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Chapter 7

VII. BOBBY HAS A STRANGE JOURNEY

Its funny how you'll often find

That trouble's mostly in your mind.


ITS a fact. More than three fourths of the troubles that worry people are not real troubles at all. They are all in the mind. They are things that people are afraid are going to happen, and worry about until they are sure they will happen,—and then they do not happen at all. Very, very often things that seem bad turn out to be blessings. All of us do a great deal of worrying for nothing. I know I do. Bobby Coon did when he took his strange journey which I am going to tell you about.

Farmer Brown and Farmer Brown's boy and Bowser the Hound had watched Bobby crawl out of his ruined house and start off to seek a new home. Of course, they had seen right away that something was wrong with Bobby, for he walked on three legs and held the fourth one up.

"The poor little chap," murmured Farmer Brown's boy pityingly. "That leg must have been hurt when the tree fell. I hope it isn't badly hurt. We'll wait a few minutes and see what he does."

So they waited in their hiding-place and watched Bobby. They saw him go to the foot of a tree as if to climb it. They saw him try and fail, because he couldn't climb with only three legs, and they saw him crouch down then that Farmer Brown's boy was sure that Bobby's hurt was really serious.

"We can't let that little fellow go to suffer and perhaps die," said Farmer Brown's boy, and ran forward while Farmer Brown held Bowser.

Bobby heard him coming and promptly faced about ready to fight bravely. When he got near enough, Farmer Brown's boy threw his coat over Bobby and then, in spite of Bobby's frantic struggles, gathered him up and wrapped the coat about him so that he could neither bite nor scratch. Bobby was quite helpless.

"I'm going to take him home, and when I've made him quite comfortable, I'll come back," cried Farmer Brown's boy.

"All right," replied Farmer Brown, with a kindly twinkle in his eyes.

So Farmer Brown's boy started for home, carrying Bobby as gently as he could. Of course Bobby couldn't see where he was being taken, because that coat was over his head, and of course he hadn't understood a word that Farmer Brown's boy had said. But Bobby could imagine all sorts of dreadful things, and he did. He was sure that when this journey ended the very worst that could happen would happen. He was quite hopeless, was Bobby Coon. He kept still because he had to. There was nothing else to do.

All the time he wondered where he was being taken. He was sure that never again would he see the Green Forest. His broken leg pained him dreadfully, but fear of what would happen when this strange journey ended made him almost forget the pain. It was the first time in all his life that Bobby ever had journeyed anywhere save on his own four feet, and quite aside from his fear, it gave him a very queer feeling. He kept wishing it would end quickly, yet at the same time he didn't want it to end because of what he was sure would happen then.

So through the Green Forest, then through the Old Orchard, and finally across the barnyard to the barn Bobby Coon was carried. It was the strangest journey he ever had known and it was the most terrible, though it needn't have been if only he could have known the truth.

Thornton W. Burgess

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