BILLY BUNNY





STORY XXVI.

BILLY BUNNY AND THE MERMAID.

Well, now we'll commence by saying that as soon as Billy Bunny and Uncle Lucky reached the coral island, where the lovely mermaid lived, for she had asked them to call, you remember, they got off the Whale, and, after asking him to wait for them while they made a little visit, sat down on the sand, and pretty soon the mermaid brought them each a lovely coral scarfpin, and the one she gave to Uncle Lucky was a little image of herself and the one she gave to Billy Bunny was a little fish.

Then the little rabbit opened his knapsack and took out a lovely apple pie and gave it to her. And she was so pleased that she ate it all up, and then she said, "I'll give you a lovely breast-pin made of beautiful coral for your mother, Mr. Billy Bunny, if you'll give me another pie."

So the little rabbit opened his knapsack and took out another fresh, juicy apple pie and placed the beautiful present for his mother carefully in the knapsack, and after that he ate a lollypop and Uncle Lucky drank a bottle of ginger ale, and then they said good-by and got aboard the Whaleship and sailed away.

And would you believe it? Dear, kind Uncle Lucky almost cried! You see, he had never seen a mermaid before, and he thought she was lovely, and I guess she was, for Uncle Lucky couldn't make a mistake, I'm sure, for he had travelled abroad and had seen lots and lots of beautiful lady bunnies.

"And now where are we going?" asked the little rabbit, but Uncle Lucky was too busy trying to find his other blue polka-dot handkerchief with which to wipe his eyes to answer.

And then he couldn't find it, and the reason was because he had given it to a Chinaman the day before, but he didn't remember that, for he was so miserable at leaving the beautiful mermaid.

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" sighed the old gentleman rabbit,

    "'Tis sad to part.
     My poor old heart
     Is nearly, nearly breaking;
     Alas! alas! that mermaid lass
     Has set my head a-shaking!"

And after that his old wedding stovepipe hat almost fell off his head, and it would have, I'm sure, if it hadn't been for the blue polka-dot handkerchief which he had tied over the top of it.

And just then, all of a sudden, the Whaleship bumped into a motor boat, and nearly upset it.

"What's the matter with your pilot?" screamed the man who was in the motor boat, and when Uncle Lucky looked over the side of the Whale he saw it wasn't a man at all, but the old Billygoat who owned the Ferryboat I told you about some umpty-leven stones ago.

"Excuse us, please," said the kind old gentleman rabbit, but what the Billygoat said I'll have to tell you in the next story, for there's no more room in this one.



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