JOHNNY CHUCK PREPARES FOR WINTER
HERE was something in the air that Peter Rabbit couldn't
understand. It made him feel frisky and happy and ready
to run a race or have a frolic with any one who might
happen along. He couldn't understand why it didn't make
all his friends and neighbors on the Green Meadows and
in the Green Forest feel the same way. But it didn't.
No, Sir, it didn't. Some of those with whom he best
liked to play wouldn't play at all, not even for a few
minutes; said they hadn't time. Peter was puzzling over
it as he scampered down the Lone Little Path, kicking
his heels and trying to jump over his own shadow. Just
ahead of him, sitting on his own door-step, sat Johnny
"My goodness, how fat Johnny Chuck is getting!" thought
Peter Rabbit. Then he shouted: "Come on and play hide
and seek, Johnny Chuck!"
But Johnny Chuck shook his head. "Can't!" said he.
"I've got to get ready for winter."
Peter Rabbit sat down and looked at Johnny Chuck
curiously. He couldn't understand why anybody should
take the trouble to get ready for winter. He didn't,
excepting that he put on a warmer coat. So he couldn't
imagine why Johnny Chuck should have to get ready for
"How do you do it?" he asked.
"Do what?" Johnny Chuck looked up in surprise.
"Why, get ready for winter, of course," Peter replied,
just a wee bit impatiently.
Johnny Chuck looked at Peter as if he thought Peter was
very stupid indeed.
"Why, I eat, of course," said he shortly, and began to
stuff himself as if he hadn't had anything to eat for a
week, when all the time he was so fat and roly-poly
that he could hardly waddle.
Peter's eyes twinkled. "I should think you did!" he
exclaimed. "I wouldn't mind getting ready for winter
that way myself." You know Peter thinks a very great
deal of his stomach. Then he added: "I should think you
were trying to eat enough to last you all winder."
Johnny Chuck yawned sleepily and then once more began
to eat. "I am," he said briefly, talking with his mouth
"What's that?" cried Peter Rabbit, his big eyes popping
"I said I'm trying to eat enough to last me all winter!
That's the way I get ready for winter," replied Johnny
Chuck, just a wee bit crossly. "I think I've got enough
now," he added. "How cool it is getting! I think I'll
go down and go to sleep. I'll see you in the spring,
"Wha— what's that?" exclaimed Peter Rabbit,
looking as if he thought he hadn't heard aright. But
Johnny Chuck had disappeared inside his house.
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