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Sammy Jay is one of those who believe in the wisdom of the old saying, "Early to bed and early to rise." Sammy needs no alarm clock to get up early in the morning. He is awake as soon as it is light enough to see and wastes no time wishing he could sleep a little longer. His stomach wouldn't let him if he wanted to. Sammy always wakes up hungry. In this he is no different from all his feathered neighbors.
So the minute Sammy gets his eyes open he makes his toilet, for Sammy is very neat, and starts out to hunt for his breakfast. Long ago Sammy discovered that there is no safer time of day to visit the dooryards of those two-legged creatures called men than very early in the morning. On this particular morning he had planned to fly over to Farmer Brown's dooryard, but at the last minute he changed his mind. Instead, he flew over to the dooryard of another farm. It was so very early in the morning that Sammy didn't expect to find anybody stirring, so you can guess how surprised he was when, just as he came in sight of that dooryard, he saw the door of the house open and a man step out.
Sammy stopped on the top of the nearest tree. "Now what is that man doing up as early as this?" muttered Sammy. Then he caught sight of something under the man's arm. He didn't have to look twice to know what it was. It was a gun! Yes, sir, it was a gun, a terrible gun.
"Ha!" exclaimed Sammy, and quite forgot that his stomach was empty. "Now who can that fellow be after so early in the morning? I wonder if he is going to the dear Old Briar-patch to look for Peter Rabbit, or if he is going to the Old Pasture in search of Reddy Fox, or if it is Mr. and Mrs. Grouse he hopes to kill. I think I'll sit right here and watch."
So Sammy sat in the top of the tree and watched the hunter with the terrible gun. He saw him head straight for the Green Forest. "It's Mr. and Mrs. Grouse after all, I guess," thought Sammy. "If I knew just where they were I'd go over and warn them." But Sammy didn't know just where they were and he knew that it might take him a long time to find them, so he once more began to think of breakfast and then, right then, another thought popped into his head. He thought of Lightfoot the Deer.
Sammy watched the hunter enter the Green Forest, then he silently followed him. From the way the hunter moved, Sammy decided that he wasn't thinking of Mr. and Mrs. Grouse. "It's Lightfoot the Deer, sure as I live," muttered Sammy. "He ought to be warned. He certainly ought to be warned. I know right where he is. I believe I'll warn him myself."
Sammy found Lightfoot right where he had expected to. "He's coming!" cried Sammy. "A hunter with a terrible gun is coming!"
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