PETER RABBIT IN A TIGHT PLACE
"Hope along, skip along,
The sun is shining bright;
Hum a song, sing a song,
My heart is always light."
T is true, Peter Rabbit always is light-hearted. For days
and days Reddy Fox had been trying to catch Peter, and
Peter had had to keep his wits very sharp indeed in
order to keep out of Reddy's way. Still, it didn't seem
to worry Peter much. Just now he was hopping and
skipping down the Lone Little Path without a care in
Presently Peter found a nice, shady spot close by a big
rock. Underneath one edge of the rock was a place just
big enough for Peter to crawl in—it was just the
place for a nap. Peter was beginning to feel sleepy, so
he crawled in there and soon was fast asleep.
By and by Peter began to dream. He dreamed that he had
gone for a long walk, way, way off from the safe Old
Briar-patch, and that out from behind a big bush had
sprung Reddy Fox. Just as Reddy's teeth were about to
close on Peter, Peter woke up. It was such a relief to
find that he was really snug and safe under the big
rock that he almost shouted aloud. But he didn't, and a
minute later he was, oh, so glad he hadn't, for he
heard a voice that seemed as if it was right in his
ear. It was the voice of Reddy Fox. Yes, Sir, it was
the voice of Reddy Fox.
Peter hardly dared to breathe, and you may be sure that
he did not make even the smallest sound, for Reddy Fox
was sitting on the very rock under which Peter was
resting. Reddy Fox was talking to Blacky the Crow.
Peter listened with all his might, for what do you
think Reddy Fox was saying? Why, he was telling Blacky
the Crow of a new plan to catch Peter Rabbit and was
asking Blacky to help him.
Peter had never been so frightened in his life, for
here was Reddy Fox so close to him that Peter could
have reached out and touched one of Reddy's legs, as he
kicked his heels over the edge of the big rock. By and
by Blacky the Crow spoke.
"I saw Peter Rabbit coming down this way early this
morning," said Blacky, "and I don't think he has gone
home. Why don't you go over and hide near the Old
Briar-patch and catch Peter when he comes back? I will
watch out, and if I see Peter, I will tell him that you
have gone hunting your breakfast way over beyond the
big hill. Then he will not be on the watch."
"The very thing," exclaimed Reddy Fox, "and if I catch
him, I will surely do something for you, Blacky. I
believe that I will go right away."
Then the two rascals planned, and chuckled as they
thought how they would outwit Peter Rabbit.
"I'm getting hungry," said Reddy Fox, as he arose and
stretched. "I wonder if there is a field mouse hiding
under this old rock. I believe I'll look and see."
Peter's heart almost stood still as he heard Reddy Fox
slide down off the big rock. He wriggled himself still
further under the rock and held his breath. Just then
Blacky the Crow gave a sharp "Caw, caw, caw!" That
meant that Blacky saw something, and almost at once
Peter heard a sound that sometimes filled his heart
with fear but which now filled it with great joy. It
was the voice of Bowser the Hound. Reddy Fox heard it,
too, and he didn't stop to look under the big rock.
A little later Peter very cautiously crawled out of his
resting place and climbed up where he could look over
the Green Meadows. Way over on the far side he could
see Reddy Fox running at the top of his speed, and
behind him was Bowser the Hound.
"My! But that was a tight place," said Peter Rabbit, as
he stretched himself.