`Pretend it was a nice `abbit!' said Bruno.
`But it wasn't a nice habit, to kill Mouses,' Sylvie argued. `I ca'n't pretend that!'
`I didn't say "habit", oo silly fellow!' Bruno replied with a merry twinkle in his eye. `'abbits--that runs about in the fields!'
`Rabbit? Well it can be a Rabbit, if you like. But you mustn't alter my story so much, Bruno. A Chicken couldn't eat a Rabbit!'
`But it might have wished to see if it could try to eat it.'
`Well, it wished to see if it could try--oh, really, Bruno, that's nonsense! I shall go back to the Owls.'
`Well, then, pretend they hadn't great eyes!'
`And they saw a little Boy,' Sylvie went on, disdaining to make any further corrections. `And he asked them to tell him a story. And the Owls hooted and flew away--' (`Oo shouldn't say "flewed"; oo should say "flied",' Bruno whispered. But Sylvie wouldn't hear.) `And he met a Lion. And he asked the Lion to tell him a story. And the Lion said "yes", it would. And, while the Lion was telling him the story, it nibbled some of his head off--'
`Don't say "nibbled"!' Bruno entreated. `Only little things nibble--little thin sharp things, with edges--'
`Well, then, it "nubbled",' said Sylvie. `And when it had nubbled all his head off, he went away, and he never said "thank you"!'
`That were very rude,' said Bruno. `If he couldn't speak, he might have nodded--no, he couldn't nod. Well, he might have shaked hands with the Lion!'
`Oh, I'd forgotten that part!' said Sylvie. `He did shake hands with it. He came back again, you know, and he thanked the Lion very much, for telling him the story.'
`Then his head had growed up again?' said Bruno.
`Oh yes, it grew up in a minute. And the Lion begged pardon, and said it wouldn't nubble off little boys' heads-- not never no more!'
Bruno looked much pleased at this change of events. `Now that are a really nice story!' he said. `Aren't it a nice story, Mister Sir?'
`Very,' I said. `I would like to hear another story about that Boy.'
`So would I,' said Bruno, stroking Sylvie's cheek again. `Please tell about Bruno's Picnic; and don't talk about nubbly Lions!'
`I wo'n't, if it frightens you,' said Sylvie.
`Flightens me!' Bruno exclaimed indignantly. `It isn't that! It's `cause "nubbly"'s such a grumbly word to say--when one person's got her head on another person's shoulder. When she talks like that,' he exclaimed to me, `the talking goes down bofe sides of my face--all the way to my chin--and it doos tickle so! It's enough to make a beard grow, that it is!'
He said this with great severity, but it was evidently meant for a joke: so Sylvie laughed--a delicious musical little laugh, and laid her soft cheek on the top of her brother's curly head, as if it were a pillow, while she went on with the story. `So this Boy--'
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