A PRISONER











Pretty soon along came Little Jack Rabbit on his way home from school. Everybody in the Shady Forest knew Little Jack Rabbit. From his nest in the Tall Pine Tree Jimmy Crow had often seen him hopping by with the Squirrel Brothers.

How he wished now he had never left the dear old nest. Here he was, a prisoner, and there was the little rabbit, free and happy, hopping home from school.

He tried to flutter out of the Farmer Boy's hand, but he was only held the tighter, so he lay perfectly still and wondered miserably what his mother would say when she came home and heard that he had disobeyed.

By and by the Farmer's Boy opened the gate to the Farmyard and walked over to the Big Red Barn. Pretty soon he found an old birdcage, in which he put poor Jimmy Crow. Then he hung it up on the little front porch of the Old Farm House.

"What have you got there," asked the Kind Farmer when he came home for supper, "a young crow?"

"Yep," answered the Farmer's Boy. "I picked him up in the woods; he was tryin' to fly."

It was very lonely on the little front porch after Mr. Merry Sun had gone to bed. Jimmy Crow huddled in one corner and watched Mrs. Moon climb over the hilltop.

He heard Granddaddy Bullfrog singing in the Duck Pond, and the splash of the millwheel as it turned slowly over and over. How he wished he had obeyed his mother and was safe at home, listening to his father tell the school news, and who was late, and who knew his lesson best.

By and by the Old Grandfather Clock in the Farm House struck ten and the lights went out. If it hadn't been for Mrs. Moon it would have been pitch dark.

Suddenly, he heard a familiar hoot, and the next minute dear Old Parson Owl fluttered up to the cage.

It didn't take him long to find the handle on the little door, which he opened softly.

"Jump out!" he whispered. "Hop after me as fast as you can. I'll fly low down so you won't lose sight of me."

"Am I dreaming?" thought the poor little crow, as he fluttered down to the ground and hopped after Old Parson Owl toward the Shady Forest. "If I am, I hope I'll wake up in Mother's nest!"





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