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- Billy Bunny and Uncle Bull Frog - 10/14 -
BILLY BUNNY AND THE MERMAID.
Well, now we'll commence by saying that as soon as Billy Bunny and Uncle Lucky reached the coral island, where the lovely mermaid lived, for she had asked them to call, you remember, they got off the Whale, and, after asking him to wait for them while they made a little visit, sat down on the sand, and pretty soon the mermaid brought them each a lovely coral scarfpin, and the one she gave to Uncle Lucky was a little image of herself and the one she gave to Billy Bunny was a little fish.
Then the little rabbit opened his knapsack and took out a lovely apple pie and gave it to her. And she was so pleased that she ate it all up, and then she said, "I'll give you a lovely breast-pin made of beautiful coral for your mother, Mr. Billy Bunny, if you'll give me another pie."
So the little rabbit opened his knapsack and took out another fresh, juicy apple pie and placed the beautiful present for his mother carefully in the knapsack, and after that he ate a lollypop and Uncle Lucky drank a bottle of ginger ale, and then they said good-by and got aboard the Whaleship and sailed away.
And would you believe it? Dear, kind Uncle Lucky almost cried! You see, he had never seen a mermaid before, and he thought she was lovely, and I guess she was, for Uncle Lucky couldn't make a mistake, I'm sure, for he had travelled abroad and had seen lots and lots of beautiful lady bunnies.
"And now where are we going?" asked the little rabbit, but Uncle Lucky was too busy trying to find his other blue polka-dot handkerchief with which to wipe his eyes to answer.
And then he couldn't find it, and the reason was because he had given it to a Chinaman the day before, but he didn't remember that, for he was so miserable at leaving the beautiful mermaid.
"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" sighed the old gentleman rabbit,
"'Tis sad to part. My poor old heart Is nearly, nearly breaking; Alas! alas! that mermaid lass Has set my head a-shaking!"
And after that his old wedding stovepipe hat almost fell off his head, and it would have, I'm sure, if it hadn't been for the blue polka-dot handkerchief which he had tied over the top of it.
And just then, all of a sudden, the Whaleship bumped into a motor boat, and nearly upset it.
"What's the matter with your pilot?" screamed the man who was in the motor boat, and when Uncle Lucky looked over the side of the Whale he saw it wasn't a man at all, but the old Billygoat who owned the Ferryboat I told you about some umpty-leven stones ago.
"Excuse us, please," said the kind old gentleman rabbit, but what the Billygoat said I'll have to tell you in the next story, for there's no more room in this one.
BILLY BUNNY AND THE BEANSTALK.
Seeing it's you," answered the Billygoat, who, you remember in the last story, had gotten very angry because Billy Bunny and Uncle Lucky had bumped into his motor boat with their whaleship.
"I'll forgive you," and then he raced the Whale all the way to the shore and would have beaten him, too, if he had gone faster.
And as soon as the whaleship ran up on the beach, the two little rabbits hopped off and got into their automobile and drove away, and the Whale went back and told the Mermaid that the two little rabbits had a beautiful Luckymobile, and she felt dreadfully sorry that she hadn't gone with them.
Well, after a little while, not so very far, they came across a wonderful beanstalk, which was growing up so high that you couldn't see the top, and if Billy Bunny had only known the story about "Jack and the Beanstalk," I guess he would have thought that the story had come true.
"My gracious!" exclaimed Uncle Lucky. "My lima beans at home grow pretty high but never as high as this," and he took out of his waistcoat pocket his spyglass and tried to find the top of the beanstalk; but he couldn't, for it was hidden in the clouds. Just think of that!
"I'm going to climb up that beanstalk," said the little bunny. "Maybe I'll find my fortune at the top."
"And I'll go with you," said the old gentleman rabbit, for he wasn't going to let his small nephew go up a strange beanstalk and perhaps get lost in the clouds, you know.
Not good, kind Uncle Lucky. No, sireemam; so they hopped out of the Luckymobile and started up the beanstalk, and by and by, after a pretty long time, they came to the top and the first thing they saw was their friend American Eagle and his wife, and she was sitting on her nest hatching out the big eggs which she had laid.
"We'll need lots of eagles now that we've gone to war," said the big bird, and he flapped his wings and sang "Yankee Doodle Dandy" three times over and then once more. And this made the old gentleman rabbit so excited that he stood up and made a speech, and then he threw his old wedding stovepipe hat up into the air and gave three cheers and half a dozen tigers and two or three bears.
And after that Billy Bunny opened his knapsack and took out an American flag and put it on the top of the beanstalk so that all the people in the aeroplane could see it and say "Hip-hur-ray for the U. S. A.!"
"When the little eagles come out of their shells you must bring them to call on me," said good, kind Uncle Lucky to Mrs. Eagle. "I have some popcorn and lollypops at home, and I know how children like those things."
And this made Mrs. Eagle very happy and Mr. Eagle very proud, and he helped the two little rabbits to climb down the beanstalk in time for me to write what they did in the next story, which will be about an adventure in the Friendly Forest.
BILLY BUNNY AND SCATTERBRAINS.
After Billy Bunny and Uncle Lucky reached the ground, for they had climbed down the beanstalk, you remember, as I told you in the last story, they jumped into the Luckymobile and drove off toward the Friendly Forest, and when they had gone maybe a mile in and out among the trees, for there wasn't really any automobile road to go on, you know, they came across Scatterbrains, the gray squirrel.
Now Uncle Lucky knew Old Squirrel Nutcracker very well, and as the old gentleman squirrel was very nice and well behaved it made Uncle Lucky provoked to think that his son should be such a scatterbrains. So Uncle Lucky stopped the automobile and said:
"Well, young squirrel, have you been troubling your father lately?" and Scatterbrains answered, "No, Mr. Lucky Lefthindfoot, not lately. Not since yesterday."
"What!" exclaimed the old gentleman rabbit, "do you mean to say you troubled him yesterday? Why didn't you wait until to-morrow?" and then Uncle Lucky winked at Billy Bunny and then scowled at Scatterbrains.
And just then they heard a dreadful noise. It sounded just as if the trees were snapping to pieces and, all of a sudden, a tornado struck them and up in the air went the Luckymobile with the two little rabbits, but what happened to the little squirrel I really don't know, unless it took him up, too, and hid him in a cloud.
And perhaps it did, for I've often seen clouds that looked exactly like squirrels, haven't you, and other animals, too, like bears and cats?
"Gracious me!" cried Uncle Billy. "Hang on, Billy Bunny, and don't let the cushions slip or the electricity run out of the cabaret, for if we ever get back to earth, I'd like to get home and stay home forever. Oh, home, sweet home," and the old gentleman rabbit took off his automobile goggles, for they were full of tears and he couldn't see anything.
Well, by and by, the tornado let go and the automobile fell on top of a clothesline and balanced there as nicely as a tight-rope dancer, and when the two little rabbits looked about them, they found they were in Mrs. Bunny's backyard in the Old Brier Patch. Wasn't that lucky? Well, I guess it was!
And just then Mrs. Bunny came out of the kitchen door to hang up some of Billy Bunny's little shirts on the line, for it was Monday morning, you know.
And when she saw the Luckymobile on her clothesline she gave a scream, and then she began to laugh, and after that she ran back into the house and brought out her scissors and cut the rope and the automobile came down with a bang, and out tumbled the two little rabbits.
"Well, well, well," said Mrs. Bunny, and she sat down on the clothespin basket and laughed, but, of course, there weren't any clothespins, or any other kind of pins, in it, you see, for then she wouldn't have laughed.
And in the next story, if my umbrella doesn't open and stand over my bed to keep off the mosquitoes, I'll tell you another story to-morrow night.
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