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Full Online Book HomeShort StoriesThe Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - IX - Playing Leap-Frog
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The Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - IX - Playing Leap-Frog Post by :dpeterson Category :Short Stories Author :Arthur Scott Bailey Date :April 2012 Read :3757

Click below to download : The Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - IX - Playing Leap-Frog (Format : PDF)

The Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - IX - Playing Leap-Frog

IX - Playing Leap-Frog

There was great joy in the woods. Jimmy Rabbit had promised to teach his friends a new game. Frisky Squirrel and Billy Woodchuck, Fatty Coon and Tommy Fox, were all on hand to have their share of the fun.

"What's the game called?" Frisky Squirrel asked.

"It's leap-frog," Jimmy told him.

"Shucks!" said Fatty Coon. "The frog's not here yet. And we can't do anything till he comes."

Jimmy Rabbit laughed.

"You don't need a frog to play leap-frog," he said. "Just squat down in front of me and I'll show you how it's done."

Frisky Squirrel did just as Jimmy told him to do. And Jimmy ran up behind him, put his front paws on Frisky's back, and leaped over him. Then he ran on a little way. And when he stopped, he crouched down and called to Fatty Coon to jump over them both.

Soon they were all playing leap-frog, though Tommy Fox said that he didn't think it was much of a game.

"There's more to it than you think," Jimmy said. "I haven't taught you the whole game yet."

"Well, I want to learn it all," Tommy Fox grumbled.

"Wait until you do this part better," Jimmy Rabbit said. "Then I'll show you something different. You must learn to leap higher and further. You're not half as good a jumper as I supposed you were."

Tommy Fox did not like that very well. And if he and Jimmy Rabbit had been alone I am afraid he would have done something very unpleasant to Jimmy. But now he only snarled a little, and showed his teeth, and said that he could leap higher and further than any of the others.

"Well, you're a good boaster, anyhow," said Jimmy.

Everybody laughed at that--except Tommy Fox. He frowned. And when it was his turn to leap over the others he sprang so high and so far that he jumped over Frisky Squirrel and Fatty Coon together, without once touching the ground. It was really a wonderful jump.

"What do you think of that?" Tommy asked with a grin. "Can any of you beat that?"

"It's a pretty fair leap," Jimmy Rabbit admitted. "But I've seen better. When I'm in practice I can do better myself. A really good leap-frog player ought to be able to jump over three people at a time."

Fatty Coon shook his head. He was not much of a jumper--he was so fat, and his legs were so short. And he didn't believe he could ever leap over three people at a time.

"I could do it, if you'd let me start from a tree," Frisky Squirrel said.

But Jimmy told him that that was never allowed.

"It's against the rules of the game," he explained.

"Well, I can do it, and start on the ground, too," Tommy Fox boasted. "I can do anything anybody else can do."

"I believe you can," Jimmy Rabbit said, to everybody's surprise. For they all knew that he didn't like Tommy Fox. "We'll give you a good, fair chance to try it," Jimmy went on. "You squat here," he told Fatty Coon. And he pointed out the exact place where he wanted Fatty to stand. A little way behind Fatty, he stationed Frisky Squirrel. And back of Frisky he took his own place.

"Now!" Jimmy Rabbit said, "are you all ready?"

"Yes," they cried.

"I'm coming!" called Tommy Fox. And he came running up behind them. He rested his front paws on Jimmy Rabbit's back. And just as he leaped, Jimmy Rabbit leaped too.

You might say that Tommy Fox made a double jump. His own jump would have been a high one. But when Jimmy jumped, it sent Tommy Fox all the higher into the air. He went sailing far above Frisky Squirrel and Fatty Coon; and still he kept on, turning and tumbling, head over heels, until at last he landed with a great splash in the same deep pool where the hornets chased Cuffy Bear one time.

When Tommy Fox crawled out upon the bank, dripping wet, the leap-frog players were nowhere to be seen.

Though Tommy did not know it, at that very moment they were hidden in the woods, rolling over and over upon the ground, and laughing as if they would never stop.

Finally Jimmy Rabbit sat up and wiped the tears off his face. He had laughed so hard that he had cried.

"I told him I'd teach him something different about leap-frog," he said.

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