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STICKY-TOES THE TREE TOAD POURS OUT HIS TROUBLES
Sticky-toes was quite upset. There was no doubt about it. Either he had gotten out of the wrong side of his bed that morning, or his breakfast had disagreed with him, or something had happened to make him lose his temper completely.
"Don't know what it means! Don't know what it means! Don't know what it means!" croaked Sticky-toes the Tree Toad, over and over again. "Heard it last night and the night before that and before that and before that and before that, and I don't know what it means!"
"Don't know what what means?" asked Peter Rabbit, whose curiosity would not let him keep still.
"Hello, Long-ears! I don't know that it's any of your business!" said Sticky-toes.
Peter allowed that it wasn't, but that as he had so much on his own mind he couldn't help being interested when he found that Sticky-toes had troubles too. Then he told Sticky-toes all about how Boomer the Nighthawk had said that he had seen Sammy Jay going to bed up in the far-away Old Pasture, and how that very night Sammy Jay's voice had been heard screaming down in the alders beside the Laughing Brook. Sticky-toes nodded his head.
"I heard it," said he.
"But how could Sammy Jay be down here if he went to bed way off there in the Old Pasture? Tell me that, Sticky-toes?" said Peter Rabbit.
Sticky-toes shook his head. "Don't ask me! Don't ask me! Just tell me how it is that I hear my own voice when I don't speak a word," said Sticky-toes the Tree Toad.
"What's that?" exclaimed Peter Rabbit.
Then Sticky-toes poured out all his troubles to Peter Rabbit. They were very much like the troubles of Sammy Jay. Every night Sticky-toes would hear what sounded like his own voice coming from a tree in which he was not sitting at all, and at a time when he was keeping his mouth shut as tight as he knew how. In fact, he had been so worried that for several nights he hadn't said a word, yet his neighbors had complained that he had been very noisy. He was getting so worried that he couldn't eat.
Peter Rabbit listened with his mouth wide open. It was just the same kind of a story that Sammy Jay had told. What under the sun could be going on? Peter couldn't understand it at all. It certainly was very, very curious. He just must find out about it!
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