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The Hollow Tree Snowed-in Book by Paine

Turtle because he is so strong


"I

know," says the Little Lady, "it was the Old Wise Man of the Woods, to tell them they couldn't have his house."

No, he didn't live there any more--he had gone away for good. No, it wasn't the Old Wise Man; it was Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Turtle, coming to help them move. Mr. Rabbit had gone all the way to the Wide Blue Water after Mr. Turtle because he is so strong, and they would have been there a good deal sooner, only Mr. Turtle didn't get home till late, and travels slow.

Well, it wasn't so hard to move after that. They just set the cook-stove on Mr. Turtle's back and piled on as much as would stay on, and he kept telling them to put on more, until pretty soon Mr. 'Possum said that he would just get on and hold the things from slipping off, which he did, and sat on the stove and rode and swung his feet and held the other things, while Mr. Crow and the rest walked and carried what was left.

[Illustration: MR. 'POSSUM AND MR. 'COON TRIED TO PUT UP THE STOVE]

And when they got to the Hollow Tree it was just about sun-up, and Mr. 'Possum said if they didn't have breakfast pretty soon he would starve to death with being up all night and working so hard holding on those things.

So then Mr. Crow told him that he and Mr. 'Coon could set up the stove, and that he would unpack the food and stir up something as quick

as he could if the others would bring a little wood and some water from the spring, and place the things around inside; for he saw a cloud coming, he said, and it might rain. And Mr. 'Possum and Mr. 'Coon tried to put up the stove in a hurry, and the pieces of pipe didn't fit very well, and they came as near having a quarrel over it as they ever did over anything, for even the best friends can't always put up stovepipe together without thinking and sometimes saying unpleasant things about each other, especially when they are hungry and not very warm and the house is all upset. Mr. 'Coon said he only wished he had another hand and he would do that job alone, and Mr. 'Possum told him that if he'd been provided with a handy and useful tail he'd _have_ the same as another hand, and could work more and not wish so much.

Then Mr. Rabbit came to help them, and just as they got it about up it all came down again, and Mr. Crow said that if they'd all go away he'd set up the stove himself; which he did in about a minute, and had a fire in it and the coffee on in no time.

Then the others rushed around and got the things straightened out, and a fire in the fireplace, and they said how nice their rooms were, and when Mr. Crow called they all came hurrying down, and in about another minute the 'Coon and 'Possum and the Old Black Crow, with Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Turtle, all sat down to the first meal in the Hollow Tree.


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