Well, as soon as Billy Bunny finished eating the apple pie which he had just gotten away from the bad crow who had stolen it, as I told you in the last story, he shouldered his knapsack and picked up his striped candy cane and then he set off once more on his journey of adventure.
And by and by he came to a telegraph pole where three little sparrows were swinging back and forth. And when they saw the little rabbit they cried out all together: “Helloa, Billy Bunny!”
“Who’s telephoning to me?” asked the little rabbit, for he hadn’t looked up, you see, and, of course, didn’t know that the little sparrows were sitting on the wires.
And when the three little birds saw that he didn’t know who was talking to him, they thought they’d have some fun and make believe some one was telephoning to the little rabbit. So one little sparrow said, in a deep, far-away kind of voice:
“Helloa! Helloa! Is this Billy Bunny of Snake Fence Corner?”
“Yes, this is Billy Bunny,” cried the little rabbit, getting all excited and wiggling his little pink nose so fast that one of the little sparrows got so dizzy looking at him that she had to hold on with her bill. Pretty soon he hopped up close to the telegraph pole and leaned his ear against it.
“Helloa! Helloa! Who’s calling me?
Please give the name, for I cannot see.
Who’s at the other end of the wire, please?
Excuse me a minute—I’m going to sneeze.”
And then Billy Bunny almost sneezed his head off, for the telegraph pole trembled so that it tickled his ear. And when you tickle a rabbit’s ear you are very likely to make him sneeze.
Just then the three little sparrows began to laugh and twitter, and this, of course, made the little rabbit look up. And when he saw them he knew, at once, they were playing a joke.
“So you were calling me on the telephone, were you?” he asked, trying not to get angry. For he was a very good-natured little bunny, as you well know by this time.
“Yes, we were,” said the littlest sparrow, “but please don’t feel badly about it. We were only in fun.”
“I thought perhaps it was my mother, that is all,” answered the little rabbit, “and I was worried for fear she might be anxious about me.”
“Oh, she isn’t worried,” said the largest sparrow. And the middling-sized sparrow—the one, you know, who hadn’t said a word as yet—spoke up:
“Your Uncle Lucky is, though. I was at his house this morning and the little sparrow who lives on his front porch told me that the old gentleman rabbit was wondering what had become of you.”
“Well, I’ll go right off now and make him a call,” said Billy Bunny. And in to-morrow night’s story I’ll tell you what happens next.