“Ha, ha, ha! Ho, ho, ho! Ha, ha, ho! I see you are up to your old tricks, Prickly Porky!” he shouted, as the strange creature rolled past, almost over his toes and brought up against a little tree at the foot of the hill.
[Illustration: “I see you are up to your old tricks, Prickly Porky!” he shouted. Page 114.]
Old Man Coyote heard him and stopped short and turned to see what it meant. Very slowly the strange creature unrolled and turned over. There was a head now and a tail and four legs. It was none other than Prickly Porky himself! There was no doubt about it, though he still looked very strange, for he was covered with dead leaves which clung to the thousand little spears hidden in his coat. Prickly Porky grinned.
“You shouldn’t have given me away, Buster Bear, just because you have seen me roll down hill before in the Great Woods where we both came from,” said he.
“I think it was high time I did,” replied Buster Bear, still chuckling. “You might have scared somebody to death down here where they don’t know you.”
Then everybody came out of their hiding places, laughing and talking all at once, as they told Buster Bear of the joke they had played on Old Man Coyote, and how it had all grown out of the fright Peter Rabbit had received when he just happened along as Prickly Porky was rolling down hill just for fun. As for Old Man Coyote, he sneaked away, grinding his teeth angrily. Like a great many other people, he couldn’t take a joke on himself.
So Prickly Porky made himself at home in the Green Forest and took his place among the little people who live there. In just the same way Old Man Coyote came as a stranger to the Green Meadows and established himself there. In the next book you may read all about how he came to the Green Meadows and of some of his adventures there and in the Green Forest.