But what do you suppose? Afterward, when Fatty had grown up, and had children of his own, he often told them about the time he had escaped from the trap in Farmer Green’s smokehouse.
Fatty’s children thought it very exciting. It was their favorite story. And they made their father tell it over and over again.
FATTY COON PLAYS ROBBER
After Fatty Coon played barber-shop with Jimmy Rabbit and his brother it was a long time before he met them again. But one day Fatty was wandering through the woods when he caught sight of Jimmy. Jimmy dodged behind a tree. And Fatty saw Jimmy’s brother peep from behind another. You see, his ears were so long that they stuck far beyond the tree, and Fatty couldn’t help seeing them.
“Hello!” Fatty called. “I’m glad to see you.” And he told the truth, too. He had been trying to find those two brothers for weeks, because he wanted to get even with them for cutting off his moustache. Jimmy and his brother hopped out from behind their trees.
“Hello!” said Jimmy. “We were just looking for you.” Probably he meant to say, “We were just looking at you.” He was somewhat upset by meeting Fatty; for he knew that Fatty was angry with him.
“Oh, ho! You were, were you?” Fatty answered. He began to slide down the tree he had been climbing.
Jimmy Rabbit and his brother edged a little further away.
“Better not come too near us!” he said. “We’ve both got the pink-eye, and you don’t want to catch it.”
Fatty paused and looked at the brothers. Sure enough! their eyes were as pink as anything.
“Does it hurt much?” Fatty asked.
“Well—it does and it doesn’t,” Jimmy replied. “I just stuck a brier into one of my eyes a few minutes ago and it hurt awful, then. But you’ll be perfectly safe, so long as you don’t touch us.”
“How long does it last?” Fatty inquired.
“Probably we’ll never get over it,” Jimmy Rabbit said cheerfully. And his brother nodded his head, as much as to say, “That’s so!”
Fatty Coon was just the least bit alarmed. He really thought that there was something the matter with their eyes. You see, though the Rabbit brothers’ eyes were always pink (for they were born that way), he had never noticed it before. So Fatty thought it would be safer not to go too near them.
“Well, it’s too bad,” he told Jimmy. “I’m sorry. I wanted to play with you.”
“Oh, that’s all right!” Jimmy said. “We can play, just the same. I’ll tell you what we’ll play. We’ll play—”
“Not barber-shop!” Fatty interrupted. “I won’t play barber-shop, I never liked that game.”
Jimmy Rabbit started to smile. But he turned his smile into a sneeze. And he said—
“We’ll play robber. You’ll like that, I know. And you can be the robber. You look like one, anyhow.”