Chapter XVII. Peter Meets Miss Fuzzytail
 
 That this is true there's no denying--
 There's nothing in the world like trying.
                                       Peter Rabbit.

Peter Rabbit was feeling better. Certainly he was looking better. You see, just as soon as Old Mother Nature saw that Peter was trying to look as well as he could, and was keeping himself as neat and tidy as he knew how, she was ready to help, as she always is. She did her best with the rents in his coat, made by the claws of Hooty the Owl and the teeth of Old Jed Thumper, and so it wasn't long before Peter's coat looked nearly as good as new. Then, too, Peter was getting enough to eat these days. Days and days had passed since he had seen Old Jed Thumper, and this had given him time to eat and sleep.

Peter wondered what had become of Old Jed Thumper. "Perhaps something has happened to him," thought Peter. "I--I almost hope something has." Then, being ashamed of such a wish, he added, "Something not very dreadful, but which will keep him from hunting me for a while and trying to drive me out of the Old Pasture."

Now all this time Peter had been trying to find little Miss Fuzzytail. He was already in love with her, although all he had seen of her were her two soft, gentle eyes, shyly peeping at him from behind a big fern. He had wandered here and sauntered there, looking for her, but although he found her footprints very often, she always managed to keep out of his sight, You see, she knew the Old Pasture so much better than he did, and all the little paths in it, that she had very little trouble in keeping out of his way. Then, too, she was very busy, for it was she who was keeping her cross father, Old Jed Thumper, away from Peter, because she was so sorry for Peter. But Peter didn't know this. If he had, I am afraid that he would have been more in love than ever.

The harder she was to find, the more Peter wanted to find her. He spent a great deal of time each day brushing his coat and making himself look as fine as he could, and while he was doing it, he kept wishing over and over again that something would happen so that he could show little Miss Fuzzytail what a smart, brave fellow he really was.

But one day followed another, and Peter seemed no nearer than ever to meeting little Miss Fuzzytail. He was thinking of this one morning and was really growing very down-hearted, as he sat under a friendly bramble-bush, when suddenly there was a sharp little scream of fright from behind a little juniper-tree.

Somehow Peter knew whose voice that was, although he never had heard it before. He sprang around the little juniper-tree, and what he saw filled him with such rage that he didn't once stop to think of himself. There was little Miss Fuzzytail in the clutches of Black Pussy, Farmer Brown's cat, who often stole away from home to hunt in the Old Pasture. Like a flash Peter sprang over Black Pussy, and as he did so he kicked with all his might. The cat hadn't seen him coming, and the kick knocked her right into the prickly juniper-tree. Of course she lost her grip on little Miss Fuzzytail, who hadn't been hurt so much as frightened.

By the time the cat got out of the juniper-tree, Peter and Miss Fuzzytail were sitting side by side safe in the middle of a bull-briar patch.

"Oh? how brave you are!" sobbed little Miss Fuzzytail.

And this is the way that Peter Rabbit at last got his heart's desire.