breath (he was so fat that running always made him puff), he told Mrs. Woodchuck that a party of his friends was going to make a raid on Farmer Green's clover-field.
"I'm going with them," he said.
"Do you think you ought to?" she asked. "Isn't it too far? Isn't your back too lame?"
Mr. Woodchuck clapped his hands to his back and groaned a bit.
"They say there's nothing better for my trouble than tender young clover-heads," he replied. "So I think I ought to go.... What I came home for is this: We want some spry young fellow to come along with us and be a sentinel. And I'm going to take Billy. He's old enough now to make himself of some use."
"I don't want him to go," Mrs. Woodchuck said. "He's only a child."
"He has ears, hasn't he? And eyes?" her husband replied. "It's time he helped me a little, after all I've done for him."
Billy Woodchuck was sure that he wanted to go. He was listening to every word.
"What's a sentinel?" he asked.