“I will,” said the old rabbit, and he crawled back down into the burrow, while Susie and Sammie, with Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, went on to the brook.
The muskrat was a very good swimmer, indeed, and as soon as she reached the water she plunged in and swam about, to show Sammie and Susie how it ought to be done. She dived, and she shot across; she swam on her side, and in the ordinary way. In fact, she swam in a number of ways that you and I could not. At length she swam entirely under water for some distance, and the bunny children were afraid she was drowned, but she came up smiling, showing her sharp teeth, and explained that this was one of the ways she used to escape from dogs, boys and other enemies.
Then the nurse-muskrat gave the bunny children their lesson. She had little trouble in teaching them, as they learned quickly. She was just showing them how to float along with only the tip of the nose showing, in order to keep out of sight, when suddenly there was a noise on the bank.
No, it was not some one after the bunny rabbit children’s clothes, for they had left them at home when they went to take a lesson. But it was a number of boys with a dog, who were making the noise. As soon as the boys saw the rabbits and the rat they gathered up a lot of stones, and one boy cried out:
“Oh, look there! Two rabbits and a muskrat! Let’s catch them, and sell their skins!”
“Oh, dear!” exclaimed Susie, who was very much frightened. “Whatever shall we do?”
“Don’t be alarmed,” said Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, calmly, as she started to swim down stream. “Just follow me; swim as I do, with only your nose out, and I will save you.” The boys ran along the bank, throwing stones at the little creatures, and the dog barked, and to-morrow night I will tell you how Sammie and Susie got away and were saved by Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, that is if you think you would care to hear the story.
SAMMIE’S AND SUSIE’S TERRIBLE TIME
You may be sure the two Littletail children were very much frightened when they were floating down the stream behind Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with the boys on the bank throwing stones at them, and the dog barking as hard as he could bark.
“Sic the dog in the water after them,” called one boy.
“Naw! This dog doesn’t like water,” said the boy who owned it. “We’ll hit ’em with stones, and then poke ’em out with sticks.”
Oh, how Sammie and Susie shuddered when they heard those words! They did not know Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy was going to save them. The muskrat looked around to see how the children were swimming.
“Don’t be afraid,” she called, but of course the boys could not understand what she said. The dog could, being an animal and understanding animal talk, but the dog couldn’t tell the boys.
“Don’t be afraid,” said the nurse. “Sammie, keep your head under more. Susie, strike out harder with your forepaws.”