“Early to rise, early to rise, Will make little bunny boys win the first prize,” sang Mrs. Bunny at the foot of the stairs. And then Billy Bunny lifted up his left hind leg and his right ear, and he wiggled his nose forty times less once, and after that he was wide awake.
And when he had washed his face and whiskers, and parted his hair down his back nice and smooth, he went down to eat his breakfast of carrot mush and raspberry juice which his kind mother had made from the fruit that grew in the old bramble patch. And then, oh yes, oh yes! he polished the brass knob on the front door, and after that he went down to the postoffice to see if a new spring mattress had come by parcel post.
But it hadn’t, and the postmistress, who was a nice Lady Hornet, said it was a bit early in the season for spring mattresses, but she thought by next month it would come along, that is, if the weather kept nice and warm.
Well, anyway, she had something for the little rabbit. It was a letter with two carrot cents postage due, which the little bunny paid.
And then he opened his letter, and what do you think he found inside? Why, a beautiful tinted photo of his circus elephant friend, and on the back was written in purple ink, “To Billy Bunny, from Elly, the circus elephant.”
“Now, isn’t that nice of him,” said Billy Bunny. “I must send him mine right away,” so he hopped away to the nearest photographer, who was a nice Crane and had his place in Rabbitville about 450 hops away.
By and by Billy Bunny reached the picture gallery, and after he had told the Crane photographer what he wanted he sat down on a little green mossy rock in front of a big canvas painted like the ocean with big green waves and white foam.
And all around the rock was sprinkled sand so that when the picture was taken it looked just as if the little bunny had been to Newport for the summer.
“How many do you want?” asked the Photographer Crane, who was certainly a splendid picture man, for his legs were just the right length so that he could look into the back of the camera without standing on a stool.
And, wasn’t it funny, you couldn’t tell his legs apart from the legs of the camera, only the camera had three and the Crane only two.
“I’ll take seven,” said the little rabbit. “That’s my lucky number. I want to send one to Mr. Lucky Lefthindfoot; he’s my Uncle Lucky.”
“And one to my friend, the circus elephant, for he’s my best friend. It will make Daddy Fox mad to think he wasn’t here at the same time, for he’s always trying to catch me.”
And just then who should peep in through the window but Daddy Fox himself. And in the next story you shall hear what happened after that.