UNCLE WIGGILY'S ADVENTURES
By HOWARD R. GARIS
Author of "Sammie and Susie Littletail," "Johnnie and Billie Bushytail." "Lulu, Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble," "Jackie and Peetie Bow-Wow," "Those Smith Boys," "The Island Boys" etc.
A.L. BURT COMPANY
PUBLISHERS NEW YORK
BED TIME SERIES
Five groups of books, intended for reading aloud to the little folks each night. Each volume contains 8 colored illustrations, 31 stories, one for each day of the month. Handsomely bound in cloth. Size 6-1/2 x 8-1/4.
HOWARD R. GARIS
Bed Time Animal Stories
No. 1. SAMMIE AND SUSIE LITTLETAIL No. 2. JOHNNY AND BILLY BUSHYTAIL No. 3. LULU, ALICE & JIMMIE WIBBLEWOBBLE No. 5. JACKIE AND PEETIE BOW-WOW No. 7. BUDDY AND BRIGHTEYES PIGG No. 9. JOIE, TOMMIE AND KITTIE KAT No. 10 CHARLIE AND ARABELLA CHICK No. 14 NEDDIE AND BECKIE STUBTAIL No. 16 BULLY AND BAWLY NO-TAIL No. 20 NANNIE AND BILLIE WAGTAIL No. 28 JOLLIE AND JILLIE LONGTAIL
Uncle Wiggily Bed Time Stories
No. 4 UNCLE WIGGILY'S ADVENTURES No. 6 UNCLE WIGGILY'S TRAVELS No. 8 UNCLE WIGGILY'S FORTUNE No. 11 UNCLE WIGGILY'S AUTOMOBILE No. 19 UNCLE WIGGILY AT THE SEASHORE No. 21 UNCLE WIGGILY'S AIRSHIP No. 27 UNCLE WIGGILY IN THE COUNTRY
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For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publishers
A.L. BURT CO., 114-120 East 23d St., New York
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COPYRIGHT, 1912 By R.F. FENNO & COMPANY Uncle Wiggily's Adventures
UNCLE WIGGILY'S ADVENTURES
UNCLE WIGGILY STARTS OFF
Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice old gentleman rabbit, hopped out of bed one morning and started to go to the window, to see if the sun was shining. But, no sooner had he stepped on the floor, than he cried out:
"Oh! Ouch! Oh, dear me and a potato pancake! Oh, I believe I stepped on a tack! Sammie Littletail must have left it there! How careless of him!"
You see this was the same Uncle Wiggily, of whom I have told you in the Bedtime Books—the very same Uncle Wiggily. He was an Uncle to Sammie and Susie Littletail, the rabbit children, and also to Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel boys, and to Alice and Lulu and Jimmie Wibblewobble, the duck children, and I have written for you, books about all those characters. Now I thought I would write something just about Uncle Wiggily himself, though of course I'll tell you what all his nephews and nieces did, too.
Well, when Uncle Wiggily felt that sharp pain, he stood still for a moment, and wondered what could have happened.
"Yes, I'm almost sure it was a tack," he said. "I must pick it up so no one else will step on it."
So Uncle Wiggily looked on the floor, but there was no tack there, only some crumbs from a sugar cookie that Susie Littletail had been eating the night before, when her uncle had told her a go-to-sleep story.
"Oh, I know what it was; it must have been my rheumatism that gave me the pain!" said the old gentleman rabbit as he looked for his red, white and blue crutch, striped like a barber pole. He found it under the bed, and then he managed to limp to the window. Surely enough, the sun was shining.
"I'll certainly have to do something about this rheumatism," said Uncle Wiggily as he carefully shaved himself by looking in the glass. "I guess I'll see Dr. Possum."
So after breakfast, when Sammie and Susie had gone to school, Dr. Possum was telephoned for, and he called to see Uncle Wiggily.
"Ha! Hum!" exclaimed the doctor, looking very wise. "You have the rheumatism very bad, Mr. Longears."
"Why, I knew that before you came," said the old gentleman rabbit, blinking his eyes. "What I want is something to cure it."
"Ha! Hum!" said Dr. Possum, again looking very wise. "I think you need a change of air. You must travel about. Go on a journey, get out and see strange birds, and pick the pretty flowers. You don't get exercise enough."
"Exercise enough!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "Why, my goodness me sakes alive and a bunch of lilacs! Don't I play checkers almost every night with Grandfather Goosey Gander?"
"That is not enough," said the doctor, "you must travel here and there, and see things."
"Very well," said Uncle Wiggily, "then I will travel. I'll pack my valise at once, and I'll go off and seek my fortune, and maybe, on the way, I can lose this rheumatism."
So the next day Uncle Wiggily started out with his crutch, and his valise packed full of clean clothes, and something in it to eat.
"Oh, we are very sorry to have you go, dear uncle," said Susie Littletail, "but we hope you'll come back good and strong."
"Thank you," said Uncle Wiggily, as he kissed the two rabbit children and their mamma, and shook hands with Papa Littletail. Then off the old gentleman bunny hopped with his crutch.
Well, he went along for quite a distance, over the hills, and down the road, and through the woods, and, as the sun got higher and warmer, his rheumatism felt better.
"I do believe Dr. Possum was right!" said Uncle Wiggily. "Traveling is just the thing for me," and he felt so very jolly that he whistled a little tune about a peanut wagon, which roasted lemonade, and boiled and frizzled Easter eggs that Mrs. Cluk-Cluk laid.
"Ha! Where are you going?" suddenly asked a voice, as Uncle Wiggily finished the tune.
"I'm going to seek my fortune," replied Uncle Wiggily. "Who are you, pray?"
"Oh, I'm a friend of yours," said the voice, and Uncle Wiggily looked all around, but he couldn't discover any one.
"But where are you?" the puzzled old gentleman rabbit wanted to know. "I can't see you."
"No, and for a very good reason," answered the voice. "You see I have very weak eyes, and if I came out in the sun, without my smoked glasses on, I might get blind. So I have to hide down in this hollow stump."
"Then put on your glasses and come out where I can see you," invited the old gentleman rabbit, and all the while he was trying to remember where he had heard that voice before. At first he thought it might be Grandfather Goosey Gander, or Uncle Butter, the goat, yet it didn't sound like either of them.
"I have sent my glasses to the store to be fixed, so I can't wear them and come out," went on the voice. "But if you are seeking your fortune I know the very place where you can find it."
"Where?" asked Uncle Wiggily, eagerly.
"Right down in this hollow stump," was the reply. "There are all kinds of fortunes here, and you may take any kind you like Mr. Longears."
"Ha! That is very nice," thought the rabbit. "I have not had to travel far before finding my fortune. I wonder if there is a cure for rheumatism in that stump, too?" So he asked about it.
"Of course, your rheumatism can be cured in here," came the quick answer. "In fact, I guarantee to cure any disease—measles, chicken-pox, mumps and even toothache. So if you have any friends you want cured send them to me."
"I wish I could find out who you were," spoke the rabbit. "I seem to know your voice, but I can't think of your name."
"Oh, you'll know me as soon as you see me," said the voice. "Just hop down inside this hollow stump, and your fortune is as good as made, and your rheumatism will soon be gone. Hop right down."
Well, Uncle Wiggily didn't like the looks of the black hole down inside the stump, and he peered into it to see what he could see, but it was so black that all he could make out was something like a lump of coal.
"Well, Dr. Possum said I needed to have a change of scene, and some adventures," said the rabbit, "so I guess I'll chance it. I'll go down, and perhaps I may find my fortune."
Then, carefully holding his crutch and his satchel, Uncle Wiggily hopped down inside the stump. He felt something soft, and furry, and fuzzy, pressing close to him, and at first he thought he had bumped into Dottie or Willie Lambkin.
But then, all of a sudden, a harsh voice cried out:
"Ha! Now I have you! I was just wishing some one would come along with my dinner, and you did! Get in there, and see if you can find your fortune, Uncle Wiggily!" And with that what should happen but that big, black bear, who had been hiding in the stump, pushed Uncle Wiggily into a dark closet, and locked the door! And there the poor rabbit was, and the bear was getting ready to eat him up.
But don't worry, I'll find a way to get him out, and in case we have ice cream pancakes for supper I'll tell you, in the next story, how Uncle Wiggily got out of the bear's den, and how he went fishing—I mean Uncle Wiggily went fishing, not the bear.
UNCLE WIGGILY GOES FISHING
At first, after he found himself shut up in the bear's dark closet, where we left him in the story before this, poor Uncle Wiggily didn't know what to think. He just sat there, on the edge of a chair, and he tried to look around, and see something, but it was too black, so he couldn't.
"Perhaps this is only a joke," thought the old gentleman rabbit, "though I never knew a black bear to joke before. But perhaps it is. I'll ask him."
So Uncle Wiggily called out:
"Is this a joke, Mr. Bear?"
"Not a bit of it!" was the growling answer. "You'll soon see what's going to happen to you! I'm getting the fire ready now."
"Getting the fire ready for what; the adventure, or for my fortune?" asked the rabbit, for he still hoped the bear was only joking with him.
"Ready to cook you!" was the reply. "That's what the fire is for!" and the bear gnashed his teeth together something terrible, and, with his sharp claws, he clawed big splinters off the stump, and with them he started the fire in the stove, with the splinters, I mean, not his claws.
The blazing fire made it a little brighter in the hollow stump, which was the black bear's den, and Uncle Wiggily could look out of a crack in the door, and see what a savage fellow the shaggy bear was. You see, that bear just hid in the stump, waiting for helpless animals to come along, and then he'd trick them into jumping down inside of it, and there wasn't a word of truth about him having sore eyes, or about him having to wear dark spectacles, either.
"Oh, my! I guess this is the end of my adventures," thought the rabbit. "I should have been more careful. Well, I wish I could see Sammie and Susie before he eats me, but I'm afraid I can't. I shouldn't have jumped down here."
But as Uncle Wiggily happened to think of Sammie Littletail, the boy rabbit, he also thought of something else. And this was that Sammie had put something in the old gentleman rabbit's valise that morning, before his uncle had started off.
"If you ever get into trouble, Uncle Wiggily," Sammie had said, "this may come in useful for you." Uncle Wiggily didn't look at the time to see what it was that his nephew put in the valise, but he made up his mind he would do so now. So he opened his satchel, and there, among other things, was a long piece of thin, but strong rope. And pinned to it was a note which read:
"Dear Uncle Wiggily. This is good to help you get out of a window, in case of fire."
"My goodness!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, "that's fine. There the bear is making a fire to cook me, and with this rope I can get away from it. Now if there's only a window in this closet I'm all right."
So he looked, and sure enough there was a window. And with his crutch Uncle Wiggily raised it. Then he threw out his satchel, and he tied the rope to a hook on the window sill, and, being a strong old gentleman, he crawled out of the window, and slid down the cord.
And Uncle Wiggily got out just as the bear opened the closet door to grab him, and put him in the pot, and when the savage black creature saw his fine rabbit dinner getting away he was as angry as anything, really he was.
"Here! Come back here!" cried the bear, but of course Uncle Wiggily knew better than to come back. He slid down the rope to the ground, and then he cut off as much of the rope as he could, and put it in his pocket, for he didn't know when he might need it again. Then, catching up his valise, he ran on and on, before the bear could get to him.
It was still quite a dark place in which Uncle Wiggily was, for you see he was underground, down by the roots of the stump. But he looked ahead and he saw a little glimmer of light, and then he knew he could get out.
Limping on his crutch, and carrying his valise, he went on and on, and pretty soon he came out of a dark cave and found himself on the bank of a nice little brook, that was running over mossy, green stones.
"Ha! This is better than being in a bear's den!" exclaimed the old gentleman rabbit. "My, I was so frightened that I forgot about my rheumatism hurting me. That was an adventure all right, and Sammie was a good boy to think of that strong cord. Now what shall I do next?"
Well, Uncle Wiggily sat down on the bank of the brook, and he looked in the water. Then he happened to see a fish jump up to catch a bug, so he said to himself:
"I guess I will go fishing, just for fun. But if I do happen to catch any fish I'll put them right back in the water again. For I don't need any fish, as I have some lettuce and cabbage sandwiches, and some peanut-butter cakes, that Susie's mamma put up in a cracker-box for me."
Well, Uncle Wiggily looked in his valise, to make sure his lunch was safe, and then, taking a bent pin from under his vest, he fastened it to a part of the string Sammie had given him. Then he fastened the string to a pole, and he was ready to fish, but he needed something to make the fishes bite—that is, bite the pinhook, not bite him, you know.
"Oh, I guess they'll like a bit of sweet cracker," Uncle Wiggily thought; so he put some on the end of the pin-hook, and threw it toward the water.
It fell in with a splash, and made a lot of little circles, like ring-around the rosies, and the rabbit sat there looking at them, sort of nodding, and half asleep and wondering what adventure would happen to him next, and where he would stay that night. All of a sudden he felt something tugging at the hook and line.
"Oh, I've got a fish! I've got a fish!" he cried, as he lifted up the pole. Up out of the water with a sizzling rush flew the string and the sweet cracker bait, and the next minute out leaped the big, savage alligator that had escaped from a circus.
"Oh, ho! So you tried to catch me, eh?" the alligator shouted at Uncle Wiggily.
"No—no, if you please," said the rabbit. "I was after fish."
"And I'm after you!" cried the alligator, and, scrambling up the bank, he made a jump for Uncle Wiggily, and with one sweep of his kinky, scaly tail he flopped and he threw the old gentleman rabbit and his crutch and valise right up into a big tree that grew near the brook.
"There you'll stay until I get ready to eat you!" exclaimed the alligator, as he stood up on the end of his tail under the tree, and opened his mouth as wide as he could so that if Uncle Wiggily fell down he'd fall into it, just like down a funnel, you know.
Well, the poor gentleman rabbit clung to the topmost tree branch, wondering how in the world he was going to escape from the alligator. Oh, it was a dreadful position to be in!
But please don't worry or stay awake over it, for I'll find a way to get him down safely. And in the story after this, if the milkman doesn't leave us sour cream for our lemonade, I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and the black crow.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BLACK CROW
Let me see, where did I leave off in the last story? Oh! I remember. It was about Uncle Wiggily Longears being up in the top of the tall tree, and the alligator keeping guard down below, ready to eat him.
Well, the old gentleman rabbit was wondering how he could ever escape, and he felt quite badly about it.
"I guess this is the end of my adventures," he said to himself. "It would have been much better had I stayed at home with Sammie and Susie." And as he thought of the two rabbit children he felt still sadder, and very lonely.
"I wonder if Susie could have put anything in my satchel with which to scare an alligator," thought Uncle Wiggily. "I guess I'll look." So he looked, and what should he find but a bottle of toothache drops. Yes, there it was, and wrapped ground it was a little note Susie had written.
"Dear Uncle Wiggily," she said in the note, "if you ever get the toothache on your travels, this will stop it."
"Ha! That is very kind of Susie, I'm sure," said the rabbit, "but I don't see how that is going to make the alligator go away. And, even if he does go, I wonder how I'm to get down out of this tall tree, with my crutch, my valise and my rheumatism?"
Well, just then the alligator got tired of standing on the end of his tail, with his mouth open, and he began crawling around. Then he thought of what a good supper he was going to have of Uncle Wiggily, and that alligator said:
"I guess I'll sharpen my teeth so I can eat him better," and with that the savage and unpleasant creature began to gnaw on a stone, to sharpen his teeth. Then he stood up on the end of his tail once more, under the tree, and opened his mouth as wide as he could.
"Come on now!" he called to Uncle Wiggily. "Jump down and have it over with."
"Oh, but I don't want to," objected the rabbit.
"You'll have to, whether you want to or not," went on the alligator. "If you don't come down, I'll take my scaly, naily tail, and I'll saw down the tree, and then you'll fall."
"Oh, dear!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "What shall I do?"
Then he happened to think of the bottle of toothache medicine that he held in his hand, and, taking out the cork, he dropped the bottle, medicine and all, right into the open mouth of the alligator, who was again up on his tail.
And the alligator thought it was Uncle Wiggily falling into his jaws, and he shut them quickly like a steel trap and chewed on that bottle of hot toothache drops before he knew what it was.
Well, you can just imagine what happened. The medicine was as hot as pepper and mustard and vinegar and cloves and horse radish all made into one! My! how it did burn that alligator's mouth.
"Oh my! I'm shot! I'm poisoned! I'm bitten by a mosquito! I'm stabbed! I'm all scrambled up" cried the alligator. "Water, water, quick! I must have water!"
Then he gave a big jump, and, with his kinkery-scalery tail, he leaped into a big puddle of water, and went away down in under, out of sight, to cool off his mouth.
"Oh, now is my chance! If I could only get down out of the tree!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "But with my rheumatism I'm afraid I'll fall. Oh dear! What shall I do?"
"Don't be afraid, I'll help you!" exclaimed a kind voice, and then the voice went on: "Caw! Caw! Caw!" and Uncle Wiggily, looking up, saw a big black crow perched on a limb over his head.
"Oh, how do you do!" spoke Uncle Wiggily, making a bow as well as he could. "Can you really help me down?'
"Yes," said the crow, "I can. Wait until I get my market basket. I was just going to the grocery, but I'm in no hurry. I'll save you first."
So that crow flew off, and in a moment he came back with a big basket in its bill.
"Hop in!" the black crow called to Uncle Wiggily, "and I'll fly down to the ground with you, and you can run off before the alligator comes out of the water. I saw what you did to him with those toothache drops, and it served him right. Come on, hop in the basket."
So Uncle Wiggily got in the basket, and the crow, taking the handle in his strong beak, flew safely to the ground with him. And that's how the old gentleman rabbit got down out of the tree, just as I told you he would.
So he and the crow walked on some distance through the woods together, after Uncle Wiggily had picked up his crutch and valise, which had fallen out of the basket, and they got safely away before the alligator came out of the water. And wasn't he the provoked old beastie, though, when he saw that his rabbit supper was gone?
"Where are you going?" asked the crow of Uncle Wiggily, after a bit, when they got to a nice big stone, and sat down for a rest.
"I am seeking my fortune," replied the old gentleman rabbit, "and trying to get better of my rheumatism. Dr. Possum told me to travel, and have adventures, and I've had quite a few already."
"Well, I hope you find your fortune and that it turns out to be a very good one," said the kind crow. "But it is coming on night now. Have you any place to stay?"
"No," replied the rabbit, "I haven't. I never thought about that. What shall I do?"
"Oh, don't worry," said the crow. "I'd let you stay in my nest, but it is up a high tree, and you would have trouble climbing in and out. But near my nest-house is an old hollow stump, and you can stay in that very nicely."
"Are there any bears in it?" asked Uncle Wiggily, careful-like.
"Oh, no; not a one. It is very safe."
So the crow showed Uncle Wiggily where the hollow stump was, and he slept there all night, on a soft bed of leaves. And when he awakened in the morning he had breakfast with the crow and once more started off to seek his fortune.
Well, pretty soon, in a short while, not so very long, he came to a little house made of bark, standing in the middle of a deep, dark, dismal woods. And on the door of the house was a sign which read:
"If you want to be surprised, open this door and come in."
"Perhaps I can find my fortune in there, and get rid of the rheumatism," thought Uncle Wiggily, so he hopped forward. And just as he did so he heard a voice calling to him:
"Don't go in! Don't go in there, Uncle Wiggily!"
The rabbit looked up, and saw Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel boy, waving his paws at him. Well, Uncle Wiggily started to jump back away from the door of the little house, but it was too late. Out came a scraggily-raggily claw, which grabbed him, while a voice cried out:
"Ah, ha! Now I have you! Come right in!"
And then, before you could shake a stick at a bad dog, the door was slammed shut and locked, and there Uncle Wiggily was inside the house, and Johnnie Bushytail was crying outside.
"That's the end of poor Uncle Wiggily!" said Johnnie. But it wasn't. For I'll not leave the old gentleman rabbit alone in the house with that clawy creature. And in the next story, providing our wash lady doesn't put my new straw hat in the soap suds, and take all the color out of the ribbon, I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and Fido Flip-Flop.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND FIDO FLIP-FLOP
Well, as soon as Uncle Wiggily found himself inside the bear's den—oh, just listen to me! That was in the other story, wasn't it? Yes, we left him in the funny little house in the woods, with the clawy creature grabbing him.
Now, what do you suppose that clawy creature was? Why, a great, big owl, to be sure, with round, staring, yellow eyes, and he had grabbed Uncle Wiggily in his claws, and pulled him inside the house.
"Now, I've got you!" cried the owl. "I was just wishing some one would come along, and you did. Some of my friends are coming to tea this afternoon, and you'll do very nicely made up into sandwiches."
Wasn't that a perfectly dreadful way to talk about our Uncle Wiggily? Well, I guess yes!
"Now you're here, make yourself at home," went on the owl, sarcastic-like, as he locked the front door and put the key in his pocket. "Did you see the sign?"
"Yes," said Uncle Wiggily, "I did. But I don't call it fair. I thought I would find my fortune in here."
"The sign says you'll be surprised, and I guess you are surprised, aren't you?" asked the owl.
"Yes," answered the rabbit, "very much so. But I'd rather have a nice surprise party, with peanuts and lemonade, than this."
"No matter," said the owl, snapping his beak like a pair of shears, "here you are and here you'll stay! My friends will soon arrive. I'll now put the kettle on, to boil for tea."
Well, poor Uncle Wiggily didn't know what to do. He couldn't look in his valise to see if there was anything in it by which he might escape, for he had dropped the satchel outside when the owl grabbed him, and he only had his barber-pole crutch.
"Oh, this is worse and worse!" thought the poor old rabbit.
But listen, Johnnie Bushytail is outside the owl's house, and he's going to do a wonderful trick.
As soon as he saw the door shut on Uncle Wiggily, that brave squirrel boy began to plan how he could save him, and the first thing he did was to gather up a lot of acorns.
Then he perched himself in a tree, right in front of the owl's door, and Johnnie began throwing acorns at it. "Rat-a-tat-tat!" went the acorns on the wooden panels.
"Ha! Those must be my friends!" exclaimed the bad owl, opening the door a little crack so he could peek out, but taking care to stand in front of it, so that Uncle Wiggily couldn't slip out. But, of course, the owl saw no one. "It must have been the wind," he said as he shut the door.
Then Johnnie Bushytail threw some more acorns at the door. "Pitter-patter-patter-pit!" they went, like hailstones in an ice cream can.
"Ah, there are my friends, sure, this time!" thought the owl, and once more he peered out, but no one was there. "It must have been a tree branch hitting against the door," said the owl, as he sharpened a big knife with which to make the sandwiches. Then Johnnie threw some more acorns, and the owl now thought positively his friends were there, and when he opened it and saw no one he was real mad.
"Some one is playing tricks on me!" exclaimed the savage bird. "I'll catch them next time!"
Now this was just what Johnnie Bushytail wanted, so he threw a whole double handful of acorns at the door, and when the owl heard them pattering against the wood he rushed out.
"Now, I've got you!" he cried, but he hadn't, for Johnnie was up a tree. And, for the moment, the owl forgot about Uncle Wiggily, and there the door was wide open.
"Run out, Uncle Wiggily! Run out!" cried Johnnie, and out the old gentleman rabbit hopped, catching up his valise, and away into the woods he ran, with Johnnie scurrying along in the tree tops above him, and laughing at the owl, who flew back to his house, but too late to catch the bunny.
"That's what you get for fooling people so they'll come into your house," called the squirrel boy. "It serves you right, Mr. Owl. Come on, Uncle Wiggily, we'll get away from here."
So they went on together until it was time for Johnnie to go home, and he said he'd tell Uncle Wiggily's friends that he had met the old gentleman rabbit, and that he hadn't found his fortune yet, but that he was looking for it every minute, and had had many adventures.
Well, Uncle Wiggily went on some more, for quite a distance, until it was noon time, and then he sat down in the cool, green woods, where there were some jacks-in-the-pulpit growing near some ferns, and there Uncle Wiggily ate his lunch of lettuce sandwiches, with carrot butter on them, and gnawed on a bit of potato. Just as he was almost through, he heard a rustling in the bushes, and a voice exclaimed:
"Why, what's the matter?" asked Uncle Wiggily, thinking perhaps an adventure was going to happen to him. "Who are you?"
"Oh, dear!" exclaimed the voice again.
Then, before the old rabbit could jump up and run away, even if he had wanted to, out from under a big bush came a little white poodle dog, with curly, silky hair. He walked right up to Uncle Wiggily, that dog did, and the rabbit wasn't a bit afraid, for the dog wasn't much bigger than he was, and looked very kind.
"What do you want, doggie?" gently asked Uncle Wiggily.
The dog didn't answer, but he gave a little short bark, and then he began turning somersaults. Over and over he went, sometimes backward and sometimes frontward, and sometimes sideways. And when he was finished, he made a low bow, and walked around on his two hind legs, just to show he wasn't proud or stuck up.
"There!" exclaimed the poodle doggie. "Is that worth something to eat, Mr. Rabbit?"
"Indeed it is," answered Uncle Wiggily, "but I would have given you something to eat without you doing all those tricks, though I enjoyed them very much. Where did you learn to do them?"
"Oh, in the circus where I used to be, I always had to do tricks for my dinner," said the doggie.
"What is your name?" asked Uncle Wiggily.
"Fido Flip-Flop," was the answer. "You see they call me that because I turn so many flip-flops," and then Uncle Wiggily gave him some lunch, and told the dog about how he, himself, was traveling all over in search of his fortune.
"Why, that's just what I'm doing, too," exclaimed Fido Flip-Flop. "Suppose we travel together? and maybe we'll each find a fortune."
"That's just what we'll do," agreed Uncle Wiggily.
And then, all of a sudden, before you could open your eyes and shut them again, two savage foxes jumped out from behind a big stump.
"You grab the dog and I'll grab the rabbit," called the biggest fox, and right at Uncle Wiggily and Fido they sprang, gnashing their teeth.
But don't worry. I'll find a way to save them, and if the canary bird doesn't take my lead pencil and stick it in his seed dish I'll tell you in the following story about Uncle Wiggily doing some tricks.
UNCLE WIGGILY DOES SOME TRICKS
When those two savage ducks—oh, I mean foxes—when those two savage foxes jumped out of the bushes at Uncle Wiggily Longears and Fido Flip-Flop, as I told you in the other story, the rabbit and the poodle doggie didn't know what in the world to do.
"Run this way!" called Fido, starting off to the left.
"No, hop this way!" said Uncle Wiggily, hopping to the right.
"Stand right where you are!" ordered the two foxes together. And with that one made a grab for Uncle Wiggily. But what did that brave rabbit gentleman do but stick his red-white-and-blue crutch out in front of him, and the fox bit on that instead of on Uncle Wiggily. Right into the crutch the fox's teeth sank, and for a moment Uncle Wiggily was safe. But not for long.
"Ah, you fooled me that time, but now I'll get you!" cried the fox, and, letting go of the crutch, he made another grab for the rabbit.
But at that instant Fido Flip-Flop, who had been jumping about, keeping out of the way of the fox that was after him, cried out quite loudly:
"Look here, everybody but Uncle Wiggily, and, as for you, shut both your eyes tight."
Now the old gentleman rabbit couldn't imagine why he was to shut his eyes tight, but he did so, and then what do you s'pose Fido Flip-Flop did? Why, he began turning somersaults so fast that he looked just like a pinwheel going around, or an automobile tire whizzing along. Faster and faster did Fido Flip-Flop turn around, and then, all of a sudden, he began chasing his tail, making motions just like a merry-go-round in a circus, until those two foxes were fairly dizzy from watching him.
"Stop! Stop!" cried one fox.
"Yes do stop! We're so dizzy that we can't stand up!" cried the other fox, staggering about. "Stop!"
"No, I'll not!" answered Fido Flip-Flop, and he went around faster that ever, faster and faster and faster, until those two bad foxes got so dizzy-izzy that they fell right over on their backs, with their legs sticking straight up in the air like clothes posts, and their tails were wiggling back and forth in the dirt, like dusting brushes. Oh, but they were the dizzy foxes, though.
"Now's your chance! Run! Run! Uncle Wiggily! Run!" called Fido Flip-Flop "Open your eyes and run!"
So the old gentleman rabbit opened his eyes, took up his valise which he had dropped, and, hopping on his crutch, he and the poodle doggie ran on through the woods, leaving the two surprised and disappointed foxes still lying on their backs, wiggling their tails in the dust, and too dizzy, from having watched Fido Flip-Flop do somersaults, and chase his tail, to be able to get up.
"Why did you want me to shut my eyes?" asked Uncle Wiggily, when they were so far away from the foxes that there was no more danger.
"That was so you wouldn't get dizzy from watching me do the flip-flops," answered the doggie. "My, but that was a narrow escape, though. Have you had many adventures like that since you started out to seek your fortune?"
"Yes, several," answered the rabbit. "But turning flip-flops is a very good thing to know how to do. I wonder if you could teach me, so that when any more foxes or alligators chase me I can make them dizzy by turning around? Can you teach me?"
"I'm sure I can," said Fido. "Here, this is the way to begin," and he did some flip-flops slow and easy-like. Then Uncle Wiggily tried them, and, though he couldn't do them very well at first, he practised until he was quite good at it. Then Fido showed him how to stand on one ear, and wiggle the other, and how to blink his eyes while standing on the end of his little tail, and then Uncle Wiggily thought of a new trick, all by himself.
"I'll stick my crutch in the ground, like a clothes pole," he said to Fido, "and then I'll hop up on it and sing a song," which he did, singing a song that went like this:
"Did you ever see a rabbit Do a flipper-flopper-flap? If not just kindly watch me, As I wear my baseball cap.
"It's very strange, some folks may say, And also rather funny, To see a kinky poodle dog Play with a flip-flop bunny.
"But we are on our travels, Adventures for to seek, We may find one, or two, or three, 'Most any day next week."
And then Uncle Wiggily hopped down, and waved both ears backward and forward, and made a low bow to a make-believe crowd of people, only, of course, there were none there.
"Fine! Fine!" cried Fido Flip-Flop. "That's better than I did when I was in the circus. Now I'll tell you what let's do."
"What?" asked Uncle Wiggily.
"Let's go around and give little shows and entertainments, for little folks to see," went on the poodle doggie. "I can turn flip-flops, and you can stand on your head on your crutch, and sing a song, and then we'll take up a collection. I'll pass my hat, and perhaps we may make our fortune—who knows?"
"Who, indeed?" said Uncle Wiggily. "We'll do it."
So off they started together to give a little show, and make some money, and, as they went on through the woods, they practised doing the tricks Uncle Wiggily had learned.
Well, in a little while, not so very long, they came to a nice place in the forest—an open place where no trees grew.
"Here is a good spot for our show," said Uncle Wiggily.
"But there is no one to see us do the tricks," objected Fido.
"Oh, yes, there are some ants, and an angle worm, and a black bug and a grasshopper," said Uncle Wiggily. "They will do to start on, and after they see us do the tricks they'll tell other folks, and we'll have quite a crowd."
So they started in to do their tricks. Fido turned a lot of flip-flops, and Uncle Wiggily did a dance on the end of his crutch, and sang a song about a monkey-doodle, which the angle worm said was just fine, being quite cute, and the grasshopper made believe play a fiddle with his two hind legs, scratching one on the other, and making lovely music.
But, all of a sudden, just as Uncle Wiggily was standing on his left ear, and wiggling his feet in the air, which is a very hard trick for a rabbit, what should happen but that out of the woods sprang two boys.
"There's the dog! Grab him!" cried one boy. "Never mind about the rabbit! Get the trick dog!" And the boys rushed right up, knocking Uncle Wiggily down, and grabbing Fido Flip-Flop. And they started off through the woods with him, while Uncle Wiggily cried out for them to come back. But they wouldn't.
Now please don't feel badly, for I'm going to tell you in the next story how Uncle Wiggily saved Fido, and also how the rabbit went to Arabella Chick's surprise party—that is I will if our automobile doesn't turn upside down, and break my ice cream cone.
UNCLE WIGGILY AT THE PARTY
Well, when Uncle Wiggily Longears found that the elephant wouldn't get off his trunk—oh, listen to me! What I meant to say was, that when Uncle Wiggily saw those two boys running off with Fido Flip-Flop, the little trick dog, as I told you about in the story before this, the old gentleman rabbit was so surprised at first that he didn't know what to do.
"Won't you please come back with that little doggie?" begged Uncle Wiggily, but the bad boys kept right on. I guess they knew how smart Fido was, and they wanted to get up a show with him. Anyhow, they kept on running through the woods, holding him tightly in their arms.
"Oh, dear! This is terrible!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "I'll never get any good fortune if Fido has such bad luck. And it was partly my fault, too, for if we hadn't been doing tricks, we would have heard these boys coming, and could have run away. Well, now I must save Fido."
So Uncle Wiggily sat down on a stump, and thought, and thought, and thought of all the plans he could think of, to save the doggie from the two boys, and at last he decided the only way to do was to scare them.
"Then they'll drop Fido, and run away," said the old gentleman rabbit. "Let me see, how can I scare them? I know, I'll make believe I'm a tiger!"
So what did that brave Uncle Wiggily do? but go to a mud hole, and with his crutch dipped into the mud, he made himself all striped over like a tiger that you see in a circus. Oh, he was a most ferocious sight when he finished decorating himself! Then he hid his satchel in the bushes, and he started off on a short cut through the woods, to get ahead of the boys. Faster and faster through the woods went Uncle Wiggily, and he looked so peculiarly terrifying that all the animals who saw him were scared out of their wits, and one old blue-jay bird was so frightened that he wiggled his tail up and down, and hid his head in a hollow tree.
Well, by and by, after a while, Uncle Wiggily got to a place in the woods where he knew those boys, with Fido Flip-Flop, would soon come by. Then the rabbit hid himself in the bushes, so that his long ears wouldn't show. For he knew that if the boys saw them, they would know right away he wasn't a tiger, no matter if he was striped like one.
In a few minutes along came the boys, and they were talking about what they were going to do to Fido, and how they would put him in a cage, and make him do lots of tricks. All of a sudden there was a rustling in the bushes, and Uncle Wiggily just stuck out his head and part of his body, laying his ears flat back where they could not be seen. But the boys could see the mud stripes, only they didn't know they were just mud, you understand.
"Oh! See that!" cried one boy.
"Yes, it's a tigery-tiger!" exclaimed the other boy.
"Let's run!" shouted both the boys together. "The tiger will eat us up!"
And just then Uncle Wiggily growled as loudly as he could, a real fierce growl, and he rattled the bushes and stuck out his striped paws, and those boys dropped Fido Flip-Flop, and ran away, as hard as they could through the woods, leaving Fido to join the rabbit.
"Thank you very much for saving me, Uncle Wiggily," said the dog, as soon as he got over being frightened. "That was a good trick, to pretend you were a tiger. But I knew you right away, only, of course, I wasn't going to tell those boys who you were. It served them right, for squeezing me the way they did. Now we'll go on, and see if we can find a fortune for you."
So they went back to where Uncle Wiggily had left his valise, and there it was safe and sound, and inside it were some nice things to eat, and the rabbit and doggie had a dinner there in the woods, after the mud stripes were washed off.
Then they went on and on, for ever so long, and nothing happened, except that a mosquito bit Fido on the end of his nose, and every time he sneezed it tickled him.
"Well, I guess we won't have any more adventures to-day, Uncle Wiggily," spoke the doggie, but, a moment later, they heard a rustling in the bushes and, before they could hide themselves, out jumped Arabella Chick, the sister of Charlie, the rooster boy.
"Oh, you dear Uncle Wiggily!" she exclaimed, "you're just in time."
"What for?" asked Uncle Wiggily; "for the train?"
"No, for my party," answered Arabella. "I'm going to have one for all my friends, and I want you to come. Will you?"
"Oh, I guess so, Arabella. But you see, I have a friend with me, and——"
"Oh, he can come too," spoke Arabella, making a bow to Fido Flip-Flop. So Uncle Wiggily introduced the doggie to the chickie girl, and the chickie girl to the doggie.
Then they went on together to the party, which was held in a nice big chicken coop.
Oh, I wish you could have been there! It was just too nice for anything! Sammie and Susie Littletail were there, and they were so glad to see Uncle Wiggily again. He said he hadn't been very lucky in finding his fortune so far, but his rheumatism was not much worse, and he was going to keep on traveling. He sent his love to all the folks, and said he'd be home some time later.
Then, of course, all the other animal friends were at the party and they played games—games of all kinds, including a new one called "Please don't sit on my hat, and I won't sit on yours." It was too funny for anything, really it was.
Then, of course, there were good things to eat. Buddy Pigg passed around the ice cream, and just as he was handing a plate of it to Jennie Chipmunk it slipped—I mean the ice cream slipped—and went right into Uncle Butter's lap. But the old goat didn't care a bit. He said it reminded him of a pail of paste, and he ate the ice cream, and Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy got Jennie some more.
Then Flip-Flop and Uncle Wiggily did some of their tricks, and every one said they were fine, and they thought it was the best party they had ever been at.
But all of a sudden, just as they were playing the game called "Jump on the piano, and play a queer tune," there came a knock at the door.
"Who's there?" asked Arabella Chick.
"I am," answered a voice, "and I want Uncle Wiggily Longears instantly! He must come with me!" And they all looked from the window, and there stood a big dog, dressed up like a soldier, and he had a gun with him. And he wanted Uncle Wiggily to come out, and every one was frightened, for fear he'd shoot the old gentleman rabbit.
But please don't you get alarmed. I wouldn't have that happen for worlds, and in the next story, if I catch a fish in the milk bottle, and he doesn't bite my finger, I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily in a parade. And it will be a Decoration Day story.
UNCLE WIGGILY IN A PARADE
Arabella Chick's party seemed to break up very suddenly when the guests saw that soldier-dog with the gun waiting outside the door. Buddy Pigg slipped out of a back window, and ran home with his tail behind him. Oh, excuse me, guinea pigs don't have a tail, do they? Anyhow he ran home, and so did Sammie and Susie Littletail, and Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, and the Wibblewobble children, and Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow too.
But, of course, Arabella Chick couldn't run home because she was at home already, so she just looked out of the window once more, and there the dog-soldier stood, and he was looking in his gun to see if it was loaded.
"Well, is Uncle Wiggily coming out?" called the dog again.
"I guess I am—that is—are you sure you want me?" asked the poor old gentleman rabbit, puzzled like.
"Yes, of course I want you," replied the dog.
"Then I guess I've got to go!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he looked for his crutch and valise. "I guess this is the end of my fortune-hunting. Goodbye everybody!" And he felt so badly that two big tears rolled down his ears—I mean his eyes.
Well, he bravely walked out of the door, and as he did so the dog-soldier, with the gun, exclaimed:
"Ah, here you are at last! Now hurry up, Uncle Wiggily, or we'll be late for the parade!"
And, would you believe it? that dog was good, kind, old Percival, who used to be in a circus. And of course he wouldn't hurt the rabbit gentleman for anything. Percival just put his gun to his shoulder, and said:
"Come on, we'll get in the parade now."
"Parade? What parade?" asked Uncle Wiggily. "Oh my! how you frightened me!"
"Why the Decoration Day parade," answered Percival. "To-day is the day when we put flowers on the soldiers' graves, and remember them for being so brave as to go to war. All old soldiers march in the parade, and so do all their friends. I'm going to march, and I'm going to put flowers on a lot of soldiers' graves. I happened to remember that you were once in the war, so I came for you. I didn't mean to scare you. You were in the war, weren't you?"
"Yes," said Uncle Wiggily, happy now because he knew he wasn't going to get shot, "I once went to war, and killed a lot of mosquitoes."
"Good! I thought so!" exclaimed Percival. "Well, I met Grandfather Goosey Gander, and he said he thought you were at this party, so I came for you. Come on, now, the parade is almost ready to start."
"Oh, how you did frighten us!" exclaimed Arabella, whose heart was still going pitter-patter. "We thought you were going to hurt Uncle Wiggily, Percival."
"Oh, I'm so sorry I alarmed you," spoke the circus dog politely. "I won't do it again."
Well, in a little while Percival and Uncle Wiggily were at the parade. The old gentleman rabbit left his satchel at Arabella's house, and only took his crutch. But he limped along just like a real soldier, and Percival carried his gun as bravely as one could wish.
Oh, I wish you could have heard the bands playing, and the drums beating—the little kind that sound like when you drop beans on the kitchen oil-cloth, and the big drums, that go "Boom-boom!" like thunder and lightning, and the fifes that squeak like a mouse in the cheese trap, and then the big blaring horns, that make a sound like a circus performance.
They were all there, and there were lots of soldiers and horses and wagons filled with flowers to put on the graves of the soldiers, who were so brave that they didn't mind going to war to fight for their country, though war is a terrible thing.
Then the march began, and Uncle Wiggily and Percival stepped out as brave as anyone in all the parade. Oh, how fine they looked! and, when they marched past, all the animal people, and some real boys and girls, and papas and mammas clapped their hands and cried "Hurrah!" at the sight of the old gentleman rabbit limping along on his crutch, with the dog-soldier marching beside him.
"Who knows," whispered Percival to Uncle Wiggily, "who knows but what you may discover your fortune to-day?"
"Indeed I may," answer Uncle Wiggily. "Who knows?"
Well, that was a fine parade. But something happened. I was afraid it would, but I'll tell you all about it, and you can see for yourself whether or not I was right.
All of a sudden one man, with a big horn—a horn large enough to put a loaf of mother's bread down inside the noisy end—all of a sudden this man blew a terrible blast—"Umpty-umpty-Umph! Umph!" My, what a noise he made on that horn.
Now, right in front of this man was a little boy-duck riding on a pony. Yes, you've guessed who he was—he was Jimmy Wibblewobble. And when that man blew the loud blast, the pony was frightened, and ran away with Jimmie on his back.
Faster and faster ran the pony, and Jimmie Wibblewobble clung to his back, fearing every moment he would be thrown off. In and out among the people and animals in the parade, in and out among trolley cars and automobiles, in and out, and from one side to another of the street ran the frightened pony.
"Oh, poor Jimmie will be killed!" cried Percival.
"No, he will not, for I will save him!" shouted Uncle Wiggily. So that brave rabbit ran right out to where he saw Munchie Trot, the little pony boy.
"Let me jump on your back, Munchie," said Uncle Wiggily, "and then we'll race after that runaway pony and grab off poor Jimmie. And run as fast as you can, Munchie!"
"I certainly will!" cried Munchie. So Uncle Wiggily got on Munchie's back, and away they started after the runaway pony.
Faster and faster ran Munchie, and by this time the other little horsie was getting tired. Jimmie was still clinging to his back, and asking him not to run so fast, but the pony was so frightened he didn't listen to the duck-boy.
Then, just as he was going to run into a hot peanut wagon, and maybe toss Jimmie off into the red-hot roaster, all at once Uncle Wiggily, on Munchie's back, galloped up alongside of the runaway pony. And as quick as you can drink a glass of lemonade, Uncle Wiggily grabbed Jimmie up on Munchie's back beside him, and so saved the duck-boy's life. And then the runaway pony stopped short, all of a sudden, and didn't bump into the hot peanut wagon, after all, and he was sorry he had run away, and scared folks.
Then the Decoration Day parade went on, and everyone said how brave Uncle Wiggily was. But he hadn't yet found his fortune, and so in the story after this in case our front porch doesn't run away, and take the back steps with it, so I have to sleep on the doormat, I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily in the fountain.
UNCLE WIGGILY IN THE FOUNTAIN
Well, after the Decoration Day parade, and the things that happened in it, such as the pony running away with Jimmie Wibblewobble, Uncle Wiggily Longears thought he'd like to go off to some quiet place and rest.
"Oh, can't you come with me?" asked Percival, the old circus dog. "We'll go to the Bow-Wows house, and have something to eat."
"No, I'm afraid I can't go," replied the old gentleman rabbit. "You see I must travel on to seek my fortune, for I haven't found it yet, and I still have the rheumatism."
"Why don't you try to lose that rheumatism somewhere?" asked Percival. "I would, if it's such a bother."
"Oh, I've tried and tried and tried, but I can't seem to lose it," replied Uncle Wiggily. "So I think I'll travel on. I'm much obliged to you for letting me march in the parade."
Then the old gentleman rabbit got his valise, and, with his crutch, he once more started off. He went on and on, up one hill and down another, over the fields where the horses and cows and sheep were pulling up the grass, and chewing it, so the man wouldn't have to cut it with the lawn mower; on and on he went. Then Uncle Wiggily reached the woods, where the ferns and wild flowers grow.
"This is a fine place," he said as he sat down on a flat stump. "I think I will eat my dinner," so he opened the satchel, and took out a sandwich made of yellow carrots and red beets, and very pretty they looked on the white bread, let me tell you; very nice indeed!
Uncle Wiggily was eating away, and he was brushing the crumbs off his nose by wiggling his ears, when, all of a sudden, he heard a cat crying. Oh, such a loud cry as it was!
"Why, some poor kittie must be lost," thought the old gentleman rabbit. "I'll see if I can find it."
Then the cry sounded again, and, in another moment, out of a tree flew a big bird.
"Oh, maybe that bird stuck his sharp beak in the kittie and made it cry," thought Uncle Wiggily. "Bird, did you do that?" he asked, calling to the bird, who was flying around in the air.
"Did I do what?" asked the bird.
"Did you stick the kittie, and make it cry?"
"Oh, no," answered the bird. "I made that cat-crying noise myself. I am a cat-bird, you know," and surely enough that bird went "Mew! Mew! Mew!" three times, just like that, exactly as if a cat had cried under your window, when you were trying to go to sleep.
"Ha! That is very strange!" exclaimed the rabbit. "So you are a cat-bird."
"Yes, and my little birds are kittie-birds," was the answer. "I'll show you."
So the bird went "Mew! Mew! Mew!" again, and a lot of the little birds came flying around and they all went "Mew! Mew!" too, just like kitties. Oh, I tell you cat-birds are queer things! and how they do love cherries when they are ripe! Eh?
"That is very good crying, birdies," said Uncle Wiggily, "and I think I'll give you something to eat, to pay for it." So he took out from his valise some peanuts, that Percival, the circus dog, had given him, and Uncle Wiggily fed them to the cat-bird and her kittie-birds.
"You are very kind," said the mamma bird, "and if we can ever do you a favor we will."
And now listen, as the telephone girl says, those birds are going to do Uncle Wiggily a favor in a short time—a very short time indeed.
Well, after the birds had eaten all the peanuts they flew away, and Uncle Wiggily started off once more. He hadn't gone very far before he came to a fountain. You know what that is. It's a thing in a park that squirts up water, just like when you fill a rubber ball with milk or lemonade and squeeze it. Only a fountain is bigger, of course.
This fountain that Uncle Wiggily came to had no water in it, for it was being cleaned. There was a big basin, with a pipe up through the middle, and this was where the water spouted up when it was running.
"This is very strange," said Uncle Wiggily, for he had never seen a fountain before, "perhaps I can find my fortune in here. I'll go look." So down he jumped into the big empty fountain basin, which was as large as seven wash tubs made into one. And it was so nice and comfortable there, and so shady, for there were trees near it, that, before he knew it, Uncle Wiggily fell fast asleep, with his head on his satchel for a pillow.
And then he had a funny dream. He dreamed that it was raining, and that his umbrella turned inside out, and got full of holes, and that he was getting all wet.
"My!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he gave a big sneeze. "This is a very real dream. I actually believe I am wet!"
Then he got real wide awake all of a sudden, and he found that he was right in the middle of a lot of wetness, for the man had turned the water on in the fountain unexpectedly, not knowing that the old gentleman rabbit was asleep there.
"I must get out of here!" cried Uncle Wiggily, as he grabbed up his valise and crutch. Then the water came up to his little short, stumpy tail. Next it rose higher, up to his knees. Then it rose still faster up to his front feet and then almost up to his chin.
"Oh, I'm afraid I'm going to drown!" he cried. "I must get out!" So he tried to swim to the edge of the fountain, but you can't swim very well with a crutch and a valise, you know, and Uncle Wiggily didn't want to lose either one. Then the water from the top of the fountain splashed in his eyes and he couldn't see which way to swim.
"Oh, help! Help!" he cried. "Will no one help me?"
"Yes, we will help you!" answered a voice, and up flew the big cat-bird, and her little kitten-birds. "Quick, children!" she cried, "we must save Uncle Wiggily, who was so kind to us! Every one of you get a stick, and we'll make a little boat, or raft, for him!"
Well, I wish you could have seen how quickly the mamma cat-bird and her kittie-birds gathered a lot of sticks, and twigs, and laid them together crossways on the water in that fountain basin, until they had a regular little boat. Upon this Uncle Wiggily climbed, with his crutch and valise, and then the mamma cat-bird flew on ahead, and pulled the boat by a string to the edge of the fountain, where the rabbit could safely get out.
So that's how the bunny was saved from drowning in the water, and in the next story, if a big, red ant doesn't crawl upon our porch and carry away the hammock, I'll tell you another adventure Uncle Wiggily had. It will be a story of the old gentleman rabbit and the bad dog.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE DOG
Uncle Wiggily's rheumatism was quite bad after he got wet in the fountain, as I told you in the other story, and when he thanked the mamma cat-bird and her kitten-birds for saving him, he found that he could hardly walk, much less carry his heavy valise.
"Oh, we'll help you," said Mrs. Cat-Bird. "Here, Flitter and Flutter, you carry the satchel for Uncle Wiggily, and we'll take him to our house."
"But, mamma," said Flutter, who was getting to be quite a big bird-boy, "Uncle Wiggily can't climb up a tree to our nest."
"No, but we can make him a nice warm bed on the ground," said the mamma bird. "So you and Flitter carry the satchel. Put a long blade of grass through the handle, and then each of you take hold of one end of the grass in your bills, and fly away with it. Skimmer, you and Dartie go on ahead, and get something ready to eat, and I'll show Uncle Wiggily the way."
So Flitter and Flutter, the two boy birds, flew away with the satchel, and Skimmer and Dartie, the girl birds, flew on ahead to set the table, and put on the teakettle on the stove to boil, and Mrs. Cat-Bird flew slowly on over Uncle Wiggily, to show him the way.
Well, pretty soon, not so so very long, they came to where the birds lived. And those good children had already started to make a nest on the ground for the old gentleman rabbit. They had it almost finished, and by the time supper was ready it was all done. Then came the meal, and those birds couldn't do enough for Uncle Wiggily, because they liked him so.
When it got dark, they covered him all up, with soft leaves in the nest on the ground, and there he slept until morning. His rheumatism wasn't quite so bad when, after breakfast, he had sat out in the warm sun for a while, and after a bit he said:
"Well, I think I'll travel along now, and see if I can find my fortune to-day. Perhaps I may, and if I do I'll come back and bring you more peanuts."
"Oh, that'll be fine and dandy!" cried Flitter and Flutter, and Skimmer and Dartie. So they said good-by to the old gentleman rabbit, and once more he started off.
"My! I'm certainly getting to be a great traveler," he thought as he walked along through the woods and over the fields. "But I don't ever seem to get to any place. Something always happens to me. I hope everything goes along nicely to-day."
But you just wait and see what takes place. I'm afraid something is going to happen very shortly, but it's not my fault, and all I can do is to tell you exactly all about it. Wait! There, it's beginning to happen now.
All of a sudden, as Uncle Wiggily was traveling along, he came to a place in the woods where a whole lot of Gypsies had their wagons and tents. And on one tent, in which was an old brown and wrinkled Gypsy lady, there was a sign which read:
FORTUNES TOLD HERE.
"Ha! If they tell fortunes in that tent, perhaps the Gypsy lady can tell me where to find mine," thought Uncle Wiggily. "I'll go up and ask her."
Well, he was just going to the tent when he happened to think that perhaps the Gypsy woman wouldn't understand rabbit talk. So he sat there in the bushes thinking what he had better do, when all at once, before he could wiggle his ears more than four times, a great big, bad, ugly dog sprang at him, barking, oh! so loudly.
"Come on, Browser!" cried this dog to another one. "Here is a fat rabbit that we can catch for dinner. Come on, let's chase him!"
Well, you can just imagine how frightened Uncle Wiggily was. He didn't sit there, waiting for that dog to catch him, either. No, indeed, and a bag of popcorn besides! Up jumped Uncle Wiggily, with his crutch and his valise, and he hopped as hard and as fast as he could run. My! How his legs did twist in and out.
"Come on! Come!" barked the first dog to the second one.
"I'm coming! I'm coming! Woof! Woof! Bow-w-w Bow-wow!" barked the second dog.
Poor Uncle Wiggily's heart beat faster and faster, and he didn't know which way to run. Every way he turned the dogs were after him, and soon more of the savage animals came to join the first two, until all the dogs in that Gypsy camp were chasing the poor old gentleman rabbit.
"I guess I'll have to drop my satchel or my crutch," thought Uncle Wiggily. "I can't carry them much farther. Still, I don't want to lose them." So he held on to them a little longer, took a good breath and ran on some more.
He thought he saw a chance to escape by running across in front of the fortune-telling tent, and he started that way, but a Gypsy man, with a gun, saw him and fired at him. I'm glad to say, however, that he didn't shoot Uncle Wiggily, or else I couldn't tell any more stories about him.
Uncle Wiggily got safely past the tent, but the dogs were almost up to him now. One of them was just going to catch him by his left hind leg, when one of the Gypsy men cried out:
"Grab him, Biter! Grab him! We'll have rabbit potpie for dinner; that's what we'll have!"
Wasn't that a perfectly dreadful way to talk about our Uncle Wiggily? But just wait, if you please.
Biter, the bad dog, was just going to grab the rabbit, when all of a sudden, Uncle Wiggily saw a big hole in the ground.
"That's what I'm looking for!" he exclaimed. "I'm going down there, and hide away from these dogs!"
So into the hole he popped, valise, crutch and all, and oh! how glad he was to get into the cool, quiet darkness, leaving those savage, barking dogs outside. But wait a moment longer, if you please.
Biter and Browser stopped short at the hole.
"He's gone—gotten clean away!" exclaimed Browser. "Isn't that too bad?"
"No, we'll get him yet!" cried Biter. "Here, you watch at this hole, while I go get a pail of water. We'll pour the water down, under the ground where the rabbit is, and that will make him come out, and we'll eat him."
"Good!" cried Browser. So while he stood there and watched, Biter went for the water. But, mind you, Uncle Wiggily had sharp ears and he heard what they were saying, and what do you think he did?
Why, with his sharp claws he went right to work, and he dug, and dug, and dug in the back part of that underground place, until he had made another hole, far off from the first one, and he crawled out of that, with his crutch and valise, just as Biter was pouring the water down the first hole.
"Ah, ha! I think this will astonish those dogs!" thought Uncle Wiggily, and he took a peep at them from behind a bush where they couldn't see him, and then he hopped on through the woods, to look for more adventures, leaving the dogs still pouring water.
And one happened to him shortly after that, as I shall tell you on the next page, when, in case the rocking chair doesn't tip over backwards and spill out the sofa cushion into the rubber plant, the story will be about Uncle Wiggily and the monkey.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE MONKEY
Let me see, we left those two bad dogs pouring water down the hole, to get Uncle Wiggily out, didn't we? And the old gentleman rabbit fooled them, didn't he? He got out of another hole that he dug around by the back door, you remember.
Well, I just wish you could have seen those two dogs, after they had poured pail after pail of water down the hole, and no rabbit came floating up.
"This hole must go all the way down to China!" said Browser, breathing very fast.
"Yes, I'm tired of carrying water," said Biter. And just then another dog cried out:
"Why, foolish dogs, the water's all running out the back way!" And, surely enough, it was. Then they knew Uncle Wiggily had escaped, and they were as angry as anything, but it served them right, I think.
"My! I wonder what will happen next?" thought the old gentleman rabbit, as he hopped along. "That was a narrow escape."
So, having nothing else to do, Uncle Wiggily sat down on a nice, smooth stump, and he ate some lunch out of his valise. And a red ant came up, and very politely asked if she might not pick up the crumbs which the old rabbit dropped.
"Of course you may," said Uncle Wiggily kindly. "And I'll give you a whole slice of bread and butter, also."
"Oh, you are too generous," spoke the red ant. "I never could carry a slice of bread and butter. But if you will leave it on the stump I'll get some of my friends, and we'll bite off little crumbs, a few at a time, and in that way carry it to our houses."
So that's what Uncle Wiggily did, and the ants had a fine feast, and they were very thankful. Uncle Wiggily asked them if they knew where he could find his fortune.
"Why don't you go to work, instead of traveling around so much?" asked the biggest red ant. "The best fortune is the one you work for."
"Is it? I never thought of that," said Uncle Wiggily. "I will look for work at once. I wonder if you ants have any for me."
"We'd like to help you," they said, "but you see you are so large that you couldn't get into our houses to do any work. You had much better travel along, and work for some one larger than we are."
"I will," decided the old gentleman rabbit. "I'll ask every one I meet if they want me to work for them."
So he started off once more, and the first place he came to was a house where a mouse lady lived.
"Have you any work I can do?" asked Uncle Wiggily politely.
"What work can you do?" asked the mouse lady.
"Well, I can peel carrots or turnips with my teeth," said Uncle Wiggily, "and I can look after children, and tell them stories, and I can do some funny tricks——"
"Then you had better go join a circus," interrupted the mouse lady. "I have no children, and I can peel my own carrots, thank you. As for turnips, I never eat them."
"Then I must go on a little further," said Uncle Wiggily, as he picked up his valise, and walked off on his crutch. So he went on, until he came to another house in the woods, and he knocked on the door.
"Have you any work I can do?" inquired Uncle Wiggily politely.
"No! Get away and don't bother me!" growled a most unpleasant voice, and the rabbit was just going down the steps, when the door opened a crack, and a long, sharp nose and a mouth full of sharp teeth, and some long legs with sharp claws on them, were stuck out.
"Oh, hold on!" cried the voice. "I guess I can find some work for you after all. You can get up a dinner for me!" and then the savage creature, who had opened the door, made a grab for the rabbit and nearly caught him. Only Uncle Wiggily jumped away, just in time, and the wolf, for he it was who had called out, caught his own tail in the crack of the door and howled most frightfully.
"Come back! Come back!" cried the wolf, but, of course, Uncle Wiggily wouldn't do such a foolish thing as that, and the wolf couldn't chase after him, for his tail was fast in the door hinge.
"My, I must be more careful after this how I knock at doors, and ask for work," the old gentleman rabbit thought. "I was nearly caught that time. I'll try again, and I may have better luck."
So he walked along through the woods, and pretty soon he heard a voice singing, and this is the song, as nearly as I can remember it:
Here I sit and wonder What I'm going to do. I've no one to help me, I think it's sad; don't you?
I have to play the fiddle, But still I'd give a cent To any one who'd keep the boys From crawling in the tent.
"Well, I wonder who that can be?" thought Uncle Wiggily. "He'll give a cent, eh? to any one who keeps the boys from crawling in the tent. Now, if that isn't a bear or a fox or a wolf maybe I can work for him, and earn that money. I'll try."
So he peeped out of the bushes, and there he saw a nice monkey, all dressed up in a clown's suit, spotted red, white and blue. And the monkey was playing a tune on a fiddle. Then, all of a sudden, he laid aside the fiddle, and began to beat the bass drum. Then he blew on a horn, next he jumped up and down, and turned a somersault, and then, finally, he grabbed up a whip with a whistle in the tail—I mean in the end—and that monkey began to pretend he was chasing make-believe boys from around a real tent that was in a little place under the trees.
"Oh, I guess that monkey won't hurt me," said Uncle Wiggily as he stepped boldly out, and as soon as the monkey saw the rabbit, he called most politely:
"Well, what do you want?"
"I want to earn a cent, by chasing boys from out the tent," replied Uncle Wiggily.
"Good!" cried the monkey. "So you heard me sing? I'm tired of being the whole show. I need some one to help me. Come over here and I'll explain all about it. If you like it, you can go to work for me, and if you do, your fortune is as good as made."
"That's fine!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "And I can do tricks in the show, too."
"Fine!" exclaimed the monkey, hanging by his tail from a green apple tree. "Now, I'll explain."
But, just as he was going to do so, out jumped a big black bear from the bushes, making a grab for Uncle Wiggily. He might have caught him, too, only the monkey picked up a cocoanut pie off the ground and hit the bear so hard on the head, that the savage creature was frightened, and ran away, sneezing, leaving the monkey and the rabbit alone by the show-tent.
"Now, we'll get ready to have some fun," said the monkey, and what he and Uncle Wiggily did I'll tell you in the following story which will be about the old gentleman rabbit and the boys—that is, if the molasses jug doesn't tip over on my plate, and spoil my bread and butter peanut sandwich.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BOYS
"Well," said the monkey after the bear had run away. "I guess we can now sit down and talk quietly together; eh, Uncle Wiggily?"
"Yes," said the old gentleman rabbit. "But what is it that you want me to do? I heard you sing that funny little song, about the boys coming in the tent. But I don't exactly understand."
"That's just it," replied the monkey. "You see, it's this way. I have a little sort of a circus-show here, and the troublesome boys don't want to pay any money to get in. So when my back is turned they crawl under the tent, and so they see the show for nothing—just like at the circus."
"Oh, so that's how it is?" asked Uncle Wiggily. "And you want me to keep out the boys?"
"That's it," said the monkey. "Here's a big stick, with which to tickle the boys who crawl in under the tent without paying. Now I'll practice my tricks."
So the monkey did a lot of tricks. He stood on his head, and he hung by his tail, and he danced around in a circle. Then he pounded the drum, not so hard as to hurt it, but hard enough to make a noise, and he played the fiddle and blew on the horn, and then he ran inside the tent and jumped over a bench, making believe it was an elephant, and he did all sorts of funny tricks like that. He even stood on his head, and made a funny face.
"That will make a very nice show," said Uncle Wiggily after he had watched the monkey. "Now I'll stay outside, and keep the boys from coming in unless they pay their money. And you can be inside, doing the tricks."
"And I'll give you money for working for me," said the monkey. "Then perhaps you can make your fortune, and, besides that, I'll give you a cocoanut, and you can make a cocoanut pie with it."
"That will be fine!" cried Uncle Wiggily. So he and the monkey practiced to get ready for their show. It was a nice little tent in which it was to be given, and there were seats for the people, who would come, and a platform, and flying rings and trapeze bars and paper hoops, and all things like that, just the same as in a real circus. Well, finally the time came for the show. It was the day after Uncle Wiggily got to the place where the tent was, and he had slept that night in a hammock, put up between two trees.
"Now we're almost ready for the show," said the monkey to the old gentleman rabbit, after a bit, "so I hope you will be sure to keep out the troublesome boys. They always creep under the tent, and see the show for nothing. I can't have that going on if I'm to make any money."
"Oh, I'll stop 'em!" declared Uncle Wiggily.
"And here's the club to do it with," said the monkey, handing Uncle Wiggily a stick.
"Oh, I don't know about that," answered the rabbit. "I never hurt boys if I can help it. Perhaps I shan't need the club. I'll leave it here."
So Uncle Wiggily hid the club under an apple tree, but the monkey said it would be needed, and he wanted Uncle Wiggily to keep it, and take a whip, too. But the old rabbit shook his head.
"I'll try being kind to the boys," he said. "You let me have my way, Mr. Monkey."
Well, pretty soon, not so very long, the show began. The monkey went inside the tent, and he blew on the horn, and he made music on the fiddle, and sang a funny song about a little great big pussy, who had a red balloon. She stuck a pin inside it, and it played a go-bang! tune.
Of course, as soon as the show started the people came crowding up to the tent, just as they do at the circus. There were men and women, and little boys and girls, and big boys and girls, and they all wanted to get inside to see what the monkey was doing. But, do you know, I believe all that he was doing was playing monkey-doodle tricks—but, of course, I might be mistaken.
Well, as it always happens, some boys didn't have any money with which to pay their way inside the tent. And, of course, as it will sometimes happen, one boy said to another:
"Hey! I know a way we can crawl in under the tent, and see the show, and not have anything to pay."
"But that wouldn't be fair," spoke the other boy. "It would be cheating, and there's nothing meaner in this world than to cheat, whether it's playing a baseball game or going to a circus."
"I guess you're right," said the first boy. "What shall we do, though? I want to see the show."
"Well, we must be fair, anyhow," spoke the second boy. "We can't crawl in under the tent, but perhaps if we ask the monkey to let us in for nothing he'll do it."
"Very well, we will," said the first boy. So they went up to the monkey and asked if they could go in for nothing, but, of course, he wouldn't let them.
"May we crawl in under the tent, then?" asked the second boy.
"If Uncle Wiggily will let you," answered the monkey, blinking his two eyes and wrapping his tail around his neck.
So those boys tried to crawl in under the tent, and as soon as Uncle Wiggily saw them he rushed up and cried out:
"Hey! Hold on there! Nobody must go under the tent. You must buy a ticket," and he shook a feather at the boys and, instead of hitting them, he only tickled them, and didn't hurt them a bit, for they sneezed.
Well, those boys were very troublesome. They kept on trying to crawl under the tent, and Uncle Wiggily rushed here, there and around the corner trying to stop them, and he cracked the lash on his whip, just like the man in the circus ring. But those boys kept on trying to crawl under the tent, for the monkey had given them permission, you see.
So finally Uncle Wiggily said:
"I'll give those boys a little show myself, outside the tent, for nothing. Then maybe they'll stop bothering me."
So he stood on his left ear, and then on his right ear, and then he jumped through a hoop, and rolled over, and barked liked a dog, and all the boys that had tried to crawl under the tent to see the monkey-show for nothing, ran out to see Uncle Wiggily's show.
And he did lots of tricks and kept them all from crawling in under the tent, and he even ate a popcorn ball, standing on his hind legs, and wiggling his left ear with a pin-wheel on it. Then, after a while, the monkey-show was all over, and the monkey said:
"Uncle Wiggily, you did very well. You treated those troublesome boys just fine! So I'll give you ten pennies, and perhaps they will make you have a good fortune."
Then the monkey gave Uncle Wiggily ten pennies, and he went to sleep in a feather bed, while the old gentleman rabbit went down to the drug store to get an ice cream soda.
And what happened after the show was over, and what Uncle Wiggily did after he had his ice cream, I'll tell you in the next story which will be about Uncle Wiggily in a balloon. That is, if our pussy cat doesn't get all covered with red paint, and look like a tomato growing on a strawberry vine. So watch out, and don't let that happen.
UNCLE WIGGILY IN A BALLOON
Well, just as I expected, something happened to my pussy-cat named Peter. He didn't fall into the pot of red paint, but he either ran away, or else some one took him. So now I have no pussy-cat. But I'll tell you a story about Uncle Wiggily just the same.
The old gentleman rabbit stayed with the monkey for several days, and he was so kind and good to the troublesome boys—Uncle Wiggily was, I mean—and he did such funny tricks for them, that they didn't crawl under the tent any more, and the monkey could do his tricks in peace and quietness.
"Oh, you have been a great help to me," said the monkey to the rabbit, "and I would like you to work for me all Summer. I am now going to travel on to the next town, and if you like you may go with me and keep the boys there from crawling under the tent."
"No, I thank you," replied Uncle Wiggily slowly, as he put some bread and butter, and a piece of pie, into his satchel. "I think I will travel farther on by myself, and seek my fortune."
"Well, I'm sorry to see you go," said the monkey. "And here is fifty cents for your work. I hope you have good luck."
And then Uncle Wiggily started off again, over the fields and through the woods, seeking his fortune, while the monkey got ready to move his show to the next town.
Well, for some time nothing happened to the old gentleman rabbit. He walked on and on, and once he saw a little red ant, trying to drag a piece of cake home for dinner. The cake was so big that the ant was having a dreadful time with it, but Uncle Wiggily took his left ear, and just brushed that cake into the ant's house as easily as anything.
"My, how strong and brave you are," cried the little red ant. "Won't you let me get you a glass of water?"
"I would like it," said the rabbit, "for it is quite warm to-day."
Well, that ant got Uncle Wiggily a glass of water, but you know how it is—an ant's glass is so very small that it only holds as much water as you could put on the point of a pin, and really, I'm not exaggerating a bit, when I say that Uncle Wiggily drank seventeen thousand four hundred and twenty-six and a half ant-glasses of water before he had enough. It took all the ants for a mile around to bring the water to him, but they didn't mind, because they liked him.
Then the old gentleman rabbit traveled on again, and when it came night he slept under a haystack.
"I am sure I'll find my fortune to-day," thought Uncle Wiggily as he got up and brushed the hay seed out of his ears the next morning.
It was a bright, beautiful day, and he hadn't gone very far before he heard some fine music.
"My, there must be a hand-organ around here," he said to himself. "And perhaps there is another monkey. I'll watch out."
So he stood on his hind legs, Uncle Wiggily did, and the music played louder, and all of a sudden the rabbit looked down the road, and there was a nice circus, with the white tents, all covered with flags, and bands playing, and elephants squirting water through their long noses over their backs to wash the dust off. And lions and tigers were roaring, and the horses were running, and the fat lady was drinking pink lemonade, and Oh! it was fine!
"I've got fifty cents, and I guess I'll go to the circus," thought Uncle Wiggily, and he was just entering the big tent when he happened to see a man with a lot of red and green and yellow and pink balloons. Now, you would have thought that man would have been happy, having so many balloons, but he wasn't. He looked very sad, that man did, and he was almost crying.
"Poor man!" thought Uncle Wiggily. "Perhaps he has no money to go in the circus. I'll give him mine. Here is fifty cents, Mr. Man," said the old gentleman rabbit, kindly. "Take it and go see the elephant eat peanuts."
"Oh, that is very good of you," spoke the balloon man, "but I don't want to go to the circus. I want to sell my balloons, but no one will buy them."
"Why not?" asked the rabbit.
"Oh, because there are so many other things to buy," said the man, "red peanuts and lemonade in shells—oh, I've got that wrong, it is red lemonade, isn't it? And peanuts in shells. But no matter. What I need," said the man, "is to get the people to listen to me—I need to make them look at me, and when they see what fine balloons I have they'll buy some. But there are so many other things to look at that they never look toward me at all."
"Ha! I know the very thing!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "You ought to have some one go up in a balloon. That would surprise the people like anything. They'd be sure to look at that, and they'd all run over here and buy all your balloons."
"Yes, but who can I get to go up in a balloon?" asked the man.
"I will!" cried Uncle Wiggily bravely. "Perhaps I may find my fortune up in the sky, so I'll go in a balloon."
Well, the man thought that was fine. So he made a little basket for the rabbit to sit in, and he fastened the basket to a big red balloon, and then he took care of the rabbit's valise for him, while Uncle Wiggily got ready to go toward the clouds, taking only his crutch with him.
When the man had everything fixed and when the rabbit was sitting in the basket as easily as in a soft chair at home, the man cried:
"Over here! Over here, everybody! Over here, people! A rabbit is going up in a balloon! A most wonderful sight! Over here!"
And then the man let go of the balloon, and Uncle Wiggily shot right up toward the sky, only, of course, the man had a string fast to the balloon to pull it down again. Up and up went the balloon carrying Uncle Wiggily. Up and up!
And my! how surprised the people were. They rushed over and bought so many balloons that the man couldn't take in the money fast enough. And Uncle Wiggily stayed up there, high in the air, looking for his fortune.
And then, all of a sudden, a bad boy, with a bean shooter, shot at the balloon, and "bang!" it burst, with a big hole in it. Down came Uncle Wiggily, head over heels, bursted balloon, basket, crutch and all.
"Oh, he'll be killed! He'll be killed!" cried all the people.
"No, he'll not! We'll save him!" cried Dickie and Nellie Chip-Chip, the boy and girl sparrow, who happened to be at the circus. "We'll save Uncle Wiggily!"
So up into the air they flew, and before Uncle Wiggily could fall to the ground Dickie and Nellie grabbed the basket in their bills, and, by fluttering their wings, they let it come very gently to earth just like a feather falling, and the rabbit wasn't hurt a bit. But, of course, the balloon was broken.
So that's how Uncle Wiggily went up in a balloon and came down again, but he hadn't yet found his fortune. And now in the next story, if our fire shovel doesn't go out to play in the sand pile, and get its ears full of dirt, I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily in an automobile.
UNCLE WIGGILY IN AN AUTO
Well, after Uncle Wiggily had been saved from the falling balloon by Dickie and Nellie Chip-Chip, the sparrow children, the people were so excited that they wanted the bad boy arrested for making a hole in the balloon with his bean-shooter.
"No, let him go," said the rabbit gentleman, kindly. "I'm sure he won't do it again." And do you know, that boy never did. It was a good lesson to him.
Then the people bought all the balloons, until the man had none left, and I guess if he could have sent for forty-'leven more he would have sold them also.
"I will pay you good wages to stay with me, and go up in a balloon every day," said the man to the rabbit. "You would help me do lots of business."
"No," said Uncle Wiggily. "I must travel on and seek my fortune. I didn't find it up in the air."
But before the old gentleman rabbit traveled on, he went into the circus with Dickie and Nellie. For they had an extra ticket that Bully the frog was going to use, only Bully went in swimming and caught cold, and had to stay home. So Uncle Wiggily enjoyed the show very much in his place.
"Give my love to Sammie and Susie Littletail and to all my friends," said the rabbit, as he took his crutch and valise, after the circus was over, and started to travel on, looking for his fortune.
Well, the first place he came to that day was an old hollow stump, and on the door was a card which read:
"Ha! Come in; eh?" said Uncle Wiggily. "I guess not much! You can't fool me again. There is a bad bear, or a savage owl inside that stump, and they want to eat me. I'll just stay outside."
He was just hurrying past, when the door of the stump-house opened, and an old grandfather fox stuck out his head. This fox was almost blind, and he had no teeth, and he had no claws, and his tail was just like a last year's dusting brush, that the moths have eaten most up, and altogether that fox was so old and feeble that he couldn't have hurt a mosquito. So Uncle Wiggily wasn't a bit afraid of him.
"I say, is there anything good to eat out there?" asked the fox, looking over the tops of his spectacles at the rabbit. "Anything nice and juicy to eat?"
"Yes, I am good to eat," said Uncle Wiggily, "but you are not going to eat me. Good-by!"
"Hold on!" cried the old fox, "don't be afraid. I can only eat soup, for I have no teeth to chew with, so unless you are soup you are of no use to me."
"Well, I'm not soup, but I know how to make some," replied the rabbit, for he felt sorry for the grandfather fox.
So what do you think our Uncle Wiggily did? Why, he went into the fox's stump-house and made a big pot full of the finest kind of soup, and the rabbit and the fox ate it all up, and, because the fox had no teeth or claws, he couldn't hurt his visitor.
"I wish you would stay with me forever," said the old fox, as he blinked his eyes at Uncle Wiggily. "I have a young and strong grandson coming home soon, and you might show him how to make soup."
"No, thank you," replied the rabbit. "I'm afraid that young and strong grandson of yours would want to eat me instead of the soup, I guess I'll travel on." So the old gentleman rabbit took his crutch and valise and traveled on.
Well, pretty soon, it began to get dark, and Uncle Wiggily knew night was coming on. And he wondered where he could stay, for he didn't see any haystacks to sleep under. He was thinking that he'd have to dig a burrow in the ground for himself, and he was looking for a soft place to begin, when, all at once, he heard a loud "Honk-Honk!" back of him in the road.
"Ha, an automobile is coming!" said Uncle Wiggily. "I must get out of the way!" So he hopped on ahead, going down the road quite fast, until he got to a place where there were prickly briar bushes on both sides of the highway.