The Adventures of Unc' Billy Possum  by Thornton Burgess

Bobby Coon Is Waked Up

"Dey's a-coming, dey's a-coming, dey's a-coming mighty soon.

But dey can't come soon enuff fo' me!

Dey's a-coming, dey's a-coming at de turning ob de moon,

Whar Ah waits in mah ol' holler tree!"

U NC' BILLY POSSUM was singing to himself, as he slowly trudged home from Farmer Brown's hen-house. He was feeling very good, very good indeed, was Unc' Billy Possum. No one appreciates strictly fresh eggs more than Unc' Billy does, and he had found more than he could eat waiting for him in Farmer Brown's hen-house. Now his stomach was full, his house had been cleaned and put to rights, ready for his family when they should arrive from "Ol' Virginny," and he had nothing to do but wait for them. So he trudged along and sang in a funny, cracked voice.

Presently he came to his big hollow tree and started to climb up to the door of his house. Half way up he broke off short in the middle of his song and sat down on a convenient branch. He put one ear against the trunk of the tree and listened. Then he put the other ear against the tree and listened. There certainly was a funny noise, and it seemed to come from right inside his hollow tree. Unc' Billy turned and looked up at his doorway, scratching his head thoughtfully with one hand.

"Mah goodness!" said Unc' Billy, "it cert'nly sounds like there was somebody in mah house!"

Then very softly Unc' Billy crept up to his doorway and peeped in. It was dark inside, so that Unc' Billy could see little else than that his nice, freshly made, comfortable bed was all mussed up. But if he couldn't see, he could hear. Oh, yes, indeed, Unc' Billy could hear perfectly well, and what he heard was a snore! There was some one in Unc' Billy's house, and more than that, they were fast asleep in Unc' Billy's bed.

"Mah goodness! Mah goodness!" exclaimed Unc' Billy Possum, and his two sharp little eyes began to snap. Then he stuck his head in at the door and shouted:

"Hi, yo'all! What yo' doing in mah house?"

The only answer was another snore. Unc' Billy waited a minute. Then he put his head in once more.

"Yo' better come out of mah house, Mr. Who-ever-yo'-are, before Ah comes in and puts yo' out!" shouted Unc' Billy.

The only answer was a snore louder than before. Then Unc' Billy quite lost his temper. Some one who had no business there was in his house! He didn't know who it was, and he didn't care. They were going to come out or he would know why not. Unc' Billy gritted his teeth and in he went.

My! my! my! such a rumpus as there was right away in that hollow tree! Peter Rabbit happened to be coming along that way and heard it.


My! my! my! Such a rumpus as there was right away in that hollow tree!

Peter stopped and gazed at the hollow tree with eyes and mouth wide open. Such a snarling and growling! Then out of the doorway began to fly leaves and moss. They were part of Unc' Billy's bed. Then Peter saw a big ringed tail hanging out of the doorway. Peter recognized it right away. No one possessed a tail like that but Bobby Coon.

In a minute Bobby followed his tail, hastily backing down the tree. Then Unc' Billy's sharp little old face appeared at the doorway. Unc' Billy looked down at Peter Rabbit and grinned.

"Ah guess Mistah Coon done make a mistake when he went to bed in mah house," said he.

And Bobby Coon sheepishly admitted that he did.