How Nimble Helped





Billy Woodchuck and Fatty Coon had come early to Jimmy Rabbit's party.

And Jimmy had told them to hang their hats and coats upon his new

hat-rack--meaning Nimble Deer's antlers. But when they tried to do as

they were bid they found that the antlers were beyond their reach.



Of course Jimmy Rabbit was most uncomfortable. He coughed and gave

Nimble an odd look. He even nodded his head at Nimble behind his guests'

backs, thereby doing his best to give Nimble a hint to lower his head.



But Nimble Deer couldn't imagine what Jimmy Rabbit meant. Hadn't Jimmy

warned him not to move--not even to open his mouth, or chew his cud, or

wink? So Nimble stood like a statue.



"I--I see my new hat-rack is too high," Jimmy Rabbit stammered. "Let me

take your hats and coats and I'll hang them up for you while you go and

wait for the rest of the company over by the stone wall!"



So Billy Woodchuck and Fatty Coon gave their hats and coats to Jimmy.



"That's a fine Deer's head," Fatty remarked. "It seems to me I've seen

it before somewhere."



"Perhaps! Perhaps!" Jimmy Rabbit answered. He wished his guests would

move away.



"Those antlers remind me of Nimble Deer's," Billy Woodchuck remarked.

And he gave Nimble a wink, for he had quickly guessed the secret of the

hat-rack and how Jimmy Rabbit had planned to have Nimble at his party

and yet keep him out of the crowd.



"Is this Deer's head stuffed?" Billy Woodchuck asked Jimmy Rabbit.



"Perhaps! Perhaps!" Jimmy muttered. "Move along, please!"



Nimble wanted to return that wink that Billy Woodchuck gave him. But he

didn't, because Jimmy Rabbit had warned him to keep perfectly still.



As soon as his guests had left them Jimmy whispered to Nimble, "Lower

your head a bit, for pity's sake!"



Nimble promptly obeyed him. And Jimmy Rabbit hung the hats and coats

upon Nimble's antlers.



"Now," Jimmy said, "keep your head exactly where it is!"




Page 125]



"I suppose I may raise it after everybody has come to the party," Nimble

ventured.



"No! That would never do," Jimmy Rabbit replied firmly. "If anybody

happened to come back to get a pocket-handkerchief out of his coat he'd

be sure to notice the difference."



A sigh escaped Nimble Deer.



"My neck will ache before the evening's over," he said. "Couldn't I take

a short walk in the woods, later, to rest myself?"



"My goodness, no!" Jimmy cried. "You'd be sure to lose some of the hats

and coats, or tear them on some briars, or get them full of burs."



"How long is the party going to last?" Nimble asked.



"Only till midnight!"



At that Nimble gave a groan.



"S-s-h!" Jimmy Rabbit laid a paw upon his lips. "Keep still! Stuffed

animals never talk. If you don't look out somebody will hear you."



And then he hurried away to join his guests. He did not want to leave

them alone too long. He feared they might be saying things to each other

about his new hat-rack.





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