“Don’ yo’all think that yo’all have joked enough?” asked Unc’ Billy, trying hard to keep from chuckling aloud.
A cry of “Thief” stopped right in the middle, and two sharp eyes looked down in surprise at Unc’ Billy.
THE MEETING OF TWO OLD FRIENDS
“Why, Unc’ Billy Possum! What are yo’all doing way up here?” cried the owner of the long tail and sharp eyes.
“This is mah home now. Ah done moved up here,” replied Unc’ Billy. “’Pears to me that the question is what am yo’all doing way off up here? Ah thought Ah sho’ly done hear your voice the other day, and Ah most wore mah po’ feet out looking fo’ yo’. Ah thought Ah was mistaken, but now Ah reckon that Ah was right, after all. My, but Ah am right smart glad to see yo’!”
“Thank yo’, Unc’ Billy,” replied the owner of the long tail and the sharp eyes.
“Ah reckon yo’ can’t be any more glad to see me, than Ah am to see yo’. Fact is, Ah was getting right smart lonesome. Ah done been lying low daytimes, because, yo’ know, Ah’m a stranger up here, and Ah was afraid that strangers might not be welcome in the Green Forest and on the Green Meadows.”
“‘Pears like if all Ah hear am true, that yo’ haven’t done much lying low nights. Ah reckon yo’ done make up fo’ those lonesome feelings. Yes, Sah, Ah reckon so. Mah goodness, man, yo’ done set everybody to running around like they was crazy!” exclaimed Unc’ Billy.
The owner of the long tail and sharp eyes threw back his head and laughed, and his laugh was like the most beautiful music. It made Unc’ Billy feel good just listening to it.
“Sammy Jay done moved away to the Ol’ Pasture since things were so unpleasant here because everybody said he screamed all night,” continued Unc’ Billy Possum. “He sat up all of one night just to make sho’ that he didn’t scream in his sleep, and he didn’t make a sound the whole night long. The next mo’ning everybody said that he had been screaming just the same, and po’ Sammy Jay just moved away. Yo’ ought to be ashamed to play such jokes.” Unc’ Billy grinned as he said it.
“Thief! thief!” came in Sammy Jay’s voice right out of the mouth of the owner of the long tail and sharp eyes. Then both little rascals laughed fit to kill themselves.
“Yo’ come over to my house,” said Unc’ Billy. “My ol’ woman sho’ will be right smart glad to see yo’, and she’s gwine to be powerful surprised, deed she am! She done been laughing at me fo’ a week, because Ah was sho’ Ah done hear yo’ that day.”
So off the two started to see old Mrs. Possum, and for the rest of that night Sticky-toes the Tree Toad listened in vain for the sound of his own voice when his lips were closed tight.