Mr. Merry Sun was up bright and early. He shone on the Sunny Meadow and lighted up the dark places in the Shady Forest.
He even poked a sunbeam in the eye of Parson Owl, who winked and blinked and turned the other way.
Soon everybody was wide awake, for the Little People of the Shady Forest and the Sunny Meadow are always up with Mr. Merry Sun.
Little Jack Rabbit, looking out of the Old Bramble Patch, wondered who was bending over the tall grass in the corner of the Old Rail Fence. Shading his eyes with his right paw, he looked again. Yes, it was the Farmer's Boy. Pretty soon he stood up straight, holding his hat carefully in his hand. Then he turned with a whistle and walked home.
"I wonder what he's been up to?" thought Little Jack Rabbit, and, being a curious little bunny, he hopped over to find out. Carefully peeping through the tall grass he saw a nice round nest, but it was empty. Only a gray speckled feather was left.
"He's stolen the eggs!" cried the little rabbit. "He's just mean enough to steal eggs!"
Just then Henny Penny came across the Sunny Meadow. She was a very pretty gray speckled hen and lived in a little house by the Big Red Barn. But instead of laying her nice white eggs in the comfortable nests in the Henhouse, she came all the way over to the Old Rail Fence Corner.
But Little Jack Rabbit didn't know that. He didn't know whose nest it was until Henny Penny cried distractedly, "Who has stolen my eggs? Did you, Little Jack Rabbit?"
"Is it your nest?" he gasped, so startled that he asked a question instead of answering one.
"Of course it's mine," replied Henny Penny, looking at him as if she meant to peck his little pink eyes right out of his head. "But answer my question. Did you take my eggs?"
"Of course not," said the little rabbit. "I saw the hired boy leave here a few minutes ago with his hat in his hands. Maybe he took them."
What can I do for you?"
asked a beautiful big rooster, all of a sudden, just like that.
"O Cocky Doodle!" cried Henny Penny, "my nest has been robbed. Let's tell the Kind Farmer that the hired boy has stolen my eggs."