One morning in winter Bunny opened his eyes, just as the big round sun peeped up from behind the hills.
He jumped up and shook himself.
Then he pulled Bobtail’s long ears to wake him up.
Bobtail rolled out of bed, and that waked Billy.
“Oh, I am so sleepy!” said Billy. “I don’t want to get up now.”
“Let’s run out and find something for breakfast,” said Bunny. “I am as hungry as a bear.”
“Yes, let’s run out and find some breakfast,” said Bobtail.
“I don’t want to go far,” said Billy. “It is too cold.”
The three little rabbits hopped off through the woods, hunting for something good to eat.
The ground was covered with snow and they could not find very much.
As they hopped along they were talking about what they could do to have some fun.
“Let’s make a long slide to-day,” said Bunny.
“Oh, let’s make a big pile of snowballs,” said Bobtail.
“Let’s make a snow rabbit,” said Billy. “We can make it in front of our house.”
Bunny jumped up and down in the snow. He made a snowball and threw it at Billy.
“Oh! I like to play in the snow,” he said. “I like to play in the snow.”
Plump! Something hit Bunny on the head.
“I like to play, too,” some one called to the rabbits.
Bunny looked up to see who was talking.
Plump! Something hit him right on the end of his nose.
“Hello, Bunny!” called Bobby Gray Squirrel. “I hit you that time.”
“Come down here and I will catch you,” said Bunny, as he rubbed his little pink nose.
But Bobby only laughed and ran higher up among the branches of the oak tree.
“I will catch you some day,” said Bunny as he hopped away.
“Oh, no!” answered Bobby. “You can never catch me. You cannot climb a tree.”
The three rabbits soon found some tender little roots hidden under the blanket of snow.
“This is a good breakfast,” said Bunny.
“Yes, it is a very good breakfast,” said Billy, as he nibbled on the root he had found.
At last Bunny jumped up and shook his long ears.
“I have finished my breakfast,” he said.
“So have I,” said Billy.
“So have I,” said Bobtail.
“Now we can make a long slide over in the meadow,” said Bunny.
“I know where we can make the best slide,” said Bobtail.
“Where, where?” asked Bunny.
“Over on the hill beside the pond,” said Bobtail.
“That is too far away,” said Billy. “I think I will go home.”
But Bunny and Bobtail would not let him. They took hold of his hand, and made him hop along with them through the snow.
“Where are you going?” called Bobby Gray Squirrel.
“Follow us and you will see,” answered Bunny.
“Oh, no,” said Bobby. “I like best to run about in this big tree.
“After I have found something to eat I shall curl up in my warm nest and go to sleep.
“Summer is the time to play, but winter is the time to sleep.”
The little rabbits hopped off through the woods.
Soon they came to the long hill.
They stood at the top of the hill and looked down at the pond.
“Is the ice thick on the pond?” asked Bunny.
“Oh, yes,” said Bobtail. “Jack Frost covered the pond with ice last night.”
“But Mr. Sun is shining to-day,” said Billy.
“Sometimes he turns the ice back to water again.”
“I know that ice is very thick,” said Bobtail.
“All right,” said Bunny; “now let’s make the slide.”
Bunny hopped down the hill and made a little path in the snow.
Bobtail hopped down the path after him. Then Billy hopped down the path.
The three rabbits hopped up and down the path until the slide was smooth and hard.
At last Billy said, “Now let’s try the slide. Here is a sled that belongs to one of the boys.”
Billy sat down on the sled and tucked his feet under him.
Bobtail sat down behind Billy.
And last of all came Bunny.
“Hold on tight,” called Bunny. “I will give you a good start.”
Bunny pushed hard and the sled began to slide.
He pushed harder and the sled began to slide faster.
“Now I am going to jump on,” cried Bunny.
He ran as fast as he could and gave a good big jump.
Down he came, but not on the sled.
Oh, no! He came down hard on the slide.
He bumped his nose and that made two little tears roll down his cheeks.
When he brushed the tears away he looked to see where the sled was.
It was half way down the hill and going faster every minute.
“Wait for me,” shouted Bunny, and he started to run after the sled.
Bobtail heard Bunny call, and turned around to see what had happened.
“Look, look!” he said to Billy. “Bunny has fallen off the sled and hurt himself.
“What shall we do? What shall we do?”
Then Bobtail did a very silly thing.
He jumped up on the sled to call to Bunny.
He jumped up, and the sled went on down the hill.
It left Bobtail rolling over and over in the snow.
And he rolled, head first, right into a snow-bank.
Bobtail didn’t like that very well. He kicked and kicked to get out of the snow.
He shook his fur coat and he shook his long ears.
Then he looked down the hill to see what had become of Billy.
Billy was on the sled. And the sled was sliding down the hill.
It came to the pond.
Crack, crack! Splash, splash! it went.
Crack, crack! Splash, splash! and Billy slid right into the water.
It was not very deep, but it was very wet.
When Billy climbed out on the bank he was very wet, too.
“Oh, dear me!” he said, “the water is cold.”
“Oh, dear me!” said Bobtail, “the snow is cold.”
“Oh, dear me!” said Bunny, “I hurt my nose.”
“Let’s run home to Mother Rabbit,” said Billy.
“Yes, let’s run home!”
So the three little rabbits hopped along the path through the woods as fast as they could go.
Bobby Gray Squirrel was running up and down in the big oak tree.
“Come and play with me,” he said.
But the little rabbits did not stop to answer.
They hopped along the path as fast as they could go.
And they didn’t stop once until they were safe in their own cosy home.