BILLY BUNNY AND RAGGED RABBIT.
Robbie Redbreast told me this morning he saw Billy Bunny hop out of the hollow stump where he had hidden with the little lady bunny, you remember in the last story, to escape from the two bad foxes.
Well, after he had looked all around to make sure they were gone, he said good-by to Miss Rabbit. And then, so Robbie Redbreast told me, he looked at his gold watch and chain, which his dear, kind Uncle Lucky had given him for a birthday present, and it was just thirteen o'clock.
"That's my lucky number," exclaimed the little rabbit; "maybe I'll find my fortune to-day." And he looked all about him, under a stone and behind a bush, but there wasn't any fortune in sight, not even a twenty-dollar gold piece. So he wound his watch and started off again; and by and by, not so very far, he came to a castle where lived a giant bunny whose name was "Ragged Rabbit" because he always wore torn and tattered clothes.
And when he saw Billy Bunny hopping along, he said, "Ha, ha. Ho, hum, I'll eat that little bunny as sure as I'm a foot high!" And as he was twenty-one feet high less or more, he surely thought he would.
"What did you say?" asked Billy Bunny, for his quick ears had caught the sound of the Ragged Rabbit's voice, but not the words.
"Oh, never mind," answered the Ragged Giant Rabbit. "Come and I'll show you my castle." And, oh, dear me. Billy hopped in and the big Giant Rabbit closed the door with a bang, and all the pictures on the walls almost fell down and the chandelier rattled like a milk wagon full of empty cans. But the little rabbit wasn't frightened. And could you guess what he did if I let you guess until to-morrow night?
Well, sir, that brave little bunny took his popgun out of his knapsack and shot it off, and it made a dreadful loud pop, and the big Ragged Rabbit said, "Oh, my! Was that a cannon?"
And then he laughed so loud that he broke a window pane and had to telephone right away to the plumber to have one put in.
"That's my pop-gun, Mr. Giant," said Billy Bunny, "and if you try to hurt me I'll shoot you." And then the Ragged Giant Rabbit laughed again, and this time the picture of his grandfather fell down and made a big dent in the floor.
"If you don't stop laughing," said the little rabbit, "you'll deafen me. Please only giggle." So the Giant Rabbit grew very polite indeed and only smiled, and then of course nothing was broken.
"Tell me who you are and where you are going and what time it is," he said, "and then I'll give you something to eat."
But before the little rabbit could reply a loud knocking came at the door, and so you'll have to wait to hear who was there until to-morrow, for I've no more room in this story.