UNC' BILLY POSSUM PLAYS A JOKE
"Some folks never seem to be
Satisfied or quite content;
Always wanting something more
That fo' them was never meant."
NC' BILLY POSSUM said this to himself as he watched Peter Rabbit
hurrying about through the Green Forest and over the
Green Meadows, eating as fast as ever he could so as to
grow fat that he might keep warm while he slept all
winter. Now Unc' Billy Possum knew perfectly well that
Peter Rabbit couldn't sleep all winter as Johnny Chuck
does, for Old Mother Nature had never planned that
Peter should. But Unc' Billy knew that it was of no use
to tell Peter that, for Peter wouldn't believe him. So
he chuckled as he watched Peter rush around hunting for
food and actually running off what little fat he did
have, instead of putting on more.
Of course it just happened that Unc' Billy Possum was
right over near the old house built by Grandfather
Skunk a long time ago, which Peter Rabbit had decided
to sleep in all winter. It just happened that he saw
Peter when he finally went down to the little
bedchamber at the end of the long hall to curl up and
try to go to sleep.
Unc' Billy grinned. Then he chuckled. Finally he
laughed until his fat sides shook.
"Ah reckon Ah'm gwine to have some fun with Brer
Rabbit," said Unc' Billy, still chuckling, as he
trotted off through the Green Forest. He went over to
Bobby Coon's house and found Bobby, who had been out
all night, just getting ready for bed. But Bobby is
always ready to play a joke, and when Unc' Billy told
him about Peter Rabbit and what fun it would be to give
Peter a scare, Bobby scrambled down from his hollow
tree right away. Then they hunted up Jimmy Skunk and
the three started for the old house of Grandfather
Skunk, where Peter Rabbit was trying to go to sleep for
"Ah done tell Peter that when he tried to go to sleep
he mustn't get to thinking about what would happen if
Brer Fox should jes' happen along and find him asleep.
Ah reckons that that is the very first thing Peter did
think of, as soon as he curled himself up and that he's
thinking of it more'n ever right this blessed minute.
Yo'alls wait while Ah listen at the door."
Unc' Billy stole very softly to the door of the old
house. Then he began to grin and beckoned to Bobby Coon
and Jimmy Skunk to come listen. They could hear long
signs from way down in the bedchamber at the end of the
long hall. They heard Peter twist and turn, as he tried
to make himself comfortable. But when they heard him
saying a verse over and over to try to make himself go
to sleep, they had to clap their hands over their
mouths to keep from laughing out loud.
When they grew tired of listening, Unc' Billy whispered
to Jimmy Skunk. Jimmy Skunk grinned, and then he crept
a little way down the long hall and began to scratch
with his stout claws, as if he were digging. When he
stopped, Unc' Billy put his mouth down close to the
doorway and barked as nearly like Reddy Fox as he
could. Then Jimmy began to dig again, and pretty soon
Unc' Billy barked again. Then all three stole softly
away and hid behind some bushes.
"Ah reckon Brer Rabbit is right smart wide-awake
instead of going to sleep fo' the winter!" chuckled