The Adventures of Unc’ Billy Possum Part 2

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The Adventures of Unc’ Billy Possum is a Webnovel created by Thornton W. Burgess.
This lightnovel is currently completed.

“It would be finer, if I could fill my stomach faster,” replied Reddy.

“That’s a pretty good secret of Peter Rabbit’s, isn’t it?” asked Sammy, pretending to look very wise.

Reddy p.r.i.c.ked up his sharp little ears.

“What secret?” he demanded.

“If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell,” retorted Sammy Jay, just as if he knew all about it, and off he flew to hunt up his cousin, Blacky the Crow. Blacky knew nothing about Peter Rabbit’s secret, nor did Shadow the Weasel, whom he met by the way. But Sammy Jay was not in the least bit discouraged.

“I’ll try Johnny Chuck; he’ll know,” said Sammy to himself.

He found Johnny sitting on his doorstep, watching the world go by.

“Good morning, Johnny Chuck,” said Sammy, with a low bow.

“Good morning,” replied Johnny Chuck, who always is polite.

“Isn’t that a fine secret of Peter Rabbit’s?” exclaimed Sammy, just as if he knew all about it.

Johnny Chuck raised his eyebrows and put on the most surprised look.

“Do tell me what it is!” he begged.

“Oh, if you don’t know, I won’t tell, for that wouldn’t be fair,”

replied Sammy, and tried to look very honest and innocent, and then he flew over to the Green Forest. And as he flew, he said to himself: “Johnny Chuck can’t fool me; he does know Peter Rabbit’s secret.”

Over in the Green Forest he found Drummer the Woodp.e.c.k.e.r making a great racket on the hollow limb of an old chestnut. Sammy sat down near by and listened. “My, that’s fine! I wish I could do that. You must be practising,” said Sammy at the end of a long rat-a-tat-tat.

Drummer the Woodp.e.c.k.e.r felt very much flattered. “I am,” said he. “I’m practising for Peter Rabbit’s party.”

“I thought so,” replied Sammy Jay. Of course he hadn’t thought anything of the kind.

“Won’t Unc’ Billy Possum be surprised?” remarked Drummer the Woodp.e.c.k.e.r, as he sat down to rest.

“He surely will,” replied Sammy Jay, and then he flattered and flattered Drummer the Woodp.e.c.k.e.r until finally Drummer told all about Peter’s plan for a surprise party for Unc’ Billy Possum.

By and by, as he flew home, Sammy Jay chuckled and said:

“You’ve got to rise ‘fore break of day If you want to fool old Mr. Jay.”

VII

FOUR LITTLE SCAMPS PLAN MISCHIEF

“Some folks think they’re mighty smart– Oh, la me! Oh, la me!

Like the knave who stole the tart– Oh, la me! Oh, la me!

Some folks will waken up some day– And find they can’t fool Mr. Jay!”

Sammy Jay was mightily pleased with himself. He had found out all about Peter Rabbit’s plan to give Unc’ Billy Possum a surprise party when his family came up from “Ol’ Virginny.” He had found out that all the little forest and meadow people but himself and his cousin, Blacky the Crow, and Reddy Fox and Shadow the Weasel had been invited, and that each was to bring something good to eat. Sammy Jay smacked his lips as he thought of this. Then he looked up at jolly, round, red Mr.

Sun and winked.

Now on all the Green Meadows and in all the Green Forest, there live no greater scamps than Sammy Jay and Blacky the Crow and Reddy Fox and Shadow the Weasel. The worst of it is, they are not honest. They steal whenever they get a chance, and always they try to get others into trouble. That was why Peter Rabbit had left them out, when he planned his surprise party for Unc’ Billy Possum.

Sammy Jay called the three others together under the Lone Pine and told them all about Peter Rabbit’s plan and how they had been left out. Of course Blacky the Crow and Reddy Fox and Shadow the Weasel were angry, very angry indeed, for no one likes to be left out of a good time. The more Sammy Jay told them, the angrier they grew; and the angrier they grew, the more Sammy Jay chuckled, way down inside.

Sammy had a plan, and the angrier the others grew, the more likely were they to help him.

“You wait till I catch Peter Rabbit!” said Reddy Fox and showed all his teeth. He quite forgot that, despite all his smartness, he never yet had caught Peter Rabbit.

Blacky the Crow scratched his head thoughtfully. “We can spoil his surprise by telling Unc’ Billy Possum all about it beforehand,” said he.

Sammy Jay winked at each of the others. He cleared his throat and looked all around, to make sure that no one else was near. Then he leaned forward and whispered: “Let’s invite ourselves to the party.”

“What do you mean?” exclaimed the others, all together.

“Just what I say,” replied Sammy. “We’ll be the real surprise. Before the party begins, you will hide close to where it is to be. When everybody has got there and brought all the good things to eat, I’ll come flying along and scream: ‘Here comes Bowser the Hound!’ Of course every one will run away, and we’ll have all the good things to eat.”

“Haw! haw! haw! The very thing! We’ll all be there,” cried Blacky the Crow.

The four little scamps shook hands and separated. As they went across the Green Meadows, Sammy Jay’s voice floated back to the Lone Pine. He was singing, although he has a very poor voice for singing, and this was his song:

[Ill.u.s.tration: “What do you mean?” exclaimed the others all together.]

“Some folks think they’re mighty smart– Oh, la me! Oh, la me!

Like the knave who stole the tart– Oh, la me! Oh, la me!

Some folks will waken up some day– And find they can’t fool Mr. Jay!”

“Is that so? Really now, I want to know,” said old Mr. Toad, crawling from under the very piece of bark on which Sammy Jay had sat when he told his plan. Then old Mr. Toad winked slowly and solemnly at jolly, round, red Mr. Sun and started off to find Peter Rabbit.

VIII

PETER RABBIT SENDS OUT WORD

It was a beautiful morning. Everybody said so, and what everybody says is usually so. Peter Rabbit wore the broadest kind of a smile. He hopped and skipped all the way down the Lone Little Path on to the Green Meadows and was waiting there when Old Mother West Wind came down from the Purple Hills and, turning her big bag upside down, tumbled out all her children, the Merry Little Breezes, to play. Peter stopped them before they had a chance to run away. He whispered to each, and each in turn started to dance across the Green Meadows to carry the news that this was the day of Peter Rabbit’s surprise party for Unc’ Billy Possum, whose family would arrive that very morning from way down in “Ol’ Virginny.”

Sammy Jay had risen very early that morning. Almost at once his sharp eyes had seen Peter Rabbit sending out the Merry Little Breezes.

Sammy’s wits are as sharp as his eyes, and you know it is very hard to really fool sharp wits. Right away Sammy had guessed what the Merry Little Breezes were hurrying so for, but he sat and waited and listened. Pretty soon he heard Drummer the Woodp.e.c.k.e.r start a long rat-a-tat-tat over by Unc’ Billy Possum’s hollow tree. Then Sammy was sure that this was the day of Peter Rabbit’s party. Sammy grinned as he hurried off to find Blacky the Crow and Reddy Fox and Shadow the Weasel.

Reddy was not yet out of bed, but when he heard Sammy Jay at his door, he tumbled out in a hurry. He didn’t stop to get any breakfast, because he had planned to get all he could eat at the party. So he hurried over to where the party was to be. Very cautiously he crept up, and when he was quite sure that no one was about, he crawled into a hollow log which was open at one end. There he stretched himself out and made himself as comfortable as he could.

Pretty soon Shadow the Weasel joined Reddy Fox in the hollow log, and they whispered and chuckled while they waited. They knew that Blacky the Crow was safely hidden in the top of a tall pine, where he could see all that went on, and that Sammy Jay was flying about over the Green Meadows and through the Green Forest, pretending that he was attending wholly to his own business, but really watching all the preparations for Peter Rabbit’s party. At the foot of a tree, in the top of which p.r.i.c.kly Porky the Porcupine was eating his breakfast, sat old Mr. Toad, nodding sleepily. Sammy Jay saw him there but, smart as Sammy is, he didn’t once suspect innocent-looking old Mr. Toad. You see, he didn’t know that old Mr. Toad had overheard all of his plans.

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