The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat

by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat

The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat tells the story of Jerry, a young muskrat, and his adventures in escaping the Farmer and his son, and saving the Laughing Brook and his home at the Smiling Pool from drying up. The story also features Grandfather Frog, Joe Otter, Billy Mink, and Paddy the Beaver.

Source: Burgess, T.W. (1914). The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat.

Chapter 1: “Jerry Muskrat Has a Fright”
Jerry’s friends warn him about the farmer’s son setting traps. After eating some carrots, he gets caught in a trap, but escapes.
Chapter 2: “The Convention at the Big Rock”
Mrs. Muskrat calls a convention of all the animals that live at the Smiling Pool and the Laughing Brook. She tells them about the traps and they all agree to talk to Great-Grandfather Frog.
Chapter 3: “The Oracle of the Smiling Pool”
Jerry goes to get Grandfather Frog and take him to the Big Rock. When Mrs. Muskrat tells him about the traps he promises to tell them what to do the next day.
Chapter 4: “Grandfather Frog’s Plan”
Grandfather Frog tells the animals that they should hunt for all the traps, spring them, and bring the food back to the Big Rock for a feast.
Chapter 5: “A Busy Day at the Smiling Pool”
Jerry Muskrat and Joe Otter go hunting for a trap and spy a fish. Joe gets his claw stuck in a trap and they bury it underground. Joe Otter learns a lesson.
Chapter 6: “Farmer Brown’s Boy Is Puzzled”
Farmer Brown’s son went to visit the traps he set and, to his surprise and puzzlemet, found the traps sprung, empty, and buried under the ground.
Chapter 7: “Jerry Muskrat Makes a Discovery”
Jerry and Little Joe discover that the Smiling Pool’s water level is not as high as usual, so they go to see Grandfather Frog and tell him so.
Chapter 8: “Grandfather Frog Watches His Toes”
Grandfather Frog didn’t believe the young animals, so he conducted an experiment and found they were correct. The Smiling Pool was receding.
Chapter 9: “The Laughing Brook Stops Laughing”
Grandfather Frog notices that the Laughing Brook has stopped laughing and the Smiling Pool has stopped smiling. He goes to see Jerry Muskrat to tell him so.
Chapter 10: “Why the World Seemed Upside Down to Jerry Muskrat”
Jerry sits on the Big Rock and notices that his house is no longer underwater and that his whole world has turned upside down.
Chapter 11: “Five Heads Together”
Grandfather Frog deduces that the Smiling Pool is drying up because the Laughing Brook has stopped flowing.
Chapter 12: “A Hunt for Trouble”
A group of the animals, led by Grandfather Frog and Jerry Muskrat, went to see what was stopping the Laughing Brook. They are joined by Ol’ Mistah Buzzard.
Chapter 13: “Ol’ Mistah Buzzard Sees Something”
Ol’ Mistah Buzzard discovers the problem.
Chapter 14: “Spotty the Turtle Keeps Right on Going”
Because everyone wanted to be the one to find the trouble first, no one would wait for each other. Spotty the turtle was last and, because the others thought they were so much farther ahead than the rest, they all stopped to take a break. Spotty became the one who saw the problem first.
Chapter 15: “What Spotty the Turtle Found”
Spotty discovers a dam at the Laughing Brook.
Chapter 16: “The Pond in the Green Forest”
After spending the night, Spotty the turtle decides to try and see what’s on the other side of the dam. He tries and fails several times, but finally succeeds. He sees a beautiful pond.
Chapter 17: “Who Had Made the Strange Pond?”
The animals speculate on who made the dam. Grandfather Frog suspects Jerry Muskrat’ cousin.
Chapter 18: “Jerry Muskrat’s Big Cousin”
Grandfather explains to the young animals about Jerry’s cousin from the north. Billy Mink makes a smart remark to Grandfather Frog and is proven wrong.
Chapter 19: “Jerry Muskrat Has a Busy Day”
Grandfather Frog formulates a plan whereby Jerry Muskrat will gnaw and dig a hole in the dam and force water through it. Jerry sets off to work.
Chapter 20: “Jerry Has a Dreadful Disappointment”
Jerry and the animals discover that the hole in the dam has been mended and replugged.
Chapter 21: “Jerry Muskrat Keeps Watch”
After gnawing another hole in the dam and discovering it mended again. He stays there that night to see who is fixing the dam and meets his cousin from the north, Paddy the Beaver.
Chapter 22: “Jerry Loses His Fear”
Jerry and Paddy become friends. He makes up his mind to tell Paddy why he puts a hole in the dam.
Chapter 23: “Paddy the Beaver Does a Kind Deed”
Jerry tells Paddy about the Smiling Pond and asks him to live there too. Paddy declines and tells him the reason for the dam. Paddy agrees to find a new place to live.
Chapter 24: “A Merry Home-Going”
The animals, along with Paddy the Beaver, travel back to the Smiling Pond.
Chapter 25: “Paddy the Beaver Decides to Stay”
The animals invite Paddy to live in the Smiling Pond, but he declines. He agrees to live in the Green Forest off of the Laughing Brook.
  • Year Published: 1914
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 5.5
  • Word Count: 16,691
  • Genre: Fantasy
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