Pretty soon Papa Littletail came hurrying home. As soon as he entered the burrow the children noticed that he was rather pale. He said that he had had a terrible fright, for, as he was on his way home from Mr. Drake’s house, a boy had pointed a big, black thing at him, which clicked like a gun, but did not make a loud noise. Then Susie told him about the dog who chased her, and how the ferret had frightened them.
“It is a good thing you were not shot,” said Mamma Littletail to her husband. “I don’t know what we would have done if such a dreadful thing had happened. How terrible boys are!”
“I did have a narrow escape,” admitted Papa Littletail. “The boy had a sort of square, black box, and I’m sure it was filled with bullets. It had a great, round, shiny eye, that he pointed at me, and, when something clicked, he cried out, ‘There, I have him!’ But I did not seem to be hurt.”
“I know what happened to you,” said Uncle Wiggily Longears, and he rubbed his leg that had the worst rheumatism in it. “You had your picture taken; that’s all.”
“My picture taken?” repeated Papa Littletail, as he scratched his left ear, which he always did when he was puzzled.
“That is it,” said the children’s uncle. “It happened to me once. The boy had a camera, not a gun. It does not hurt to have your picture taken. It is not like being shot.”
“Then I wish all hunters would take pictures of us, instead of shooting at us,” said Sammie, and Susie also thought it would be much nicer. And Uncle Wiggily told how lovers of animals often take their pictures, to put in books and magazines, for little boys and girls to look at.
“Well,” said Papa Littletail, “I suppose I should be very proud to have my picture taken, but I am not the least bit.”
Then he gave Sammie some nice pieces of chocolate-covered turnip, which Mr. Drake had sent to the little boy with the lame leg.
“Do you think I can get out to-morrow?” asked Sammie, after supper. “My leg is quite well.”
“I think so,” replied his papa. “I will ask Dr. Possum.”
Which he did, and Sammie was allowed to go out. He had a very curious adventure, too, and I think I shall tell you about it to-morrow night, if you go to bed early now.
SAMMIE LITTLETAIL DIGS A BURROW
Sammie Littletail found that his leg was quite well enough to walk on, without the cornstalk crutch, so the day after his papa’s picture had been taken, the little rabbit boy started to leave the burrow.
“Come along, Susie,” he called to his sister.
“I will also go with you,” said Uncle Wiggily Longears. “I will give you children a few lessons in digging burrows. It is time you learned, for some day you will want an underground house of your own.”
So he led them to a nice place in the big park on top of the mountain, where the earth was soft, and showed Sammie and Susie how to hollow out rooms and halls, how to make back and front doors, and many other things a rabbit should know.