BILLY BUNNY AND TING-A-LING TELEPHONE.
Ting-a-ling went the telephone bell in Uncle Lucky Lefthindfoot's house, the kind old gentleman rabbit who was the uncle of Billy Bunny, you know.
And I only say this right here in case some little boy or girl should read this story without having seen all the million and one, or two, or three that have gone before.
So Uncle Lucky jumped out of the hammock where he had been swinging up and down on the cool front porch of his little house in Bunnytown, corner of Lettuce avenue and Carrot street, and hopped into the library and took down the receiver and said "Helloa! This is Mr. Lucky Lefthindfoot talking."
"Is that you, Uncle Lucky?" answered a voice at the other end of the wire. "This is Billy Bunny, and I'm lost in the Friendly Forest." "What!" cried the old gentleman rabbit, and he got so excited that he put the wrong end of the receiver to his left ear and got an awful electric shock that nearly wiggled his ear off. "Where are you now?"
"I don't know," replied his small nephew. "I'm lost, don't you understand?"
"Gracious, goodness mebus!" exclaimed the old gentleman rabbit, "then how am I to find you?"
"I don't know, but please do," said Billy Bunny sorrowfully, "for I'm dreadfully hungry, and I haven't got a single lollypop or apple pie left in my knapsack."
"Well, you just stay where you are and I'll get into the Luckmobile and find you," replied the old gentleman rabbit as cheerfully as he could, although he didn't know how he was going to do it, and neither do I, and neither do you, but let's wait and see.
So pretty soon, in a few short seconds, Uncle Lucky was tearing along the dusty road toward the Friendly Forest, and by and by he came to the house where his cousin, Mr. O'Hare, lived. So he stopped the automobile and knocked on the door, and as soon as Mr. O'Hare opened it, he said: "Jump in with me, for my little nephew is lost and I want you to help me find him."
So away they went into the Friendly Forest, and they looked all around, but, of course, there was no little rabbit that looked like Billy Bunny anywhere in sight. So Uncle Lucky and Mr. O'Hare got out, and after tying the automobile to a tree, they set out in different directions to find the little bunny. And Uncle Lucky went along a little path and Mr. O'Hare followed a small brook, and after a while the old gentleman rabbit heard a bird singing:
a little rabbit
A-sitting by a tree,
And I should say he'd lost his way—
That's how he looked to me."
"Where did you see him?" asked Uncle Lucky excitedly. But what the little bird replied you must wait to hear in the next story.