You remember in the last story that Billy Bunny gave the Wildcat a doughnut to take home to her little wild kittens, and that was why she didn’t take the little rabbit.
Well, as she walked off with the doughnut, Billy Bunny said to himself, “I’ll never, never be without a doughnut in my knapsack!” And I guess you would have said the same thing, too, if a doughnut had saved you from a wildcat!
After that the little rabbit hopped along through the Friendly Forest, and by and by he came to the Windy Cave. Now I know I’ve never told you about this cave before because Billy Bunny never happened to visit it, but now that he has I’ll tell you that it was strange sort of a place.
If you stood at the opening you could hear the winds moan and groan, and every once in a while a great gust would come out of the mouth of the great cave and almost blow you off your feet.
Well, sir, that’s just what happened to Billy Bunny. He no sooner stood right in front of the cave than a great blast of air knocked him off his feet and rolled him over thirty-three times and a half, and he would have rolled over thirty-four times even if a big log hadn’t been in the way.
And it was mighty lucky for the little rabbit that the log was there, for if it hadn’t been he would have rolled right over the edge of the mountain. Just think of that!
And just then a voice began to sing:
Oh, I’m the king of the windy cave
Where I have my windy throne.
And there I rule where it’s nice and cool
’Mid the glitter of precious stone.
And when the autumn days are come
I come forth with a lusty shout,
And strip the trees of their whispering leaves
And strew them all about.
And then all the trees began to shiver and shake, but the wind king only laughed, as he whispered to the little rabbit: “Don’t be afraid, Billy Bunny. I won’t hurt you. Come into my cave and I’ll give you a present!”
“What kind of a present?” asked the little rabbit, for he wasn’t going to be fooled, no sireemam!
“A big ruby pin!” said the wind king.
So the little bunny went inside the cave with the wind king, but he didn’t go in very far, for he was afraid.
“What’s the matter?” asked the wind king. “You’re not frightened, are you?”
“Not exactly,” said Billy Bunny, trying to keep his teeth from chattering. “I guess I’m cold!”
Then the king opened a door and, oh my! wasn’t it beautiful inside! The sides of the cave were diamonds and rubies and emeralds, and little gold and silver bells swung back and forth making a sweet kind of music.
“The little breezes are ringing the bells,” said the wind king, and then he took out of a moss cushion a beautiful ruby scarfpin and handed it to Billy Bunny. “Put it in your tie,” said the king, “and don’t you ever lose it.”
And in the next story if the dogwood tree in our yard doesn’t catch cold to-night and lose its bark, so it can’t scare the the pussy cat when she tries to climb up and catch the little robin in the nest, I’ll tell you about Billy Bunny and the Canary bird.