Well, after Billy Bunny had said good-by to Mrs. Cow he hopped across the Pleasant Meadow till he came to the Old Barn Yard. And as soon as the Weathercock saw him you should have heard him crow. Yes, sireemam.
He crowed like a regular old-fashioned everyday rooster, and this made all the hens and chickens look up, and then, of course, they saw Billy Bunny. And they were so glad to see the little rabbit they forgot to wonder how the Weathercock could grow.
I guess the only person who wasn’t glad to see little Billy Bunny was Mr. Sharptooth Rat. He peeked out of his hole and scowled, but the little rabbit didn’t care, for nobody liked Mr. Sharptooth Rat, anyway.
Well, by and by, just as little Billy Bunny was looking in Henny Jenny’s nest to see what a lot of lovely eggs she had, who should come along but the Miller’s Boy, and as soon as he saw the little rabbit he gave a yell and tried to catch him.
The chickens tried to get in his way, and Cocky Docky even tried to trip him up, but the Miller’s Boy didn’t stumble a bit. No, siree! He almost caught Billy Bunny, but as long as he didn’t it’s all right, although he scared the little rabbit nearly to death.
If the Miller’s Boy had had his gun with him, or even his dog, I’m afraid there would have been no more Billy Bunny stories.
“Oh, pshaw!” said the Miller’s Boy, as the little rabbit squeezed through a hole in the hen-house and hopped away. “I should like to have caught that little rabbit!” Then Cocky Docky began to crow, he was so glad he hadn’t.
But Billy Bunny didn’t stop for anything, he was so scared, and pretty soon he found himself in the Friendly Forest under the tree where Parson Owl lived. It was a long time since Billy Bunny had seen the old gentleman owl, so he stopped and looked up into the branches.
But oh, dear me! Instead of seeing the blinky-winky friendly face of old Parson Owl he saw a pair of yellow eyes and a big red mouth with sharp teeth. And then down from the tree jumped a wildcat and meowed in a dreadful way.
“Oh, please, Mrs. Wildcat, let me go,” cried the little rabbit, and he looked around for a hollow stump to hide in or a hole to crawl into, but there wasn’t anything like that in sight. So he turned to the cruel wildcat and said, “Please don’t bite me!” And then he opened his knapsack and took out a big, round doughnut, the kind with a big hole inside, you know, and gave it to the wildcat.
“Take it home to your wild kittens instead of me, won’t you please, Mrs. Wildcat?” And would you believe it, she said she would, for it pleased her to think that little Billy Bunny would give her a doughnut for her kittens, for no one else had ever done that before, you see.