The Tale Of Reddy Woodpecker Chapter 14

Chapter XIV MR. CROW’S QUESTIONS

IF people snubbed Reddy Woodpecker he never cared. When the members of the Pleasant Valley Singing Society wouldn’t let him join them he only smiled and said he intended to form a club of his own.

As soon as the bird neighbors heard of Reddy’s plan they were all very curious to know more about it. But whenever anybody asked him questions he had little to say.

“You’ll learn all about it later,” he told them. “Please don’t bother me now, for I’m a busy bird. I’m starting my club.”

It was easy for Reddy Woodpecker to keep his secrets from such small feathered folk as little Mr. Chippy. But there was one that couldn’t rest until he found out what he wanted to know. This was old Mr. Crow. He shot question after question at Reddy Woodpecker. At last Reddy just had to tell him something in order to gain a little peace. Reddy knew that Mr. Crow would leave him as soon as he had picked up a bit of news. The old gentleman would hurry away to tell it to everybody in the valley.

“What’s your club going to be named?” Whenever Mr. Crow talked with Reddy Woodpecker that was his favorite question. He asked it so many times and so loudly that just to get rid of him Reddy finally told him.

“I’m going to call my club ‘The Redcaps,’” he said.

Old Mr. Crow didn’t tarry an instant longer. With an eager look in his snapping black eyes he went flapping off on his broad wings, far down the valley.

Now, Mr. Crow was a fast worker. In an hour’s time he had zigzagged back again, having spread his bit of news far and wide.

And when he had repeated it to the last neighbor he could find he hurried to the
orchard to ask Reddy Woodpecker more questions.

The moment he found Reddy Mr. Crow began to put one question after another so fast that you couldn’t have told where one ended and the next one began.

Reddy Woodpecker pretended to be busier than ever.

“I can’t stop now,” he told Mr. Crow. “You’ll have to see my secretary.”

“Where is he? Who is he?” Mr. Crow inquired hoarsely.

“I can’t answer those questions,” Reddy replied. “Why not?” demanded Mr. Crow.

“Because I haven’t a secretary yet,” Reddy explained.

“Why should you have a secretary?” Mr. Crow asked him.

“Why shouldn’t I?” Reddy retorted. “I guess, Mr. Crow, you don’t know much about clubs. I guess you don’t know that the president of a club always has a secretary.”

“Are you president of the Redcaps?” Mr. Crow cried breathlessly.

“Well yes, I am!” Reddy admitted. “I didn’t mean to tell you that today. But I can’t deny it.”

Mr. Crow was off like a shot. You’d have thought he had just spied Farmer Green with a gun in his hands. His caw, caw, caw told everybody in Pleasant Valley that he was going somewhere on important business.

Reddy Woodpecker pulled a fat grub from its hiding place in the old apple tree. He could still hear Mr. Crow squawking when the old gentleman was half a mile away. And Reddy smiled as he swallowed the grub.

“That’s better than putting the news in a newspaper,” he said with a chuckle.

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