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- Billy Bunny and Uncle Bull Frog - 5/14 -
Some jumped into the Pool and some ran up the trees, and, oh, dear me! everybody got all out of tune, and the bear lost the air and couldn't find it again!
And just then who should come along but a peddler with a pack of tin cans, rattling away on his back, and of course he made more noise than all the singing school put together.
And when the big bear saw him he was so angry that he jumped from behind a tree and said, "Boo!"
"Do you want to buy a tin plate?" asked the peddler, trying hard not to be frightened, "or would rather have a dishpan?"
"Don't want either," said the bear with a terrible growl.
"Perhaps you'd like a nutmeg grater," said the poor old peddler, and he was so frightened by this time that his knees knocked into the tin pans and made a dreadful noise.
"I've a dandy egg beater," went on the peddler, in a trembling voice, but after that he never said another word, for that great big bear jumped right at him and took the egg beater out of his hands and growled so terribly that the tin peddler turned away and ran down the forest path as fast as he could go.
And then all the little and big forest folk began to sing:
"Hip, hip hurray, the peddler's gone away. No more he'll make his tin pans shake And spoil our singing school beside the Forest Pool."
And in the next story, if the baby who lives in the house opposite doesn't shake his rattle at me all night so that I can't get to sleep and dream about the next story in time to write it for to-morrow night, I'll tell you more about the little rabbit's adventures.
BILLY BUNNY AND THE RABBITVILLE "GAZETTE."
There was once a little rabbit Who was very fond of pie, Apple pie, with sugar on the crust. And he had a little habit, When his mother wasn't nigh, Of eating apple pie until he bust.
This is what Mr. William Bunny, the little rabbit's father, you know, was singing one day, and the reason was because Mrs. Bunny had found little Billy Bunny in the pantry.
And what happened to the little rabbit I'm not going to tell you, for it is so sad that it would make you weep to hear it.
"All day he nibbled pie Till at last I thought he'd die," Said the doctor with a sigh.
And then Mr. William Bunny looked at his small son and sighed, too, for he had just paid the doctor's bill.
"Please don't sing any more," said little Billy Bunny. "Don't you remember the doctor said I was to be kept quiet?"
So Mr. William Bunny went out on the porch to smoke a cigar and read the Rabbitville "Gazette" until after supper time.
And while he was reading Mrs. Bunny looked over his shoulder and read: "Wanted, a secondhand automobile in good condition."
"Ring up your Uncle Lucky on the telephone," she called to Billy Bunny. "Here's a chance for him to sell his Luckymobile." So the little rabbit rang up 000 Lettuceville, and in a few minutes he heard the old gentleman's voice at the other end of the wire.
"But I don't want to sell my Luckymobile," he said. "It's the only one in ex-is-tence," which means the only one ever made, and I guess he was right, for I never rode in a Luckymobile, did you?
"But mother thinks you ought to sell it," said Billy Bunny, "and so does father, for they both say you'll have a terrible accident some day if you don't look out."
"Well then, I'll look out," said Uncle Lucky with a laugh. "But I won't sell my Luckymobile." And then he asked Billy Bunny to make him a visit. So the little rabbit put on his knapsack and picked up his striped candy cane and started off, after first asking his mother's permission, of course.
And after he had gone for maybe a million Hops, he came to a big tree where Old Barney the Owl had his next. But of course, he wasn't awake. Oh, my, no. He had his eyes tightly closed, for owls don't like a bright light, you know. They can see in the dark but not in the daytime.
But when Billy Bunny called out, "Helloa, Mr. Barney," the old gentleman owl blinked his eyes and said, "Who's calling me?" And then the little rabbit thought he'd play a joke, so he said, "Mr. Mouse!"
And if there was anything that Old Barney loved to eat, it was mice. And in the next story I'll tell you what Billy Bunny did.
BILLY BUNNY AND MR. MOLE.
You remember in the last story I promised to tell you what Billy Bunny did when Old Barney the Owl asked him, "Who's there?" and the little rabbit replied, "Mr. Mouse," just to fool him, you know. Well, after that
Old Barney the Owl Gave a terrible scowl As he looked at little Bill Bunny. You thought you were wise, But my blinky old eyes Can see you are not a bit funny. I can see from my house You are not Mr. Mouse.
And then the old blinkerty, winkerty owl flopped down to the ground and tried to catch the little rabbit. But Billy Bunny was too quick for him. He jumped into a hollow stump before you could say "Jack Rabbit!"
"Come out of there," cried Old Barney, in a screechery, teachery voice, but you just bet the little bunny didn't. He knew what would happen if he did.
Well, by and by, after a long while, he looked around, and, would you believe it, he found a little pair of stairs. So down he hopped until he came to a door on which was painted in red letters: "Mr. Mole, Subway Contractor."
Then the little rabbit knocked on the door and pretty soon it was opened and there stood Mr. Mole himself.
"What do you want?" he asked, trying to squint out of his little tiny eyes that were hidden all over with hair.
"It's me--Billy Bunny," replied the little rabbit. "Mr. Owl tried to catch me and I hopped into your hollow stump entrance, but I haven't got a ticket for the subway."
"Well, you can come in anyway," said the kind old mole; "my subway isn't finished yet and the trains won't be running for some time. Come in." So Billy Bunny hopped inside and sat down on a chair close to a little brass railing, behind which stood Mr. Mole's desk.
Then Mr. Mole sat down and looked at Billy Bunny as much as to say, "And now what can I do for you?" So Billy Bunny said, "I would like to get up on the ground again. Can you show me a new way, because I don't want to go back the way I came?"
Then Mr. Mole pressed a little bell, and in came a mole with overalls on and a little pickaxe. "Show my friend, Mr. Billy Bunny, through the tunnel to the Moss Bank entrance."
"Thank you," said the little rabbit, and he hopped after the workman mole until they came to an opening. And when the little rabbit got outside once more he found himself on a mossy bank where blossomed a lovely bed of violets.
So he picked a bouquet for himself and stuck it in his buttonhole, and after that he hopped away singing a song. And if Robbie Redbreast hadn't heard it I never would have been able to tell it to you. Wasn't it lucky that the little robin sang it to me this morning while I was still in bed? Because, if he hadn't, how would I have ever learned it?
Over the clover and over the grass Hoppity, hop, I go; Over the leaves from the autumn trees And over the soft white snow, With a whistle and song I go hopping along, I'm Billy Bunny, you know.
BILLY BUNNY AND THE WATER SNAKE.
"Over the grass or over the snow, Fast as a little white breeze I go. I'm Billy Bunny, Billy Bunny, you know."
Thus sang the little rabbit even after I left off in last night's story. Isn't it strange? Maybe I dreamed it. Anyhow, that's what I
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