MoboReader> Literature > Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods

   Chapter 3 THE OLD MAN

Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 8412

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:03


For a moment the two children did not know what to do. They stood still, looking at the dog who had just drunk the milk from the pail which they had set down in the road so they could chase the squirrel. Then Bunny, made bold by thinking of what might happen if he and his sister went home with the empty pail, thinking also of the pudding which his mother could not make if she had no milk, gave a loud cry.

"Get away from there, you bad dog!" cried the little boy. "Leave our milk alone!" and he started to run toward the shaggy creature.

"Oh, come back! Come back!" cried Sue. "Don't go near him, Bunny!"

"Why not?" her brother asked in some surprise.

"'Cause he might bite you."

"Huh! I'm not afraid of him!" declared Bunny. "He doesn't look as savage as our Splash, and he never bites anybody, though he barks a lot at tramps."

So Bunny ran on toward the shaggy dog. The animal stood looking at the little boy for a moment and then, with a sort of "wuff!" as if to say, "Well, I've taken all the milk, what are you going to do about it?" away he trotted down the road. Bunny ran on and picked up the milk pail. Only a few drops were in the bottom.

"See I told you he wouldn't bite me! I'm not afraid of that dog!" the little boy called to his sister.

"Yes, you did drive him off," said Sue, proud of her brother. "You are awful brave, Bunny-just as brave as when you played soldier and I cured you of the Indian fever, and--"

"It was arrow fever, I keep tellin' you!" insisted Bunny.

"Well, arrow fever then," agreed Sue. "But is there any milk left, Bunny?"

"Not a drop, Sue," and Bunny turned the pail upside down to show.

"Well," said the little girl with a sigh, "then I guess you weren't brave in time, Bunny. You didn't save the milk!"

"Huh, the dog had it all drunk up before I saw him," declared her brother. "If I'd seen him I'd have stopped him quick enough! I wasn't afraid of him."

"But what about more milk?" asked Sue. That was all she could think of, now that the pail was empty. "We've got to get more milk, Bunny Brown."

"Yes, I s'pose we have," he agreed. "But we can easy go back to the farmhouse."

"No, we can't," said Sue.

"Why not?" Bunny demanded. "It isn't far, and if you're afraid of the dog you can stay here, and I'll go for the milk."

"Nope!" cried Sue, shaking her head until her hair flew into her eyes. "Mother said you mustn't ever leave me alone, to go anywhere when we were on the road or in the big woods. I've got to stay with you, and you've got to stay with me," and she went up and took Bunny by the hand.

"All right, Sue," said he. "I want you to stay with me. But come along to the farmhouse and we'll get more milk. I'll take a stick, if you want me to, and keep the dog away. I don't believe he'll come back anyhow. Don't you know how 'fraid dogs are to come back to you when they've done something bad. That time Splash ate the meat Bunker Blue brought in and left on the table-why, that time Splash was so ashamed for what he'd done that he didn't come into the house all day. This dog won't bite you."

"Pooh! I'm not afraid of the dog, Bunny Brown," said Sue.

"Then what are you afraid of?"

"I'm not 'fraid of anything. But you know what that farm lady said. She said this was the last quart of milk she could spare, and she didn't have any more."

"Oh, so she did!" agreed Bunny. "Then what are we going to do?"

"I don't know," said Sue.

"We've got to do something," said Bunny gravely.

"Yes," said Sue. "There isn't any more milk at the camp, and the farm lady hasn't any, and--"

"Mother wants some to make the surprise-pudding," added Bunny. "I guess we didn't ought to have tooken that for our play-game," he went on all mixed up in his English.

"No," said Sue, "maybe we oughtn't. Let me think now."

"What you going to think?" asked Bunny. Though he was a little older than Sue he knew that she often thought more then he did about what they were going to do or play. Sue was a good thinker. She usually thought first and did things afterward, while Bunny was just the other way. He did something first and then thought about it afterward, and sometimes he was so

rry for what he had done. But this time he wanted to know what Sue was going to think.

"Aren't you going to think something?" he asked after a bit.

Sue stood looking up and down the road.

"I'm thinkin' now," she said. "Please don't bother me, Bunny."

Bunny remained silent, now and then looking into the empty milk pail, and tipping it upside down, as though that would fill it again. Finally Sue said:

"Well, we can't get any milk at the farmhouse. I don't know any other place around here where we can go, so the only thing to do is to go back to Camp Rest-a-While."

"But there's no milk there," said Bunny.

"I know there isn't. But we can tell daddy and mother, and ask them what to do. They wouldn't want us to go off somewhere else without telling them. And maybe daddy can go off in the automobile and get some milk at another farm."

"Maybe," said Bunny slowly. "And if we go with him," he added, "and he does get more milk, we won't set the pail down in the road when we chase a squirrel. We'll put it in the auto."

"I guess by the time we get the milk it will be too dark to see to chase squirrels," said Sue. "It's getting dark now; come on, Bunny."

The two children started down the road toward the camp, and as they did so they heard a crackling in the bushes on the side of a hill that led up from the road.

"Oh, here comes that milk dog back again!" cried Sue, and she snuggled up close against her brother, though the sinking sun was still shining across the highway.

"I won't let him hurt you," said Bunny. "Wait until I get a stone or a stick."

"Oh, you mustn't do anything to strange dogs!" cried the little girl. "If you do they might jump at you and bite you. Just don't notice him or speak to him, and he'll think we're-we're stylish, and he'll pass right by."

"Oh well, if you want me to do that way," said Bunny, looking up toward the place the sound came from, "why I will, only--"

He stopped speaking suddenly, and pointed up the hill. Sue looked in the same direction. They saw coming toward them, not a dog, but an old man, dressed in rather ragged clothes. He looked like what the children called a tramp, though since they had arrived at the camp they had come to know that not all persons who wore ragged clothes were tramps. Some of the farmers and their helpers wore their raggedest garments to work in the dirt of the fields.

This man might be a farmer. He had long white hair that hung down under the brim of his black hat, and though he did not have such a nice face as did the children's father, or their Uncle Tad, still they were not afraid of him.

"Going after milk, little ones?" asked the old man, and his voice was not unpleasant.

"No, sir; we've just been," said Bunny.

"Well, I'm afraid you'll spill your milk if you swing your pail that way," went on the old man, for Bunny was moving the pail to and fro, with wide swings of his arms.

"It would spill, if there was any in the pail," said Sue.

"But there isn't," added Bunny.

"It's spilled already and we don't know where to get any more," explained Sue.

"It wasn't 'zactly spilled," Bunny added, for he and Sue always tried to speak the exact truth. "A dog drank it up."

"While we were chasin' a squirrel," added his sister.

"But I would have driven him away if I'd seen him in time," Bunny declared positively. "He put his nose right in the pail and licked up all the milk, and what he didn't eat he spilled and then he ran away."

"And the lady at the farmhouse hasn't any more milk," Sue explained. "And there isn't any at the camp and--"

"Mother can't make the pudding," finished Bunny.

"Oh dear!" wailed Sue.

"My, you have a lot of troubles!" said the ragged man. "But if you'll come with me maybe I can help you."

"Where do you want us to come?" asked Bunny, remembering that his mother had told him never to go anywhere with strangers, and never to let Sue go, either.

"If you'll come up to my little cabin in the woods I can let you have some milk," said the ragged man. "I keep a cow, and I have more milk than I can use or sell. It isn't far. Come with me," and he held out his hands to the children.

* * *

Free to Download MoboReader
(← Keyboard shortcut) Previous Contents (Keyboard shortcut →)
 Novels To Read Online Free

Scan the QR code to download MoboReader app.

Back to Top

shares