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Billy Bobtail

BILLY BOBTAIL

Once upon a time a little boy named Billy Bobtail went to seek his
fortune; and on the road he met a bull.

“Moo, moo, moo!” said the bull. “Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?”

“Oh, I’m going to seek my fortune!” said Billy Bobtail.

“May I go, too?” said the bull.

“No,” said Billy Bobtail.

“Yes, I will,” said the bull.

“Well, then, come along,” said Billy Bobtail.

So the bull followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther, and met a goat.

“Baa, baa, baa!” said the goat. “Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?”

“Oh, I’m going to seek my fortune!” said Billy Bobtail.

“May I go, too?” said the goat.

“No,” said Billy Bobtail.

“Yes, I will,” said the goat.

“Well, then, come along,” said Billy Bobtail.

So the goat followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a sheep.

“Maa, maa, maa!” said the sheep. “Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?”

“Oh, I’m going to seek my fortune!” said Billy Bobtail.

“May I go, too?” said the sheep.

“No,” said Billy Bobtail.

“Yes, I will,” said the sheep.

“Well, then, come along,” said Billy Bobtail.

So the sheep followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a pig.

“Wee, wee, wee!” said the pig. “Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?”

“Oh, I’m going to seek my fortune!” said Billy Bobtail.

“May I go, too?” said the pig.

“No,” said Billy Bobtail.

“Yes, I will,” said the pig.

“Well, then, come along,” said Billy Bobtail.

So the pig followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a dog.

“Bow, wow, wow!” said the dog. “Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?”

“Oh, I’m going to seek my fortune!” said Billy Bobtail.

“May I go, too?” said the dog.

“No,” said Billy Bobtail.

“Yes, I will,” said the dog.

“Well, then, come along,” said Billy Bobtail.

So the dog followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a cat.

“Meow, meow, meow!” said the cat. “Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?”

“Oh, I’m going to seek my fortune!” said Billy Bobtail.

“May I go, too?” said the cat.

“No,” said Billy Bobtail.

“Yes, I will,” said the cat.

“Well, then, come along,” said Billy Bobtail.

So the cat followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a turkey.

“Gobble, gobble, gobble!” said the turkey. “Where are you going, Billy
Bobtail?”

“Oh, I’m going to seek my fortune!” said Billy Bobtail.

“May I go, too?” said the turkey.

“No,” said Billy Bobtail.

“Yes, I will,” said the turkey.

“Well, then, come along,” said Billy Bobtail.

So the turkey followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a rooster.

“Cock-a-doodle-doo!” said the rooster. “Where are you going, Billy
Bobtail?”

“Oh, I’m going to seek my fortune!” said Billy Bobtail.

“May I go, too?” said the rooster.

“No,” said Billy Bobtail.

“Yes, I will,” said the rooster.

“Well, then, come along,” said Billy Bobtail.

So the rooster followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a hen.

“Cut-cut-cut-cut-ka-dat-cut!” said the hen. “Where are you going,
Billy Bobtail?”

“Oh, I’m going to seek my fortune!” said Billy Bobtail.

“May I go, too?” said the hen.

“No,” said Billy Bobtail.

“Yes, I will,” said the hen.

“Well, then, come along,” said Billy Bobtail.

So the hen followed on after Billy Bobtail. And there they
were,–first Billy Bobtail and then the bull and then the goat and then
the sheep and then the pig and then the dog and then the cat and then
the turkey and then the rooster and then the hen,–all following on
after Billy Bobtail. On and on they walked. All day long they
traveled; and, just as it began to grow dark, they came to a deep, deep
wood. It looked so dark that Billy Bobtail almost felt afraid. “Never
mind!” said he, “if anything tries to hurt us, I can whistle and throw
stones.”

“And I can bellow and hook,” said the bull.

“And I can butt and bleat,” said the goat.

“And I can butt and bleat,” said the sheep.

“And I can squeal and bite,” said the pig.

“And I can bark and bite,” said the dog.

“And I can mew and scratch,” said the cat.

“And I can gobble,” said the turkey.

“And I can crow,” said the rooster.

“And I can cackle,” said the hen.

“Very well,” said Billy Bobtail; “I think we shall be quite safe.”

So on they went through the wood; but suddenly they heard a crashing
and trampling in the underbrush and then a savage growl, as of some
great wild creature about to rush upon them.

Billy Bobtail began to whistle and throw stones.

The bull began to bellow.

The goat began to bleat.

The sheep began to bleat.

The pig began to squeal.

The dog began to bark.

The cat began to mew.

The turkey began to gobble.

The rooster began to crow.

The hen began to cackle.

And they all made such a noise that the creature, whoever he was, was
so frightened that he ran away as fast as his legs could carry him,
never even once stopping to look back.

Soon Billy Bobtail and his friends came to a clearing–a place in the
wood where the trees had all been cut away. Right in the middle of
this clearing stood a little house.

“What a fine place for us to stay in all night,” said Billy Bobtail,
for it was now almost dark.

“But suppose the people are not friendly?” said the bull, thinking of
the savage creature that they had just frightened away.

“I will go and peep in at the window and find out,” said the cat. “I
can walk softly on my four cushions, and with my green eyes I can see
in the dark.”

So the cat crept to the window of the little house, and peeped in.
Soon she came back and said, “There is no one at home, and it does not
look as if anyone had lived here for a long, long time.”

When Billy Bobtail and his friends went inside the little house they
found it very comfortable.

“Hurrah! I shall sleep in the bed,” said Billy Bobtail.

“Bow, wow, wow! I shall sleep under the bed,” said the dog, “and guard
my master.”

“Wee, wee!” said the pig, “I shall sleep in the oven where it is nice
and warm.”

“Gobble, gobble, gobble!” “Cock-a-doodle-doo!”
“Cut-cut-cut-cut-ka-dat-cut!” cried the turkey, the rooster, and the
hen all together, “we shall roost high up on the mantelshelf.”

“Baa!” said the goat, “I shall sleep on the front doorstone and keep
guard.”

“Maa, maa! I shall sleep just inside the front door and help to keep
guard,” said the sheep.

“Moo, moo, moo!” called the bull, “the wood shed is the place for me.”

“Meow, meow, meow!” cried the cat, “I do not care about sleeping in the
night. I shall keep watch that no harm comes nigh.”

They had a good night’s rest. When morning came and Billy Bobtail saw
what a cozy house it was and that there was a fine garden too, he said,
“This is my fortune. I’m not going any farther to seek it!”

So Billy Bobtail and his friends lived safely in the little house in
the clearing for many years, and were very, very happy.