“That is better than cabbage,” declared Sammie, joyfully.
But, just as Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy went to the cupboard to get the sugared clover, something ran down into the underground house. It was a long, thin animal, with a sharp nose, sharper even than Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy’s, and when the nurse saw the curious little beast, she cried out in fright:
“Oh, run, children! Run!” she screamed. “This is a very dreadful creature indeed! It is a ferret, but I will drive him out, and he shan’t hurt you!”
Then Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, dropping the pan of potatoes she was peeling for supper, sprang at the ferret. And to-morrow night, if you are good children, you shall hear how Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy drove the ferret from the underground home and saved the bunny children.
PAPA LITTLETAIL’S PICTURE
When Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy called out to the two bunny children to run away from the ferret, Sammie and Susie were so frightened that they hardly knew what to. Their mother came into the sitting-room of the burrow, from the dark bedroom where she had gone to lie down, because of a headache, and she also was much alarmed. So was Uncle Wiggily Longears, who was awakened from his nap by the cries of the nurse.
“Run and hide! Run and hide!” called Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, and all the rabbits ran and hid. The ferret, which was a long, slender animal, something like a white rat, had been put into the burrow by the hunter, who stood outside at the back door, hoping the rabbits would run out so he could shoot them. But they did not. Instead, they went into the darkest part of the underground house. Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy went bravely up to the ferret.
“Now you get right out of this house,” she said. “We don’t want you here!”
The ferret said nothing, but kept crawling all around, looking for the rabbits. He was careful to keep away from the muskrat, for, in spite of her soft name, Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had very sharp teeth.
“Come on, now; get right out of here!” the nurse said again, but the ferret would not go. He wanted to catch the rabbits. Then the muskrat jumped right up on his back and bit him quite hard on one of his little ears. The ferret squealed at this.
Next Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy nipped him on the other ear; not very hard, you know, but just hard enough to make that ferret wish he had stayed out of the underground house.
“Now will you go?” asked the nurse.
“Yes,” said the ferret, “I will,” and he turned around and walked right out of the house. The hunter was very much surprised when his ferret appeared without having driven out any rabbits. He could not understand it.
“Well,” he said, “I guess I made a mistake, but I was sure I saw a rabbit go down that hole. I guess I had better be going.” So he called his dog, put his ferret into his pocket and went away. And, oh, how glad Sammie and Susie Littletail were!