Suddenly Prickly Porky pricked up his funny little short ears. He heard the deep voice of Bowser the Hound, and it was coming nearer and nearer. Prickly Porky chuckled again.
“I guess Mr. Bowser is going to have a surprise; I certainly think he is,” said Prickly Porky as he made all the thousand little spears stand out from his long coat till he looked like a funny great chestnut burr.
Bowser the Hound did have a surprise. He was hunting Reddy Fox, and he almost ran into Prickly Porky before he saw him. The very sight of those thousand little spears sent little cold chills chasing each other down Bowser’s backbone clear to the tip of his tail, for he remembered how he had gotten some of them in his lips and mouth once upon a time, and how it had hurt to have them pulled out. Ever since then he had had the greatest respect for Prickly Porky.
“Wow!” yelped Bowser the Hound, stopping short. “I beg your pardon, Prickly Porky, I beg your pardon, I didn’t know you were taking a nap here.”
All the time Bowser the Hound was backing away as fast as he could. Then he turned around, put his tail between his legs and actually ran away.
Slowly Prickly Porky unrolled, and his little eyes twinkled as he watched Bowser the Hound run away.
“Bowser’s very big and strong;
His voice is deep; his legs are long;
His bark scares some almost to death.
But as for me he wastes his breath;
I just roll up and shake my spears
And Bowser is the one who fears.”
So said Prickly Porky, and laughed aloud. Just then he heard a light footstep and turned to see who was coming. It was old Granny Fox. She had seen Bowser run away, and now she was anxious to find out if Reddy Fox were safe.
“Good morning,” said Granny Fox, taking care not to come too near.
“Good morning,” replied Prickly Porky, hiding a smile.
“I’m very tired and would like to go inside my house; had you just as soon move?” asked Granny Fox.
“Oh!” exclaimed Prickly Porky, “is this your house? I thought you lived over on the Green Meadows.”
“I did, but I’ve moved. Please let me in,” replied Granny Fox.
“Certainly, certainly. Don’t mind me, Granny Fox. Step right over me,” said Prickly Porky, and smiled once more, and at the same time rattled his little spears.
Instead of stepping over him, Granny Fox backed away.
Who keeps a watch upon his toes
Need never fear he’ll bump his nose.
— Old Granny Fox.
Now there is nothing like being shut in alone in the dark to make one think. A voice inside of Reddy began to whisper to him. “If you hadn’t tried to be smart and show off you wouldn’t have brought all this trouble on yourself and Old Granny Fox,” said the voice.