BILLY BUNNY





STORY XXXIV.

BILLY BUNNY AND JENNY MUSKRAT.

Well, I played pinochle with Uncle Lucky Lefthindfoot last evening and it was so late when I got home that I overslept myself this morning.

And maybe I'd have slept all day if Robbie Redbreast hadn't come to my window and told me that Billy Bunny was reading a letter which I told you about in yesterday's story and that every time he turned a page he laughed harder than ever.

Well, I was so curious to know what he was laughing at that I told Robbie Redbreast to fly back to him and look over his shoulder and see what was in the letter while I hurried and dressed as fast as I could, and when I was all ready to go into the Friendly Forest where the little rabbit was, I saw him coming toward me with the letter in his hand and the little robin perched upon his knapsack.

"Good morning," he said and handed me the letter, and now you shall hear what was written to Mr. William Bunny, Brier Patch, Old Snake Fence Corner, U. S. A., care of Uncle Sam!

"My dear Billy Bunny:

"Just a few lines from your old friend the Circus Elephant to tell you that he is coming to see you as soon as he gets over the measles. If you've never had the measles, dear Billy Bunny, don't get them, for they are dreadful things for there's so many of them.

"Please give my love to Mr. Lucky Lefthindfoot and tell him as soon as
I'm well, I'll be back in his circus.

"Your friend,

"Elly."

And as soon as I'd read the letter the little rabbit put it in his pocket and hopped away and by and by he came to a little stone house by a river. And before I go any farther I'll just whisper to you how I know all this.

You see, the little robin told me all about it, for he and I are great friends and his nest is in the old apple tree just under my window.

Well, pretty soon, after looking all around, Billy Bunny knocked on the door of the little stone house and in a few minutes it was opened by a nice lady muskrat, whose name was Jenny Eva.

"How do you do, little rabbit," she said, and then she invited him in and gave him a cookie made out of carrot seeds and pumpkin flour. And after that he showed her the letter from his friend, the circus elephant, and just then, all of a sudden, the front door flew open and in came the miller's dog.

And, oh, dear me! Mrs. Jenny Eva Muskrat forgot all about her society manners and ran down the back stairs into the river and the little rabbit forgot to say good-by and hid himself in a big hat box where she kept her last year's Easter bonnet. And then, what do you suppose the miller's dog did? Why, he began to sing:

    "Old Mrs. Muskrat jumped into the river,
     Splasherty, splasherty, splash!
     And little boy rabbit jumped into the box,
     That held her best bonnet and trampled upon it.
     Masherty, masherty, mash!"

And in the next story you shall know what the miller's dog did when he stopped singing, that is, if Robbie Redbreast isn't too frightened to look into the window and tell me all about it.



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