Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm/14

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Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm by Laura Lee Hope
Chapter XIV: Lost in the Woods

CHAPTER XIV


LOST IN THE WOODS


Bunny Brown did not just know how he was going to drive the angry turkey gobbler away from his sister Sue. He did not stop to think of that, but, like the brave little fellow he was, he ran toward Sue, ready to do something. The gobbler: was closer to Sue now.

"I've got to drive him away! I've got to drive him away!" said Bunny to himself, over and over again.

"Oh, Bunny! Bunny!" cried Sue. "Take him away! Take him away!"

This would have been hard for Bunny to do, for the gobbler was a very big one, and Bunny could never in the world have lifted him.

"I wish my dog Splash were here!" thought Bunny. "He'd make that old gobbler run!"

But Splash was not there. He had run off down the road with another dog, just before Bunny Brown and his sister Sue set off together.

"Gobble-obble-obble!" cried the turkey. He spread out his wings wider than ever, and the red thing that hung down over his "nose," as Sue called his beak, seemed to stand up straight, he was so angry.

"Oh, Bunny!" and Sue was screaming now. "Help me. Bunny!"

And then, all at once, Bunny thought of something.

In his hand he carried a tin pail, which he and Sue had hoped to fill with wild strawberries on their way back from playing with the children in the next house. Raising this pail over his head. Bunny threw it as straight as he could at the gobbler.

And, to Bunny's surprise, the pail went right over the turkey's head. It caught by the wire handle around the gobbler's neck, and hung in such a way that the gobbler could no longer see Sue and her red dress. And I think the little girl's Kd dress made the gobbler more angry than he would otherwise have been. Gobblers don't like red, for some reason or other.

"Gobble-obble-obble!" called the big turkey. Oh, but he must have been surprised! He did not know what to do. He just danced around and around, trying to shake the pail off his neck. If he had only lowered his head, as he did when picking up corn, the pail would have slid off. But the gobbler did not think of that.

Perhaps he still thought he could find Sue, and pick her legs with his sharp beak because she wore a red dress that he did not like. And it was such a pretty red dress, too, and Sue looked so nice in it.

"Gobble-obble-obble!" went the turkey, louder than ever.

"Oh, Bunny! Bunny!" cried Sue, as she ran toward her brother. "What did you do to him?"

"I—I tried to hit him with the pail, to make him let you alone," said Bunny, "but the pail went on his neck. Wasn't I a good shot, Sue?"

"Yes," she said. "And now let's run before he comes after us again. Run, Bunny, run!"

"But I—I want my pail!" Bunny said, holding back. "The turkey has my pail, and we can't get any strawberries."

But though Sue was younger than Bunny she knew it would never do to try and take the pail away from the turkey now.

"You can't get it, Bunny," she said. "If you take it away from him he'll bite you. 'Sides, when he has it on him that way it's just like the blinkers on a horse. He can't see us. Come on."

What Sue said was true. The turkey could not see the children as long as the pail was on his neck in that way.

"When he drops it off we can come back and get it—maybe when he has gone to bed, Bunny," said Sue. "Turkeys go to bed early; don't they?"

"Maybe," answered her brother. He knew chickens went to bed, or to "roost" as it is called, quite early, and a turkey, after all, was like a big chicken, or rooster.

"Well, when he goes to bed we'll come and get the pail," said Sue. "Only we can't get any strawberries then, 'cause it'll be dark."

"All right," agreed Bunny, as he hurried across the field with Sue. "We'll let him have the pail for a while."

It seemed the only thing to do, as the turkey was waltzing, dancing and strutting about with the pail still on his neck, making his funny noise.

"Gobble-obble-obble!"

He did not try to find Sue, and her red dress, or even Bunny now. Probably the gobbler was trying to get the pail off his head. And, just as Bunny and Sue reached the fence, and crawled through, to the road, where the gobbler could not get them, the big turkey did manage to get rid of the pail.

He put his head down, and the pail handle slipped over his neck. Then, with, a loud gobble, he ran toward Bunny and Sue. But they were safe on the other side of the fence by this time.

"Oh, Bunny, I'm so glad I" said Sue. "It's a good thing you had that pail with you!"

"Well, if I couldn't throw that at him I could throw a stone," said Bunny.

But I think the pail was just the very best thing the little boy could have thrown at the gobbler. Besides, it did not hurt him, as a stone might have done.

Looking back, to see where the pail lay, Bunny went on with Sue to the house where they were to spend the afternoon. They found their little friends waiting for them, and, after telling about the turkey, the children had fine fun.

"That was Mr. North's turkey," said Gladys Parker, one of the little girls. "He's real mean, that turkey is, and chases everybody."

"Well, he chased me," said Sue, "Only Bunny made him stop."

"I'm glad you did," said Ethel Burke. "Maybe he'll be a better gobbler after this."

The children played many games, they had fun in the swing, and Mrs. Parker gave them all some milk and cookies for lunch.

When it came time for Bunny and Sue to go home they went past the field where the gobbler had been. He was not there now, as the children found, after looking carefully about. Maybe he had gone to bed, for it was about time for the chickens to go to roost Turkeys like to roost in trees, you know, and not in a coop, as chickens do. And perhaps the big gobbler was, even then, perched up in some tree, with his head under his wing. And, for all I know, perhaps he was dreaming of a little girl in a red dress, and a boy who threw a pail over a turkey's head. That is if gobblers do dream.

"Oh, there's the pail!" cried Bunny, as he saw the shining tin in the middle of the field. "I'm going to get it. Sue."

And Bunny did. It was too late, then, to pick any of the wild strawberries, but Bunny and Sue knew they could come some other time.

They reached home safely, and told about the gobbler.

"My!" exclaimed Grandma Brown. "But that was quite an adventure. Bunny and Sue!"

"Oh, we have lots of them," said Bunny. "Don't we. Sue?"

"Yes, Bunny. But I don't like turkey adventures."

The next day the two children went after wild strawberries. Grandpa Brown told them of a place, not far from the housey on a little hill, where many berries grew.

"And you won't have to go near the turkey to get there, either," he said. "Though I see you haven't your red dress on, Sue, so even if the gobbler did see you, I don't believe he would chase you this time."

"I only wear my red dress when I go visiting," said Sue. "But I'm not going to visit turkey gobblers any more."

Bunny and Sue found many berries on the hill their grandpa had told them about, and soon their pail was half full. A little way off were some woods, but before one came to the place where the trees grew thick, with green moss beneath them, there was a field, and in this field Bunny saw some bushes with deep, purple berries growing on them.

"Oh, Sue!" he cried. "Let's pick some raspberries! There's lots on those bushes, and grandma can make raspberry jam, and put it in tarts, like Aunt Lu did. Let's pick raspberries! We've got enough strawberries!"

"All right," answered Sue, for she was always ready to do what Bunny wanted her to.

The two children were soon in the field, picking the purple raspberries. They walked on and on, from one bush to another, and by the time their pail was full, with the raspberries on top of the strawberries, they were close to the woods.

"Let's go in and rest in the shade," Sue said. "I'm awful tired and hot, Bunny."

"All right, we'll go in," and in they went. It was nice and cool beneath the trees, and the children found a spring of water where they had a drink, for they were thirsty.

"And I'm hungry, too," said Sue, after a bit. "Bunny, do you s'pose we could eat some of the berries? We can pick more before we go home."

"Yes, we'll eat some. Sue."

Seated on the green moss, in the shade of a tree, Bunny and Sue ate the berries, getting their faces and hands stained red and purple.

"But we can wash in the spring before we go home," Sue said, "so it will be all right."

"Yes," agreed Bunny.

After resting a while the children washed at the spring, and took another drink. Then they saw a big frog hopping along. He must have been having a bath in the spring, which was almost as large as a washtub.

"Let's see if we can catch that frog!" cried Bunny. *We won't hurt him, though."

So he and Sue followed the frog. But the frog was a good jumper, and led the children quite a chase. And then, just when Bunny thought he was going to put his hands on him, the big green fellow found another spring, and into that he went with a splash, grunting as he did so:

"Ker-ugh! Ker-ung!"

"Oh, he's gone!" cried Sue, quite sadly.

"Never mind," replied Bunny. "We'll find another."

But they did not, though they waited around the second spring for some time.

"I guess we'd better go home," said Bunny.

"Yes," agreed Sue, looking around at the trees on every side of them. The children started, but going home was not as easy as it seemed. They walked on and on, and soon Sue began to get tired.

"Aren't we at the place where we picked the berries?" she asked, after a bit.

"Almost," answered Bunny. But though he looked and looked through the trees he could not see the field and the little hill that was not far from Grandpa Brown's house.

The children went on a little farther, until, all at once. Bunny stumbled over a stone and fell.

The pail flew from his hand, and the berries spilled all over the ground.

"Oh, dear!" cried Sue. Then she added quickly: "But I'll help you pick them up, Bunny."

Bunny sat up and rubbed his knee. He wrinkled up his nose in a funny way.

"Does it hurt?" asked Sue.

"My leg does, a little, but not my nose," Bunny said. And then he laughed.

The children picked up the scattered berries. Their pail was only half full now, for they could not find all the berries that had spilled.

"We'll have to pick a lot more," remarked Sue.

"Yes," said Bunny. "We will when we find the bushes."

On they went again. But it seemed that they would never get out of the woods. After a while Bunny stopped, sat down on a log and said:

"Sue, I know what's the matter!"

"What?" asked the little girl. "Does your leg hurt? Is that what's the matter?"

"No," answered Bunny. "The matter is—we're lost That's why we can't find the berry-bushes. We're lost, Sue!"