Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-a-While/Chapter 21
BUNKER GOES ASHORE
"Bunny! Bunny! I—I want to go home!" cried Sue.
"What for?" asked her brother. "It's nice here, and I've got something in the trap, Sue."
"I know it. Bunny. I can see it move. That's why I want to go back to camp."
"Are you 'fraid, Sue?"
Sue nodded her head, and clasped closer in her arms the doll she had brought with her.
"Wait until we see what's in the trap—under the box," said Bunny. "I'll lift it up and look under. If it's a fox I won't let him out." Bunny started toward the box that was still moving slowly about on the big flat rock where Bunny had set his trap.
"Don't you touch it!" cried Sue. "Don't lift up the box. Bunny!"
"Why not?" he asked.
"'Cause the fox might get out and bite us. Let it alone."
Bunny stood still and looked at the box. It had stopped moving for a while. Then it began again, going about in a sort of circle.
"Why—why!" cried Sue. "It's just like Blind Man's Buff!"
And, really, that is how the box moved about, just like some boy or girl, with a handkerchief tied over his or her eyes, trying to move about to catch someone, and yet trying not to bang into a tree or the fence.
"The fox, woodchuck, or whatever it is under my box," said Bunny Brown, "can't see which way he's going. That's why the box jiggles around so funny. But I'm going to see what's under it."
"If you lift it up, I'm going back to camp," declared Sue, turning back.
"But I want to see what it is!" cried Bunny. "I've caught an animal, and I want to look at it!"
You remember I told you he had fixed up a box, raised at one end by a little stick. Under the box were some good things to eat, such as animals and birds like. Bunny had tied a long string to the stick, and he and Sue had hid in the bushes, ready to pull the string, pull out the little stick, and let the box trap fall down on whatever was eating the bait.
But all Bunny caught were some sparrows, which he let go. Then he had set the trap again, and had gone off. Now there was something under the box, that was sure.
"How do you think it got caught, Bunny?"
"I guess the fox—or whatever it is—crawled under the box to get the cake crumbs, and he bumped against the stick, knocked it away, and the box came down on him," Bunny said "Sue, I do want to see what I've caught."
"You—you might get bit," his sister said. Bunny thought that over for a minute.
"I know how I could do it," he said.
"How?" Sue wanted to know.
"I could get a long stick, and lift the box up with that. Then as soon as the fox came out, we could run, and we wouldn't be near enough for him to bite us."
"Oh, Bunny! That would be a good way, I'll stay and watch if you do it like that."
Bunny found a long pole, like a fishing rod. Holding this out in front of him, he walked toward the box. He tried to raise it up, but the stone on top made it too heavy.
"Push off the stone first," said Sue.
Bunny had not thought of that. With two or three shoves of his pole he knocked the stone off the top of the box. Then, once more, he tried to raise his trap to see what was under it.
All at once the children heard some one calling:
"Bunny! Sue! Where are you?"
"That's Bunker Blue," said Bunny.
"Here we are!" answered Sue. "Bunny's got something in his trap! Come and help us get it, Bunker."
There was a noise in the bushes, a dog barked, and along came the red-haired boy and Splash. The box was moving about more quickly now, for the heavy stone was not on top.
"Say, you have caught something!" cried Bunker. "There's surely something under the box, Bunny."
"It's a fox," said Bunny.
"Or maybe a ground-hog," added Sue.
"Maybe, and maybe not," went on Bunker. "We'll have a look. Here, let me take your pole, Bunny. Splash, you be ready to grab whatever it is!"
With a sudden push Bunker upset the box. Out ran a gray and brown animal.
"Oh, look!" cried Bunny.
"Is it a fox? Oh, don't let it bite me!" cried Sue, and she ran toward Bunker, who caught her up in his arms.
Splash, with a bark, sprang toward the little animal that had run out of Bunny's box trap. But the little animal, instead of running away, just curled up into a ball and stayed there. And Splash stopped short. He barked at the animal but did not try to bite it.
"He's afraid of it, and no wonder!" said Bunker. "Best leave that alone. Splash!"
"What is it?" asked Bunny.
"It's a hedgehog, or a prickly porcupine," said Bunker. "That animal is all covered with sharp quills, like a lot of toothpicks. They aren't very tightly fastened to him, and if a dog, or some other animal, tries to bite, he gets his mouth full of sharp, slivery quills from the hedgehog. That makes the dog's mouth verysore, and he can't bite anything again for a long time. That's why the hedgehog curls himself up into a little ball. In that way he is all covered with quills that stick out in every way. No dog or any other animal, can bite without getting badly hurt. I guess you'd better let the porcupine go. Bunny."
"I will," said the little fellow, "I don't want Splash hurt. Come away, Splash!"
Splash did not care very much about biting or worrying the hedgehog. The dog barked once or twice, and then came away. Then the porcupine uncurled himself, and ran off into the wood.
"Well, I caught something in my trap, anyhow," said Bunny.
"That's what you did," said Bunker Blue. "And the hedgehog, walking around under the box, kept pushing it along with his head. He was trying to find a way out. Come on back to camp now. Supper is ready and your mother sent me to find you."
The next two days it rained, and Bunny and Sue did not have much fun at Camp Rest-a-While. They had to stay in the tents. But the third day it cleared off, and the wind blew away the storm clouds.
That afternoon Bunker took Bunny and Sue out in the boat, fishing. They took with them some lunch to eat, and a bottle of milk to drink if they got thirsty. Sue also took an old umbrella to keep the sun off herself and her doll.
Bunker rowed the boat half way across the lake, and tied it to one of the trees that grew on a little island. There he and Bunny fished, but they did not catch anything.
"Maybe if we went on the island we would catch something," said Bunny. "May we, Bunker?"
"Well, I don't know. We might," said the red-haired boy. "I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll go ashore on the island, and try fishing a bit. If I have any luck I'll come back and get you two. You and Sue stay in the boat, Bunny, until I come back." Then the big boy got out and went ashore, leaving Bunny and Sue in the boat.