Once upon a time there was a little white Rabbit with two beautiful long pink ears, and two bright red eyes, and four soft little feet—such a pretty little white Rabbit, but he was not happy.
Just think, this little white Rabbit wanted to be somebody else instead of a rabbit!
When Mr. Bushy Tail, the gray squirrel, went by, the little white Rabbit would say to his Mammy: “Oh, Mammy, I wish I had a long gray tail like Mr. Bushy Tail’s.”
And when Mr. Porcupine went by, the little white Rabbit would say to his Mammy: “Oh, Mammy, I wish I had a back full of bristles like Mr. Porcupine’s.”
And when Miss Puddle-Duck went by in her two little red rubbers, the little white Rabbit would say: “Oh, Mammy, I wish I had a pair of red rubbers like Miss Puddle-Duck’s.”
So he went on and on wishing until his Mammy was all tired out with his wishing and Old Mr. Ground Hog heard him one day.
Old Mr. Ground Hog is very wise indeed, so he said to the little white Rabbit: “Why don’t you go down to the Wishing Pond? If you look in the water at yourself and turn around three times in a circle you will get your wish.”
So the little white Rabbit went off, all alone by himself, through the woods until he came to a little pool of green water lying in a low tree stump. That was the Wishing Pond. There was a little, little bird, all red, sitting on the edge of the Wishing Pond to get a drink, and as soon as the little white Rabbit saw him he began to wish again.
“Oh, I wish I had a pair of little red wings!” he said. Just then he looked in the Wishing Pond and he saw his little white face. Then he turned around three times and something happened. He began to have a queer feeling in his shoulders, like the feeling in his mouth when he was cutting his teeth. It was his wings coming through. So he sat all day in the woods by the Wishing Pond waiting for them to grow, and by and by, when it was almost sundown, he started home to see his Mammy and show her. He had a beautiful pair of long, trailing red wings.
But by the time he reached home it was getting dark. When he went in the hole at the foot of the big tree where he lived, his Mammy didn’t know him. No, she really and truly did not know him, because she had never seen a rabbit with red wings in all her life. And so the little white Rabbit had to go out again, because his Mammy wouldn’t let him get into his own bed. He had to go out and look for some place to sleep all night.
He went and went until he came to Mr. Bushy Tail’s house, and he rapped on the door and said: “Please, kind Mr. Bushy Tail, may I sleep in your house all night?”
But Mr. Bushy Tail opened his door a crack and then he slammed it tight shut again. You see he had never seen a rabbit with red wings in all his life.
So the little white Rabbit went and went until he came to Miss Puddle-Duck’s nest down by the marsh, and he said: “Please, kind Miss Puddle-Duck, may I sleep in your nest all night?”
Miss Puddle-Duck poked her head up out of her nest just a little way. Then she shut her eyes and stretched her wings out so far that she covered her whole nest.
You see she had never seen a white rabbit with red wings in all her life.
So the little white Rabbit went and went until he came to Old Mr. Ground Hog’s hole and Old Mr. Ground Hog let him sleep with him all night, but the hole had beech nuts spread all over it. Old Mr. Ground Hog liked to sleep on them, but they hurt the little white Rabbit’s feet and made him very uncomfortable before morning.
When it came morning, the little white Rabbit decided to try his wings and fly a little. He climbed up on a hill, and spread his wings, and sailed off, but he landed in a low bush all full of prickles. There his four feet got mixed up with the twigs so he couldn’t get down.
“Mammy, Mammy, Mammy, come and help me!” he called.
His Mammy didn’t hear him, but old Mr. Ground Hog did. He came and helped the little white Rabbit out of the prickly bush.
“Don’t you want your red wings?” Mr. Ground Hog asked.
“No, no!” said the little white Rabbit.
“Well,” said the Old Ground Hog, “why don’t you go down to the Wishing Pond and wish them off again?”
So the little white Rabbit went down to the Wishing Pond and he saw his face in it. Then he turned around three times, and, sure enough, his red wings were gone. Then he went home to his Mammy, who knew him right away and was so glad to see him. And he never, never wished again to be something different from what he really was.