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In the spring Grumpy Weasel was always glad to see the birds coming back from the South. But it must not be supposed that it was because he liked to hear them sing (for he didn't!).
Nor should any one make the mistake of thinking that Grumpy Weasel loved the birds. The only reason why he welcomed them was because he liked to hunt them, and rob their nests.
But there were two birds that Grumpy didn't care to have in Pleasant Valley. He often wished that Solomon Owl and Henry Hawk would leave the neighborhood and never return. That was because they liked to hunt him.
Especially did Grumpy Weasel dislike Henry Hawk, who had an unpleasant habit of sitting motionless on a limb in the top of some great tree. From that high perch he swept the whole valley with his keen, cruel eyes, because (as he said) he "liked to see what was going on."
If Henry Hawk saw anything anywhere that interested him he lost no time in reaching that place. It might be a bird, or a meadow mouse, or maybe a plump chicken. And he was always hoping to catch a glimpse of Grumpy Weasel.
One day early in the fall Mr. Hawk saw what he had been looking for so long. Near the old cider mill, up the road from Farmer Green's house, he spied a long, slender, brownish shape moving swiftly among a pile of barrels outside the building. He knew at once that it was Grumpy Weasel; and though he was a long way off Mr. Hawk could see that Grumpy was very busy looking for something—so busy, Mr. Hawk hoped, that Grumpy wouldn't notice anything else.
Henry Hawk had wonderful eyesight. As he came hurtling down out of the sky he could see that Grumpy was playing hide-and-seek with a mouse.
"It's a shame to break up the game," Mr. Hawk chuckled to himself.
And just then something made Grumpy Weasel look up. It must have been Henry Hawk's shadow flickering over a barrel. There was no other sign that could have warned Grumpy.
He put the meadow mouse out of his mind without a bit of trouble and made a sidewise spring for the first hole on which his eyes lighted.
Grumpy was through it in a twinkling. Henry Hawk made a frantic grab with his talons at the black tip of Grumpy's tail, just as it whisked out of sight. But he was too late.
It did not soothe Henry Hawk's feelings to find that the meadow mouse had vanished at the same time. Henry would have liked to play hide-and-seek with him himself.
Mr. Hawk knew well enough where Grumpy was hiding. That slim fellow had sought safety in an empty jug, which was lying on its side near the pile of barrels. It made a fine fort for Grumpy Weasel. The enemy couldn't break through it. And there was only one loophole, which was far too small to do Henry Hawk the least good.
Henry saw at once that he might as well go away. So he went off grumbling.
"This," he said, "is what comes of disorderly habits. Farmer Green ought not to have left that jug lying there. If he hadn't, I might have been able to do him a good turn."
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