R EDDY FOX came down the Lone Little Path through the Green Forest on his way to the Green Meadows. He had brushed his red coat until it shone. His white waistcoat was spotless, and he carried his big tail high in the air, that it might not become soiled. Reddy was feeling as fine as he looked. He would have liked to sing, but every time he tried his voice cracked, and he was afraid that some one would hear him and laugh at him. If there is one thing that Reddy Fox dislikes more than another, it is being laughed at.
Reddy chuckled at his thoughts, and what do you think he was thinking
Why, about how he had seen Farmer Brown's boy carrying off
Reddy remembered that Unc' Billy's hollow tree was not far away. He
would go over that way, just to have another look at it. So over he
went. There stood the old hollow tree, and
half way up was the door
out of which
"Ol' Bill Possum, he's gone before!
Ol' Bill Possum, he is no more!
Bill was a scamp, Sir;
Bill was a thief!
Bill stole an egg, Sir;
Bill came to grief.
Ol' Bill Possum, it served him right;
And he is no more, for he died last night."
"Very good, Sah, very good. Ah cert'nly am obliged to yo'all for yo' serenade," said a voice that seemed to come out of the tree at Reddy's back.
Reddy Fox sprang up as if some one had stuck a pin into him. Every hair stood on end, as he looked up at Unc' Billy's doorway. Then his teeth began to chatter with fright.
Reddy Fox sprang up as if some one had stuck a pin into him.
Looking out of Unc' Billy's
doorway and grinning down at him was something that looked for all the
"It must be his ghost!" said Reddy, and tucking his tail between his legs, he started up the Crooked Little Path as fast as his legs could take him.
Reddy never once looked back. If he had, he might have seen Unc' Billy Possum climb down from the hollow tree and shake hands with Jimmy Skunk, who had just come along.
"How did Ah do it? Why, Ah just pretended Ah was daid, when Farmer
Brown's boy caught me," explained
Unc' Billy Possum grinned broader than ever, and Jimmy Skunk grinned, too.