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Farmer Brown's boy had made up his mind. When he shut his teeth with a click and drew his lips together into a thin, straight line, those who knew him were sure that Farmer Brown's boy had made up his mind. That is just what he had done now. He was cleaning his gun, and as he worked he was thinking of his pet chicken and of all the other chickens that Reddy Fox had taken.
"I'm going to get that fox if it takes all summer!" exclaimed Farmer Brown's boy. "I ought to have gotten him the other day when I had a shot at him. Next time well, we'll see, Mr. Fox, what will happen next time."
Now someone heard Farmer Brown's boy, heard everything he said, though Farmer Brown's boy didn't know it. It was Unc' Billy Possum, who was hiding in the very pile of wood on which Farmer Brown's boy was sitting. Unc' Billy pricked up his ears.
He didn't like the tone of voice in which Farmer Brown's boy spoke. He thought of Reddy Fox still so stiff and sore and lame that he could hardly walk, all from the shot which Farmer Brown's boy thought had missed.
"There isn't gwine to be any next time. No, Suh, there isn't gwine to be any next time. Ah sho'ly doan love Reddy Fox, but Ah can't nohow let him be shot again. Ah cert'nly can't!" muttered Unc' Billy Possum to himself.
Of course, Farmer Brown's boy didn't hear him. He didn't hear him and he didn't see him when Unc' Billy Possum crept out of the back side of the woodpile and scurried under the henhouse. He was too intent on his plan to catch Reddy Fox.
"I'm just going to hunt over the Green Meadows and through the Green Forest until I get that fox!" said Farmer Brown's boy, and as he said it he looked very fierce, as if he really meant it. "I'm not going to have my chickens stolen any more! No, Sir-e-e! That fox has got a home somewhere on the Green Meadows or in the Green Forest, and I'm going to find it. Then watch out, Mr. Fox!"
Farmer Brown's boy whistled for Bowser the Hound and started for the Green Forest.
Unc' Billy Possum poked his sharp little old face out from under the henhouse and watched them go. Usually Unc' Billy is grinning, but now there wasn't any grin, not the least sign of one. Instead Unc' Billy Possum looked worried.
"There goes that boy with a gun, and nobody knows what'll happen when it goes off. If he can't find Reddy Fox, just as likely as not he'll point it at somebody else just fo' fun. Ah hope he doan meet up with mah ol' woman or any of mah li'l' pickaninnies. Ah'm plumb afraid of a boy with a gun, Ah am. 'Pears like he doan have any sense. Ah reckon Ah better be moving along right smart and tell mah family to stay right close in the ol' hollow tree," muttered Unc' Billy Possum, slipping out from his hiding place. Then Unc' Billy began to run as fast as he could toward the Green Forest.
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