Doctor Rabbit and Tom Wildcat
AND TOM WILDCAT
THE GREENWOODS SERIES
THOMAS CLARK HINKLE
RAND McNALLY & COMPANY
By Rand McNally & Company
To all children
the Big Green Woods
and the little creatures
who make their homes there
|An Unwelcome Caller||1|
|Doctor Rabbit Discovers a Secret||7|
|Doctor Rabbit Keeps Still and Listens||10|
|Doctor Rabbit Speaks to Jack Rabbit||14|
|Fooling Tom Wildcat||19|
|Tom Wildcat Has an Accident||24|
|A Big Surprise||30|
|Tom Wildcat Invites Doctor Rabbit to Dinner||34|
|O. Possum Gets Sick||38|
|Doctoring O. Possum and Stubby Woodchuck||43|
|Stubby Woodchuck’s Exciting Adventure||49|
|Tom Wildcat Gets Frightened||54|
|Tom Wildcat Makes a Discovery||59|
|Doctor Rabbit Thinks of a New Scheme||64|
|Chatty Red Squirrel Has an Adventure||69|
|O. Possum’s Funny Mistake||75[Pg viii]|
|Tom Wildcat Decides to Make a Visit||80|
|Tom Wildcat is Greatly Surprised||83|
|Tom Wildcat Becomes Frightened||88|
|Tom Wildcat Moves Hastily||92|
|“What do you want at my house this time o’ night?”||1|
|Mr. Jack Rabbit ... came very near being caught||12|
|Crash! he went right through ... into that deep hole!||24|
|“Mr. Possum, what have you eaten lately?”||44|
|“I have a plan, Mrs. Woodchuck”||64|
|All the little creatures hurried out to watch him||94|
AN UNWELCOME CALLER
Rap! rap! rap! It was past midnightand some one was knocking on DoctorRabbit’s door. Doctor Rabbit growled alittle, for he did not like to be wakenedthat time of night even if he was a doctor.But he got up anyway and opened theupstairs window in his big tree.
The big round moon was shining verybright. It shone quite clear on the onewho was knocking at the door. Now,who do you suppose it was? Well, itwas some one Doctor Rabbit didn’t want[Pg 2]to see. I should say he didn’t! For itwas Tom Wildcat knocking! And hewas about the worst enemy DoctorRabbit had in the Big Green Woods. Soit was a mighty good thing he didn’tgo down and open his front door.
“What do you want at my house thistime o’ night?” Doctor Rabbit calleddown sharply.
Tom Wildcat jumped back a little, hewas so surprised to hear some one talkingabove him. “Oh!” he exclaimed, lookingup. “How do you do, Doctor Rabbit?I just came over to have you put somesalve on my hind foot. I hurt it prettybad a while ago.”
Now Doctor Rabbit didn’t believe oldTom. So he said, “Well, that doesn’tinterest me, but how did you hurt it?”
“Well,” said Tom Wildcat, “I steppedon something in the dark—a sticker or[Pg 3]something. Then all of a sudden Ifound my foot bleeding and mighty sore.”
Doctor Rabbit knew very well howvery cunning Tom was, so he spoke rightup and said, “If you don’t tell me thereal truth I won’t look at your footat all.”
That was pretty plain and Tom Wildcatsaw there was no other way but to tellthe truth. “Well,” he said, “the fact isI was borrowing a hen from Farmer Roe’schicken house, and his big dog and I hada little trouble before I could get away.”
“Aha, I see,” said Doctor Rabbit,peering slyly down at Tom and lookingvery wise. “Well, I’ll just shut my windowand you can come up. You’ll finda small hole under the window. Putyour foot through it and I’ll look at it.”Then Doctor Rabbit shut the window,locked it, and sat down to wait.
[Pg 4]Tom grumbled more than a little abouthaving to climb the tree with his sorefoot, but as there was no other way hebegan pulling and clawing into the bark,and up he went. Every now and thenhe hurt his foot against the tree andwould have to stop. This made himpretty mad. But by and by he got upto the window and there he stopped torest a bit and get his breath.
Then he looked at the hole under thewindow and called out, “What are yougoing to do with my foot?”
“Why, how can I tell till I see it?”Doctor Rabbit called back. And all thewhile he was chuckling so much he wasafraid Tom might hear.
After thinking it over Tom had decidedthat perhaps he could put his footthrough the hole and at the same timelook through the window and see what[Pg 5]Doctor Rabbit was doing. But therewas no way he could do this. So heturned round with his head down andheld on to the bark of the tree while heput his foot through the hole under thewindow.
Doctor Rabbit saw right away thatTom Wildcat’s foot really was sore, butit wasn’t very bad. So chuckling morethan ever, he went to his medicine closetand got out a box of salve. It was whatDoctor Rabbit called his hot medicine,and it certainly was hot. It would curea sore foot all right, but Doctor Rabbitdidn’t use it very often. He kept it onlyfor some one like his present patient.
“Hurry up!” Tom called out mostimpatiently.
Doctor Rabbit was all ready, so hecalled back, “All right there, Tom; holdright still!” and slapped a lot of that[Pg 6]hot salve right on the sore foot, justwhere it hurt the most.
Old Tom gave a yell loud enough tobe heard all over the Big Green Woods,and down the tree he went.
DOCTOR RABBIT DISCOVERS ASECRET
When Tom Wildcat reached the groundhe was pretty mad. Doctor Rabbitopened his window again and called downto him. “That salve is pretty hot, I’mafraid, but I’m quite sure it’ll cure yourfoot. Yes, sir, it’s pretty hot, but it’sjust the right kind of salve for a wildcat!”
“Well, maybe it is,” growled TomWildcat between his teeth. Then, thinkingperhaps the salve would cure his footand that by and by he might deceiveDoctor Rabbit, he added, in a verypleasant tone, “I’m very much obligedto you, Doctor Rabbit. Good night!”
“Good night to you, Tom,” DoctorRabbit said, still chuckling to himselfas he closed his window and locked it.
[Pg 8]Doctor Rabbit was wide awake nowand did not care to go back to bed. Sohe put on his light coat and soft slippersand sat down in his big rocking chair.Then he had a good laugh when hethought of the way Tom Wildcat yelpedas he went down the tree.
But pretty soon Doctor Rabbit stoppedrocking and sat up very straight andlistened. Yes, sir! There was some onemumbling in the little thicket near hisback door. Doctor Rabbit got up andquietly slipped down his stairway. Hecrept close to his kitchen door and listened.It was just as he thought. TomWildcat was out there, talking and laughingto himself.
He was saying, “My foot surely doesburn but I know it’s going to be better.”After a minute he went on, “I believeI’ll rest here a little. I might just as[Pg 9]well. Ha, ha, ha! That fat old DoctorRabbit is in bed sleeping his head off.He thinks he’s pretty cunning, but he’snot half as cunning as I am. Ha! ha!ha! I should say not. Yes, I’ll justrest here for a bit and think about thereally, truly dinner I’m going to have.Jack Rabbit surely will make a fine one.Indeed he will!”
DOCTOR RABBIT KEEPS STILLAND LISTENS
When Doctor Rabbit heard Tom Wildcatsay he was going to have his friendJack Rabbit for dinner, he listened withall his ears to hear, if possible, how Tomexpected to catch poor innocent JackRabbit. The wily Tom, thinking DoctorRabbit was asleep, kept right on talking.
“It’s mighty lucky,” he said, “thatI found where Jack Rabbit takes his nap.Ha! ha! ha! Right under the big sycamoretree. It will be as easy as anythingto catch him. Along about noon he’llbe asleep there, and I’ll just creep upbehind that big tree. Then I’ll slipup into the tree and walk out on thatlong limb, right over him; and then,kerplunk! I’ll pounce down on him.[Pg 11]Yum! yum! yum! I can almost tastehim now! I’ll hurry home this minuteand see that Kit Wildcat has the waterboiling and everything ready. By dinnertime I’ll be as hungry as a bear!”
“Ouch!” Tom Wildcat suddenly criedout, and then he said, “Whew!” softly.You see, he had licked his sore foot andthe salve burned his tongue. “Thatsalve is certainly hot,” he said; but ashe was thinking about fat Jack Rabbithe didn’t even complain. He was feelingpretty good again, and he wentslipping along through the moonlit woodstoward his home. Every now and thena twig or a vine brushed against his longwhiskers and he turned aside quickly.Tom Wildcat’s whiskers help him a greatdeal after dark. They often protect hiseyes from sticks and briars and tell himwhen a hole is big enough to go through.
[Pg 12]When slinky Tom had got a little distanceaway, Doctor Rabbit opened thedoor just enough so that he could peekout. Tom Wildcat would creep along alittle distance, then stop and listen andlook all around. Once he crawled closeto the ground and made a sudden spring.Jack Rabbit gave a great jump and camevery near being caught, but he dartedaway just in the nick of time. Tom stoodfor a moment jerking his tail from side toside and muttering his disappointment;then trotted out of sight among theshadows.
Doctor Rabbit closed the door andwent back to his big rocking chair. Hecould scarcely wait until daylight to runover and warn his friend Jack Rabbit.Doctor Rabbit knew well enough thatthere was a nice sunny spot under thebig sycamore tree at the edge of the Big[Pg 13]Green Woods, and he knew Jack Rabbitoften stretched out to sun himself thereafter he had eaten some of the tenderblue grass. The fact was, Doctor Rabbithimself had stretched out there a numberof times.
Doctor Rabbit didn’t even wait to getbreakfast. Just as soon as it began tobe daylight he started through the woodsto see Jack Rabbit, out on the WidePrairie. “I certainly hope I shall findFriend Jack at home,” Doctor Rabbitsaid as he hurried along.
DOCTOR RABBIT SPEAKS TOJACK RABBIT
It was a pretty long distance fromDoctor Rabbit’s home in the big tree toJack Rabbit’s home out in the WidePrairie. As Doctor Rabbit went alongthrough the Big Green Woods, he movedwatchful-like, because he thought TomWildcat might be prowling around almostanywhere. When there was a nice openglade in the woods, Doctor Rabbit wenthoppity, hoppity, hoppity, as fast as hislegs would carry him, and he held hisears flat to his head, too, for that’s theway Doctor Rabbit and all other rabbitshold their ears when they run very fast.Then he would stop and prick up hisears and listen for the least sound.
Presently he met Blue Jay.
[Pg 15]“Good morning, Doctor Rabbit!” BlueJay cried out, a great deal louder thanDoctor Rabbit wished him to.
Doctor Rabbit said softly, “Sh! Goodmorning, Blue Jay. But not so loud!Tom Wildcat might—”
“Where is he?” Blue Jay asked, andhis voice trembled with fear and anger.
“Sh!” Doctor Rabbit warned again.“I don’t know just exactly where he isnow but he was prowling around myhouse last night, and—”
“And yesterday,” poor Blue Jay interrupted,“he was prowling around myhouse. I came home just in time to hearJenny Jay screaming