The Tale of Jimmy Rabbit
Category: Children
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Jimmy Rabbit isn't happy. Jimmy wants a big bushy tail like all the other animals in the forest. Jimmy isn't proud of his tail and believes it's no better than not having a tail at all. How will Jimmy fix his tail problem? Read The Tale of Jimmy Rabbit by Arthur Scott Bailey to watch this charming children's tale unfold.

The Tale of Jimmy Rabbit

Sleepy-Time Tales

Arthur Scott Bailey

He trundled the wheelbarrow home againHe trundled the wheelbarrow home again

The Tale of Jimmy Rabbit

Jimmy Finds a New Tail

Jimmy Rabbit wanted a new tail. To be sure, he already had a tail — but it was so short that he felt it was little better than none at all. Frisky Squirrel and Billy Woodchuck had fine, bushy tails; and so had all the other forest-people, except the Rabbit family.

Jimmy had tried his hardest to get a handsome tail for himself. And once he had nearly succeeded. For he almost cut off Frisky Squirrel’s big brush. But Mrs. Squirrel had appeared just in time to save her son from so dreadful a mishap.

After that, Jimmy Rabbit tried to buy a tail; but no one would sell him one. Then he set out to find one, in the hope that some day some one would forget his tail and go off and leave it lying in the woods, and not be able to remember where he left it.

In fact, Jimmy Rabbit often lurked behind trees and bushes, watching his neighbors as they took naps in the sunshine. But when they awaked and stretched themselves, and went trotting off, there was not one of them that didn’t take his tail right along with him.

It was disappointing. Still, Jimmy Rabbit continued his search.

Now, Jimmy had decided that if he could only get a long tail he didn’t care what color it was, if it was only a brownish yellow, to match the rest of him. And at last, as he was wandering through the woods one day, to his great joy he found almost exactly what he wanted. Lying near a heap of chips was a beautiful tail! But it was red, with a black tip. That was the only drawback about it.

This tail, however, was so handsome that Jimmy made up his mind that he would wear it, anyhow, even though it did not match his coat. So with a bit of string which he had carried with him for weeks for that very purpose, he tied the red tail to his own short stub.

There was great excitement among the forest-people when Jimmy Rabbit appeared among them. Most everyone told him how much better he looked. In fact, old Mr. Crow was about the only person who didn’t say something pleasant. He only shook his head, and muttered something to himself about “handsome is as handsome does.” But Jimmy Rabbit paid little attention to him.

“Whose tail is that?” Mr. Crow finally asked.

“Mine, of course!” Jimmy told him.

“Well, you’d better look out!” said Mr. Crow. “Unless that tail is bought and paid for, there’s trouble ahead of you, young man.”

To his friends Frisky Squirrel and Billy Woodchuck, Jimmy said something about Mr. Crow in a low voice. And they laughed loudly. Whereupon Mr. Crow flew away, croaking to himself about the shocking way children are brought up nowadays. You know, Mr. Crow was a great gossip. And everywhere he went that day he spread the news about Jimmy Rabbit’s finding a red tail in the woods.

Probably that was the pleasantest day of Jimmy Rabbit’s life. But toward evening something startled him. He had been over to the brook, to look at himself in a pool. And he was coming back towards home when some one called:

“Hi, there, young fellow!”

Jimmy Rabbit hurried along faster. He knew that it was a mink’s voice. And he didn’t like minks.

Mr. Mink ran after him, calling “Stop, thief!” at the top of his voice.

Jimmy Rabbit did not stop. But he glanced around. And his heart sank as he saw that Mr. Mink had no tail! At the same time Jimmy ran faster than ever. He did not want even to speak to Mr. Mink, for he felt that by waiting to talk with him he had nothing at all to gain, and a great deal to lose.

There was his new tail! He certainly did not want to part with that!

The Tale of Jimmy Rabbit

Troublesome Mr. Mink

Jimmy Rabbit arrived home somewhat out of breath. But he was still happy, for he thought that he had shaken off that troublesome Mr. Mink. And he had no idea that Mr. Mink knew where he lived.

Now, it happened that old Mr. Crow’s story about Jimmy’s new tail had reached Mr. Mink’s ears. And as soon as he heard it he had inquired where Jimmy Rabbit lived.

Mr. Crow had told him. And he took another look at Mr. Mink.

“I notice you’ve lost your tail,” he said.

“Yes!” Mr. Mink answered. “Farmer Green threw an axe at me once. And it cut off my tail, as you see. I left that neighborhood then; and never cared to return to it. But if this young Rabbit boy has found my tail, I shall certainly claim it at once.” So off he went. And Mr. Crow nodded his head wisely. It was just as he had said! There was trouble ahead for Jimmy Rabbit — or, you might say, there was trouble behind for him; for it was that handsome red tail, you remember, that was the cause of it all.

Well, Jimmy Rabbit was trying to decide what he would do that evening, when all at once somebody else decided it for him. For all at once a slim, red gentleman rushed at Jimmy, crying, “Give me my tail! I want my tail!”

It was Mr. Mink! And Jimmy Rabbit ran off as fast as he could go.

“This is my tail!” he called over his shoulder. “I found it. And I’m not going to give it up to anybody.”

But Mr. Mink hurried after Jimmy. To be sure, Jimmy left him far behind. But Mr. Mink kept following. It was very annoying, for Jimmy knew that sooner or later that troublesome gentleman would be on his heels again.

There was no use of Jimmy’s crawling into any hole, for he was four times as big as Mr. Mink; and, of course, anywhere he went, Mr. Mink could easily follow.

Jimmy Rabbit didn’t know what to do. Mr. Mink had terribly sharp teeth. And he was very angry. But Jimmy was not angry at all. He didn’t want to fight.

While he was trying to think of some way out of his trouble, something suddenly pulled him backward. Looking around, he saw Mr. Mink with his cruel teeth fastened in that beautiful red tail.

“Let go of me!” Jimmy Rabbit cried.

But Mr. Mink didn’t say a word. In order to speak, he would have had to drop that precious tail. And he had no idea of doing that. Besides, there was nothing he wanted to say. There was no use of his calling, “Stop, thief!” when he had already stopped him, you know.

Jimmy Rabbit pulled with all his might. And Mr. Mink dug his four feet into the ground and pulled with all of his.

And then, the first thing Jimmy knew, he fell forward, head over heels. He was up in a jiffy, and off like a flash, running like the wind.

But this time Mr. Mink did not follow.

When at last Jimmy sat down to rest he discovered why it was that Mr. Mink had stopped chasing him. His beautiful, new, red tail was gone! The bit of string had broken under all that pulling. And now Jimmy Rabbit had no tail except his own.

“Where’s your fine, bushy tail?” Mr. Crow asked Jimmy the next morning.

“Oh! I discovered who the owner of it was,” Jimmy said. “He came for his property; and I let him have it.”

But Mr. Crow was a wise old chap.

“Did you give him the string, too?” he inquired.

The Tale of Jimmy Rabbit

The Tale of Jimmy Rabbit

May Baskets

Jimmy Rabbit was very busy. He was getting ready for May Day. And he intended to hang two May baskets. One of them was already finished, and filled with things that Jimmy himself liked — such as strips of tender bark from Farmer Green’s young fruit trees, and bits of turnip from his vegetable cellar. You might almost think that Farmer Green himself ought to have hung that basket. But Jimmy Rabbit never once thought of such a thing. He expected to hang it on the door of a neighbor’s house, where there lived a young girl-rabbit. Jimmy had made that basket the best he knew how.

The one he was working on now was a very different sort of basket. But then — you see, he intended to give it to a very different sort of person. He was going to hang this one on Henry Skunk’s door.

Frisky Squirrel, who happened to be passing Jimmy’s house, stopped and watched him. And he was surprised to learn that Jimmy was going to give a May basket to Henry Skunk.

“What are you going to put in it?” Frisky asked.

“Hens’ eggs!” said Jimmy Rabbit.

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