“I must get home now,” said he in a rather faint voice. “Mrs. Peter will be sure that something has happened to me and will be worried almost to death.”
“No, you don’t!” declared Jimmy Skunk. “You are going to stay right here where we can take care of you. It wouldn’t be safe for you to try to go to the Old Briar-patch now, because if you should meet Old Man Coyote or Reddy Fox or Whitetail the Marshhawk, you would not be able to run fast enough to get away. I will go down and tell Mrs. Peter, and you will make yourself comfortable in the old house behind that stump where I was hiding.”
Peter tried to insist on going home, but the others wouldn’t hear of it, and Jimmy Skunk settled the matter by starting for the dear Old Briar-patch. He found little Mrs. Peter anxiously looking towards the Green Forest for some sign of Peter.
“Oh!” she cried, “you have come to bring me bad news. Do tell me quickly what has happened to Peter!”
“Nothing much has happened to Peter,” replied Jimmy promptly. Then in the drollest way he told all about the fright of Granny Fox when she first saw the terrible creature rolling down the hill and all that happened after, but he took great care to make light of Peter’s escape, and explained that he was just going to rest up there on Prickly Porky’s hill for that day and would be home the next night. But little Mrs. Peter wasn’t wholly satisfied.
“I’ve begged him and begged him to keep away from the Green Forest,” said she, “but now if he is hurt so that he can’t come home, he needs me, and I’m going straight up there myself!”
Nothing that Jimmy could say had the least effect, and so at last he agreed to take her to Peter. And so, hopping behind Jimmy Skunk, timid little Mrs. Peter Rabbit actually went into the Green Forest of which she was so much afraid, which shows how brave love can be sometimes.
A PLOT TO FRIGHTEN OLD MAN COYOTE
Mischief leads to mischief,
for it is almost sure
To never, never be content without a little more.
Now you would think that after Peter Rabbit’s very, very, narrow escape from the clutches of Old Granny Fox that Jimmy Skunk, Unc’ Billy Possum, Peter Rabbit, and Prickly Porky would have been satisfied with the pranks they already had played. No, Sir, they were not! You see, when danger is over, it is quickly forgotten. No sooner had Peter been made comfortable in the old house behind the big stump on the hill where Prickly Porky lives than the four scamps began to wonder who else they could scare with the terrible creature without head, legs, or tail which had so frightened Reddy and Old Granny Fox.
“There is Old Man Coyote; he is forever frightening those smaller and weaker than himself. I’d just love to see him run,” said Peter Rabbit.
“The very one!” cried Jimmy Skunk. “I wonder if he would be afraid. You know he is even smarter than Granny Fox, and though she was frightened at first, she soon got over it. How do you suppose we can get him over here?”