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- Billy Bunny and Uncle Bull Frog - 6/14 -
think he did, and after a while, when he had stopped singing, you know, he came to a little hill on the top of which was a high white pole with an American Flag flying from it.
And underneath was a whole regiment of little Boy Bunny Scouts, dressed in khaki, with guns and caps and brass buttons and guns and drums and a captain and a fife, and I guess there were three or four fifes, and as soon as they saw the little rabbit, they all shouted, "Here comes Billy Bunny. Let's get him to join our regiment."
"I belong to the Billy Bunny Boy Scouts of Old Snake Fence Corner," replied the little rabbit. "I can't join your regiment." So he hopped along and by and by he came to a big white swan that was sailing up and down on a pond.
"Would you like to take a sail?" she asked, coming up close to the bank. "Because if you would, just hop on my back and I'll take you around the pond two times and maybe a half if you'll give me a lollypop."
So the little rabbit opened his knapsack and gave her one and then he hopped on her back and went for a lovely sail in and out among the pond lilies and little green grass islands.
Well, everything was going along beautifully when, all of a sudden, just like that, a big water snake came swimming by.
"Oh, don't let him swallow me," cried the little rabbit, and he took his popgun out of his knapsack and stuck the cork in the end.
"I'll shoot you on the tail if you touch me," he cried just as bravely as he could, but he nearly slipped off the swan's back just the same, he was so frightened.
"Don't you come any nearer," said the swan with a fierce hiss, but the snake didn't care. He swam around and around until the little rabbit got so dizzy that he had to hold on to the swan's neck.
"Please swim around the other way," pleaded the little rabbit, "you make me dreadfully dizzy. "But the bad water snake said he wouldn't, because that's just what he wanted Billy Bunny to be--so dizzy that he would fall into the water and then that dreadful water snake could swallow him and maybe a pond lily besides.
"Look here," said the swan, "if you don't stop making snakery circles all around me, I'll bite your head off with my big, strong beak." And then what do you think the little rabbit did? Why, he managed somehow to lift up his gun and shoot it off, and the cork hit the water snake on the end of the tail and gave him such a headache that he swam over to the long grass and ate watercress salad and a piece of lemon pie.
And while he was doing that the swan took the little rabbit to the other side of the pond and he hopped away so fast that he didn't tell me what he was going to do in to-morrow's story.
BILLY BUNNY AND THE PEACOCK.
Well, if it hadn't been for Robbie Redbreast who saw little Billy Bunny hopping away from the lily pond, as I told you in the last story, I never would have found out what he did after that, and so there would have been no story to-night. So the next time you see Robbie Redbreast, please thank him.
And now this is what he told me. After the little rabbit had hopped along for maybe a mile or three, he came to a high stone wall. "I wonder what's on the other side?" he said to himself, and then a beautiful peacock looked over and said: "I'll tell you, little rabbit.
"It's a beautiful garden where a fountain plays all day and the breezes sing all night and the flowers whisper and bow their heads."
"How can I get in?" asked the little bunny, "for I love flowers and I never heard a fountain play. What does it play?"
"Oh, all sorts of waterfall music," said the peacock, and he spread his beautiful tail out like a fan and brushed a little green fly off his nose. "It plays trills and rills and cascades and ripples and dipples."
And this made the little rabbit so curious that he hunted all around to find a gate in the high stone wall. And pretty soon, not so very long, he came to one, with big iron rods and curiously carved images of lions and dragons and animals with wings.
So he squeezed through and hopped up to the beautiful fountain where lots of little gold and silver fish swam around and around and the water fell in diamonds and rubies and emeralds, but he didn't know that it was Mr. Happy Sun who colored the water drops to make them look like precious stones.
"Please play me a tune," said the little rabbit. And then the beautiful peacock said, "What tune would you like?" and the little rabbit answered:
"Sprinkle, sprinkle, little star, Just a water drop you are. Twinkle, twinkle, drops of dew, With the sunlight shining through."
So the beautiful fountain played this little song while Billy Bunny sat there listening and the beautiful peacock spread his tail to catch the sparkle from the glittering drops of water. And then all the roses began singing:
Roses white and roses red, And roses yellow too, instead, And pretty lilies white as snow, And every other flower you know.
And after that Billy Bunny asked the peacock to sing a song, but when he started to sing, oh dear, oh dear. For you know just because a bird has beautiful feathers he may not have a beautiful voice, and the sounds the peacock made were dreadful.
Yes, indeed. And if the little rabbit hadn't skipped away he would have had to hold his paws over his ears, and then maybe he couldn't have stopped them up, for he had very large ears and very small feet.
BILLY BUNNY AND THE MARBLE DEER.
In the story before this I told you how the beautiful peacock sang a song which was dreadful, so very dreadful that little Billy Bunny had to hold his ears and run away from the lovely fountain.
Well, after he had hopped along for maybe a million hops or less, he came to a little deer on a smooth lawn. So he stopped and spoke to him, but the pretty little animal never said a word. He didn't even look at the little rabbit, so Billy Bunny touched him on the nose, but, oh, dear me! It was cold and hard, not at all like the nose of a real little deer.
But the little bunny didn't know it was a marble deer. He just thought it was alive, you see, and he was puzzled and didn't know what to do And then a lovely white dove flew down and said:
"He can't speak. He's only a statue."
"What is that?" asked the little rabbit, for he had never seen one before.
"Why, a statue is a figure carved out of marble or stone," answered the dove, and then she began to coo and comb her feathers with her bill.
"Well, I'll just hop along then," said Billy Bunny, and he said good- by. And after a while he came to a little house all covered with red rambler roses, so he looked inside to see who lived there, for he thought perhaps it might be a fairy who owned this beautiful garden with the lovely fountain and the wonderful peacock.
But there was no one inside, so he hopped in and sat down/on a small wicker chair and rocked back and forth. For it was a rocking chair, you know. And. by and by, he fell asleep and dreamed that the beautiful peacock was flying around the fountain and scattering the water drops all about with his mag-nif-i-cent tail. And then, all of a sudden, the little rabbit woke up, for somebody was saying:
"Isn't this a dear little bunny?" And Billy Bunny opened his eyes and saw a little girl with yellow curls leaning over him.
"Give him to me," said a boy's voice. And there stood a small boy dressed in a sailor suit and a big sailor hat on which was written, "Battleship Uncle Sam."
And then Billy Bunny knew it was time to be going. So he gave one big hop and maybe two million and a half little skips and jumps, and soon he was far away, and if he hadn't maybe that little boy would have put him in a cage or a big box and kept him shut up for a long time.
"Goodness!" said the little rabbit, "I must be more careful next time." And then something happened. A little hard ball hit him on the left hind foot, and a man's voice called out, "If it hadn't been for that pesky little rabbit I would have made that hole."
And the big man put his golf stick in the bag and watched Billy Bunny limp away to hide in the woods close by.
BILLY BUNNY AND THE FOREST DANCE.
When the moon is big and bright Little bunnies dance at night. How they hop and skip and go
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