SQUINTY IS LOST





This was the second time Squinty had run out of the pen and into the

farmer's garden. The first time he had been caught and brought back by

Don, the dog. This time Squinty did not intend to get caught, if he

could help it.



So, after crawling out through the hole under the pen, the little pig

came to a stop, and looked carefully on all sides of him. His one little

squinty eye was opened as wide as it would open, and the other eye was

opened still wider. Squinty wanted to see all there was to be seen.



He cocked one ear up in front of him, to listen to any sounds that might

come from that direction, and the other ear he drooped over toward his

back, to hear any noises that might come from behind him.



What Squinty was especially listening for was the barking of Don, the

dog.



"For," thought Squinty, "I don't want Don to catch me again, and make me

go back, before I have had any fun. It will be time enough to go back to

the pen when it is dark. Yes, that will be time enough," for of course

Squinty did not think of staying out after the sun had gone down. Or, at

least, he did not imagine he would.



But you just wait and see what happens.



Squinty looked carefully about him. Even if one eye did droop a little,

he could still see out of it very well, and he saw no signs of Don, the

big dog. Nor could Squinty hear him.



Don must be far away, the little pig thought, far away, perhaps taking a

swim in the brook, where the dog often went to cool off in hot weather.



"I think I'll go and have a swim myself," thought Squinty. He knew there

was a brook somewhere on the farm, for he could hear the tinkle and fall

of the water even in the pig pen. But where the brook was he did not

know exactly.



"But it will be an adventure to hunt for it," Squinty thought. "I guess

I can easily find it. Here I go!" and with that he started to walk

between the rows of potatoes.



Squinty made up his little mind that he was going to be very careful.

Now that he was safely out of the pen again he did not want to be caught

the second time. He did not want Don, or the farmer, to see him, so he

crawled along, keeping as much out of sight as he could.



"I wish my brothers, Wuff-Wuff or Squealer were with me," said Squinty

softly to himself, in pig language. "But if I had awakened them, and

asked them to run away with me, mamma or papa might have heard, and

stopped us."



Squinty did not feel at all sorry about running away and leaving his

father and mother, and brothers and sisters. You see he thought he would

be back with them again in a few hours, for he did not intend to stay

away from the pen longer than that. But many things can happen in a few

hours, as you shall see.



"I won't eat any pig weed just yet," thought Squinty, as he went softly

on between the rows of potato vines. "To pull up any of it, and eat it

now, would make it wiggle. Then Don or the farmer might see it wiggling,

and run over to find out what it was all about. Then I'd be caught. I'll

wait a bit."



So, though he was very hungry, he would not eat a bit of the pig weed

that grew near the pen. And he never so much as dreamed of taking any of

the farmer's potatoes. He did not yet know the taste of them. But, let

me tell you, pigs who have eaten potatoes, even the little ones the

farmer cannot sell, are very fond of them. But, so far, Squinty had

never eaten even a little potato.



On and on went the little pig, looking back now and then toward the pen

to see if any of the other pigs were coming after him. But none were.



And there was no sign of Don, the barking dog, nor the farmer, either.

There was nothing to stop Squinty from running away. Soon he was some

distance from the pen, and then he thought it would be safe to nibble at

a bit of pig weed. He took a large mouthful from a tall, green plant.



"Oh, how good that tastes!" thought Squinty. "It is much better and

fresher than the kind the farmer throws into the pen to us."



Perhaps this was true, but I imagine the reason the pig weed tasted so

much better was because Squinty was running away.



Perhaps you know how it is yourself. Did you ever go out the back way,

when mamma was washing the dishes, and run over to your aunt's or your

grandma's house, and get a piece of bread and jam? If you ever did, you

probably thought that bread and jam was much nicer than the kind you

could get at home, though really there isn't any better bread and jam

than mother makes. But, somehow or other, the kind you get away from

home tastes differently, doesn't it?



It was that way with Squinty, the comical pig. He ate and ate the pig

weed, until he had eaten about as much as was good for him. And then, as

he saw one little potato on the ground, where it had rolled out of the

hill in which it grew with the others, Squinty ate that. He did not

think the farmer would care.



"Oh, how good it is!" he thought. "I wish I had not eaten so much pig

weed, then I could eat more of those funny, round things the farmer

calls potatoes. Now I will have to wait until I am hungry again."



Squinty knew that would not be very long, for pigs get hungry many times

a day. That is what makes them grow fat so fast--they eat so often. But

eating often is not good for boys and girls.



Squinty had now come some distance away from the pen, where he lived

with his mother, father, sisters and brothers. He wondered if they had

awakened yet, or had seen the hole out of which he had crawled, and if

they were puzzled as to where he had gone.



"But they can't find me!" said Squinty, with something that sounded like

a laugh. I suppose pigs can laugh--in their own way, at any rate.



"No, they can't find me," thought Squinty, looking all around. All he

saw were the rows of potato vines, and, farther off, a field of tall,

green corn.



"Well, I have the whole day to myself!" thought Squinty. "I can do as I

please, and not go back until night. Let me see, what shall I do first?

I guess I will go to sleep in the shade."



So he stretched out in the shade of a big potato vine, and, curling up

in a little pink ball, he closed his eyes, the squinty one as well as

the good one. But first Squinty looked all around to make sure Don, the

dog, was not in sight. He saw nothing of him.



When Squinty awakened he felt hungry, as he always did after a sleep.



"Now for some more of those nice potatoes!" he said to himself. He liked

them, right after his first taste. He did not look around for the little

ones that might have fallen out of the hills themselves. No, instead,

Squinty began rooting them out of the earth with his strong, rubbery

nose, made just for digging.



I am not saying Squinty did right in this. In fact he did wrong, but

then he was a little pig, and he knew no better. In fact it was the

first time he had really run away so far, and he was quite hungry. And

potatoes were better than pig weed.



Squinty ate as many potatoes as he wanted, and then he said to himself,

in a way pigs have:



"Well, I guess I'll go on to the brook, and cool off in the water. That

will do me good. After that I'll look around and see what will happen

next."



Squinty had a good nose for smelling, as most animals have, and, tilting

it up in the air, Squinty sniffed and snuffed. He wanted to smell the

water, so as to take the shortest path to the brook.



"Ha! It's right over there!" exclaimed Squinty to himself. "I can easily

find the water to take a bath."



Across the potato field he went, taking care to keep well down between

the rows of green vines, for he did not want to be seen by the dog, or

the farmer.



Once, as Squinty was walking along, he saw what he thought was another

potato on the ground in front of him. He put his nose out toward it,

intending to eat it, but the thing gave a big jump, and hopped out of

the way.



"Ha! That must be one of the hop toads I heard my mother tell about,"

thought Squinty. "I must not hurt them, for they are good to catch the

flies that tickle me when I try to sleep. Hop on," he said to the toad.

"I won't bother you."







The toad did not stop to say anything. She just hopped on, and hid under

a big stone. Maybe she was afraid of Squinty, but he would not have hurt

her.



Soon the little pig came to the brook of cool water, and after looking

about, to see that there was no danger near, Squinty waded in, and took

a long drink. Then he rolled over and over again in it, washing off all

the mud and dirt, and coming out as clean and as pink as a little baby.

Squinty was a real nice pig, even if he had run away.



"Let me see," he said to himself, after his bath. "What shall I do now?

Which way shall I go?"



Well, he happened to be hungry after his swim. In fact Squinty was very

often hungry, so he thought he would see if he could find anything more

to eat.



"I have had potatoes and pig weed," he thought, "and now I would like

some apples. I wonder if there are any apple trees around here?"



He looked and, across the field of corn, he thought he saw an apple

tree. He made up his mind to go there.



And that is where Squinty made another mistake. He made one when he ran

away from the pen, and another one when he started to go through the

corn field.



Corn, you know, grows quite high, and pigs, even the largest of them,

are not very tall. At least not until they stand on their hind legs.

That was a trick Squinty had not yet learned. So he had to go along on

four legs, and this made him low down.



Now he had been able to look over the tops of the potato vines, as they

were not very high, but Squinty could not look over the top of the corn

stalks. No sooner had he gotten into the field, and started to walk

along the corn rows, than he could not see where he was going. He could

not even see the apple tree in the middle of the field.



"Well, this is queer," thought Squinty. "I guess I had better go back.

No, I will keep on. I may come to the apple tree soon."



He hurried on between the corn rows. But, though he went a long

distance, he did not come to the apple tree.



"I guess I will go back to the brook, where I had my bath, and start

over again from there," thought Squinty. "I will not try to get any

apples to-day. I will eat only potatoes and pig weed. Yes, I will go

back."



But that was not so easy to do as he had thought. Squinty went this way

and that, through the rows of corn, but he could not find the brook. He

could not find his way back, nor could he find the apple tree. On all

sides of him was the tall corn. That was all poor Squinty could see.



Finally, all tired out, and dusty, the little pig stopped, and sighed:



"Oh dear! I guess I am lost!"





SQUINTY IN THE WOODS SQUINTY LEARNS A TRICK facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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