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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSix Little Bunkers At Cowboy Jack's - Chapter 16. Mun Bun Takes A Nap
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Six Little Bunkers At Cowboy Jack's - Chapter 16. Mun Bun Takes A Nap Post by :stevesandman Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :3035

Click below to download : Six Little Bunkers At Cowboy Jack's - Chapter 16. Mun Bun Takes A Nap (Format : PDF)

Six Little Bunkers At Cowboy Jack's - Chapter 16. Mun Bun Takes A Nap

CHAPTER XVI. MUN BUN TAKES A NAP

After lunch that day Mun Bun managed to have the most astonishing adventure of his life! And nobody could ever have imagined that the littlest Bunker could get into trouble just by falling asleep.

He had walked so far and seen so many strange sights that morning that after eating Mun Bun was just as sleepy as he could be. But he was getting old enough now to think that he should be ashamed of taking a nap in the afternoon.

"Only babies take naps, don't they, Muvver?" he said to Mother Bunker. "And I aren't a baby any more."

"You say you are not," agreed his mother quietly. "But of course you must prove it if we are all to believe that you are quite grown up."

"I'm growed too big to take naps, anyway," declared Mun Bun, quite convinced.

"What are you going to do if you grow sleepy?" asked his mother, before he started out after the other children.

"I'll pinch myself awake," declared Mun Bun. "Oh, I'll show I'm not a baby any longer."

He was some way behind the other children; but as he started in their wake Mother Bunker did not worry about him. She was confident that Russ and Rose would look out for the little boy, even if he was finally overcome with sleep.

But as it happened, the other little Bunkers had run off to see a lot of mule colts in a special paddock some distance from the big ranch house. Mun Bun saw them in the distance and he sturdily started out to follow them. He was no cry-baby ordinarily, and the fact that the others were a long way ahead did not at first disturb Mun Bun's cheerfulness.

But something else began to bother him almost at once. The wind had begun to blow. It was not a cold wind, although it was autumn. But it was a strong wind, and as it continued to come in gusts Mun Bun was sometimes almost toppled off his feet.

"Wind b'ow!" gasped Mun Bun, staggering against the heavy gusts. "Oh, my!"

That last exclamation was jounced out of him by something that blew against the little boy--a scratchy ball of gray weed that rolled along the ground just as though it were alive! It frightened Mun Bun at first. Then he saw it was just dead weeds, and did not bother about the tumble-weed any more.

But when he got to a certain wire fence, through which he was going to crawl to follow the other little Bunkers, the wind had buffeted him so that he lay right down to rest! Mun Bun had never tried to walk in such a strong wind before.

The wind blew over him, and the great balls of tumble-weed rioted across the big field. In some places, against stumps or clumps of brush, the gray mats of weed piled up in considerable heaps. Mun Bun watched the wind-rows of weed roll along toward his side of the field with interested gaze. He had never seen anything like those gray, dry bushes before.

His eyes blinked and winked, and finally drowsed shut. He had no idea of going to sleep. In fact, he had declared he would not go to sleep. So of course what happened was quite unintentional on Mun Bun's part. While Mother Bunker thought he was with the other children, they had no idea Mun Bun had refused to take his usual nap and had followed them from the house.

The mule colts in the paddock were just the cunningest things! Margy and Vi squealed right out loud when they saw them.

"And their cunning long ears flap so funny!" cried Rose. "Did you ever?"

"But their tails are not skinned down like the big mules' tails," objected Laddie.

"Oh, they'll shave those later. That is what they do to the big mules--shave the hair off their tails, all but the 'paint-brush' at the end," said Russ, who knew.

The children pulled some green grass they found and stuck it through the wires for the colts to pull out of their hands and nibble. Mule colts seemed even more tame than horse colts, and the children each "chose" a colt and named it, although the colts ran around in such a lively way that it was difficult sometimes to keep them separated in one's mind and, as Cowboy Jack said when he came along to see what the children were about, to "tell which from t'other."

"Let me see," he added, in his whimsical way. "I have to count and reckon up you little Bunkers every once in so often so as to be sure some of you are not strays. Let's see: There should be six, shouldn't there? One, two, three, four, five---- But there's only five here."

"Yes, sir," said Rose politely. "Mun Bun's taking a nap, I s'pose."

"He is, is he?" repeated Cowboy Jack, with considerable interest. "And where has he gone for his nap?"

"He is up at the house with mother," Russ said.

"Oh, no, he isn't," said the ranchman. "I just came from the house and Mrs. Bunker asked me particularly to be sure that Mun Bun was all right."

"Where is Mun Bun, then?" asked Vi.

"He's lost!" wailed Rose.

"Why, he didn't come down here with us," Russ declared.

"He started after you," said the ranchman, quite seriously now. "You sure the little fellow isn't anywhere about?"

He was so serious that Russ and Rose grew anxious too. The other little Bunkers just stared. Vi said:

"He's always getting lost--Mun Bun is. Why does he?"

"'Cause he's so little," suggested her twin. "Little things get lost easier than big things."

"That's sound doctrine," declared Cowboy Jack.

But he did not smile as he usually did when he was talking with the little Bunkers. He was gazing all around the fields in sight. He asked Russ:

"Which way did you come down here from the house, Son?"

Russ pointed. "Down across that lot where the bushes are all piled up."

"Come on," said Cowboy Jack. "We'd better look for him."

"Oh!" cried Margy suddenly, "you don't s'pose the Indians got him, do you?"

"Those Injuns wouldn't hurt a flea," declared the ranchman, striding away so fast up the slope that the children had to trot to keep up with him.

"Do the Indians like fleas?" asked Vi. "I shouldn't think they would. Our cat at home doesn't."

"I know a riddle about a flea," said Laddie, more cheerfully. A riddle always cheered Laddie. "It is: 'What is the difference between a flea and a leopard?'"

"Jumping grasshoppers!" exclaimed Cowboy Jack. "I should think there was a deal of difference--in their size, anyway."

"No, their size hasn't anything to do with it," said Laddie, delighted to have puzzled the big man.

"A leopard is a big cat," said Russ. "And a flea can only live on a cat."

"Pooh! That isn't the answer," declared Laddie. "I guess that is a good riddle."

"It sure is," agreed Cowboy Jack, still striding up the hill. "What is the difference between a flea and a leopard? It beats me!"

"Why," said the little boy, panting, "it's because--because a leopard can't change its spots, but a flea can. You see, the flea is very lively and jumps around a whole lot----"

"Can't a leopard jump?" demanded Vi.

"We--ell, that's the answer. Somebody told it to me. A leopard just _can't change its spots--so there."

"I think that's silly," declared Vi impatiently. "And I want to know what has become of Mun Bun."

They all wanted to know that. They were too much worried about the littlest Bunker to laugh at Laddie's riddle. They went up to the fence and crept through an opening where the tumble-weeds had not piled up in great heaps as they had in many places along its length. The wind was still blowing in fitful gusts, and Laddie and Margy and Vi took hold of hands when they stood up in the field.

"Now, where can that boy be?" demanded Cowboy Jack in his big voice, staring all about again. "If he followed you children down this way----"

"Mun Bun! Oh, Mun Bun!" shouted Rose.

Russ joined his voice to hers, and they continued to call as they wandered about the brush clumps and the piles of dry weeds.

But no Mun Bun appeared! The ranchman looked very grave. Russ and Rose really became frightened. How could they go back to Mother Bunker and tell her that her little boy was lost on this great ranch?

Then Cowboy Jack began to shout Mun Bun's name. And how he could shout!

"Ye--ye--yip!" he shouted. "You--ee! Ye--ye--yip! Mun Bun! Mun Bun!"

Rose shut her ears tight with her fingers.

"My goodness!" she whispered to Russ, "Mun Bun _must hear that--or else he has gone a very long way off."

But Mun Bun was not a long way off. He was quite near. And after Cowboy Jack had shouted a second time all the other Bunkers, and the ranchman himself, heard a small voice respond--Mun Bun's voice.

"Here I is!" said the small voice. "I'm here--_here_!"

"I'd like to know where 'here' is," cried Cowboy Jack in his great voice. "If Mun Bun's up in the air I don't see his aeroplane; and if he's dug himself in like a prairie dog I don't see the mouth of his hole. And to be sure he isn't in this field----"

"Oh, yes, he is!" exclaimed Russ Bunker, suddenly diving for a great heap of tumble-weed against the wire fence. "Anyway, here is his voice, Mr. Cowboy Jack."

"Bring out his voice and let's see it," commanded the big ranchman.

The others began to laugh at that, but Mun Bun did not laugh. He had not had his sleep out and did not like being waked up. The ranchman's loud shout had aroused the little fellow, and when he found himself under the heap of scratchy, sticky weeds he did not like that either.

But Russ pulled the weeds away in a hurry. The wind had rolled a great bunch of the dead weeds upon Mun Bun and had quite hidden him from sight.

"Like the Babes in the Wood," said Rose thoughtfully. "Only the robins covered them up with leaves."

"I'm not a baby," complained Mun Bun. "And robins didn't cover me. It was nasty old dry grass things, and they've got prickers on them."

Indeed, Mun Bun was not quite his happy self again until they took him back to the house and Mother Bunker took him into her lap for awhile. Margy stayed in the house with him, so the two smallest Bunkers did not go with Cowboy Jack and daddy to see the Indians, as the ranchman had promised Russ.

They all climbed into one of the big blue automobiles and Cowboy Jack drove the car himself. It was not a long way to go; but it was over the prairie itself, for there was no trail to the Indian encampment.

"I see the tents!" cried Rose, standing up in the back of the car to see over the windshield.

"Those are wigwams," said Russ. "Aren't they wigwams, Mr. Scarbontiskil?"

"You look out or my name will get stuck crossways in your throat and choke you," growled the ranchman. "You can call 'em wigwams. But those are just summer shacks, and not like the winter wigwams. Anyhow, up there on their reservation, these Indians have pretty warm and comfortable houses for the winter."

The children did not understand all of this, but they were very much interested and excited. When the car stopped before the group of tent-like structures a number of Indian children and women gathered around, laughing and talking. They seemed to be very pleasant people, and not at all like the wild-looking red riders the little Bunkers had seen earlier in the day.

"But I am just as glad those painted men are not here," Rose said to Russ. "Aren't you, Russ?"

But Russ had begun to see that there must be some trick in it. These squaws and Indian children would not be so gentle if their husbands and fathers were as savage as they had appeared to be. He could not exactly understand it, but there was a trick in it he was sure. Another surprise coming!

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