Old Mr. Toad Receives Another Invitation
The friends and neighbors of Old Mr. Toad decided that he needed to be taught a lesson. At first, you know, every one had laughed at him, because he had grown too proud to speak to them, but after a little they grew tired of being treated so, and some of them put their heads together to think of some plan to teach Old Mr. Toad a lesson and what a very, very foolish thing false pride is. The very next day Jimmy Skunk went into the Green Forest to look for Buster Bear. You know Jimmy isn’t afraid of Buster. He didn’t have to look long, and when he had found him, the very first thing he did was to ask Buster if he had seen any fat beetles that morning. You know Jimmy is very fond of fat beetles, and the first thing he asks any one he may happen to meet is if they have seen any.
Buster Bear grinned and said he thought he knew where there might be a few, and he would be pleased to have Jimmy go with him to see. Sure enough, under an old log he found five fat beetles, and these Jimmy gobbled up without even asking Buster if he would have one. Jimmy is usually very polite, but this time he quite forgot politeness. I am afraid he is rather apt to when fat beetles are concerned. But Buster didn’t seem to mind. When the last beetle had disappeared Jimmy smacked his lips, and then he told Buster Bear what he had come for. Of course, at first Buster had thought it was for the fat beetles. But it wasn’t. No, Sir, it wasn’t for the fat beetles at all. It was to get Buster Bear’s help in a plan to teach Old Mr. Toad a lesson.
First Jimmy told Buster all about how puffed up Old Mr. Toad was because he had dined with Buster, and how ever since then he had refused even to speak to his old friends and neighbors. It tickled Buster Bear so to think that little homely Old Mr. Toad could be proud of anything that he laughed and laughed, and his laugh was deep and grumbly-rumbly. Then Jimmy told him the plan to teach Old Mr. Toad a lesson and asked Buster if he would help. Buster’s eyes twinkled as he promised to do what Jimmy asked.
Then Jimmy went straight to where Old Mr. Toad was sitting all puffed up, taking a sun-bath.
“Buster Bear has just sent word by me to ask if you will honor him by dining with him to-morrow at the rotted chestnut stump near the edge of the Green Forest,” said Jimmy in his politest manner.
Now if Old Mr. Toad was puffed up before, just think how he swelled out when he heard that. Jimmy Skunk was actually afraid that he would burst.
“You may tell my friend, Buster Bear, that I shall be very happy to honor him by dining with him,” replied Old Mr. Toad with a very grand air.
Jimmy went off to deliver his reply, and Old Mr. Toad sat and puffed himself out until he could hardly breathe. “Honor him by dining with him,” said he over and over to himself. “I never was so flattered in my life.”