"The nonsense of fellows like Tip Chipmunk!" said Featherhead to his admiring brothers and sisters--"the perfectly stupid nonsense! There he goes, delving and poking, picking up a nut here and a grain there, when _I_ step into property at once."
"But I hope, my son, you are careful to be honest in your dealings," said old Nutcracker, who was a very moral squirrel.
With that, young Featherhead threw his tail saucily over one shoulder, winked knowingly at his brothers, and said, "Certainly, sir! If honesty consists in getting what you can while it is going, I mean to be honest."
Very soon Featherhead appeared to his admiring companions in the height of prosperity. He had a splendid hole in the midst of a heap of chestnuts, and he literally seemed to be rolling in wealth; he never came home without showering lavish gifts on his mother and sisters; he wore his tail over his back with a buckish air, and patronized Tip Chipmunk with a gracious nod whenever he met him, and thought that the world was going well with him.
But one luckless day, as Featherhead was lolling in his hole, up came two boys with the friskiest, wiriest Scotch terrier you ever saw. His eyes blazed like torches, and poor Featherhead's heart died within him as he heard the boys say, "Now we'll see if we can't catch the rascal that eats our grain."
Featherhead tried to slink out at the hole he had gnawed to come in by, but found it stopped.
"Oh, you are there, are you, mister?" said the boy. "Well, you don't get out; and now for a chase!"
And, sure enough, poor Featherhead ran distracted with terror up and down, through the bundles of hay, between barrels, and over casks, but with the barking terrier ever at his heels, and the boys running, shouting, and cheering his pursuer on. He was glad at last to escape through a crack, though he left half of his fine brush behind him; for Master Wasp the terrier made a snap at it just as he was going, and cleaned all the hair off of it, so that it was bare as a rat's tail.