The Adventures of Prickly Porky  by Thornton Burgess

A Plot To Frighten Old Man Coyote

Mischief leads to mischief, for it is almost sure

To never, never be content without a little more.

N OW you would think that after Peter Rabbit's very, very, narrow escape from the clutches of Old Granny Fox that Jimmy Skunk, Unc' Billy Possum, Peter Rabbit, and Prickly Porky would have been satisfied with the pranks they already had played. No, Sir, they were not! You see, when danger is over, it is quickly forgotten. No sooner had Peter been made comfortable in the old house behind the big stump on the hill where Prickly Porky lives than the four scamps began to wonder who else they could scare with the terrible creature without head, legs, or tail which had so frightened Reddy and Old Granny Fox.

"There is Old Man Coyote; he is forever frightening those smaller and weaker than himself. I'd just love to see him run," said Peter Rabbit.

"The very one!" cried Jimmy Skunk. "I wonder if he would be afraid. You know he is even smarter than Granny Fox, and though she was frightened at first, she soon got over it. How do you suppose we can get him over here?"

"We-uns will take Brer Jay into our secret. Brer Jay will tell Brer Coyote that Brer Rabbit is up here on Brer Porky's hill, hurt so that he can't get home," said Unc' Billy Possum. "That's all Brer Jay need to say. Brer Coyote is gwine to come up here hot foot with his tongue hanging out fo' that dinner he's sho' is waiting fo' him here."

"You won't do anything of the kind!" spoke up little Mrs. Peter, who, you know, had bravely left the dear Old Briar-patch and come up here in the Green Forest to take care of Peter. "Peter has had trouble enough already, and I'm not going to let him have any more, so there!"

"Peter isn't going to get into any trouble," spoke up Jimmy Skunk. "Peter and you are going to be just as safe as if you were over in the Old Briar-patch, for you will be in that old house where nothing can harm you. Now, please, Mrs. Peter, don't be foolish. You don't like Old Man Coyote, do you? You'd like to see him get a great scare to make up for the scares he has given Peter and you, wouldn't you?"

Little Mrs. Peter was forced to admit that she would, and after a little more teasing she finally agreed to let them try their plan for giving Old Man Coyote a scare. Sammy Jay happened along just as Jimmy Skunk was starting out to look for him, and when he was told what was wanted of him, he agreed to do his part. You know Sammy is always ready for any mischief. Just as he started to look for Old Man Coyote, Unc' Billy Possum made another suggestion.

"We-uns have had a lot of fun with Reddy and Granny Fox," said he, "and now it seems to me that it is no more than fair to invite them over to see Old Man Coyote and what he will do when he first sees the terrible creature that has frightened them so. Granny knows now that there is nothing to be afraid of, and perhaps she will forget her anger if she has a chance to see Old Man Coyote run away. Yo' know she isn't wasting any love on him. What do yo' alls say?"

Peter and Mrs. Peter said "No!" right away, but Jimmy Skunk and Prickly Porky thought it a good idea, and of course Sammy Jay was willing. After a little, when it was once more pointed out to them how they would be perfectly safe in the old house behind the big stump, Peter and Mrs. Peter agreed, and Sammy started off on his errand.