“Ah!” exclaimed the fox, looking at Sammie, and smacking his lips, “I’ve been waiting for you for some time.”
“Yes?” asked the little boy rabbit, and he tried to see a way to run past that fox, only there wasn’t any.
“Yes, really,” went on the fox. “Have you had your supper?”
“No,” replied Sammie, “I haven’t.”
“Neither have I,” continued the fox, “but I’m going to have it pretty soon, in fact, almost immediately,” which you children know means right away. “I’m going to eat directly,” went on that bad fox, and he smacked his lips again and looked at Sammie, as if he was going to eat him up, for that’s really what he meant when he said he was going to have supper. Oh, how frightened Sammie was. He began to tremble, and he wished he’d started for home earlier. Then the fox crouched down and was just going to jump on that little boy rabbit, when something happened.
Right up from that puddle of water, where Sammie had lost his ball, sprang a little man in green. He was green all over, like Bully, the frog, but the funny part of it was that he wasn’t wet a bit, even though he came up out of the water.
“Ha! What have we here?” he cried out, just like that.
“If—if you please, sir,” began Sammie.
“It’s my supper time!” cried the fox, interrupting, which was not very polite on his part. “It’s my supper time, and I’m hungry.”
“I don’t see anything to eat,” spoke the little green man. “Nothing at all,” and he looked all around.
“If—if you please, kind sir,” went on Sammie, “I think he intends to eat me.”
“What! What!” cried the little green man. “The very idea! The very idonical idea! We’ll see about that! Oh, my, yes, and a bushel of apple turnovers besides! Aha! Ahem!”
Then he looked most severely at that fox, most severely, I do assure you, and he asked: “Were you going to eat up my friend Sammie Littletail?”
“I was, but I didn’t know he was a friend of yours,” replied the fox, beginning to tremble. Oh, you could see right away that he was afraid of that little green man.
“Oh, you bad fox, you!” cried the little green man. “Oh, you bad fox! Just for that I’m going to turn you into a little country village! Presto, chango! Smacko, Mackeo! Bur-r-r-r!” and he waved his hands at the fox, who immediately disappeared. And he was changed into a little country village, with a church, a school and thirty-one houses, and it’s called Foxtown to this very day. I ought to know, for I used to live there.
“Well, Sammie?” asked the little green man, when the fox had vanished, “How do you feel now?”
“Much better, kind sir. Thank you. But who are you?”
“Me? Who am I? Why, don’t you know?”
“No, indeed, unless you’re some relation to Bully, the frog.”
“Well, I am a sort of distant thirty-second cousin to him. I am the green fairy. And to prove it, look here, I will get your ball back for you.”