Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm/11

CHAPTER XI


IN THE GARDEN


Bunny Brown and his sister Sue walked up the path to the house with Grandpa Brown. Sue had hold of one of grandpa's hands, and Bunny the other. Behind them came father and mother, with Grandma Brown.

"Are you glad to see us, Grandpa?" asked Sue.

"Glad to see you? Well should say I am!" cried grandpa. "I thought you would never get here. And what a fine big auto you came in!"

"It's a moving van," Bunny explained. "You put pianos and chairs and tables in it, and you take them to the new house, when you move. Only we didn't move our things—we moved just ourselves."

"We had lots of fun!" cried Sue.

"It certainly is a nice way to travel," said Grandpa Brown. "Better than with a horse and wagon, or even the steam cars."

"Yes," agreed Bunny. "We're awful sorry about your horses, Grandpa. We saw some Gypsies, and we asked them if they had your team, but they said they hadn't."

"No. I guess the Gypsies that took my horses, to use for a little while, but forgetting to bring them back, are far enough away from here now," said Grandpa Brown. "I'd like to get my team back, though. They cost a lot of money."

"We almost had a horse; didn't we, Sue?" asked Bunny, as he told of the one they had found walking along the road.

"Yes, we almost had a horse; and we did have a cow. Bunny."

Grandpa Brown laughed when they told him how the cow had put her head under the automobile, where Bunker Blue was sleeping, and had tickled him in the ribs.

"Well, well!" laughed Grandpa Brown. "That was funny! But now you're here, and I guess you're hungry; aren't you? Mother, these children are hungry!" cried Grandpa Brown to his wife, though Bunny and Sue had not said so. But probably Grandpa Brown knew that boys and girls are almost always hungry.

"Well, come right in," was Grandma Brown's invitation, "and I'll get you all something to eat."

Bunker Blue had run the automobile up to the big red barn. The doors were open, and in the automobile went on the barn floor. The barn was large enough to take in a load of hay, and the automobile was not quite so high as that.

Soon Bunny and Sue, with their father and mother, were seated at the table, eating a little lunch, and Mr. and Mrs. Brown talked about the trip, and Grandpa Brown told more about his lost horses.

"You see it was this way," said Grandpa Brown. "The Gypsies were camped not far from here. They had been around here some time, and they had done no harm, as far as I could see. Then, one day, a Gypsy man came over and wanted to buy horses from me.

"But I needed my teams, and so I wouldn't sell him any horses. Then he wanted to borrow my two horses to pull some of their wagons, for they were going to a new camp. He said two of his horses had died.

"I wanted to help the Gypsies, for some of them are good, so I let the man take my best team of horses. He said he would bring them back the next day. But he never did. I hunted all over, and I had the police look, too, but we never could find the Gypsies, or my horses. It's too bad!" and once more Grandpa Brown shook his head.

"I found Aunt Lu's diamond ring," said Bunny, "and maybe I'll find your horses. Grandpa."

"Well, I wish you would, little man, but I'm afraid you can't They're gone!"

"Haven't you any horses left?" asked Sue. "'Cause if you haven't I'll give you all the money in my bank, and you can buy some new ones."

"Bless her little heart!" cried grandma, giving Sue a hug.

"Oh, I have some horses left," Grandpa Brown said, "and I'll take you out to the barn and show them to you. But my best ones are with the Gypsies."

"Well, maybe we'll find 'em!" said Bunny. But even Sue, who nearly always thought what Bunny said was just right, shook her little head.

The two children, when they had finished the meal, started out of doors.

"Where are you going?" asked Mother Brown.

"Out to the barn, to see the horses," Bunny answered.

"Better get on your old clothes," their mother advised. "You and Sue might want to slide down the hay, and sit in a hen's nest again, and old clothes are best for that."

"Yes, I guess so," laughed Sue, as she thought of what had once happened to her.

A little later, wearing their play clothes, which would not be harmed, even if they rolled in the dirt, Bunny and Sue set out for the barn to see what they could find. Bunny knew his way about grandpa's farm, for he was older than Sue, and he remembered having been there once before.

"Oh, here's a horse. Sue!" he cried, as he went into the barn.

Looking over the edge of the manger, or box where his hay and oats were put, was a brown horse. He sniffed at the children, and whinnied, as if glad to see them. When a horse whinnies it is just as if he laughs.

"Hullo!" said Bunny, and, liking horses, and not being afraid, he went up and patted this one on the nose. "Come on, Sue, rub him."

"No, Bunny, I'm afraid!"

"Oh, he won't hurt you."

"Well, I—I can't reach!"

"I'll get you a box to stand on, Sue."

Bunny looked around, and found a box. He was putting it in front of the stall of the brown horse, stooping over to get it just right, when he felt some one pulling on his coat.

"Don't do that. Sue!" cried Bunny.

"I'm not doing anything," she answered.

"Yes you are, too! You're pulling my coat, and I can't fix the box."

"Oh, Bunny Brown! I am not!" And Sue stood right in front of her brother so he could see that she was not touching him. And, just then, Bunny's coat was pulled again. Certainly, this time it was not Sue.

"Why—why—what is it?" asked Bunny.

"Oh, Bunny! It's a goat! A goat is pulling your coat!" Sue cried.

"A goat!"

"Yes, look! He has hold of you now!"

Bunny turned around quickly as he felt his coat being pulled again.

"Ho! That's a sheep—not a goat!" he cried. And indeed it was an old sheep, or, rather, a ram, with queer, curling horns. And the ram had reached over a low door of the stall, next to the brown horse, and was pulling Bunny's coat.

"I thought it was a goat," said Sue.

"And I thought you were pulling my coat," laughed Bunny, "so we're even. Hello, sheep!" he called. "What do you want?"

"Ba-a-a-a-a-a!" bleated the ram.

"Maybe he's hungry," said Sue.

"Then we'll go and pull some grass for him, and we'll pull some for the horse, too," cried Bunny.

Out into the field, back of the barn, went Bunny Brown and his sister Sue. They pulled up big handfuls of the sweet, green grass. At least it was sweet to horses, sheep and cows, though it would not taste sweet to you boys and girls.

Then back into the barn went the children. And the horse and ram seemed very glad to get the grass. Three times Bunny and Sue ran out and got more grass. And every time Bunny would feed the horse any grass, the ram would reach over and pull on his coat.

"I guess the sheep wants you to love him instead of the horsie," said Sue. "I'll pat the sheep, Bunny. I'm not afraid of him."

So Sue rubbed the ram's black nose. He seemed glad to see her, and put out his red tongue to lick her hands.

"Oh, it feels so funny!" laughed Sue, "It tickles me and feels almost as squiggily as when you pick up a worm. Come on out and play, Bunny."

They went out in the garden, and there they saw one of Grandpa Brown's hired men stooping down between the rows of onions.

"Are you picking them?" asked Bunny. "Are you picking the onions?"

"No, little man. I'm pulling up the weeds."

"I'll help you," offered Bunny, and, stooping over, he began to pull up some tall, round green stalks.

"Don't! Oh, don't do that!" cried the man.

"Why?" asked Bunny, and Sue, who had started to do as her brother was doing, looked up, wondering what was wrong.

"Why, you're pulling up the onions!" said the man. "We want them to grow."

"Oh!" said Bunny. He looked, but he could not tell which were the weeds and which the onions.

"Is this a weed?" asked Sue, and she pulled up something green. "It smells like a weed! Oh, I don't like the smell!" and she made a funny face, as she brought her hands near her nose.

"That's an onion," the hired man said. "I guess you had better run in from the garden, and let me do the weeding. When you get older you can tell which are weeds and which are onions."

"I'm never going to eat onions, anyhow!" Sue said, making another funny face, with her nose all wrinkled.

"I don't like onions, either," Bunny said. "They have an awful funny smell; haven't they, mister?"

"Well, some folks think so," and the hired man went on with his weeding while the children ran away.

But they did not go to the house. Instead they walked farther on through the garden, until they came to some rows of boxes.

"Oh, look at the cute play-houses!" cried Sue. "Let's look at them. Bunny."

"All right," answered her brother.

They went up to one of the houses. A queer sort of buzzing sound came from it.

"Let's look inside," said Bunny.

"All right," agreed Sue. "There's a lot of flies in front, Bunny," and she pointed to them.

As Bunny was about to lift off the top of one of the boxes, he heard the hired man, from the onion patch, calling:

"Get away! Run away from there or you'll be stung! Run! Run!"