Chapter XVIII A BIG APPETITE
“COME, now!” cried Cuffy Bear to Reddy Woodpecker. “We’ve only begun our hunt. Hurry and find another old, grubby stump!”
Having eaten only one grub, while Cuffy Bear had bolted dozens, Reddy Woodpecker was not feeling very happy. However, he went flying off to search the woods. And it wasn’t long before he discovered another stump that looked even more promising than the first one.
Then well! Reddy must have forgotten his promise that he wouldn’t stop to eat a single grub, but would fly straight back to the spot where he had left Cuffy Bear. He clung to the side of the stump with his odd feet, which were made expressly for work of that sort. And he began to drill a hole with his bill. He was sure there was a grub lurking just beneath the brittle bark.
Tap, tap, tap! sounded his bill against the stump. Tap, tap, tap!
Before Reddy reached the grub he heard a great crash in the bushes. He knew at once that Cuffy Bear had heard the sound of his drilling and had come hurrying after him. “I heard you signaling to me,” Cuffy grunted.
He tore that stump open in a twinkling. Reddy Woodpecker had to stand aside and look on while Cuffy Bear devoured every grub in sight. When at last Cuffy drew back and allowed him to search the ruin Reddy couldn’t find even one grub.
“Come on!” Cuffy urged him. “Let’s get on with our hunting!”
But this time Reddy hung back.
“What! Haven’t you had enough grubs?” he asked none too pleasantly.
“Enough!” Cuffy repeated. “Why, I’m only beginning to feel hungry. These few grubs that I’ve eaten have just stirred up my appetite.”
Reddy Woodpecker was astonished.
“Well, if you’re hungry, what do you think of me?” he wanted to know.
And now Cuffy Bear was amazed.
“You!” he cried. “Haven’t you had a good meal? Didn’t you eat a grub off that first stump we found?”
“One grub!” Reddy Woodpecker exclaimed scornfully. “What’s one grub?”
“I should think,” Cuffy Bear answered, “one grub was a good meal for anybody of your size.”
“It’s not,” Reddy declared. He looked very sullen and glum.
Cuffy Bear was sure that Reddy was mistaken. He even tried to show Reddy that he was wrong.
“One ought to be a big meal for you,” he insisted. “Why, last week I went out for my supper one night and I ate only one. And it was all I wanted.”
“Then you had already had a big dinner,” said Reddy Woodpecker.
“I hadn’t had any dinner at all!”
Reddy Woodpecker stared at him. He couldn’t believe it. There must be something queer about that story, somewhere. At last he asked Cuffy a blunt question.
“You say you ate one,” he observed. “One what?”
“Let me see,” said Cuffy Bear. “Let me think a moment. . . . Oh, yes! Now I remember. It was one pig!”