Now Danny had always been delighted to see Unc’ Billy Possum and to have a chat with him whenever Unc’ Billy would stop. But this morning no sooner did Danny hear Unc’ Billy’s voice than he turned his back to Unc’ Billy. This was more than Unc’ Billy could stand. He reached out to take Danny Meadow Mouse by the ear to turn him around, but somehow Danny must have guessed what Unc’ Billy meant to do, for without a word he ducked out of sight under the long grass, and hunt as he would Unc’ Billy couldn’t find him.
So Unc’ Billy Possum gave it up and went on down to the Smiling Pool. There Little Joe Otter and Billy Mink and Jerry Muskrat were at play. They saw Unc’ Billy coming, and when he reached the bank of the Smiling Pool there sat the three little scamps on the Big Rock, but all he could see was their backs.
“Hello, yo’alls!” shouted Unc’ Billy.
Splash! All three had dived into the Smiling Pool, and though Unc’ Billy waited and waited, he didn’t see one of them again. Even Grandfather Frog turned his back to him and seemed very deaf that morning, though Unc’ Billy tried and tried to make him hear.
All day long, wherever he went, Unc’ Billy saw only the backs of his friends, and none of them seemed to see him at all. So he went home to his hollow tree in the Green Forest early that day to try and study out what it all meant.
UNC’ BILLY POSSUM CONSULTS OL’ MISTAH BUZZARD
Ol’ Mistah Buzzard has very sharp eyes. Nobody has sharper eyes than he. Swinging ’round and ’round and ’round and ’round in great circles way up in the blue, blue sky, so high that sometimes he looks like nothing but a little speck, he looks down and sees everything going on in the Green Meadows and a great deal that goes on in the Green Forest. There is very little that Ol’ Mistah Buzzard misses. So all the day that Unc’ Billy Possum had been tramping over the Green Meadows and through the Green Forest and finding everybody’s back turned to him, Ol’ Mistah Buzzard had been watching and laughing fit to kill himself. You see he knew all about Bobby Coon’s visit to all the little meadow and forest people, and how Bobby had whispered in the ear of each that Unc’ Billy Possum was partly to blame for all the trouble they had had lately.
Ol’ Mistah Buzzard watched Unc’ Billy go home and sit down with his chin in his hands and study and study, just as if he had something on his mind. By and by Unc’ Billy looked up in the sky where Ol’ Mistah Buzzard was sailing ’round and ‘round. Then Unc’ Billy hopped up mighty spry.
“Ah reckon Unc’ Billy ‘lows he’ll make me a visit,” said Ol’ Mistah Buzzard with a chuckle, as he slid down, down out of the sky to the tall dead tree in the Green Forest, which is his favorite roosting-place. He hadn’t been there long when Unc’ Billy Possum came shuffling along, just as if he was out walking for his health.