An Untold Secret





All the field and forest people soon knew that at last Jimmy Rabbit had

invited Nimble Deer to his party. And everybody was pleased--that is,

everybody except Grumpy Weasel and old Timothy Turtle, who were left out

in the cold, so to speak. Grumpy Weasel, when he heard the news, said,

"Humph!" And Timothy Turtle, when he heard it, said, "Ho!" And they both

declared that they were glad they were not going to the party.



Old Mr. Crow carried the news far and wide. It was he that told Billy

Woodchuck, in Farmer Green's clover patch. And Billy Woodchuck almost

choked over a clover top, he was so excited.



"Where's Jimmy Rabbit?" he asked Mr. Crow. "I want to ask him

something."



"I couldn't say where he is," said Mr. Crow. "I don't think he'd want me

to tell. But I'll find him for you and I'll ask him your question--if

you'll tell me what it is." That was Mr. Crow's way. He was so curious.



"Thank you!" said Billy Woodchuck. "I don't want to trouble you, Mr.

Crow."



And though Mr. Crow tried to learn what the question was, Billy

Woodchuck wouldn't tell him.



Later Billy was almost sorry he hadn't accepted Mr. Crow's help. For he

couldn't find Jimmy Rabbit anywhere. And then Billy happened to meet

Nimble Deer.



"I hear you're going to the party," Billy said to him. "How are you

going to keep out of the crowd?" That was the question he had wanted to

ask Jimmy Rabbit.



"Keep out of the crowd!" Nimble exclaimed. "I don't expect to keep out

of it. The crowd at a party is more than half the fun. Since I'm to help

Jimmy Rabbit I'll have to be where the people are."



"Oh!" said Billy Woodchuck. He had been a bit worried, for he didn't

want Nimble Deer to step on him at the party. Even though it might be an

accident, being stepped on by so big a chap as Nimble would be no joke.

Everybody knew that Nimble's hoofs were sharp.



But now Billy had learned something that set his fears at rest. Nimble

Deer was going to help Jimmy at the party.



"Ah!" Billy Woodchuck murmured to himself. "That means that Jimmy

Rabbit has a plan. And it must be a good one; for his plans are always

fine."



"What are you going to do to help?" he asked Nimble.



"Jimmy Rabbit didn't tell me," Nimble replied. "Maybe I'm to entertain

the company by having a mock battle with somebody. How would you like to

have a mock battle with me?"



"I shouldn't care for it at all!"



"Well, I dare say somebody would enjoy a sham fight," said Nimble. "I

must ask Jimmy Rabbit who it will be."



So the next time Nimble found Jimmy Rabbit he asked him that very

question.



But Jimmy Rabbit said there were to be no battles of any kind at his

party.



"Then how am I going to help you?"



"You're going to use your horns--but not to fight," Jimmy Rabbit

explained.



And he wouldn't say another word.





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