PART 4, December 4
"Someone has been living under there?" cried Hickory Hog. "What do you mean?"
"I mean just what I said,” Whizzer Worm replied. "Someone has been living under here. They've left behind them a tidy pile of corn cobs."
"Corn cobs? Oh, No! How many did they leave? If they ate too much of my corn I won't have any more. What will I do?"
"Oh, they only had about a dozen or two ears," answered the worm. "I don't imagine whoever it was had more than one or two at a sitting, that is one or two SINGLE ears," he went on, rather pointedly. "You won't be out much."
"That's good. At least I'll have enough for my Christmas dinner, I'd hate
not to have enough for that, I'm planning on having you over along with the little old man and the frightened little bird," (Notice how Hickory Hog called everyone he knew "little". Next to him even some elephants might seem "little".)
"Oh, you'll have plenty. Don’t worry about that. I just wonder where he’s
"That is a good question," said Hickory, "Maybe we ought to clean up those cobs and get back into the house where it's nice and warm. You could spend the night if you want to."
"Well, normally I like my nice snug burrow in the earth, but maybe tonight
it would be better to stay indoors. You never know. Someone who eats corn like that could have a use for worms, too,"
So saying, the friends locked up the barn. That was the first time Hickory Hog had ever locked up his barn. Never before had there been any need, so the doors were always left open or shut, depending totally on whether they happened to get closed or not. This time they were closed for sure. The windows were barred, too. There was no way to get back into the barn unless someone burrowed in from the earth below, and Whizzer Worm said that the evidence didn't seem to indicate such an entry on the prior occasion of occupancy.
It was a bitterly cold night and the two friends were glad to be in Hickory's
snug warm house. He had added a whole pile of hog logs to his fireplace, and those kept them warm all the night through. In fact, it was so arm that the last little bit of popcorn Hickory Hog had in the house exploded by itself, even though it was two whole rooms away. That did happen to seem a good treat to them so Hickory melted seventeen cubes of butter to go with it, and they had a nice snack. Bedtime came, and everyone drifted off into a warm, cozy wintery sleep.
All around them the night was quiet and still. All of a sudden just before daybreak their sleep was disturbed. There came a loud tapping at the door,
© 1989 Kevin Don Levellie
4 years ago