A Narrow Escape

Hear the engine whistle toot!
See the smoke and smell the soot!
Lucky that the train don't stay,
But flashes by and far away!

At first the Grown-ups in the Shady Forest and the Sunny Meadow were very sorry to have the railroad come so near, but after a while they found it didn't matter so much; for the cars passed through a "cut" so deep that the engine's smokestack hardly reached the top, and you only knew they were there by the sound.

Of course, it took Cousin Cotton Tail ever and ever so long to get used to the Old Bramble Patch. You see, it wasn't anything like the Old Brush Heap, with its covering of trailing vines, and she was glad when she was able to go back to her old home on the other side of the Bubbling Brook.

On this side the Sunny Meadow was just the same; so was the Shady Forest, and by and by everybody almost forgot that there had been a time when there wasn't any railroad.

At the Old Barnyard, however, things were very different, for the railroad made a turn just there and came in very close to the Big Red Barn.

Cocky Doodle had all he could do to keep the Barnyard Folk out of danger. Every morning after his early cock-a-doodle-do he read them a lesson on the dangers of crossing railroad tracks.

For a while Henny Penny laid her eggs in the Henhouse. The truth was that her nest in the corner of the Old Rail Fence happened to be just at the end of the Sunny Meadow where the railroad ran through the "cut," and the noise of the cars made her nervous.

Ducky Waddles was glad that the Old Duck Pond was still safe. He had heard how it had just escaped being bridged over for the noisy cars.

Yes, everyone kept away from the railroad track except Goosey Lucy. And why Goosey Lucy liked to waddle down the steep bank and along the hard wooden logs of the roadbed no one could find out.

But one fine day Goosey Lucy got caught. Yes, sir. Before she could get off the track the train came along. It was very narrow between the two steep banks, and she couldn't fly high enough to reach the top. Cocky Doodle and Henny Penny shut their eyes. They couldn't bear to see what was going to happen.

But Goosey Lucy wasn't such a goose, after all. She sat perfectly still between the rails, and when the train had passed over her, she got up, shook the cinders off her white feathers and waddled back to the Old Barnyard!


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