REDDY ALMOST GETS PETER RABBIT
EDDY FOX really was almost ill from the effects of the stings
which old Mrs. Hornet and her family had given him when
he knocked in the side of their house. For several days
he limped around, his head badly swollen. Yes, Sir,
Reddy Fox was in a dreadful bad way. The worst of it
was that none of the other little meadow and forest
people seemed to be the least bit sorry for him. Some
of them actually laughed at him. Peter Rabbit did.
Reddy Fox had made life very uncomfortable for Peter
for a long time, and now Peter was actually enjoying
Now, while he was laid up this way, Reddy had plenty of
time to think. He noticed that when he went out to
walk, all those who kept at a safe distance when he was
well now hardly got out of his way. They knew that he
felt too sore and mean to try to catch them. Peter
Rabbit hardly turned out of his path. A bright idea
came to Reddy. He would continue to appear to feel
badly, even after he was well. He would keep his head
bound up and would limp down to the Smiling Pool for
some mud every day. Then, when Peter Rabbit came near
enough, Reddy would catch him.
So day after day Reddy limped down to the Smiling Pool.
He kept his head tied up as if it was as bad as ever,
and he walked, he groaned as if in great pain. Even
some of those who hated him most began to feel a little
bit sorry for Reddy Fox. Peter has a very soft heart,
and although he knew that Reddy Fox would like nothing
better than to gobble him up, he began to feel sorry
One morning Peter sat just outside the Old Briar-patch,
when Reddy came limping along. He looked more miserable
than usual. Just as it had been for several days, one
of Reddy's eyes was closed.
"It must be hard work to see with only one eye," said
"It is," replied Reddy, with a great sigh. "It is very
hard work, indeed."
"I don't see how you manage to get enough to eat,"
continued Peter, in his most sympathetic voice.
Reddy sighed again. "I don't, Peter Rabbit. I don't get
enough to eat, and I'm nearly starved this very
When he said this such a note of longing crept into his
voice that Peter instantly grew suspicious. While he
was sorry for Reddy, he had no desire to make Reddy
feel better by furnishing himself for a meal. Peter
hopped around to the blind side of Reddy and turned his
back to him, as he inquired for the health of old
Now, you know that Peter's eyes are so placed in his
head that he can see behind him without turning his
head. Reddy Fox did not know this, or if he did he had
forgotten it. Very slowly and craftily the closed eye
opened a wee bit, and in that line of yellow was a
hungry look. Peter Rabbit saw it and with a great jump
landed behind a friendly bramble bush in the Old
"Ha! ha!" shouted Peter, "I'd rather talk with you,
Reddy Fox, when you haven't got a closed eye with such
a hungry look in it. Ta, ta!"
Reddy Fox just shook his fist at Peter Rabbit, and
started off home, pulling the bandage from his head as