POOR JIMMY MINK
As soon as Little Rabbit had told the old gentleman frog to watch out for the Miller’s Boy, he hopped along by the Bubbling Brook, as it wound in and out among the trees of the Shady Forest or went splashing over rocks and fallen logs. All of a sudden he met Jimmy Mink. But, oh dear me! What was the matter with Jimmy Mink? He was hobbling on three legs. What could be the matter?
“Helloa, there, Jimmy Mink,” shouted the little rabbit.
“What makes you walk on three legs,
When you can walk on four?
I didn’t know that you had been
A soldier in the war.”
“I haven’t,” replied Jimmy Mink. “I got caught in a trap,” and he lifted up his right foreleg.
“Why, your foot’s gone!” gasped the little rabbit. “Isn’t that dreadful?”
“Yes, it’s pretty bad,” answered Jimmy Mink. “But the only way I could free myself was to bite off my foot.”
“Oh! oh! oh!” cried the little rabbit, sorrowfully. “Tell me how it happened.” So Jimmy Mink explained how one day when he had crept out of his little house under the bank of the Bubbling Brook, he had seen a nice fat trout on an old log. “There was a queer looking iron thing there, too,” he said, “but I didn’t think anything about that. But, oh dear me! When I picked up the trout, something snapped and my leg was caught fast. Oh, how it pinched! I pulled and pulled. But I couldn’t get away. Then I tried to bite the iron thing that held my foot, but I couldn’t break it. So at last I gnawed off my foot.”
“Whew!” whistled the little bunny through his teeth. “I never could do that. My, but you’re a brave fellow.”
“There’s the iron thing over there,” said Jimmy Mink, pointing to a trap that lay on an old log close to the bank. The little rabbit hopped over and looked at it. And, sure enough, pinched in between the jaws of the cruel trap was Jimmy Mink’s little black foot.
“But I’ve learned my lesson,” said Jimmy Mink. “Next time if I want trout, I’ll catch him in the water, not on top of a log,” and he jumped into the pool and swam away. Then the little rabbit hopped along the Shady Forest Trail, but he couldn’t forget poor little Jimmy Mink.
Well, after a while, all of a sudden, he heard a great chickering and chirring overhead. Around and around the trunk of the tree went two bodies, one a yellowish brown, about as large as a cat, and the other gray, with a long bushy tail.
Up to the top they went as fast as lightning, around and around, corkscrew fashion, and then down they came to the ground and before his yellowish brown enemy could catch him, Twinkle Tail dashed into a crack between two stones.