Well, the Dogwood Tree in our yard was all right this morning. It hadn’t taken cold, and it was covered with lovely flowers, so I’m going to tell you some more about Billy Bunny, as I promised to in the last story.
Well, as soon as the wind king placed the beautiful ruby scarfpin in the little rabbit’s cravat he opened the door of his cave and gave a big puff, and away went Billy Bunny just like a bullet from a gun.
But he didn’t care, for he landed as nicely as you please on a mossy bank, and then he looked in the brook to see if the ruby scarfpin was still in his cravat, and then he looked around to see what he would do next. And just then a little wild canary began singing this song:
“I wouldn’t live within a cage,
I’d rather be wild and free;
Wherever I roam I’m always at home,
In forest or grassy lea.”
“And so am I,” cried Billy Bunny. “I’m a traveler; yes, I am.” And then the little canary flew down from the tree and said to the little rabbit: “I have a little yellow brother who has always lived in a cage. But he can’t get me to live with him. I love the trees and the tall grasses too much.”
“Where do you live?” asked the little rabbit.
“Come and see,” said the little canary, and he flew off, and by and by he pointed to his tiny nest.
“If I had a pair of wings,” laughed the little rabbit, “I’d be able to look inside and see what kind of furniture you have. But I’m only a four-footed little rabbit. Good-by!” and he hopped away, and by and by he came to a field of corn. But it was too early for the corn to be ripe, so the little rabbit opened his knapsack and took out an apple pie, for it was lunch time. And just as he was going to bite off a nice, big, juicy piece a big black crow flew down and snatched the pie away.
And this made Billy Bunny very angry. Oh, my, but he was mad. And then he opened his knapsack and took out his gun and before the thieving crow had flown off more than a mile he dropped that apple pie. Yes, sireemam. The cork bullet hit him right on the end of his bill, and then of course he couldn’t hold on to the pie any longer. And before he could fly down to pick it up the little rabbit was there.
“Oh, ho! Mr. Crow,
Do you like apple pie?
If so, better go
And buy one by and by.”
And this made the crow so angry that he flew over to a colored man who did whitewashing and asked him to paint him white. And in the next story you shall hear how Billy Bunny was fooled by three little sparrows.