Well, it was two or three days before Billy Bunny came across a poor person to whom he might give his twenty-dollar bill, and then Uncle Lucky wouldn’t let him. Wasn’t that strange?
But the reason, you see, was because it was a tramp, and Uncle Lucky said: “A tramp is a man who hates work, and anybody who hates work is his own worst enemy.”
And then he told Billy Bunny that if the tramp got the twenty dollars he’d hate work even more, so Billy Bunny put the money back into his pocket and later on he gave it to his dear mother. Which, I think, was the nicest thing he could have done.
“And now, my dear nephew,” said the kind old gentleman rabbit, “let’s go back to the Old Briar Patch, for I know your mother is lonely. You have been away so long.”
And then they turned the automobile toward Old Snake Fence Corner and by and by they saw Mrs. Bunny hanging out the clothes on the line, for it was Monday morning, which is wash-day in Rabbitville, just as it is in Newport and Hoboken.
And when Mrs. Bunny saw them she was so excited that she pinned her thumb by mistake to the clothesline with a clothespin, and couldn’t get away until Uncle Lucky pulled down the clothesline and Billy Bunny pulled off the clothespin.
“Where have you two been?” she asked when she had finished hugging her little bunny boy. But I won’t tell you what Billy Bunny told her, for you know it already and, anyway, it would take maybe two hundred and forty-nine and a half stories to do it. So we’ll leave Billy Bunny alone for a little while with his dear mother and go across the Pleasant Meadow to the Old Farm Yard to see how Cocky Docky and Henny Jenny are.
And maybe we’ll hear something nice about Ducky Doodles and Turkey Purky and Mrs. Cow, unless you’ve forgotten all about these old friends.
Well, it’s strange how news travels. Robbie Redbreast had seen Billy Bunny and Uncle Lucky drive up to the Old Brier Patch, and had flown over to tell the Weathercock on the Old Barn, who told Cocky Docky and then, of course, all the Barn Yard Folk knew that Billy Bunny was back again at the Old Brier Patch.
Then Ducky Doodle said he thought he’d go for a swim, and off he waddled to the Old Mill Pond. And as soon as he got there he told Uncle Bullfrog. But he didn’t tell the Miller’s Boy. No, siree! He didn’t want him to know, you may be sure.
And then, pretty soon, not so very long, Robbie Redbreast flew into the Friendly Forest and told Old Mother Magpie the news, and after that everybody knew that Mr. William Bunny had returned home from his travels. And that night the twinkle twinkle star shone right over the little rabbit’s room and sang:
The twinkle twinkle star will peep
At Billy Bunny fast asleep,
And send to him a pretty dream
Of silver fishes in a stream.