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The Tale of Jasper Jay Tuck-Me-In Tales   By: (1877-1949)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: Jasper, Like Frisky Squirrel, Was Fond of Nuts Frontispiece ( Page 4 )]

TUCK ME IN TALES

THE TALE OF JASPER JAY

BY ARTHUR SCOTT BAILEY

[Illustration]

NEW YORK GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS

Made in the United States of America

Copyright, 1917, by GROSSET & DUNLAP

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I A NOISY ROGUE 1 II A BLOW FOR THE BULLY 6 III THE STRANGE CRY 12 IV JASPER'S BOAST 17 V THE SEARCH 24 VI A JOKE ON JASPER JAY 29 VII SCARING THE HENS 34 VIII A BIT OF MISCHIEF 39 IX JASPER HAS TO HIDE 45 X THE NUTTING PARTY 51 XI A STROKE OF LUCK 57 XII SOLOMON OWL'S EYES 62 XIII TEASING A SINGER 68 XIV FINDING A WAY 73 XV THE INVITATION 78 XVI THE SINGING SOCIETY 83 XVII JASPER IS ASHAMED 88 XVIII ENEMIES 94 XIX COLD FEET 99 XX GETTING RID OF JASPER 104 XXI TWO RASCALS CAUGHT 109

THE TALE OF JASPER JAY

I

A NOISY ROGUE

Some of the feathered folk in Pleasant Valley said that old Mr. Crow was the noisiest person in the neighborhood. But they must have forgotten all about Mr. Crow's knavish cousin, Jasper Jay. And it was not only in summer, either, that Jasper's shrieks and laughter woke the echoes. Since it was his habit to spend his winters right there in Farmer Green's young pines, near the foot of Blue Mountain, on many a cold morning Jasper's ear splitting " Jay! jay! " rang out on the frosty air.

At that season Jasper often visited the farm buildings, in the hope of finding a few kernels of corn scattered about the door of the corn crib. But it seemed to make little difference to him whether he found food there or not. If he caught the cat out of doors he had good sport teasing her. And he always enjoyed that.

Jasper was a bold rowdy but handsome. And Farmer Green liked to look out of the window early on a bleak morning and see him in his bright blue suit frisking in and out of the bare trees. Still, Farmer Green knew well enough that Jasper Jay was a rogue.

"He reminds me of a bad boy," Johnnie Green's father said one day. "He's mischievous and destructive; and he's forever screeching and whistling. But there's something about him that I can't help liking.... Maybe it's because he always has such a good time."

"He steals birds' eggs in summer," Johnnie Green remarked.

"I've known boys to do that," his father answered. And Johnnie said nothing more just then. Perhaps he was too busy watching Jasper Jay, who had flown into the orchard and was already breakfasting on frozen apples, which hung here and there upon the trees.

When warm weather came, the rogue Jasper fared better. Then there were insects and fruit for him. And though Jasper took his full share of Farmer Green's strawberries, currants and blackberries, he did him no small service by devouring moths that would have harmed the grapes.

But in the fall Jasper scorned almost any food except nuts, which he liked more than anything else that is, if their shells were not too thick. Beechnuts and chestnuts and acorns suited him well. And he was very skilful in opening them. He would grasp a nut firmly with his feet and split it with his strong bill. Johnnie Green could not crack a butternut with his father's hammer more quickly than Jasper could reach the inside of a sweet beechnut.

Though Jasper hated to spend any of his time during the nutting season by doing much else except eat , he was so fond of nuts that he always hid away as many as he could in cracks and crevices, and buried them under the fallen leaves... Continue reading book >>




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