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Squinty the Comical Pig by Richard Barnum

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And they were both right, you see.

Sallie and Mollie, the two sisters, laid down their dolls in the shade,
and ran over toward their brother, who still held one end of the rope,
that was fast to Squinty's leg.

"Make him do some tricks for us," begged Mollie.

"Show us how he jumps the rope," said Sallie.

"First, I'll have him dig up the acorns, as that's easier," spoke Bob.
"Here, Squinty!" he called. "Find the acorns! Find 'em!"

While Squinty had been munching on the apple, the boy had dug a hole,
put some sweet acorn nuts into it, and covered them up with dirt.
Squinty had not seen him do this, but Squinty thought he could find the
nuts just the same.

There were two ways of doing this. Squinty had a very sharp-smelling
nose. He could smell things afar off, that neither you nor I could smell
even close by. And Squinty could also tell, by digging in the ground
with his queer, rubbery nose, just where the ground was soft and where
it was hard. And he knew it would be soft at the place where the boy had
dug a hole in which to hide the acorns.

So, when Bob called for Squinty to come and find the acorn nuts, even
though the little pig had not seen just where they were hidden, Squinty
felt sure he could dig them up.

"He'll never find them!" said Sallie.

"Just you watch!" exclaimed the boy.

He pulled on the rope around Squinty's leg. At first the little pig was
not quite sure what was wanted of him. He thought perhaps he was to jump
over the rope after another apple. But he saw no fruit waiting for him.
Then he looked carefully about and smelled the air. The boy was very
gentle with him, and waited patiently.

And I might say, right here, that if you ever try to teach your pets any
tricks, you must be both kind and gentle with them, for you know they
are not as smart as you are, and cannot think as quickly.

"Ha! I smell acorns!" thought Squinty to himself. "I guess the boy must
want me to do the first trick, as he calls it, and dig up the acorns.
I'll do it!"

Carefully Squinty sniffed the air. When he turned one way he could smell
the acorns quite plainly. When he turned the other way he could not
smell them quite so well. So he started off in the direction where he
could most plainly smell the nuts he loved so well.

Next he began rooting in the ground. At first it was very hard for his
nose, but soon it became soft. Then he could smell the acorns more
plainly than before.

"See, he is going right toward them!" cried the boy.

"There, he has them!" exclaimed Sallie.

"Oh, so he has!" spoke Mollie. "I wouldn't have thought he could!"

And, by that time, Squinty had found the hole where the boy had covered
the acorns with dirt, and Squinty was chewing the sweet nuts.

"Now make him jump the rope," said Mollie.

"I will, as soon as he eats the acorns," replied the boy.

"Ha! I am going to have another apple, just for jumping a rope," thought
Squinty, in delight.

You see the little pig imagined the trick was done just to get him to
eat the apple. He did not count the rope-jumping part of it at all,
though that, really, was what the boy wanted.

Once more Bob placed the apple on the ground, on the far side of the
rope. One end of the rope the boy held in his hand, and the other was
around Squinty's leg, but a loop of it was made fast to a stick stuck in
the ground, so the boy could pull on the rope and raise or lower it,
just as you girls do when you play.

"Come on, now, Squinty! Jump over it!" called the boy.

The little pig saw the apple, and smelled it. He wanted very much to get
it. But, when he ran toward it, he found the rope raised up in front of
him. He forgot, for a moment, his second trick, and stood still.

"Oh, I thought you said he would jump the rope!" said Mollie, rather

"He will--just wait a minute," spoke the boy. "Come on, Squinty!" he

Once more Squinty started for the apple. This time he remembered that,
before, he had to jump the rope to get it. So he did it again. Over the
rope he went, with a little jump, coming down on the side where the
apple was, and, in a second he was chewing the juicy fruit.

"There!" cried the boy. "Didn't he jump the rope?"

"Oh, well, but he didn't jump it fast, back and forth, like we girls
do," said Mollie.

"But it was pretty good--for a little pig," said Sallie.

"I think so, too," spoke the boy. "And I am going to teach him to jump
real fast, and without going for an apple each time. I'm going to teach
him other tricks, too."

"Oh dear!" thought Squinty, when he heard this. "So I am to learn more
tricks, it seems. Well, I hope they will all be eating ones."

"Make him do it again," suggested Mollie, after a bit.

"No, I haven't any more apples," the boy answered. "And at first I'll
have to make him jump for an apple each time. After a bit I'll not give
him an apple until he has done all his tricks. Come on now, Squinty,
back to your pen."

The boy lifted up his pet, and put him back in the pen that had been
especially built for the little pig. As soon as he was in it Squinty ran
over to the trough, hoping there would be some sour milk in it. But
there was none.

"You've had enough to eat for a while," said the boy with a laugh.
"Later on I'll give you your milk."

"Uff! Uff!" grunted Squinty, and I suppose he meant he would be glad to
have the milk now. But he got none, so he curled himself up in the clean
straw and went to sleep.

When he awakened, he thought at first he was back in the pen at home,
and he cried out:

"Oh, Wuff-Wuff! Oh, Twisty Tail. I had the queerest dream! I thought a
boy had me, and that I could jump a rope, and hunt acorns, and do lots
of tricks. But I--!" And then Squinty stopped. He looked around and
found himself all alone in the new pen. None of his brothers or sisters
was near him, and he could not hear his mamma or papa grunting near the
feed trough.

"Ha! It wasn't a dream, after all," thought Squinty, a bit sorrowfully.
"It's all real--I can do tricks, and a boy has me."

Every few days after that the boy took Squinty out of his pen, and let
him do the rope-jumping and the acorn-hunting tricks. And it did not
take Squinty long to learn to jump the rope when there was no apple on
the other side. The boy would say:

"Jump over the rope, Squinty!"

And over it the little pig would go. But if he did not get the apple as
soon as he jumped, he did get it afterward, which was just as good. It
was sort of a reward for his tricks, you see.

"Now you must learn a new trick," said the boy one day. "I want you to
learn how to walk on your hind legs, Squinty. It is not going to be
easy, either. But I guess you can do it. And I am going to take the rope
off your leg, for I do not believe you will run away from me now."

So the rope was taken off Squinty's leg. And he liked the boy so much,
and liked his new home, and the nuts and apples he got to eat were so
good, that Squinty did not try to run away.

"Up on your hind legs!" cried the boy, and, by taking hold of Squinty's
front feet, Bob raised his pet up on the hind legs.

"Now stand there!" the boy cried, but when he took away his hands of
course Squinty came down on all four legs. He did not know what the boy
meant to have him do.

"I guess I'll have to stand you in a corner to start with," the boy
said. "That will brace you up."

Then, kindly and gently, the boy took Squinty over to the place where
the corn crib was built on to the barn. This made a corner and the
little pig was stood up on his hind legs in that. Then, with something
to lean his back against, he did not feel like falling over, and he
remained standing up on two legs, with his front feet stuck out in front
of him.

"That's the way to do it!" cried Bob. "Soon you will be able to stand up
without anything to lean against. And, a little later, you will be able
to walk on your hind legs. Now here's an apple for you, Squinty!"

So you see Squinty received his reward for starting to learn a new

In a few days, just as the boy had said, the little pig found that he
could sit up on his hind legs all alone, without anything to lean back

But learning to walk on his hind legs was a little harder.

The boy, however, was patient and kind to him. At first Bob held
Squinty's front feet, and walked along with him so the little pig would
get used to the new trick. Then one day Bob said:

"Now, Squinty, I want you to walk to me all by yourself. Stand up!"

Squinty stood up on his hind legs. The boy backed away from him, and
stood a little distance off, holding out a nice, juicy potato this time.

"Come and get the potato," called the boy.

"Squee! Squee!" grunted Squinty. "I can't!" I suppose he meant to say.

"Come on!" cried the boy. "Don't be afraid. You can do it!"

Squinty wanted that potato very much. And the only way to get it was to
walk to it on his hind legs. If he let himself down on all four legs he
knew the boy would not give him the potato. So Squinty made up his
little pig mind that he would do this new trick.

Off he started, walking by himself on his hind legs, just like a trained

"Fine! That's the way to do it! I knew you could!" the boy cried when
Squinty reached him, and took the potato out of his hand. "Good little
pig!" and he scratched Squinty's back with a stick.

"Uff! Uff!" squealed Squinty, very much pleased.

And from then on the comical little pig learned many tricks.

He could stand up a long time, on his hind legs, with an apple on his
nose. And he would not eat it until the boy called:

"Now, Squinty!"

Then Squinty would toss the apple up in the air, off his nose, and catch
it as it came down. Oh, how good it tasted!

Squinty also learned to march around with a stick for a gun, and play
soldier. He liked this trick best of all, for he always had two apples
to eat after that.

Many of Bob's boy friends came to see his trained pig. They all thought
he was very funny and cute, and they laughed very hard when Squinty
looked at them with his queer, drooping eye. They would feed him apples,
potatoes and sometimes bits of cake that Bob's mother gave them. Squinty
grew very fond of cake.

Then one day something happened. Bob always used to lock the door of the
new pig pen every night, for, though he knew his pet was quite tame now,
he thought, if the door were left open, Squinty might wander away. And
that is exactly what Squinty did. He did not mean to do wrong, but he
knew no better. One evening, after he had done many tricks that day,
when Squinty found the door of his pen part way open, he just pushed it
the rest of the way with his strong nose, and out he walked! No one saw

"Uff! Uff!" grunted Squinty, looking about, "I guess I'll go take a walk
by myself. I may find something good to eat."

Out of the pen he went. There was no garden here, such as the farmer had
at Squinty's first home. But, not far from the pig pen was the big,
green wood.

"I'll go over in there and see what happens," thought Squinty. "Perhaps
I may find some acorns."

And so Squinty ran away to the woods.



This was the third time Squinty had run away. But not once did he intend
to do any wrong; you see he knew no better. He just found his pen door
open and walked out--that was all there was to it.

"I wonder what will happen to me this time?" thought the comical little
pig, as he hurried along over the ground, toward the woods. "I don't
believe Don, the dog, will find me here, for he must be back on the
farm. But some other dog might. I had better be careful, I guess."

When Squinty thought this he stopped and looked carefully around for any
signs of a barking dog. But he saw none. It was very still and quiet,
for it was nearly supper time in the big house where Bob lived, and he
and his sisters were waiting for the bell to ring to call them to the

But Squinty had had his supper, and, for the time, he was not hungry.

"And if I do get hungry again, I may find something in the woods," he
said to himself. "Acorn nuts grow in the woods, and they are very good.
I'll root up some of them."

Once or twice Squinty looked back toward the pen he had run away from,
to see if Bob, his master, were coming after him. But Bob had no idea
his little pet had run away. In fact, just then, Bob was wondering what
new trick he could teach Squinty the next day.

On and on ran the comical pig. Once he found something round and yellow
on the ground.

"Ha! That looks like a yellow apple," thought Squinty, and he bit it
hard with his white teeth. Then his mouth all puckered up, he felt a
sour taste, and he cried out:

"Wow! I don't like that. Oh, that isn't an apple at all!"

And it wasn't--it was a lemon the grocery boy had dropped.

"Oh! How sour!" grunted Squinty. "I'd like a drink of water to take the
taste of that out of my mouth."

Squinty lifted his nose up in the air, and sniffed and snuffed. He
wanted to try to smell a spring of water, and he did, just on the edge
of the big wood. Over to the spring he ran on his little short legs, and
soon he was having a fine drink.

"Now I feel better," Squinty said. "What will happen next?"

Nothing did for some time, and, when it did it was so strange that
Squinty never forgot it as long as he lived. I'll tell you all about it.

He walked on through the woods, Squinty did, and, before very long, he
found some acorns. He ate as many as he wanted and then, as he always
felt sleepy after he had eaten, he thought he would lie down and have a

He found a place, near a big stump, where there was a soft bed of dried
leaves, nearly as nice as his straw bed in the pen at home. On this he
stretched out, and soon he was fast asleep.

When Squinty awoke it was real dark. He jumped up with a little grunt,
and said to himself:

"Well, I did not mean to stay away from my pen so long. I guess I had
better go back."

Squinty started to go back the way he had come, but I guess you can
imagine what happened. It was so dark he could not find the path. He
walked about, stumbling over sticks and stones and stumps, sometimes
falling down on soft moss, and again on the hard ground. Finally Squinty

"Well, it is of no use. I can't get back tonight, that is sure. I shall
have to stay here. Oh dear! I hope there are no dogs to bite me!"

Squinty listened carefully. He could hear no barks. He hunted around in
the dark until he found another soft bed of leaves, and on that he
cuddled himself up to go to sleep for the night. He was a little afraid,
but, after all, he was used to sleeping alone, and, even though he was
outside of his pen now, he did not worry much.

"In the morning I shall go back to the boy who taught me tricks,"
thought Squinty.

But something else happened in the morning.

Squinty was awake when the sun first peeped up from behind the clouds.
The little pig scratched his ear, where a mosquito had bitten him during
the night. Then he stretched first one leg and then the others, and

"Ha! Ho! Hum! Uff! Uff! I guess I'll have some acorns for my breakfast."

It was a very easy matter for Squinty to get his breakfast. He did not
have to wash, or comb his hair, or even dress. Just as he was he got up
out of his leaf-bed, and began rooting around in the ground for acorns.
He soon found all he wanted, and ate them. Then he felt thirsty, so he
looked around until he had found another spring of cool water, where he
drank as much as he needed.

"And now to go back home, to the boy who taught me tricks," said Squinty
to himself. "I guess he is wondering where I am."

And indeed that boy, Bob, and his sisters Mollie and Sallie, were
wondering where Squinty was. They saw the open door of the pen, and the
boy recalled that he had forgotten to lock it.

"Oh, Squinty is gone!" he cried, and he felt very badly indeed. But I
have no time to tell you more of that boy now. I must relate for you the
wonderful adventures of Squinty.

Squinty went this way and that through the woods, but he could not find
the path that led to his pen. He tried and tried again, but it was of no

"Well," said Squinty, at last, sitting down beside a hollow log, "I
guess I am lost. That is all there is to it I am lost in the big woods!
Oh dear! I almost wish Don, the dog, or the farmer would come and find
me now."

He waited, but no one came. He listened but he heard nothing.

"Well, I might as well eat and go to sleep again," said Squinty, "Maybe
something will happen then."

Soon he was asleep again. But he was suddenly awakened. He heard a great
crashing in the trees over his head.

"Gracious! I hope that isn't a dog after me!" cried the little pig.

He looked up, Squinty did. He saw coming down from the sky, through the
branches of the trees, a big round thing, like more than ten thousand
rubber balls, made into one. Below the round thing hung a square basket,
with many ropes, and other things, fast to it. And in the basket were
two men. They looked over the edge of the basket. One of them pulled on
a rope, and the big thing, which was a balloon, though Squinty did not
know it, came to the ground with a bang.

"Well, at last we have made a landing," said one of the men.

"Yes," said the other. "And we shall have to throw out some bags of sand
to go up again."

Squinty did not know what this meant. But I'll explain to you that a
"landing" is when a balloon comes down to the ground. And when the men
in it want to go up again, they have to toss out some of the bags of
sand, or ballast, they carry to make the balloon so light that the gas
in it will take it up again.

The men began tossing out the bags of sand. Squinty saw them, but he was
not afraid. Why should he be? for no men or boys had ever been cruel to

"Uff! Uff!" grunted Squinty, getting up and going over to one of the
bags of sand. "Maybe that is good to eat!" he thought. "If it is I will
take a bite. I am hungry."

"Oh, look at that pig!" suddenly called one of the men in the balloon

"Sure enough, it is a pig!" exclaimed the other. "And what a comical
little chap he is!" he went on. "See the funny way he looks at you."

At that moment Squinty looked up, as he often did, with one eye partly
closed, the other open, and with one ear cocked frontwards, and the
other backwards.

"Say, he's a cute one all right," said the first man. "Let's take him

"What for?" asked his friend. "We'd only have to toss out as much sand
as he weighs so we could go up."

"Oh, let's take him along, anyhow," insisted the other. "Maybe he'll be
a mascot for us."

"Well, if he's a mascot, all right. Then we'll take him. We need some
good luck on this trip."

Squinty did not know what a mascot was. Perhaps he thought it was
something good to eat. But I might say that a mascot is something which
some persons think brings them good luck. Often baseball nines, or
football elevens, will have a small boy, or a goat, or a dog whom they
call their mascot. They take him along whenever they play games,
thinking the mascot helps them to win. Of course it really does not, but
there is no harm in a mascot, anyhow.

"Yes, we'll take him along in the balloon with us," said the taller of
the two men. "See, he doesn't seem to be a bit afraid."

"No, and look! He must be a trick pig! Maybe he got away from some
circus!" cried the other man. For, at that moment Squinty stood up on
his hind legs, as the boy had taught him, and walked over toward the big
balloon basket. What he really wanted was something to eat, but the men
did not know that.

"He surely is a cute little pig!" cried the tall man. "I'll lift him in.
You toss out another bag of sand, and we'll go up."

[Illustration: The next moment Squinty felt himself lifted off the

The next moment, before he could get out of the man's grasp if he had
wanted to, Squinty felt himself lifted off the ground. He was put down
in the bottom of the basket, which held many things, and, a second
later, Squinty, the comical pig, felt himself flying upward through the

Squinty was off on a trip in a balloon.



Up, up, and up some more went Squinty, the comical pig. At first the
fast motion in the balloon made him a little dizzy, just as it might
make you feel queer the first time you went on a merry-go-'round.

"Uff! Uff!" grunted Squinty. He was so surprised at this sudden
adventure that, really, he did not know what to say.

"I wonder if he's afraid?" said one of the men.

"He acts so," the other answered. "But he'll get used to it. How high up
are you going?"

"Oh, about a mile, I guess."

Squinty cuddled down in the basket of the balloon, between two bags full
of something, and shivered.

"My goodness me!" thought poor Squinty. "A mile up in the air! That's
awfully high."

He knew about how far a mile was on land, for it was about the distance
from the farmhouse, near where his pen used to be, to the village
church. He had often heard the farmer man say so.

"And if it was a mile from my pen to the church, and that mile of road
was stood straight up in the air," thought Squinty, "it would be a
terrible long way to fall. I hope I don't fall."

And it did not seem as if he would--at least not right away. The basket
in which he was riding looked good and strong. Squinty had shut his eyes
when he heard the men speak about going a mile up in the air, but now,
as the balloon seemed to have stopped rising, the little pig opened his
eyes again, and peered all about him.

"Look!" exclaimed one of the men with a laugh. "Hasn't that pig the most
comical face you ever saw?"

"That's what he has," answered the other. "He makes me want to laugh
every time I look at him, with that funny half-shut eye of his."

"Well," thought Squinty, "I'm glad somebody is happy and jolly, and
wants to laugh, for I'm sure I don't. I wish I hadn't run away from the
nice boy who taught me the tricks."

Then, as Squinty remembered how he had been taught to stand up on his
hind legs, he thought he would do that trick now. He was hungry, and he
imagined, perhaps, if he did that trick, the men would give him
something to eat.

"Look at the little chap!" cried one of the men. "He's showing off all

"Yes, he's a smart pig," said the other. "He must be a trick pig, and I
guess whoever owns him will be sorry he is lost."

"Hu! I'm sorry myself!" thought Squinty to himself, as he walked around
on his hind legs.

"I wonder if these men are ever going to give me anything to eat," he
went on. He looked at them from his queer, squinting eye, but the men
did not seem to know that the little pig was hungry.

On and on sailed the balloon, being blown by the wind like a sailboat.
Squinty dropped down on his four legs, since he found that walking on
his hind ones brought him no food. Then, as he made his way about the
basket, he saw some more of those queer bags filled with something.
There were a great many of them in the balloon, and Squinty thought they
must have something good in them.

Squinty squatted down beside one, and, with his strong teeth, he soon
had bitten a hole in the cloth. Then he took a big bite, but oh dear!

All at once he found his mouth filled with coarse sand, that gritted on
his teeth, and made the cold shivers run down his back.

"Oh, wow!" thought poor Squinty. "That's no good! Sand! I wonder if
those men eat sand?"

Of course they didn't. The sand in the bags was "ballast." The balloon
men carried it with them, and when they found the balloon coming down,
because some of the gas had leaked out of the round ball above the
basket, they would let some of the sand run out of the bags to the
ground below. This would make the balloon lighter, and it would rise

"Squee! Squee! Uff! Uff!" grunted Squinty, as he wiped the sand off his
tongue on one of his legs. "I don't like that. I'm hungry."

"Why, what's the matter with the little pig?" asked one of the men,
turning around and looking at Squinty.

"He must be hungry," said the other. "See, he has bitten a hole in one
of our sand bags. Let's feed him."

"All right. Give him something to eat, but we didn't bring any pig food
along with us."

"I'll give him some bread and milk," the other man said. "We won't want
much more ourselves, for we are nearly at our last landing place."

"Squee! Squee!" squealed Squinty, when he heard this. He watched the man
put some bread and milk in a tin pan, and set it down on the floor of
the basket. Then Squinty put his nose in the dish and began to eat.

And Oh! how good it tasted! Of course the milk was sweet, instead of
sour, for men do not usually like sour milk. Squinty had a good meal,
and then he went to sleep.

What happened while Squinty slept, the little pig did not know. But when
he woke up it was all dark, and he knew it must be night, so he went to
sleep again. And the next time he awakened the sun was shining, so he
felt sure it was morning.

And then, all of a sudden, something happened. One of the men called

"There is a good place to land!"

"Yes, we'll go down there," agreed the other. Then he pulled a string.
Squinty did not know what it was for, but I'll tell you. It was to open
a hole in the balloon so the gas would rush out. Then the balloon would
begin to fall.

And that is what happened. Down, down went the balloon. It went very
fast, and Squinty felt dizzy. Faster and faster fell the balloon, until,
at last it gave such a bump down on the ground that Squinty was bounced
right over the side of the basket.

Right out of the basket the comical little pig was bounced, but he came
down in a soft bed of leaves, so he was not hurt in the least. He landed
on his feet, just like a cat, and gave a loud squeal, he was so

And then Squinty ran away. Almost anybody would have run, too, I guess,
after falling down in a balloon, and being bounced out that way. Squinty
had had enough of balloon riding.

"I don't know where I'm going, nor what will happen to me now," thought
Squinty, "but I am going to run and hide."

And run he did. He found himself in the woods; just the same kind of
woods as where he had first met the two balloon men, only, of course, it
was much farther off, for he had traveled a long way through the air.

On and on ran Squinty. All at once, in a tree over his head, he heard a
funny chattering noise.

"Chipper, chipper, chipper! Chat! Chat! Whir-r-r-r-r-!" went the noise.

Squinty looked up in the tree, and there he saw a lovely little girl
squirrel, frisking about on the branches. Then Squinty was no longer
afraid. Out of the leaves he jumped, giving a squeal and a grunt which

"Oh, how do you do? I am glad to see you. My name is Squinty. What is
your name?"

"My name is Slicko," answered the lively little girl squirrel, as she
jumped about. "Come on and play!"

Squinty felt very happy then.



"Where do you live, Squinty?" asked Slicko, the jumping squirrel, as she
skipped from one tree branch to another, and so reached the ground near
the comical little pig.

"Oh, I live in a pen," answered Squinty, "but I'm not there now."

"No, I see you are not," spoke Slicko, with a laugh, which showed her
sharp, white teeth. "But what are you doing so far away from your pen?
Or, perhaps it is close by, though I never saw you in these woods
before," she went on, looking around as if she might see the pig pen
under one of the trees.

"No, I have never been here before," Squinty answered. "My pen is far
from here. My master is a boy who taught me to do tricks, such as
jumping rope, but I ran away and had a balloon ride."

"What's a balloon?" asked Slicko, as she combed out her tail with a
chestnut burr. Squirrels always use chestnut burrs for combs.

"A balloon is something that goes up in the air," answered Squinty, "and
it has bags of sand in it."

"Well, I can go up in the air, when I climb a tree," went on Slicko,
with a jolly laugh. "Am I a balloon?"

"No, you are not," said Squinty. "A balloon is very different."

"Well, I know where there is some sand," spoke Slicko. "I could get some
of that and put it in leaf-bags. Would that make me a balloon?"

"Oh, no, of course not," Squinty answered. "You could never be a
balloon. But if you know where there is some sand perhaps you know where
there is some sour milk. I am very hungry."

"I never heard of sour milk," replied the girl squirrel. "But I know
where to find some nuts. Do you like hickory nuts?"

"I--I guess so," answered Squinty, thinking, perhaps, they were like
acorns. "Please show me where there are some."

"Come on!" chattered Slicko. She led the way through the woods, leaping
from one tree branch to another over Squinty's head. The little pig ran
along on the ground, through the dry leaves. Sometimes he went on four
feet and sometimes he stood up straight on his hind feet.

"Can you do that?" he asked the squirrel. "It is a trick the boy taught

"Oh, yes, I can sit up on my hind legs, and eat a nut," the squirrel
girl said. "But nobody taught me. I could always do it. I don't call
that a trick."

"Well, it is a trick for me," said Squinty. "But where are the hickory
nuts you spoke of?"

"Right here," answered Slicko, the jumping squirrel, hopping about as
lively as a cricket, and she pointed to a pile of nuts in a hollow
stump. Squinty tried to chew some, but, as soon as he took them in his
mouth he cried out:

"Oh my! How hard the shells are! This is worse than the sand! I can't
chew hickory nuts! Have you no other kind?"

"Oh, yes, I know where there are some acorns," answered Slicko, "but I
do not care for them as well as for hickory nuts."

"Oh, please show me the acorns," begged Squinty.

"Here they are," spoke Slicko, jumping a little farther, and she pointed
to a pile of acorns in another hollow stump.

"Oh, these are fine! Thank you!" grunted Squinty, and he began to eat
them. All at once there sounded through the woods a noise like:

"Chat! Chat! Chatter! Whir-r-r-r-r-r!" "My, what's that?" cried Squinty,
turning quickly around.

"That is my mamma calling me," said Slicko, the jumping squirrel. "I
shall have to go home to my nest now. Good-by, Squinty. I like you very
much, and I hope I shall soon see you again."

"I hope so, too," spoke Squinty, and while he went on eating the acorns,
Slicko ran along the tree branches to her nest. And in another book I
shall tell you some more stories about "Slicko, the Jumping Squirrel,"
but in this book I have room to write only about Squinty.

The little comical pig was rather lonesome after Slicko had left him,
but he was no longer hungry, thanks to the acorns.

So he walked on and on, and pretty soon he came to a road. And down the
road he saw coming the strangest sight.

There were a lot of big wagons, all painted red and green and gold. Many
horses drew each wagon, the big wheels of which rattled like thunder,
and beside the wagons there were many strange animals walking
along--animals which Squinty had never seen before.

"Oh my!" cried Squinty. "This is worse than the balloon! I must run

But, just as he turned to run, he saw a little animal jump out of one of
the big wagons, and come toward him. This animal was something like a
little boy, only, instead of clothes, he was covered with hairy fur. And
the animal had a long tail, which Squinty knew no boy ever had.

Squinty was so surprised at seeing the strange animal that the little
pig stood still. The hairy animal, with the long tail, came straight for
the bush behind which Squinty was hiding, and crawled through. Then the
two stood looking at one another, while the big wagons rumbled past on
the road.

"Hello!" Squinty finally exclaimed. "Who are you?"

"Why, I am Mappo, the merry monkey," was the answer, as he curled his
long tail around a stick of wood. "But I don't need to ask who you are.
You are a pig, I can see that, for we have one in our circus, and the
clown rides him around the ring, and it is too funny for anything."

[Illustration: "Why, I am Mappo, the merry monkey," was the answer.]

"Ha, so you are a monkey?" asked Squinty. "But what do you mean by a

"That's a circus," answered Mappo, pointing with one paw through a hole
in the bush, at the queer animals, and the red, gold and green wagons.
"That is, it will be a circus when they put up the big tent, and all the
people come. Didn't you ever see a circus?"

"Never," answered Squinty. "Did you ever ride in a balloon?"

"Never," answered Mappo.

"Well, then we are even," said Squinty. "Now you tell me about a circus,
and I'll tell you about the balloon."

"Well," said the monkey, "a circus is a big show in a tent, to make
people laugh. There are clowns, and animals to look at. I am one of the
animals, but I ran out of my cage when the door flew open."

"Why did you run away?" asked Squinty.

"Oh, I got tired of staying in a cage. And I was afraid the big tiger
might bite me. I'll run back again pretty soon, before they miss me. Now
you tell me about your balloon ride."

So Squinty told the merry monkey all about running away, and learning
tricks, and having a ride in the queer basket.

"I can do tricks, too," said Mappo. "But just now I am hungry. I wonder
if any cocoanut trees are in these woods?"

"I don't know what a cocoanut is," answered Squinty, "but I'll give you
some of my acorns."

The comical little pig and the merry monkey hid under the bush and ate
acorns as they watched the circus procession go past. It was not a
regular parade, as the show was going only from one town to-another.
Squinty looked at the beautiful wagons, and at the strange animals, some
with big humps on their backs. At last he saw some very big creatures,
and he cried out:

"Oh, Mappo! What are those animals? They have a tail at each end!"

"Those are elephants," said Mappo, "and they do not have two tails. One
is a tail, and the other is their trunk, or long nose, by which they
pick up peanuts, and other things to eat, and they can drink water
through it, too."

"Oh, elephants, eh!" exclaimed Squinty. "But who is that big,
fierce-looking one, with two long teeth sticking out. I would be afraid
of him."

"Ha! Ha! You wouldn't need to be," said Mappo, with a merry laugh. "That
is Tum-Tum, the jolliest elephant in the whole circus. Why, he is so
kind he wouldn't hurt a fly, and he is so happy that every one loves
him. He is always playing jokes."

"Well, I'm glad he is so jolly," spoke Squinty, as he watched Tum-Tum
and the other elephants march slowly along the road on their big feet,
like wash tubs, swinging their long trunks.

Then Mappo the monkey, and Squinty, the comical pig, started off through
the woods.



"Squinty, I don't believe we're going to find any cocoanut trees in this
woods," said Mappo, the monkey, after he and the little pig had wandered
on for some time.

"It doesn't seem so, does it?" spoke Squinty, looking all around, first
with his wide-open eye, and then with his queer, droopy one.

The monkey ran along, now on the ground, and now and then swinging
himself up in the branches of trees, by his long legs, each one of which
had a sort of hand on the end. Sometimes he hung by his tail, for
monkeys are made to do that.

"My, I wish I could get up in the trees the way you do," said Squinty.
"Do you think I could hang by my tail, Mappo?"

"I don't know," answered the monkey, scratching his head. "Your tail has
a nice little curl in it, almost like mine. Did you ever try to hang by
your tail?"

"No, I never did."

"Well, you don't know what you can do until you try," said Mappo.

The two animal friends soon came to where some of the acorn nuts had
fallen off a tree, and they ate as many as they wanted. Mappo said they
were not as good as cocoanuts, but he liked them pretty well, because he
was hungry. And Squinty thought acorns were just the best things he had
ever tasted, except apples, and potatoes or perhaps sour milk.

By this time it was getting dark, and Squinty said:

"Oh dear, I wonder where we can sleep tonight?"

"Oh, do not let that worry you," said Mappo. "I am used to living in the
woods. When I was little, before I was caught and put in the circus, I
lived in the woods all the while. See, here is a nice hollow stump,
filled with leaves, for you to sleep in, and I will climb a tree, and
sleep in that."

"Couldn't you sleep down in the stump with me?" asked Squinty. "It's
sort of lonesome, all by yourself in the dark."

"Yes, I'll sleep with you," said Mappo. "Now we'll make up a nice bed."

But, just as they were piling some more leaves in the hollow stump, they
heard many voices of men shouting in the woods.

"Here he is! Here is that runaway monkey! I see him! Come and catch
him!" cried the men.

"Oh, they're from the circus! They're after me!" cried Mappo. "I must
run and hide. Good-by, Squinty. I'll see you again sometime, maybe. You
had better run, also, or the circus men may catch you."

Squinty looked through the trees, and saw a number of men coming toward
him and the monkey. Then Mappo climbed up in a tall tree, and Squinty
ran away as fast as his little short legs would take him.

"Never mind the pig! Get the monkey!" Squinty heard one man cry, and
then the comical little pig dodged under a bush, and kept on running.

When Squinty stopped running it was quite dark. He could hardly see, and
he had run into several trees, and bumped his nose a number of times. It
hurt him very much.

"Well, I guess I'm lost again," thought Squinty. "And I am all alone.
Oh, what a lot of things has happened to me since I was in the pen with
my mamma and papa and sisters and brothers! I wish I were back with them

Squinty felt very sad and lonesome. He wondered if the circus men had
caught Mappo. Then he felt that he had better find a place where he
could cover himself up with the dry leaves, and go to sleep.

He walked about in the dark until, all of a sudden, he stumbled into a
hole that was filled with dried grass.

"I guess I had better stay here," thought Squinty. So he pulled some of
the grass over him, and went to sleep.

When he awoke the sun was shining.

"I must get my breakfast," thought Squinty. He hunted about until he had
found some acorns, and then, coming to a little brook of water he took a
long drink. Something about the brook made Squinty look at it carefully.

"Why--why!" he exclaimed to himself: "It seems to me I have been here
before! Yes, I am sure I have. This is the place where I first came to
get a drink, when first I ran away. It is near the pen where I used to
live! Oh, I wonder if I can find that?"

The heart of Squinty was beating fast as he looked around at the scenes
he had seen when he was a very little pig, some weeks before. Yes, it
was the same brook. He was sure of it. And there was the garden of
potatoes, and the cornfield where he had first lost his way.

Hark! What was that?

Off in the rows of corn he heard a dog barking. Somehow he knew that
dog's bark.

"If that could be Don!" thought Squinty, hopefully.

The barking sounded nearer. Squinty turned around, standing on the edge
of the little brook, and waited, his heart beating faster and faster.

All at once there came running through the potato field a black and
white dog. Squinty knew him at once.

It was Don!

"Bow wow! Bow wow!" barked Don. "Well, if there isn't that comical
little pig, Squinty! Where in the world did you come from? You've been
running away, I'll be bound! Now I'm going to take you back to the pen!"

"Oh, Don! I am so glad to see you!" squealed Squinty. "I--I did run
away, but I never will any more. I am lost. Oh, Don, don't take me by
the ear. I'll go with you."

"All right," barked Don, kindly. "Come along. Your pen isn't far off,"
and he ran along beside the little pig, who, after many adventures had
wandered back home. Squinty and Don came to the edge of the potato

"Well, I never!" exclaimed the farmer man, who was there hoeing the
potatoes. "If there isn't that comical little pig I sold to that boy
Bob. I wonder where he came from?"

"Bow wow! Bow wow! I found him," barked Don, but of course the farmer
did not understand.

"Well, I'll put you back in the pen again until that boy sends for you,"
said the farmer, as he lifted Squinty over into the pen where his mamma
and papa and brothers and sisters were.

"Why--why, it's Squinty!" cried Mrs. Pig.

"He's come back!" grunted Mr. Pig.

"Oh, I'm so glad!" said Wuff-Wuff.

"And so am I," added Twisty Tail, as she rubbed her nose against
Squinty's. "Where have you been, and what happened to you?" she asked
her brother.

"Oh, many things," he said. "I have learned some tricks, I have been up
in a balloon, I met Slicko the jumping squirrel, Mappo, the merry
monkey, and I saw Tum-Tum, the jolly circus elephant. Now I am home

"And which did you like best of all?" asked Mrs. Pig, when they had
finished asking him questions.

"Getting back home," answered Squinty, as he took a big drink of sour

And that is the story of Squinty, the comical pig. The farmer sent word
to the boy that his pet was back in the pen, but the boy said he thought
he did not want a pet pig any more, so Squinty, for the time being,
stayed with his family.



* * * * *


By Richard Barnum

Large 12mo. Cloth. Illustrated

Price per volume 40 cents Postpaid

In all nursery literature animals have played a conspicuous part; and
the reason is obvious for nothing entertains a child more than the funny
antics of an animal. These stories abound in amusing incidents such as
children adore and the characters are so full of life, so appealing to a
child's imagination that none will be satisfied until they have met all
of their favorites--Squinty, Slicko, Mappo, Tum Tum and Don.

Squinty, the Comical Pig
Slicko, the Jumping Squirrel
Mappo, the Merry Monkey
Tum Tum, the Jolly Elephant
Don, A Runaway Dog.


* * * * *

By Frank A. Warner

Large 12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Price per volume 50 cents, net.

True stories of life at a modern American boarding school. Bobby
attended this institution of learning with his particular chum and the
boys had no end of good times. The tales of outdoor life, especially the
exciting times they have when engaged in sports against rival schools,
are written in a manner so true, so realistic, that the reader, too, is
sure to share with these boys their thrills and pleasures.




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