“Mah friends of the Green Forest and the Green Meadows, Ah wants yo’alls to know mah friend, Mistah Mocking-bird, who has come up from mah ol’ home way down in ‘Ol’ Virginny.’ He has the most wonderful voice in all the world, and when he wants to, he can make it sound just like the voice of any one of yo’alls. We uns is right sorry fo’ the trouble we uns have made. It was all a joke, and now we asks yo’ pardon. Mah friend Mistah Mockah would like to stay here and live, if yo’alls is willing,” said Unc’ Billy.
MR. MOCKER MAKES HIMSELF AT HOME
At first, when the little meadow and forest people were asked to pardon the tricks that Mr. Mocker and Unc’ Billy Possum had played, a few were inclined not to. While they were talking the matter over, Mr. Mocker began to sing again that wonderful song of his. It was so beautiful that by the time it was ended, every one was ready to grant the pardon. They crowded around him, and because he is good-natured, he made his voice sound just like the voice of each one who spoke to him. Of course they thought that was great fun, and by the time Unc’ Billy Possum’s moonlight party broke up, Mr. Mocker knew that he had made so many friends that he could stay in the Green Forest as long as he pleased.
But there were a lot of little people who were not at Unc’ Billy Possum’s party, because they go to bed instead of going out nights. Of course they heard all about the party the next morning and were very anxious indeed to see the stranger with the wonderful voice. So Mr. Mocker went calling with Ol’ Mistah Buzzard, and they visited all the little meadow and forest people who had not been at the party. Of course Mr. Mocker had to show off his wonderful voice to each one. When he had finished, he was tuckered put, was Mr. Mocker, but he was happy, for now he had made friends and could live on the edge of the Green Forest with his old friends, Unc’ Billy Possum and Ol’ Mistah Buzzard.
So he soon made himself at home and, because he was happy, he would sing all day long. And sometimes, when the moon was shining, he woke up in the night and would sing for very joy. Now Peter Rabbit thought the newcomer’s voice such a wonderful thing that he used to follow him around just to hear him fool others by making his voice sound like theirs. It was great fun. Peter and Mocker became great friends, and so when Peter heard it whispered around that Mr. Mocking-bird had not come by his wonderful voice honestly, he didn’t believe a word of it and was very indignant. Of course he couldn’t go to Mr. Mocker himself and ask him, for he didn’t want Mr. Mocker to know that such unkind things were being said. Finally he thought of Grandfather Frog, who is very old and very wise. “He’ll know,” said Peter, as off he posted to the Smiling Pool.
“If you please, Grandfather Frog, how does it happen that Mr. Mocker has such a wonderful voice and can make it sound like the voice of any one whom he hears?” asked Peter.