BILLY BUNNY AND THE WATER SNAKE.
the grass or over the snow,
Fast as a little white breeze I go.
I'm Billy Bunny, Billy Bunny, you know."
Thus sang the little rabbit even after I left off in last night's story. Isn't it strange? Maybe I dreamed it. Anyhow, that's what I 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 tomorrow's story.