The Adventures of Unc' Billy Possum by Thornton Burgess
Unc' Billy Possum Is a Prisoner
"Mah home is in a holler tree—
It's a long way home!
Ah wish Ah's there, but here Ah be—
It's a long way home!
If Ah had only been content
Instead of out on mischief bent,
Ah'd have no reason to repent—
It's a long way home!"
NC' BILLY POSSUM lay curled up under the hay in the highest nest in
the darkest corner in Farmer Brown's hen-house. Unc' Billy didn't dare
go to sleep, because he was afraid that Farmer Brown's boy might find
him. And, anyway, he wanted to see just what Farmer Brown's boy was
doing. So peeping out, he watched
Farmer Brown's boy, who seemed to
be very busy indeed. What do you think he was doing? Unc' Billy knew.
Yes, Sir, Unc' Billy knew just what Farmer Brown's boy was doing. He
was setting traps.
Unc' Billy's eyes twinkled as he watched Farmer Brown's boy, for Unc'
Billy knew that those traps were being set for him, and now that he
knew just where each one was, of course he wasn't a bit afraid. It
seemed to Unc' Billy that it was just the greatest kind of a joke to
be watching Farmer Brown's boy set those traps, while all the time
Farmer Brown's boy thought he was hiding them so cleverly that the
only way they would be found would be by some one stepping into one
and getting caught.
"There," said Farmer Brown's boy, as he set the last trap, "I'd like
anything get into this hen-house now without getting caught!"
Unc' Billy almost chuckled aloud. Yes, Sir, he almost chuckled aloud.
It was such a funny idea that Farmer Brown's boy should have taken all
the trouble to set those traps to catch Unc' Billy trying to get into
the hen-house, when all the time he was already in there.
Unc' Billy laughed under his breath as Farmer Brown's boy closed the
door of the hen-house and went off whistling.
"Ho, ho, ho! Ha, ha, ha!
Hee, hee!" Unc' Billy broke off short,
right in the very middle of his
laugh. He had just thought of something, and it wasn't funny at all.
With all those traps set at every opening to the hen-house, no one
could get in without getting caught, and of course no one who was in
could get out without getting caught!
The joke wasn't on Farmer Brown's boy, after all; it was on Unc' Billy
Possum. But Unc' Billy couldn't see that it was any joke at all.
Unc' Billy was a prisoner,
a prisoner in Farmer Brown's hen-house, and he
didn't know how ever he was going to get out of there.
"It's a long way home," said Unc' Billy mournfully, as he peeped out
of a crack toward the Green Forest.