“Did you let that Jimmy Rabbit do that to you?” Mrs. Coon asked.
Fatty hung his head. He said nothing at all. But his mother knew.
“Well! you are a sight!” she exclaimed. “It will be months before you look like my child again. I shall be ashamed to go anywhere with you.”
Fatty Coon felt very foolish. And there was just one thing that kept him from crying. And that was this: he made up his mind that when he played barber-shop with Jimmy Rabbit again he would get even with him.
But when the next day came, Fatty couldn’t find Jimmy Rabbit and his brother anywhere. They kept out of sight. But they had told all the other forest-people about the trick they had played on Fatty Coon. And everywhere Fatty went he heard nothing but hoots and jeers and laughs. He felt very silly. And he wished that he might meet Jimmy Rabbit and his brother.
THE BARBER-SHOP AGAIN
Although Fatty Coon never could get Jimmy Rabbit and his brother to play barber-shop with him again, Fatty saw no reason why he should not play the game without them. So one day he led his brother Blackie over to the old hollow sycamore. His sisters, Fluffy and Cutey, wanted to go too. But Fatty would not let them. “Girls can’t be barbers,” he said. And of course they could find no answer to that.
As soon as Fatty and Blackie reached the old sycamore I am sorry to say that a dispute arose. Each of them wanted to use his own tail for the barber’s pole. They couldn’t both stick their tails through the hole in the tree at the same time. So they finally agreed to take turns.
Playing barber-shop wasn’t so much fun as they had expected, because nobody would come near to get his hair cut. You see, the smaller forest-people were all afraid to go inside that old sycamore where Fatty and Blackie were. There was no telling when the two brothers might get so hungry they would seize and eat a rabbit or a squirrel or a chipmunk. And you know it isn’t wise to run any such risk as that.
Fatty offered to cut Blackie’s hair. But Blackie remembered what his mother had said when Fatty came home with his moustache gone and his head all rough and uneven. So Blackie wouldn’t let Fatty touch him. But he offered to cut Fatty’s hair—what there was left of it.
“No, thank you!” said Fatty. “I only get my hair cut once a month.” Of course, he had never had his hair cut except that once, in his whole life.
Now, since there was so little to do inside the hollow tree, Fatty and Blackie kept quarreling. Blackie would no sooner stick his tail through the hole in the side of the tree than Fatty would want his turn. And when Fatty had succeeded in squeezing his tail out through the opening Blackie would insist that Fatty’s time was up.
It was Fatty’s turn, and Blackie was shouting to him to stand aside and give him a chance.