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© 2014 KITABU S.r.l.s.
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FOR MANY UNKNOWN LITTLE FRIENDS, INCLUDING MONICA
Once upon a time there was a little fat comfortable grey squirrel, called Timmy Tiptoes. He had a nest thatched with leaves in the top of a tall tree; and he had a little squirrel wife called Goody.
Timmy Tiptoes sat out, enjoying the breeze; he whisked his tail and chuckled—"Little wife Goody, the nuts are ripe; we must lay up a store for winter and spring." Goody Tiptoes was busy pushing moss under the thatch—"The nest is so snug, we shall be sound asleep all winter." "Then we shall wake up all the thinner, when there is nothing to eat in spring- time," replied prudent Timothy.
When Timmy and Goody Tiptoes came to the nut thicket, they found other squirrels were there already.
Timmy took off his jacket and hung it on a twig; they worked away quietly by themselves.
Every day they made several journeys and picked quantities of nuts. They carried them away in bags, and stored them in several hollow stumps near the tree where they had built their nest.
When these stumps were full, they began to empty the bags into a hole high up a tree, that had belonged to a woodpecker; the nuts rattled down—down—down inside.
"How shall you ever get them out again? It is like a money box!" said Goody.
"I shall be much thinner before springtime, my love," said Timmy Tiptoes, peeping into the hole.
They did collect quantities— because they did not lose them! Squirrels who bury their nuts in the ground lose more than half, because they cannot remember the place.
The most forgetful squirrel in the wood was called Silvertail. He began to dig, and he could not remember. And then he dug again and found some nuts that did not belong to him; and there was a fight. And other squirrels began to dig,—the whole wood was in commotion!
Unfortunately, just at this time a flock of little birds flew by, from bush to bush, searching for green caterpillars and spiders. There were several sorts of little birds, twittering different songs.
The first one sang—"Who's bin digging-up MY nuts? Who's-been- digging-up MY nuts?"
And another sang—"Little bita bread and-NO-cheese! Little bit-a- bread an'-NO-cheese!"