Chapter XIII. Sue and the Goat

Bunny Brown and his mother walked out of the front yard to the street. As they passed the side dining room window, Aunt Lu saw them, and asked:

"Where are you going?"

"To look for Sue," explained Mrs. Brown. "She seems to have wandered off somewhere all by herself, and I don't want her lost again. It isn't so bad when Bunny and Sue both get lost," the mother went on, "for they can help find one another. But if Sue is all alone she may get frightened."

"Do you really think she is lost again?" asked Aunt Lu. "If she is I'll come and help look for her. Or, perhaps, we'd better get Bunker Blue."

"Oh, no, I really don't think she is lost," said Mrs. Brown. "She has, most likely, just walked down the street. Bunny and I will find her."

"Lots of things get lost here," Bunny remarked. "Sue and I got lost, but we found a dog; didn't we, Splash?" he asked, and the dog barked.

"Yes, and my lovely ring is lost, and it hasn't been found," and Aunt Lu looked at the finger on which used to sparkle the diamond.

"I wish I could find it for you," said Bunny. "But Sue and I have looked everywhere."

"I know you have, my dear."

As Bunny and his mother reached the street they saw Jed Winkler walking along, carrying a long chain that rattled.

"Oh, Jed, have you seen Sue?" asked Mrs. Brown. "She was here a while ago, but she went off by herself, and I'm afraid she's lost."

"Don't worry, ma'am," said the old sailor. "She's just down the street a few houses. I saw her as I came past. She's playing with Sadie West, in her yard."

"Oh, that's all right, then!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "Sue often goes there. Is anyone else with her, Jed?"

"Yes, a lot of children."

"May I go down there and play, too?" asked Bunny. "Are there any boys there, Mr. Winkler?"

"Some. I saw Charlie Star and Harry Bentley," and the old sailor laughed as he rattled the chain.

Bunny did not mind playing with his sister Sue, but he did not want to take part in games with too many girls, for sometimes the older boys called him "sissy." And Bunny did not like that.

"Well, if there are other fellers there, I'll go and play," said Bunny, as he started off to join Sue. Then he happened to think of the chain the old sailor was carrying.

"What's it for?" asked the small boy.

"It's a new chain for Wango, my monkey," explained the sailor. "He hasn't been very well, lately, and I had the horse-doctor look him over."

"That's funny," said Bunny. "To have a horse-doctor for a monkey."

"Well, if there had been a monkey-doctor in town I'd have had him for Wango," went on Mr. Winkler, "but as there wasn't any I had to do the next best thing. The horse-doctor said my monkey was being kept in the cage too much.

"So I got this long chain, and I'm going to fasten one end of it to a collar, to go around Wango's neck, and tie the other end of the chain to the porch railing, so he can't get away. Then I can let Wango stay outdoors when the weather is good, and he will get well. At night I will put him in his cage again." "And the chain won't let him run away," commented Bunny.

"That's it, little man, the chain won't let Wango run away," said the sailor. "That is, I hope it won't, though he often gets out of his cage. He's quite a tricky monkey."

Mr. Winkler went on down the street, rattling the monkey-chain, and Mrs. Brown, no longer worried about Sue, turned back into the yard, while Bunny hurried on, as fast as his little legs would take him, to Sadie West's yard, where he found his sister and several of their chums having a good time.

They had made a see-saw, by putting a plank over a box, and were swaying up and down on this, some children on one end of the plank and some on the other. As soon as Bunny came running in the yard, Sue called out:

"Oh, goodie! Here's my brother. Now he can teeter-tauter up and down. Come on, Bunny, you can have my place!"

Sue was so eager to give Bunny her place, and a chance to ride, that she slid off the board suddenly. Then that left too many little ones on the other end, and they went down, all at once, with a bump!

Sadie West was spilled off, and so was Charlie Star and Harry Bentley. They all fell in a heap, but as the green grass was long, and soft, no one was hurt.

"Don't do that again, Sue!" called Charlie, "You upset us all."

"I won't," Sue promised. "Come on, Bunny. It's your turn now."

"I don't want any turn at falling," Bunny said, with a laugh.

Once more the plank over the box swayed up and down, giving the children a ride. After a while, getting tired of that, they played in a swing and also in a hammock, having more fun.

Then it was dinner time, and Sadie's mother told her to come in and wash before going to the table. The other children knew it must be time for their meals also, so, calling good-byes to one another, they scattered.

"Come over again," Sadie invited them.

"We will!" promised Bunny.

"Let's go home this way, across the lot," suggested Sue, as she and Bunny started out.

"Oh, I don't want to," Bunny answered. "It's quicker to go by the street, and around the corner. And I want to look in Mrs. Redden's window, and see what she's got new."

"Well, you go that way," Sue agreed, "and I'll go across lots, and we'll see who gets there first."

"That's just like little Red Riding Hood and the wolf," said Bunny with a laugh. Sue looked quickly over her shoulder.

"But there's no wolf here," Bunny went on quickly. "You go ahead, Sue, over the lot, and I'll go by the street."

There was a large vacant lot, near where Sadie West lived, and by crossing it, and going out at the far end, the Brown children could reach their home. So Sue started across the lot, crawling through a hole in the fence.

Bunny started down the street, going quite fast, for he wanted to spend a few minutes looking in the window of the toy shop, and he also wanted to get home first, ahead of Sue.

But he had not gone far before he heard his sister calling:

"Bunny! Oh, Bunny! Oh, dear! He's coming after me!"

Bunny turned and ran back. Looking through the fence that was built around the lot, he saw a big goat, with long horns, walking toward Sue. And the little girl, who had picked a few daisies, was standing in the tall grass, too frightened to run back and crawl through the fence.

"Bunny! Bunny! Take the goat away!" Sue cried.