REDDY FOX COMES TO LIFE
EDDY FOX lay on the side hill. Bobby Coon found him there, and
when Bobby spoke to him, Reddy made no reply. Bobby
went over and looked at him. Reddy's eyes were closed.
Bobby grinned to himself, then he tip-toed a little
nearer and shouted "boo" right in one of Reddy's little
black ears. Still Reddy did not move. Bobby Coon's face
grew sober. He poked Reddy with is foot, but still
Reddy did not move. Then he pulled Reddy's tail, and
still Reddy did not move. "It must be that Reddy Fox is
dead," thought Bobby Coon, and he hurried away to tell
There was great excitement on the Green Meadows and in
the Green Forest when the little people there heard
that Reddy Fox was dead. Of course, every one wanted to
see Reddy, and soon there was a procession of little
meadow and forest people hurrying across the Green
Meadows to the hillside where Reddy Fox lay. Jimmy
Skunk, Johnny Chuck, Billy Mink, Little Joe Otter, Unc'
Billy Possum, Danny Meadow Mouse, Spotty the Turtle,
Old Mr. Road, Grandfather Frog, Jerry Muskrat, Sammy
Jay, Blacky the Crow, Happy Jack Squirrel, Striped
Chipmunk, Jumper the Hare, Prickly Porky, all were
there. They formed a big circled around Reddy Fox.
Then they began to talk about Reddy. Some told of the
good things that Reddy had done and what a fine
gentleman he was. Others told of the mean things that
Reddy Fox had done and how glad they were that they
would no longer have to watch out for him. It was
surprising the number of bad things that were said. But
then, they felt safe in saying them, for was not Reddy
lying right there before them, stone dead?
Now, Peter Rabbit had not heard the news until late in
the day, and when he did hear it, he started as fast as
his long legs could take him to have a last look at
Reddy. Half way there he suddenly stopped and scratched
one of his long ears. Peter was thinking. It was mighty
funny that Reddy Fox should have died without any one
having heard that he was sick. Peter started on again,
but this time he did not hurry. Presently he cut a long
twig, which he carried along with him. When he reached
the circle around Reddy Fox, he stole up behind Prickly
Porky the Porcupine and whispered in his ear.
Prickly Porky took the long twig which Peter handed to
him, while Peter went off at a little distance and
climbed up on an old stump where he could see. Prickly
Porky reached over and tickled one of Reddy's black
ears. For a minute nothing happened. Then the black ear
twitched. Prickly Porky tickled the end of Reddy's
little black nose; then he tickled it again. What do
you think happened? Why, Reddy Fox sneezed!
My, my, my! How that circle around Reddy Fox did
disappear! All the little people who were afraid of
Reddy Fox scampered away as fast as they could run,
while all the other little people who were not afraid
of Reddy Fox began to laugh, and the one who laughed
loudest of all was Peter Rabbit, as he started back to
the Old Briar-patch.
Of course, Reddy Fox knew then that it was of no use at
all to pretend that he was dead, so he sprang to his
feet and started after Peter Rabbit at the top of his
speed, but when he reached the Old Briar-patch, Peter
was safely inside, and Reddy could hear him laughing as
if he would split his sides.
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"
shouted Peter Rabbit.
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