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DANNY MEADOW MOUSE RETURNS A KINDNESS
HERE Peter Rabbit lay. He had dragged that piece of stake a
long way, a very long way, indeed. But now he could
drag it no farther, for it had caught in the bramble
bushes. So Peter just dropped on the snow and cried.
Yes, Sir, he cried! You see he was so tired and worn
out and frightened, and his leg was so stiff and sore
and hurt him so! And then it was so dreadful to
actually get home and be stopped right on your very own
doorstep. So Peter just lay there and cried. Just
supposing old Granny Fox should come poking around and
find Peter caught that was! All she would have to do
would be to get hold of that hateful stake caught in
the bramble bushes and pull Peter out where she could
get him. Do you wonder that Peter cried?
By and by he became aware that some one was wiping away
his tears. It was Danny Meadow Mouse. And Danny was
singing in a funny little voice. Pretty soon Peter
stopped crying and listened, and this is what he heard:
"Isn't any use to cry!
Not a bit! Not a bit!
Wipe your eyes and wipe ‘em dry!
Use you wit! Use your wit!
Just remember that to-morrow
Never brings a single sorrow.
Yesterday has gone forever
And to-morrow gets here never.
Chase your worries all away;
Nothing's worse than just to-day."
Peter smiled in spite of himself.
"That's right! That's right! Smile away, Peter Rabbit.
Smile away! Your troubles, Sir, are all to-day. And
between you and me, I don't believe they are so bad as
you think they are. Now you lie still just where you
are, while I go see what can be done."
With that off whisked Danny Meadow Mouse as spry as you
please, in spite of his lame leg, and in a few minutes
Peter knew by little twitches of the wire on his leg
that Danny was doing something at the other end. He
was. Danny Meadow Mouse had set out to gnaw that piece
of stake all to splinters. So there he sat and gnawed
and gnawed and gnawed. Jolly, round, red Mr. Sun
climbed higher and higher in the sky and Danny Meadow
Mouse grew hungry, but still he kept right on gnawing
at that bothersome stake.
By and by, happening to look across the snow-covered
Green Meadows, he saw something that made his heart
jump. It was Farmer Brown's boy coming straight over
towards the dear old Briar-patch. Danny didn't say a
word to Peter Rabbit, but gnawed faster than ever.
Farmer Brown's boy was almost there when Danny stopped
gnawing. There was only a tiny bit of the stake left
now, and Danny hurried to tell Peter Rabbit that there
was nothing to stop him now from going to his most
secret retreat in the very heart of the Old
Briar-patch. While Peter slowly dragged his way along,
Danny trotted behind to see that the wire did not catch
on the bushes. They had safely reached Peter Rabbit's
secretest retreat when Farmer Brown's boy came up to
the edge of the dear Old Briar-patch.
"So this is where that rabbit that killed our
peach-tree lives!" said he. "We'll try a few snares and
put you out of mischief."
And for the rest of the afternoon Farmer Brown's boy
was very busy around the edge of the Old Briar-patch.