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Sammy’s Flying Machine
from
Bunny Rabbit’s Diary
by Mary Frances Blaisdell
Illustrated by George F. Kerr
Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1915

I

     Sammy Red Squirrel was sitting on the stone wall eating a nut.

     “Caw, caw!” called Blacky Crow, as he flew over the field.

     “Caw, caw, caw!” he called. “What are you doing, Sammy?”

     Sammy stopped eating the nut, and looked up to see who was talking to him.

     He saw Blacky Crow sailing round and round over his head.

     “I am eating my breakfast,” he answered. “Would you like to have a nut to eat, too?”

     “Oh, no,” answered Blacky Crow. “I can find something better than that.

     “I am going to the pasture now to get my breakfast.”

     Then Blacky Crow flapped his big wings and flew far, far away.

     Sammy watched the crow fly over the tallest tree and out of sight.

     “I wish I could fly,” he said to himself. “I know I could if I had some wings.”

     Just then a flock of sparrows flew over head.

     “Twitter, twitter!” they said.

     “Twitter, twitter, twitter!”

     Sammy watched the sparrows flying until they were out of sight.

     “I know I could fly,” he said to himself again, “if I had some wings.

     “Perhaps I could make some wings,” he thought.

     Just then something hit Sammy on the head.

     He looked up to see what it was, and there at his feet lay an oak leaf.

     He looked up in the top of the tree.

     West Wind flew by and shook the branches of the tree very gently.

     And another leaf floated softly down to the ground beside its brother.

     Sammy sat there watching the leaves for a few minutes.

     Then he jumped up and clapped his hands.

     “I know what I can do,” he said. “I can make some wings for myself out of those oak leaves.

     “I will ask all the other squirrels to come and watch me fly.”

     Sammy hunted on the ground until he found two very large oak leaves.

     “I can hold them out with my front paws,” he said. “I think they will look just like wings.”

     Sammy put the two leaves on the ground and covered them with a stone.

     He was not going to let West Wind carry them away.

     Then he scampered off to tell all the other squirrels what he was going to do.

     He told all the red squirrels first.

     He told them he was going to fly from the big oak tree.

     “If you wish to see me fly,” he said, “you must be at the tree in a few minutes.”

     All the red squirrels scampered off to get the best seats among the branches of the oak tree.

     Sammy saw Bobby Gray Squirrel and told him to ask all the gray squirrels to come and see him fly.

     Then Sammy found Bunny Rabbit.

     When Bunny heard what Sammy was going to do, he wanted to try to fly, too.

     “You are much too large for my wings,” said Sammy.

     “You would have to go to Mr. Man’s garden and ask him for some of the leaves from the rhubarb plants.”

     Blacky Crow was flying over the field. He heard Sammy tell Bunny that he was going to fly.

     “Ho, ho!” he laughed, “I should like to see Sammy fly with those oak-leaf wings.

     “I will fly to the oak tree this very minute.”

     As he flew over the meadow he saw the sparrows and told them where he was going.

     They wanted to go, too.

     Every one wanted to go and watch Sammy fly.

II

     When they were all seated, Sammy picked up the two leaves he had found and skipped gaily up the tree.

     He ran up the tree and out on one of the longest branches.

     “Now, watch me!” he called to all his friends.

     “See me fly just like a bird.”

     Sammy took one leaf in each of his front paws and held them out as far as he could.

     He stood on the very end of the branch for just one minute.

     He saw that every one was watching him.

     “You must flap your wings,” called Blacky Crow.

     “Hop off the branch,” called one of the sparrows.

     So Sammy flapped his wings, and then he hopped off the branch.

     But, oh, dear me! The wings would not hold Sammy up in the air.

     Sammy forgot to hold his wings out straight and they hung down at his side without a flutter.

     And down to the ground Sammy fell.

     Bump! he came down at the foot of the oak tree.

     He almost fell on top of Bunny Rabbit.

     But Bunny saw him coming and jumped out of the way just in time.

     Sammy lay very still where he had fallen.

     All the squirrels ran down to see if he had hurt himself.

     Bobby Gray Squirrel ran to pick the fallen bird up from the ground.

     Sammy had given his nose such a bump that it was all black and blue.

     He had hurt his paw. And his make-believe wings were all crushed and broken.

     Sammy rubbed his nose and then he looked at his friends.

     “I don’t believe oak leaves make good wings,” he said.

     “No,” said the tiniest sparrow, “the best wings are made of feathers.”

     “Caw, caw!” said Blacky Crow. “My wings are made of feathers. See how I can fly.”

     Then Blacky Crow flapped his big wings and flew away.

     The sparrows flew away, too.

     All the squirrels scampered off to hunt for nuts.

     And the rabbits went back to their home to take a nap.

     Sammy was left sitting alone on the old stone wall.

     Every few minutes he rubbed his poor little nose.

     And as he rubbed his nose he thought:

     “Flying may be fun for birds, and swimming may be fun for ducks.

     “But running and jumping among the branches of the big oak tree is more fun for squirrels.”