Mrs. Peter Rabbit by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter II. Peter Rabbit Plans a Journey
It's a long jump that makes no landing. Peter Rabbit.
"The trouble with me is that I'm lonesome," repeated Peter Rabbit as he sat in the dear Old Briar-patch. "Yes, Sir, that's the only thing that's wrong with me. I'm just tired of myself, and that's why I've lost my appetite. And now I know what's the matter, what am I going to do about it? If I were sure, absolutely sure, that Old Man Coyote meant what he said about our being friends, I'd start out this very minute to call on all my old friends. My, my, my, it seems an age since I visited the Smiling Pool and saw Grandfather Frog and Jerry Muskrat and Billy Mink and Little Joe Otter! Mr. Coyote sounded as if he really meant to leave me alone, but, but--well, perhaps he did mean it when he saw me sitting here safe among the brambles, but if I should meet him out in the open, he might change his mind and--oh, dear, his teeth are terrible long and sharp!"
Peter sat a little longer, thinking and thinking. Then a bright idea popped into his head. He kicked up his heels.
"I'll do it," said he. "I'll make a journey! That's what I'll do! I'll make a journey and see the Great World.
"By staying here and sitting still I'm sure I'll simply grow quite ill. A change of scene is what I need To be from all my trouble freed."
Of course if Peter had really stopped to think the matter over thoroughly he would have known that running away from one kind of trouble is almost sure to lead to other troubles. But Peter is one of those who does his thinking afterward. Peter is what is called impulsive. That is, he does things and then thinks about them later, and often wishes he hadn't done them. So now the minute the idea of making a journey popped into his head, he made up his mind that he would do it, and that was all there was to it. You see, Peter never looks ahead. If he could get rid of the trouble that bothered him now, which, you know, was nothing but lonesomeness, he wouldn't worry about the troubles he might get into later.
Now the minute Peter made up his mind to make a journey, he began to feel better. His lost appetite returned, and the first thing he did was to eat a good meal of sweet clover.
"Let me see," said he, as he filled his big stomach, "I believe I'll visit the Old Pasture. It's a long way off and I've never been there, but I've heard Sammy Jay say that it's a very wonderful place, and I don't believe it is any more dangerous than the Green Meadows and the Green Forest, now that Old Man Coyote and Reddy and Granny Fox are all living here. I'll start tonight when I am sure that Old Man Coyote is nowhere around, and I won't tell a soul where I am going."
So Peter settled himself and tried to sleep the long day away, but his mind was so full of the long journey he was going to make that he couldn't sleep much, and when he did have a nap, he dreamed of wonderful sights and adventures out in the Great World.
At last he saw jolly, round, red Mr. Sun drop down to his bed behind the Purple Hills. Old Mother West Wind came hurrying back from her day's work and gathered her children, the Merry Little Breezes, into her big bag, and then she, too, started for her home behind the Purple Hills. A little star came out and winked at Peter, and then way over on the edge of the Green Forest he heard Old Man Coyote laugh. Peter grinned. That was what he had been waiting for, since it meant that Old Man Coyote was so far away that there was nothing to fear from him.
Peter hopped out from the dear, safe Old Briar-patch, looked this way and that way, and then, with his heart in his mouth, started towards the Old Pasture as fast as he could go, lipperty--lipperty--lip.