Twinkle Tail and Featherhead were old enough to find homes for themselves, so Old Squirrel Nutcracker thought. And when that old squirrel had thought out a thing seriously he was pretty likely to put it into words.

“I feel sorry for the boys,” said Mrs. Nutcracker, wiping her eyes with her calico apron, as she stood beneath the Big Chestnut Tree talking to Mrs. Rabbit. “They’ve had such a comfortable home, if I do say it myself. But last night Squirrel Nutcracker said after dinner:

“‘Boys, it’s time for you to get out and hustle for yourselves. It will make men-squirrels out of you. If you get into trouble, always remember your father will help you. And don’t forget your mother.’”

Poor Mrs. Nutcracker threw her apron over her head and burst into tears. “Don’t cry,” said the kind bunny lady, and very soon she said good-by and hopped home to the Old Bramble Patch to tell her little rabbit the news.

When Mrs. Nutcracker reached home she found her little squirrel boys packing up their things. Twinkle Tail had his nearly finished, but Featherhead was only half through. So Mrs. Nutcracker helped him, and when it was all done, she sat down and cried again. Poor Mrs. Nutcracker felt so badly she just couldn’t help it.

Just then Old Squirrel Nutcracker came up the stairs, so she dried her eyes and the two little squirrels picked up their trunks and started down the tree.

When they reached the first landing, a great big limb that spread out to one side, there stood Squirrel Nutcracker. His voice was a little husky as he said:

“I want to be proud of you, Twinkle Tail and Featherhead. See that you find nice homes and that you don’t do anything to make me ashamed of you.” Then he hugged them good-by and went upstairs to Mrs. Nutcracker.


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