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The Tale of Chirpy Cricket   By: (1877-1949)

Book cover

First Page:

THE TALE OF CHIRPY CRICKET

[Illustration: Chirpy Discovers Mr. Cricket Frog. (Page 77)]

New York Grosset & Dunlap Publishers

Copyright, 1920, by Grosset & Dunlap

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I The Fiddler 1 II Quick and Easy 6 III The Bumblebee Family 10 IV Too Much Music 15 V A Light in the Dark 20 VI A Plan Goes Wrong 24 VII Johnnie Green's Guest 30 VIII Pleasing Johnnie Green 35 IX An Interrupted Nap 40 X Caught! 44 XI A Queer, New Cousin 48 XII An Underground Chat 52 XIII A Question of Feet 57 XIV Chirpy is Careful 61 XV Tommy Tree Cricket 66 XVI A Long Wait 71 XVII Sitting on a Lily Pad 76 XVIII Mr. Cricket Frog's Trick 81 XIX It Wasn't Thunder 86 XX Bound to be Different 91 XXI Mr. Nighthawk Explains 96 XXII Harmless Mr. Meadow Mouse 101 XXIII A Wail in the Dark 107 XXIV Frightening Simon Screecher 112

THE TALE OF CHIRPY CRICKET

I

THE FIDDLER

If Chirpy Cricket had begun to make music earlier in the summer perhaps he wouldn't have given so much time to fiddling in Farmer Green's farmyard. Everybody admitted that Chirpy was the most musical insect in the whole neighborhood. And it seemed as if he tried his hardest to crowd as much music as possible into a few weeks, though he had been silent enough during all the spring.

He had dug himself a hole in the ground, under some straw that was scattered near the barn; and every night, from midsummer on, he came out and made merry.

But in the daytime he was usually quiet as a mouse, sitting inside his hole and doing nothing at all except to wait patiently until it should be dark again, so that he might crawl forth from his hiding place and take up his music where he had left it unfinished the night before.

Somehow he always knew exactly where to begin. Although he carried no sheets of music with him, he never had to stop and wonder what note to begin on, for the reason that he always fiddled on the same one.

When rude people asked Chirpy Cricket as they did now and then why he didn't change his tune, he always replied that a person couldn't change anything without taking time. And since he expected to make only a short stay in Pleasant Valley he didn't want to fritter away any precious moments.

Chirpy Cricket's neighbors soon noticed that he carried his fiddle with him everywhere he went. And the curious ones asked him a question. "Why" they inquired "why are you forever taking your fiddle with you?"

And Chirpy Cricket reminded them that the summer would be gone almost before anybody knew it. He said that when he wanted to play a tune he didn't intend to waste any valuable time hunting for his fiddle.

Now, all that was true enough. But it was just as true that he couldn't have left his fiddle at home anyhow. Chirpy made his music with his two wings. He rubbed a file like ridge of one on a rough part of the other. So his fiddle if you could call it by that name just naturally had to go wherever he did.

Cr r r i! cr r r i! cr r r i! When that shrill sound, all on one note, rang out in the night everybody that heard it knew that Chirpy Cricket was sawing out his odd music. And the warmer the night the faster he played. He liked warm weather. Somehow it seemed to make him feel especially lively.

People who wanted to be disagreeable were always remarking in Chirpy Cricket's hearing that they hoped there would be an early frost. They thought of course he would know they were tired of his music and wished he would keep still... Continue reading book >>




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