It was a week or so after the Squirrel Brothers had left Nutcracker Lodge to find homes for themselves that Little Jack Rabbit came across Twinkle Tail.
It’s not an easy thing to find a new home, especially when all the nice warm hollow trees were already crowded with little people. Twinkle Tail discovered this when he started in house-hunting.
“Why don’t you take Grandmother Magpie’s nest?” asked the little rabbit. “She hasn’t used it for some time and nobody seems to want it.” This was very true; perhaps it was because nobody liked Grandmother Magpie.
But after Twinkle Tail had taken it over you never would have known it. You see, he altered it and arranged it and patched it up to suit himself.
While he was putting on the finishing touches, who should come along but the old lady magpie herself.
“Do you mind my doing this to your old place?” he asked, looking up from his work.
“Not at all,” replied Grandmother Magpie, “I’m done with it. You’re quite welcome to it, my dear.”
This was the first time she had ever done a nice thing for anybody in the Shady Forest. But, you see, she liked Twinkle Tail. He was the only person she did like. I guess the reason was that she had never forgotten he had once been very polite to her.
“Thank you,” said Twinkle Tail, smiling sweetly, and then he set to work harder than ever.
After that the old lady magpie flew away, thinking how strange it was that a house which one has grown tired of often suits another person very well.
By and by Twinkle Tail had another caller. It was Bobbie Redvest.
“How do you like the way I’m fixing up my house?” asked the little squirrel.
“I think you’ve made one mistake,” replied Bobbie Redvest.
“What is it?” asked Twinkle Tail anxiously.
“The great thing, you know, is to hide your house as much as possible.”
The little squirrel dropped the piece of green moss he was about to use, and waited.
“You should make it look like the place it’s in,” went on the little robin. “You have chosen a browny place, so you must use brown moss on the outside.”
“That sounds like good advice,” said Twinkle Tail. “I’ll do as you say.”
Here a leaf and there a twig,
Piece of twine to bind them—
Then some moss to spread across,
Till it’s hard to find them.
Soon the tiny Treetop House
Will be built and ready;
Dry beneath the pelting rain,
Against the wind quite steady.