Chapter VII. Bunny Goes Fishing
 

"On, Bunny! Bunny!" cried Sue, clapping her hands. "We're having a sail! We're sailing!"

"Yes," answered her brother, "that's what we are, but--"

He looked toward the shore and wondered if it were too far away for him to wade to it. The river looked quite deep, though, and Bunny decided he had better not try it.

"Don't you like sailing," asked his sister Sue.

"Oh, yes, I like it all right," was the reply, "but mother told us not to go out in the boat and we've done it."

"But we didn't mean to," came from the little girl. "The boat did it all by itself, and it isn't our fault at all."

"That's so," and Bunny smiled now and seemed happier.

"I wonder how it happened?" asked Sue.

"I guess we jiggled it so much, making believe we were sailing, that the rope got loose," Bunny explained. "And now we're sailing!"

Bunny Brown and his sister Sue really were sailing down the river and the boat was bobbing up and down and swinging from side to side, for it was not steered. And it was not exactly "sailing" either, for it was only a row-boat and there was no sail to hoist.

But the river was flowing down hill to the sea and it was the river that was carrying the boat along.

"I like it; don't you?" asked Sue, after a bit.

"Yes," answered Bunny. "Only we musn't go too far away. Mother wouldn't like that even if it wasn't our fault that the boat got loose. I wonder if there's anything to eat here."

"Let's look," proposed Sue, so the two children looked under the boat seats and lifted the oars over to one side. Sometimes they were allowed to go with their father or mother for a row or sail, and, once in a while, Mrs. Brown would take with her some sandwiches or cake for a little lunch. Bunny and Sue thought something to eat might have been left over since the last time, but there was nothing.

"Oh dear!" sighed Sue. "I'm terrible hungry, Bunny!"

"So am I!"

"Don't you s'pose you could catch a fish, so we could eat that?"

"I might,' Bunny answered, "if I had a fish line."

"I have a piece of string," and Sue put her chubby hand in her pocket. She had had her mother sew two pockets in her dress, almost like the ones Bunny had in his little trousers. For Sue said she wanted to carry things in her pockets, just as her brother and the other boys did.

She now pulled out a tangled bit of string, white cord that had come off some bundles from the grocery.

"There's a fish line, Bunny," said Sue.

"Yes, if I only had a hook," and the little fellow pulled the tangles out of the cord, "You can't catch fish without a hook, Sue."

"I know that. And here's a pin. You can bend that into a hook. Sadie West and I did that one day up at the frog pond."

"Did you get any fish?" Bunny asked.

"No," answered Sue slowly. "But there wasn't any fish in the pond. Mr. Winkler came along and told us so, and we didn't fish any more. We caught frogs."

"How?"

"In a tin can."

"We haven't any tin can now," went on Bunny, looking about the boat, as if he would, perhaps, rather catch frogs than fishes.

"Don't try to get any frogs," Sue begged him. "They aren't any good to eat."

"Their legs are!"

"Oh, they are not! I wouldn't eat frogs' legs. I'd eat chickens' legs though, if they were cooked."

"So would I. But some folks do eat frogs legs. I heard Aunt Lu telling mother so the other day."

"They must be funny people to eat frogs' legs," Sue exclaimed.

"But I won't catch any now," Bunny promised. "Where's the pin, Sue? So I can make a hook."

"I'll take one out of my dress where a button's off," offered the little girl. "Only you'll have to give the pin back to me after you stop fishing, 'cause I'll have to pin my dress up again."

"S'posin' a fish swallers it?" Bunny asked.

"Swallers what?"

"Swallers the hook!" Bunny explained. "If a fish eats the bent pin hook I can't give it back to you; can I?"

"No," said Sue slowly. "But we could get it out when we cook the fish," she said, after thinking about it a little while.

"Yes," agreed Bunny. "But I guess they don't cook pins in fish. Anyhow we haven't got a fire to cook with."

"Oh, well, then we'll pretend. Here's the pin, Bunny," and Sue took it from a place on her dress where, as she had said, a button was off. "Try and catch a big fish with it."

Bunny had the piece of string untangled now and he bent the pin into a sort of hook. All this while the boat was slowly drifting down the river, but Bunny Brown and his sister Sue had talked so much about fishing that they had not noticed where they were going. They were not so frightened as they had been at first.

Bunny tied the bent pin on the end of his piece of string and was about to toss it over the side of the boat into the water when he happened to think.

"I'll have to have a sinker," he said to Sue. "You can't catch fish if you don't have a sinker to take the hook down to the bottom of the water. Fish only bite near the bottom. I must have a sinker."

"Oh, dear!" exclaimed Sue. "Fishing is a lot of work; isn't it, Bunny?"

"It's fun," said the little boy. "I like it, but I have to have a sinker."

"I could give you a button from my dress," Sue said. "One's almost off, and I could pull it the rest of the way. Only I haven't another pin to fasten me up with. This is an old dress, anyhow. That's what makes it have one button gone and another almost off," she explained.

"Never mind. Don't pull off the button, Sue," Bunny said. "I guess it wouldn't be heavy enough to sink. Maybe I can find a regular sinker. Oh, yes, here's one!" he cried, as he picked up from the bottom of the boat a piece of lead. It had been dropped there when Mr. Brown, or perhaps Bunker Blue, had used the boat for fishing a few days before.

"This will be just the thing!" cried Bunny, as he fastened it to his line. "Now I can fish real," and he tossed the bent pin over the side of the drifting boat into the water. The bent pin sank out of sight, and both children watched eagerly, wondering how long it would be before they would catch a fish.

But suddenly their boat bumped against something, and stopped moving. The bump was so hard that Bunny was knocked over against Sue.

"Oh, Bunny, don't!" she exclaimed. "You hurt my arm!"

"I--I couldn't help it," Bunny said.

"Was it a fish?" asked Sue, hopefully, "Did he pull you over?"

Bunny shook his head. Nothing had taken hold of the pin-hook. Then he turned his head and looked around.

"Oh, Sue!" he cried. "We've run ashore on an island. Now we can get out and have some fun! This is great!"