Read by Trish Rowland
Mrs. Baker was proud of her apples. She had every right to be. Mrs. Baker was a great cook. Her apple pies won first place ribbons every year at the fall festival.
Mrs. Baker would pick red apples from the best tree in her orchard. This year the apples were big and beautiful. She thought, “These apples will be perfect for my pies.”
One day Mrs. Baker was in her kitchen when she heard a thump. She looked out the window at her best apple tree. A few minutes later, she watched a second apple fall to the ground with a thump.
Mrs. Baker thought, “That doesn’t look right. What is going on in the apple tree?” She heard a third thump as another apple fell to the ground.
Now she was worried. Mrs. Baker walked out to the tree and picked up one of the apples on the ground. She saw it had one big bite in it. She picked up another apple. It only had one big bite in it. The same was true with all three apples.
She wondered, “Who is eating the apples from my best tree? Why would anyone waste my beautiful apples like this?” Mrs. Baker was very unhappy. She thought, “The animal eating my apples has no respect for them. There is only one big bite in each apple.”
Now she watched her special tree with great care. Mrs. Baker wanted to catch the animal eating her apples.
Two days later she saw an apple fall on the ground. That was apple number one. Then Mrs. Baker saw Sammy, a small gray squirrel. Sammy did not know that Mrs. Baker was watching him in the apple tree.
Sammy loved to eat apples. The apples on this tree were so good! Like before, he picked a second apple and took only one bite. He threw apple number two on the ground. Then he ate the third apple the same way. He took only one bite and threw it on the ground. Again, Sammy stopped after apple number three. He ran down the tree and headed back to his home in the woods.
Mrs. Baker went out to look at the tree. Once again she saw three apples on the ground. She thought, “Oh, no! Not my best apples. This must stop! I won’t have any apples left to make my pies. What a bad squirrel!”
Sammy returned home to the woods. His friends saw him and asked, “Sammy, where have you been?” He did not stop to answer.
Sammy thought, “Why should I tell them? I don’t want to share my apples. They should find their own special apple tree.”
Four days later Sammy returned to the apple tree. Something was not right. There were no more apples on the tree. Not even one. Then his nose caught a wonderful smell in the air. He followed his nose to Mrs. Baker’s house.
Mrs. Baker was watching him from her house. She saw Sammy coming out of the orchard. She got her broom from the corner of the kitchen.
Sammy climbed up the porch steps. Then he climbed up the side of the house. Sammy looked in the kitchen window. Five beautiful apple pies were cooling on Mrs. Baker’s table.
Oh, no! It was too late when Sammy saw Mrs. Baker coming at him with a broom. She took three swings at the squirrel. He ran down the side of the house. Down came the broom. Swoosh!
Sammy ran down the porch steps. He ran to the right. Down came the broom. Swoosh!
Sammy ran to the ground. He ran to the left. Down came the broom. Swoosh!
He ran as fast as he could back to the woods.
Mrs. Baker called after him, “No more apples for you! If you come back, you will see my broom again.”
Sammy had learned his lesson. He would miss eating the apples but knew better than to go back to her orchard.
Mrs. Baker had saved her best apples from the wasteful squirrel. She won three blue ribbons for her apple pies at the Fall Festival. She put the first place ribbons in her kitchen with pride.
I won’t have any apples left to make my pies. What a bad squirrel!