"Where did you get your red coat?" asked Little Jack Rabbit, looking up from the Old Bramble Patch.
"Oh, that's my secret," answered Red Bird from the Old Rail Fence. "There's been a legend in our family about it ever since the Flood."
"You don't say so," exclaimed the little rabbit.
"You've heard of the Great Flood, I suppose, that happened hundreds and hundreds of years ago?"
Little Jack Rabbit nodded. "I hope we don't get another to wash away the Old Bramble Patch."
"Well," continued Red Bird, "the legend is that one day, after it had been raining ever so long, when there was nothing but water all around and everybody in the ark was feeling very miserable, Mother Noah wrung her hands and said, 'Oh, dear! We'll all be lost. We'll never get ashore!'
"Just then my ancestor began to whistle, and the next minute a beam of sunshine broke through the clouds and settled upon him.
"'My dear, we are reproved,' said Father Noah. 'The little bird has more courage than we have. Hear him whistle.'
"Then everybody turned to look at the brave little whistler. He was so embarrassed that he BLUSHED—we were gray before that time, they say—blushed so very deeply that our feathers have never lost their bright red from that day to this."
"Well, well," exclaimed the little rabbit. "When do you go away for the winter?"
"I'm not going away—I'm going to stay right here," answered Red Bird.
"You'll find it pretty breezy up there," said Little Jack Rabbit with a twinkle of his pink nose.
"Oh, I don't know. I've got on my double-breasted red coat."
"But what will you find to eat when the berries are all gone?" asked the little rabbit.
"I'll pick up crumbs at the Old Farm House," replied Red Bird cheerfully.
"You've got a sunshiny disposition," said Little Jack Rabbit admiringly. "I guess your ancestors handed down something besides a red coat—some of that sunshine that turned his feathers red must have crept into his heart."
"I don't know," replied Red Bird.
"Maybe it doesn't make much difference how you got it, as long as you keep it," said the little bunny as he hopped back into the Old Bramble Patch to tell his mother all about it.