Prickly Porky in "Reddy Fox Is Very Miserable"

 

 

Reddy Fox Is Very

Miserable


When Reddy Fox put his tail between his legs and started away from that terrible creature coming down the hill where Prickly Porky lives, he thought of nothing but of getting as far away as he could in the shortest time that he could, and so, with a little frightened yelp with every jump, he ran as he seldom had run before. He forgot all about Unc' Billy Possum watching from the safety of a big pine-tree. He didn't see Jimmy Skunk poking his head out from behind an old stump and laughing fit to kill himself. When he reached the edge of the Green Forest, he didn't even see Ryder Rabbit jump out of his path and dodge into a hollow log.

When Reddy was safely past, Ryder came out. He sat up very straight, with his ears pointing right up to the sky and his eyes wide open with surprise as he stared after Reddy. "Why! Why, my gracious, I do believe Reddy has had a fright!" exclaimed Ryder. Then, being Ryder, he right away began to wonder what could have frightened Reddy so, and in a minute he thought of the strange creature which had frightened him a few days before. "I do believe that was it!" he cried. "I do believe it was. Reddy is coming from the direction of Prickly Porky's, and that was where I got my fright. I—I—"

Ryder hesitated. The truth is he was wondering if he dared go up there and see if that strange creature without head, tail, or legs really was around again. He knew it would be a foolish thing to do, for he might walk right into danger. He knew that little Mrs. Ryder was waiting for him over in the dear Old Briar-patch and that she would worry, for he ought to be there this very blessed minute. But he was very curious to know what had frightened Reddy so, and his curiosity, which has led him into so many scrapes, grew greater with every passing minute.
"It won't do any harm to go part way up there," thought Ryder. "Perhaps I will find out something without going way up there."
So, instead of starting for home as he should have done, he turned back through the Green Forest and, stopping every few hops to look and listen, made his way clear to the foot of the hill where Prickly Porky lives. There he hid under a little hemlock-tree and looked in every direction for the strange creature which had frightened him so the last time he was there. But nobody was to be seen but Prickly Porky, Jimmy Skunk, and Unc' Billy Possum rolling around in the leaves at the top of the hill and laughing fit to kill themselves.

"There's no danger here; that is sure," thought Ryder shrewdly, "and I believe those fellows have been up to some trick."With that he boldly hopped up the hill and joined them. "What's the joke?" he demanded.
"Did you meet Reddy Fox?" asked Jimmy Skunk, wiping the tears of laughter from his eyes.
"Did I meet him? Why, he almost ran into me and didn't see me at all. I guess he's running yet. Now, what's the joke?" Ryder demanded.

When the others could stop laughing long enough, they gathered around Ryder and told him something that sent Ryder off into such a fit of laughter that it made his sides ache, "That's a good one on Reddy, and it was just as good a one on me," he declared. "Now who else can we scare?"All of which shows that there was something very like mischief being planned on the hill where Prickly Porky the Porcupine lives.
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Peter Mink in "Mr. Rabbit Is Worried"

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