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   Chapter 2 THE PAIL OF MILK

Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 11619

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:03

"Oh, Mother! is this the surprise you had for us?" asked Sue, as she hopped about, first on one foot then on the other. For she was so excited she could not keep still.

"No, this isn't exactly what I meant," said Mrs. Brown with a smile. "Still, this is a very nice surprise, isn't it?"

"Just the very nicest!" said Bunny. "It's nice to have daddy home, and it's nice to have him bring something."

"Oh, please tell us what it is-you have two things," went on Sue, as she looked at the two bundles which Mr. Brown carried, one under each arm. "Is there something for each of us, Daddy?"

"Well, yes, I think so, Sue," answered her father. "But just wait--"

"Oh, my dears! give your father a chance to get his breath," laughed Mrs. Brown. "Remember he has come all the way from the city in the auto, and he must be tired. Come into the tent, and I'll make you a cup of tea," she went on.

"And then will you tell us what you brought us?" asked Bunny.

"Yes," said Mr. Brown.

"Then let's go in and watch him drink his tea," said Sue, as she took hold of Bunny's hand and led him toward the dining tent. "We'll know the minute he has finished," she went on, "and we'll be there when he opens the bundles."

"All right," said Mr. Brown. "Come in if you like." And while he was sipping the tea which Mrs. Brown quickly made for him, the two children sat looking at the two bundles their father had brought. One was quite heavy, Bunny noticed, and something rattled inside the box in which it was packed. The other was lighter. They were both about the same size.

And while the children are sitting there, waiting for their father to finish his tea, so they can learn what the surprise is I'll take just a few minutes to tell my new readers something about the Brown family, and especially Bunny Brown and his sister Sue.

As I have already mentioned, the family, which was made up of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Brown and the two children, lived in the town of Bellemere, which was on Sandport Bay, near the ocean. Mr. Brown was in the fish and the boat business, hiring to those who wanted row boats, fishing boats or motor boats. In the first book of this series, "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue," the story was about the little boy and his sister, and what fun they had getting up a Punch and Judy show.

"Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm," was the name of the second book and you can easily guess what that was about. The two children had much fun in a big automobile moving van, which was fitted up just like a little house, and in which they lived while going to the farm. Bunker Blue, who worked for Mr. Brown, and the children's dog Splash went with them.

While at their grandpa's farm Bunny and Sue got up a little show, at which they had lots of fun, and, seeing this, Bunker and some of the older boys made up a larger show. They gave that in two tents, one of which had belonged to Grandpa Brown when he was in the army.

The Brown children were so delighted with the shows that they decided to have another, and in the third book, named "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Playing Circus," you may read how they did it. Something happened in that book which made Bunny and Sue feel bad for a while, but they soon got over it.

In the next book, "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Aunt Lu's City Home," I told the story of the two children going to the big city of New York, and of the queer things they saw and the funny things they did while there.

Bunny and Sue had played together as long as they could remember. Bunny was about six or seven years old and Sue was a year younger. Wherever one went the other was always sure to be seen, and whatever Bunny did Sue was sure to think just right. Every one in Bellemere knew Bunny and Sue, from old Miss Hollyhock to Wango, a queer little monkey owned by Jed Winkler the sailor. Wango often got into mischief, and so did Bunny and Sue. And the children had much fun with Uncle Tad who loved them as if they were his own.

After Bunny and Sue had come back from Aunt Lu's city home the weather was very warm and Daddy Brown thought of camping in the woods. So that is what they did, and the things that happened are related in the fifth book in the series, called "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-a-While." For that is what they named the place where the tents were set up under the trees on the edge of the big woods and by a beautiful lake.

Neither Bunny nor Sue had ever been to the end of these big woods, nor had Mr. Brown, though some day he hoped to go. The summer was about half over. Mrs. Brown liked it so much that she said she and the children would stay in the woods as long as it was warm enough to live in a tent.

And now, this afternoon, Mr. Brown had come home from the city with the two queer big bundles, and the children were so excited thinking what might be in them that they watched every mouthful of tea Mr. Brown sipped.

"When will you be ready to show us?" asked Sue.

"Please be quick," begged Bunny. "I-I'm gettin' awful anxious."

"Well, I guess I can show you now," said Mr. Brown. "Bring me the heaviest package, Bunny."

It was all the little boy could do to lift it from the chair, but he managed to do it. Slowly Mr. Brown opened it. Bunny saw a flash of something red and shining.

"Oh, it's a fire engine!" he cried.

"Not quite," said his father, "though that was a good guess."

Then Mr. Brown lifted out the things in the paper, and all at once Bunny saw what it was-a little toy train of cars, with an engine and tracks on which it could run.

"Does it really go?" asked the little boy, eagerly.

"Yes, it really goes," said Mr. Brown. "It's an electric train, and it runs by electricity from these batteries," and he held up some s

trong ones. "I'll fix up your train for you so it will run. But you must be careful of it, Bunny."

"Oh, I'll take fine care of it!" cried the little boy. "And I won't let Splash bite it."

"Didn't you bring me anything, Daddy?" asked Sue slowly. "Or do I have to play with Bunny's train?" and she looked at the little boy who was trying to fit together the pieces of the track.

"Oh, I have something for you alone, Sue," her father said. "Look and see if you like this."

He held up a great big Teddy bear.

"Oh! Ah!" murmured Sue. "That's something I've been wishing for. Oh, Daddy! how good you are to us!" and she threw her arms around her father's neck.

"I love you, too!" called Bunny Brown, leaving his toy train and track, and running to his father for a hug and a kiss.

"Well, now, how do you like this, Sue?" and Mr. Brown handed the big Teddy bear over to his little girl.

"Oh, I just love it!" she cried. "It's the nicest doll ever!"

"Let me show you something," said Mr. Brown. He pressed a button in the toy bear's back and, all of a sudden, its eyes shone like little lights.

"Oh, what makes that, Daddy?" asked Bunny, leaving his toy train and coming over to see his sister's present.

"Behind the bear's eyes, which are of glass," explained Mr. Brown, "are two little electric lights. They are lighted by what are called dry batteries, like those that ring our front door bell at home, only smaller. And the same kind of dry batteries will run Bunny's train when I get it put together.

"See, Sue, when you want your bear's eyes to glow, just press this button in Teddy's back," and her father showed her a little button, or switch, hidden in the toy's fur.

"Oh, isn't that fine!" cried Sue with shining eyes. She pushed the button, the bear's eyes lighted and gleamed out, and Splash, seeing them, barked in excitement.

"Oh, let me do it," begged Bunny. "I'll let you run my toy train if you let me light your bear's eyes, Sue," he said.

"All right," agreed the little girl.

So Bunny played with the Teddy bear a bit, while Sue looked at the toy engine and cars, and then Mrs. Brown said:

"Well, children, I think it is about time for my surprise."

"Oh, have you something for us, too?" asked Sue, quickly.

"Well, I'll have something for you if you will go and get something for me," said Mother Brown. "I want you to go to the farmhouse and get me a pail of milk. Some one took what I was saving to make a pudding with, so I'll have to get more milk."

"We took it to play soldier and nurse with," confessed Sue. "I'm sorry, Momsie--"

"Oh, it doesn't matter, dear," said Mrs. Brown. "I like to have you drink all the milk you want. But now you'll have to get more for me, as there is not enough for supper and the pudding."

"We'll go for the milk," said Bunny. "And when we get back we can play with the bear and the toy train."

"I'll try to have the toy train running for you when you come back with the milk," said Mr. Brown. "Trot along now."

Mrs. Brown gave Bunny the milk pail, and soon he and Sue, leaving Splash behind this time, started down the road to the farmhouse where they got their milk. The farmer sent his boy every day with milk for those at Camp Rest-a-While, but this time Bunny and Sue had used more than usual, and Mrs. Brown had to send for some extra.

It did not take Bunny and Sue long to reach the farmhouse, where their pail was filled by the farmer's wife.

"We've got a surprise at our camp," said Bunny, as they started away, the little boy carefully carrying the pail of milk.

"Indeed! Is that so? What is it?" asked the farmer's wife.

"We've got two surprises," said Sue. "Daddy brought them from the city. Bunny has a toy train of cars that runs with a city."

"She means electricity," explained Bunny with a laugh, but saying the big word very slowly.

"I don't care. It sounds like that," declared Sue. "And I've got a Teddy bear and its eyes are little e-lec-tri-city lamps, and they shine like anything when you push a button in his back."

"Those are certainly two fine surprises," said the farmer's wife. "Now be careful not to spill your milk."

"We'll be careful," promised Bunny.

He and Sue walked along the country road toward their camp. Suddenly on a fence Sue saw a squirrel running along.

"Oh, look, Bunny!" she cried.

"Where?" asked her brother.

"On that fence. A big gray squirrel!"

"Oh, what a fine, big one!" cried Bunny. "Maybe we can catch him and put him in a cage with a wheel that goes around."

Bunny carefully set the pail of milk down at the side of the road, out of the way in case any wagons or automobiles should come along. Then he ran after the squirrel, that had come to a stop on top of the fence and stood looking at the children.

But, as soon as the squirrel with the big tail saw Bunny running toward him, he scampered away and Bunny followed. So did Sue, leaving the pail of milk standing in the grass beside the road.

The squirrel could run on the fence much faster than Bunny Brown and his sister Sue could run along the road, and pretty soon they saw him scamper up a tree.

"Now we can't get him," said Sue, sorrowfully.

"No, I guess not," answered Bunny. "We'd better go back to camp and play with your Teddy bear and my toy train. Come on."

They walked back toward the place they had left the pail of milk. As they came in sight of it Sue cried:

"Oh, Bunny, look!"

Bunny looked, and at what he saw he cried:

"Oh dear!"

For a big, shaggy dog had his nose down in the pail of milk, and as he looked up, at hearing Bunny's cry, he knocked the pail over, spilling what he had not taken himself.

"Oh, our milk's all gone!" cried Bunny.

"What shall we do?" asked Sue, in dismay.

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