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
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?
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.