Now Reddy had told Granny that the terrible creature that had so frightened him had rolled down the hill at him, for he was at the bottom. Granny had heard that the same thing had happened to Peter Rabbit and to Unc’ Billy Possum. So instead of coming to the hill along the hollow at the bottom, she came to it from the other way. “If there is anything there, I’ll be behind it instead of in front of it,” she thought shrewdly.
As she drew near where Prickly Porky lives, she kept eyes and ears wide open, all the time pretending to pay attention to nothing but the hunt for her dinner. No one would ever have guessed that she was thinking of anything else. She ran this way and that way all over the hill, but nothing out of the usual did she see or hear excepting one thing: she did find some queer marks down the hill as if something might have rolled there. She followed these down to the bottom, but there they disappeared.
As she was trotting home along the Lone Little Path through the Green Forest, she met Unc’ Billy Possum. No, she didn’t exactly meet him, because he saw her before she saw him, and he promptly climbed a tree.
“Ah suppose yo’all heard of the terrible creature that scared Reddy almost out of his wits early this mo’ning,” said Unc’ Billy.
Granny stopped and looked up. “It doesn’t take much to scare the young and innocent, Mr. Possum,” she replied. “I don’t believe all I hear. I’ve just been hunting all over the hill where Prickly Porky lives, and I couldn’t find so much as a Wood Mouse for dinner. Do you believe such a foolish tale, Mr. Possum?”
Unc’ Billy coughed behind one hand. “Yes, Mrs. Fox, Ah confess Ah done have to believe it,” he replied. “Yo’ see, Ah done see that thing mah own self, and Ah just naturally has to believe mah own eyes.”
“Huh! I’d like to see it! Maybe I’d believe it then!” snapped Granny Fox.
“The only time to see it is just at sun-up,” replied Unc’ Billy. “Anybody that comes along through that hollow at the foot of Brer Porky’s hill at sun-up is likely never to forget it. Ah wouldn’t do it again. No, Sah, once is enough fo’ your Unc’ Billy.”
“Huh!” snorted Granny and trotted on.
Unc’ Billy watched her out of sight and grinned broadly. “As sho’ as Brer Sun gets up to-morrow mo’ning, Ol’ Granny Fox will be there,” he chuckled. “Ah must get word to Brer Porky and Brer Skunk and Brer Rabbit.”
OLD GRANNY FOX LOSES HER DIGNITY
Unc’ Billy Possum had passed the word along to Jimmy Skunk, Peter Rabbit, and Prickly Porky that old Granny Fox would be on hand at sun-up to see for herself the strange creature which had frightened Reddy Fox at the foot of the hill where Prickly Porky lives. How did Unc’ Billy know? Well, he just guessed. He is quite as shrewd and clever as Granny Fox herself, and when he told her that the only time the strange creature everybody was talking about was seen was at sun-up, he guessed by the very way she sniffed and pretended not to believe it at all that she would visit Prickly Porky’s hill the next morning.