ETER RABBIT had sat still all day long in his safe
Half way up the Lone Little Path Peter almost ran
"Mah goodness, Brer Rabbit, yo'all done give me a
powerful start!" exclaimed
Peter Rabbit grinned as he stopped running. "I didn't
mean to frighten you, Uncle Billy. The fact is, I was
on my way up to your house to see how you and old
Unc' Billy Possum looked at Peter Rabbit sharply.
"Seems to me that yo'all have taken a powerful sudden
Peter looked a little foolish, for it was true that he hadn't been near Unc' Billy's hollow tree for a long time. "You see, I've been very busy getting ready for winter," said Peter, by way of an excuse.
Unc' Billy began to chuckle and then to laugh. He rested both hands on his knees and laughed and laughed.
Peter Rabbit couldn't see anything to laugh at and he began to get just a wee bit provoked.
"What's the joke?" he demanded.
"The very idea of Brer Rabbit getting ready for winter
or of being busy about anything but other people's
Peter tried to feel and to look very angry, but he
couldn't. No, Sir, he couldn't. The very twinkle in
"Johnny Chuck disappeared down in his house and said he would see me in the spring; what did he mean by that?" asked Peter.
"Just what he said," replied Unc' Billy. "He done gone down to his bed and gone to sleep, and he's gwine to stay asleep until next spring."
Peter's eyes looked as if they would pop right out of his head. "And Grandfather Frog, what has become of him?" he asked.
"Oh, Grandfather Frog, he done gone to sleep, too, down in the mud at the bottom of the Smiling Pool. Ah reckon yo' will see Grandfather Frog come up right pert in the spring," said Unc' Billy.
"And Ol' Mistah Buzzard—he shouted down from the blue, blue sky that he would see me in the spring; has he gone to sleep up there?" asked Peter.
Unc' Billy Possum threw back his head and laughed fit to kill himself.
"Bless yo' long ears, no, Brer Rabbit! No indeed! Oh
my, no! Brer Buzzard done fly away down Souf to
Then Peter Rabbit had a sudden thought. "You aren't going away to sleep all winter, are you, Uncle Billy?" he asked anxiously.
The grin came back to Unc' Billy's face. "No, Brer
Rabbit. Ah reckons yo'all can find me right in mah
hollow tree most any time this winter, if yo' knock
loud enough. But Ah don' reckon on going out much,
and Ah do reckon Ah'm going to have a right smart lot
of sleep," replied