Peter Rabbit sat in his secretest place in the dear Old Briar-patch with one of his long hind legs all swelled up and terribly sore because of the fine wire fast around it and cutting into it. He could hear Farmer Brown's boy going around on the edge of the dear Old Briar-patch and stopping every little while to do something. In spite of his pain, Peter was curious. Finally he called Danny Meadow Mouse.
"Danny, you are small and can keep out of sight easier than I can. Go as near as ever you dare to Farmer Brown's boy and find out what he is doing," said Peter Rabbit.
So Danny Meadow Mouse crept out as near to Farmer Brown's boy as ever he dared and studied and studied to make out what Farmer Brown's boy was doing. By and by he returned to Peter Rabbit.
"I don't know what he's doing, Peter, but he's putting something in every one of your private little paths leading into the Briar-patch from the Green Meadows."
"Ha!" said Peter Rabbit.
"There are little loops of that queer stuff you've got hanging to your leg, Peter," continued Danny Meadow Mouse.
"Just so!" said Peter Rabbit.
"And he's put cabbage leaves and pieces of apple all around," said Danny.
"We must be careful!" said Peter Rabbit.
Peter's leg was in a very bad way, indeed, and Peter suffered a great deal of pain. The worst of it was, he didn't know how to get off the wire that was cutting into it so. He had tried to cut the wire with his big teeth, but he couldn't do it. Danny Meadow Mouse had tried and tried to gnaw the wire, but it wasn't the least bit of use. But Danny wasn't easily discouraged, and he kept working and working at it. Once he thought he felt it slip a little. He said nothing, but kept right on working. Pretty soon he was sure that it slipped. He went right on working harder than ever. By and by he had it so loose that he slipped it right off of Peter's leg, and Peter didn't know anything about it. You see, that cruel wire snare had been so tight that Peter didn't have any feeling except of pain left in his leg, and so when Danny Meadow Mouse pulled the cruel wire snare off, Peter didn't know it until Danny held it up in front of him.
My, how thankful Peter was, and how he did thank Danny Meadow Mouse! But Danny said that it was nothing at all, just nothing at all, and that he owed more than that to Peter Rabbit for being so good to him and letting him live in the dear Old Briar-patch.
It was a long time before Peter could hop as he used to, but after the first day he managed to get around. He found that Farmer Brown's boy had spread those miserable wire snares in every one of his private little paths. But Peter knew what they were now. He showed Danny Meadow Mouse how he, because he was so small, could safely run about among the snares and steal all the cabbage leaves and apples which Farmer Brown's boy had put there for bait.
Danny Meadow Mouse thought this great fun and a great joke on Farmer Brown's boy. So every day he stole the bait, and he and Peter Rabbit lived high while Peter's leg was getting well. And all the time Farmer Brown's boy wondered why he couldn't catch Peter Rabbit.