BED TIME STORIES
Buddy and Brighteyes Pigg
Howard R. Garis
These stories appeared originally in the Evening News, of Newark, N.J., and are reproduced in book form by the kind permission of the publishers of that paper, to whom the author extends his thanks.
I. BUDDY PIGG IN A CABBAGE II. BRIGHTEYES AND MRS. HOPTOAD III. BUDDY PIGG AND SAMMY LITTLETAIL IV. BUDDY PIGG PLAYS BALL V. BRIGHT EYES PIGG AND SISTER SALLIE VI. DR. PIGG AND UNCLE WIGGILY VII. BUDDY PIGG IS CAUGHT VIII. BUDDY'S AND BRIGHTEYES' FOURTH OF JULY IX. BUDDY PIGG WANTS A TAIL X. BUDDY WALKS A TIGHT ROPE XI. BRIGHTEYES IN A TIN CAN XII. DR. PIGG AND THE FIRECRACKER XIII. BUDDY PIGG IN A BOAT XIV. BRIGHTEYES AND THE PEANUT CANDY XV. BUDDY AND THE JUNE BUG XVI. BRIGHTEYES AND THE BAD BOY XVII. BUDDY'S GREAT RUN XVIII. BRIGHTEYES, BUDDY AND THE TURNIP XIX. BUDDY AND THE BURGLAR FOX XX. BRIGHTEYES HAS AN ADVENTURE XXI. BUDDY IN A DEEP HOLE XXII. A TRICK THE GROUNDHOGS PLAYED XXIII. BUDDY IN THE BERRY BUSH XXIV. BRINGING HOME THE COWS XXV. BUDDY RIDES HORSEBACK XXVI. BUDDY AND BRIGHTEYES FALL DOWNHILL XXVII. BUDDY AND BRIGHTEYES GO BATHING XXVIII. BUDDY BUILDS A SAND HOUSE XXIX. BUDDY HELPS SAMMY LITTLETAIL XXX. BRIGHTEYES AND JENNIE CHIPMUNK XXXI. BUDDY AND BRIGHTEYES IN THE MOUNTAINS
BUDDY AND BRIGHTEYES PIGG
BUDDY PIGG IN A CABBAGE
Once upon a time, not so many years ago, in fact it was about the same year that Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the little puppy dog boys lived in their kennel house, there used to play with them, two queer little brown and white and black and white animal children, called guinea pigs. They were just as cute as they could be, and, since I have told you some stories about rabbits, and squirrels and ducks, as well as about puppies, I wonder how you would like to hear some account of what the guinea pigs did?
Anyhow, I'll begin, and so it happened that there lived at one time, in a nice little house, called a pen, four guinea pigs.
There was the papa, and he was named Dr. Pigg, and the reason for it was that he had once been in the hospital with a broken paw, and ever since he was known as "Doctor." Then there was his wife, and his little boy, and his little girl. They were Montmorency and Matilda, but, as the children didn't like those names, they always spoke of each other as "Buddy" and "Brighteyes," so I will do the same.
Buddy Pigg (and he had two g's in his name you notice) was black and white, and Brighteyes Pigg was brown and white, and they were the nicest guinea pig children you could meet if you rode all week in an automobile. One day Buddy went out for a walk in the woods alone, because Brighteyes had to stay at home to help to do the dishes, and dust the furniture.
Buddy, who, I suppose, you remember, was a friend of Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, walked along, sniffing with his nose, just like Sammie and Susie Littletail, the rabbits.
"It seems to me," Buddy said, "that I smell something good to eat. I wonder if it can be an ice cream cone, or some peanuts, or anything like that?" He looked around but he couldn't see any store there in the woods where they sold ice cream or peanuts, and then he knew he must be mistaken. Still he kept on smelling something good.
"I wonder where that is?" he exclaimed, and he sniffed harder than ever. And then he knew what it was—a cabbage—a great, big cabbage! He ran around the side of a big rock, and there lying on the path, was a fine big cabbage. Some one had dropped it by mistake.
"This is great luck!" cried Buddy Pigg. "There is enough for me and Brighteyes, and I can take some home to mamma and to my papa, the doctor. Yes, indeed, this has been a lucky day for me. I'm as glad I found this cabbage as if I had picked up ten cents! I guess I'll eat some to see how it tastes."
So Buddy Pigg began to gnaw at the cabbage and, as he had very good teeth for gnawing—almost as good as Sammy Littletail's—he soon had quite a hole made. But he kept on gnawing and eating away, so fine did it taste, until, in a little while if he hadn't eaten a hole right into the cabbage and he found himself inside, just like the mousie in the loaf of bread!
"Ha! This is very fine, indeed!" cried Buddy Pigg. "I think I will take a nap here," and lopsy-flop! if that little guinea pig didn't curl up inside the cabbage and go fast, fast asleep; and not even his tail stuck out, because, you see, he didn't have any tail—guinea pigs never do have any, which is a good thing, I suppose.
Well, Buddy Pigg was sleeping away inside that cabbage, dreaming of how nice it would be to take the rest of it home, when all at once, who should come creeping, creeping around the edge of the rock, but a great, big fox. He had sharp eyes, had that fox, and he saw the little guinea pig asleep inside the cabbage, even though Buddy's tail didn't stick out.
"Ah, ha! Oh, ho!" exclaimed the fox, and he smacked his lips. "I see a fine feast before me! Oh, yes, indeed, a very fine feast! Guinea pig flavored with cabbage! Now, just so that pig can't get out, I'll stop up that hole, while he's asleep in there, and I'll go and get my wife, and we'll come back and have a dandy meal! Oh! a most delectable meal!"
So that old fox crept softly, so softly, up to where the cabbage was, with Buddy asleep inside, and the fox took a stone, and he crowded it, and wedged it, fast in the hole, so poor Buddy couldn't get out, though there was some air for him to breathe. Then the fox laughed to himself: "Ha, ha!" and "Ho, ho!" and hurried off down the hill after his wife.
Well, it wasn't long before Buddy Pigg awoke, and he tried to stretch himself, as he always did after a nap, and wasn't he the surprised guinea pig, though, when he found he couldn't stretch!
"Why, what can be the matter?" he cried. "I'm all in the dark! Let's see where was I? Oh, I remember, I found a cabbage, and I began to eat it, and I went inside it—And land sakes, goodness me and a trolley car! I'm inside it now!" he cried, as he smelled the cabbage. "I'm shut in the cabbage just as if I was shut in a closet! However did it happen?" and he tried to turn around, and make his way out, but he couldn't, because the stone which the fox had stuffed in the hole closed it up too tight.
"I'm locked in!" cried Buddy Pigg. "Locked in a cabbage! Isn't it terrible!" and of course it was, and no fooling, either.
Well, Buddy Pigg was a brave little chap, and instead of sitting down and crying there in the dark, he began to think of how he could get out. He thought of all sorts of ways, but none of them seemed any good, and at last he decided to try to burst the cabbage open. But it was too strong and thick, and he couldn't do it.
He soon discovered, however, that, wiggling around inside it as he did, made the cabbage wiggle too, and the first thing you know the cabbage began to roll down the hill, just like a man in a barrel.
Faster and faster went the cabbage down the hill, over and over, with Buddy inside, and he began to get dizzy, for he didn't know what was happening.
Then, at that moment, who should come along but that bad fox and his wife. The cabbage seemed to be rolling straight at them.
"My sakes alive!" cried Mrs. Fox. "What is that, Oscar?" You see her husband's name was Oscar.
"I don't know," he replied, "but don't bother about it. We'll go and get that guinea pig." So they kept on, but just then the cabbage bounded over a little clod of dirt, went up in the air, and nearly hit Mr. Fox, and that scared him so that he ran away, and his wife ran after him.
Well, the cabbage, with Buddy inside, kept on rolling, and the first thing you know it began to roll down hill in front of the guinea pigs' pen. It made quite a noise, and Matilda ran out to see what it was.
"Oh, mamma!" she cried. "Here is a cabbage rolling down hill."
"Nonsense!" cried Mrs. Pigg. "Whoever heard of such a thing?" but she ran out to see what it was, and at that moment the cabbage bounded right in front of the pen, hit a big stone, burst open with a noise like a torpedo, and out rolled Buddy Pigg, over and over, just like a pumpkin. But, believe me, he wasn't hurt the least mite, but he was rather surprised-like!
Then he got up, walked over to his mother and said:
"Here is some fresh cabbage I brought home," and he was as cool as two cucumbers. Well, the guinea pigs had a fine dinner off the cabbage Buddy brought home in such a funny way, and of course the fox and his wife didn't have any, which served them right I suppose.
Now in the next story, if the cook doesn't burn the potatoes and make stove blacking of them I'll be able to tell you about Brighteyes Pigg and Mrs. Hoptoad.
BRIGHTEYES AND MRS. HOPTOAD
After Buddy had taken that funny ride down hill, inside the head of cabbage, his father said to him:
"Buddy, come here, and let me look at you. Possibly you were hurt in that terrible trip, and, having been in a hospital, I can tell whether you were or not."
So he looked Buddy over carefully, but there wasn't a thing the matter with the little chap, except a tiny scratch on his nose.
"Weren't you awfully frightened?" asked Brighteyes of her brother. "It was terrible!"
"No," he answered, "not much. And it wasn't so terrible when we got a good dinner out of it. I wish I could find a cabbage every day."
"You had better put something on that scratch," cautioned Dr. Pigg. Then he went on reading his paper, and Mrs. Pigg got out the salve bottle for Buddy.
Well, it was two days after this that Brighteyes Pigg was out walking along the road. She had been to the store for some carrots, and the store man said he would send them right over, so the little girl guinea pig didn't have to carry them.
Well, she was walking along, not thinking of much of anything in particular, when suddenly something hopped out of the bushes in front of her.
"My goodness! What's that?" cried Brighteyes, for she was a bit nervous from having had a tooth pulled week before last.
"Don't be alarmed, my dear," spoke a soft voice. "It's only me," and if there wasn't a great, big, motherly-looking hoptoad, out in the dusty road, and the next moment if that toad didn't begin hopping up and down as fast as she could hop.
"Why, whatever in the world are you doing?" asked Brighteyes Pigg, for she noticed that the toad didn't seem to get anywhere; only hopping up and down in the same place all the while.
"I'm jumping, my dear," answered the toad.
"So I see," remarked the little guinea pig girl, "but where are you jumping to? You don't seem to be getting any place in particular."
"And I don't want to, my dear," went on the toad, and she never stopped going up and down as fast as she could go. "I'm churning butter," she went on, "and when one churns butter one must jump up and down you know. That's the way to make butter. Don't your folks churn?" and then, for the first time, Brighteyes noticed that the toad had a little wooden churn, made from an old clothespin, fastened on her back.
"No, my mother doesn't churn," answered Brighteyes.
"Then I don't suppose you keep a cow," went on Mrs. Toad. "Neither do we, but next door to us is the loveliest milk-weed you ever saw, and I thought it a shame to see all the milk juice go to waste, so I churn it every week. It makes very fine butter."
"I should think it might," answered Brighteyes. "But isn't it hard work?"
"Yes, it is," replied Mrs. Toad, "and I know you'll excuse me, my dear, for not stopping my jumping to sit and chat with you, but the truth of the matter is that I think the butter is beginning to come, and I daren't stop."
"Oh, don't stop on my account," begged Brighteyes, politely. "I can talk while you jump."
"Very good," replied the toad, "I think I will soon be finished, though on hot days the butter is longer in coming," and she began to hop up and down faster than ever.
Then, all at once, oh, about as soon as you can pull off a porous plaster when you're quick about it, if poor Mrs. Toad didn't give a cry, and stop jumping.
"What's the matter?" asked Brighteyes, "has the butter come?"
"No," was the answer, "but I stepped on a sharp stone, and hurt my foot, and now I can't jump up and down any more. Oh, dear! now the butter will be spoiled, for there is no one else at my home to finish churning it. Oh, dear me, and a pinch of salt on a cracker! Isn't that bad luck?" and she sat down beside a burdock plant.
Well, sure enough, she had cut her foot quite badly, and it was utterly out of the question for her to jump up and down any more.
"Will you kindly help me to get the churn off my back?" Mrs. Toad asked of Brighteyes, and the little guinea pig girl helped her.
"All that nice butter is spoiled," went on Mrs. Toad, as she looked in the churn. "Well, it can't be helped, I s'pose, and there's no use worrying over buttermilk that isn't quite made. I shall have to throw this away."
"No, don't," cried Brighteyes quickly.
"Why not?" asked the toad lady.
"Because I will finish churning it for you."
"Do you know how to churn?"
"Not exactly, but I have thought of a plan. See, we will tie the churn to this blackberry bush stem, and then I will take hold of one end of the stem, and wiggle it up and down, and the churn will go up and down, too, on the bush, just as it did when you jumped with it; and then maybe the butter will come."
"All right, my dear, you may try it," agreed Mrs. Toad. "I'm afraid, though, that it won't amount to anything, but it can do no harm. I am sure it is very kind of you to think of it."
So Brighteyes took the churn, and tied it to a low, overhanging branch of the blackberry bush. Then she took hold of the branch in her teeth, and stood up on her hind legs and began to wiggle it up and down. The churn went up and down with the branch, and the milk from the milk-weed sloshed and splashed around inside the churn, and land sakes flopsy-dub and some chewing gum, if in about two squeals there wasn't the nicest butter a guinea pig or a toad would ever want to eat!
"Oh, what a smart little girl you are!" cried Mrs. Toad. "I'm sure your mother must be proud of you! Now I can work the buttermilk out, and salt the butter, and I'm going to send your mamma home a nice pat," which she did, and very glad Mrs. Pigg was to get it.
"You certainly are a clever little child," said Dr. Pigg to Brighteyes that night, "but then, you see, you take after your father. It is my hospital training that shows. By the way, we must send something to Mrs. Toad, for her cut foot," which they did, and it got all better.
Now, in case you don't drop your bread with the butter side down on the carpet, and spoil the kitchen oilcloth, I'll tell you in the next story about Buddy Pigg and Sammie Littletail.
BUDDY PIGG AND SAMMY LITTLETAIL
Getting up quite early one morning, Buddy Pigg washed himself very carefully, so that his black and white fur was fairly shining in the sunlight, and then the little guinea pig started off to take a stroll before breakfast.
"Who knows," he said, "perhaps I may meet with an adventure; or else find a cabbage, just as I did the other day. But if I do, I'm not going to get inside it and go to sleep. No, indeed, and a feather pillow besides!"
So Buddy Pigg walked on, leaving his sister and his mamma and Dr. Pigg slumbering in the pen. Oh, it was just fine, running along through the woods and over the fields that beautiful, summer morning.
The grass was all covered with dew, and Buddy had a second bath before he had gone very far, there was so much water on everything, but he didn't mind that. He looked at the flowers, on every side, and smelled them with his little twinkling nose, and he listened to the birds singing.
Well, in a short time he came to a place where a lot of little trees grew close together, making a sort of grove, not large enough for a Sunday-school picnic, perhaps, but large enough for guinea pigs.
"This is a fine place," said Buddy Pigg. "I think I'll rest here a bit, and perhaps an adventure may come along."
You see Buddy was very fond of adventures, which means having something happen to you. He was almost as much that way as Alice Wibblewobble, the little duck girl, was fond of romantic things—that is she liked fairies, and princes, and kings, and knights with golden swords, and all oddities like that. Well, Buddy Pigg went in the little grove of trees, and now you just wait and listen—an adventure is going to happen in less than five minutes by the clock.
All of a sudden, just as the little guinea pig got close to one of the trees, he smelled something good, and he looked up, and, bless him! if he didn't see the nicest turnip that ever grew.
"Oh, that certainly is fine!" he cried, and his eyes twinkled and his nose wiggled, both at the same time. "I must take that home for breakfast," he went on. But my goodness me and the mustard spoon! if, when he went to get it, he didn't discover that the turnip was hung up by a string on the branch of the tree!
"Hello!" exclaimed Buddy Pigg. "I never saw turnips growing that way before. This must be a special kind, but it will be all the better. It is a little high up, but I think I can reach it by standing on my hind legs, and stretching up my front paws."
So he moved a little nearer the curious hanging turnip, and was about to reach up for it when who should come bounding out of the bushes but Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy.
"Hello, Buddy Pigg!" he called. "What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to get this turnip down," answered Buddy. "It is a fine one; but it is hanging quite high. I'll give you some when I pull it down," for Buddy Pigg was very kind, you know.
Well, he stood up again, and was just about to step a little closer, so he could grab the turnip, when Sammie cried out:
"Here, Buddy! Come right away from that! Jump back as fast as you can! Quick! Quick! I say!"
"Why?" asked Buddy, "is it your turnip?"
"No, but don't you see? That turnip is nothing but a trap. It is hung up there on purpose. Come away. I can see the trap as plain as anything. Uncle Wiggily Longears taught me how to keep away from them, for I was caught in one, once upon a time."
"A trap?" asked Buddy. "Is this a trap?"
"To be sure," answered Sammie. "See, the turnip hangs right over a loop of wire, and inside the wire loop there is a piece of wood. Now to reach up and get the turnip you must step on the piece of wood, and as soon as you do so that tree branch, to which the wire is fast, will spring up, the wire will slip around your neck, you will be yanked up into the air, and that will be the last of you."
"The last of me?" asked Buddy, who, being a little boy, had not seen as much of the world as had Sammie.
"The very last of you," answered the rabbit. "You would be choked to death by the wire. Yes, the turnip was put there to catch some one, but they won't catch us, Buddy. We'll fool them!"
"Oh, I say! This is too bad!" exclaimed Buddy. "I was just counting on this turnip. Isn't there any way we can get it?"
"I don't believe so," replied Sammie, wrinkling up his nose, just as Buddy was doing. They smelled that turnip, and it had a most delicious odor, better to them, even, than strawberries are to you.
"Maybe we can throw some stones up and knock it down," suggested Buddy.
So they threw up stones, and, though they hit the turnip, and made it swing back and forth, like the pendulum of the clock, it didn't fall down, and by this time Buddy and Sammie were getting very hungry.
"Let's try throwing sticks," proposed Sammie. "We'll toss them at the cord, and maybe we can break it."
So they threw sticks, and, though Buddy did manage to hit the cord, the turnip didn't come down, and they were more hungry than ever.
"Let's take a long pole and poke the turnip down," said Sammie after a while, and they did so, but Buddy accidentally came within half a dozen steps of going too near the trap, and was almost caught.
"Oh, I guess we'll have to give it up," spoke Sammie, but Buddy didn't want to, because he was very determined, and did not like to stop until he had done what he set out to do.
So he tried every way he could think of, until he was all tired out, but nothing seemed to do any good. Then he and Sammie sat down and looked up at that turnip, swinging over their heads, and they were so hungry that their tongues stuck out like a dog's on a hot day. Then, all at once, before you could sharpen a lead pencil with a dull knife, if out from the bushes didn't pop Billie Bushytail, the squirrel.
"What's up?" he asked, just like that, honestly he did.
"The turnip is," said Buddy; "it's up high and we can't get it down."
"Ha! That's a mere trifle—a mere trifle!" cried Billie. "I will climb up the tree, run out on the limb and gnaw through the string. Then the turnip will fall down to you."
Which he did in two frisks of his tail, without any danger from the trap at all, for that was on the ground, while Billie was above it in the tree. So Buddy and Sammie had the turnip after all. And they divided it evenly, Sammie gnawing it through with his teeth, and each one took his half home. Billie didn't like turnip, you see for he would rather have chestnuts.
Now, I think I'll tell you next about Buddy Pigg playing ball—that is, if our tea kettle sings a nice song for supper and makes the rag doll go to sleep.
BUDDY PIGG PLAYS BALL
"Hello, Buddy!" called Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, to Buddy Pigg one fine day, "come on out, and we'll have a game of ball," and Sammie tossed his ball high up in the air and caught it in his catching glove, as easily as you can eat two ice cream cones, a vanilla and a chocolate one, on a hot day.
"Why, we two can't play ball alone," objected Buddy. "It needs three, anyhow."
"Oh, well, we'll find Billie and Johnie Bushytail somewhere in the woods," went on Sammie, "and maybe Jimmie Wibblewobble, the boy duck, will come along, too. Then there is Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, who have come back from the country. Oh, we can get up a regular team."
"All right, I'll come," agreed Buddy. "Wait until I bring in some wood for mother. She is going to bake some turnip pies to-day—out of the turnip you and I and Billie Bushytail got yesterday—and she needs a hot fire. I just love turnip pies; don't you, Sammie?"
"Indeed I do, but I don't believe we are going to have any. Mother stewed my half of the turnip."
"Never mind," advised Buddy Pigg, "I'll give you some of our pies when they are baked," so he brought in two big armfuls of wood for the fire, and then he and Sammie went off to play ball, leaving Brighteyes Pigg home to help her mamma bake the pies, which the little guinea pig girl loved to do.
Well, Buddy and Sammie hadn't gone very far before they met Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, the boy squirrels, and they agreed to play ball. Then, as the four of them went along a little farther, they met Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, out walking with Percival, the old circus dog. So Peetie and Jackie said they would play ball, and that made six.
"Now, if we had two more we would have four on a side," suggested Buddy, and, no sooner had he spoken than there was a noise in the bushes, and out came Jimmie Wibblewobble, and Bully, the frog.
They were very glad to play ball, and soon there were two sides selected. Buddy Pigg was captain of one side, and for players he had Peetie Bow Wow, Billie Bushytail, and Bully, while Sammie Littletail was the other captain, and he had Jackie Bow Wow, Johnnie Bushytail and Jimmie Wibblewobble.
"Now we're all ready, let's play," suggested Buddy.
"No, wait a moment," begged Bully.
"Why?" they all wanted to know.
"Because," replied the little frog boy, "my brother, Bawly, has just made up a new song, and I know he'll give us no peace until he sings it. He's coming along now. Let him sing the song, and then we'll play ball." So they agreed to that, and in a minute Bawly came hopping along.
"Do you want to hear my new song?" he asked.
"Yes—hurry up," they all cried. So Bawly sang this:
Oh, wiggily, waggily, wheelery, I wish that I was rich. I'd buy an automobilery, And ride it in our ditch. I wouldn't hop at all again. I'd ride the whole day long. But I haven't got an auto, And so I sing this song.
"I don't call that much of a song," said the old circus dog, Percival. "You ought to do a dance after it. That's what the clowns always do."
"Thank you, I'm not a clown," answered Bawly. "But could you make up a song like that, and sing it yourself? That's what I want to know," he asked.
"I don't s'pose I could," answered Percival. "But if we're going to the ball game, let's go." So they hurried on, and pretty soon they met Uncle Wiggily Longears.
"Oh, will you umpire for us?" asked Sammie.
"Ha! Hum!" exclaimed the old gentleman rabbit, as he leaned on his crutch. "I ought to go on to the office, but—ah!—er—well, as long as you have no one else to umpire for you, I suppose I will have to do it, but I really ought to go to the office. Who is going to play?" he asked, and he seemed real anxious to know.
So they told him, and pretty soon they got to the baseball field, and began the game. Buddy Pigg and his players were last at the bat, and Sammie and his players came up first.
Well, it was a great game. Sammie struck out, but Jackie Bow Wow made a nice home run, and Jimmie Wibblewobble almost did, only he got put out at the home plate, and then Johnnie Bushytail, he got put out, trying to steal to second base, which means getting there on the sly, you know; and then it came the turn of Buddy and his friends to bat the ball all over if they could.
Well, Johnnie Bushytail was the pitcher, and he threw in such fine curves, and so many of them, that it was hard for Buddy and his friends to strike the ball.
They did manage to hit it a little, and got three runs. Then it came the turn of Sammie Littletail's team again, and they got four runs, and so it went along until at the close of the game Sammie's team was eight runs and Buddy's only seven.
"We've got to get two runs to win," cried Billie Bushytail, "everybody work hard."
"We will," cried Bully, the frog. Now you girls just listen carefully, something wonderful will happen in about a minute.
Well, Peetie Bow Wow made one run, and then Bully and Billie got put out, and it was Buddy's turn to bat the ball. It all depended on him now. If he could make a home run his side would win.
Well, I just wish you could have seen how bravely Buddy walked up to the home plate, and stood there, while Johnnie Bushytail almost tied himself into a bow knot in throwing a double-jointed up-and-down-sideways curve.
Buddy Pigg swung at it, and—no, he didn't miss it, he hit it good and proper, and away sailed the ball. Off Buddy started for first base, hoping he could make a home run, but alas! before he got to second base the ball he had knocked was coming down, and was almost in the webbed foot of Jimmie Wibblewobble, who was waiting to catch it, and if it was caught that would mean that Buddy would be out, and his side would not win that inning.
But Jimmie didn't catch the ball! No, sir! The strangest thing happened! At that moment if along didn't fly the kind fish hawk; and he swooped down and caught that ball up in his strong bill, and sailed away up in the air with it, and Buddy ran on and on as fast as he could go, around the bases, and toward home plate, and he got there in time to win the game. And then the fish hawk dropped the ball, and Jimmie caught it, but it was too late to put Buddy out.
"That's not fair!" cried Sammie Littletail. "The bird took the ball up in the air." All his side said it wasn't fair, but Uncle Wiggily, the umpire, decided that it was fair, and Buddy's side won the game, but they wouldn't have if it hadn't been for the fish hawk, and they were very thankful to him.
Now I think I'm going to tell you in the next story about Brighteyes and Sister Sallie—that is if no one takes our door mat to use for a pen wiper.
BRIGHTEYES PIGG AND SISTER SALLIE
Brighteyes Pigg had finished doing the dishes, and had put on her clean dress, her new tan shoes, which matched her brown and white fur, and her hair was tied with a pink ribbon—you know the kind—the ones that stick out so with a bow on each side. Well, she looked just too nice for anything, and she asked her mother:
"May I go out and take a walk?"
"Yes," replied Mrs. Pigg. "Where are you going? Is Buddy going with you?"
"No, he has gone off to play ball again. I guess he thinks the fish hawk will catch up the ball once more and help him to make a home run. No, I'm not going with Buddy. I thought I'd go over and see Sister Sallie, I haven't called on her in some time."
"Very well," said Mrs. Pigg, and Dr. Pigg called to his little girl:
"Give my regards to Mr. Bushytail, and tell him that if he sees Uncle Wiggily Longears to mention that I have a new cure for rheumatism, that I will send him."
"I'll be sure to tell him," said Brighteyes Pigg. "Poor Uncle Wiggily, his rheumatism bothers him a great deal." Well, she went on through the woods to see Sister Sallie, who, I hope you remember, was the little sister that Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, the two boy squirrels, once found at the foot of the tree where their nest was.
Brighteyes found Sister Sallie just finishing helping Mrs. Bushytail do up the housework, and Sister Sallie was singing:
Hippity-hop to the barber-shop, To buy a lolly-pop lally. One for me, and one for thee And one for Sister Sallie.
"Can you come out and play?" asked Brighteyes.
"Indeed I can," replied the little squirrel. "Shall I bring my doll?"
"Yes, but I haven't any," answered the little guinea pig girl, as Sallie brought out the corncob doll, that her brothers and Grandma Lightfoot had made for her.
"Never mind, I'll help you make one," promised Sister Sallie, so the two little friends walked on through the woods.
"What will you make my doll of?" asked Brighteyes.
"I don't just know yet," said Sallie. "I will look around for something." So she looked first on one side of the woodland path, and then on the other, and Brighteyes did the same, but they couldn't seem to find anything out of which to make a doll.
Then, all at once, oh, I guess in about two wiggles and a wag, if Sallie didn't see a nice, long, smooth, yellow carrot.
"That will make a fine doll!" she cried. "We will use some cornsilk for hair, and some little stones for the eyes, nose and mouth, and for dresses——"
"Well, what will we make dresses from?" asked Brighteyes, for she noticed that Sister Sallie was at a loss what to say.
"Oh, I know—leaves," cried the little squirrel. "We will pretend that green is fashionable for ladies with a sort of carroty complexion," and she laughed, and so did Brighteyes, whose nose twinkled just like the diamond in mother's ring, or baby's eyes, when he is happy.
So the two little friends sat down on a grassy bank, in the shade of an oak tree, and they made the carrot doll. Oh, it was such fun!
First they stuck two little pebbles in for eyes, and they looked as real as anything; then they stuck a little larger stone in the carrot for a nose, and then Brighteyes found a nice, long stone, sort of curled up around the ends, and when that was put in the carrot, just beneath the nose, why it looked exactly as if that carrot doll was smiling as hard as she could smile; she was so happy, I s'pose.
"Now for some dresses!" exclaimed Sister Sallie, who had put her own corncob doll under some grass to sleep. So they got some beautiful green leaves from the tree, and fastened them together with grass and needles from the pine tree, and they made the nicest dresses you ever saw.
Let me see, there was one made in princess style, and one empire gown, and one that had a pull-back in the skirt, and one was a tub dress, whatever that is, and there was a crepe de chine and a basque and peau de soie effect and—and—er—well, I know you'll excuse me from mentioning any others, as I don't know very much about dresses; it took me quite a while to look those up, and I must get on with the story.
Well, when they had the dresses all made they tried them on the carrot doll, and they fitted perfectly, believe me, they did!
"Oh, isn't this lovely," cried Brighteyes. "Now let's play house," so they played house, and each one had a room, there on the grass, with sticks and stones for furniture, and they put the dollies to bed, and woke them up, and took them for a walk, and they made believe wash dishes and get meals, and, oh, I don't know what they didn't do.
But, all of a sudden, just as they were putting their dolls to sleep, they heard a sort of growling in the bushes, and a big, shaggy, yellow dog, with glaring eyes, jumped out at them! Oh, how frightened Brighteyes and Sister Sallie were!
"What are you doing on my nice, green grass?" growled the dog, real savage-like.
"If you please, Mr. Dog, we didn't know this was your grass," said Sister Sallie, timidly.
"Of course it is!" snapped the dog. "I go to sleep here on it every day. Anyway what do you mean by taking the leaves off my trees?" he growled again.
"If you please, kind sir," spoke Brighteyes, "we didn't know they were your trees."
"Certainly they are," replied the dog, snapping his eyes open and shut. "Those leaves keep the sun off me while I sleep. Now I'm going to eat you all up for taking my things!" and he jumped right at them.
But land sakes, flopsy dub! Before he could bite either Brighteyes or Sister Sallie, who should appear, but Percival, the good, old circus dog.
"Here, you let my friends alone!" he barked, and he jumped on that bad dog, and nipped both his ears well, let me tell you. Then the bad dog ran away, howling, and Percival took care of Sister Sallie and Brighteyes until it was time for them to go home. Now in the story after this one I'm going to tell you about Dr. Pigg and Uncle Wiggily—that is if my furnace fire doesn't go out in the street roller-skating with the coal man.
DR. PIGG AND UNCLE WIGGILY
Some one knocked on the door of the pen where Dr. Pigg and his wife and Buddy and Brighteyes lived one day. "Rat-a-tat-tat," went the rapping.
"My! I wonder who that can be?" exclaimed Mrs. Pigg. "Run and see, will you, Buddy, like a good boy?"
So Buddy hurried to the door, and whom should be see standing there but Uncle Wiggily Longears, the old gentleman rabbit; and Uncle Wiggily had rapped with his crutch, which had made the funny sound.
"Why, how d'do!" exclaimed Dr. Pigg as soon as he saw who it was. "Come right in Uncle Wiggily! This is an unexpected pleasure. Brighteyes, get a chair for Uncle Wiggily. Buddy, you take his crutch. Mrs. Pigg, haven't we some of that new cabbage preserved in maple sugar? Bring out a bit for our friend!"
My! you should have seen what a bustling about there was in the pen, and all because Uncle Wiggily had come and because every one was fond of him. Buddy started to take the old gentleman rabbit's crutch, but Uncle Wiggily cried:
"Oh, no! Don't! Not for worlds! Oh, my, no! and an ice cream cone besides! Oh, lobster salad, no!"
"Why, whatever is the matter?" exclaimed Dr. Pigg.
"Oh, my! Ouch! Oh, shingles!" cried Uncle Wiggily, as he stepped up over the doorsill. "Oh, dear me, and a baseball bat! It's my rheumatism, as usual. It's something awful, these days."
"Oh, I'm so sorry," cried Brighteyes Pigg.
"And so am I," added Buddy, and they all were, for that matter.
"Rheumatism, eh?" remarked Dr. Pigg, thoughtful-like.
"Yes," went on Uncle Wiggily, as he hobbled over to a chair. "In fact, I came to see you about it, Doctor," and the old rabbit rubbed his leg very, very softly.
"Ah! ha! Ahem!" exclaimed Dr. Pigg, as he puffed himself up, and looked as important as possible. "Of course, I remember now. I sent word to you that I had a new cure for rheumatism. I heard the doctors mention it in the hospital, and I thought I would try it on you."
"That's very kind of you," said Uncle Wiggily, "and you can't try it any too soon, for I am in great pain," and he made such a funny face, with his nose wiggling, and his ears waving back and forth, like fans on a hot night, and his eyes—one looking up and the other down—altogether it was so funny that Buddy and his sister wanted to laugh, only they didn't, for they knew it wouldn't be polite, and might hurt Uncle Wiggily's feelings.
"I will have some medicine for you in a jiffy!" exclaimed Dr. Pigg; a jiffy, you know, being almost as quick as half a wink.
So the guinea pig doctor got a bottle of red medicine, and one of blue, and one of pink, and another bottle of green medicine, and he got some red pills and some black pills and some white powder and some yellow powder and then he took some molasses and maple sugar, and stirred them all up together. Oh, it was a funny-looking mixture I can tell you, all colors of the rainbow, just as when Sammie fell into the pot of Easter dye.
"Now Mrs. Pigg, you stir that up well, and we'll give Uncle Wiggily some as soon as it is cool," said Dr. Pigg, for he had cooked the medicine on the stove.
"It doesn't look very nice," observed Uncle Wiggily sort of anxious-like.
"Rheumatism medicine never does," said Dr. Pigg.
"And it doesn't smell very nice," went on Uncle Wiggily.
"Rheumatism medicines never do," cheerfully said Dr. Pigg, "and, what is more, it doesn't taste very nice, either, Uncle Wiggily; but you must take it, if you are to get well."
"I suppose I must," remarked the old rabbit with a sigh, as Mrs. Pigg kept on stirring the mixture. Well, pretty soon it was cool enough to take.
"Now, Buddy, you bring a spoon," ordered Dr. Pigg, and when the little boy guinea pig brought one, his father poured into it some of the medicine.
"Brighteyes, you get a napkin so he won't spill any of it on his clothes," went on her papa, "and Mrs. Pigg you please be ready with a glass of water, for Uncle Wiggily will want a drink right after he takes this."
Well everything was all ready, and Buddy stood there to help, and so did Brighteyes.
"One, two, three! Take it!" suddenly cried Dr. Pigg, and he poured the teaspoonful of the many-colored mixture down Uncle Wiggily's throat. Brighteyes held the napkin so none of it would get on the rabbit's coat, and Mrs. Pigg was there with the glass of water, which Uncle Wiggily took very quickly.
Well, I wish you could have seen the face Uncle Wiggily made when he swallowed the rheumatism medicine! It was just like a clown in the circus, only funnier. But Brighteyes and Buddy didn't even giggle, which was very kind of them.
"Do you feel any better?" asked Dr. Pigg, after Uncle Wiggily had stopped making faces. "Is the pain gone?"
"No, I can't say that it is," answered the rabbit. "It seems to be worse than ever," and he rubbed his leg and tried to get up, but he couldn't leave the chair, even with his crutch, which Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had gnawed for him out of a cornstalk.
"Oh, that's too bad!" exclaimed Dr. Pigg. "I must try a new kind of medicine."
"No, don't!" cried the rabbit. "I had rather have the rheumatism."
"Suppose we try some horse radish leaves, like we did for my toothache?" proposed Buddy, and Mrs. Pigg said that would be good. So they got some leaves, and put them on Uncle Wiggily's leg, but they didn't do any good, neither did mustard, nor nettles, nor any of the other burning things that they tried.
"Oh, dear, I guess I'll have to stay in this chair forever!" cried Uncle Wiggily, as he tried to get up and couldn't. "Oh, dear me, and a piece of chewing gum! This is terrible!"
Well, every one was wondering how Uncle Wiggily was ever going to walk again, when all of a sudden, as Buddy looked from the window, he cried out:
"Oh, here comes the big, shaggy yellow dog that was going to eat up Brighteyes and Sister Sallie when they were playing with their dolls! He's coming right this way! Run everybody!"
"Wow!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "A dog! Goodness me!" and, land sakes, if he didn't jump up, seize his crutch and run home as fast as if he never had any rheumatism at all.
You see he was so frightened he forgot all about it for the time being, which was a good thing. But do you s'pose that dog dared to come in the pen and hurt the guinea pigs? No, sir, not a bit of it! The first he knew, Percival, the kind, old circus dog had him by the ear and the bad dog ran away and didn't hurt anybody.
Now, in the next story, if an auto horn doesn't scare me so that I lose my typewriter ribbon I'll tell you about Buddy Pigg being caught by a boy.
BUDDY PIGG IS CAUGHT
Buddy Pigg was sent to the store by his mother, one fine summer day, to get a pound of butter, a loaf of bread and three-and-a-half pounds of granulated sugar, and as that made quite a load to carry Buddy had a basket to put the things in.
"Now don't drop the loaf of bread in the water," said his mamma, "and don't let the butter melt and, above all, don't tear a hole in the bag of sugar, and have it spill out."
"I won't, mother," promised Buddy. "I'll be real careful." So he set out on his journey to the store, while Brighteyes, his sister, stayed home to make the beds and mend the stockings.
Well, Buddy got to the store all right, and bought the things for which his mother had sent him. Then the storekeeper wanted to know how Dr. Pigg and his family were, and he inquired about Uncle Wiggily's rheumatism, and Buddy told about the scare the old gentleman rabbit had had when the big, shaggy yellow dog appeared, and how the old gentleman rabbit ran, and how Percival bit the bad dog.
"That's very interesting," said the storekeeper, and he gave Buddy a whole carrot for himself.
Placing his basket of groceries carefully on his arm, Buddy Pigg started for home. He walked along through the woods, and over the fields, thinking how nice everything was, and what fun he would have when he got home, playing ball with Sammie Littletail, and the Bushytail brothers, when, all at once, what should he hear but a noise in the bushes.
Now Buddy Pigg was always a little afraid when he heard noises, especially in the woods, where he couldn't see what made them, so he crouched down under a burdock leaf in case there might be any danger. And, sure enough, there was.
It wasn't more than a second or, possibly a second and a squeak, before a great, big, bad boy stepped out from behind a tree. And he had a gun with him, and he was looking for birds, or rabbits, or squirrels, or, maybe, guinea pigs to shoot.
That's why I know he was a bad boy, but of course he may have turned out to be a good boy before he got to be so very old. Well, this boy looked up, and he looked down, and he looked first to one side, and then to the other, and then—flopsy-dub, and wiggily-waggily! if he didn't spy poor Buddy Pigg hiding under the burdock leaf, and trembling as hard as he could tremble.
"Ah, ha!" cried that boy, "I have you now, little guinea pig! I'll take you home with me, that's what I'll do! My, to think of catching a live guinea pig! I certainly am a lucky chap!"
Then, before Buddy could run away, which he couldn't have done anyhow, on account of the basket of groceries on his arm, if that boy didn't grab him up in his hands, and hold him tight!
Oh, how frightened poor Buddy was! He was so scared that he could only squeak very faintly, but he did manage to ask the boy to let him go, only the boy didn't understand guinea pig language, as I do, and, even if he had, I doubt very much if he would have let Buddy go, for he was a bad boy as I have explained.
Well, the boy didn't care any more about hunting rabbits or squirrels with his gun that day, as he had caught Buddy, so off he started to take the little guinea pig home with him, and, maybe, he intended to shut him up in a box, or put him in a cage, or do something dreadful like that.
But, listen, pretty soon—oh, I guess in about four jumps and a hop—something is going to happen to that boy. Watch carefully and you'll see it.
On through the woods he went, holding poor Buddy tightly in his hands, and, would you believe me, that boy never noticed that Buddy had a basket of groceries! You see, the basket, of course, was guinea pig size, and so was the loaf of bread and the butter and the sweet sugar. They were so small that the boy didn't notice them, but this was partly because Buddy hid the basket under his paws, for he didn't want anything to happen to the things for which his mother had sent him to the store, you know.
Well, as the boy kept going on through the woods, carrying Buddy farther and farther away from his home, the poor little guinea pig was more frightened than ever.
"Oh, how will I ever get away!" he thought, "I'll never see my mamma, nor Brighteyes, nor my papa, Dr. Pigg, any more! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!"
No sooner had Buddy said this than he heard a funny little noise in the trees above his head, and, looking up, he saw Billie Bushytail bounding along. There was the squirrel, and he saw right away what the trouble was. And he could talk to Buddy without the boy knowing it, you see; so Billie said:
"Hey, Buddy, take some of the bread, crumble it all up, and toss the crumbs up in the air."
"What for?" asked Buddy.
"Do it, and you'll see," answered Billie. "That will help you to escape."
Now Buddy didn't like to spoil the nice, new loaf of bread he had bought for his mamma, but he thought maybe it would do some good, and he didn't want to be carried away by that boy.
So he broke open the loaf, crumbled some of the white part in his paws, and tossed it high up in the air, so that it fell down in a shower, all around the boy's head, and listen, the boy hadn't noticed Buddy toss up the crumbs.
"My!" exclaimed the boy. "Why, I do declare, if it isn't snowing! Who ever heard of such a thing!" and he really thought the falling bread crumbs were snow flakes. So he turned up his coat collar to keep warm, and began to run, for he didn't want to get snowed under in the woods. But Buddy kept on tossing up the bread crumbs, until the loaf was all gone.
"What shall I do next?" the guinea pig called to Billie Bushytail, who was following along in the trees overhead.
"Open the bag of sugar and throw that up in the air the same way," directed the squirrel, and when Buddy did this the boy heard the sugar rattling down on the leaves and some of it got down his neck, and scratched him.
"Why, I do declare. It's hailing!" he cried. "Who ever heard of such a thing!" So he hurried on faster than ever.
Well, when the sugar was all tossed up, and the boy was running real fast, Billie Bushytail called to Buddy:
"Now throw the pound of butter down in front of the boy!" Which Buddy did as quick as a wink, and lossy-me and a pancake! if that boy didn't slip down in the slippery butter, and fall and hurt his nose, and he had to let go of Buddy Pigg.
"Now's your chance. Run, Buddy, run!" cried Billie, and my, how Buddy Pigg did run; and he got safely away from that bad boy, and was soon at home, where his mother forgave him for throwing away the groceries when she heard the story.
Dr. Pigg said Billie was very smart to think of such a thing, and I believe so myself. Now in case you don't burn yourself with a firecracker and lose your penny down a hole in the sidewalk, I'm going to tell you in the next story about Buddy and Brighteyes' Fourth of July.
BUDDY'S AND BRIGHTEYES' FOURTH OF JULY
One day, when Buddy and Brighteyes Pigg were playing out in front of their pen, Buddy suddenly exclaimed:
"Why, just think of it! Day after to-morrow is Fourth of July, Brighteyes. Won't we have lots of fun?"
"What will we do?" asked his sister.
"Oh, shoot off firecrackers and torpedoes, and make lots of noise, and at night we'll send up Roman candles and skyrockets; and oh! it will be better than a circus."
"Oh, you boys!" exclaimed Brighteyes. "You always want to make a racket and have excitement. It's horrid, I think."
"Oh, I s'pose you'll play with your dolls, or something like that," said Buddy, laughing at his sister, who was very serious.
"Yes, that's what I'm going to do," replied Brighteyes. "I'm going to play with Sister Sallie, and Alice and Lulu Wibblewobble, and Jennie Chipmunk, and we're going for a picnic in the woods."
"Look out that a big fox or a bad dog doesn't get you," said Buddy. "Well, I'm going off to find Sammie and Billie and Johnnie and Jimmie and Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, and Bully and Bawly Frog, and we'll have a fine time on the Fourth."
"Where are you going to get your firecrackers and things?" asked Brighteyes.
"You'll see," answered Buddy, as he ran off.
Well, Fourth of July came at last, just as it always does, and early in the morning Buddy Pigg awoke.
"Where are you going?" called his papa.
"Out to shoot off some firecrackers," answered Buddy.
"Be careful you don't get burned," cautioned his mother. "Oh dear! I don't like the Fourth of July. If you do get burned. Buddy, run right in and let papa attend to you."
"I can't get burned with the kind of firecrackers and torpedoes I'm going to use," answered the little boy guinea pig, and he laughed as he ran out.
Well, pretty soon, along came all his friends, Billie and Johnnie and Sammie, and all the rest. They were so excited that Bawly, the frog, didn't think to sing a song, or recite any poetry.
"What shall we do first?" asked Buddy.
"Let's play war," suggested Sammie. "We'll divide up into two armies, and have a battle. It will be great!"
So they divided into two sides, and Buddy was the general on one side, and Billie Bushytail on the other. Then the fight began—not real, you understand—but make-believe.
First the loud cannons shot off; and what do you suppose the cannons were? Why big stones, that the squirrels and rabbits and the other animal boys held and clapped together as loud as anything. You know stones can make a terrible racket when they are hit together real hard. Well, it sounded like regular cannon, and the birds in the wood got awfully scared.
"Now fire your guns!" cried General Buddy Pigg, and his soldiers took sticks, and snapped them in two pieces and broke them, until they sounded like real guns, or a lot of firecrackers going off.
Oh, it was fine, and the best of it was nobody could get hurt, or burned, either.
"Now shoot them with your torpedoes!" cried General Billie Bushytail, and all at once his side began firing off torpedoes at a great rate; until you would have thought the woods were on fire. And you would never guess what the torpedoes were, so I'll tell you. They were big, rose petals, blown up with air until they were like little pink and red balloons, and tied around with a string, just as you tie a paper bag around the neck, after you've blown it up, to burst it, and when those rose-torpedoes were cracked down on a flat stone—my! you should have heard the noise!
Well, lots of them were fired off, and then Buddy Pigg got some empty bags, and his soldiers blew them up, and they cracked 'em down, and they went off "Boom! Boom!" like great, big cannons. They blew dust up in the air, to pretend it was smoke, and there was the most terrible make-believe battle you ever heard of. But nobody was hurt, and they had lots of fun, and the best of it was that neither side won, which made everybody happy.
"Now we'll take a rest," said Buddy Pigg. "I wonder what Brighteyes and the others are doing?"
"Let's go see," proposed Billie Bushytail.
So they all marched off through the woods, just like real soldiers, and pretty soon they came to the place where Brighteyes and Sister Sallie and all the girls were having a picnic.
"You're just in time," called Brighteyes.
"Come and have some lunch, and some lemonade. You must be tired after all that fighting." Now wasn't she kind, even after Buddy had laughed at the idea of a picnic being better than a battle? Well, I just guess! Those soldiers were glad enough to eat the lunch, and drink the lemonade, I can tell you.
So the soldiers and the girls sat there in the woods under the trees and had a fine time—almost as good as at the make-believe battle, I think—and after a while, just as Buddy and his chums were getting ready to go back and shoot some more stick-firecrackers and roseleaf torpedoes, what should happen but that bad fox and that mean, old, yellow, shaggy dog ran right out of the woods.
"Let's eat everything up!" cried the fox, waving his big tail.
"Yes, and then we'll eat the squirrels and rabbits and guinea pigs all up!" cried the dog, gnashing his teeth and blinking his eyes as bold as bold could be.
At first even the soldiers were so frightened that they hardly knew what to do, and they were about to run away, when Buddy called out:
"Come on! Let's get our guns and our cannon and shoot them!"
Then he grabbed up some stick-firecrackers and began to break and snap them, and Sammie shot off some roseleaf torpedoes and Billie and Johnnie clapped stones together, and Jimmie and Bully and Bawly threw dust in the air until it looked like smoke, and there was a terrible racket, until—well, sir, if that dog and that fox weren't so frightened that they ran away and didn't even get so much as a crumb of cracker or a drop of lemonade; and it served them right, I think.
Then how thankful the girls were to the brave soldiers. Oh, everything turned out just right, I'm glad to say. That afternoon Buddy and his chums had more Fourth of July fun, and Brighteyes and her friends played with their dolls.
Then at night Buddy and the boys sent up skyrockets and Roman candles (which were sticks covered with lightning bugs), and prettier ones you never saw. And they even had a lightning-bug pinwheel. Oh, it was the nicest Fourth of July that ever was! I hope you children have as nice a one and that none of you get burned or hurt when you celebrate Independence Day. And, if none of you do, why, in the next story I'll tell you about Buddy Pigg trying to buy a tail for himself, because he didn't have any. That is, I will if the lollypop doesn't fall down stairs and break his stick.
BUDDY PIG WANTS A TAIL
The day after the Fourth of July, when he and his sister had had such fun, Buddy Pigg came into the pen, where his mamma was baking tea biscuits for supper, and sat down in a chair by the table where she was working.
He didn't say anything, but just watched his mamma rolling out the crust, or whatever it is they make tea biscuits of, and pretty soon Mrs. Pigg noticed that Buddy didn't seem very happy. His face was all twisted up into a funny sort of a scowl, and every once in a while he would give a long sigh, as though he hadn't a friend in all the world.
"Why, Buddy," Mrs. Pigg asked, when the tea biscuits were ready for the oven, "whatever in the wide, wide world is the matter? Are you sick, or did you burn yourself with a firecracker?"
"No, mother," Buddy answered, "I'm not sick and I didn't burn myself with a firecracker, but I wish—I wish—" and then he stopped, and sort of wiggled his nose.
"Well," asked his mother with a smile, "what do you wish? Remember, though, that I am not a fairy and can't give you anything you want."
"Oh," answered the little boy guinea pig, "this is very easy, mamma. All I want is a tail."
"A tail?" exclaimed his mamma in great surprise, and she wondered if, after all, Buddy wasn't ill, for that was a very strange request. And she began to wish that his papa was home, or that Brighteyes, who was Buddy's sister, was in the house, to help look after him, but Brighteyes had gone to see her aunt, and wouldn't be back till night.
"Yes," went on Buddy, "I want a tail. All the other boys and girls who are friends of mine have them, and I don't see why I can't."
For you see guinea pigs never have tails. Why that is I don't know, except, maybe, it's better that way in hot weather, but, anyhow, they have no tails.
"You don't need a tail," said Buddy's mamma.
"Yes, I do, mother dear," he answered. "Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow have tails, and so have Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, and the three Wibblewobbles, and—"
"But Bully and Bawly, the frogs, have no tail," said Mrs. Pigg, "and they are happy, Buddy."
"Well, they are in the water so much it doesn't show whether they have a tail or not," went on Buddy.
"And Sammie and Susie Littletail haven't much of a tail, Buddy," said Mrs. Pigg, as she looked in the oven to see if the biscuits were burning.
"I know it, mother, but they have something of a tail," spoke Buddy, "and maybe it will grow longer in time. I'd be glad if I had even as much as Sammie has."
"Well," said Mrs. Pigg, "I'm sorry, Buddy, but I don't see how you are ever going to get a tail. I haven't any, your father hasn't any, and we get along very well. None of your relations have tails and they are happy. They never had any. In fact there has never been a tail in our family and I don't see why you want to start. Now run out and play, like a good boy, and when Brighteyes comes back it will be supper time, and we'll have hot biscuits and honey."
But, though Buddy ran out, he was not happy. There was a frown on his face, and, as he walked through the woods, he kept thinking how nice it would be to have a tail.
Pretty soon, oh, I guess in about a whisper and a squeak, Buddy Pigg heard a rustling in the tree over his head. Then he saw two big, yellow eyes peering down at him from the darkness of the woods, and a voice called out:
"What's the matter, little boy? Why are you so sad?"
"Oh, I feel bad because I haven't a tail," answered Buddy, wondering who was speaking.
"What's the matter? Did some one cut your tail off?" the voice asked.
"No," replied Buddy, "I never had one; but I want one, awfully bad."
"Oh, don't worry about a little thing like that," went on the voice. "I can get a fine tail for you."
"Oh, can you?" cried Buddy, his face lighting up, "are you a fairy?"
"Well, not exactly," was the answer, "but you just run along after me, and I'll get a tail for you, in less than no time."
Then there was a rustling in the branches, and a great, big owl, with ears that looked like horns, flew out, and Buddy was frightened. But the owl said:
"Oh, don't be alarmed, little boy. Just follow me, and I'll see that you get a tail."
So the owl flew along through the dark, dismal woods, going slowly, and close to the ground so Buddy could follow, and pretty soon, the owl stopped in front of a hole in the side of a hill.
"There is where the tail is," said the owl. "Just wait and I'll have it out to you in a jiffy and a half," and bless me, if that owl didn't go in that hole. He stayed there some time, and Buddy could hear voices inside, talking, and land sakes, goodness me alive, and a cherry pie! out of that hole was thrust a great, big, bushy tail. A tail, and nothing else, believe me, if you please.
"Oh, what a fine tail!" cried Buddy in delight.
"Do you think so?" asked a voice. "Then just grab hold of it, hold tight, and it's yours!"
Well, Buddy didn't think there was any danger, so he grabbed hold of the tail, and held on tight, but oh, dear me! instead of pulling the tail out, he found himself being pulled in. Yes, sir, right into that hole, and land knows what would have happened if Buddy's sister, Brighteyes, hadn't come along just then on her way home from her aunt's house. She saw right away that the bushy tail was fast to something inside the hole.
"That's a fox's tail!" she cried, "and he's pulling you into his den! Let go, quickly! Let go, Buddy!"
So Buddy let go just in time, though the fox and the owl rushed out and tried to grab him, but they fell down, and couldn't get up in time, and he and his sister ran home. You see it was just a trick of that owl and fox, to get Buddy into the den, and eat him up, but they didn't, I'm glad to say. And after that Buddy never wanted a tail. Now if it doesn't rain in the dishpan and turn the umbrella inside out, I'll tell you in the next story about Buddy walking a tight rope.
BUDDY WALKS A TIGHT ROPE
One day after Buddy Pigg had been on a visit to Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the two puppy dogs, who were once in a circus, he came home all excited. He ran out in the yard, began pawing over in the woodpile, and soon he ran into the house, where Brighteyes, his sister, was washing the potatoes for dinner.
"Do you know where there is any wire, Brighteyes?" the little boy guinea pig asked.
"Wire? No, I haven't seen any around the house. What do you want of it? Are you going to wire a tail on to yourself?" and Buddy's sister smiled just the least bit.
"Please don't remind me of that," said Buddy, for he felt a little ashamed of the time he had tried to get a tail for himself and had been nearly dragged into a fox's den, as I told you in the story before this one. "No, Brighteyes, I'm not going to make a tail. I am going to do a circus trick, and you can see me if you want to," he said.
"Oh, Buddy! are you really?" she cried, and she was interested all of a sudden, you see, for she had never seen much of a circus.
"Yes, I'll do the trick, if I can find a bit of wire," went on Buddy. "Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow told me how to do it; and I'm sure I can. It's walking a tight rope, and it's very hard to do."
"Oh! then you want rope, not wire," went on Brighteyes, as she put the pan of potatoes on the table.
"Wire is what the circus performers use," insisted her brother, "but if you can't find any I suppose rope will do."
"I saw some up in the attic," said Brighteyes. "I'll get it for you. But, Buddy, isn't it dangerous? Do you s'pose mamma and papa would let you do it?"
"There's not much danger," answered Buddy. "I'll not put the rope up very high, and I'll put some pillows on the ground underneath, so that if I fall I won't get hurt much."
Well, Brighteyes found a long rope, and she helped Buddy tie it from one clothes post to the other, across the yard, so that it looked like a real tight rope in a circus.
"Oh, you can never get on that!" she cried to her brother, as she saw how high up it was.
"Yes, I can," he replied. "You just watch me. But first I must put some pillows underneath, in case I fall."
So he ran into the house and got a lot of feather pillows and put them on the ground under the rope, Brighteyes helping him.
Then Buddy got some old soap boxes, piled them one on top of the other, and, by climbing up on them, he was able to step to the rope.
"Oh, how thin and slender and shaky it is!" cried Brighteyes. "You never can walk across that, Buddy!"
"Yes, I think I can," he answered. "But I must get a pole to balance myself with," so he got off the boxes and ran to the woodpile, got a piece of an old broom handle, and ran back to the rope again. He stepped one foot out on it, to try it, and it seemed quite strong, though it wabbled a bit from side to side, like a duck's tail.
"Oh! are you really going to walk on it?" cried Brighteyes in delight.
"I really am," answered her brother.
"Then you ought to have an audience to applaud you and clap when you do it," she went on. "Wait, and I'll run and get Johnnie and Billie Bushytail and Sammie and Susie Littletail, and—"
"No, don't!" cried Buddy, quickly. "Better wait until I walk across a few times, first, so as to sort of practise. Then I'll do the trick before folks."
So he got up on the rope, standing up on his hind legs, and balancing the pole with his front paws and he steadied himself for a moment and then took a step. My! but that rope wiggled, though, from side to side, almost like a hammock, only, of course, not as safe as a hammock. But Buddy kept bravely on, and took another step—and land sakes laddy-da! if that rope didn't wiggle more than ever.
"Oh, take care! You'll fall!" cried Brighteyes, and she screamed.
"Oh, Brighteyes, don't do that, please!" begged Buddy. "You make me nervous, and then I can't walk the tight rope."
So Brighteyes, whose real name was Matilda, you know, kept real still and quiet, just like a little mouse when it wants a bit of cheese, and Buddy took another step out on the tight rope.
He held his balancing pole by the middle, and he went slowly and cautiously, and he was actually walking that slender rope!
But he kept looking down and wondering whether he would fall or not, and he got to thinking about the feather pillows, and wondering if they were thick enough and soft enough, so that he wouldn't get hurt if he should fall, when all at once, quicker than you can wheel the baby carriage down hill, when he was right in the middle, Buddy's foot slipped, and down he went, right a straddle across the tight rope, and the pole fell with a bang!
And Brighteyes screamed, for she couldn't help it, but Buddy didn't dare call out. No, all he could do was to cling there with his teeth and his paws to that swaying rope.
"Oh!" cried Brighteyes, "you're going to fall, Buddy!"
"I've fallen already," he panted. "But I'm going to land on the ground in a minute, for I can't hold on any longer!"
And he looked down, picking out a soft spot to fall on, but, oh, dear me, and a sour pickle! If the pole, when it fell down, hadn't knocked the pillows to one side, and there was only hard ground for Buddy to land on. Well, maybe he wasn't frightened, and Brighteyes was also frightened, too flabbergasted, you see, to go and fix the pillows in place again, and they didn't either of them know what in the world to do.
I don't know what might have happened, for Buddy couldn't hold on much longer, but, just as he was going to let go, along came Uncle Wiggily Longears. He saw what the trouble was at once, and up he rushed and with his crutch he piled the pillows in a soft heap right under Buddy, and then Buddy let go the tight rope and down he came, just like in a feather bed.
And he wasn't hurt the least mite, but he was very thankful to Uncle Wiggily, the old rabbit gentleman, and Buddy never tried to walk a tight rope, nor a loose one again.
Now, in case there is no salt in the ice cream to make the rag doll sneeze, I'll tell you in the following story about Brighteyes Pigg in a tin can.
BRIGHTEYES IN A TIN CAN
Of course, when Mamma Pigg came home the afternoon that Buddy tried to walk a tight rope (for she had been away visiting Mrs. Wibblewobble when it happened) she had to hear about it. Buddy and Brighteyes would have told her, anyhow, for they always did, but, as it was, Mrs. Pigg saw a scratch on Buddy's leg, where the rope had hurt him when he fell, and she wanted to know all about it. Then Buddy told her of the trick he had tried to perform.
"Little guinea pigs are safer on the ground," she said. "Leave such things to Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, or the Bow Wows, who were once in a circus. Now get washed for supper, for your papa will soon be here, and I think he'll fetch a quart of carrot ice cream, as it is so hot."
And sure enough, Dr. Pigg did, and the carrot ice cream was the best Brighteyes and Buddy had ever tasted, they thought.
Well, it was about two days after this that Brighteyes Pigg was sent to the store for her mother, to get a nutmeg, a yeast cake, and a bottle of blueing. Brighteyes started off, hurrying through the woods, where once the owl had tried to get Buddy into the den of the old fox, and soon the little guinea pig girl was at the grocery.
She got the things, and the storekeeper put them in a paper bag for her, and back she started.
It was so warm that, after Brighteyes had reached a cool place in the woods, near where a little brook ran over the stones, making a gurgling noise, very pleasant to hear, she sat down to rest. And she hadn't been sitting there more than about ten long breaths, when she saw, beside the stream, a tin can.
"Now I wonder what is in that can?" thought Brighteyes. "I'm going to see. Perhaps it's something good to eat, and I can take some home to Buddy," for she was very kind to her brother, you understand.
So she went up to the can, but wasn't she disappointed when she saw that it was empty! The open end was on the side that was turned away from her, and that's why at first she thought it was full. But she smelled of the opening, and oh, what a delicious perfume there was, sweet and sugary, and in a minute Brighteyes knew what it was.
"There has been molasses in that can!" she exclaimed. "Oh, if there's anything I dearly love it's molasses! I wonder if there is any left inside? Sometimes people don't quite empty the cans before they throw them away. I'm going to look."
So Brighteyes went closer, and, would you believe me? if she didn't see, away down in the lower edge of that can, as it rested on its side, a lot of nice molasses.
"Oh, I must have that!" cried Brighteyes, and, without thinking of what she was doing, she put her head and her forepaws inside that can. She found she could reach the molasses with her tongue, and she began to lick it up, wishing she had some way of taking part of it to Buddy.
She was so excited over it that she even had taken her things from the grocery store inside the can with her. There she was, with only part of her body and her hind legs sticking out, and she was eating the molasses as fast as she could.
It kept tasting better and better, but, after a while, Brighteyes thought she had enough, and she started to pull her head out of the can. But, oh dear me! She found she couldn't do it. The sharp edges of the tin caught in her fur, and there she was, stuck fast with the can over her head, and the nutmeg, the bottle of blueing and the yeast cake in there with her.
"Oh, dear me suz-dud!" she cried. "I'm fast!"
She tried to shake the can off, but it wouldn't shake. Then she tried to pull herself out, but the can was still on her head, and went everywhere she went, like Mary's little lamb. Then poor Brighteyes tried to stand up on her hind legs, and hit the can against a tree or a stone, thinking she could knock it off, but it wouldn't come off, and then she turned a somersault, thinking that would help, but, though she even stood on her head in the can, and wiggled her hind legs, it did no good.
"Oh, I'm caught fast!" cried the poor little creature, and she rolled around and around on the ground, thinking that would help some, but it didn't.
Then she heard some one coming along through the woods, and she called out: "Who's there? Please help me out of this can!"
"I'm Johnnie Bushytail," answered a voice. "Who are you?"
"I'm Brighteyes Pigg," she said. "Please help me."
But her voice sounded so queer and hollow, shut up as it was in the can, and the nutmeg rattled around so, like thunder, that Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel, was frightened, and ran away, without helping Brighteyes. Then she felt like crying, but, in a little while she heard some one else coming along through the woods, and she called: "Oh, please help me! Who is there?"
"I'm Sammie Littletail," was the answer. "Who are you?"
"I'm Brighteyes Pigg," she replied. "Help me, please!"
But her voice sounded so strange and hollow in the can, and just then the yeast cake came bouncing out, where there was a little space near Brighteyes' neck and the tinfoil was all shining so that Sammie thought some one was shooting square, silver bullets at him, and away he ran.
Then Brighteyes was going to give up in despair, and she thought she would never, never get out, and she wished she had never eaten the molasses, when, all of a sudden, she heard some one else coming along, and between her sobs she cried out:
"Oh, please, whoever you are, don't run away! Help me out of this can! Who are you?"
"I am Alice Wibblewobble, the duck," was the answer. "Who are you?"
"I am Brighteyes Pigg," said the little creature in the molasses can, and just then the bottle of blueing broke inside and the blue stuff ran out, trickling to one side.
"Oh, you must be the blue fairy!" cried Alice, and she took her strong bill and bent back the edges of the tin can so that Brighteyes could get out, which she soon did, and was not hurt in the least.
Of course Alice was surprised to see a guinea pig instead of a blue fairy, but she was glad she had saved Brighteyes, who had to go back to the store for another bottle of blueing. But the nutmeg and the yeast cake were all right.
Then Alice Wibblewobble poured the rest of the molasses out of the can into an empty acorn cup and Brighteyes took it home to Buddy, who liked it very much, and I almost wish I had some molasses candy; don't you?
Now, in the next story I'm going to tell you about Dr. Pigg and the firecracker; that is if the mosquitoes don't sing so loudly that they wake up the baby's rattle box.
DR. PIGG AND THE FIRECRACKER
Once upon a time it happened that, as Buddy Pigg was coming home from having played baseball with Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, and all his friends, he saw, lying beside the road, something long and round and red, with a little string dangling from it.
"Aha!" exclaimed Buddy Pigg; "there is a stick of red candy? Oh, fine! Oh, dandy! I'll take it home, and give Brighteyes some."
That was because she had managed to bring him home some of the molasses that was in the can, in which the little girl guinea pig got stuck fast. So Buddy picked up the long, round, red thing, with a string dangling from it, and took a big bite. That is, he tried to, but he found his teeth wouldn't go through it.
"Wow!" he cried. "That isn't a stick of candy at all."
And the funny part of it was that it wasn't a stick of candy. No, not in the least, I do assure you. What it was Buddy couldn't guess, though I suppose some of you children can.
Well, anyhow, he picked it up, and carried it in one paw, and his bat and catching glove in the other. And pretty soon whom should he meet hopping along but Bawly, the frog—Bully's brother, you know. And Bawly was singing away for dear life, this little song, which you will have to get some one to sing for you, as I am as hoarse as two crows and a cricket. Well, anyhow, this is the song:
"As I was hopping along one day, Hi diddle um diddle I! A grasshopper sat in a greenwood tree, Tum-tum-tum tiddle di! "Oh, where are you going?" the grasshopper asked. "Oh, not very far," I said. "May I go along?" asked the funny bug. And he stood right up on his head.
"Why yes," I told him, "come along," Tu ri lum diddle day. "The weather is certainly fine just now," Fum lum dum skiddle fay. But the grasshopper fell in a deep, dark bog, And I pulled him out on a sunken log, And then came along a bad, savage dog, And we both ran away."
"Oh, ho! So that's the way it was, eh?" asked Buddy, who had never heard that song before.
"That's exactly how it was, and not a bit different, I give you my word for it," said Bawly, the frog. "But what have you there, Buddy? Peppermint candy, as sure as I can sing! May I have a bit?"
"You could have it if it was candy," promised Buddy, real politely, "only it isn't," and he looked at the queer red thing from all sides, and he couldn't make out what it was, and neither could Bawly.
Well, I'll tell you what it was, so you can understand the story better. It was a firecracker. Yes, sir, a big, red firecracker that, somehow or other, hadn't gone off on Fourth of July when it ought to have done so.
I presume some boy had lighted it, tossed it into the bushes and it had gone out and stayed out until Buddy found it. At any rate, he didn't know what it was, and he took it home. Neither did Mr. Pigg know what it was, but Buddy's mother and sister thought it was quite a pretty ornament, and Mrs. Pigg put it on the parlor mantle, where company could see it.
Well, one day, not long after this, Dr. Pigg was home all alone, for his wife and the children had gone to a moving-picture show. He was dozing away in his easy chair, with a newspaper over his face to keep away the flies, when, all of a sudden, there came a knock on the door.
"My goodness alive! Who's there?" cried Dr. Pigg.
"It's me," answered a voice.
"And who, pray tell, may you be?" asked Dr. Pigg.
"I'm a bad tramp fox," was the answer, "and I want you to give me something to eat. Quick! I'm in a hurry!"
Now that wasn't a nice way to speak, and Dr. Pigg knew it, and, what is more, that bad fox knew it, too. But, do you s'pose he cared? Not a bit of it. He was as impolite as he could be, and he took pride in it.
"I want something to eat in a hurry," he went on, in a coarse, grumbly voice, and he was such a big fox, and Dr. Pigg was such a nice, gentle kind of a creature that he didn't dare refuse him.
"Very well," said Buddy's papa, "step into the parlor, Mr. Fox, and I'll see what I can do for you. There ought to be something in the pantry."
So he went to look in the pantry for a bone, or something like that, just as Mother Hubbard would have done, you know, and when the fox went in the parlor what do you suppose he saw? Why, that big, red firecracker on the mantle, of course. And when he saw it a wicked plan came into his head.
"I'll just light that," he thought to himself, "and it will blow this pen up, and Dr. Pigg with it. Then I can take anything I want. That's what I'll do. I'll blow the place up!"
Then he lighted the string of the firecracker, standing up on his hind legs to reach it, you see, and, as it was a long string, the fox knew it would burn some time before it would explode the firecracker. So the fox ran out into the kitchen, where Dr. Pigg was getting him something to eat, and he cried:
"Here, give me what you have ready, I can't wait."
"You must be in a hurry," replied Dr. Pigg, as he gave the fox some bread and meat and cold potatoes. And of course the fox was in a hurry, for he wanted to get out of the way before that firecracker went off and blew the house up.
Then the fox ran and hid in the bushes, waiting for the house and Dr. Pigg to be blown up, so he could go in and take whatever he wanted. The string on the firecracker burned slowly, but surely. And the fox knew it would be a perfectly tremendous explosion, for the firecracker was as big as a hundred lead pencils made into one.
But now watch and see what happens. After Dr. Pigg had put away the bread and meat, left over after giving the fox some, who should come along but Percival, the old, circus dog. He came to pay a friendly call on Dr. Pigg, but, no sooner had he reached the front door than he cried out:
"Oh, I smell something burning," and, sure enough it was the firecracker string sizzling away.
"Maybe the house is afire," said Dr. Pigg. "Let's look!" So he and Percival went all through the pen, and the first object they saw was the long, rod thing burning on the mantlepiece. And Percival knew at once what it was, for he was a smart dog, let me tell you.
"Oh!" he cried, "that is a cannon firecracker, and if it goes off it will blow the place to pieces, and me and you, too!"
"Then, for mercy sakes, don't let it go off!" cried Dr. Pigg, and that brave dog Percival jumped up, grabbed the cannon cracker in his mouth, dashed out of the house, and leaped into a pond of water with it, which put out the burning string, and wet the firecracker so it wouldn't explode.
And when the fox saw Percival, he sneaked away with his tail hanging down, I can tell you. So that's the story of Dr. Pigg and the firecracker, and when his family came home he told them of of his narrow escape.
Now, in case I hear a June bug buzz like an electric fan blowing soap bubbles, I'll tell you in the next story about Buddy Pigg in a boat.
BUDDY PIGG IN A BOAT
After Percival, the old circus dog, had been so kind to Dr. Pigg, in the matter of jumping into the pond with the big firecracker, which the bad fox had lighted, the old gentleman guinea pig said:
"I wish, Percival, you would spend a few days with us. I'm afraid that ugly tramp fox will come back."
"Of course I will," agreed the dog. "The Bow Wows are going down to Asbury Park for the summer, and I don't much care for the seashore, so I'll stay home and spend a few days with you. And in case that fox does come back—"
Well, Percival didn't say what he would do, but land sakes, flopsy dub! Oh me, and a potato pancake! You should have seen him show his teeth and growl.
Well, it was a few days after Percival had come to pay a little visit to the Pigg family that something happened to Buddy, and I'm going to tell you about it.
You see, it had been raining pretty hard for a week or more—yes, nearly two weeks, and it didn't seem as if it was ever going to stop. There had been thunder showers and lightning showers and hail showers and just plain rain showers, and they were all more or less wet; and when it did finally stop raining there was a lot of water all over.
One day, the first day, in fact, after it stopped raining, Buddy was taking a walk, and glad enough he was to be out of the pen. He strolled along, letting the warm sun and the gentle wind dry his black and white fur, and he was thinking of, oh! ever so many things, when, all at once, he came to a little pond; only this time it was a great big pond, because it had so much water in it. And on the shore of the pond was a boat that some boys had been playing with.
"Oh, fine!" cried Buddy Pigg. "I'll get in and make believe I'm a sailor, just as Billie and Johnnie Bushytail and Jennie Chipmunk did once. I've always wanted a ride in a boat, and now's my chance!"
So he climbed into the boat, and he made believe he was sailing away off to China, where they make firecrackers and fans, and then, when he was half-way there (make believe, you know), why, he turned around and sailed for India, where it's very hot; but all this while the boat was partly on the bank and partly in the water, and Buddy only rocked it from side to side, pretending it was moving.
Well, after he reached India, what did he do but find it so hot there that he turned around at once and sailed for the North Pole, so he could be nice and cool.
Then, all at once, as quickly as you can eat an ice cream cone on a hot day, if something didn't happen. Buddy looked up, after reaching the North Pole, and he found that the boat was adrift, floating off across the big pond, with the wind blowing it faster, and faster, and faster.
At first Buddy thought it was fun; then, as he saw that he was getting farther and farther from shore, he became frightened. He looked for something with which to send the boat back to land, but there was no sail in it, and no oars; and, if there had been, the little guinea pig boy couldn't have used them, I don't suppose. Well, there he was, really sailing off to some unknown country this time, in earnest, and not make believe.
Then he began to cry, and he called out as loudly as he could:
"Help! Help! Help!" and who should come running down to the shore but Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, the two puppy dogs. They hadn't gone to Asbury Park yet, you see, but they were going soon.
"What's the matter?" asked Peetie.
"The boat is taking me away off," answered Buddy.
"Jump out and swim to shore!" cried Peetie.
"I can't swim," called back Buddy.
"Oh, we'll show you how," went on Jackie, and then he and Peetie jumped into the water and began to show Buddy how to swim, but he was too frightened to learn, and, besides, the two puppy dogs were too far off for him to see them plainly. Then they swam out, and they tried to pull the boat back to shore, but they were not strong enough.
"Oh, I'll be drowned! I'll be drowned!" cried Buddy. "What shall I do? Tell my mamma good-by for me," he said to Jackie.
"We'll tell her you're in trouble, and maybe she will know of a way to save you," called Peetie and Jackie.
So they ran and told Mrs. Pigg, and she and Brighteyes came running down to the shore of the pond.
"Oh, my poor little boy," cried Mamma Pigg, when she saw Buddy being carried farther and farther away.
"Oh, how can we reach him?" wailed Brighteyes, wringing her paws. "We must save him, somehow!"
Just then along came Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrels.
"Stick up your tail like a sail and the wind will blow you ashore!" they cried to Buddy. "That's what we did."
"I haven't any tail," answered Buddy, real sorrowful-like.
"That's so," said the little squirrel boys, and it began to look pretty bad for poor Buddy, let me tell you.
"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" cried Mamma Pigg. "I'll never see my poor boy again," for he was quite far off by this time.
Then, all of a sudden, down to the edge of the pond, came rushing Percival, the old circus dog.
"I'll save Buddy!" he cried. "I'll carry a rope out to him, and he can fasten it to the boat, and then we can pull him ashore."
Well, Percival took a rope in his mouth and started to swim out, but a funny thing happened. The water got in his mouth and washed the rope away, and he couldn't carry it, though he tried a number of times.
Then everybody felt sorry, and Jackie Bow Wow was just suggesting that they build a raft and float out on it to Buddy, when who should come along but Jimmie Wibblewobble, the boy duck. They all told him what the trouble was, and he said, "Quack! Quack! Quack!" three times, just like that, and exclaimed: