Benny Bunny loved berry pie. And he knew his mother was baking berry pie for their holiday dinner—because Uncle Henry had told him so. Benny thought, “I’d sure like to have a whole berry pie all to myself.”
Mrs. Bunny always put her pies on the window ledge to cool. But Benny couldn’t just stand by the window. His mother would see him. So he asked Sammy Sparrow to signal when she put the pies there. Then he quickly ran by and grabbed one.
Sammy tried to warn Benny that his mother had seen him take the pie—but too late. Benny heard her shouting, “Benny, you bring that pie back here!” But he just kept running.
There was one big problem, though. The pie was very hot. That was why Mrs. Bunny had put it on the window ledge. That was why she always wore her cooking mittens to handle pies. Benny should have worn his mittens, too, but he hadn’t thought of that. So, no matter how much he kept shifting his hands around, that pie was too hot to carry very far.
Benny knew that he could run much faster than his mother could. So she wouldn’t try to chase him. But Uncle Henry and Cousin Ralph were there. She might send them to catch him.
He looked behind him and, sure enough, there they came. Sammy Sparrow and Mortimer Mouse had also joined in the chase, perhaps thinking that Benny might drop some crumbs—for they both loved pie crumbs.
Benny had to stop when he got to the river. He had hoped to get across the bridge to his favorite hiding place, but the pie was just too hot. He was soaking his hands in the cool water when the others got there, and said, “I give up, Uncle Henry. But I couldn’t help myself. Mother’s berry pie is so good!”
Cousin Ralph said, “Dad, could we have just one piece? I know you like Aunt Martha’s berry pie, because she bakes it especially for you, says it’s like your mother used to make.”
Uncle Henry adjusted his glasses as he stood looking at that berry pie. He sat down on the bank near the river, thinking about it. Finally he said, “Maybe just one piece, boys.”
Soon the pie was half gone. Even Sammy Sparrow ate a few berries, and Mortimer Mouse was getting all the crumbs he could eat.
At that point Uncle Henry asked Benny, “Now what will I tell your mother?”
“We could tell Aunt Martha that the pie fell in the river,” Cousin Ralph suggested.
“Because it was too hot for me to handle,” said Benny.
“We’d have to rescue the pie pan, though,” Uncle Henry said, “so Martha can bake us another berry pie later.”
So they ate the rest of the pie.
Then, when they got back to the house, Uncle Henry told Benny’s mother that he and Cousin Ralph had caught Benny right on the bridge, but the pie had been so hot that Benny had dropped it over the railing into the river.
“The fish must be enjoying it now,” he said. “We were lucky to save this pie pan. You can thank little Ralph for that. See how wet he got.”
They had thrown Cousin Ralph into the river to make that part of the story more believable.
Mrs. Bunny did not really believe them, of course, for she knew her brother very well. She just shook her head.
She was so pleased that they all liked her berry pie that much, however, that she washed and dried the empty pie pan and baked another berry pie before dinner.