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THE SILLY HARE.
tHE name of the silly hare was Bunny Long-ears, and he came
of a very respectable family. His parents were well off in the
world; and wishing that Bunny should start out in life with every
advantage that they could give him, they sent him to a nice private
school, kept by Dr. Owl, a very learned and skillful, although
somewhat pompous teacher.
The school was small, but of very high standing, and was patron-
ized by the best animal families of the neighborhood; as you will
know when I mention that at the time Bunny attended, it numbered
among its pupils young Chacem Curly-tail, little Bowwow Bark-
well, and Piggery Hogson, Jr., the parents of each of whom were
well known for their wealth and high social position.
If Bunny had not been a very silly hare, he would have known
what a lucky fellow he was to have such a chance to get a good
education, and would have tried hard that Dr. Owl's, careful efforts
to instruct him should not be wasted. But unfortunately, as is
sometimes the case even with little boys and girls, he was exceed-
ingly silly. He studied just as little as he possibly could, and let
his mind run altogether tospcrt and play. He played truant fre-
quently, running off to the woods and fields, and getting into all
sorts of bad company.
After a while, such amusements as nutting, bird's-nesting, and
fruit-stealing began to seem too tame to him, and he made up his
mind that he must have some "real sport;" by which he meant
going off to shoot with his father's gun. He.knew, of course, that
it would be of no use to ask leave to take the gun, for he was alto-
gether too young to be trusted with anything so dangerous; so
he planned to take it without leave.
He managed one evening to get out of the house with it, and hid
The Baldwin Library
DR. OWL'S SCHOOL.
OFF FOR A DAY'S SPORT.
C~il m x",
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FALLING IN BAD COMPANY.
The Silly Hare.
it near the school. The next morning, instead of going into school,
he shouldered the gun, and scampered out of sight with it, as fast
as his legs could carry him.
He had nearly reached a piece of woods in which he fancied he
would find something to shoot at, when he met a fox named Tuffy
Slydodge, a very bad fellow, whose company he had often been
warned to avoid. Tuffy stopped and asked him where he had got
the gun, and when Bunny told, with some little pride, of the cute
way he had stolen off with it, he slapped him on the back, and de-
clared that he was a smart fellow, and ought to join the Bravoes,"
which he explained, was the name of a band of "lively" fellows,
mostly foxes, that he belonged to.
Bunny felt flattered by Tuffy's compliments, and consented to go
with him to the meeting-place of the Bravoes, a cave in the woods,
to which Tuffy led him by a round-about path. Tuffy's real purpose
was to get the gun away from Bunny, for he had said to himself,,
as soon as he saw it, that it was just what he wanted.
When they reached the cave, Bunny saw there a number of young
foxes, very hard-looking fellows, who were drinking and smoking
like old topers. Getting a wink from Tuffy, they received Bunny
very graciously, and made him sit down and drink with them.
Bunny not being accustomed to strong drink, it took only a few
rounds to make him helplessly drunk. This was what Tuffy had
looked for, and he intended, after securing the gun, to have Bunny
carried in his drunken condition to a distance from the cave, and
left there till he awoke. But something happened just in the nick
of time to prevent this part of the plan from being carried out.
The Bravoes were really a lot of young thieves and robbers of
the worst kind, and they had lately been carrying on a series of
burglaries on a big scale. At the last house they had broken into,
they had added murder to their other crimes, having killed Mrs.
Goose, the rich old lady who lived there. They had hitherto been
very successful in escaping detection, but this murder had roused
BUNNY IS INTRODUCED TO THE BRAVOES.
TSIA -'*. ..,
FOUND IN THE FOXES' CAVE.
II; I \I
The Silly Hare.
the police, who were all dogs, to extra effort, and they had at last
got a clue to the guilty ones, and the whereabouts of their head-
quarters. At the very moment the foxes were plying Bunny with
drink, a squad of police were on their way to the place.
But the foxes were wary, and, when in the cave, always kept a
sentry to watch for any one coming near. The sentry now rushed
in and told of the approaching police, and the Bravoes at once made
off by a secret path they had very ingeniously contrived from the
back of the cave. For the time being they got away in safety.
But not so Bunny. The police, entering, found him lying in a
drunken sleep. They found hidden in the cave goods of all sorts,
including some of the things that had been stolen from Mrs.
Goose. Bunny, of course, was seized, and taken to jail.
The animals were very severe in their laws, and allowed no delay
in carrying them out, so Bunny's trial soon took place. He was
brought to court before Judge Jocko Hardpate, who was noted fer
the scant mercy he showed criminals.
Public feeling was so much excited by the crimes that had been
committed by the Bravo gang that no one against whom there was
the slightest proof of guilt could hope to escape. So, although
Bunny declared his innocence, and begged pitifully for mercy, the
jury that tried him thought that the fact of his having been found
in the place where the plunder was stored, showed that he must have
had some share in the robberies, and they brought in a verdict of
guilty. The judge then sentenced him to be hanged, which was the
penalty the laws of the animals imposed, and in a few days the sen-
tence was carried out.
This, then, was the terrible result of poor Bunny's craze for
"sport." In spite of his idleness and disobedience he hardly de-
served so awful a fate. But a similar misfortune may happen to
any one who trifles with evil, and seeks the society of the wicked.
All must expect to be judged by their company, and, if they asso-
ciate with wrong-doers, to share their punishment when found out,
BUNNY ON HIS WAY TO EXECUTION.
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