BILLY BUNNY AND THE GREAT NEWS.
Once upon a
So I've heard tell,
There lived a little rabbit
In a shady dell.
And on one side a clover patch,
Where red-topped clovers grew,
And 'tother side was lollypops
Of red and white and blue.
This is the song Mrs. Bunny sang one morning as she set to work to wash her little rabbit's white duck trousers, for it was Monday, and that is washday in Rabbitville, so they tell me.
And just as she was hanging them out on the line who should fly up but Old Mother Magpie, and, my! wasn't she excited. Why, she was so disturbed that her bonnet had fallen off her head and was hanging by the strings.
"Have you heard the news?" she asked, and she rolled off one of her black silk mitts and turned her wedding ring around three times and a half.
"Heard what?" asked Mrs. Bunny, putting the clothespin in her mouth instead of on the clothesline.
"Why, the Miller's boy has gone off to the war."
"Hurray!" shouted little Billy Bunny, who was polishing the brass door knob on the back door. "Hurray!"
"You ought to be ashamed of yourself," said Old Mother Mischief. "His poor mother is nearly crazy with grief."
"I'm sorry for her," said Mrs. Bunny, and she thought how thankful she ought to be that her little rabbit didn't have to shoulder a musket.
"Well, I'm glad he's going," said Billy Bunny. "He can shoot at something else now besides little rabbits."
Old Mother Magpie ruffled her feathers. "Well, if I had a boy like you I'd teach him not to glory over another person's grief," and then she flew away.
"I'm sorry for his mother," said Mrs. Bunny, "but the Miller boy will never be missed," and the clothespin fell out of her mouth and stood up in the grass like a little wooden soldier.
"Do you want anything at the store?" asked the little rabbit, after he had finished cleaning the door knob. "If you do, tell me, for I'm going by there."
"You can order a pound of carrot tea and some lollypops," answered his mother, and then Billy Bunny picked up his striped candy cane and set off for the village, and by and by he came to the post office and the nice lady postmistress called to him that there was a letter there addressed to Billy Bunny, Old Brier Patch, but what was written in it I'm not going to tell you now, for I must stop and play a game of pinochle with dear, kind Uncle Lucky, who just telephoned me to come over to his house and have a game with him this evening, and I mustn't keep him waiting another minute.