Thomas C. Hinkle.

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_THE GREENWOOD SERIES_

DOCTOR RABBIT
AND
BRUSHTAIL THE FOX

By
THOMAS CLARK HINKLE

Illustrations by
MILO WINTER

RAND McNALLY & COMPANY
CHICAGO - NEW YORK

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

CONTENTS

BRUSHTAIL THE FOX COMES TO THE BIG GREEN WOODS 7
CHATTY RED SQUIRREL IS HEARD SCOLDING LOUDLY 12
BRUSHTAIL THE FOX PLAYS "POSSUM" 17
BRUSHTAIL GETS A SCARE 22
DOCTOR RABBIT SEES SOMETHING INTERESTING 27
TWO HUNTERS COME TO THE BIG GREEN WOODS 33
DOCTOR RABBIT INFORMS HIS FRIENDS 37
WHAT DOCTOR RABBIT SAW 41
MRS. BRUSHTAIL GETS A HEN 46
BRUSHTAIL THE FOX FINDS SOME PIECES OF CHEESE 51
THE GROWLERS COME OUT OF THE THICKET 57
JACK RABBIT SPRAINS HIS FOOT 62
DOCTORING LITTLE THOMAS WOODCHUCK 68
LISTENING TO THE BRUSHTAILS 74
DOCTOR RABBIT TELLS SOME GOOD NEWS 79
A FOOLISH OLD HEN 82
DOCTOR RABBIT LAYS A TRAP 86
BRUSHTAIL THE FOX IS ALMOST CAUGHT 92
AN EXCITING CHASE 100
THE BIG GRAY GOOSE GETS AWAY 105
BRUSHTAIL THE FOX FINDS THE TRAPS 110
GETTING TOGETHER 114
BRUSHTAIL THE FOX DISCOVERS THE COW'S HEAD 119
WHAT HAPPENED TO BRUSHTAIL THE FOX 123

ILLUSTRATIONS

MY! HOW HE DID JUMP AND YELL! 24
BRUSHTAIL THE FOX SEIZED HER BY THE NECK 80
IT WAS A QUEER PROCESSION! 112

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




DOCTOR RABBIT AND BRUSHTAIL THE FOX

BRUSHTAIL THE FOX COMES TO THE BIG GREEN WOODS


Doctor Rabbit and Cheepy Chipmunk were sitting in Doctor Rabbit's
front yard talking. They laughed a good deal as they talked, for it
was a lovely morning in the beautiful Big Green Woods, and everyone
felt happy.

Finally jolly Doctor Rabbit said he believed he would run over to the
big sycamore tree to eat some more of the tender blue grass that grew
there. It seemed as if he could eat there all day and all night, he
said, because that grass was so good. Cheepy Chipmunk said he was
getting hungry again too, and he guessed he would be going home to eat
the fresh ear of corn he had found that morning.

Cheepy Chipmunk got up and was starting away, when Doctor Rabbit
seized him and said in a low, frightened whisper that scared Cheepy
half to death, "Come back and sit down and keep as still as anything.
Look out there, will you!"

Very badly startled, Cheepy Chipmunk came back and sat down, and his
eyes followed Doctor Rabbit's eyes. Cheepy saw an animal such as he
had never seen before. This animal looked somewhat like a dog, but
Cheepy knew right away he was no dog. He was not quite so large as
Ki-yi Coyote, and was of a reddish-brown color, with a large, bushy
tail. The animal was walking along under the trees not far away, and
did not even look in the direction of Doctor Rabbit and little Cheepy
Chipmunk.

But, although he could not tell why, Cheepy knew at once that that
reddish-brown animal walking along out there under the trees was very
dangerous to chipmunks and rabbits and any number of other little
animals. Yes, sir, Cheepy Chipmunk was dreadfully frightened at once,
for he was certain his life and the lives of Stubby Woodchuck, Chatty
Red Squirrel and all his other friends were in great danger. But he
had never seen such an animal before, so of course he did not know
what it was.

While Doctor Rabbit and Cheepy Chipmunk looked, the strange animal
walked along just as if he were not interested in anything. He did not
even look toward Doctor Rabbit and Cheepy Chipmunk. This fooled
innocent Cheepy, and he whispered to Doctor Rabbit, "He has not seen
us; let's slip into your house! I don't want him to catch sight of
us."

"Keep right still!" Doctor Rabbit whispered in reply. "Just sit still.
Yes, he has seen us - don't you fool yourself about that. But he knows
well enough he can't catch us now. He's made up his mind he'll wait
until he gets a better chance. But we won't let him know we see him.
We'll have to try to deceive him at every turn. Yes, sir, Cheepy,
we've got to watch out every minute now; we certainly have. He's one
of the most cunning animals there is. I'm sorry he's come into our
woods."

Cheepy Chipmunk was so frightened that his teeth were chattering as he
asked, "Who is he?"

"He's Brushtail the Fox," Doctor Rabbit said. "I saw him a number of
times in the woods up along the Deep River where I used to live. We'll
see more of him - we can count on that. And now, Friend Cheepy, you
must stay right here at my house until we are sure Brushtail has
stopped watching us out of the corner of his eye."




CHATTY RED SQUIRREL IS HEARD SCOLDING LOUDLY


Doctor Rabbit was right. Brushtail the Fox had seen exactly who was in
Doctor Rabbit's front yard, but he did not act as if he knew there was
any one within a mile of him. No, he just kept right on walking slowly
under the trees. And then all of a sudden Chatty Red Squirrel almost
made him look up. Chatty was high up in a big hackberry tree, and from
this safe perch he scolded Brushtail as loudly as he could.

"Get out of these woods!" Chatty Squirrel shouted angrily. "You have
no right in here. You are just sneaking around trying to catch
somebody. But you can't. I won't let you. I'll tell on you. Look here,
everybody. Here is old Brushtail the Fox. I know you, Mr. Brushtail.
I've seen you before in the woods up along the Deep River. Look out,
everybody! Brushtail is around. He's right under this tree, right this
minute. I can see him. Look out for Mr. Brushtail! Here he is!"

Well, Doctor Rabbit and Cheepy Chipmunk watched and listened while
Chatty Squirrel scolded Brushtail the Fox so loudly. But Brushtail
paid no attention whatever to Chatty. The fact was that he did hear
every word Chatty Squirrel said and he was pretty angry about it, too,
because you see he did not want all the little creatures of the Big
Green Woods to know he was around. He wanted to get one or two of them
for breakfast before they even dreamed he was anywhere near.

But even if he was angry, Brushtail knew, of course, that he could not
climb that tree after Chatty Squirrel, so he just ground his teeth and
walked on. He decided that he would make Chatty pay for this, indeed
he would. He would catch him the very first of all. And so as Doctor
Rabbit and Cheepy Chipmunk looked and listened, Brushtail, without
saying a word, walked on and finally slipped out of sight among some
leafy bushes.

"I'm going home this minute!" Cheepy Chipmunk exclaimed, his voice
trembling with fear; and away he went for his stump as fast as he
could run.

After Cheepy had gone, Doctor Rabbit said to himself, "Well, I do
declare! So Brushtail the Fox has found the Big Green Woods, and
likely enough intends to live here. If he does we'll certainly all
have to watch out every minute. Indeed we will. I'm glad Chatty
Squirrel is scolding so loudly. Perhaps our friends will all hear and
be on the lookout."

Chatty Squirrel, who had followed along in the branches of the trees
and kept sight of slinky Brushtail, was now heard quite a distance
away, scolding louder than ever.

"I wonder what Chatty is scolding about out there now," Doctor Rabbit
said. "It sounds as if he were still talking to Brushtail. Perhaps
Brushtail has stopped out there, and possibly he has caught something
and is eating it. I'm going to slip out that way and see. I'll take
the path that leads past several briar patches, and if Mr. Fox runs
for me I'll just slip into a briar patch. If he tries to follow me in
there he knows what he'll get. He'll get his eyes scratched out with
the briars. My, how Chatty is scolding! He's scolding Brushtail, too.
Brushtail must be doing something unusual or Chatty would not talk so
excitedly."




BRUSHTAIL THE FOX PLAYS "POSSUM"


Doctor Rabbit hurried away from his home toward the place where he
heard Chatty Squirrel scolding Brushtail the Fox. Doctor Rabbit, to
tell the truth, was afraid to venture out there so close to Brushtail,
but then, he reasoned, he would have to go sooner or later and get
something to eat, so he might as well venture out now and see what the
old villain was doing.

Doctor Rabbit kept in the path that led past several briar patches,
and this made him feel pretty safe. The nearer Doctor Rabbit came to
the place where Chatty Squirrel was scolding, the louder sounded
Chatty's angry voice. Doctor Rabbit crept close, and slipped into a
briar patch. Not more than twenty feet away, lying on the ground as
still as if he were dead, was Brushtail the Fox. But he did not fool
Doctor Rabbit in the least. Doctor Rabbit knew instantly what
Brushtail wanted: he wanted Chatty Squirrel.

Because Brushtail lay so still and paid not the least attention to his
scolding, Chatty Squirrel became really puzzled. He stopped scolding
and said to himself, "Now I wonder if that old scamp _is_ dead. He
certainly lies there very still, anyway. I believe I'll just slip down
on the ground for a minute and see. If he's just playing dead, he'll
come after me when I get on the ground. Then I'll know for sure, and
I'll go back up the tree in a hurry."

Chatty Squirrel scrambled down the tree, and as soon as he reached the
ground he began scolding Brushtail the Fox. He thought, of course,
that this would make Brushtail jump up if he were only playing dead;
but Brushtail paid no attention to Chatty. He lay as still as a dead
fox. Chatty Squirrel ran a little way toward him, but was afraid to
venture far. Just then he happened to see Doctor Rabbit hiding under
the briar patch, motioning for him to come over, and looking as though
he knew something very funny.

There happened to be another tree by the briar patch, so Chatty
Squirrel sprang right over to see what Doctor Rabbit wanted. Doctor
Rabbit whispered something in Chatty's ear, and then they chuckled
softly to themselves. The more Chatty thought about what Doctor Rabbit
had said, the more he laughed - not very loudly, of course, because he
did not want Brushtail the Fox to hear.

"Hurry along now before he gets up!" Doctor Rabbit whispered, and away
ran Chatty Squirrel back to the tree he had left. Chatty scrambled
back up the tree in a hurry, and began scolding Brushtail louder than
ever. He did not say a word about Doctor Rabbit, of course; he just
went right on scolding as if nothing had happened.

Now Brushtail the Fox was not dead, and as he lay there very still he
thought every minute Chatty Squirrel's curiosity would get the better
of him and Chatty would come down the tree and close enough so that he
could pounce upon him. But Chatty did just exactly what Doctor Rabbit
had told him to do.

"I wish," he said aloud, "that I knew whether Mr. Fox is really dead.
He lies so still I believe he is, and if he lies there much longer I
shall have to go down and see. Yes, I'll have to go down and poke him
and see!"

Brushtail the Fox could scarcely keep from smacking his lips when
Chatty said this, but he did not move, of course. He lay perfectly
still, not even winking an eye, for he was very hungry, and he hoped
Chatty Squirrel would decide to hurry and come down.

And all the time that Chatty Squirrel up in the tree was scolding,
Doctor Rabbit was working at something in the near-by thicket. Chatty,
you see, was going to keep Brushtail's attention until Doctor Rabbit
played a good joke on old Brushtail.




BRUSHTAIL GETS A SCARE


Now, this was what Doctor Rabbit was doing in the near-by thicket. He
gathered some moss, and rolled it into a big ball. Then he took a
bottle of medicine from his medicine case. The bottle had ammonia in
it - spirits of ammonia, it was - and Doctor Rabbit poured the
medicine all over and through the big ball of moss.

My, but that ammonia smelled strong! I should say it _did_ smell
strong. It was so strong, in fact, that Doctor Rabbit had to turn his
head partly away from the moss while he poured the medicine on it. Now
Doctor Rabbit had to be very, very careful. He picked up the ball of
moss in his front paws and walked toward Brushtail the Fox, who lay on
the ground with his eyes shut tight.

Chatty Squirrel kept up a very loud scolding as Doctor Rabbit slipped
up to Brushtail. Then when he was very near, Doctor Rabbit threw that
moss with all the terribly strong ammonia right on Brushtail's head
and over his nose. Brushtail got such a big whiff of the medicine that
he almost strangled. My, how he did jump and yell! He was terribly
scared, because he did not know for a minute what had happened.

Then he heard Chatty up on the limb laughing and shouting for joy.
Doctor Rabbit ran back to the edge of the thicket, and he was laughing
too. It certainly did look funny to see Brushtail the Fox standing and
staring at that moss as if he thought it was something alive.

When Brushtail saw that a joke had been played on him he was terribly
angry. He knew, of course, he could not get Chatty, so he made a rush
for Doctor Rabbit.

But Doctor Rabbit skipped into the thicket, picked up his medicine
case and shouted, "Good day, Mr. Fox! I guess you won't have Chatty
for breakfast! You'd better eat the moss ball."

And away Doctor Rabbit ran. In a twinkling he was out of sight in the
leafy woods.

Brushtail the Fox ran after Doctor Rabbit as fast as he could go, but
it was no use. He could not find him. Now it happened that Doctor
Rabbit had not gone far at all. He was not far from home, so he just
hid behind a big log. And he was watching Brushtail the Fox all the
time.

My! How he did jump and yell!

After a time Brushtail sat down and kept still. His sharp eyes,
however, were looking in every direction. He thought he might see
Doctor Rabbit by keeping quiet and looking about him.

Doctor Rabbit, as I have said, was so close to his home that he knew
he was safe, so he walked quietly from behind the log, holding his
medicine case and acting just as though he did not know that Brushtail
the Fox was anywhere about.

Brushtail quickly lay down and was as quiet as possible.

Then Doctor Rabbit stopped, looked back, and said pleasantly, "It's a
nice morning, Brushy."

That surely surprised Brushtail, but when he saw Doctor Rabbit's home
tree not far away, he knew he could not catch him. So he smiled and
said, "I've just been playing with you all the time. Do come on over
to my home, Neighbor Rabbit. I have something very fine there to show
you. We'll have some good times together."

"Ha! ha! ha!" wise Doctor Rabbit laughed, as he started toward his big
tree. "Yes," he continued, "I suppose you have some very cruel teeth
to show me, Mr. Brushtail, but I can see them quite as well as I care
to. Ha! ha! ha!" And Doctor Rabbit ran for his tree.

Brushtail ran after him, too, but Doctor Rabbit ran fast and reached
his home in safety. There he peeked out and saw Brushtail steal into
some bushes.




DOCTOR RABBIT SEES SOMETHING INTERESTING


Now when Doctor Rabbit ran into the big hollow tree that was his home,
Brushtail the Fox slunk into some leafy bushes near by, and lay down
without making a sound.

"I'll just wait here," Brushtail whispered to himself, "and that smart
old rabbit will be coming out pretty soon. He won't know that I'm
anywhere about."

But old Brushtail was very much mistaken, for Doctor Rabbit had peeked
out of his front door just as soon as he was inside his house, and you
remember he saw Brushtail steal into the bushes. No, sir, he wasn't to
be fooled this time.

For a long time Brushtail lay in the bushes. He lay so quietly that
not a leaf on the branches about him stirred. His glittering eyes were
turned toward Doctor Rabbit's tree, and every little while he showed
his long, sharp teeth as he smiled at the thought of the good meal
that big fat rabbit would make.

But all the while Doctor Rabbit watched from an upstairs window where
Brushtail could not see him, although Doctor Rabbit could plainly see
the pointed nose and sharp, gleaming eyes of his enemy.

Presently Doctor Rabbit heard the rustle of leaves and the gay
_chatter_, _chatter_, _chatter_ of Chatty Red Squirrel as he bounded
into the branches of a tree overlooking the bushes that hid Brushtail.

Doctor Rabbit drew a long breath of relief. He wasn't afraid of
Brushtail the Fox when he was safe in his big hollow tree - oh no, you
mustn't think that, not for a moment. But you see Doctor Rabbit was
getting pretty tired and stiff from watching so cautiously from his
upstairs window, and yet he couldn't quite bring himself to the point
of going downstairs and forgetting Brushtail. No indeed, he couldn't
quite do that.

So Doctor Rabbit was glad to see Chatty Red Squirrel, for he knew just
what would happen. And sure enough, in a few minutes Chatty Squirrel
saw Brushtail lying low in the bushes, and then how he did scold!

"Aha, old Brushtail, I see you hiding in the bushes. Thought I
wouldn't see you, didn't you? Thought I wouldn't see you! But I see
you, all right. You can't fool Chatty, no siree. Oh, I know you're
looking for Doctor Rabbit," and Chatty's tone became angrier at the
thought of Brushtail waiting to pounce upon his good friend, Doctor
Rabbit. "You're just waiting for Doctor Rabbit to come home and then
spring out at him. Get out of here, get out, get out of here!"
screamed Chatty.

Brushtail the Fox was angry. Well, I should say he was. He knew that
Doctor Rabbit would hear Chatty Red Squirrel's scolding, and would
know that he was hiding ready to eat him if he came out of the tree.
Brushtail was so angry that he snarled. But he slunk away through the
bushes without saying a word to Chatty Red. Brushtail is wise enough
to know that there is no use arguing with Chatty Squirrel, for Chatty
is altogether too noisy a talker. I should say he is.

When Brushtail slunk away through the bushes, Doctor Rabbit called to
Chatty Red Squirrel, but Chatty did not hear him. He had scampered
away to another tree, still talking loudly.

Then Doctor Rabbit turned quickly and leaned out of his window to
watch Brushtail the Fox. Brushtail was trotting off through the Big
Green Woods in a direction in which Doctor Rabbit seldom went. And
Doctor Rabbit noticed that he seemed to be afraid someone would see
him. He looked on each side of him as he went along, and every now and
then he took a big jump sidewise. Doctor Rabbit was certainly
interested now, for he believed Brushtail the Fox was going to hide
somewhere. Probably he was going to hide in a place where he hid every
day.

Yes, sir, Brushtail certainly was cautious now, and he must have
jumped to one side as many as five times while Doctor Rabbit was
watching him. Then in a little while he reached a part of the woods
where the brush and leaves were so thick that Doctor Rabbit could just
barely see him as he slipped along.




TWO HUNTERS COME TO THE BIG GREEN WOODS


When Brushtail the Fox slipped into the place where there were so many
leafy bushes, it was very hard for Doctor Rabbit to see him from his
big tree. Sometimes he lost sight of Brushtail altogether, and then
for an instant he would see his long, sharp nose, or his reddish-brown
coat, or his big bushy tail. And all the time Brushtail became more
and more cautious. He moved so slowly and so quietly among the bushes
that Doctor Rabbit had to strain his eyes to see him. Then suddenly
Brushtail jumped high up onto the dead limb of a big fallen tree. He
walked out on this limb, then jumped far out into a dense thicket and
disappeared.

Yes, sir, Brushtail the Fox was gone! Doctor Rabbit stood by his
window in the tree and looked and looked. He thought he would
presently see a sharp nose or a bushy tail, but he did not. Brushtail
was hiding somewhere in that thicket.

"Well! well! well!" Doctor Rabbit exclaimed. "I certainly should like
to know what old Brushtail is doing in there. I am positive he is in
that thicket. He never could have slipped out without my seeing him.
Yes, sir, he's in there. And that's probably where he always hides.
Likely enough he has a den in there. I shouldn't be surprised if there
are a lot of rocks in there and Brushtail the Fox has a big hole away
back under them."

"Well," Doctor Rabbit continued, talking softly to himself, "I'm going
to slip out there as near as possible and keep watch and see if I can
discover anything more about Brushtail. I must not tell anyone as yet
what I have seen. No, if I want to get a lot of information I must
just keep still and do the finding out myself. It isn't safe to trust
too many people."

Doctor Rabbit ran downstairs and was starting out into the woods to
try to get nearer Brushtail's hiding place when he saw something that
made him keep still and watch. Farmer Roe and his boy were coming
through the woods toward Doctor Rabbit's tree. Just as they went past,
Doctor Rabbit heard Farmer Roe say, "Yes, I'm certain that there is a
fox in these woods. That was a fox's track we saw in the yard this
morning, and that was a fox, I am sure, that took the old white hen
last night. Our chickens will be in danger until we get rid of him."

"Do you suppose he hides in these woods in the daytime?" asked Farmer
Roe's boy.

"I shouldn't be surprised," replied Farmer Roe. "In fact, I'm pretty
sure he hides close by. There is one thing that puzzles me, however,
and that is that although Yappy trailed that fox directly from the
chicken yard, he lost the trail right in the woods and could not pick
it up again. The fox has played some trick, of course," said Farmer
Roe, "and we must try and find out what it is. I really shouldn't be
surprised," he went on, "if that fox is lying around close enough to
see us this minute. We'll just keep watch until we discover his hiding
place."




DOCTOR RABBIT INFORMS HIS FRIENDS


Doctor Rabbit did not find out anything more about Brushtail the Fox
that day, nor for several days. But it was only a very short time
until all the little creatures of the Big Green Woods knew that
Brushtail the Fox was around, and they were afraid to poke their noses
out of their homes.

Stubby Woodchuck had seen Brushtail three times, and he said Brushtail
certainly did look fierce.

"He looked so fierce he took my appetite away for several hours each
time I saw him," said Stubby Woodchuck, "and I am sure he looks fully
as terrible as Ki-yi Coyote or Tom Wildcat. Yes, sir, we have a very
mean and dangerous enemy in Mr. Brushtail, and we must keep watch
every minute."

"I wish he'd go away and stay away," said Cheepy Chipmunk, who was
always easily frightened.

"But he doesn't expect to leave at all," Doctor Rabbit informed his
friends. "He expects to live here in these woods, right along."

"He does!" exclaimed poor Cheepy Chipmunk, his voice trembling with
fear. "How do you know he expects to live here?"

"Well," explained Doctor Rabbit, "I have seen quite enough to convince
me that Brushtail expects to make his home in the Big Green Woods. In
fact, I am in position to know that he has a home here right now. It's
all fixed up, and he's living in it. He spends his time there except
when he's out hunting us or after one of Farmer Roe's nice fat hens."

"Where is old Brushtail's home?" Stubby Woodchuck and Cheepy Chipmunk
demanded in the same breath.

"Sh!" Doctor Rabbit warned his friends. "Don't talk so loud! Brushtail
might be hiding so near he could hear every word you say. The fact is,
I can't tell you any more at present. It would not help if I told you
more, and it might get out so Brushtail would hear of it. Just keep
still about what I've said and watch for Brushtail every minute you
are out in the woods. In the meantime whenever I get a chance I will
hide in a certain place, where I can see him often enough, I think, to
discover what his plans are. Then when I find out all I can, I will
slip around quietly and tell you."

"I saw Farmer Roe and his boy passing through our woods this morning,"
Stubby Woodchuck said. "I wonder what they were after?"

"They were after Brushtail," Doctor Rabbit explained. "I heard them
talking and I heard them say they were trying to find out where he
lives."

"Dear me! I hope they'll run him away so he'll never come back!" said


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