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PETER RABBIT GETS AN EARLY BREAKFAST
ETER RABBIT crept out of his snug little bed in the middle of the
Old Briar-patch two hours before sun-up and hurried
over to the big hickory-tree. Sure enough, close by, he
found a beautiful bed of sweet clover, just as Reddy
Fox had said was there. Peter chuckled to himself as he
ate and ate and ate, until his little round stomach was
so full that he could hardly hop.
When he had eaten all that he could, he hurried back to
the Old Briar-patch to finish his morning nap, and all
the time he kept chuckling to himself. You see, Peter
was suspicious of Reddy Fox, and so he had gone over to
the sweet clover bed alone two hours before sun-up.
Peter Rabbit had hardly left the sweet clover bed when
Reddy Fox arrived. Reddy lay down to the long meadow
grass and grinned to himself as he waited. Slowly the
minutes went by, until up from behind the Purple Hills
came jolly, round, red Mr. Sun—but no Peter
Rabbit. Reddy stopped grinning.
"Perhaps," said he to himself, "Peter is waiting for me
on the edge of the Old Briar-patch and wasn't going to
try to fool me."
So Reddy hurried over to the Old Briar-patch, and sure
enough there was Peter Rabbit sitting on the edge of
it. When Peter saw him coming, he dodged in behind a
big clump of friendly old brambles. Reddy came up with
his broadest smile.
"Good morning, Peter Rabbit," said Reddy. "Shall we go
over to that sweet clover bed?"
Peter put one hand over his mouth to hide a smile.
"Oh," said he, "I was so dreadfully hungry for sweet
clover that I couldn't wait until sun-up, and so I went
over two hours ago. I hope you will excuse me, Reddy
Fox. I certainly do appreciate your kindness in telling
me of that new, sweet clover bed and I hope that I have
not put you out."
"Certainly not," replied Reddy Fox, in his pleasantest
manner, and you know Reddy Fox can be very pleasant
indeed when he wants to be. "It is a very great
pleasure to be able to give you pleasure. There is
nothing I so like to do as to give pleasure to others.
By the way, I have just heard that Farmer Brown has a
new planting of young cabbage in the corner of his
garden. Will you meet me here at sun-up to-morrow
morning to go over there?"
"I will be delighted to, I will indeed!" replied Peter
Rabbit, and all the time he smiled to himself behind
Reddy Fox bade Peter Rabbit good-by in the pleasantest
way you can imagine, yet all the time, down in his
heart, Reddy was so angry that he hardly knew what to
do, for you see he had got to go back to Granny Fox
without the tender young rabbit which he had promised
"This time I will be there two hours before sun-up, and
then we will see, Peter Rabbit, who is the smartest!"
said Reddy Fox to himself.