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Chapter 15


Did you ever have the Sandman

Fill your eyes all full of sand

And then have to keep them open

When there was no bed at hand?

IF you have had that happen, then you know exactly how Bobby Coon felt when he was obliged to crawl out of Prickly Porky's bed and go hunt for another. He was so very, very sleepy that he felt almost as if he could go to sleep standing right on his feet. This was because he had been up all night and awake most of the day before. Now he wished that instead of spending the night in fishing and playing about the Laughing Brook, he had hunted for a house.

To be sleepy and not able to sleep makes Bobby cross, just as it does most folks. So, as he hurried away from the neighborhood of Prickly Porky and his thousand little spears, he was in a bad temper. Of course, he knew it was his own fault that he was in such a fix, and this didn't make him feel a bit better. In fact, it made him feel worse. It usually is that way.

So he grumbled to himself as he went along. He didn't know where he was going. He was too cross and sleepy and upset to do any thinking. So he went along, aimlessly looking for a place where he might sleep undisturbed. At last he came to a tall stump, a great big old stump that had stood in the Green Forest for years and years. Bobby climbed to the top of it. It was hollow, just as he had hoped. Indeed, it was just a shell. Looking down, Bobby saw with a great deal of satisfaction that the bottom was covered with a great mass of rotted wood. It would make a very comfortable bed. Moreover, it was plain that no one else was using it.

Bobby sighed with satisfaction. It was just the place for a good long nap. He could sleep there all day in perfect comfort. It wouldn't do for a home, because the top was open to the sky, and on a rainy day the inside of that stump would soon be a very wet place indeed. But for a nice long nap on a pleasant day, it would be hard to beat. Bobby sighed again, looked all about to make sure that no one was watching him, and then climbed down inside.

"I guess," muttered Bobby, as he curled up on the bed of rotted wood, which is sometimes called punk, "that at last I shall be allowed to sleep in peace. I never was more sleepy in all my life." He yawned two or three times, changed his position for greater comfort, closed his eyes, and in a twinkling was asleep.

Now, though he thought no one saw him go into that old stump, some one did. That some one was Peter Rabbit. Peter had followed Bobby just out of curiosity. He had hidden behind trees so as to keep out of Bobby's sight. So he had seen Bobby climb the stump and disappear inside.

"I guess," said Peter, "that this time he will sleep in peace. No one is likely to find him there unless it should be that Sammy Jay or Blacky the Crow happens to fly over and so discover him. They wouldn't give him a bit of peace if they should. Hello! There's Blacky's voice now, and he seems to be coming this way. I think I will hang around a while longer."

Thornton W. Burgess

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