"Chit, chit, chit, chit!" cried Velvet-paw, and away she flew to the very top of a tall pine-tree, springing from one tree-top to another, till she was soon out of the old owl's reach. "What shall we do for supper to-night?" said Silver-nose, looking very pitifully at Nimble-foot; whom they looked upon as the head of the family.

"Indeed," said Silver-nose, "I am tired of this dull place; we are not better off here than we were in the little island in Stony Lake, where our good old mother took care we should have plenty to eat, and we had a nice warm nest to shelter us." "Ah, well, it is of no use grumbling now; if we were to go back, we should only get a scolding, and perhaps be chased off the island," said Nimble.

She knew where a fine silver-coated fox made its home on the rocky hillside beyond the garden-slope, and had told her father that "Silver-nose," as she had named the fox, knew that she was his friend, and would lie quite still at the entrance to its hole, while she would sit on a big rock not far distant.

A lively note of joy was uttered by Nimblefoot, for, perched at his ease on a top branch of the hemlock-tree, he had seen the bound made by Silver-nose. "Well jumped, Silvy," said he; "Mister Coon must be a smart fellow to equal that. But look sharp, or you will get your neck wrung yet; I see we must keep a good look-out in this strange country."

When Velvet-paw and Silver-nose went to call Nimble-foot, they were surprised to find his nest empty; but after searching a long while, they found him sitting on the root of an upturned tree, looking at a family of little chitmunks busily picking over the pine-cones on the ground; but as soon as one of the poor little fellows, with great labour, had dug out a kernel, and was preparing to eat it, down leaped Nimble-foot, and carried off the prize; and if one of the little chitmunks ventured to say a word, he very uncivilly gave him a scratch, or bit his ears, calling him a mean, shabby fellow.

"How easy it is to swim in this clear water!" said Silver-nose to her sister Velvet-paw. "We shall not be long in reaching yonder island, and there, no doubt, we shall get a good breakfast."

Silver-nose at the same time was nearly frightened to death by the keen round eyes of a cunning racoon, which had come within a few feet of the mossy branch of an old cedar, where she sat picking the seeds out of a dry head of a blue flag-flower she had found on the shore. Silvy, at this sight, gave a spring that left her many yards beyond her sharp-sighted enemy.

Nimble-foot and Silver-nose often saw their cousins, the black squirrels, playing in the sunshine, chasing each other merrily up and down the trees, or over the brush-heaps; their jetty coats, and long feathery tails, forming a striking contrast with the whiteness of the snow, above which they were sporting.

"How easy it is to swim in this clear water!" said Silver-nose to her sister Velvet-paw. "We shall not be long in reaching yonder island, and there, no doubt, we shall get a good breakfast."

Not being much used to the fatigue of swimming, the little squirrels were soon tired, and if it had not been for a friendly bit of stick that happened to float near her, poor Velvet-paw would have been drowned; however, she got up on the stick, and, setting up her fine broad tail, went merrily on, and soon passed Nimble-foot and Silver-nose.