Daddy Fox was very irregular in his habits about coming home, so, when the Bunny Boy Scouts captured him, after his escape from the Circus Cow Boy, and put him in the Jail House at Lettuceville, no one became uneasy for two or three days. After that time, Mrs. Fox said to Sly Boots and Bushy Tail, her two little sons: “Something has happened to your father. I know it, for he never stays away like this without telephoning or sending a message home. We’d better go out to-night and look for him.”
So when the big, round, silver moon was shining in the middle of the sky and the twinkle, twinkle star was peeping into the bedroom windows of little boys and girls, who were sound asleep and dreaming of lollypops and ice cream cones and other things, Mrs. Fox put on her bonnet and started out with her two little foxes.
And by and by they came to the Jail House. And while they were walking around it, smelling here and there to find out where their Daddy Fox was, they heard him singing in a sorrowful voice:
“I wonder if my two little boys
Are thinking of Daddy Fox;
If mother would only find me here
She’d open this old jail box.
She’d find the key to the iron door,
Which is hid in the crack outside in the floor
Of the little porch, and she’d get me out.
Oh, dear, I wonder what they’re about!”
And of course when Mrs. Fox heard that, she looked on the floor of the little porch; and, sure enough, there was the big iron key almost hidden from sight in a little, tiny crack.
Wasn’t that lucky? Well, I guess it was, and in a jiffy and a half she unlocked the iron door and set Daddy Fox free.
My! But he was thin and miserable. They had shaved his head and put a striped suit of clothes on him and he didn’t look anything like their dear, kind father, thought Sly Boots and Bushy Tail, although they didn’t say so.
They just hugged him nearly to death, for they loved him, because he was their father, and they didn’t know it was wicked to steal chickens, because all foxes do, and if you don’t know a thing is wicked and then go and do it it’s not nearly so bad as when you know a thing is wrong and then go and do it. So please remember this, for it’s very important and will help you keep out of lots of trouble.
“Come home at once,” said Mrs. Fox; “I have a nice stewed duck for supper, although it’s past supper time.” So Daddy Fox hurried as fast as he could so as not to let the duck stew get cooked too much, and by and by they came to their den.
And Mrs. Fox had the table set and the supper ready in less than a wink and everybody was happy as could be. And perhaps Daddy Fox will be good until the next time, that is if he doesn’t see a chicken before the chicken sees him.