And she waddled into the kitchen, and got two onions out of a basket.
The collie-dog Kep met her coming out, “What are you doing with those onions? Where do you go every afternoon by yourself, Jemima Puddle-duck?”
Jemima was rather in awe of the collie; she told him the whole story.
The collie listened, with his wise head on one side; he grinned when she described the polite gentleman with sandy whiskers.
He asked several questions about the wood, and about the exact position of the house and shed.
Then he went out, and trotted down the village. He went to look for two fox-hound puppies who were out at walk with the butcher.
Jemima Puddle-duck went up the cart-road for the last time, on a sunny afternoon. She was rather burdened with bunches of herbs and two onions in a bag.
She flew over the wood, and alighted opposite the house of the bushy long-tailed gentleman.
He was sitting on a log; he sniffed the air, and kept glancing uneasily round the wood. When Jemima alighted he quite jumped.
“Come into the house as soon as you have looked at your eggs. Give me the herbs for the omelette. Be sharp!”
He was rather abrupt. Jemima Puddle-duck had never heard him speak like that.
She felt surprised, and uncomfortable.
While she was inside she heard pattering feet round the back of the shed. Some one with a black nose sniffed at the bottom of the door, and then locked it.
Jemima became much alarmed.
A moment afterwards there were most awful noises—barking, baying, growls and howls, squealing and groans.
And nothing more was ever seen of that foxy-whiskered gentleman.
Presently Kep opened the door of the shed, and let out Jemima Puddle-duck.
Unfortunately the puppies rushed in and gobbled up all the eggs before he could stop them.
He had a bite on his ear and both the puppies were limping.
Jemima Puddle-duck was escorted home in tears on account of those eggs.
She laid some more in June, and she was permitted to keep them herself: but only four of them hatched.
Jemima Puddle-duck said that it was because of her nerves; but she had always been a bad sitter.
***End of the project gutenberg EBOOK the tale of Jemima puddle-duck***
******* This file should be named 14814.txt or 14814.zip *******