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The Tale of Billy Woodchuck
written by "Smith, Harry L."
...illy’s play-houses were not so big as his mother’s home. The front stairs were shorter, and the hall was not[82] so long, and the chamber was smaller. But he thought they were wonderful. And he made up his mind that the next time Johnnie Green or dog Spot chased him he would run down into one of those play-houses and hide. Billy hoped that he would be chased soon. He did not have to wait long. One evening when old Spot had started the last cow homeward he lingered in the pasture a while. If there was one thing he liked, it was chasing woodchucks. When Billy Woodchuck caught sight of Spot, sniffing along the ground, he climbed up on a hummock, so that Spot could see him, and gave a loud whistle. It didn’t take old Spot long to see Billy. And as soon as he spied him he made a dash for him. That was exactly what Billy Woodchuck wanted. He waited as long as he[83] dared. And then he made off like a gray streak toward his newest house. Old Spot saw his bushy tail disappear through the front door. And Spot looked down into the darkness and called Billy a few names. He pawed and scratched at the door, too. But he was no such digger as Billy Woodchuck. And after a while he grew tired of staying there and went away. That night, after Billy Woodchuck went home, he boasted about his newest play-house. “It’s exactly as good as this one,” he bragged. “To-day old Spot chased me, and I ran into my house and he never touched me. After this I’m always going to hide there.” Billy’s brothers and sisters thought he was very clever. But his mother said: “I want to see that play-house. To-morrow[84] you may show it to me.” That pleased Billy. It made him feel prouder than ever. And the next morning he was up bright and early. Sometimes he was very slow about dressing, because he stopped to play. And that made him late to breakfast. But this morn...

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