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PETER RABBIT HAS A BRIGHT IDEA
ETER RABBIT had a bright idea. At least Peter thought it was, and
he chuckled over it a great deal. The more he thought
about it, the better it seemed. What was it? Why, to
follow the plan of Johnny Chuck and Grandfather Frog to
avoid the cold, stormy weather by sleeping all winter.
Yes, Sir, that was Peter Rabbit's bright idea.
"If Johnny Chuck can sleep and sleep
The whole long, stormy winter through,
It ought to be, it seems to me,
The very thing for me to do."
Peter Rabbit said this to himself, as he sat in the
middle of the Old Briar-patch, chewing the end of a
straw. If Johnny Chuck could do it, of course he could
do it. All he would have to do would be to find a snug,
warm house which nobody else was using, fix himself a
comfortable bed, curl up, and go to sleep. Peter tried
to picture himself sleeping away while the snow lay
deep all over the Green Meadows and the Smiling Pool
could smile no more because the ice, the hard black
ice, would not let it.
Finally Peter could sit still no longer. He just had to
tell some one about his bright idea and—and well,
he wasn't quite sure of just the way to go to sleep and
sleep so long, for never in his life had Peter Rabbit
slept more than a very, very short time without waking
to see that no danger was near.
"I'll just run up and see Uncle Billy Possum!" said
Unc' Billy Possum was sitting in his doorway in his
big, hollow tree in the Green Forest, when Peter Rabbit
came hurrying up, lipperty-lipperty-lip. Peter hardly
waited to say good morning before he began to tell Unc'
Billy all about his bright idea. Unc' Billy listened
gravely, although there was a twinkle in his eyes.
"The first thing yo' must do is to find a warm place to
sleep, Brer Rabbit," said Unc' Billy.
"Oh, that's easy enough!" said Peter.
"And then yo' must get fat, Brer Rabbit," continued
"What's that?" exclaimed Peter Rabbit, looking very
"Ah say yo' must get fat," repeated Unc' Billy,
slapping his own fat sides.
"What for?" asked Peter.
"To keep yo' warm while yo' are asleep," replied Unc'
"Must I get very fat?" Peter asked.
"Yes, Sah, yo' must get very fat indeed," said Unc'
Billy, and smiled, for it was hard to think of Peter
Rabbit as very fat.
"How—how can I get fat?" asked Peter, and looked
just a little bit worried.
"By eating and eating and eating, and between times
sitting still," replied Unc' Billy Possum.
"That's easy, at least the eating is!" said Peter, who,
you know, thinks a great deal of his stomach. "Is that
all, Uncle Billy?"
"That's about all, excepting yo' mustn't have anything
on yo' mind when yo' try to go to sleep, Brer Rabbit.
Yo' mustn't get to worrying fo' fear Brer Fox gwine to
find yo' while yo' are asleep," said Unc' Billy, and
grinned when Peter happened to turn his head.
Peter thanked Unc' Billy and hurried back to the Old
Briar-patch to think over all that Unc' Billy had told
"I certainly will try it," said Peter.