Let me see. I left off in the last story just as little Billy Bunny was hopping down the Friendly Forest path. Well, he hadn’t gone very far when he saw old Professor Crow.
Now, the professor wasn’t very busy, you know, for school was over and there were no little people to teach how to crow—I mean how to read and write—so he had plenty of time to himself, and as soon as he saw the little rabbit he flew down from the tree and began to talk. “I’m sorry to have to tell you,” he began, “that my little boy, Blackie Crow, has the measles.”
And you know that’s a dreadfully uncomfortable kind of a thing to have, for you have to be so careful of your eyes. Now, when an owl gets the measles it doesn’t make so much difference, for they don’t want to go out in the sunlight, but with a crow, oh dear me and oh dear you! it’s the hardest thing in the world to keep in the dark, and Professor Crow gave a tremendous sigh and looked very sad.
“I’m very sorry for Blackie Crow,” said the little rabbit. “Won’t you tell him I’m sorry?” and then the generous little rabbit took a lollypop out of his knapsack and told Professor Crow to take it home to his little boy.
Wasn’t that nice? I think I know a little boy who would be glad to have the measles every day if he could get a lollypop.
And after that Billy Bunny shut up his knapsack and swung it over his shoulder and hopped away, and by and by, not so very long, he heard a little bird singing:
“Up in my nest I’ve five little birds,
Waiting for mother to feed them.
What would I do if I should lose two?
I’d be too unhappy to heed them.
So that is the reason I look everywhere
When I fly from my nest in the bright morning
And then she looked down at little Billy Bunny with his striped candy cane in his right paw and his knapsack over his shoulder.
And then she laughed out loud, and her laugh sounded just like music, for it was a mother bird’s laugh, you know, and that always has the music of love in it.
“Good morning, Mrs. Bird,” said the little rabbit. “I won’t hurt your little ones.”
“I know that,” said the mother bird, “for you are a kind little rabbit. But there are lots of four-footed little animals who are very unkind to birds, so that is the reason I sing this song to let them know that I am always watching over my nest.”
And after that Billy Bunny hopped away, but before he went he left a big piece of chocolate cake on a clean white stone for Mrs. Bird to crumble up for her little ones. Wasn’t that nice of the little rabbit, for he was very fond of chocolate cake, I know, for he once told me so.