The Adventures of Johnny Chuck  by Thornton Burgess

Polly and Johnny Chuck Go House Hunting

J OHNNY CHUCK was happy. Yes, Sir, Johnny Chuck was happy—so happy that he felt like doing foolish things. You see Johnny Chuck loved Polly Chuck and he knew now that Polly Chuck loved him. He had known it ever since he had fought with the foolish little dog who had dared to frighten Polly Chuck.

After the fight was over, and the little dog had been sent home kiyi-yi-ing, Polly Chuck had crept out of the old stone wall where she had been hiding and snuggled up beside Johnny Chuck and looked at him as if she thought him the most wonderful Chuck in all the world, as, indeed, she did. And Johnny had felt his heart swell and swell with happiness until it almost choked him.

So now once more Johnny Chuck began to think of a new home. He had forgotten all about seeing the world. All he wanted now was a new house, built just so, with a front door and a hidden back door, and big enough for two, for no more would Johnny Chuck live alone. So, with shy little Polly Chuck by his side, he began to search for a place to make a new home.

The more he thought about it, the more Johnny wanted to build his house over by the lone elm-tree where he had first seen Polly Chuck. It was a splendid place. From it you could see a great way in every direction. It would be shady on hot summer days. It was near a great big patch of sweet clover. It seemed to Johnny Chuck that it was the best place on all the Green Meadows. He whispered as much to Polly Chuck. She turned up her nose.

"It's too low!" said she.

"Oh!" replied Johnny, and looked puzzled, for really it was one of the highest places on the Green Meadows.

"Yes," said Polly, in a brisk, decided way, "it's altogether too low. Probably it is wet."

"Oh!" said Johnny once more. Of course he knew that it wasn't wet, but if Polly didn't want to live there, he wouldn't say a word. Of course not.

"Now there's a place right over there," continued Polly. "I think we'll build our house right there."

Johnny opened his mouth to say something, but he closed it again without speaking and meekly trotted after Polly Chuck to the place she had picked out. It was in a little hollow. Johnny knew before he began to dig that the ground was damp, almost wet. But if Polly wanted to live there she should, and Johnny began to dig. By and by he stopped to rest. Where was Polly? He looked this way and that way anxiously. Just as he was getting ready to go hunt for her, she came hurrying back.


If Polly wanted to live there she should.

"I've found a perfectly lovely place for our new home!" she cried.

Johnny looked ruefully at the hole he had worked so hard to dig; then he brushed the dirt from his clothes and followed her. This time Johnny had no fault to find with the ground. It was high and dry. But Polly had chosen a spot close to a road that wound down across the Green Meadows. Johnny shook his head doubtfully, but he began to dig. This time, however, he kept one eye on Polly Chuck, and the minute he found that she was wandering off, he stopped digging and chuckled as he watched her. It wasn't long before back she came in great excitement. She had found a better place!

So they wandered over the Green Meadows, Polly leading the way. Johnny had learned by this time to waste no time digging. And he had made up his mind to one thing. What do you think it was? It was this: He would follow Polly until she found a place to suit him, but when she did find such a place she shouldn't have a chance to change her mind again.