Little Jack Rabbit threw himself against the door as soon as it closed on Featherhead. But Old Barney Owl had fastened the latch and it wouldn’t open. My! What a dreadful scuffling was going on inside.
“Open the door! Open the door!” shouted the little rabbit, pounding on the wooden panels with his strong hind feet. But Old Barney Owl paid no attention. Maybe he had all he could do to hold Featherhead.
By and by it grew very quiet and Twinkle Tail peeped in through the keyhole, but he couldn’t see anything.
“Oh, dear me!” cried Little Jack Rabbit. “Perhaps Old Barney Owl has eaten Featherhead!” Poor Twinkle Tail’s heart almost stopped beating. Maybe it would have if he had known that the old owl had dragged his little brother squirrel upstairs by the tail.
“Snowballs and eggs! Snowballs and eggs!” muttered Old Barney, shaking Featherhead until his teeth rattled. “You little rascal! You thought I couldn’t tell a snowball from an egg, eh?” and he gave the little squirrel another shake.
“Now I’m going to skin you and eat you for supper!”
Oh, dear me! How Featherhead trembled when he heard that.
Just then there came a tremendous crash downstairs, and as the old owl looked over the railing, Twinkle Tail and Little Jack Rabbit broke in the door.
“Help! Help!” shouted Featherhead.
“Rats and mice! Rats and mice!” cried Old Barney Owl, still keeping a tight hold on the little squirrel’s tail.
He knew there was going to be trouble, but he wasn’t going to let his supper get away from him without a fight, let me tell you. No, siree. Old Barney Owl was too hungry for that. But he changed his mind pretty quickly. Yes, siree. When Little Jack Rabbit let fly his hind feet, thumpty-thump, thumpty-thump! knocking the old owl head over heels, he changed his mind. He let go of Featherhead, and before he could change it again there was nobody in the house except himself.
Gracious me! How the Squirrel Brothers scurried home. And the little rabbit lost no time, either. He went to bed early and in the middle of the night, when Old Barney Owl went “Hooty, toot!” he shivered and pulled the bedclothes up over his head.
“Toot, toot, hoot!”
Old Barney plays his flute.
It sounds so shivery in the dark,
The firefly’s tiny gleaming spark,
Goes out because the firefly
Is frightened by the old owl’s cry.