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Albert Bigelow Paine.

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[Illustration: Book Cover]




THE HOLLOW TREE
AND
DEEP WOODS BOOK




[Illustration: AN INVITATION FROM JACK RABBIT.]




THE HOLLOW TREE

AND

DEEP WOODS BOOK

* * * * *

BEING A NEW EDITION IN ONE VOLUME OF "THE HOLLOW TREE"
AND "IN THE DEEP WOODS" WITH SEVERAL NEW
STORIES AND PICTURES ADDED


BY
ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE


ILLUSTRATED BY
J. M. CONDÉ


[Illustration]

* * * * *

NEW YORK AND LONDON
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS




BOOKS BY
ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE

MARK TWAIN: A BIOGRAPHY. Illustrated.

Octavo, Uniform Red Cloth, Trade Edition, 3 Vols.
(in a box) _net_ $6.00

Octavo, Cloth, Full Gilt Backs, Gilt Tops, Library
Edition, 3 Vols. (in a box) _net_ 7.00

Octavo, Three-quarter Calf, Gilt Tops, 3 Vols.
(in a box) _net_ 14.50

Octavo, Three-quarter Levant, Gilt Tops, 3 Vols.
(in a box) _net_ 15.50

THE SHIP DWELLERS. Illustrated. 8vo _net_ 1.50

THE TENT-DWELLERS. Illustrated. Post 8vo 1.50

"PEANUT." Illustrated. 16mo _net_ .50
Full Leather, 16mo _net_ 1.00

THE HOLLOW TREE AND DEEP WOODS BOOK. Illustrated. Post 8vo 1.50

THE HOLLOW TREE SNOWED-IN BOOK. Ill'd. Crown 8vo 1.50

FROM VAN-DWELLER TO COMMUTER. Illustrated. Post 8vo 1.50

LIFE OF THOMAS NAST. Illustrated. 8vo _net_ 5.00

* * * * *

HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, N. Y.


Copyright, 1898, by JAMES GORDON BENNETT
Copyright, 1899, by FRANK MUNSEY
Copyright, 1899, by THE CENTURY CO.
Copyright, 1898, 1899, 1901, by ROBERT HOWARD RUSSELL
Copyright, 1900, by HARPER & BROTHERS


Acknowledgments are due to the New York _Herald_, _The Puritan_,
_Harper's Bazar_, and _The Century Magazine_, in which periodicals these
stories were originally printed.




TO FRIENDS, OLD AND NEW


I suppose the very best pay that ever comes to anyone who writes a book
is to know that the ones he wrote it for really like it. When they like
it well enough to write and tell him so, though they have never seen
him, and perhaps never will, then he feels very proud indeed, and happy.
Perhaps he even looks at himself in the looking-glass to make sure he is
really the one who did it, though of course he wouldn't have anyone see
him doing it, or think him vain, for anything.

The publisher is only going to let me print one of the ever-so-many nice
letters that have come for the man who wrote the Hollow Tree stories and
the other man who drew the pictures for them. So I've picked out one
that is for both of us, and that is signed by three, which makes it
equal to six letters, three for each of us, and as nice letters as
anyone who writes books for other folks to read could ever wish to have.

NEW YORK CITY, 107 SIXTY-NINTH STREET, EAST,
_Oct. 18th, 1900_.

DEAR MR. PAINE:

Won't you please write another book about the 'Coon and the
'Possum and the old black Crow? We know these two by heart,
now. We like that story about the "Rain In The Night"
because that is the way we do when there is a thunderstorm.
_Please_ write some more and make them friends with poor Mr.
Dog, and we want Mr. Condé to draw the pictures, too.

Your sincere friends,
AMY C. HUTTON,
JACK HUTTON, JR.,
M. KATHERINE HUTTON.

Don't you think that is a very nice letter to get? I am sure no one
could be blamed for taking just one little look in the glass after that,
or for trying to "write another book" to please readers who have learned
the others "by heart."

But, dear me, it couldn't be done, because you see there were only just
so many of the Hollow Tree stories that ever happened, and when they
were all written there weren't enough to make another book. So we have
taken what were in the first two books, "The Hollow Tree" and "In the
Deep Woods," and we have put them together in one big book, and added
the three new ones, which were every one to be had, and now here they
are with a nice new cloth cover and very cheap when you consider how
many there are of them, and that there are no more to be had anywhere,
and that there never will be any more, as the Little Lady has said,
"even in a thousand days." You will know why, too, when you get to the
very last story in the book, and until then, and for a long time after,
I wish you, and Mr. Condé wishes you the happy quiet of the Deep Woods,
and the pleasant peace of the Hollow Tree.

THE AUTHOR.




CONTENTS


PAGE
The Little Lady and the Story Teller 9
The Hollow Tree People 11
A Joke All Around 20
Some New Acquaintances 28
Mr. Rabbit's Big Dinner 38
The Crow's Company 53
The First Moon Story 64
The Second Moon Story 72
On the Edge of the World 79
The First Pig Story 87
The Second Pig Story 93
Mr. Dog Takes Lessons in Dancing 100
Mr. Rabbit's Unwelcome Company 109
How Mr. Dog Got Even 116
How Mr. Dog Got Even - Continued 124
The Little Lady's Vacation and Her Return 137
The Story of the C. X. Pie 139
The Story of the C. X. Pie - Continued 149
The Story of the C. X. Pie - Continued 161
Mr. Rabbit Explains 169
Mr. Turtle's Thunder Story 176
Mr. Turtle's Thunder Story - Continued 183
A Rain in the Night 190
A Deep Woods Fishing Party 196
The Hollow Tree Inn 205
The Hollow Tree Inn - Continued 211
Mr. 'Possum Explains 221
The Hollow Tree Poetry Club 231
Around the World and Back Again 248
Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn 259
Good-Bye to the Little Lady 272




[Illustration]




THE LITTLE LADY AND THE STORY TELLER

THE READER IS INTRODUCED TO THEM


In the House of Many Windows which stands in a large city and is
sometimes called a "flat" by people who, because they are grown up, do
not know any better, live the Little Lady and the Story Teller.

The Little Lady is four years old, going on five, and is fond of
stories. This makes her and the Story Teller good friends. They mostly
sit in the firelight after supper, and while the Little Lady is being
undressed they tell each other all that has happened since morning. Then
the Little Lady looks into the fire and says: -

"Now, tell me a story."

Sometimes she wants a new story. Sometimes one of the old ones, which
must be told always the same, because the Little Lady, like a good many
grown up people, does not care for new and revised editions, but wants
the old stories in the old words, that sound real and true. Sometimes
the Story Teller forgets or improves on his plots, but the Little Lady
never forgets and never fails to set the Story Teller right.




THE HOLLOW TREE PEOPLE

THE LITTLE LADY IS INTRODUCED TO THE 'COON, THE 'POSSUM AND THE OLD
BLACK CROW


When the Story Teller came home last night the Little Lady had a great
deal to tell him. During the afternoon she had built in one corner of
the sitting room a house for her three dolls, with a separate room for
each. Of course, the house was not a house at all, but only a plan on
the floor made with blocks and books. At one side she had laid out a
large parlor room, where her family of three - Hettie, Annabelle and the
Rubber Boy - could meet together and talk.

"Why," said the Story Teller, "that reminds me of the Crow, the 'Coon
and the 'Possum."

"What did they do? Tell me that story," commanded the Little Lady,
promptly forgetting her day's work and pulling the Story Teller toward
his chair.

The Story Teller stirred the fire and looked into the blaze a moment,
thinking. The Little Lady climbed up into his lap and waited. She was
used to the Story Teller.

"Tell it," she said, presently.

So then he told her the story of the three friends.

Once upon a time in the far depths of the Big Deep Woods there was a big
hollow tree, with three big hollow branches. In one of these there lived
a 'Coon, in another a 'Possum and in the third a Big Black Crow.

"But crows don't live in hollow trees," said the Little Woman, who
happened to be passing.

"This one did," replied the Story Teller. "I suppose styles have changed
some since then."

The hollow tree below was rather dark, so they all used it for a parlor,
and only met in there now and then, to dust off their things, or when
company came.

Now, the Crow and the 'Coon and the 'Possum were all very fond of good
living and mostly of the same things. They were good friends, too, and
they often made plans to catch young chickens and other game and carried
them out together. Between trips they would sit in their doors and pass
the time of day across to each other, just like folks.

Well, one winter, about two weeks after New Year's, it came on to snow
in the woods where the hollow tree was, and it snowed, and it snowed,
and it snowed.

This was long before sleds or skates, and when big snows always came up
over people's windows and snowed them in. And this is what happened to
the Crow and the 'Coon and the 'Possum. They were snowed in!

Well, they rather liked it at first, for they had a good deal left over
from New Year's dinner, and they used to get together down stairs in
the parlor and spread lunch and pitch the bones under the table and talk
and tell stories and wonder how long the snow would last.

But they never counted on its lasting half so long as it did. Every day
they would look out of an upstairs window that they had, to see if the
storm wasn't over. And every day it was just the same, and there was no
sign of clearing up. Then they began to get scared, for their cupboards
were nearly empty, and there was no chance to catch any more game. At
last every scrap was gone, and there wasn't a thing to eat in the house.

[Illustration: ROCKED ON PURPOSE TO THINK ABOUT IT.]

[Illustration: LOOKED IN QUITE A WHILE, THINKING.]

The 'Possum went to bed and pulled up the covers and tried to sleep so
he would forget it. The 'Coon sat up in a rocking chair and rocked on
purpose to think about it, for he was a great hand to plan, and he
thought mebbe he could work it out some way. The Crow didn't do either,
but walked about his house, picking up first one thing and then another,
as people do sometimes when they don't do anything else. But the Crow
was luckier than most people who do that, for by and by he picked up
quite a big paper sack with something in it. Then he untied it and
looked into it quite a while, thinking. It was more than half full of
corn meal, and pretty soon he remembered that he had carried it off once
when he was passing Mr. Man's pantry window, not because he wanted it,
but because he was a crow, and crows carry off anything that isn't too
big, whether they want it or not. Then he hunted around some more and
found another sack with some flour in it that he had picked up once in
the same way. Then he found some little bags of pepper and salt and a
lump of butter.

"My!" said the Little Lady, "but he'd carried off a lot of things!"

Yes, crows always do, and hide them that way. Well, he didn't say
anything, but he slipped down stairs and gathered up some of the chicken
bones under the table and some pieces of bark and sticks, and brought
them up to his own part of the house and shut the door. Then he kindled
a little fire in the stove with the sticks and opened his outside door a
crack and got a skillet full of snow and put it on, and when the snow
melted he dropped in the chicken bones and let them stew, and then a
little of the flour and some pepper and salt and stirred it, and he had
some nice gravy.

By and by the 'Possum and 'Coon smelt it cooking and thought it came
from a farm house, and the 'Possum turned over twice and thought of
everything he had ever heard of to make people go to sleep, and the
'Coon rocked harder and harder.

Then Mr. Crow poured the gravy into a bowl and set it back on the stove
to keep warm while he stirred up some of the cornmeal in some more
melted snow, with a little pinch of salt and a little piece of the
butter. When it was all stirred good he put it into the skillet and
patted it down, and when it was baked nice and brown on both sides it
was as good a Johnnie cake as you ever tasted.

He laughed to himself a minute and then he slipped down stairs again and
set the table. He put on the bowl of gravy in the centre and cut the
Johnnie cake in three pieces. Then he called out as loud as he could: -

"Come to dinner!"

[Illustration: THE 'POSSUM JUMPED STRAIGHT UP IN BED.]

The 'Possum jumped straight up in bed and then lay down again quick, for
he thought the Crow was playing a joke on him, which he was, though not
the kind he thought. The 'Coon jumped, too, and then went to rocking
again, for he thought the same thing. So Mr. Crow opened the 'Possum's
door quick and the 'Coon's door quick and let the smell of the nice
chicken gravy go right up into their rooms. Then he laughed out loud and
called again: -

"Come to dinner while it's hot!"

And down they came, for they couldn't stand that smell. But when they
saw the Johnnie cake they thought it was a joke again, for they had
never seen any before and didn't know what it was like.

"Dip in and try," said the Crow, and he broke off a piece of his cake
and dipped it in the bowl of gravy and began to eat it. So then the
'Possum broke off a piece of his Johnnie cake and dipped it in the gravy
and began to eat it, and the 'Coon broke off a piece of his Johnnie cake
and dipped it in the gravy and began to eat, too. And then the Crow
dipped again, and the 'Possum dipped again, and the 'Coon dipped again.

"It's good," said the 'Possum.

"Yes, it's good," said the 'Coon. "Where did you get it?"

But the Crow did not tell them, and so they dipped and ate, and dipped
and ate, until they dipped and ate it all up.

[Illustration: "DROP IN AGAIN TO-MORROW," SAID THE CROW.]

"Drop in again to-morrow," said the Crow when they were done.

So the next day they came again, and the next day they came again, and
every day after that they came, until the storm was over and the snow
was 'most gone, and Mr. Crow never did tell them the secret of it until
once when he wanted to ask a great favor of Mr. 'Coon and Mr. 'Possum,
but that is too long to tell about to-night.

The Story Teller looked down at the Little Lady.

She was sound asleep.




A JOKE ALL AROUND

ABOUT HOLLOW TREE PEOPLE AND THEIR WAYS


"You may tell me some more about the 'Coon and the 'Possum and the Old
Black Crow," said the Little Lady, settling herself comfortably and
indicating by the motion of her body that she wanted the Story Teller to
rock. "They lived in three big hollow limbs of a big hollow tree, you
know, and used to meet together sometimes in their parlor and talk."

Why, yes, of course. The Story Teller did know this colony, and
hurriedly tried to recall some one of their many adventures. Out of the
mists of that long ago time when all animals and men spoke one language
and mingled more or less sociably together came presently a dim memory
that cleared and brightened as it came, and took form at last in
something which the Story Teller told to the Little Lady as

MR. 'COON'S BAD COLD.

[Illustration: THE 'COON CAUGHT A BAD COLD.]

[Illustration: COUGHED AND TOOK ON.]

One day, early in March and during a long wet spell, the 'Coon caught a
bad cold. The next morning he stayed in bed, and pulled up the covers
and was cross and too sick to go out. This made extra work for the Crow
and the 'Possum, who, of course, had to bring him in his meals and
take care of him, and Mr. 'Coon, who found how nice it was to be
waited on, thought he would take his own time about getting well. He was
sick so long that by and by it set Mr. Crow to thinking, and one day,
all of a sudden, he was taken ill, too, and coughed and took on, and
called across to the others that he was sick and couldn't come out,
either.

This made still more work for the 'Possum, who now had to catch game for
three, besides waiting on sick folks and taking care of their houses. So
by and by Mr. 'Possum got to thinking some, as well as the others, and
one morning, while the Crow and the 'Coon were lying all snug in bed and
laughing to themselves at the trick they were playing, and thinking of
the nice breakfast they were to have, they heard all at once the 'Possum
calling out that hard work and exposure had been too much for him, and
that he was sicker now than both of them put together.

Of course they had to call back to him that they were sorry, and of
course they were sorry in one way, and then each of them lay down to see
which would be the first to starve out.

Mr. 'Possum had a little the best of it at first, because he had brought
in enough the night before to last him for a few meals, but, being very
greedy, he soon ate it all up, and before long was just as hungry as
either the 'Coon or the Crow, and maybe hungrier.

Every day they all grew emptier and emptier. Sometimes Mr. Crow would
get up and slip to the door to see if the 'Possum or the 'Coon was not
starting out for food. Sometimes Mr. 'Possum would peep out to see if
the 'Coon and the Crow were not going. Sometimes Mr. 'Coon would look
out to see if the Crow and the 'Possum hadn't started. Once they all saw
each other, and jumped back like a flash.

[Illustration: GOT UP SOFTLY AND DRESSED.]

That night Mr. 'Possum decided that he couldn't stand it any longer. He
was so thin that his skin hung on him like a bag, and he hardly had
strength enough to curl his tail. So he made a plan to slip through the
parlor down stairs, and out the door at the bottom of the tree to find a
good supper just for himself. A little after dark, when he thought the
others were asleep, he got up softly and dressed himself and took his
shoes in his hand.

He was afraid to put them on, for fear he would wake up the Crow and the
'Coon going down stairs.

Well, he slipped down softly, and was just about half way to the door
when - biff! he ran right against something in the dark - -

"But I thought you said once 'possums could see in the dark?"
interrupted the Little Lady, sitting up straight.

They can in just common dark, but this, you see, was hollow tree dark,
which is the very darkest dark there is. So he couldn't see a wink, and
down he came and down came the other thing, too, till pretty soon - biff!
they struck something else, and down all three things came over and
over, rattlety-clatter, to the bottom of the stairs, right on out of the
door into the moonlight, and what do you suppose was there besides Mr.
'Possum?

"I know," said the Little Lady, eagerly. "The 'Coon and the Old Black
Crow?"

[Illustration: LOOKING FOOLISH AND HALF STARVED.]

Exactly. Both of them dressed and looking foolish and half starved, and
each with his shoes in his hand. They had all slipped down softly to get
something to eat, because they were so hungry, and, of course, when they
looked at each other standing there they all knew very well that none of
them had been sick, except Mr. 'Coon a little right at first.

After they had looked at each other for about a minute they all began to
laugh, and they laughed and laughed till they cried, and rolled on the
ground and kept on laughing to think how they all had fooled each other
and been fooled themselves. Then they all hurried off on a big hunt for
game, and didn't get back till sunrise.




SOME NEW ACQUAINTANCES

THE LITTLE LADY IS INTRODUCED TO MR. JACK RABBIT DURING A VERY EXCITING
EXPERIENCE WITH MR. DOG. THE FIRST ADVENTURE OF JACK RABBIT


[Illustration: HE STOPPED AND TALKED TO MR. ROBIN.]

Once upon a time Mr. Jack Rabbit got up very early and set out for a
morning walk. It was bright and sunny, and Mr. Rabbit was feeling so
well that he walked and walked. Every little ways he stopped and talked
to the Robins and Bluebirds that were up early, too, until by and by he
didn't know how far away from home he really was.

"Did he know the way?" asked the Little Lady.

[Illustration: A LOUD BARK RIGHT BEHIND HIM.]

Oh, yes, he knew the way, because you can't lose Mr. Jack Rabbit, no
matter what you do, but talking along and not thinking, he had forgotten
about its being so far. He was just going to turn back, though, when all
of a sudden there was a great loud bark right behind him that made him
jump right straight up in the air and commence running before his feet
touched the ground.

He didn't stop to ask any questions. He knew that Mr. Dog was out early,
too, and that he'd found his tracks and was a-coming lickety split.

"What does that mean - lickety split?"

I don't know, exactly, but Mr. Dog always runs that way when he chases
Jack Rabbit, and Mr. Rabbit knew he had no time to waste.

He ran faster than Mr. Dog at first, and got far enough ahead so that
when directly he saw Mr. Robin on a limb he slacked up a little minute
and said: -

"Mr. Dog's coming to call, and I'm going home to get my house ready."

Then pretty soon he saw Mr. Bluebird, but he didn't have time to pause
again.

"Where are you going so fast, Mr. Rabbit?" said the Bluebird.

"To get ready for Mr. Dog; he's coming to call," said the Rabbit as he
went by like a streak. Then a little further on he met Mr. Turtle.

"Hi, there!" called the Turtle. "Where are you going so fast, Mr.
Rabbit?"

"Dog coming - clean house!" shouted Jack Rabbit, 'most out of breath.

That made the Turtle laugh, 'cause Mr. Turtle is old and smart and he
knew why the Rabbit was running so fast.

"Was the Rabbit so afraid of Mr. Dog?" asked the Little Lady.

He was that, but he didn't want anybody to know it if he could help it,
and 'specially Mr. Dog.

Well, pretty soon Mr. Dog came by where Mr. Robin was, and he called
up: -

"Hello, Mr. Robin! Has Mr. Jack Rabbit passed this way?"

"Why, yes, Mr. Dog, and he stopped a little minute to say that you were
coming to see him, and that he had to hurry home to have his house
ready."

That kind of surprised Mr. Dog, 'cause he thought the Rabbit was afraid
of him, but he kept right on till he came to the Bluebird.

"Did Mr. Rabbit come this way?" he called up without stopping.

"Yes, sir, and hurried right on to have his house ready for you," said
the Bluebird.

That surprised Mr. Dog more and more, and he began to think that after
all maybe the Rabbit didn't know what he wanted of him and -

"What did he want of him?"

Well, I s'pect it was about the same as the wolf wanted of Red Riding
Hood, and Jack Rabbit was so far away from home and getting so tired
that there's no telling what might have happened if it hadn't been for
Mr. Turtle. Mr. Turtle was a good friend to Jack Rabbit, 'cause once he
beat him in a foot race by playing a trick, and he'd always felt a
little sorry for it. So when Mr. Dog came along he got right in the way
and said: -

[Illustration: "HI, THERE! HOLD ON, MR. DOG!"]


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Online LibraryAlbert Bigelow PaineThe hollow tree and deep woods book : being a new edition in one volume of The hollow tree and In the deep woods with several new stories and pictures added → online text (page 1 of 9)