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HOME > Children's Novel > The Tale of the The Muley Cow > V THE FRIENDLY SCARECROW
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 Old Mr. Crow and all his cronies made fun of the scarecrow in the cornfield. They said that he was a great joke. "He doesn't know anything," they used to . "His head has nothing but straw inside it."  
The Muley Cow had often heard the noisy crows laughing about the limp gentleman who hung on a long, upright stick beyond the pasture fence. She had paid little to him, herself, until one day she took a notion to jump the fence and taste the young shoots of corn. For they certainly did look .
Being, generally, a well-mannered creature, the Muley Cow thought it only polite to speak to the scarecrow. So she lowed gently to attract his attention. And when he swung around, as he presently did, and faced her she bowed pleasantly and said, "I hope you won't mind if I sample the corn."
No one could have been more than the scarecrow. To be sure, he said nothing. But he waved an arm (as the breeze caught it) in a wide sweep.
"Surely," the Muley Cow thought, "he means that I'm to take all I want."
After thanking him she helped herself freely to the young corn. Indeed, she was almost greedy about it. Only the fact that the scarecrow seemed to throw a look at her now and then kept her from eating more. Somehow she couldn't forget that he acted very gentlemanly, though his clothes were and torn. And she felt that she must do nothing to offend him.
"The corn is as good as any I've ever tasted," she assured him.
The scarecrow showed that he must have heard her, for he gave a sort of nod. And he tried his best to touch his hat. But the wind wasn't blowing quite hard enough to let him do that. "Poor fellow!" the Muley Cow thought. "He hasn't the entire use of his arms."
Then the scarecrow went through some odd motions. First he kicked backward with one leg; then he kicked forward with the other; and after that he whirled three times around the stake that supported him.
"Now, what can he mean by that?" the Muley Cow wondered. And then all at once she gave a silly sort of . "I know!" she exclaimed. "He wants me to dance with him!"
For a moment the Muley Cow forgot that she was the oldest cow on the farm. She tossed her head, her heels in the air, and cut a few clumsy around the scarecrow, who did his best to dance a jig—only the wind died down completely just as he was in the middle of it. And he hung from his pole in such a woebegone fashion that the Muley Cow began to feel uneasy about him.
"You're not ill, I hope?" she ventured, as she stopped her .
He paid not the slightest heed to her. So with her nose the Muley Cow touched him where a knee would have been, had he had any. And even then he hung motionless.
The Muley Cow was alarmed. But she didn't linger to find out what was the matter[Pg 25] with the scarecrow. She heard shouting. And she heard old dog Spot barking. And knowing at once that Farmer Green had caught her in the cornfield she turned and fled as fast as she could go.
"Something's wrong with that scarecrow," she muttered to herself as she along toward the barnyard. "He's so kind and gentlemanly he would surely have warned me if he had been able to. He would have let me know that Farmer Green was coming."

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