“You had better run before Bowser gets here,” he shouted.
What do you think happened then? Why, everybody set up a great shout. “Ha! ha! ha!” laughed Peter Rabbit.
“Ho! ho! ho!” shouted Johnny Chuck.
“Hee! hee! hee!” giggled Danny Meadow Mouse.
“What time will Bowser get here?” asked Bobby Coon, gravely.
“Tell Bowser that we are all waiting for him,” added Jimmy Skunk.
“Is Bowser quite out of breath?” inquired Jerry Muskrat.
“I would like nothing better than to run a race with Bowser the Hound,” said Jumper the Hare, sitting up very straight.
Sammy Jay didn’t know what to do or what to say. He was just the most disgusted looking Jay that ever flew through the Green Forest, and all the time he wondered and wondered and wondered how it could be that Peter Rabbit and his friends knew that Bowser the Hound was not in the Green Forest at all. You see, old Mr. Toad had told Peter all about Sammy’s plan, and this is what Peter had been whispering to the others.
PRICKLY PORKY MAKES HIMSELF AT HOME
Peter Rabbit’s party promised to be a great success. When old Mr. Toad, who had overheard Sammy Jay’s plan, had told Peter Rabbit all about it, he had also told Peter that Reddy Fox and Shadow the Weasel were hiding in an old hollow log close by.
Peter had whispered the news in the ear of each of the little forest and meadow people and had told them how Prickly Porky was even then sitting with his back against the opening in the hollow log.
Every one had thought this the best joke ever, for, of course, they all knew that Reddy Fox and Shadow the Weasel could not get out past the thousand little spears hidden in the long coat of Prickly Porky.
Prickly Porky settled himself very comfortably and began to tell stories about his home, way up in the North Woods. Every few minutes he would rattle the thousand little spears in his coat, and though no one could see Reddy Fox and Shadow the Weasel inside the hollow log, every one could guess just how little shivers were running up and down the backbones of the two little scamps held prisoners there.
Prickly Porky told how in the cold, cold winter the snow piled up and piled up in his far northern home, until nearly all the forest folk who lived there had to make a long journey into the South, or else went into warm, snug hollows in the trees or caves in the rocks and slept the long winter through, just as Johnny Chuck does. He told how the Indians came through the great forest on big webbed shoes, that kept them from sinking into the snow, and hunted for Lightfoot the Deer, and how they never bothered Prickly Porky, but always treated him with the greatest respect. He told so many, many interesting things about the great North Woods, that all the little meadow people and forest folk gathered close around to listen, but every few minutes, while he was talking, he would shake his thousand little spears, and then every one would smile.