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Full Online Book HomeShort StoriesThe Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - XV - Telling Fortunes
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The Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - XV - Telling Fortunes Post by :wayne51984 Category :Short Stories Author :Arthur Scott Bailey Date :April 2012 Read :2814

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The Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - XV - Telling Fortunes

XV - Telling Fortunes

At the gypsies' camp Jimmy Rabbit had seen something that was very interesting. He had watched the gypsies telling fortunes. And he saw no reason why he should not become a fortune-teller himself. It looked easy enough. All you had to do was to hold the hand of the person whose fortune you were telling and say anything that came into your head. And you were paid for it, too! That was the best part of it all.

As soon as he had eaten the lunch that his mother gave him, Jimmy skipped away to ask everyone he met if he wanted his fortune told. And there wasn't a single person who didn't say "Yes!" at once.

"All right!" Jimmy told everybody. "It will cost you one cabbage.... And you can find me under the big willow near the brook."

"I'll come along with you now," said Fatty Coon. "You can tell my fortune. And afterward I'll go down to Farmer Green's and get a cabbage for you."

"That won't do!" said Jimmy. "You'll have to give me the cabbage first."

So Fatty hurried down the hill. Never before had he seen so many of his neighbors in Farmer Green's garden. And they were all looking for cabbages. It was quite clear that Jimmy Rabbit was going to be very busy.

Those who could run the fastest had their fortunes told first, for they were the ones that reached the big willow the soonest. And Mr. Fox was the quickest of all.

Jimmy Rabbit looked at Mr. Fox's paw. He wouldn't hold it, as he had seen the gypsies hold the hands of the people who visited them, for he never liked to get too near Mr. Fox. But Mr. Fox didn't know the difference.

"First I'll tell your past," Jimmy said.

But Mr. Fox thought there was no sense in doing that. "I know all about my past," he said.

"Well, I'll tell your present, then," said Jimmy Rabbit.

"Oh, that's silly!" Mr. Fox sneered. "You're telling my fortune--that's what my present is."

"Your future, then!" Jimmy continued. "I'll tell your future."

"Good!" said Mr. Fox. "That's just what I want."

So Jimmy Rabbit looked at his paw again.

"Beware of a dark man!" he said. "He'll make trouble for you if he can."

"That must be Farmer Green," Mr. Fox remarked. "I shall have to be careful."

"And I see a spotted person chasing you," said Jimmy.

Mr. Fox shuddered.

"Old dog Spot!" he said. "Hurry and finish! I must be running along." And he glanced over his shoulder as if he half expected to see Spot come bounding towards him.

"You are going on a journey," Jimmy Rabbit told him. "You are going to the other side of Blue Mountain. Beneath the great oak near the lake" (everybody had heard of the great oak) "when the moon comes up to-night, you will find the surprise of your life.... That's all!" Jimmy said.

Mr. Fox thought it was well worth one cabbage. And he went off wondering about that surprise.

Jimmy Rabbit told many fortunes that day. And the last one of all was Henry Skunk's, because Henry was so slow in coming up the hill from the garden.

By the time he had reached Henry Skunk, Jimmy could think of nothing new to say. So he began at the beginning again and told Henry Skunk exactly what he had said to Mr. Fox.

And Henry seemed just as pleased as Mr. Fox had been.

Then Jimmy waited for some time, because Fatty Coon had not appeared at all. You see, Fatty had been trying and trying to bring a cabbage up the hill, to pay for having his fortune told. But before he was half way up he always grew so hungry that he had to eat the cabbage, and then there was nothing to do but go back for another. So poor Fatty never had his fortune told at all.

The next day Jimmy Rabbit heard that Mr. Fox and Henry Skunk had had a terrible battle on the other side of Blue Mountain, just as the moon came up. It was said that each thought the other was spying on him.

Jimmy Rabbit was the only person who knew how it had come about. And he wouldn't tell.

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