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- Sleepy-Time Tales: The Tale of Fatty Coon - 1/9 -


SLEEPY-TIME TALES

THE TALE OF FATTY COON

BY ARTHUR SCOTT BAILEY

ILLUSTRATED BY HARRY L. SMITH

NEW YORK

1915

CONTENTS

I FATTY COON AT HOME

II FATTY LEARNS SOMETHING ABOUT EGGS

III FATTY DISCOVERS MRS. TURTLE'S SECRET

IV FATTY COON'S MISTAKE

V FATTY COON GOES FISHING

VI FATTY AND THE GREEN CORN

VII JOHNNIE GREEN IS DISAPPOINTED

VIII A TERRIBLE FRIGHT

IX JOHNNIE GREEN LOSES HIS PET

X FATTY COON AND THE MONSTER

XI JASPER JAY TELLS SOME NEWS

XII FORTY FAT TURKEYS

XIII FATTY MEETS JIMMY RABBIT

XIV THE BARBER-SHOP AGAIN

XV FATTY VISITS THE SMOKEHOUSE

XVI FATTY COON PLAYS ROBBER

XVII FATTY FINDS THE MOON

XVIII THE LOGGERS COME

XIX FATTY GROWS EVEN FATTER

XX THE TRACKS IN THE SNOW

ILLUSTRATIONS

FATTY SAW MRS. TURTLE DIGGING IN THE SAND Frontispiece

FATTY COON CROUCHED CLOSE TO THE WATER'S EDGE

FATTY WISHED THE DOG WOULD GO AWAY

FATTY STOPPED RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD

"PLEASE, MR. BEAR, LET GO OF MY TAIL!" FATTY CRIED

IT HUNG UNDER A TREE, JUST OVER FATTY'S HEAD

I

FATTY COON AT HOME

Fatty Coon was so fat and round that he looked like a ball of fur, with a plumelike tail for a handle. But if you looked at him closely you would have seen a pair of very bright eyes watching you.

Fatty loved to eat. Yes--he loved eating better than anything else in the world. That was what made him so fat. And that, too, was what led him into many adventures.

Close by a swamp, which lay down in the valley, between Blue Mountain and Swift River, Fatty Coon lived with his mother and his brother and his two sisters. Among them all there was what grown people call "a strong family resemblance," which is the same thing as saying that they all looked very much alike. The tail of each one of them--mother and children too--had six black rings around it. Each of them had a dark brown patch of fur across the face, like a mask. And--what do you think?--each of them, even Fatty and his brother and his sisters, had a stiff, white moustache!

Of course, though they all looked so much alike, you would have known which was Mrs. Coon, for she was so much bigger than her children. And you would have known which was Fatty--he was so much rounder than his brother and his sisters.

Mrs. Coon's home was in the hollow branch of an old tree. It was a giant of a tree--a poplar close by a brook which ran into the swamp--and the branch which was Mrs. Coon's home was as big as most tree-trunks are.

Blackie was Fatty's brother--for the mask on his face was just a little darker than the others'. Fluffy was one of Fatty's sisters, because her fur was just a little fluffier than the other children's. And Cutey was the other sister's name, because she was so quaint.

Now, Fatty Coon was forever looking around for something to eat. He was never satisfied with what his mother brought home for him. No matter how big a dinner Mrs. Coon set before her family, as soon as he had finished eating his share Fatty would wipe his white moustache carefully--for all the world like some old gentleman--and hurry off in search of something more.

Sometimes he went to the edge of the brook and tried to catch fish by hooking them out of the water with his sharp claws. Sometimes he went over to the swamp and hunted for duck among the tall reeds. And though he did not yet know how to catch a duck, he could always capture a frog or two; and Fatty ate them as if he hadn't had a mouthful of food for days.

To tell the truth, Fatty would eat almost anything he could get--nuts, cherries, wild grapes, blackberries, bugs, small snakes, fish, chickens, honey--there was no end to the different kinds of food he liked. He ate everything. And he always wanted more.

"Is this all there is?" Fatty Coon asked his mother one day. He had gobbled up every bit of the nice fish that Mrs. Coon had brought home for him. It was gone in no time at all.

Mrs. Coon sighed. She had heard that question so many times; and she wished that for once Fatty might have all the dinner he wanted.

"Yes--that's all," she said, "and I should think that it was enough for a young coon like you."

Fatty said nothing more. He wiped his moustache on the back of his hand (I hope you'll never do that!) and without another word he started off to see what he could find to eat.

II

FATTY LEARNS SOMETHING ABOUT EGGS

When Fatty Coon started off alone to find something more to eat, after finishing the fish that his mother had brought home for him, he did not know that he was going to have an adventure. He nosed about among the bushes and the tall grasses and caught a few bugs and a frog or two. But he didn't think that THAT was much. He didn't seem to have much luck, down on the ground. So he climbed a tall hemlock, to see if he could find a squirrel's nest, or some bird's eggs.

Fatty loved to climb trees. Up in the big hemlock he forgot, for a time, that he was still hungry. It was delightful to feel the branches swaying under him, and the bright sunshine was warm upon his back. He climbed almost to the very tip-top of the tree and wound himself around the straight stem. The thick, springy branches held him safely, and soon Fatty was fast asleep. Next to eating, Fatty loved sleeping. And now he had a good nap.

Fatty Coon woke up at last, yawned, and slowly unwound himself from the stem of the tree. He was terribly hungry now. And he felt that he simply MUST find something to eat at once.

Without going down to the ground, Fatty climbed over into the top of another big tree and his little beady, bright eyes began searching all the branches carefully. Pretty soon Fatty smiled. He smiled because he was pleased. And he was pleased because he saw exactly what he had been looking for. Not far below him was a big nest, built of sticks and lined with bark and moss. It was a crow's nest, Fatty decided, and he lost no time in slipping down to the crotch of the tree where the nest was perched.

There were four white eggs in the nest--the biggest crow's eggs Fatty had ever seen. And he began to eat them hungrily. His nose became smeared with egg, but he didn't mind that at all. He kept thinking how good the eggs tasted--and how he wished there were more of them.

There was a sudden rush through the branches of the tall tree. And Fatty Coon caught a hard blow on his head. He felt something sharp sink into his back, too. And he clutched at the edge of the nest to keep from falling.


Sleepy-Time Tales: The Tale of Fatty Coon - 1/9

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