CHAPTER VI - SAMMY JAY LEARNS PETER RABBIT’S SECRET
“I’m Mr. Jaybird, tee-hee-hee!
I’m Mr. Jaybird; you
You’ve got to rise ’fore
break of day
If you want to fool old Mr.
Over and over Sammy Jay hummed this,
as he brushed his handsome blue and white coat.
Then he laughed as he remarked to no one in particular,
for no one was near enough to hear: “Peter
Rabbit’s got a secret. When Peter goes
about whispering, it’s a sure sign that he’s
got a secret. He thinks that he can keep it from
me, but he can’t. Oh, my, no! I never
knew of a secret that could be kept by more than two
people, and already I’ve seen Peter whisper to
five. I’ll just see what Reddy Fox knows
With a flirt of his tail Sammy Jay
started for the Green Meadows, where Reddy Fox was
busy hunting for his breakfast.
“It’s a fine morning, Reddy Fox,”
said Sammy Jay.
“It would be finer, if I could fill my stomach
faster,” replied Reddy.
“That’s a pretty good
secret of Peter Rabbit’s, isn’t it?”
asked Sammy, pretending to look very wise.
Reddy pricked up his sharp little ears.
“What secret?” he demanded.
“If you don’t know, I’m
not going to tell,” retorted Sammy Jay, just
as if he knew all about it, and off he flew to hunt
up his cousin, Blacky the Crow. Blacky knew nothing
about Peter Rabbit’s secret, nor did Shadow
the Weasel, whom he met by the way. But Sammy
Jay was not in the least bit discouraged.
“I’ll try Johnny Chuck; he’ll know,”
said Sammy to himself.
He found Johnny sitting on his doorstep, watching
the world go by.
“Good morning, Johnny Chuck,” said Sammy,
with a low bow.
“Good morning,” replied Johnny Chuck,
who always is polite.
“Isn’t that a fine secret
of Peter Rabbit’s?” exclaimed Sammy, just
as if he knew all about it.
Johnny Chuck raised his eyebrows and put on the most
“Do tell me what it is!” he begged.
“Oh, if you don’t know,
I won’t tell, for that wouldn’t be fair,”
replied Sammy, and tried to look very honest and innocent,
and then he flew over to the Green Forest. And
as he flew, he said to himself: “Johnny
Chuck can’t fool me; he does know Peter Rabbit’s
Over in the Green Forest he found
Drummer the Woodpecker making a great racket on the
hollow limb of an old chestnut. Sammy sat down
near by and listened. “My, that’s
fine! I wish I could do that. You must be
practising,” said Sammy at the end of a long
Drummer the Woodpecker felt very much
flattered. “I am,” said he. “I’m
practising for Peter Rabbit’s party.”
“I thought so,” replied
Sammy Jay. Of course he hadn’t thought
anything of the kind.
“Won’t Unc’ Billy
Possum be surprised?” remarked Drummer the Woodpecker,
as he sat down to rest.
“He surely will,” replied
Sammy Jay, and then he flattered and flattered Drummer
the Woodpecker until finally Drummer told all about
Peter’s plan for a surprise party for Unc’
By and by, as he flew home, Sammy Jay chuckled and
“You’ve got to rise
’fore break of day
If you want to fool old Mr.