As soon as the Brown Horse heard that whistle which I mentioned in the last story, but couldn’t tell you what kind of a whistle it was because I had no more room, he jumped clear across the brook which was close by and never stopped running until he found himself once more in his own stable.
And then before Billy Bunny could even say “Call me up on the telephone,” or “Won’t you lunch with me to-morrow,” of course the Brown Horse was out of sight. So the little rabbit waited a minute to see if he could hear the strange whistle again, and sure enough he did, and it was right close to him this time, and when he looked around there stood the Miller’s Boy.
And before Billy Bunny could hop away something hard hit him on the head and he rolled over on the ground and didn’t wake up until he found himself rolled up in the Miller Boy’s jacket, and oh, dear me! The Miller’s Boy was walking home as fast as he could and there was our dear little Billy Bunny wrapped up like a Christmas present so that he couldn’t even wiggle his left ear.
“Oh, mercy me!” cried the little rabbit, “I’m a goner now as sure as Monday comes after Sunday and sunshine after rain and a stomach ache after eating green apples!”
And then he tried to squirm about, but the Miller’s Boy squeezed all the harder, so Billy Funny decided to keep quiet, for he didn’t want to have all his breath squeezed out of him, you know.
Well, by and by, as the Miller’s Boy walked along, the jacket slipped a little under his arm, and then Billy Bunny saw a little light through the arm sleeve. And before you could say “Jumping cats!” he pushed through the sleeve and down to the ground and hopped away, free as a bird in the air or a fish in the ocean.
And I’m so glad that I’m going to say “Hip, hip, hurrah!” just as loud as I can, for if there is anybody I hate it is that Miller’s Boy. Ever since I started to tell you about Billy Bunny he has been trying to catch this dear little rabbit and this time I certainly thought he had. And now that Billy Bunny is safe I’m so happy I could shout again.
Go home you horrid Miller’s Boy,
Who’s always trying to annoy
The Friendly Little Forest Folk
By trying every kind of joke.
Go home and tie the bags of meal
And never try again to steal
A little rabbit on his way,
Who’s always cheerful all the day.
Well, after the little rabbit had hopped for maybe a mile or three, he thought he was safe, and so he stopped to rest, and I would tell you right now what he did, only I must stop so as to get this story in the paper in time for tonight, so pleasant dreams and happy wakening.