the door and peeped
out. When she saw who was there she drew her head back, and Buddy heard
her say: "Please, Mr. Woodpecker, don't make so much noise. My babies
can't sleep at all."

"O, so you are at home this time, Mrs. Harvest Mouse," said Red-headed
Woodpecker. "Well, I've come to collect my rent, if you please!"

"I am sorry, Mr. Woodpecker," said the little Mother person, "but there
isn't a thing in the house that you could use. Father Harvest Mouse has
had to get up early and go out to find something for our own breakfast."

"In that case," said Mr. Red-headed Woodpecker, "I'll wait until he
comes back, and if he doesn't bring something that I like better,
why, baby mice will taste pretty good," and he began drumming on the
old stump again. "I wonder what I can do to help that little Mother
person?" Buddy asked himself. He could hear the little Mother trying
to hush her frightened babies, and he knew that she was just as much
frightened as they were. Just then little Father Harvest Mouse came
running along the top bar of the five-barred gate. He had his mouth
full of heads of wheat. They stuck out from his funny little face just
like big whiskers, and he _could_ hardly see over them. He stopped
short as he heard Red-headed Woodpecker knocking at his door, and then
he saw Buddy Jim. "O dear, O dear," he said, as well as he could with
his mouth full of wheat, "this place is full of enemies! It is quite
time that we moved."

"I'm not your enemy," said Buddy Jim, softly.

"Aren't you?" said the little fellow. "Well, you can see for yourself
that Red-headed Woodpecker is."

"Why did he ask Mrs. Harvest Mouse for the rent?" asked Buddy. "Does
your house belong to him?"

"It once belonged to one of his family," said Father Harvest Mouse.
"But it had not been used in years and years until we found it and made
it over for a home for ourselves and our babies. He never bothers us
unless he knows we have small children. I scarcely ever leave home in
the day-time, but I went out today to find a new home. We shall move

"Where are you going to live?" asked Buddy Jim. "We are going to move
nearer the wheat fields," said Father Harvest Mouse. "I am going to
build my own house this time. But I wish that old chap would fly away,
so I could go and feed my family. They must be nearly starved."

"I'll make him go away," said Buddy Jim, taking his sling shot from his
pocket. "I won't hit him, but I'll frighten him."

Mr. Red-headed Woodpecker was so busy knocking at Mother Harvest
Mouse's door that he did not notice anything at all until Bing! came a
stone from the sling shot. He flew over to the fence. Then as nothing
happened he flew back, and began knocking as before. Then Buddy Jim
sent another shot that hit the stump a little nearer _to_ the old
fellow. Then he saw Buddy, and with a saucy "Here, here, quit it, quit
it," he flew away.

"Thank you ever so much for helping us," said the little Father Mouse
as he ran home.

Buddy Jim stayed a while to see if Red-headed Woodpecker would come
back. But he didn't. "He must think I'm one of those fellows who really
mean to hurt the birds," said Buddy. "I'm sorry for that. But he wasn't
fair, and he's got to learn better. I wish he could behave himself.
He's so good looking I can't help liking him. But he's got to play
fair. He's got to play fair," said Buddy Jim, striking out for home.




                    _The Golden-Rod was sprinkling
                      Fresh perfume on the air,
                    And the little Milk-weed fairies
                      Were flying everywhere.
                    The blackberries were ripening in
                      The splendid August sun!
                    Said Buddy Jim, "I'm sure there'll be
                      Enough for everyone."_

"Enough of what?" asked Old Bob the gardener, who happened to be
passing the porch just that minute.

"O, good morning, Bob," said Buddy, running to meet the old gardener;
they were great friends. "Enough blackberries for all of us, is what I
meant. For us and the birds too."

"Guess there will be," said Old Bob the gardener, "never did see such
a blackbr'y crop as there is this year. Are you thinking of going

"Mary the cook said that if I would go and get some that she would make
me some jam to have for my breakfasts next winter, with my own name on
the labels," said Buddy. "So I'm going to get them today before they
ripen too much."

[Illustration: There were really wild Animals in the Forest!]

"Well, Buddy," said Old Bob the gardener, "if you are going into that
blackbr'y bramble you'd better put on your shoes and stockings, unless
you want to get your feet and legs scratched."

"I'll take them along," said Buddy, "and put them on after I get there.
It is so much fun to go barefoot in the dewy grass."

So, after getting a shiny new tin pail from Mary the cook, Buddy
tied his shoes together by the strings, and hung them around his
neck, whistled to Old Dog Sandy, and went across the fields of late
clover where the big bumblebees were busy, to the hillside where the
blackberries grew.

Such a tangle of bushes as he found there; and all simply _loaded_ with
great ripe berries.

Buddy Jim sat down on a fallen log and put on his shoes and stockings,
while Old Dog Sandy just nosed around. It was very pleasant up there,
Buddy Jim thought. He could look away down on the shining meadows,
where the little crooked river ran like a silver ribbon through the
green of the wild fields that ran out to the edge of the big woods.

There were very big fish in the river, so Bob the gardener had said,
and really wild animals in the forest. Bears and wolves even, and
deer. And on dark nights sometimes, Jack O' Lantern danced and swung
his light around. Old Bob the gardener had promised that Buddy should
go along with him and camp out some night while the men were cutting
the wild hay on the shining meadows. He wished he were going there
now. Now, this minute! Then he remembered that he had come to pick

Old Dog Sandy was not interested in the berries. So he started off by
himself to see what he could find. "Look out for old man Porcupine,"
called Buddy. Sandy looked foolish, and ran away. His mouth was still
sore at the corners, because he had sneaked away one day to settle an
old score with Prickly Porcupine; and he did not like to be reminded of

It was fun to pick the berries, and although Buddy put one in his mouth
for every two that he put in the pail, he soon had the pail full. Then
he sat down to rest and wait for Old Dog Sandy to come back.

At first there was no noise at all, except the Katy-dids' quarrelling
with each other, and then making up again, and the song of the locusts,
but presently Buddy became aware of other voices.

"O-dear-O-dear," chattered a small somebody, "it is just as I expected,
all the nicest berries are gone! You would loiter so, children, wasting
our time on hazel-nuts that won't be ready to eat for a month yet."

"Now never mind, never mind, Mother," said a second small voice, "I'm
sure we shall find enough ripe berries for our lunch. Here is a nice
big one now, just full of seeds."

"The best thing about blackberries," said the first voice, "is that
they are both food and drink."

"Oo--oo--ee--ee," shouted another little voice. "What luck! Somebody
has picked a lot of berries and put them in a dish for us, and left
them here. Come quickly, Sister, come quickly!"

"Now they've found my pail full of berries," said Buddy. "Children,
Children!" called the Mother voice, "don't touch those. It may be a

"You must _never_ touch anything that has the Man smell about it," said
their father.

Very softly, so as not to frighten away those who were making so free
with his blackberries, Buddy turned around. And there was Father and
Mother and Sister and Brother Gray Squirrel.

They certainly looked funny, with their eager little faces all stained
with blackberry juice. Buddy just couldn't help it. He laughed right
out loud.

Then they saw him, and as quick as a wink there wasn't a squirrel in
sight. They had all whisked like little gray streaks up in the branches
of an old birch tree.

But squirrels are such curious little people that they just had to
peep, to see who and what was down below them. And Buddy Jim, knowing
that they would be back presently, stretched out on the ground and lay
very still.

"He seems to be harmless," said Father Squirrel. "He does indeed," said
Mother Gray Squirrel. "He _is_ harmless," said Brother Gray Squirrel,
"and what is better he is kind. He is the boy who made the nest for
Flying Squirrel's family in the barn at haying time. I'm not afraid
of him. I'm going down and get my lunch." "So am I," said Sister Gray
Squirrel. And they both slid down head first, on the trunk of the big
old birch tree. "Help yourselves, Little Neighbors," said Buddy softly.
"I won't look. I can gather some more."

With little squeals of joy Sister Gray Squirrel and Brother Gray
Squirrel stood up on their haunches and reached their little paws into
the pail of berries, and ate and ate. Then they filled their pockets
full and the juice all ran down on their little gray dresses, but they
didn't care, and then they ran up the big birch tree to take some to
Father and Mother. They were just in time, too, for Old Dog Sandy came
trotting back and barked at them.

"I'm glad you are safely back," said Mother Gray Squirrel, "for while
you may be able to trust _some_ people, you certainly can not trust
dogs and cats."

Buddy laughed. "See what a bad opinion folks have of you, Old Dog
Sandy," said he, as he filled his pail again.

When he took the berries to Mary the cook, she said, "Your lunch is all
cold, Buddy. Didn't you hear the horn?"

"Yes, I heard it," said Buddy. "But I had to pick some more berries.
Some little gray tramps ate part of what I had gathered."

"Tramps!" said Mary the cook. "_We_ don't allow tramps here on this
farm. You'd better speak to Old Bob the gardener about it."

Buddy Jim smiled. He knew Old Bob the gardener would never object to
_his_ little gray tramps!




                    _The downy purple Gentians
                      Were lately come to town,
                    And the maple trees wore crimson
                      While the oaks were dressed in brown;
                    There came a gentle splashing from
                      The merry-hearted brook
                    Said Buddy Jim, "It's hard to stay
                      Indoors and read a book."_

"Do you find it so, son?" laughed Mother. "Then why don't you take your
books out of doors?"

"O may I, Mother?" eagerly asked the little boy. "Of course you may,"
said his mother, "but you are on your honor, mind! Your lessons must
be ready for Father this evening; but if it will be easier to study
outside, why not?"

Buddy was delighted. He loved nothing so well as being out of doors, so
he wasted no time about getting there. Old Dog Sandy was asleep on the
porch. "I guess I won't take him," said Buddy. "He is sure to find some
Little Neighbor to bark at, and I've got to study."

Daddy had given Buddy his choice. He could go back to town to school,
or he could study and keep up with his grade in the country for two
months. And Buddy had voted for the country, so Daddy was his teacher,
and he was a very strict one. _Very_ strict!

[Illustration: A splendid place to lie and study]

"I'll go down to the brook," said Buddy. "I know the very place."
It was a lovely afternoon. The big yellow pumpkins looked like gold
polka-dots in the sun among the shocks of corn. "What a fine place for
Cinderella to get a new coach," said Buddy.

At the brook Buddy came to the place where he had once tried to catch
Spotty the trout. The same turtle sentinels were asleep on the log,
sunning themselves, before they went into their mud beds for the
winter. As Buddy came along, splash! went the tiniest turtle into the
water. Buddy laughed, "Never mind, Little Neighbor," he said, "I'm not
fishing today. I'm going farther down stream."

The place Buddy had in mind for a place to study in was where the brook
widened out, getting ready to join the river. A big old tree had fallen
there. It reached away out into the swampy land on the farther side.

It made a perfectly splendid place for a little boy to lie and study.
Buddy noticed some queer, humpy places across the brook in the swampy
land. He wondered what could have made them. But the lessons were
hard, so he forgot about everything else until he could say them
all backwards. By that time the shadows were getting longer. Buddy
was just going to start home, when Splash! something went into the
brook. "My!" said Buddy. "That must have been a bear!" Then there was
a second splash, and surely there was something swimming across the
brook. And then all at once it sank right out of sight. He lay very
still, wondering about it. Where could it have gone to? He watched and
watched, but he was very sure that it did not come to the surface of
the water again. And then all at once there came the patter of little
feet along the old log where he lay, and a Little Neighbor almost ran
over him, but, seeing him, stopped short and tried to look as though he
were not there.

"Don't be afraid, Little Neighbor," said Buddy. "Who's afraid?" asked
the Little Neighbor, "I'm not! But what are you doing on our bridge?"

"Is it your bridge?" asked Buddy. "Well, we call it that," said the
Little Neighbor. "It is such a splendid place to dive from, when one is
carrying something. It's a short-cut home, you see. I've got some corn
for supper, and I must hurry. My father and mother just went in. Didn't
you see them?"

"Where _is_ your house?" asked Buddy. "Why, that's our house, across
there," said the Little Neighbor, pointing to the queer humpy looking
thing in the swampy land.

"How do you get into it?" asked Buddy. "And what's your name,--if you
don't mind telling me."

"We swim, of course," said the Little Neighbor, "and I am one of the
Musquash children. Some folks call us Muskrats, but we don't like that
name. We like the Indian name better."

"I saw your father and mother going home," said Buddy, "but they just
sank down in the water, and didn't come up. I'd be worried about them
if I were in your place."

The Musquash child just laughed. "You don't suppose we go away and
leave our front door open so any one can go in, do you?" he said.

"We make a tunnel that leads up to our house, under the water of the
brook, and nobody can find it except ourselves. Much better than
locking the door."

"What makes you so afraid of people?" asked Buddy. "I guess you would
be afraid," said the Musquash child, "if people wanted your skin to
make coats of. Traps all about, and spies and enemies, until we never
know what is going to happen. But there is Mother calling me. We
haven't had supper yet. Goodbye," he called and with a wonderfully big
splash for so small a child he swam away.

Buddy watched him out of sight. Then he too went home to supper.

After his lessons were over for the night, Buddy asked, "Daddy, what is
a Musquash's skin good for? And why do people hunt them?"

"It's good for a beautiful coat," said Cousin Betty who was visiting
there, "if you have money enough. I haven't!"

"Glad you haven't, Cousin Betty," said Buddy, "and I hope that no one
_ever_ catches _my_ Little Neighbor, the Musquash child, to make a coat
from his skin."


 [Illustration: He was thinking about old Bob's story of the Fairies]



                    _The Mountain Ash was wearing
                      Her beads of coral red,
                    And the fuzzy caterpillars
                      Were all looking for a bed;
                    The Thistle birds were calling,
                      And the air was crisp and clear,
                    "Summer has gone," said Buddy Jim
                      "And Winter'll soon be here."_

"That's so, Son," said Old Bob the gardener, "and that being so, you'd
better make hay while the sun shines."

Buddy was used to Old Bob the gardener, and his funny sayings, and so
he knew that he didn't really mean that about making hay, because the
hay had been made for months, but that he must do whatever there was to
_be_ done and not waste time about it.

So he said, "What were you going to tell me to do, Bob?"

"Why," said Old Bob the gardener, with a twinkle in his eye, "I s'pose
you don't mean to make the squirrels a present of all the hazel-nuts up
in the back pasture, do you?"

"Why, no," said Buddy.

"Well," said Old Bob, "they will be just right to gather today, on
account of the frost last night, and if you will spread them out on
the flat roof of the garage for a few days the shucks will come off

"Thanks for telling me, Bob," said Buddy. "I'll go and get some today."

"They will come in handy evenings in the city," said Old Bob the

Buddy's smile faded out. He didn't _want_ to go back to the city. But
the smile blossomed again right away. He didn't have to go for a few
more weeks anyway. "I'll get a basket," said he, "and go right away for
the nuts."

"A sack will be much better," said Old Bob the gardener, "it will be
easier to carry. Ask Mary the cook for one."

Mary the cook _had_ a flour sack, which she was glad to give to Buddy.
She also gave him some sandwiches for his lunch, so that he need not
hurry back.

Buddy whistled to Old Dog Sandy, and the two started gaily for the back
pasture. There was no hurry, so he thought he would go and see if there
were any thorn-apples left. There was a big old hawthorn tree, with
low branches, standing all by itself in the pasture. There was a funny
sort of ring around it, like a tiny circus ring. Buddy had once asked
Old Bob the gardener about it; what had caused it. And he had said that
he really didn't know; that it had always been there since he could
remember; but that his old grandmother, who came from Ireland, had told
him when he was little that it was a fairy ring. Made by the feet of
the fairies, when they danced in the moonlight. That they always danced
around hawthorn trees.

As Buddy came near to the tree he was thinking about Old Bob's story
of the fairies, and wishing he could see them. He was sure he could
hear something that sounded like wings rustling, and little voices
whispering; it came from the branches of the old hawthorn. For a minute
he thought perhaps the tree was full of fairies, resting after their
dance in the moonlight. And then Old Dog Sandy came running up, and
began to bark, and a whole flock of Bob Whites arose from the tree,
and flew away with a whirr into the woods. They had been lunching on
the thorn-apples.

"Now see what you've done, Sandy," said Buddy. "You must be more
careful; I don't want you to frighten the Little Neighbors. I am always
telling you so. Just once more now, and I shall send you home."

Old Dog Sandy hung his head; he just couldn't seem to remember that he
must not bark at things; anyway, wild things; they didn't belong to
anyone, he thought.

Buddy Jim took only a handful of the crimson thorn-apples; they were
not so very good, anyway; and besides, he felt that they belonged to
the birds, and it was hazel-nuts that he had come for.

As he got to the hazel thicket he heard small voices chattering and
laughing, and caught a glimpse of Red Squirrel and his family, with
their pockets just bulging with the hazel-nuts.

When they saw him they all whisked up in a big tree, and hid in the
branches. "Don't be afraid, Little Neighbors," called Buddy. "We won't
hurt you; it is only when you steal eggs that we don't like you."

But Red Squirrel and his family would not come back. They thought that
he might be like other boys they had met, and that he would follow them
to their nests, and take away their winter supply of nicely-shelled

So Buddy started filling his sack with the crisp green and brown
clusters of nuts, thinking what a treat they would be for the boys in
the city, winter evenings after school. The sack was soon filled, there
were so many nuts, and then Buddy sat down to eat his sandwiches and
listen to the sounds around him. There was Old Jim Crow's "Ha, Ha,"
as he flew away from the corn field, and the clear whistle of the Bob
Whites as they went back to the hawthorn to finish their lunch, and the
"Quick, quick," of Mr. Blue Jay, who is always in a hurry over nothing
at all, when suddenly Old Dog Sandy began to bark. Mixed with his
barking and growling was a scolding, chattering voice that Buddy had
never heard before.

"I wonder," said he to himself, running toward the noises, "what that
meddlesome old dog is up to now?"

Old Dog Sandy was dancing about as nimbly as a puppy, in front of a
tunnel in the side of a little hillock, barking at a funny little fat
figure, which was sitting straight up, with its fore paws hanging down
in front of itself.

Old Dog Sandy saw his little master coming, and stopped his barking,
for he remembered just too late that he was to be sent home. Just then
the little fellow in the tunnel door saw Buddy. "I say," he called,
"call off your dog. He makes me nervous; if he comes any nearer I shall
bite him. And I can't go indoors until my mate comes back. How do I
know he would not kill her, he's so savage? And she's so fat she can't

"Go on home, Sandy," said Buddy. "I _told_ you, you know." "Oh don't
send him off alone," said the small person, "I don't know which way
my mate is coming back; dogs can't be trusted. He might meet her and
tear her all to pieces. They always kill all wild creatures," he said.
"That's part of their game; just their nature; they can't help it;
we have to look out for them, that's all. But I do not want my mate
killed, so will you please take him with you when you go?"

"Are you in a hurry for me to go?" asked Buddy, laughing. "Well," said
the small person, trying politely not to yawn, "I really am a little
sleepy, you know. My mate said she just had to have one more dinner
before we go to sleep, so she went over to the turnip field to get it,
and I wasn't hungry so I promised to wind the alarm clock. I had just
come out to get the correct time from Mr. Sun, when your old dog came

"Do you really mean that you have a clock to get up by?" asked Buddy.
"Why not? Don't you?" asked the small person. "Though our clock is
not like yours; ours is a sort of calendar clock. We must wake up on
Candlemas day, you know, else nobody would know what the weather was
going to be for the balance of the winter."

"Oh, now I know who you are," said Buddy. "You're Mr. Ground-Hog. Bob
the gardener told me about you."

"Some folks call me that, and some folks call me Wood-Chuck," said the
small person. "I don't care either way, so long as they do not call me
before February the second. But my mate is coming back, so if you will
take your dog away so that she can come in, I'll be much obliged to

So Buddy and Old Dog Sandy stepped behind a big rock. Buddy peeped out
and saw fat little Mrs. Wood-Chuck waddling along, blinking sleepily
in the sun. As she joined her mate, in the door of their house, Mr.
Wood-Chuck turned and waved a friendly goodbye to Buddy, who slung his
sack of nuts over his shoulder and started home.

"Old Dog Sandy found a wood-chuck's hole up in the pasture," said Buddy
to Old Bob the gardener, while they were spreading the nuts on the
garage roof.

"Did you see them?" asked Old Bob the gardener. "Yes, I did," said
Buddy. "They were very fat and sleepy."

"They were just going to den up," said Old Bob the gardener; "they will
sleep till Candlemas day now."

"Do they really come out to find their shadow on that day, Bob?" asked

"Guess they must," said Old Bob the gardener, "every body says so," and
he went away humming to himself,

    "Half the corn and half the hay
     And half the oats on Candlemas day."


        [Illustration: There were bright-colored Thistle Birds]



                    _The world had turned to silver
                      Sometime throughout the night,
                    Each weed and twig, and shrub and tree
                      Wore robes of daintiest white;
                    The big round sun peeped out and smiled--
                      The world smiled back; "Oh look!"
                    Cried Buddy Jim, "It's like a page
                      From a fairy picture-book!"_

Of course Buddy knew all about _why_ the world was wearing lacy white
dresses; Jack Frost had come and dressed it all up in the night to
be sure; but he had not known how lovely it would be. Why, it looked
exactly like a whole world full of glittering gems, like those Mother
wore in her hair when she was going to a party.

Just then, around the corner, came Old Bob the gardener. He had a
sharp and shiny axe in his hand. "Hello, Buddy," said he, "Want to do
something for me?" "'Deed I do," said the little boy. He was always
anxious to do something for Bob, because the two were great chums.

"I've got an axe to grind," said Old Bob the gardener, "and I want you
to turn the grindstone for me. We are going up to the beech woods this
forenoon to cut out the dead-and-down trees for wood, and old wood
needs sharp axes."

"I like to turn the grindstone," said Buddy, as he started the big
wheel slowly turning around on its axis, watching Bob the gardener as
he held the axe closely against it, and poured water on the stone from
time to time.

"Why do you put water on the stone, Bob?" he asked.

"So it won't get heated by the friction," said Old Bob the gardener,
"it would spoil the stone if I didn't wet it, and the axe too, very
likely. But there goes the breakfast gong, and the axe is sharp and I
am much obliged to you, Buddy."

"You're welcome," said Buddy, as he made a dash for breakfast.

When breakfast was over, Buddy went out of doors, and found Old Bob the
gardener just ready to go.

"Know of any youngster who would care to go beech-nutting this
morning?" called Bob to Buddy Jim. "If you do, tell him to bring along
a sack to put the nuts in, because there'll be beech-nuts a plenty
after the fine frost we had last night."

"I certainly do know a youngster who wants to go," said Buddy, "and he
will be all ready as soon as he finds a sack for the nuts, and puts on
some hiking shoes. So be sure to call him, won't you Bob?"

"I'll sing out when I go by," said Old Bob the gardener. So Buddy asked
Mary the cook for a flour sack, and put on warm shoes and stockings,
and was quite ready to start when Old Bob the gardener shouted "All

Old Dog Sandy stretched himself and looked at Buddy so beseechingly
that he hadn't the heart to leave him at home. So he said he could come
along if he would promise not to frighten any Little Neighbor.

Old Dog Sandy promised with his eyes, but down deep in his heart he was
afraid he couldn't keep the promise, not if he should happen to meet
something _really_ interesting. However, permission to go along was all
that he wanted, and maybe he wouldn't see any wild thing, so why think
about it?

He was a happy old dog as they ran across the crisp fields; there were
flocks and flocks of bright-colored thistle birds, chattering and
getting their breakfast of seeds from the weeds, but old Dog Sandy
didn't count those. They were too small and besides, they were just
like the canary that Mary the cook kept in a cage, and made so much
fuss over every day. It was a bit more exciting when he picked up Molly
Cotton-tail's trail--but of course Buddy whistled him back--he never
_could_ have any fun.

Buddy thought he had never seen the beeches look so lovely as they did
on this morning, not even in the summer--the leaves were so brown and
rustly, and the trunks so smooth and such a lovely gray-green color.
The wood cutters were there already, and after Old Bob the gardener
had directed them where to work he came back to Buddy, and unrolled a
bundle he had brought, which proved to be a blanket which he spread
under a big tree.

"Now, Buddy Jim," he said, "I'll give you a boost, and you go up and
shake the branches and the nuts will fall down on the blanket, and you
will have plenty to do until noon time."

So, with a boost from Old Bob the gardener, up went Buddy, like a
little brown monkey, and he began shaking the branches of the tree, so
that the nuts fell down in a big shower, burrs and all.

When no more fell, Buddy scrambled back down the tree to fill his sack.

Old Dog Sandy wandered off by himself, talking to himself down deep in
his throat about what would be likely to happen if he ever _should_
happen to meet that Pin Cushiony Person again. There must be some spot
on him not covered up with pins! "And _then_ they'd see!"

Buddy lay face down on the blanket, busily separating the nuts from
the burrs, and wondering how it could be possible that such a big tree
could ever have grown from such a tiny, three-cornered little seed,
when he became aware of voices just above his head.

"I am positive this is the tree that was so full of nuts yesterday,"
said a small voice, "because I marked it especially for this morning's
work. And now there's only one or two clusters left!"

"Never mind, Mother dear," said another little voice, "perhaps the Red
Squirrels got here first."

"Ssh," said the first voice, "it was not the Red Squirrels--I smell
dog--and I smell man--and they're not far away, either. Look! what is
that, on the ground at the foot of the tree?" Buddy looked up, just
as the Little Neighbors in the tree looked down. "Hurray," said he,
softly, "that's Mother Chipmunk and her family, and they have always
been so shy I couldn't get acquainted!" So he kept very still knowing
that the curiosity of the little people was so great that they would
just have to come down to see what he was doing.

"That's a boy down there, and he has taken all our beech-nuts," said
Mother Chipmunk. "That's a shame. He surely doesn't need them, and we

"Come on down, Little Neighbors," called Buddy. "I won't hurt you. Come
on down and help yourselves."

The Chipmunks looked at each other, half made up their minds to take
Buddy at his word, ran part of the way down, and then ran back to the
sheltering brown leaves again.

Buddy sat very still, until, making up their minds to have those nuts
anyway, the timid, beautiful little animals ran down the trunk of the
tree head first and jumped right in the middle of the blanket full of

They paid no attention at all to Buddy, but went busily to work,
filling their _pockets_ full of nuts, selecting only the full-meated
ones, and as fast as their pockets were full, running away, and
hurrying back for more.

"You must live near here," said Buddy. "We do," said one little fellow,
"That's why we needed the nuts on this tree, so we should not have to
make such long trips home and back."

"I've always wanted to know," said Buddy, "what you do with the dirt
that you take out of your burrows." Little Chipmunk started to speak,
but his mouth was too full. "Chuck, chuck, chuck, chuck," warned his
mother, "don't talk so much, children, and work faster."

"All right, little old lady," said Buddy, "keep your secrets. Goodbye!
I'm going to find another tree, and you may have this one."

"Bob," said Buddy, when they were walking home, "do the Chipmunks sleep
all winter, like the bears and the wood-chucks?"

"'Deed they do not," said Old Bob the gardener, "they couldn't keep
still that long. They're too restless, and they like to know too well
what is going on in the world."

"Cunning little things, aren't they?" said Buddy. "Yes, they are," said
Old Bob the gardener, "and they talk a lot without saying much."

Buddy Jim smiled. He was remembering that he had not found out very
much about the friendly little Chipmunk people after all. Not from them!


      [Illustration: Old Bob made a small Fire and broiled them]


                        BUDDY JIM GOES CAMPING

                    _The wild geese all were flying south,
                      Because 'twas time to go;
                    And the Thistle Fairies all in white
                      Were dancing to and fro;
                    The Bittersweet hung crimson beads
                      Upon the brown old oak;
                    "To leave all this" said Buddy Jim
                      "Is cert'nly not a joke."_

For Buddy was going home tomorrow! Back to the city! He just had to
laugh when he thought how he had not wanted to come to the country; and
what a perfectly splendid time he had been having all summer in spite
of that. Old Bob the gardener was _such_ a good chum! And then there
were all the Little Neighbors. He wondered if when he got back home
that he would see Reddy Bat again. He hoped so; he wanted to thank him.
He was glad he was going to have his happy summer to remember, and he
was more glad that he was coming back next year. While he was thinking
about all these things, there came, around the corner, Old Bob the
gardener. He had on his high boots and an old sheepskin-lined, short
coat. "_Hello_, Buddy," he called. "Want to go camping?" "O, Bob, do
you mean it?" asked the little boy in delight. "Of course I mean it,"
said Old Bob the gardener, "You've got just time to get ready. Put on
your warmest clothes, and your thickest boots. I'm going to harness
old Maud. We are going down-stream after pickerel, and we are going to
stay all night, so we'll need Mrs. Mare to carry enough blankets and

Buddy was sure that there never had before been such a ride as that
was; across smooth meadows, through bumpy wood roads, over little
running brooks, under tall trees, and low-hanging firs and spruces,
with Old Dog Sandy trotting along behind, barking at everything he saw.
Once, in the woods, Buddy heard a noise he thought must be thunder.
But Old Bob the gardener had said, "No, it was just old Mr. Partridge
drumming, just to let Mrs. Partridge know that he was not far away."
Old Bob the gardener always seemed to know everything. And pretty soon,
sure enough they came upon the Partridge family eating their lunch of
birch buds, and when old Dog Sandy barked at them, as you might be sure
he would, they all flew away with a great whirring of wings.

When they got to the camping ground it was great fun to cut the fir
branches for their beds. "Shall we use the hunting cabin, Buddy?" asked
Old Bob the gardener, "or shall we sleep out of doors?"

"O, please, Bob, out of doors," said the little boy. "I have never
really slept out of doors." So they brought up lots of dry wood for a
camp-fire, and made their beds near it. They were going to light it
when they got their supper. When everything was ready they went fishing
in the boat that was always kept there. And they soon had plenty of
fish for lunch and old Bob made a small fire and broiled them. My! but
they were good!

After lunch Old Bob said he was going to have a nap, so as Buddy Jim
was not sleepy he went down stream to find what he could. He wanted
to get some spruce gum to take to the boys, so he stopped at every
big tree to dig off what he could reach. He got some fine clear
lumps! Presently Buddy heard voices. He knew that it was some Little
Neighbor, because it was that kind of a voice.

So he told Old Dog Sandy to keep quiet. "Always the way," muttered
the old dog, as he dropped on the ground, "Just as soon as anything
interesting comes along I'm supposed to be deaf and dumb; no fun in
being a dog anyway, woof!" Buddy crept along the edge of the stream and
peeped through the undergrowth. It was a very busy sight that met his
eyes. There were actually dozens of Little Neighbors busily at work.

Some were cutting down trees and some were pushing rafts through the
water, and some were pounding clay with their flat tails to mend a hole
in a dam they were making, and some were working on huts.

There was one larger than the others who seemed to be the Master
Workman. Buddy was so much interested that he forgot to be quiet, and
snapped a twig that he was holding, and immediately every one of the
Little Neighbors dropped out of sight in the stream.

Pretty soon the Master Workman came out. "Hello, Little Neighbor," said
Buddy. "I'm sorry that I interrupted your work. You were all working
like Beavers, weren't you?"

"Of course we were," said the Little Neighbor, a bit crossly, Buddy
thought, "what else could we work like?"

"Are you Beavers?" asked Buddy, "I never saw one before."

"Then what made you say we worked like Beavers?" asked the Master
Workman. "Why, that's what folks always say about people who are very
'ndus'trous," said Buddy, stumbling a bit over the big word. "Why did
your crew jump in the water as soon as they saw me?"

"Wouldn't you get out of sight if you saw an enemy coming?" asked the
Master Workman. "'Course I would," answered Buddy, "but I'm not your
enemy." "Well," said the Master Workman, "you _are_ very small, but of
course you've got somebody grown up with you. What are you doing down
here if you did not come to hunt us?"

"Old Bob the gardener brought me down, to camp out all night," said
Buddy. "And you need not be afraid of us at all. My father owns all
this land around here, and he never allows any Little Neighbor to be

"That's good news," said the Master Workman, and just then Buddy heard
Old Bob the gardener calling him. So he said goodbye, and ran back to
camp. "What are you trying to do, Buddy?" asked the old chap, laughing,
"lose yourself in the woods?" "I couldn't get lost just following the
stream," said Buddy. "I could always follow it back. I found old Mr.
Beaver and his crew working down there fixing up their houses for

"Well, let's have supper now and get to bed," said Old Bob the gardener.

Buddy meant to stay awake all night. He wanted to tell the boys at home
how it felt to sleep outdoors. He saw the stars come out one by one,
and the slender new moon began sailing in the sky like a little silver
boat almost before the sun had gone to bed.

In a tree top near by, a big old owl wanted to know "who, who, who?"
and he could hear the sleepy twitter of the chick-a-dee birds.

He was _glad_ he was there. Then he snuggled closer under the blankets,
and the Little Neighbors came softly and tiptoed up and looked at him,
and then tiptoed softly away again. They were sorry too, that he was
going back to the city tomorrow! But they were sure he would return
with the springtime, and then how glad would they all be to welcome him

For Buddy Jim was the _right_ kind of a boy! And they appreciated him!
And were glad to be his Little Neighbors.

                             RACKY RACCOON

"Thank Goodness," chuckled Racky Raccoon, "that Old Dog Sandy has gone
back to the city, and I can get down on the ground and stretch my legs
in the daytime if I want to.

"He's been snooping around here all summer, so that _nearly_ I didn't
_get_ in this book at all.

"But better late than never, and it's been worth being up a tree all
summer, to get in here with Buddy Jim and all the rest of the Little

"But hungry! I haven't had a bite since twelve o'clock by the moon last
night, and I see that Old Bob the gardener has thoughtfully left some
nice yellow pumpkins on the hillside for me. You didn't know I liked
pumpkins? No more _do_ I; only the seeds.

"How do I get the pumpkins open? Say, what do you s'pose my claws are

"And after I get the seeds I have to take them to the brook and wash
'em. What for? O, my mother told me never to eat anything without first
washing it.

"S'long! See you later."



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Transcriber's Note:

Possible printer errors have been changed.

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