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He threw a pine cone at a jovial squirrel, and he ran with chattering fear. High in a treetop he stopped, and, poking his head cautiously from behind a branch, looked down with an air of trepidation.
The squirrel's actions in running away mimic Henry's own reaction to the impending battle. The squirrel retreats and observes.
The last part of your question requires your opinion. There is no right or wrong answer.
The Red Badge of Courage