“No, indeed. I would be afraid when the wind blew and the nest shook.”
“It is ever so much nicer underground in our burrow,” continued Sammie.
“It certainly is,” agreed Susie, “but I s’pose that a bird would not like that. They seem to want to be high up in the air. But I don’t like it. Once I went away up on top of Farmer Tooker’s woodpile, because his gray cat chased me, and when I looked down I was very dizzy, and it was not as high as a tree.”
So the two bunny children hurried along, talking of many things, and, now and then, finding some nice sweet roots, or juicy leaves, which they ate. They paused every once in a while to look over the tops of little hills to discover if any dogs or hunters or ferrets were in sight, for they did not want to be caught.
At length they came to a little brook that was not far from their home. The edge of the stream had ice on it, for, though spring was approaching, the weather was still cold.
“Ah! There is some ice. I am going to have a slide!” Sammie shouted.
“You had better not!” cautioned his sister. “You might fall in.”
“I will keep close to the shore,” promised her brother, and he took a run and slid along the ice. “Come on!” he cried. “It’s fun, Susie.”
The little bunny girl was just going to walk out on the ice, when Sammie, who had taken an extra long run, slid right off the ice and into the water.
“Oh! Oh, Susie!” he screamed. “I’ve fallen in! Help me out!”
“What shall I do?” asked his sister, and she stood up on her hind legs and waved her little paws in the air.
“Get a stick and let me grab it!” called Sammie. “But don’t come too close, or you may fall in, too,” for Sammie was very fond of his sister, and did not want her to get hurt. He clung to the edge of the ice, and shivered in the cold water, while, with her teeth, Susie gnawed a branch from a tree. The branch she held out to her brother, who grasped it in his mouth and was soon pulled up on shore. But, oh, how he shivered! And how his fur was plastered down all over him, just like a cat when it falls in the bathtub. But I hope none of you children ever put pussy in there.
“You must run home at once,” said Susie, “and drink some hot sassafras tea, so you won’t take cold. Come on, I’ll run with you.”
So they started off, running, leaping and bounding, and by the time they got to their burrow, Sammie was quite warm. Down the front door hole they plunged, and, as soon as Sammie’s mother saw him, she cried out:
“Why, Sammie! You’ve been in swimming! Didn’t I tell you never to go in swimming?”
“I haven’t been swimming, mother,” said Sammie.
“Yes, you have; your hair is all wet,” she answered.
Then Sammie told how he had fallen in. Uncle Wiggily Longears, the old rabbit, heard him, and said he guessed he would have to give Sammie and Susie some lessons in swimming, and if you are good, I will tell you to-morrow night what happened on that occasion.