JIMMY SKUNK AND UNC' BILLY POSSUM MEET
IMMY SKUNK ambled along down the Lone Little Path through
the Green Forest. He didn't hurry. Jimmy never does
hurry. Hurrying and worrying are two things he leaves
for his neighbors. Now and then Jimmy stopped to turn
over a bit of bark or a stick, hoping to find some fat
beetles. But it was plain to see that he had something
besides fat beetles on his mind.
Up the Lone Little Path through the Green Forest
shuffled Unc' Billy Possum. He didn't hurry. It was too
warm to hurry. Unlike Jimmy Skunk,
 he does hurry
sometimes, does Unc' Billy, especially when he suspects
that Bowser the Hound is about. And sometimes Unc'
Billy does worry. You see, there are people who think
that Unc' Billy would make a very good dinner. Unc'
Billy doesn't think he would. Anyway, he has no desire
to have the experiment tried. So occasionally, when he
one of these people who think he would make a good
dinner, he worries a little.
But just now Unc' Billy was neither hurrying nor
worrying. There was no need of doing either, and Unc'
Billy never does anything that there is no need of
doing. So Unc' Billy shuffled up the Lone Little Path,
and Jimmy Skunk ambled down the Lone Little Path, and
right at a bend in the Lone Little Path they met.
Jimmy Skunk grinned. "Hello,
 Unc' Billy!" said he.
"Have you seen any fat beetles this morning?"
Unc' Billy grinned. "Good mo'nin', Brer Skunk," he
replied. "Ah can't rightly say Ah have. Ah had it on
mah mind to ask yo' the same thing."
Jimmy sat down and looked at Unc' Billy with twinkling
eyes. His grin grew broader and became a chuckle. "Unc'
Billy," said he, "have you ever in your life combed
your hair or brushed your coat?" You know Unc' Billy
usually looks as if every hair was trying to point in a
different direction from every other hair, while Jimmy
Skunk always appears as neat as if he spent half his
time brushing and smoothing his handsome black and
Unc' Billy's eyes twinkled. "Ah reckons Ah did such a
thing once or twice when Ah was very small, Brer
Skunk," said he, without a trace of a
 smile. "But it
seems to me a powerful waste of time. Ah have mo'
important things to worry about. By the way, Brer
Skunk, did yo' ever run away from anybody in all your
Jimmy looked surprised at the question. He scratched
his head thoughtfully. "Not that I remember of," said
he after a little. "Most folks run away from me," he
added with a little throaty chuckle. "Those who don't
run away always are polite and step aside. It may be
that when I was a very little fellow and didn't know
much about the Great World and the people who live in
it, I might have run away from some one, but if I did,
I can't remember it. Why do you ask, Unc' Billy?"
"Oh, no reason in particular, Brer Skunk. No reason in
particular. Only Ah wonder sometimes if yo' ever
realize how lucky yo' are. If Ah never had to
about mah hungry neighbors, Ah reckons perhaps Ah might
brush mah coat oftener." Unc' Billy's eyes twinkled
more than ever.
"Worry," replied Jimmy Skunk sagely, "is the result of
being unprepared. Anybody who is prepared has no
occasion to worry. Just think it over, Unc' Billy."
It was Unc' Billy's turn to scratch his head
thoughtfully. "Ah fear Ah don't quite get your meaning,
Brer Skunk," said he.
"Sit down, Unc' Billy, and I'll explain," replied
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics