PETER RABBIT GETS A FRIGHT
ETER RABBIT sat in his favorite place in the middle of the dear Old
Briar-patch, trying to decide which way he would go on
his travels that night. The night before he had had a
narrow escape from old Granny Fox over in the Green
Forest. There was nothing to eat around the Smiling
Pool and no one to talk to there any more, and you know
that Peter must either eat or ask question in order to
be perfectly happy. No, the Smiling Pool was too dull a
place to interest Peter on such a beautiful moonlight
night, and Peter had no mind to try his legs against
those of Old Granny Fox again in the Green Forest.
Early that morning, just after Peter had settled down
for his morning nap, Tommy Tit the Chickadee had
dropped into the dear Old Briar-patch just to be
neighborly. Peter was just dozing off when he heard the
cheeriest little voice in the world. It was saying:
I see you! Can you see me?"
Peter began to smile even before he could get his eyes
open and look up. There, right over his head, was Tommy
Tit hanging head down from a nodding old bramble. In a
twinkling he was down on the snow right in front of
Peter, then up in the brambles again, right sight up,
upside down, here, there, everywhere, never still a
minute, and all the time chattering away in the
cheeriest little voice in the world.
I'm as happy as can be!
Find itmuch the better way
To be happy all the day.
Everybody's good to me!"
"Hello, Tommy!" said Peter Rabbit. "Where'd you come
"From Farmer Brown's new orchard up on the hill. It's a
fine orchard, Peter Rabbit, a fine orchard. I go there
every morning for my breakfast. If the winter lasts
long enough, I'll have all the trees cleaned up for
Peter looked puzzled. "What do you mean?" he asked.
"Just what I say," replied Tommy Tit, almost turning a
somersault in the air. "There's a million eggs of
insects on those young peach-trees, but I'm clearing
them all off as fast as I can. They're mighty fine
eating, Peter Rabbit, mighty fine eating!" And with
that Tommy Tit had said good-by and flitted away.
Peter was thinking of that young orchard now, as he sat
in the moonlight trying to make up his mind where to
go. The thought of those young peach-trees made his
mouth water. It was a long way up to the orchard on the
hill, a very long way, and Peter was wondering if it
really was safe to go. He had just about made up his
mind to try it, for Peter is very, very fond of the
bark of young peach-trees, when thump! something
dropped out of the sky at his very feet.
It startled Peter so that he nearly tumbled over
backward. And right at the same instant came the
fierce, angry scream of Hooty the Owl. That almost made
Peter's heart stop beating, although he knew that Hooty
couldn't get him down there in the Old Briar-patch.
When Peter got his wits together and his heart didn't
go so jumpy, he looked to see what had dropped so close
to him out of the sky. His big eyes grew bigger than
ever, and he rubbed them to make quite sure that he
really saw what he thought he saw. Yes, there was no
doubt about it—there at his feet lay Danny Meadow