“Yes, but it wouldn’t be right to ask you to a party and then have you bring your own things to eat,” objected Mrs. Lightfoot.
“That’s what they do at surprise parties,” went on Susie, who had heard Uncle Wiggily Longears tell of one he once attended. It was given by a chipmunk.
“Yes, but this isn’t a surprise party,” said Mrs. Lightfoot. “I don’t know what to do.”
“We can pretend it’s a surprise party,” went on Susie. “I know I was very much surprised when you asked me to come to it.”
“Were you, indeed?” inquired the squirrel. “Then a surprise party it shall be. Listen!” she called to the other squirrels; “this is a surprise party for Susie Littletail.”
“Humph! I don’t call this a surprise,” grumbled an old squirrel, whose tail had partly been shot off. But nobody minded him, as he was always grumbling. So Susie went and got some cabbage leaves and carrots, and brought them to the party. She had to eat them all alone, as the squirrels did not care much for such things. The only thing Susie could eat which the squirrels did was some ice cream, made with snow, maple syrup and hickory nuts ground up fine. This was very good.
Susie had a grand time at the party, and after the hickory-nut ice cream and other good things had been eaten, she and the squirrels played “Ring Around the Old Oak Stump,” which is something like “London Bridge” and “Ring Around the Rosy” mixed up together. It was lots of fun, and Susie almost forgot to go to the cabbage-field store. But she did go there, though it was just about to be closed up, and when she got home with the cabbage leaves for supper, she told about the surprise party. Then Sammie wished he had gone to the store, instead of remaining at home to make a whistle out of a carrot.
“I never had anything nice like that happen to me,” said Sammie, in just the least bit of a grumbly voice. And, what do you think? The very next day something happened to Sammie, only it wasn’t very nice. He was out walking in a field, when he met a big cat.
“Where do you live?” asked the cat, in quite a friendly voice.
“Over there,” said Sammie, pointing toward the burrow.
“Can you take me there?” asked the cat, and she wiggled her whiskers and licked her nose with her tongue, for she was hungry.
“Yes, I’ll show you,” agreed Sammie, and he led the cat toward the burrow. Now, he did not know any better, for he did not stop to think that cats will eat rabbits. And the cat was just thinking how easily she had provided a good dinner for herself, when Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, who was peeping out of the front door of the burrow, saw pussy. The muskrat knew at once that the cat had come to eat the little rabbits and the big ones, too, and the only reason she did not eat Sammie was because she wanted more of a meal. So the nurse showed her sharp teeth, and the cat ran away. But she knew where the burrow was, and this was a bad thing, for she might come back again in the night, when Sammie and Susie were asleep.