BILL BUNNY AND BIG BEAR.
the Friendly Forest Pool
Is the Woodland Singing School.
Little Squirrel Bushy Tail
Sings the Do, Ray, Mee, Fa scale.
Uncle Bullfrog sings "Ker-chunk"
From his floating elm tree trunk.
And a big good-natured bear
Sings an old familiar air.
"It's time for your singing lesson," said Mrs. Bunny to her little rabbit. So Billy Bunny started off, hoppity hop, down the Friendly Forest trail, and by and by he reached the Pool where all the pupils came to take their singing lessons.
Mr. Grasshopper was there with his fiddle and the tree toad with his drum, and the lark with her flute and little Jenny Wren with her piano. And what do you suppose Billy Bunny had tucked away in his knapsack? Why, Uncle Lucky's automobile horn.
You see, the kind old gentleman rabbit was making a visit at the Old Brier Patch where he had taken his automobile after that dreadful wildcat had bitten the front tire, and this is how Billy Bunny came to get the horn.
Well, sir, after the music started, he pulled out his horn and gave a tre-men-dous honk on it, and everybody thought an automobile was going to run over him.
Some jumped into the Pool and some ran up the trees, and, oh, dear me! everybody got all out of tune, and the bear lost the air and couldn't find it again!
And just then who should come along but a peddler with a pack of tin cans, rattling away on his back, and of course he made more noise than all the singing school put together.
And when the big bear saw him he was so angry that he jumped from behind a tree and said, "Boo!"
"Do you want to buy a tin plate?" asked the peddler, trying hard not to be frightened, "or would rather have a dishpan?"
"Don't want either," said the bear with a terrible growl.
"Perhaps you'd like a nutmeg grater," said the poor old peddler, and he was so frightened by this time that his knees knocked into the tin pans and made a dreadful noise.
"I've a dandy egg beater," went on the peddler, in a trembling voice, but after that he never said another word, for that great big bear jumped right at him and took the egg beater out of his hands and growled so terribly that the tin peddler turned away and ran down the forest path as fast as he could go.
And then all the little and big forest folk began to sing:
hip hurray, the peddler's gone away.
No more he'll make his tin pans shake
And spoil our singing school beside the Forest Pool."
And in the next story, if the baby who lives in the house opposite doesn't shake his rattle at me all night so that I can't get to sleep and dream about the next story in time to write it for to-morrow night, I'll tell you more about the little rabbit's adventures.