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AN UNWELCOME CALLER
Rap! rap! rap! It was past midnight and some one was knocking on Doctor Rabbit’s door. Doctor Rabbit growled a little, for he did not like to be wakened that time of night even if he was a doctor. But he got up anyway and opened the upstairs window in his big tree.

The big round moon was shining very bright. It shone quite clear on the one who was knocking at the door. Now, who do you suppose it was? Well, it was some one Doctor Rabbit didn’t want[Pg 2] to see. I should say he didn’t! For it was Tom Wildcat knocking! And he was about the worst enemy Doctor Rabbit had in the Big Green Woods. So it was a mighty good thing he didn’t go down and open his front door.

“What do you want at my house this time o’ night?” Doctor Rabbit called down sharply.

Tom Wildcat jumped back a little, he was so surprised to hear some one talking above him. “Oh!” he exclaimed, looking up. “How do you do, Doctor Rabbit? I just came over to have you put some salve on my hind foot. I hurt it pretty bad a while ago.”

Now Doctor Rabbit didn’t believe old Tom. So he said, “Well, that doesn’t interest me, but how did you hurt it?”

“Well,” said Tom Wildcat, “I stepped on something in the dark—a sticker or[Pg 3] something. Then all of a sudden I found my foot bleeding and mighty sore.”

Doctor Rabbit knew very well how very cunning Tom was, so he spoke right up and said, “If you don’t tell me the real truth I won’t look at your foot at all.”

That was pretty plain and Tom Wildcat saw there was no other way but to tell the truth. “Well,” he said, “the fact is I was borrowing a hen from Farmer Roe’s chicken house, and his big dog and I had a little trouble before I could get away.”

“Aha, I see,” said Doctor Rabbit, peering slyly down at Tom and looking very wise. “Well, I’ll just shut my window and you can come up. You’ll find a small hole under the window. Put your foot through it and I’ll look at it.” Then Doctor Rabbit shut the window, locked it, and sat down to wait.

[Pg 4]Tom grumbled more than a little about having to climb the tree with his sore foot, but as there was no other way he began pulling and clawing into the bark, and up he went. Every now and then he hurt his foot against the tree and would have to stop. This made him pretty mad. But by and by he got up to the window and there he stopped to rest a bit and get his breath.

Then he looked at the hole under the window and called out, “What are you going to do with my foot?”

“Why, how can I tell till I see it?” Doctor Rabbit called back. And all the while he was chuckling so much he was afraid Tom might hear.

After thinking it over Tom had decided that perhaps he could put his foot through the hole and at the same time look through the window and see what[Pg 5] Doctor Rabbit was doing. But there was no way he could do this. So he turned round with his head down and held on to the bark of the tree while he put his foot through the hole under the window.

Doctor Rabbit saw right away that Tom Wildcat’s foot really was sore, but it wasn’t very bad. So chuckling more than ever, he went to his medicine closet and got out a box of salve. It was what Doctor Rabbit called his hot medicine, and it certainly was hot. It would cure a sore foot all right, but Doctor Rabbit didn’t use it very often. He kept it only for some one like his present patient.

“Hurry up!” Tom called out most impatiently.

Doctor Rabbit was all ready, so he called back, “All right there, Tom; hold right still!” and slapped a lot of that[Pg 6] hot salve right on the sore foot, just where it hurt the most.

Old Tom gave a yell loud enough to be heard all over the Big Green Woods, and down the tree he went.


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