Bedtime Stories for Children
Billy Bunny's Unwelcome Visitor
The grapes are hanging on the vine
In purple bunches big and fine,
And yellow pumpkins on the ground
Are lying everywhere around.
Upon the forest floor of brown
The big ripe nuts come tumbling down,
And in the orchard as you pass
Ripe apples strew the tangled grass.
Yes, autumn was here and sweet scented summer was gone from the pleasant meadow. And all the little folk were busy getting their winter homes in readiness for the long cold months.
Mrs. Bunny was putting up crabapple jelly and preserved peaches and Mr. Bunny was storing carrots and cabbages away in the cellar of his little house in the Old Brier Patch.
But isn’t it strange, it always happens that when you are busy somebody calls and then you have to stop and talk?
Well, just as Mrs. Bunny took off the stove a steaming dish of peaches and set it out on the window sill to cool, Old Mother Magpie flew up.
“Busy, I see,” she said, lifting up the little cover to take a sip of the peach juice with her long black bill.
“You must put in more sugar, my dear Mrs. Bunny,” said the meddlesome old magpie, and then she undid her bonnet and sat down in the rocking chair.
“Oh dear me,” thought Mrs. Bunny to herself. “Now, I suppose she will stay for the rest of the afternoon.” Poor Mrs. Bunny sighed, for she really wanted to finish her preserving. And, anyway, she didn’t like Old Mother Mischief very much and neither did anyone else.
And then, who should come in but Professor Crow to tell Mrs. Bunny that her little Billy Bunny had missed a word in spelling that morning, and of course Mrs. Bunny had not wanted Old Mother Mischief to hear that, for she knew the meddlesome old magpie would tell everyone in the Friendly Forest and that would make her little bunny sad, indeed.
Well, as luck would have it, kind Uncle Lucky drove up just then and as soon as he came into the room Old Mother Mischief said she had to be going. You see, she was afraid of Uncle Lucky, for although, he was a kind, generous old gentleman rabbit
he had a will of his own and didn’t like the trouble that meddlesome folk could cause.
But it was not Uncle Lucky that spoke up, it was none other than old wise Professor Crow.
And this is what he said:
“Now let me say before you go,”
Exclaimed the wise Professor Crow,
“A magpie is a chatty bird
And often tells more than she’s heard.
In fact she talks so loud and long
You can’t tell if she’s right or wrong.”
This made Old Mother Magpie so angry that she put on her bonnet and flew out of the window without even saying goodbye.
And, then, do you know what they all did?
They all sat down at the table and ate peach preserves and studied Billy Bunny's spelling list.
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