Chapter XIII. Little Miss Fuzzytail
 
Foolish questions waste time,
but wise questions lead to knowledge.
                                 Peter Rabbit.

"Little Miss Fuzzytail!" Peter said it over and over again, as he sat on the sunning-bank in the far corner of the Old Pasture, where Tommy Tit the Chickadee had left him.

"It's a pretty name," said Peter. "Yes, Sir, it's a pretty name. It's the prettiest name I've ever heard. I wonder if she is just as pretty. I--I--think she must be. Yes, I am quite sure she must be." Peter was thinking of the soft, gentle eyes he had seen peeping at him from behind the big fern, and of the dainty little footprint he had found there afterward. So he sat on the sunning-bank, dreaming pleasant dreams and wondering if he could find little Miss Fuzzytail if he should go look for her.

Now all the time, although Peter didn't know it, little Miss Fuzzytail was very close by. She was right back in her old hiding-place behind the big fern, shyly peeping out at him from under a great leaf, where she was sure he wouldn't see her. She saw the long tears in Peter's coat, made by the cruel claws of Hooty the Owl, and she saw the places where her father, Old Jed Thumper, had pulled the hair out with his teeth. She saw how thin and miserable Peter looked, and tears of pity filled the soft, gentle eyes of little Miss Fuzzytail, for, you see, she had a very tender heart.

"He's got a very nice face," thought Miss Fuzzytail, "and he certainly was very polite, and I do love good manners. And Peter is such a nice sounding name! It sounds so honest and good and true. Poor fellow! Poor Peter Rabbit!" Here little Miss Fuzzytail wiped her eyes. "He looks so miserable I do wish I could do something for him. I--I--oh, dear, I do believe he is coming right over here! I guess I better be going. How he limps!"

Once more the tears filled her soft, gentle eyes as she stole away, making not the least little sound. When she was sure she was far enough away to hurry without attracting Peter's attention, she began to run.

"I saw him talking to my old friend Tommy Tit the Chickadee, and I just know that Tommy will tell me all about him," she thought, as she scampered along certain private little paths of her own.

Just as she expected, she found Tommy Tit and his anxious little wife, Phoebe, very busy hunting for food for six hungry little babies snugly hidden in a hollow near the top of the old birch-stub. Tommy was too busy to talk then, so little Miss Fuzzytail sat down under a friendly bramble-bush to rest and wait, and while she waited, she carefully washed her face and brushed her coat until it fairly shone. You see, not in all the Old Pasture, or the Green Forest, was there so slim and trim and neat and dainty a Rabbit as little Miss Fuzzytail, and she was very, very particular about her appearance.

By and by, Tommy Tit stopped to rest. He looked down at Miss Fuzzytail and winked a saucy black eye. Miss Fuzzytail winked back. Then both laughed, for they were very good friends, indeed.

"Tell me, Tommy Tit, all about Peter Rabbit," commanded little Miss Fuzzytail. And Tommy did.