At The Carrot Patch

: The Tale Of Nimble Deer

During his first summer Nimble never reached Farmer Green's carrot patch

once. His mother had planned to take him there. But on account of an

unexpected party she had postponed their visit. And somehow the right

night for a trip after carrots never seemed to come again.

Now, Nimble had never forgotten what his mother had told him about

carrots. And he was going after some--so he promised himself--just as

oon as he was big enough.

When Nimble's second summer rolled around he was big enough and old

enough to prowl through the woods and fields much as he pleased. He was

a Spike Horn. And he felt fit to go to the carrot patch without waiting

for anybody to show him the way.

So one night he stole down the hillside pasture, across the meadow, and

jumped the fence into Farmer Green's garden.

He saw at once that somebody was there ahead of him. It was Jimmy

Rabbit. He was very busy with one of Farmer Green's cabbages.

"I've come down to try the carrots," said Nimble.

Jimmy Rabbit made no reply, except to nod his head slightly. He was

eating so fast that he really couldn't speak just then.

"Are these carrots?" Nimble inquired, as he looked about at the big

cabbages, which crossed the garden in long rows.

Jimmy Rabbit shook his head.

"They seem to be good," said Nimble, "whatever they are. I'll taste of


And he did. In fact he tasted of three or four of them, eating their

centers out neatly.

Meanwhile Jimmy Rabbit was becoming uneasy. And at last he spoke.

"I thought," he said, "you told me you had come down here to try the


"So I did," Nimble answered. "But I don't know where the carrots are."

"Why didn't you say so before?" Jimmy Rabbit asked him. And without

waiting for a reply he cried, "Follow me! I'll show you." And he hopped

off briskly, with Nimble after him.

Soon Jimmy Rabbit came to a halt.

"Here it is!" he said. "Here's the carrot patch. Help yourself!" And

then he hopped away again, back to his supper of cabbages.

Nimble Deer began to eat the carrot tops. And he was greatly


"They're not half as good as those great round balls," he muttered. And

he turned away from the carrots, to go back and join Jimmy Rabbit. But

he hadn't gone far when he met Jimmy bounding along in a great hurry.

"Old dog Spot!" Jimmy Rabbit gasped as he whisked past Nimble. "He's out

to-night and he's coming this way."

In one leap Nimble sprang completely around and followed Jimmy Rabbit

across the meadow, up through the pasture and over the stone wall into

the woods. There they lost each other.

The next morning Nimble met his mother along the ridge that ran down

toward Cedar Swamp.

"I went down to the carrot patch last night," he told her. "And I must

say I don't see why you're so fond of carrots. They're not half as good

as some big green balls that I found in the garden. I call the carrot

leaves tough. But the big green balls have very tender leaves."

His mother gave him a queer look.

"Do you mean to tell me," she asked him, "that you ate only the leaves

of the carrots?"

"Why, yes!" said Nimble. "I saw nothing else to eat. There was no fruit

on them."

"Ho!" cried his mother. "You have to dig with your toes to reach the

carrots themselves. They're down in the ground. And to my mind there's

nothing any juicier and sweeter and tenderer than nice young carrots,

eaten by the light of the moon."

Nimble felt very foolish. And then he tossed his head and said lightly,

"Oh, well! It wouldn't have made any difference if I had dug the

carrots out of the dirt. They wouldn't have tasted right anyhow. For

there was no moon last night!"