Copyright
Albert Bigelow Paine.

Hollow tree nights and days; being a continuation of the stories about the hollow tree and deep woods people; online

. (page 1 of 10)
Online LibraryAlbert Bigelow PaineHollow tree nights and days; being a continuation of the stories about the hollow tree and deep woods people; → online text (page 1 of 10)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Produced by Mark C. Orton, Annie McGuire, Linda McKeown
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
http://www.pgdp.net









[Illustration: Book Cover]




[Illustration: "I KNOW," HE SAID, "I KNOW A WAY" See page 110]




HOLLOW TREE
NIGHTS AND DAYS

BEING A CONTINUATION OF THE STORIES ABOUT
THE HOLLOW TREE AND DEEP WOODS PEOPLE

BY
ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE
AUTHOR OF
"THE HOLLOW TREE AND DEEP WOODS BOOK"

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY
J. M. COND√Й

[Illustration]

NEW YORK AND LONDON
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS

* * * * *

BOOKS BY
ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE

_For Young Readers_

THE BOYS' LIFE OF MARK TWAIN
HOLLOW TREE NIGHTS AND DAYS
THE HOLLOW TREE AND DEEP-WOODS BOOK
THE HOLLOW TREE SNOWED-IN BOOK

_Small books of several stories each, selected
from the above Hollow Tree books:_

HOW MR. DOG GOT EVEN
HOW MR. RABBIT LOST HIS TAIL
MR. RABBIT'S BIG DINNER
MAKING UP WITH MR. DOG
MR. 'POSSUM'S GREAT BALLOON TRIP
WHEN JACK RABBIT WAS A LITTLE BOY
MR. RABBIT'S WEDDING
MR. CROW AND THE WHITEWASH
MR. TURTLE'S FLYING ADVENTURE

_For Grown-ups_

DWELLERS IN ARCADY
MARK TWAIN: A BIOGRAPHY
TH. NAST: HIS PERIOD AND HIS PICTURES
THE SHIP-DWELLERS (Humorous travel)
THE TENT-DWELLERS (Humorous camping)
FROM VAN-DWELLER TO COMMUTER
(Humorous, home life)
PEANUT (Story of a boy)

HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK

* * * * *

HOLLOW TREE NIGHTS AND DAYS

Copyright, 1915, 1916, by Harper & Brothers
Printed in the United States of America

* * * * *

TO J. P.

A FRIEND OF ALL HOLLOW TREE PEOPLE

* * * * *




[Illustration: A NEW MAP OF THE HOLLOW TREE AND DEEP WOODS COUNTRY]




EXPLANATION OF THE NEW MAP


This is a new map of the Deep Woods, showing a good many new things. The
three spots on the Edge of the World, away down, show where the Hollow
Tree people and Mr. Rabbit sat when they told their star stories. Mr.
'Coon leaned against the tree, so his spot does not show. The little
bush is the one that Mr. 'Possum curled his tail around when he wanted
to take a nap, to keep from falling over into the Deep Nowhere. Right
straight above the spots is the old well that Mr. 'Possum fell into and
lost his chicken. Over toward the Wide Blue Water is Cousin Redfield's
cave and his bear ladder. The path leads to where he fell in. You can
also find Mr. Turtle's fish-poles which he keeps set, just above his
house. The Hill there is where the Deep Woods people tried Mr. 'Possum's
car, and the thing that looks like a barber-pole is where they landed.
They put it up afterward to mark the place. If you follow the road
around you will come to Mr. 'Coon's bee-tree, and Mr. Robin's tree, near
the Race Track. There ought to be a good many more roads and things, but
the artists said if they put everything on the map it would look too
mixed up. Remember, with Deep Woods folks the top of the map is south.




GREETINGS FROM THE STORY TELLER AND THE ARTIST


Once upon a time, ever so long ago, the Story Teller told the Little
Lady all about the 'Coon and 'Possum and the Old Black Crow who lived in
three hollow branches of a Big Hollow Tree that stood in the far depths
of the Big Deep Woods. The Crow and 'Coon and 'Possum were great friends
and used to meet in the big family room down-stairs and have plenty of
good things to eat, and then sit by the fire and smoke and tell stories,
and sometimes they would invite the other Deep Woods people, like Mr.
Rabbit and Mr. Turtle and the rest, and even Mr. Dog, after they became
friends with him, though Mr. Dog did not really live _in_ the Deep
Woods, but only on the edge of it, with Mr. Man.

The Hollow Tree people never did get to be friends with Mr. Man. They
liked to watch him, sometimes, from a distance, and would borrow things
from him when he wasn't at home, but they never just felt like calling
on him or asking him to the Hollow Tree. You see, Mr. Man really
belonged to one world and the Hollow Tree people belonged to another,
and something is always likely to happen when any one, even an author,
goes to mixing up worlds.

Well, by and by the Story Teller, and the Artist who drew the pictures,
put the Hollow Tree and Deep Woods stories into a book to preserve them,
for they thought that was going to be all of them, because Mr. Dog, who
told them, had gone away and they did not know where they could ever
find any more. Even when other Little Ladies and their brothers wrote
and asked for more Hollow Tree stories there were no more to send for a
very long time. But then one day the Story Teller and the Artist
themselves moved into the very edge of the Big Deep Woods, and there
they found some more stories about the 'Coon and 'Possum and the Old
Black Crow, because Mr. Dog had left a young relative, very fine and
handsome, who was also friends with the Hollow Tree people and could
tell everything as it happened, right along. So the Story Teller and the
Artist made up _The Hollow Tree Snowed-In Book_ which was all about
once when the Hollow Tree people and their friends were "snowed in" and
had to sit around the fire and eat good things and play games and tell
stories to pass the time.

How Little Ladies do slip away from us! The first Hollow Tree stories
were told for one who is now a Big Lady, and the Snowed-In stories for
another, who will soon be a Big Lady, too. But in the Deep Woods the
years do not count. The Hollow Tree people never grow any older, but
stay always the same, and the Story Teller and the Artist have to keep
stepping backward to find out the new Hollow Tree stories and to tell
them to the new Little People that come along.

So now after a good many years we have a third Hollow Tree book, which
will surely be the last one, because things are so likely to go in
threes, like three cheers, and three trials, and three strikes and out.
The Deep Woods people will never desert the Hollow Tree, and though
after this we should not hear from them again, we may imagine they are
doing many of the same things, and keeping safe and happy during all the
future Hollow Tree Nights and Days.




CONTENTS


PAGE

GREETINGS FROM THE STORY TELLER AND THE ARTIST 9

LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND BUNTY BUN 19

MR. 'POSSUM'S SICK SPELL 35

MR. TURTLE'S FLYING ADVENTURE 51

THE DEEP WOODS ELOPEMENT 71

COUSIN REDFIELD AND THE MOLASSES 89

IN MR MAN'S CAR 105

MR. 'POSSUM'S CAR 121

MR. BEAR'S EARLY SPRING CALL 139

HOW MR. 'POSSUM'S TAIL BECAME BARE 155

A DEEP WOODS WAR 173

MR CROW AND THE WHITEWASH 189

MR CROW AND THE WHITEWASH II 199

MR 'COON'S STAR STORY 209

MR RABBIT'S STAR STORY 223

MR CROW'S STAR STORY 237

MR JACK RABBIT BRINGS A FRIEND 249

MR JACK RABBIT BRINGS A FRIEND II 259

MR RABBIT'S WEDDING 267

MR RABBIT'S WEDDING II 279




ILLUSTRATIONS


"I KNOW," HE SAID, "I KNOW A WAY" _Frontispiece_

A NEW MAP OF THE HOLLOW TREE AND DEEP WOODS COUNTRY vi

MR. RABBIT SAID HE CERTAINLY DID APPRECIATE BEING
INVITED TO THE HOLLOW TREE 21

I USED TO RUN OUT AND GET BEHIND, WITH BUNTY, AND
TAKE HER BOOKS 25

NEW FLOWERS THAT SHE WANTED ME TO DIG UP FOR HER 27

I HAD MADE A MISS-DIP, AND EVERYBODY WAS LOOKING AT ME 29

MR. RABBIT SAID HE COULD HARDLY GET TO HICKORY WHACK'S
DESK 31

MR. OWL LOOKED AT HIS TONGUE AND FELT HIS PULSE 37

IN A LITTLE WHILE HE HAD THIS FINE, FAT CHICKEN 39

MR. CROW SAID IF MR. 'POSSUM WAS STILL WITH THEM NEXT
MORNING THEY WOULD SEND FOR ANOTHER DOCTOR 41

WHEN THE DUMPLING WAS GONE HE FISHED UP A LEG AND
ATE THAT 43

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH MY SUNDAY COAT ON?" 47

A CATFISH NEARLY JERKED HIS POLE OUT OF HIS HANDS 53

OLD MAN MOCCASIN WAS ONLY ABOUT TWENTY FEET AWAY 57

"NOW FLY!" HE SAYS, AND DOWN I WENT 63

"YES," SAID MR. TURTLE, "THAT'S WHERE I STRUCK" 67

SHE WOULD MAKE WINTERS HELP MY YOUNG LADY COUSIN
DO THE DISHES 73

UNCLE SILAS HAD GONE TO SLEEP WITH A POTATO IN HIS HAND 77

THAT NIGHT WINTERS AND I TALKED IT OVER 79

SENT ME SAILING UP INTO THE SKY 83

HE LAUGHED MORE THAN I EVER SAW HIM LAUGH AT ANYTHING 85

HE DIDN'T EAT THE BREAD AT ALL, BUT JUST ATE UP THE
MOLASSES 91

SAT DOWN ON THE STONE TO THINK AGAIN AND CRY SOME
MORE 95

AND THEN PRETTY SOON IT COMMENCED TO RUN BETTER 97

IT GAVE HIM SUCH A SICK TURN THAT HE NEARLY DIED 101

MR. 'POSSUM TRIED TO TURN THE CRANK A LITTLE 109

MR. 'COON SAT UP IN THE FRONT SEAT 113

MADE A DIVE FOR THE REAR SEAT 115

HE USED TO WALK UP AND DOWN IN THE SUN AND SMOKE,
THINKING AND THINKING 123

SIGHTED ACROSS IT TO SEE THAT THEY WERE KEEPING IT
STRAIGHT 125

SO THEN MR. 'POSSUM GOT UP INTO THE SEAT TO STEER 129

GOING FASTER AND FASTER EVERY MINUTE 133

MR. TURTLE TOOK MR. 'POSSUM ON HIS BACK, AND EVERYBODY
SAID IT WAS FINE 135

MR. 'POSSUM CAME PUFFING UP THE STAIRS 141

DID NOT REALLY INTEND TO GO SOUND ASLEEP 143

WHEN MR. 'POSSUM HEARD THAT HE FAINTED DEAD AWAY 147

FLUNG HIMSELF AGAINST THE DOWN-STAIRS DOOR WITH A
GREAT BANG 149

"I HOPE MR. 'POSSUM'S FUNERAL WILL BE A SUCCESS" 151

ONE DAY A NEW AND VERY HANDSOME MR. 'POSSUM CAME
INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD 159

CALLING OUT, "MUCH OBLIGED, MR. PAINTER" 163

MR. WATERS HAD TO TAKE WHAT WAS LEFT 165

TOOK HIM ALL THE AFTERNOON TO PRY THE REST OF MY
ANCESTORS LOOSE 169

I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT VIOLET COULD SEE IN HIM 177

ALL DAY LONG CARRIED HONEY OUT OF THE BEE-TREE 183

VIOLET AND THAT BIG CREATURE HAD STARTED HOUSEKEEPING 185

MR. CROW AND MR. RABBIT WENT BACK TO THE FENCE JOB 191

GAVE HIM ANOTHER AND VERY HEAVY COAT 195

WOKE UP AND TOOK ONE LOOK AT THE STRANGE, WHITE
CREATURE 197

"GOOD GRACIOUS ALIVE! IF THE HOLLOW TREE ISN'T ON
FIRE!" 203

MR. 'COON RODE DOWN ON IT LIKE A SLED 205

I WAS VERY YOUNG 211

BUT MOST OF ALL I WAS ANXIOUS TO SEE IN THAT BOX 215

A BIG YELLOW ONE JUST GRAZED MY LEFT EAR 217

I NOTICED A SCARED CHICKEN 219

TOLD WHAT A GRAND PLACE THE SKY WAS 225

THEY PILED UP THAT LADDER IN A STEADY STREAM 227

GRANDPAW WENT ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF THE WAY UP HIS
LADDER, TO SEE 231

I ASKED MINERVA TO TELL ME IN A FEW SIMPLE WORDS
WHAT SHE HAD BEEN TALKING ABOUT AT THE MEETING 239

SHE JUST WHEELED AND GAVE ME A CLIP 241

I DIDN'T RECOGNIZE MY MOTHER-IN-LAW 243

EVERYBODY LOOKED UP AT THE TWINKLING SKY 245

I HAVE NEVER HEARD ANYTHING SO WONDERFUL AS THE WAY
SHE TELLS IT 251

MISS MYRTLE PAUSED AND WIPED HER EYES 255

SO I WENT HOME WITH MR. ROBIN 261

STOPPED TO TALK A LITTLE WITH EACH ONE 269

JACK RABBIT WOULD HAVE STAYED A BACHELOR IF SHE
HADN'T TRIPPED IN HER WEDDING-GOWN 273

"MAY YOU BE HAPPY AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, AND LONGER" 277

AND YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN COUSIN REDFIELD DANCE 281

CALLED FOR THE FEATHER BED 285

WENT OUT ON THE OPEN TRACK AND TOOK A LITTLE RUN 287




LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND BUNTY BUN

JACK RABBIT TELLS ABOUT HIS SCHOOL-DAYS,
AND WHY HE HAS ALWAYS
THOUGHT IT BEST TO LIVE ALONE


The Little Lady has been poring over a first reader, because she has
started to school now, and there are lessons almost every evening. Then
by and by she closes the book and comes over to where the Story Teller
is looking into the big open fire.

The little lady looks into the fire, too, and thinks. Then pretty soon
she climbs into the Story Teller's lap and leans back, and looks into
the fire and thinks some more.

"Did the Hollow Tree people ever go to school?" she says. "I s'pose they
did, though, or they wouldn't know how to read and write, and send
invitations and things."

The Story Teller knocks the ashes out of his pipe and lays it on the
little stand beside him.

"Why, yes indeed, they went to school," he says. "Didn't I ever tell you
about that?"

"You couldn't have," says the Little Lady, "because I never thought
about its happening, myself, until just now."

"Well, then," says the Story Teller, "I'll tell you something that Mr.
Jack Rabbit told about, one night in the Hollow Tree, when he had been
having supper with the 'Coon and 'Possum and the Old Black Crow, and
they were all sitting before the fire, just as we are sitting now. It
isn't really much about school, but it shows that Jack Rabbit went to
one, and explains something else, too."

Mr. Crow had cooked all his best things that evening, and everything had
tasted even better than usual. Mr. 'Possum said he didn't really feel as
if he could move from his chair when supper was over, but that he wanted
to do the right thing, and would watch the fire and poke it while the
others were clearing the table, so that it would be nice and bright for
them when they were ready to enjoy it. So then the Crow and the 'Coon
and Jack Rabbit flew about and did up the work, while Mr. 'Possum put on
a fresh stick, then lit his pipe, and leaned back and stretched out his
feet, and said it surely was nice to have a fine, cozy home like theirs,
and that he was always happy when he was doing things for people who
appreciated it, like those present.

[Illustration: MR. RABBIT SAID HE CERTAINLY DID APPRECIATE BEING INVITED
TO THE HOLLOW TREE]

Mr. Rabbit said he certainly did appreciate being invited to the Hollow
Tree, living, as he did, alone, an old bachelor, with nobody to share
his home; and then pretty soon the work was all done up, and Jack
Rabbit and the others drew up their chairs, too, and lit their pipes,
and for a while nobody said anything, but just smoked and felt happy.

Mr. 'Possum was first to say something. He leaned over and knocked the
ashes out of his pipe, then leaned back and crossed his feet, and said
he'd been thinking about Mr. Rabbit's lonely life, and wondering why it
was that, with his fondness for society and such a good home, he had
stayed a bachelor so long. Then the Crow and the 'Coon said so, too, and
asked Jack Rabbit why it was.

Mr. Rabbit said it was quite a sad story, and perhaps not very
interesting, as it had all happened so long ago, when he was quite
small.

"My folks lived then in the Heavy Thickets, over beyond the Wide
Grasslands," he said; "it was a very nice place, with a good school,
kept by a stiff-kneed rabbit named Whack - J. Hickory Whack - which seemed
to fit him. I was the only child in our family that year, and I suppose
I was spoiled. I remember my folks let me run and play a good deal,
instead of making me study my lessons, so that Hickory Whack did not
like me much, though he was afraid to be as severe as he was with most
of the others, my folks being quite well off and I an only child. Of
course, the other scholars didn't like that, and I don't blame them now,
though I didn't care then whether they liked it or not. I didn't care
for anything, except to go capering about the woods, gathering flowers
and trying to make up poetry, when I should have been doing my examples.
I didn't like school or J. Hickory Whack, and every morning I hated to
start, until, one day, a new family moved into our neighborhood. They
were named Bun, and one of them was a little girl named Bunty - Bunty
Bun."

When Mr. Rabbit got that far in his story he stopped a minute and
sighed, and filled his pipe again, and took out his handkerchief, and
said he guessed a little speck of ashes had got into his eye. Then he
said:

"The Buns lived close to us, and the children went the same way to
school as I did. Bunty was little and fat, and was generally behind, and
I stayed behind with her, after the first morning. She seemed a very
well-behaved little Miss Rabbit, and was quite plump, as I say, and used
to have plump little books, which I used to carry for her, and think how
nice it would be if I could always go on carrying them and helping Bunty
Bun over the mud-holes and ditches."

Mr. Rabbit got another speck of ashes in his eye, and had to wipe it
several times and blow his nose hard. Then he said:

"She wore a little red cape and a pretty linsey dress, and her ears were
quite slim and silky, and used to stand straight up, except when she was
sad over anything. Then they used to lop down quite flat; when I saw
them that way it made me sad, too. But when she was pleased and happy,
they set straight up and she seemed to laugh all over.

[Illustration: USED TO RUN OUT AND GET BEHIND, WITH BUNTY, AND TAKE HER
BOOKS]

"I forgot all about not liking school. I used to watch until I saw the
Bun children coming, and then run out and get behind, with Bunty, and
take her books, and wish there was a good deal farther to go. When it
got to be spring and flowers began to bloom, I would gather every one I
saw for Bunty Bun, and once I made up a poem for her. I remember it
still. It said:

"Oh, Bunty Bun,
The spring's begun,
The violet's are in bloom.
Oh, Bunty Bun,
I'll pick you one,
All full of sweet perfume.

"The sun is bright,
Our hearts are light,
And we will skip and run.
Prick up your ears,
And dry your tears,
Dear bunny, Bunty Bun."

"Mr. Rabbit said he didn't suppose it was the best poetry, but that it
had meant so much to him then that he couldn't judge it now, and,
anyway, it was no matter any more. The other children used to tease them
a good deal, Mr. Rabbit said, but that he and Bunty had not minded it so
very much, only, of course, he wouldn't have had them see his poem for
anything. The trouble began when Bunty Bun decided to have a
flower-garden.

"She used to see new flowers along the way to and from school that she
wanted me to dig up for her so she could set them out in her garden. I
liked to do it better than anything, too, only not _going_ to school,
because the ground was pretty soft and sticky, and it made my hands so
dirty, and Hickory Whack was particular about the children having clean
hands. I used to hide the flower plants under the corner of the
school-house every morning, and hurry in and wash my hands before school
took up, and the others used to watch me and giggle, for they knew what
all that dirt came from. Our school was just one room, and there were
rows of nails by the door to hang our things on, and there was a bench
with the wash-basin and the water-pail on it, the basin and the pail
side by side. It was a misfortune for me that they were put so close
together that way. But never mind - it is a long time ago.

[Illustration: NEW FLOWERS THAT SHE WANTED ME TO DIG UP FOR HER]

"One morning in April when it was quite chilly Bunty Bun saw several
pretty plants on the way to school that she wanted me to dig up for her,
root and all, for her garden. I said it would be better to get them on
the way home that night, but Bunty said some one might come along and
take them and that she wouldn't lose those nice plants for anything. So
I got down on my knees and dug and dug with my hands in the cold, sticky
dirt, until I got the roots all up for her, and my hands were quite
numb and a sight to look at. Then we hurried on to school, for it was
getting late.

"When we got to the door I pushed the flower plants under the edge of
the house, and we went in, Bunty ahead of me. School had just taken up,
and all the scholars were in their seats except us. Bunty Bun went over
to the girls' side to hang up her things, and I stuck my hat on a nail
on our side, and stepped as quick as I could to the bench where the
water was, to wash my hands.

"There was some water in the basin, and I was just about to dip my hands
in when I looked over toward Bunty Bun and saw her little ears all
lopped down flat, for the other little girl rabbits were giggling at her
for coming in with me and being late. The boy rabbits were giggling at
me, too, which I did not mind so much. But I forgot all about the basin,
for a minute, looking at Bunty Bun's ears, and when I started to wash my
hands I kept looking at Bunty, and in that way made an awful mistake;
for just when the water was feeling so good to my poor chilled hands,
and I was waving them about in it, all the time looking at Bunty's
droopy ears, somebody suddenly called out, 'Oh, teacher, Jacky Rabbit's
washing his hands in the water-pail! Jacky Rabbit's washing his hands in
the water-pail, teacher!'

[Illustration: I HAD MADE A MISS-DIP, AND EVERYBODY WAS LOOKING AT ME]

"And sure enough, I was! Looking at Bunty Bun and pitying her, I had
made a miss-dip, and everybody was looking at me; and J. Hickory Whack
said, in the most awful voice, 'Jack Rabbit, you come here, at once!'"

[Illustration: MR. RABBIT SAID HE COULD HARDLY GET TO HICKORY WHACK'S
DESK]

Mr. Rabbit said he could hardly get to Hickory Whack's desk, he was so
weak in the knees, and when Mr. Whack had asked him what he had meant by
such actions he had been almost too feeble to speak.

"I couldn't think of a word," he said, "for, of course, the only thing I
could say was that I had been looking at Bunty Bun's little droopy ears,
and that would have made everybody laugh, and been much worse. Then the
teacher said he didn't see how he was going to keep himself from
whipping me soundly, he felt so much that way, and he said it in such an
awful tone that all the others were pretty scared, too, and quite still,
all of them but just one - one scholar on the girls' side, who giggled
right out loud - and I know you will hardly believe it when I tell you
that it was Bunty Bun! I was sure I knew her laugh, but I couldn't
believe it and, scared as I was, I turned to look, and there she sat,
looking really amused, her slim little ears sticking straight up as they
always did when she enjoyed anything."

Mr. Rabbit rose and walked across the room and back, and sat down again,
quite excitedly.

"Think of it, after all I had done for her! I saw at once that there
would be no pleasure in carrying her books and helping her over the
mud-puddles in the way I had planned. And just then Hickory Whack
grabbed a stick and reached for me. But he didn't reach quite far
enough, for I was always rather spry, and I was half-way to the door
with one spring, and out of it and on the way home, the next. Of course


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Online LibraryAlbert Bigelow PaineHollow tree nights and days; being a continuation of the stories about the hollow tree and deep woods people; → online text (page 1 of 10)