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Chapter 13


WHEN Bobby Coon left Unc' Billy Possum's hollow tree, he went fishing. You know he is very fond of fishing. All night long he fished and played along the Laughing Brook, and when at last jolly, round, red Mr. Sun began his daily climb up in the blue, blue sky, Bobby was wet, tired, and sleepy. But he was happy. It did seem so good to be wandering about at his own sweet will in the beautiful Green Forest once more. It struck him now as rather a joke that he hadn't any house to go to. It was a long, long time since he had been without a home.

"I've got to sleep somewhere," said Bobby, rubbing his eyes and yawning, "and the sooner I find a place, the better. I'm so sleepy now I can hardly keep my eyes open. Hello, there's a great big log over there! If it is hollow, it will be just the place for me."

He marched straight over to the old log. It was big, very big, and to Bobby's great joy it was hollow, with an opening at one end. He was just going to crawl in, when Peter Rabbit popped out from behind a tree.

"Hello, Bobby Coon!" cried Peter joyously. "Where have you been? I was over where you used to live and found your house gone, and I was afraid something dreadful had happened to you. What did happen, and where have you been?"

Now, tired and sleepy as he was, Bobby had to stop and talk for a few minutes. You see, Peter was the first of his friends Bobby had met to whom he could tell all the wonderful things that had happened to him, and he was fairly aching to tell some one. So he sat down and told Peter how his hollow tree had been cut down, and how his leg had been broken, and how Farmer Brown's boy had taken him home and fixed that leg so that Old Mother Nature could make it as well and sound as ever, and how Farmer Brown's boy had brought him back to the Green Forest and set him free, and how he had been fishing all night and now was looking for a place to get a wink or two of sleep.

"Now, if you'll excuse me, Peter, I'm going to turn in for a nap," Bobby ended, and started to crawl in the end of the hollow log.

"Oh!" cried Peter. "Oh, you mustn't go in there, Bobby!"

But Bobby didn't hear him, or if he did he didn't heed. He kept right on and disappeared. A funny look crept over Peter's face, and presently he began to chuckle. "I think I'll wait awhile and see what happens," said he.

Inside that big hollow log, Bobby found it very dry and warm and comfortable. There was a bed of dry leaves there, and it looked very inviting. Now ordinarily Bobby would have examined the inside of that log very thoroughly before going to sleep, but he was so tired and sleepy that he didn't half look around. He didn't go to the farther end at all. He just dropped right down midway, curled up, and in no time at all was fast asleep. It was a mistake, a very great mistake, as Bobby was shortly to find out. Meanwhile, outside sat Peter Rabbit, although it was already past time for him to be home in the dear Old Briar-patch.

Thornton W. Burgess

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