Oh, Homeless Hare, I do declare,
of the Funny Fox beware!
This cunning creature of the wood
is very seldom, if ever, good.
One day, the Homeless Hare went “clippety, clippety, clip” along the woods. And when he came to the den of the Funny Fox, he stepped inside and said, “By my long whiskers and stubby tail, I smell pot-roast; by my twinkling eyes, I smell cabbage; by my wrinkling, twinkling nose, I smell molasses.”
He went nearer and nearer to the entrance of the den, and the Funny Fox peeped out and said,
“You’re looking thinner, very much thinner.
Come in a while and stay to dinner.”
There was an old-fashioned plate on the mantlepiece, and it cried out, for it had seen things happen before,
“Don’t do it,” cried the china plate.
“For your dinner, you’d better wait.”
Then another voice piped up,
“Don’t do it,” called the coffee pot.
“He will play a trick, as like as not!”
Still, another voice warned him,
“Don’t do it,” cried the rubber ball.
“He is not a gracious host at all.”
The teakettle bubbled over in excitement, saying,
“Stop a minute—think again.
Don’t stay in the Fox’s den.”
In spite of all this, the Homeless Hare came on into the Fox’s den.
There sat a table spread for three.
Mrs. Fox said, “We’re glad of company.”
Just as the Homeless Hare took his seat, before he could unfold his napkin, the Funny Fox said, “Let me examine your new necktie,” and he sprang at him.
Over went the table; over went the roast, cabbage, and molasses. The Homeless Hare thought his end had surely come when a shot was fired, and the Foxes ran back into another part of the den. A few minutes after the hunters had passed by, the Homeless Hare crept out of the den. He had always supposed that the hunters were his enemies. Now he said, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”