Bowser kept getting nearer and nearer and nearer, all in the dream, you know, until it seemed as if his great voice sounded right at her very heels. She was so tired that it seemed to her that she couldn’t run another step. It was a very, very real dream. You know dreams sometimes do seem very real indeed. This was the way it was with the bad dream of Old Granny Fox. It seemed to her that she could feel the breath of Bowser the Hound and that his great jaws were just going to close on her and shake her to death.
“Oh! Oh!” cried Granny and waked herself up. Her eyes flew open. Then she gave a great sigh of relief as she realized that her terrible fright was only a bad dream and that she was curled up right on the dear, familiar, old, sunny knoll and not running for her life at all.
Old Granny Fox smiled to think what a fright she had had and then, — well, she didn’t know whether she was really awake or still dreaming! No, Sir, she didn’t. For a full minute she couldn’t be sure whether what she saw was real or part of that dreadful dream. You see, she was staring into the face of Farmer Brown’s boy and the muzzle of his dreadful gun!
For just a few seconds she didn’t move. She couldn’t. She was too frightened to move. Then she knew what she saw was real and not a dream at all. There wasn’t the least bit of doubt about it. That was Farmer Brown’s boy, and that was his dreadful gun! All in a flash she knew that Farmer Brown’s boy must have been hiding behind those pine boughs.
Poor Old Granny Fox! For once in her life she had been caught napping. She hadn’t the least hope in the world. Farmer Brown’s boy had only to fire that dreadful gun, and that would be the end of her. She knew it.
CHAPTER VIII: What Farmer Brown’s Boy Did
In time of danger heed this rule:
Think hard and fast, but pray keep cool.
— Old Granny Fox.
Poor Old Granny Fox! She had thought that she had been in tight places before, but never, never had she been in such a tight place as this. There stood Farmer Brown’s boy looking along the barrel of his dreadful gun straight at her, and only such a short distance, such a very short distance away! It wasn’t the least bit of use to run. Granny knew that. That dreadful gun would go “bang!” and that would be the end of her.
For a few seconds she stared at Farmer Brown’s boy, too frightened to move or even think. Then she began to wonder why that dreadful gun didn’t go off. What was Farmer Brown’s boy waiting for? She got to her feet. She was sure that the first step would be her last, yet she couldn’t stay there.
How could Fanner Brown’s boy do such a dreadful thing? Somehow, his freckled face didn’t look cruel. He was even beginning to grin. That must be because he had caught her napping and knew that this time she couldn’t possibly get away from him as she had so many times before. “Oh!” sobbed Old Granny Fox under her breath.