Jimmy Skunk in "Ryder Rabbit Is Most Uncomfortable"
Ryder Rabbit Is Most
If ever any one was sorry for having played pranks on other folks, that one was Ryder Rabbit. I am afraid it wasn't quite the right kind of sorrow. You see, he wasn't sorry because of what had happened to Jimmy Skunk and Reddy Fox, but because of what had happened to himself. There he was, down in the bedroom of Johnny Chuck's old house, smarting and aching all over from the sharp little lances of the Yellow Jackets who had driven him down there before he had had a chance to see what happened to Reddy Fox.
That was bad enough, but what troubled Ryder more was the thought that he couldn't get out without once again facing those hot-tempered Yellow Jackets. Ryder wished with all his might that he had known about their home in Johnny Chuck's old house before ever he thought of hiding there. But wishes of that kind are about the most useless things in the world.
They wouldn't help him now. He had so many aches and smarts that he didn't see how he could stand a single one more, and yet he couldn't see how he was going to get out without receiving several more.
All at once he had a comforting thought. He remembered that Johnny Chuck usually has a back door. If that were the case here, he would be all right. He would find out. Cautiously he poked his head out of the snug bedroom. There was the long hall down which he had come. And there—yes, Sir, there was another hall! It must be the way to the back door. Carefully Ryder crept up it.
"Funny," thought he, "that I don't see any light ahead of me."
And then he bumped his nose. Yes, Sir, Ryder bumped his nose against the end of that hall. You see, it was an old house, and like most old houses it was rather a tumble-down affair. Anyway, the back door had been blocked with a great stone, and the walls of the back hall had fallen in. There was no way out there. Sadly Ryder backed out to the little bedroom. He would wait until night, and perhaps then the Yellow Jackets would be asleep, and he could steal out the front way without getting any more stings. Meanwhile he would try to get a nap and forget his aches and pains.
Hardly had Ryder curled up for that nap when he heard a voice. It sounded as if it came from a long way off, but he knew just where it came from. It came from the doorway of that old house. He knew, too, whose voice it was. It was Jimmy Skunk's voice.
"I know where you are, Ryder Rabbit," said the voice. "And I know why you are hiding down there. I know, too, how it happened that I was rolled down hill in that barrel. I'm just giving you a little warning, Ryder.
There are a lot of very angry Yellow Jackets up here, as you will find out if you try to come out before dark. I'm going away now, but I'm going to come back about dark to wait for you. I may want to play a little joke on you to pay you back for the one you played on me."
That put an end to Ryder's hope of a nap. He shivered as he thought of what might happen to him if Jimmy Skunk should catch him. What with his aches and pains from the stings of the Yellow Jackets, and fear of being caught by Jimmy Skunk, it was quite impossible to sleep.
He was almost ready to face those Yellow Jackets rather than wait and meet Jimmy Skunk. Twice he started up the long hall, but turned back. He just couldn't stand any more stings. He was miserable. Yes, Sir, he was miserable and most uncomfortable in both body and mind.
"I wish I'd never thought of that joke," he half sobbed. "I thought it was a great joke, but it wasn't. It was a horrid, mean joke. Why, oh, why did I ever think of it?"
Meanwhile Jimmy Skunk had gone off, chuckling.