BILLY'S LITTLE BOATS
But here they had to stop in dismay. They hadn't thought at all how they were to cross it! Now what were they to do?
" We haven't wings, so we can't fly," said Chippy.
" And there are no boats about," said Tiggy.
" Not even a leaf or two we could use as a raft," said Snippy.
" What shall we do? " said every one together. " We must get across to-night! "
A rabbit popped his head out of a nearby hole. " What's the matter? " he said.
" Oh, can you help us? " asked the brownies, and they told the rabbit their trouble.
" No, I can't help you," said the rabbit, shaking his whiskery head. " But I know a very, very kind little boy called Billy, who lives in that house over there. He is very clever and be might help you. He once got me out of a trap. Go and knock at his window. He'll wake and do his best for you."
It was moonlight and the brownies could see the window that the rabbit pointed to. It had bars across, for it was a nursery window. They thanked the rabbit and ran to the garden hedge, crept through it and ran to the house. They climbed up the thick ivy, and stood on Billy's window-sill. By the moonlight that shone into the room they could quite well see Billy, fast asleep in his small bed.
Chippy tapped at the window. Billy stirred. Chippy tapped again. Billy sat up, wide awake. When he saw the brownies at the window he was too astonished to speak. Then he jumped out of bed and ran to let them in.
" Oh! " he said, " you dear little tiny creatures! I've always longed to see the little folk—and now I really have. I do hope I'm awake and not dreaming! "
" Oh, you're awake all right," said Chippy. " Listen, Billy! A rabbit told us you were clever and kind. Do you think you could help us? "
" I can try," said Billy, at once. " What do you want me to do? "
" Well," said Chippy, " we have to leave our home and we want to get to Wishing Wood, which is across the river and over the hill. We haven't wings to fly over the river, and we haven't boats. Could you tell us how to get across, please, Billy? "