TIG, THE BROWNIE ROBBER
One by one Shrimpy buttoned up the tired brownies. It was dark, so they did not see what Shrimpy was doing. One or two of them grumbled because the tree felt so hard and uncomfortable at their back—but they were so very tired that they fell asleep even though they were so uncomfortable.
Shrimpy was simply delighted. He had fastened all the servants to the trees! They couldn't undo the coats! They could only yell for help—and that was just what he wanted them to do! Aha! Wait for the morning, Tig, and see what happens to you!
As soon as daylight came creeping through the trees, little Shrimpy ran to the pit that the servants had dug the night before. It was very deep, and the sides were very straight. Shrimpy gathered armfuls of bracken and pulled sticks and twigs from the bushes. He strewed them over the pit opening so that it could not be seen.
Then he hid himself in a hole of a tree and waited to see what would happen.
As soon as the servants awoke they tried to free themselves from the trees they were buttoned to—but they could not. They struggled and shouted, they tried to reach the buttons at the back of the tree, but it was no use at all. The coats were strong and big, and held them prisoner.
Shrimpy looked out of his tree and giggled. The servants saw him and shouted at him angrily;
" Come and set us free! Come and unbutton us! "
But Shrimpy laughed and shook his head.
" You wait till Tig comes! " roared the angry brownies. " He will untie us, and catch you and punish you! This is a very silly trick to play!"
Just then Shrimpy heard Tig coming along singing loudly. " Here comes robber brownie Tig, Fat and plump and round and big! " sang Tig, very pleased after his good warm night and fine hot breakfast.
" Master! Master! Help us! " yelled his servants. " Shrimpy has buttoned us to the trees in your coats and we can't get away! "
Tig stopped singing and glared through the trees. He could just see his servants there, neatly buttoned up to the trunks! He gave a roar and rushed towards them.