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- Billy Bunny and Uncle Bull Frog - 3/14 -
So Uncle Lucky started right off. He didn't wait to even dust off his old wedding stovepipe hat, and by and by he came to the bridge. But oh dear me! Right in the middle of it stood a big dog, and when he saw the old gentleman rabbit he gave a loud bark and ran at him.
And what do you think the dear old bunny did? He honked on his automobile horn, which he had in his paw, and this frightened the dog so dreadfully that he turned around and ran away so fast that he would have left his tail a thousand miles behind him if it hadn't been tied on the way dogs' tails are, you know.
And after that Uncle Lucky crossed the bridge and turned to his right and pretty soon he saw Billy Bunny under a bush looking very miserable and unhappy. But when he heard his Uncle Lucky's voice, for the old gentleman rabbit gave a cry of delight as soon as he saw him, the little rabbit looked as happy as he had before he was lost.
"Here's an apple pie for you," said the dear, kind old gentleman rabbit, taking a lovely pie out of his pocket. "I knew you'd rather have something to eat than a million carrot cents."
And of course the little rabbit would, for he was so hungry he could have eaten brass tacks, or maybe iron nails.
"Now come along with me," said Uncle Lucky. "We'll go back to the Luckymobile. Your cousin, Mr. O'Hare, went the other way to look for you, so I suppose we'll have a dreadful time to find him. But, never mind, I've found you." And dear, affectionate Uncle Lucky hugged his small nephew, he was so glad to be with him once more.
Well, after they reached the automobile they honked and honked on the horn hoping Mr. O'Hare would hear them. But I guess he didn't, for he never came back, although they waited until it was almost 13 o'clock.
"We'll have to go home without him," said Uncle Lucky at last. And I guess he was wise not to wait any longer, for it was growing dark, and to drive an automobile through a forest is not an easy thing to do at night. And just then, all of a sudden, Willie Wind came blowing through the tree tops. When he saw the two little bunnies he said:
"Your cousin, Mr. O'Hare, has fallen into a deep hole over yonder." And Willie Wind pointed down the Friendly Forest Trail. In the next story you shall hear how Uncle Lucky and Billy Bunny found their cousin, Mr. O'Hare.
BILLY BUNNY AND MR. O'HARE'S ESCAPE.
You remember in the last story how Willie Wind whispered to Billy Bunny and Uncle Lucky that their cousin, Mr. O'Hare, had fallen into a deep hole? Well, it didn't take the two little rabbits more than five short seconds and maybe five and a half hops to reach the spot, and then they looked over the edge, but very carefully, you know, for fear they might fall in, and there, sure enough, way down at the bottom was Mr. O'Hare looking very miserable indeed.
"Keep up your courage!" cried Uncle Lucky in as cheerful a voice as he could muster, and then he looked around to find a rope or a ladder. But of course there were not any ropes and ladders lying about, so that kind old gentleman rabbit peeped over the edge of the hole and called down again, "Keep up your courage! We'll get you out!"
Although he didn't know how he was going to do it, and neither do you and neither do I and neither does the printer man.
Well, after a while, and it was quite a long while, too, Billy Bunny found a wild grapevine which he let down into the hole. "Make a loop and put it around your waist and Uncle Lucky and I will haul you out," he called down, and then Mr. O'Hare did as he was told, and after the two little rabbits had pulled and pulled until their breath was almost gone, Mr. O'Hare's head appeared at the top of the hole.
And then with one more big pull they brought him out safely, although his waist was dreadfully sore because the grapevine had cut into his fur and squeezed all the breath out of him.
"I'm going to complain to the street cleaning department or the first policeman I see," said Mr. O'Hare. "It's a dreadful thing to have a hole like this right in the middle of the Friendly Forest Trail."
"Never mind that," said Billy Bunny, "let's go back to the Luckymobile. It will be late before we get out of the woods and maybe the electricity will all be gone and then we can't light the lamps, and maybe we'll be arrested."
And this is just what happened. They had only gone a little ways when they heard a voice say:
"Stop your motor car, I say, You have no lamps to light the way. Come, stop your car and get right out! Listen, don't you hear me shout? Stop your car or I will shoot. Don't try away from me to scoot!"
"We don't intend to," said Uncle Lucky, and he put on the brake and the Luckymobile came to a standstill. And there in the road stood a big Policeman Cat, with a club and gold buttons on his coat and a big helmet, and his number was two dozen and a half.
"Get out of your car," he commanded, which means to say something sternly, but before the two little rabbits obeyed, something happened, but what it was you must wait to hear in the next story.
BILLY BUNNY AND THE POLICEMAN CAT.
Well, I'm glad to say it was something nice that happened just as I left off in the last story. You remember the Policeman Cat had arrested Billy Bunny and his Uncle Lucky.
Well, just as that Policeman Cat lifted his club to tickle Uncle Lucky's left hind foot, a big elm tree began to bark and of course the Policeman Cat was nearly scared to death. He thought it was a dog, you see, and instead of tickling dear, kind Uncle Lucky with his club, he turned tail and ran off down the road.
And he ran so fast that he left his number behind and Uncle Lucky picked it up and put it on the automobile, and after that they asked two little fireflies to sit inside the lamps and make them shine, for you remember the electricity had all burned up.
Well, after a while, they came to a turn in the road and, goodness gracious! before they could stop the automobile they ran into a milk wagon. And, oh, dear me! there was whipped cream all over the place, and Billy Bunny and Uncle Lucky looked like two little cream puffs.
And I suppose you are wondering where the driver of the milk wagon was all this time. And so were Uncle Lucky and Billy Bunny, and if you'll wait a minute I'll tell you, as soon as my typewriter behaves itself, for it got so excited when Luckymobile ran into the milk wagon that it caught my thumb and pinched it.
Well, pretty soon, after Uncle Lucky had looked behind the moon and Billy Bunny into all the empty milk cans and one full one, they found the driver up in a weeping willow tree.
"I'll come down if you'll promise not to run over me," he said, for he was nearly frightened to death and looked dreadfully funny, for one of the milk can covers had fallen on his head.
"I thought he would be mad as a hornet," whispered Billy Bunny to his rabbit uncle.
"But where's my horse?" said the milkman when he reached the ground. So they all looked around and everywhere else, but they couldn't find him until they looked up into another weeping willow tree. And there was the poor horse high up in the branches.
"Oh, I'll come down from this willow tree, If you'll promise me just one thing, And that is never again to say: 'Gid-ap' as you drive me along the way, For I always go the best I can; I'm a faithful friend to every man, So please don't hurry me so, For I'm not trying to go too slow."
"All right, my good old horse," said kind Uncle Lucky. "Your master shall give me his word." So the horse jumped down and the willow tree stopped weeping right away, for it was so glad that the poor old milk horse was never again to be hurried on his way. And in the next story I'll tell you why.
BILLY BUNNY AND THE GRAY MOUSE.
You remember in the last story how the Luckymobile had run into a milk wagon? Well, after Billy Bunny had helped the milkman hitch up his horse and Uncle Lucky had filled the milk cans with ice cream and soda water from a near-by candy store, so as not to have all the little boys and girls disappointed at breakfast when they didn't get their milk, our two little rabbit friends got into the Luckymobile and started off again.
Well, it was still evening, you know, and the little fireflies who had crawled into the lamps made them as bright as possible, so it wasn't hard to steer the automobile. And, after a while, maybe a mile, they came to a house, where lived a gray mouse, all alone by herself in a hole near a shelf, where cake and mince pies made her open her eyes, for they looked, oh, so good, as a pie or cake should.
Now I didn't know I was going to write poetry or I should have let my hair grow long like a poet instead of going to the barber for a shave.
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