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Full Online Book HomeShort StoriesThe Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - XIV - Boy Lost!
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The Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - XIV - Boy Lost! Post by :BackRackHosting Category :Short Stories Author :Arthur Scott Bailey Date :April 2012 Read :3738

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The Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - XIV - Boy Lost!

XIV - Boy Lost!

Poor Mrs. Rabbit didn't know what to do. Her son Jimmy had not been home since early morning; and she was sure he was lost. She hurried through the woods, looking for him everywhere. But not a trace of him could she find. No one had seen him.

At last Mrs. Rabbit happened to meet Jasper Jay.

"Have you seen Jimmy?" she asked.

"Yes!" he said. "Right after breakfast I saw him hurrying along the road by the river. The gypsies have a camp there. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they had stolen him," he added very cheerfully.

When Mrs. Rabbit heard that she was terribly upset.

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" she cried. "Whatever shall I do?"

"The usual thing," Jasper Jay told her, "is to offer a reward."

"Is that so?" said Mrs. Rabbit. "I've never done anything like that. Will you help me?"

"Why, certainly!" said Jasper. And he set to work and painted a big sign, which looked like this:


A boy in a checkered suit, with a short
tail and long ears. He answers to the
name of Jimmy Rabbit. A reward will be
paid for his return, and no questions asked.
Near the Big Pine Tree.

"There!" said Jasper Jay, proudly. "That ought to fetch him, if anything will." And he and Mrs. Rabbit took the sign down to the road and hung it on a fence-post.

"Why do you say 'No questions asked'?" she inquired.

"That's the way it's always done," said Jasper.

Now, it was almost as Jasper Jay had thought. Jimmy Rabbit was at the gypsies' camp. But he hadn't been stolen. He was skulking about, as near the gypsies as he dared to go. And he was so interested in what he saw that he had entirely forgotten to go home to dinner. But late in the afternoon he began to have such a queer feeling in his stomach that he remembered then that he had had nothing to eat since breakfast. And he started off up the road, towards home.

You can imagine how surprised he was when he stopped and read Jasper Jay's sign. As soon as he had read it a second time he decided that he had better hurry home a little faster. For he could see that his mother was worried.

So Jimmy jumped through the fence and went hopping across the meadow. Soon he was home again; and Mrs. Rabbit was hugging him and asking him where he had been and what he had been doing.

Jimmy was just going to tell her. But he happened to think that when his mother learned that he had been at the gypsies' camp all day she might not be pleased. And then he remembered that sign.

"Why don't you answer me?" Mrs. Rabbit asked. "You'd better speak up at once. Where have you been?"

"But the sign said 'No questions asked'!" Jimmy reminded her.

When she heard that, Mrs. Rabbit gasped.

"Yes!" Jimmy went on. "And it said 'A reward will be paid for his return'!"

Mrs. Rabbit gasped again. She saw that Jasper Jay had got her into trouble. It seemed to her that it would be very hard to have to pay a reward to her own son. But Mrs. Rabbit was a person who always kept her word.

"Well," she said, "what do you want?"

"I think," Jimmy told her, "that I would like something to eat."

"Then the gypsies didn't give you your dinner," Mrs. Rabbit said.

"No, Mother!" Jimmy answered, before he thought. So you see that Mrs. Rabbit found out where he had been, after all, even though she asked no questions.

It is very hard to keep anything from one's mother.

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XIII - Mr. Crow's PictureIn the woods near the foot of Blue Mountain news travels fast. Soon everybody knew that Jimmy Rabbit had become an artist. And many of the woods-people put on their best clothes and hurried to Jimmy's house, to have their pictures painted.They were disappointed when Jimmy told them all that they would have to wait."But after I've made a picture of Mr. Crow you shall each have your turn," he promised.Some of them grumbled. And Mr. Fox, especially, was very disagreeable."I was the first one here," he said. "I don't see why I should have to wait