Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm/24



Bunny and Sue watched the two Gypsy men closely. The children were sure the men were Gypsies, for they looked just like those others the children had seen in the woods, when the two youngsters wandered away on the first night of their automobile trip.

The two man, with their bright red sashes, and the gold rings in their ears, stood together. Each one had hold of the halter of a horse he was leading. And the horses did not seem to be the kind that belonged in a circus, for they pranced about, and did not like to hear the music. Nor did they like the sight of the elephants and camels, that were now walking about, getting ready for the parade.

"Do you s'pose they could be grandpa's horses?" asked Sue, of her brother.

"Maybe," said Bunny.

"What did the Gypsy men bring them here for?" Sue wanted to know.

"Maybe they want to train them to be circus horses, or maybe they want to sell them," Bunny answered.

"We ought to go to tell grandpa," declared Sue. "Then he could come and get his team. He wants it awful much."

"We can tell him after the circus," Bunny said. "We want to see the show. Sue."

"Yes, and I want a red balloon, or maybe a blue one. Which goes up the highest. Bunny?" For, just then a man walked past, with many balloons, blue, red, green and yellow, floating in the air.

"Oh, I guess they all go up the same. Sue," said Bunny. The little boy was thinking hard. Suppose those should be his grandfather's horses that the Gypsy men had? How could Bunny get them? It seemed too hard for the little boy to do.

Then, too, Bunny wanted to take Sue in to see the circus. That was what they had come for. But how could he get in when he had no money? And now that he had seen an elephant close by, he did not feel like carrying water to one of the big animals. Suppose one of them should accidentally step on Bunny Brown?

The little boy looked around for some one to whom he could speak. He wanted to ask about getting into the show, and he wanted to talk about his grandfather's horses and the Gypsies.

But every one seemed to be too busy to stop to speak to the two children, all alone on the circus grounds.

Watching the two Gypsies, with the horses, Bunny and Sue saw the men talk to some of the circus people. The Gypsies pointed to the horses several times, and Bunny and Sue felt sure that the men with the red sashes, and the gold rings in their ears, were trying either to sell the horses, or have them trained to become circus animals.

"Oh, look. Bunny!" Sue suddenly cried. "The circus is starting!"

From one of the tents came a long line of elephants, camels and horses. On the backs of the animals were men and women who wore red, green, blue, yellow, pink and purple clothing, which sparkled in the sunshine as if covered with diamonds like the one in Aunt Lu's ring.

"That's the parade!" said Bunny. "That isn't the circus. That's in the tent. Oh, I wish I could find a man to give us a ticket, or some money, for watering the ponies!"

Bunny looked all around. But he saw no one whom he could ask. Every one seemed to be looking at the parade which was to march through the streets of the town, and then back to the circus grounds.

Even the Gypsy men, with the horses that Bunny and Sue thought might be those belonging to their grandfather, were watching the parade.

"Come on!" cried Bunny. "We'll look at it, too. We can go to the circus later. Come on, Sue!"

They found a good place where they could watch the start of the parade. They saw the horses, elephants and camels. They saw the cages of lions and tigers, and even bears. And they saw the big steam piano, playing its funny tooting tunes, rumbling along. The steam piano was the last thing in the parade.

"Now we'll go and see if we can find some one to let us in the show," said Bunny, when the gay procession had passed.

"But I'm hungry!" exclaimed Sue. "I got five cents, Bunny. Can't I have some peanuts or—or pink lemonade?"

"Why—why, I guess so," said the little boy. "I got five cents, too. I'll tell you what we can do. Sue. You buy five cents worth of peanuts, and give me half. I'll buy a glass of pink lemonade, and give you half. We can get two straws. You can drink half and I'll drink half."

"All right, Bunny. Only you mustn't drink faster than I do, 'cause I'm awful thirsty."

"I'll let you drink more than half then, Sue."

The children bought the peanuts and lemonade, and when they had finished drinking the red lemonade through two straws, and were chewing the peanuts, they saw one of the circus men, with a long whip, come up to the two Gypsies with the horses.

What was said Bunny and Sue could not hear, but they saw the circus man walk off, while the two Gypsies, leading their horses, went after him.

"Oh, Sue!" exclaimed Bunny. "There go grandpa's horses!"

"Well, when we go home we can tell him they are here in the circus, and he can come after them, Bunny. Now I want to go in and see the animals."

But Bunny Brown and his sister Sue were not to go to the circus right away. Just as Bunny was going up to another circus man he saw, to ask him how he could get a ticket to the show, a voice cried:

"Well, if there aren't those Brown children! And all alone, too! They must be lost! We must take them home!"

Bunny and Sue looked up to see Mr. and Mrs. Kendall, who lived on the farm next to Grandpa Brown's, standing near.

"Bunny Brown! How did you get here?" asked Mrs. Kendall.

"We walked," said Bunny. "We're going to see the show."

"A fat man gave us a ride, and Splash, too," said Sue, as she patted her dog's head. "Bunny was going to water the elephant, but he's too big—I mean the elephant is too big. So we're going to water the ponies and then we're going in the circus."

"Bless your hearts!" cried Mrs. Kendall. "Does your mother know you came here?"

"Well—er—maybe," said Bunny. "But we didn't have time to tell her."

"They ran away, that's what they did," said the farmer. "Their folks will be wild about them. I'd better take them home."

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue felt sad when they heard this.

"But we don't want to go home," said Bunny.

"We want to see the circus!" cried Sue.

"I know, my dear," explained Mrs. Kendall, kindly, "but your family don't know where you are, and they will worry and be frightened. We will take you home, and perhaps your folks will bring you back to see the circus. You can't go in alone, anyhow."

Sue's eyes filled with tears. Bunny wanted to cry, but he did not like to. Some one might see him.

"And we—we found grandpa's horses, too," Sue went on.

"What's that?" cried Mr. Kendall. "You found the horses the Gypsies took? Where are they?"

"They're gone now," said Bunny, and he told what he and Sue had seen.

"Oh, well, maybe they weren't the same Gypsies, or the same horses at all," Mrs. Kendall said. "These children guess at lots of things," she told her husband.

"Yes," he answered. "But I'll just about have time to drive them home, and come back to see the circus myself."

"I'll come with you," said his wife. "Their mother is probably looking for them now. Come, Bunny, Sue—you'll ride home with us."

"Then we can't see the circus!" cried Sue, tears falling from her brown eyes.

"Maybe you can to-morrow," suggested Mrs. Kendall. "The circus will be here two days."

"That's good!" said Bunny.

He and Sue did not feel so sad now. But they were a little disappointed. Mrs. Kendall took them to where her husband's wagon was standing in the shade, with the horse eating oats from a bag. Into the wagon the children were lifted. Splash jumped up all by himself, and then they were driven back to grandpa's farm, leaving the circus, with its big white tents, the fluttering flags, the jolly music, the elephants, camels and horses far behind.

"We'll tell grandpa about the Gypsies and his horses," said Bunny.

"Yes," said Sue. "And then maybe he'll bring us back to the show."