BULLY AND BAWLY NO-TAIL (THE JUMPING FROGS)
BY HOWARD R. GARIS
Author of "Sammie and Susie Littletail," "Uncle Wiggily's Automobile," "Daddy Takes Us Camping," "The Smith Boys," "The Island Boys," etc.
ILLUSTRATED BY LOUIS WISA
A. L. BURT COMPANY PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK
THE FAMOUS 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.
Price 60 cents per volume, postpaid
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
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
Copyright, 1915, by R. F. FENNO & COMPANY
BULLY AND BAWLY NO-TAIL
The stories herein contained appeared originally in the Evening News, of Newark, N. J., where (so many children and their parents were kind enough to say) they gave pleasure to a number of little folks and grown-ups also. Permission to issue the stories in book form was kindly granted by the publisher and editor of the News, to whom the author extends his thanks.
STORY I BULLY AND BAWLY GO SWIMMING 9 STORY II BULLY MAKES A WATER WHEEL 15 STORY III BAWLY AND UNCLE WIGGILY 21 STORY IV BULLY'S AND BAWLY'S BIG JUMP 26 STORY V GRANDPA CROAKER DIGS A WELL 34 STORY VI PAPA NO-TAIL IN TROUBLE 40 STORY VII BULLY NO-TAIL PLAYS MARBLES 46 STORY VIII BAWLY AND THE SOLDIER HAT 52 STORY IX GRANDPA CROAKER AND THE UMBRELLA 58 STORY X BAWLY NO-TAIL AND JOLLIE LONGTAIL 65 STORY XI BULLY AND THE WATER BOTTLE 71 STORY XII BAWLY NO-TAIL GOES HUNTING 77 STORY XIII PAPA NO-TAIL AND THE GIANT 83 STORY XIV BAWLY AND THE CHURCH STEEPLE 90 STORY XV BULLY AND THE BASKET OF CHIPS 97 STORY XVI BAWLY AND HIS WHISTLES 104 STORY XVII GRANDPA CROAKER AND UNCLE WIGGILY 110 STORY XVIII MRS. NO-TAIL AND MRS. LONGTAIL 117 STORY XIX BAWLY AND ARABELLA CHICK. 123 STORY XX BAWLY AND ARABELLA CHICK. 128 STORY XXI GRANDPA AND BRIGHTEYES PIGG 135 STORY XXII PAPA NO-TAIL AND NANNIE GOAT 141 STORY XXIII MRS. NO-TAIL AND NELLIE CHIP-CHIP 148 STORY XXIV BULLY AND ALICE WIBBLEWOBBLE 154 STORY XXV BAWLY AND LULU WIBBLEWOBBLE 161 STORY XXVI BULLY NO-TAIL AND KITTIE KAT 168 STORY XXVII HOW BAWLY HELPED HIS TEACHER 174 STORY XXVIII BULLY AND SAMMIE LITTLETAIL 180 STORY XXIX BULLY AND BAWLY AT THE CIRCUS 186 STORY XXX BULLY AND BAWLY PLAY INDIAN 194 STORY XXXI THE FROGS' FAREWELL HOP 200
BULLY AND BAWLY NO-TAIL
BULLY AND BAWLY GO SWIMMING
Once upon a time, not so very many years ago, there were two little frog boys who lived in a little pond near a nice big farm. It wasn't very far from where Peetie and Jackie Bow-Wow, the puppy dogs, had their home, and the frogs' house was right next door to the pen where Lulu and Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble the ducks lived.
There was Bully No-Tail, and his brother Bawly No-Tail, and the reason Bawly had such a funny name was because when he was a little baby he used to cry a good bit. And once he cried so much that he made a lot more water in the pond than should have been there, and it ran over, just like when you put too much milk in your glass, and made the ground all wet.
The last name of the frogs was "No-Tail," because, being frogs, you see, they had no tails.
But now Bawly was larger, and he didn't cry so much, I'm glad to say. And with the frog boys lived their papa and mamma, and also a nice, big, green and yellow spotted frog who was named Grandpa Croaker. Oh, he was one of the nicest frogs I have ever known, and I have met quite a number.
One day when Bully and Bawly were hopping along on the ground, close to the edge of the pond, Bully suddenly said:
"Bawly, I think I can beat you in a swimming race."
"I don't believe you can," spoke Bawly, as he thoughtfully scratched his left front leg on a piece of hickory bark.
"Well, we'll try," said Bully. "We'll see who can first swim to the other side of the pond, and whoever does it will get a stick of peppermint candy."
"Where can we get the candy?" asked Bawly. "Have you got it? For if you have I wish you'd give me a bite before we jump in the water, Bully."
"No, I haven't it," replied his brother. "But I know Grandpa Croaker will give it to us after the race. Come on, let's jump in."
So the next minute into the pond jumped those two frog boys, and they didn't take off their shoes or their stockings, nor even their coats or waists, nor yet their neckties. For you see they wore the kind of clothes which water couldn't hurt, as they were made of rubber, like a raincoat. Their mamma had to make them that kind, because they went in the water so often.
Into the pond the frogs jumped, and they began swimming as fast as they could. First Bully was a little distance ahead, and then Bawly would kick out his front legs and his hind legs, and he would be in the lead.
"I'm going to win! I'll get the peppermint candy!" Bawly called to his brother, winking his two eyes right in the water, as easily as you can put your doll to sleep, or play a game of marbles.
"No. I'll beat!" declared Bully. "But if I get the candy I'll give you some."
So they swam on, faster and faster, making the water splash up all around them like a steamboat going to a picnic.
Well, the frogs were almost half way across the pond, when Lulu and Alice Wibblewobble, the duck girls, came out of their pen. They had just washed their faces and their yellow bills, and had put on their new hair ribbons, so they looked very nice, and proper.
"Oh, see Bully and Bawly having a swimming race!" exclaimed Lulu. "I think Bully will win!"
"I think Bawly will!" cried Alice. "See, he is ahead!"
"No, Bully is ahead now," called Lulu, and surely enough so Bully was, having made a sudden jump in the water.
And then, all of a sudden, before you could take all the seeds out of an apple or an orange, if you had one with seeds in, Bawly disappeared from sight down under the water. He vanished just as the milk goes out of baby's bottle when she drinks it all up.
"Oh, look!" cried Lulu. "Bawly is going to swim under water!"
"That's so he can win the race easier, I guess," spoke Alice.
"What's that?" asked Bully, wiggling his two eyes.
"Your brother has gone down under the water!" cried the two duck girls together.
"So he has!" exclaimed Bully, glancing around. And then, when he had looked down, he cried out: "Oh, a great big fish has hold of Bawly's toes, and he's going to eat him, I guess! I must save my brother!"
Bully didn't think anything more about the race after that. No, indeed, and some tomato ketchup, too! Down under water he dived, and he swam close up to the fish who was pulling poor Bawly away to his den in among a lot of stones.
"Oh, let my brother go, if you please!" called Bully to the fish.
"No, I'll not," was the answer, and then the big fish flopped his tail like a fan and made such a wave that poor Bully was upset, turning a somersault in the water. But that didn't scare him, and when he had turned over right side up again he swam to the fish once more and said:
"If you don't let my brother go I'll call a policeman!"
"No policeman can catch me!" declared the fish, boldly, and in a saucy manner.
"Oh, do something to save me!" cried poor Bawly, trying to pull his toes away from the fish's teeth, but he couldn't.
"I'll save you!" shouted Bully, and then he took a stick, and tried to put it in the fish's mouth to make him open his jaws and let loose of Bawly. But the stick broke, and the fish was swimming away faster than ever. Then Bully popped his head out of the water and cried to the two duck girls:
"Oh, run and tell Grandpa Croaker! Tell him to come and save Bawly!"
Well, Alice and Lulu wibbled and wobbled as fast as they could go to the frog house, and told Grandpa Croaker, and the old gentleman gave one great big leap, and landed in the water right down close to where the fish had Bawly by the toes.
"Boom! Boom! Croak-croak-croaker-croak!" cried Grandpa in his deepest bass voice. "You let Bawly go!" And, would you believe it, his voice sounded like a cannon, or a big gun, and that fish was so frightened, thinking he was going to be shot, that he opened his mouth and let Bawly go. The frog boy's toes were scratched a little by the teeth of the fish, but he could still swim, and he and his brother and Grandpa were soon safe on shore.
"Well, I guess we won't race any more to-day," said Bawly. "Thank you very much for saving me, Grandpa."
"Oh, that's all right," said Mr. Croaker kindly. "Here is a penny for each of you," and he gave Bully and Bawly and Lulu and Alice each a penny, and they bought peppermint candy, so Bully and Bawly had something good to eat, even if they didn't finish the race, and the bad fish had nothing. Now, in case I see a green rose in bloom on the pink lilac bush, I'll tell you next about Bully making a water wheel.
BULLY MAKES A WATER WHEEL
Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, was sitting out in the yard in front of his house, with his knife and a lot of sticks. He was whittling the sticks, and making almost as many chips and shavings as a carpenter, and as he whittled away he whistled a funny little tune, about a yellow monkey-doodle with a pink nose colored blue, who wore a slipper on one foot, because he had no shoe.
Pretty soon, along came Dickie Chip-Chip, the sparrow boy, and he perched on the fence in front of Bully, put his head on one side—not on one side of the fence, you know, but on one side of his own little feathered neck—and Dickie looked out of his bright little eyes at Bully, and inquired:
"What are you making?"
"I am making a water-wheel," answered the frog boy.
"What! making a wheel out of water?" asked the birdie in great surprise. "I never heard of such a thing."
"Oh, no indeed!" exclaimed Bully with a laugh. "I'm making a wheel out of wood, so that it will go 'round and 'round in the water, and make a nice splashing noise. You see it's something like the paddle-wheel of a steamboat, or a mill wheel, that I'm making."
"And where are you going to get the water to make it go 'round?" asked Dickie.
"Down by the pond," answered Bully. "I know a little place where the water falls down over the rocks, and I'm going to fasten a wooden wheel there, and it will whizz around very fast!"
"Does the water hurt itself when it falls down over the rocks?" asked Dickie Chip-Chip. "Once I fell down over a little stone, and I hurt myself quite badly."
"Oh, no, water can't hurt itself," spoke Bully, as he made a lot more shavings. "There, the wheel is almost done. Don't you want to see it go 'round, Dickie?"
The little sparrow boy said that he did, so he and the frog started off together for the pond. Dickie hopping along on the ground, and Bully flying through the air.
What's that? I'm wrong? Oh, yes, excuse me. I see where I made the mistake. Of course, Dickie flew through the air, and Bully hopped along on the ground. Now we're all straight.
Well, pretty soon they came to the pond and to the little place where the water fell over the rocks and didn't hurt itself, and there Bully fastened his water-wheel, which was nearly as large as he was, and quite heavy. He fixed it so that the water would drop on the wooden paddles that stuck out like the spokes of the baby carriage wheels, and in a short while it was going around as fast as an automobile, splashing the drops of water up in the sunlight, and making them look like the diamonds which pretty ladies wear on their fingers.
"That's a fine wheel!" cried Dickie. "I wonder if we could ride on it?"
"I guess we could," spoke Bully. "It's like a merry-go-round, only it's turned up the wrong way. I'll see if I can ride on it, and if it goes all right with me you can try it."
So Bully hopped on the moving water-wheel, and, surely enough, he had a fine ride, only, of course, he got all splashed up, but he didn't care.
"Do you mind getting your feathers wet?" he asked of Dickie as he hopped off, "because if you don't mind the wet, you can ride."
"Oh, I don't mind the wet a bit," said the sparrow boy. "In fact, I take a bath every morning and I wet my feathers then. So I'll ride on the wheel and get wet now."
Well, he got on, and around the wheel went, splashing in the water, and then Bully got on, and they both had a fine ride, just as if they were in a rainstorm with the sun shining all the while.
But listen. Something is going to happen, I think. Wait a minute—yes, it's going to happen right now. What's that animal sneaking along through the woods, closer and closer up to where Bully and Dickie are playing? What is it, eh? A cat! I knew it. A bad cat, too! I could just feel that something was going to happen.
You see that cat was hungry, and she hoped to catch the sparrow and the frog boy and eat them. Up she sneaked, walking as softly as a baby can creep, and just then Dickie and Bully got off the wheel, and sat down on the bank to eat a cookie, which Bully found in his water-proof pocket.
"Now's my chance!" thought the cat. "I'll grab 'em both, and eat 'em!" So she made a spring, but she didn't jump quite far enough and she missed both Bully and Dickie. Dickie flew up into a tree, and so he was safe, but Bully couldn't fly, though he hopped away.
After him jumped the cat, and she cried:
"I'll get you yet!"
Bully hopped some more, but the cat raced toward him, and nearly had the froggie. Then began quite a chase. The cat was very quick, and she kept after Bully so closely that she was making him very tired. Pretty soon his jumps weren't as long as they had been at first. And the cat was keeping him away from the pond, too, for she knew if he jumped into that he would get away, for cats don't like water, or rain.
But finally Bully managed to head himself back toward the pond, and the cat was still after him. Oh, how savage she looked with her sharp teeth, and her glaring eyes! Poor Bully was much frightened.
All of a sudden, as he hopped nearer and nearer to the pond, he thought of a trick to play on that cat. He pretended that he could hardly hop any more, and only took little steps. Nearer and nearer sneaked the cat, lashing her tail. At last she thought she could give one big spring, and land on Bully with her sharp claws.
She did spring, but Dickie, up in the tree, saw her do it, and he called to his friend Bully to look out. Then Bully gave a great big hop and landed on the water-wheel, and the cat was so surprised that she jumped, too, and before she knew it she had leaped on the wheel also. Around and around it went, with Bully and the cat on it, and water splashed all over, and the cat was so wet and miserable that she forgot all about eating Bully. But Bully only liked the water, and didn't mind it a bit.
Then the frog boy hopped off the wheel to the shore and hurried away, with Dickie flying overhead, and the cat, who was now as wet as a sponge, and very dizzy from the wheel going around so fast, managed to jump ashore a little while afterward. But her fur was so wet and plastered down that she couldn't chase after Bully any more, and he got safely home; and the cat had to stay in the sun all day to dry out. But it served her right, I think.
Now in case the little boy next door doesn't take our baby carriage and make an automobile of it, I'll tell you next about Bawly and Uncle Wiggily.
BAWLY AND UNCLE WIGGILY
Bawly No-Tail, the frog boy, was hopping along through the woods one fine day, whistling a merry tune, and wondering if he would meet any of his friends, with whom he might have a game of ball. He had a baseball with him, and he was very fond of playing. I just wish you could have seen him stand up on his hind legs and catch balls in his mouth. It was as good as going to the best kind of a moving picture show. Perhaps some day you may see Bawly.
Well, as I said, he was hopping along, tossing the ball up into the air and catching it, sometimes in his paw and sometimes in his mouth, when, all of a sudden he heard a funny pounding noise, that seemed to be in the bushes.
"Gracious, I wonder what that can be!" exclaimed Bawly, looking around for a good place to hide.
He was just going to crawl under a hollow stump, for he thought perhaps the noise might be made by a bad wolf, or a savage fox, sharpening his teeth on a hard log, when Bawly heard some one say:
"There, I've dropped my hammer! Oh, dear! Now I'll have to climb all the way down and get it, I s'pose."
"Well, that doesn't sound like a wolf or a fox," thought Bawly. "I guess it's safe to go on."
So he didn't hide under the stump, but hopped along, and in a little while he came to a place in the woods where there were no trees, and, bless you! if there wasn't the cutest little house you've ever seen! It wasn't quite finished, and, in fact, up on the roof was Uncle Wiggily Longears, the old gentleman rabbit, putting on the shingles to keep out the rain if it came.
"Oh, hello, Uncle Wiggily!" called Bawly, joyfully.
"Hello," answered the rabbit carpenter. "You are just in time, Bawly. Would you mind handing me my hammer? It slipped and fell to the ground."
"Of course I'll throw it up to you," said Bawly, kindly. "But you had better get behind the chimney, Uncle Wiggily, for I might hit you with the hammer, though, of course, I wouldn't mean to. You see I am a very good thrower from having played ball so much."
"I see," answered Uncle Wiggily. "Well, I'll get behind the chimney."
So Bawly picked up the hammer and he threw it carefully toward the roof, but, would you believe me, he threw it so hard that it went right over the house, chimney and all, and fell down on the other side.
"My! You are too strong!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily laughing so that his fur shook. "Try again, Bully, if you please."
"Oh, I'm Bawly, not Bully," said the frog boy.
"Excuse me, that was my mistake," spoke the old gentleman rabbit. "I'll get it right next time, Peetie—I mean Bawly."
Well, Bawly threw the hammer again, and this time it landed right on the roof close to the chimney, and Uncle Wiggily picked it up and began nailing on more shingles.
"If you please," asked Bawly, when he had watched the rabbit carpenter put in about forty-'leven nails, "who is this house for?"
"It is for Sammie and Susie Littletail," answered Uncle Wiggily. "They are going to have rabbit play-parties in it, and I hope you and Bully will come sometimes."
"We'll be glad to," spoke Bawly. Then Uncle Wiggily drove in another nail, and the house was almost done.
"How do you get up and down off the roof?" asked Bawly, who didn't see any ladder.
"Oh, I slide up and down a rope," answered Uncle Wiggily. "I have a strong cord fastened to the chimney, and I crawl up it, just like a monkey-doodle, and when I want to come down, I slide down. It's better than a ladder, and I can climb a rope very well, for I used to be a sailor on a ship. See, here is the rope."
Well, he took hold of it, near where it was fastened to the chimney, to show the frog boy how it was done, but, alas, and also alack-a-day! All of a sudden that rope became untied, it slipped out of Uncle Wiggily's paw and fell to the ground! Now, what do you think about that?
"Oh, my! Now I have gone and done it!" exclaimed the elderly rabbit, as he leaned over the edge of the roof and looked down. "Now I am in a pickle!—if you will kindly excuse the expression. How am I ever going to get down? Oh, dear me, suz dud and a piece of sticking-plaster likewise. Oh, me! Oh, my!"
"Can't you jump, Uncle Wiggily?" asked Bawly.
"Oh, my, no! I might be killed. It's too far! I could never jump off the roof of a house."
"Perhaps you can climb down from one window shutter to the other, and so get to the ground," suggested Bawly.
"No," said Uncle Wiggily, looking over the edge of the house again. "There are no window shutters on as yet. So I can't climb on 'em."
Well, it did seem as if poor Uncle Wiggily would have to stay up there on the roof for a long, long time, for there was no way of getting down.
"If there was a load of hay here, you could jump on that, and you wouldn't be hurt," said Bawly, scratching his nose.
"But there is no hay here," said the rabbit carpenter, sadly.
"Well, if there was a fireman here with a long ladder, then you could get down," said Bawly, wiggling his toes.
"But there is no fireman here," objected Uncle Wiggily. "Ah, I have it, Bawly! You are a good jumper, perhaps you can jump up here to the roof with the rope and I can fasten it to the chimney again and slide down as I did before."
"I'll try," said Bawly, and he did; but bless you! He couldn't jump as high as the house, no matter how many times he tried it. And the dinner bell rang and Uncle Wiggily was very hungry and very anxious to get off the roof and eat something.
"Oh, I know how to do it!" cried Bawly at length, when he had jumped forty-sixteen times. "I'll tie a string to my baseball, and I'll throw the ball up to you. Then you catch it, untie the string, which I'll keep hold of on this end, and I'll tie the rope to the cord. Then you can haul up the rope, fasten it to the chimney, and slide down."
"Good!" cried Uncle Wiggily, clapping his front paws together in delight.
Well, if you'll believe me, Bawly did tie the string to his baseball and with one big throw he threw it right up to Uncle Wiggily, who caught it just as if he were on first base in a game. And then with the little cord, which reached down to the ground, he pulled up the big rope, knotted it around the chimney, and down he slid, just in time for dinner, and he took Bawly home with him and gave him a penny.
Now if it should happen that I don't lose my watch down the inkwell so I can see when it's time for my pussy cat to have his warm soup, I'll tell you in the story after this about Bully's and Bawly's big jump.
BULLY'S AND BAWLY'S BIG JUMP
One day Mrs. No-Tail, the frog lady, looked in the pantry to see what there was to eat for dinner and there wasn't a single thing. No, just like Mother Hubbard's cupboard, the pantry was bare, though there was a bone in it that was being saved for some time when Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, the puppie-dog boys, might come on a visit.
"Oh, some one will have to go to the store to get something for supper," said Mrs. No-Tail. "Do you feel able to go, Grandpa Croaker?"
"Well, I could go," said the old frog gentleman, in his deepest bass voice, which sounded like the rumble of thunder over the hills and far away, "but I promised I would go over and play a game of checkers with Uncle Wiggily Longears. He has just finished the playhouse for Sammie and Susie, and he wants to show me that. So I don't see how I can go to the store very well."
"If Bully and Bawly were here they'd go," said their mamma. "I wish they'd come. Oh, here they are now," she went on, as she looked out of the window and saw the two frog boys coming home from school. "Hurry!" she called to them. "I want you to go to the store."
"All right," they both answered, and they were so polite about it that Mrs. No-Tail gave them each a penny, though, of course, they would have gone without that, for they always liked to help their mamma.
"I want some sugar, and molasses, and bread, and butter, and some corn meal, and bacon and watercress salad," said the mother frog, and Bully and Bawly each took a basket in which to carry the things. Then they hopped on toward the store.
"I'm going to buy marbles with my penny," said Bully.
"And I'm going to buy a whistle with mine," said Bawly.
Well, they got to the grocery, all right, and the cow lady who kept it gave them the things their mamma wanted. Then they went to the toy store and Bully got his marbles, and Bawly his whistle, which made a very loud noise.
Now I'm very sorry to be obliged to tell it, but something is going to happen to Bully and Bawly very soon. In fact, I think it is going to take place at once. Just excuse me a moment, will you, until I look out of the window and see if the alligator is coming. Yes, there he is. He just got off the trolley car. The conductor put him off because he had the wrong transfer.
So, all at once, as Bully and Bawly were hopping along through the woods, this alligator that I was telling you about jumped out at them from under a prickly briar bush. Right at them he jumped, and he was a very savage alligator, for he had gotten loose out of the circus, where he belonged, and he had been tramping around without anything to eat for a long time, so he was very hungry.
"Now, I see where I'm going to have a nice dinner," the alligator said to himself, as he jumped out at Bully and Bawly.
But those two frog boys were smart little fellows, and they were always looking around for danger. So, as soon as the alligator made a jump at them, they also leaped to one side, and the unpleasant creature didn't get them.
"Oh, you just wait! I'll have you in a minute!" the alligator cried, and he opened his mouth so wide that it went all the way back to his ears, and the top of his head nearly flew off.
"We haven't time to wait," said Bully with a laugh, as he hopped on with his basket of groceries.
"No, we must get back home in time for supper," spoke Bawly. "So we'll have to leave you," and on he hipped and skipped and hopped with his basket.
Those frog boys didn't really think that that alligator could reach them, for he was so big and clumsy-looking that it didn't seem as if he could run very fast. But he could, and the first thing Bully and Bawly knew, that most unprepossessing creature, with a smile that went away around to his ears, was close behind them and gnashing his teeth at them.
"Oh, hop, Bully, hop!" cried Bawly in great fright.
"Sure, I'll hop!" answered his brother. "You hop, too!"
Well, they both hopped as fast as they could, but on account of the baskets of groceries which they had they couldn't hop as fast as usual. The alligator saw this, and after them he crawled, and several times he nearly had them by their tails. Oh, no, excuse me, if you please, frogs don't have tails. I was thinking of tadpoles.
"Oh, just wait until I catch you!" cried the alligator, snapping his teeth together.
But Bully and Bawly didn't wait. On they hopped, as fast as they could, hoping to get away. And would you ever believe that an alligator could be so mean as this one was? For he chased Bully and Bawly right up a steep hill. You know it's hard to walk up hill, and harder still to hop, so Bully and Bawly were soon tired. But do you s'pose that alligator cared? Not a bit of it!
Right after them he kept crawling, faster and faster.
Bully and Bawly hopped as swiftly as they could, but the alligator kept getting nearer and nearer to them, for he was big and strong, and didn't mind the hill. They could hear his savage jaws gnashing together, and they trembled so that Bully almost spilled the molasses out of his basket and Bawly nearly dropped the granulated sugar.
Well, finally the two frog boys were at the top of the hill, and they were very thankful, thinking that they could now get away from the alligator, when they suddenly saw that the hill came to an end, and fell over the edge of a great precipice just like the Niagara waterfall, only there wasn't any water there, of course.
"Oh, we can't go any farther," cried Bully, coming to a stop.
"No," said his brother, "we can't jump down that awful gully. But look, Bully, there is another hill over there," and he pointed across the big, open space. "If we could jump across from this hill to that hill, the alligator couldn't get us."
"Oh, but it's a terrible big jump," said Bully, and indeed it was; about as wide as a big river. "But we've got to do it!" cried Bully, "for here comes the terrible beast!"
The alligator was almost upon them. He opened his mouth to grab them with his teeth, when Bully, spreading out his legs, and taking a firm hold of his grocery basket, gave a great, big jump. Through the air he sailed, over the deep valley, and he landed safely on the other hill. Then Bawly did the same, and with one most tremendous, extemporaneous and extraordinary jump, he landed close beside his brother, and the alligator couldn't get either of them because he couldn't jump across the chasm.
Oh, but he was an angry alligator though! He gnashed his teeth and wiggled his tail and even cried big round tears. Nearly all alligators cry little square tears, but even round ones didn't do a bit of good. Then Bully threw a marble at the savage creature, and hit him on the nose, and Bawly blew his whistle so loud, that the alligator thought a policeman, or postman, was coming, and he turned around and ran away, and the frog boys went on safely home with their baskets of groceries and had a good supper.
Now in case that alligator doesn't chase after me, and chew up my typewriter to make mincemeat of it for the wax doll, I'll tell you in the next story about Grandpa Croaker digging a well.
GRANDPA CROAKER DIGS A WELL
It happened, once upon a time when Mrs. No-Tail, the frog lady, went to the pump to get some water for supper, that a little fish jumped out of the pump spout and nearly bit her on the nose.
"Ha! That is very odd," she said. "There must be fish in our well, and in that case I think we had better have a new one."
So that night, when Mr. No-Tail came home from the wallpaper factory, where he stepped into ink and then hopped all over white paper to make funny patterns on it—that night, I say, Mrs. No-Tail said to her husband:
"I think we will have to get a new well." Then she told him about the fish from the pump nearly biting her, and Mr. No-Tail remarked:
"Yes, I think we had better have a new place to get our water, for the fish in the old well may drink it all up."
"Well, well!" exclaimed Grandpa Croaker in such a deep bass voice that he made the dishpan on the gas stove rattle as loudly as if Bully or Bawly were drumming on it with a wishbone from the Thanksgiving turkey. "Let me dig the well," went on the old gentleman frog. "I just love to shovel the dirt, and I can dig a well so deep that no fish will ever get into it."
"Very well," said Mr. No-Tail. "You may start in the morning, and Bully and Bawly can help you, as it will be Saturday and there is no school."
Well, the next morning Grandpa Croaker started in. He marked a nice round circle on the ground in the back yard, because he wanted a round well, and not a square one, you see; and then he began to dig. At first there was nothing for Bully and Bawly to do, as when he was near the top of the well their Grandpa could easily throw the dirt out himself. But when he had dug down quite a distance it was harder work, to toss up the dirt, so Grandpa Croaker told the boys to get a rope, and a hook and some pails.
The hook was fastened to one end of the rope, and then a pail was put on the hook. Then the pail was lowered into the well, down to where Grandpa Croaker was working. He filled the pail with dirt, and Bully and Bawly hauled it up and emptied it.
"Oh, this is lots of fun!" exclaimed Bully, as he and his brother pulled on the rope. "It's as much fun as playing baseball."
"I think so, too," agreed Bawly. Then Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, came along, and so did Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, the puppy dogs. They wanted to help pull up the dirt, so Bully and Bawly let them after Sammie had given the frog brothers a nice marble, and Peetie and Jackie each a stick of chewing gum.
Grandpa Croaker kept on digging the well, and the frog boys and their friends pulled up the dirt, and pretty soon the hole in the ground was so deep and dark that, by looking up straight, from down at the bottom of it, the old gentleman frog could see the stars, and part of the moon, in the sky, even if it was daylight.
Then he dug some more, and, all of a sudden, his shovel went down into some water, and then Grandpa Croaker knew that the well was almost finished. He dug out a little more earth, in came more water, wetting his feet, and then the frog well-digger cried:
"I've struck water! I've struck water!"
"Hurrah!" shouted Bawly.
"Hurray! Hurray!" exclaimed Bully, and they were so happy that they danced up and down. Then Sammie Little-Tail and Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow grew so excited and delighted that they ran off to tell all their friends about Grandpa Croaker digging a well. That left Bully and Bawly all alone up at the edge of the big hole in the ground, at the bottom of which was their grandpa.
"Let's have another little dance!" suggested Bully.
"No," replied Bawly, "let's jump down the well and have a drink of the new water that hasn't any fishes in it."
So, without thinking what they were doing, down they leaped into the well, almost failing on Grandpa Croaker's bald head, and carrying down with them the rope, by which they had been pulling up the pails of dirt. Into the water they popped, and each one took a big drink.
"Well, now you've done it!" cried Grandpa Croaker, as he leaned on his shovel and looked at his two grandsons.
"Why, what is the matter?" asked Bully, splashing some water on Bawly's nose.
"Yes. All we did was to jump down here," added Bawly. "What's wrong?"
"Why that leaves no one above on the ground to help me get up," said the old gentleman frog. "I was depending on you to haul me up by the rope, and here you jump down, and pull the rope with you. It's as bad as when Uncle Wiggily was on the roof, only he was up and couldn't get down, and we're down and can't get up."
"Oh, I think I can jump to the top of the well and take the rope with me. If I can't take this rope I'll get another and pull you both up," said Bully. So he hopped and he hopped, but he couldn't hop to the top of the well. Every time he tried it, he fell back into the water, ker-slash!
"Let me try," said his brother. But it was just the same with Bawly. Back he sploshed-splashed into the well-water, getting all wet.
"Now we'll never get out of here," said Grandpa Croaker sadly. "I wish you boys would think a little more, and not do things so quickly."
"We will—next time," promised Bawly as he gave another big jump, but he came nowhere near the top of the well.
Then it began to look as if they would have to stay down there forever, for no one came to pull them out.
"Let's call for help," suggested Bully. So he and Bawly called as loud as they could, and so did Grandpa Croaker. But the well was so deep, and their voices sounded so loud and rumbling, coming out of the hole in the ground, that every one thought it was thunder. And the animal people feared it would rain, so they all ran home, and no one thought of grandpa and the two frog boys in the deep well.
But at last along came Alice Wibblewobble, and, being a duck, she didn't mind a thunder storm. So she didn't run away, and she heard Grandpa Croaker and Bully and Bawly calling for help at the bottom of the well. She asked what was the trouble, and Bully told her what had happened.
"Oh, you silly boys, to jump down a well!" exclaimed Alice. "But never fear, I'll help you up." So they never feared, and Alice got a rope and lowered it down to them, and then, with the help of her brother Jimmie and her sister Lulu, she pulled all three frogs up from the well, and they lived happy for ever after, and drank the water that had no fishes in it.
Now if the faucet in the kitchen sink doesn't turn upside down, and squirt the water on the ceiling and into the cat's eye, I'll tell you next about Papa No-Tail in trouble.
Papa No-tail, the frog gentleman, was working away in the wallpaper factory one day, when something quite strange happened to him, and if you all sit right nice and quiet, as my dear old grandmother used to say, I'll tell you all about it, from the beginning to the end, and I'll even tell you the middle part, which some people leave out, when they tell stories.
Papa No-Tail would dip his four feet, which were something like hands, in the different colored inks at the factory. There was red ink, and blue ink, and white ink, and black ink, and sky-purple-green ink, and also that newest shade, skilligimink color, which Sammie Littletail once dyed his Easter eggs. After he had his feet nicely covered with the ink, Papa No-Tail would hop all over pieces of white paper to make funny patterns on them. Then they would be ready to paper a room, and make it look pretty.
"I think that is very well done," said the old gentleman frog to himself as he looked at one roll of paper on which he had made a picture of a mouse chasing a big lion. "Now I think I will make a pattern of a doggie standing on his left ear." And he did so, and very fine it was, too.
"Now, while I'm waiting for the ink to dry," said Mr. No-Tail, "I'll lie down and take a nap." So he went fast, fast asleep on a long piece of the wall paper that was stretched out on the floor, and this was the beginning of his trouble.
For, all at once, a puff of wind—not a cream puff, you understand, but a wind puff—came in the window, and rolled up the wallpaper in a tight little roll, and the worst of it was that Papa No-Tail was asleep inside. Yes, fast, fast asleep, and he never knew that he was wrapped up, just like a stick of chewing gum; only you mustn't ever chew gum in school, you know.
Well, time went on, and the clock ticked, and Papa No-Tail still slept. Then a man looked in the window of the wallpaper factory and, seeing no one there, he thought he would take a roll of paper home with him, to paste on his little boy's bedroom.
"The next time I come past here, perhaps some one will be in the office," the man said, "and then I can pay them for the paper," for he wanted to be very honest, you see. "I'll get Uncle Butter, the goat, to paste the paper on the wall for me," said the man. Then he reached inside the room, and what do you think? Why he picked up the very piece of wallpaper that was wrapped around Papa Chip-Chip—Oh, no, excuse me! I mean Papa No-Tail. Yes, the man picked up that roll, with Bully's and Bawly's papa inside, and away he went with it, and the old gentleman frog was still sound asleep.
Now this is about the middle of his trouble, just as I said I'd tell you, but we haven't gotten to the end yet, though we will in a little while.
Home that man went, as fast as he could go, and on his way he stopped at Uncle Butter's office.
"I have a little wallpapering I want done at my house," the man said to the old gentleman goat, "and I wish you'd come right along with me and do it. I have the paper here."
"To be sure I will," said Uncle Butter. So he got his pail of paste, and gave Billie and Nannie Goat a little bit on some brown paper, just like jam, and they liked it very much. The goat paper-hanger took his shears, and his brushes, and his stepladders, tying them on his horns, and away he went with the man.
Pretty soon they came to the house where the man lived, and his little boy was there, and very delighted he was when he heard that he was to have some new paper on his room.
"May I watch you put it on?" he asked Uncle Butter.
"Yes," answered the old gentleman goat, "if you don't step in the paste, and spoil the carpet."
The little boy promised that he wouldn't, and Uncle Butter went to work. First he got his sticky stuff all ready, and then he made a little table on which to lay out and paste the paper.
"Now, we'll cut the roll into strips and fasten it on the wall good and tight, so that it won't fall off in the middle of the night and scare you," said Uncle Butter. Then he reached for the roll of paper, and, mind you, Papa No-Tail was still asleep inside of it. But all at once, just as the paper-hanger goat was about to pick up the roll, Mr. No-Tail awakened and was quite surprised to discover where he was.
"My, I never would have believed it," he said, and he wiggled his legs and arms and made a great rustling sound inside the roll of paper like a fly in a sugar bag.
"Hello! What's that?" cried Uncle Butter, jumping back so quickly that he upset his paste-pot.
"What's the matter?" asked the little boy in glad surprise.
"Why, there's something inside that paper!" cried the goat. "See, it's moving! There must be a fairy inside!"
Surely enough, the paper was rolling and twisting around on the floor in a most remarkable manner, for Papa No-Tail inside was wriggling and twisting, and trying his best to get out. But the paper was wound around him too tightly, and he couldn't get loose.
"Oh, do you think it's a fairy?" asked the little boy eagerly, for he loved the dear creatures, and wanted to see one.
"Let me out! Oh, please let me out!" suddenly cried Papa No-Tail just then.
"Of course it's a fairy, my boy!" exclaimed Uncle Butter. "Didn't you hear it call? Oh, I'm going right away from here! I've pasted all kinds of paper, but never before have I handled fairy paper, and I'm afraid to begin now."
He started to run out of the room but his foot slipped in the paste, and down he fell, and his little table fell on top of him, and the stepladder was twisted in his horns. And Papa No-Tail was trying harder than ever to get loose, and the roll of wallpaper rolled right toward Uncle Butter.
"Don't catch me! Please, don't catch me!" the goat called to the fairy he supposed was inside. "I never did anything to you!"
Faster and faster rolled the paper, for Mr. No-Tail was wiggling quite hard now, and he was crying to be let out. Then, all of a sudden, the paper with the frog in, rolled close to the little boy. The boy was brave, and he loved fairies, so he opened the roll, and out hopped Mr. No-Tail, being very glad indeed to get loose, for it was quite warm inside there.
"Oh my! Was that you in the paper?" asked Uncle Butter, solemnly, sitting in the middle of the floor, on a lot of paste.
"It was," said Papa No-Tail, as he helped the goat to get up.
"Well, I never heard tell of such a thing in all my life! Never!" exclaimed the goat, when the frog gentleman told him all about it. Then Uncle Butter pasted the paper on the wall, and Papa No-Tail hopped home, and that's the end of the story, just as I promised it would be.
Now in case the pussy cat doesn't wash the puppy dog's face with the cork from the ink bottle and make his nose black, I'll tell you on the next page about Bully playing marbles.
It happened one day that, as Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, was walking along with his bag of marbles going clank-clank in his pocket, he met Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the squirrels.
"Hello, Bully!" called the two brothers. "Do you want to have a game of marbles?"
"Of course I do," answered Bully. "I just bought some new ones. 'First shot agates!'"
"First shot!" yelled Billie, right after Bully.
"First shot!" also cried Johnnie, almost at the same time.
"Well, I guess we're about even," spoke Bully, as he opened his marble bag to look inside. "Now, how are we going to tell who will shoot first?"
"I'll tell you," proposed Billie. "We'll each throw a marble up into the air, and the one whose comes down first will shoot first."
Well, the other two animal boys thought that was fair, so they tossed their marble shooters up into the air. Billie only sent his up a little way, for then he knew it would come down first, but Johnnie and Bully didn't think of this, and they threw their shooters up as high as they could. And, of course, their marbles were so much longer coming down to the ground again.
"Oh, ho! Here's mine!" cried Billie. "I'm to shoot first."
"And here's mine," added Johnnie, a little later, as his marble came down.
"Yes, but where's mine?" asked Bully, and they all listened carefully to tell when Bully's shooter would fall down. But the funny part of it was that it didn't come.
"Say, did you throw it up to the sky?" asked Billie surprised like.
"Because, if you did, it won't come down until Fourth of July," added Johnnie.
"No, I didn't throw it as high as that," replied the frog boy. "But perhaps Dickie Chip-Chip, the sparrow boy, is flying around up there, and he may have taken it in his bill for a joke."
So they looked up toward the clouds as far as they could, but no little sparrow boy did they see.
"Well, we'll have a game of marbles, anyhow," said Bully at length. "I have another shooter."
So he and Billie and Johnnie made a ring in the dirt, and put some marbles in the centre.
Then they began to play, and Billie shot first, then Johnnie, and last of all Bully. And all the while the frog boy was wondering what had happened to his first marble. Now, a very queer thing had happened to it, and you'll soon hear all about it.
Billie and Johnnie had each missed hitting any marbles, and when it came Bully's turn he took careful aim, with his second-best shooter, a red and blue one.
"Whack-bang!" That's the way Bully's shooter hit the marbles in the ring, scattering them all over, and rolling several outside.
"Say, are you going to knock 'em all out?" asked Billie.
"That's right! Leave some for us," begged Johnnie.
"Wait until I have one more trial," went on Bully, for you see he had two shots on account of being lucky with his first one and knocking some marbles from the ring.
Then he went to look for his second-best shooter, for it had rolled away, but he couldn't find it. It had completely, teetotally, mysteriously and extraordinarily disappeared.
"I'm sure it rolled over here," said Bully as he poked around in the grass near a big bush. "Please help me look for it, fellows."
So Billie and Johnnie helped Bully look, but they couldn't find the second shooter that the frog boy had lost.
"You two go on playing and I'll hunt for the marble," said Bully after a while, so he searched along in the grass, and, as he did so, he dropped a nice glass agate out of his bag. He stooped to pick it up, but before he could get his toes on it something that looked like a big chicken's bill darted out of the prickly briar bush and gobbled up the marble.
"Oh!" cried Bully in fright, jumping back, "I wonder if that was a snake?"
"No, I'm not a snake," was the answer. "I'm a bird," and then out from behind the bush came a great, big Pelican bird.
"Did—did you take my marble?" asked Bully timidly.
"I did!" cried the Pelican bird, snapping his bill together just like a big pair of scissors. "I ate the first one after it fell to the ground near me, and I ate the second one that you shot over here. They're good—marbles are! I like 'em. Give me some more!"
The bird snapped his beak again, and Bully jumped back. As he did so the marbles in his pocket rattled, and the Pelican heard them.
"Ha! You have more!" he cried: "Hand 'em over. I'll eat 'em all up. I just love marbles!"
"No, you can't have mine!" exclaimed Bully, backing away. "I want to play some more games with Billie and Johnnie with these," and he looked to see where his two friends were. They were quite some distance off, shooting marbles as hard as they could.
Then, all of a sudden, that Pelican bird made a swoop for poor Bully, and before the frog boy could get out of the way the bird had gobbled him up in his big bill. There Bully was, not exactly swallowed by the bird, you understand, but held a prisoner in the big pouch, or skin laundry-bag that hung down below the bird's lower beak.
"Oh, let me out of here!" cried Bully, hopping about inside the big bag on the bird's big bill. "Let me out! Let me out!"
"No, I'll not," said the big bird, speaking through his nose because his mouth was shut. "I'll keep you there until you give me all your marbles, or until I decide whether or not I'll eat you for my supper."
Well, poor Bully was very much frightened, and I guess you'd be, too. He tried to get out but he couldn't, and the bird began walking off to his nest, taking the frog boy with him. Then Bully thought of his bag of marbles, and, inside the big bill, he rattled them as loudly as he could.
"Billie and Johnnie Bushytail may hear me, and help me," he thought.
And, surely enough the squirrel boys did. They heard the rattle of Bully's marbles inside the Pelican's beak, and they saw the big bird, and they guessed at once where Bully was. Then they ran up to the Pelican, and began hitting him with their marbles, which they threw at him as hard as they could. In the eyes and on his ears and on his wiggily toes and on his big beak they hit him with marbles, until that Pelican bird was glad enough to open his bill and let Bully go, marbles and all. Then the bird flew away to its nest, and Bully and his friends could play their game once more.
The Pelican didn't come back to bother them, but he had Bully's two shooters, that he had swallowed. So Johnnie, the squirrel, lent the boy frog another shooter, and it was all right. And, in case the rain doesn't come down the chimney and put the fire out, so I can't cook some pink eggs with chocolate on for my birthday, I'll tell you in the following story about Bawly and the soldier hat.
BAWLY AND THE SOLDIER HAT
Susie Littletail and Jennie Chipmunk were having a play party in the woods. They had their lunch in little birch-bark baskets, and they used a nice, big, flat stump for a table. They took an old napkin for a tablecloth, and they had pieces of carrots boiled in molasses and chocolate, and cabbage with pink frosting on, and nuts all covered with candy, and some sugared popcorn, and all nice things like that, to eat.
"Oh, isn't this lovely!" exclaimed Susie. "Please pass me the fried lolly-pops, Jennie, aren't they lovely?"
"Yes, they're perfectly grand!" spoke Jennie as she passed over some bits of turnip, which they made believe were fried lolly-pops. "I'll have some sour ginger snaps, Susie."
So Susie passed the plate full of acorns, which were make-believe sour ginger snaps, you know, and the little animal girls were having a very fine time, indeed. Oh, my, yes, and a bottle of horseradish also!
Now, don't worry, if you please. I know I did promise to tell about Bawly and the soldier hat, and I'm going to do it. But Susie's and Jennie's play party has something to do with the hat, so I had to start off with them.
While they were playing in the woods, having a fine time, Bawly No-Tail, the frog boy, was at home in his house, making a big soldier hat out of paper. I suppose you children have often made them, and also have played at having a parade with wooden swords and guns. If you haven't done so, please get your papa to make you a soldier hat.
Well, finally Bawly's hat was finished, and he put a feather in it, just as Yankee Doodle did, only Bawly didn't look like macaroni.
"Now, I'll go out and see if I can find the boys and we'll pretend there's a war, and a battle, and shooting and all that," went on the frog chap, who loved to do exciting things. So Bawly hopped out, and Grandpa Croaker, who was asleep in the rocking chair didn't hear him go. Anyhow, I don't believe the old gentleman frog would have cared, for Bawly's papa was at work in the wallpaper factory and his mamma had gone to the five and ten cent store to buy a new dishpan that didn't have a hole in it. As for the other frog boy, Bawly's brother Bully, he had gone after an ice cream cone, I think, or maybe a chocolate candy.
On Bawly hopped, but he didn't meet any of his friends. He had on his big, paper soldier hat, with the feather sticking out of the top, and Bawly also had a wooden gun, painted black, to make it look real, and he had a sword made out of a stick, all silvered over with paint to make it look like steel.
Oh, Bawly was a very fine soldier boy! And as he marched along he whistled a little tune that went like this:
"Soldier boy, soldier boy, Brave and true, I'm sure every one is Frightened at you. Salute the flag and Fire the gun, Now wave your sword and Foes will run. Your feathered cap gives Lots of joy, Oh! you're a darling Soldier boy!"
Well, Bawly felt finer than ever after that, and though he still didn't meet any of his friends, with whom he might play, he was hoping he might see a savage fox or wolf, that he might do battle with the unpleasant creature. But perhaps you had better wait and see what happens.
All this while, as Bawly was marching along through the woods with his soldier cap on, Susie and Jennie were playing party at the old stump. They had just eaten the last of the sweet-sour cookies, and drank the last thimbleful of the orange-lemonade when, all at once, what should happen but that a great big alligator crawled out of the bushes and made a jump for them! Dear me! Would you ever expect such a thing?
"Oh, look at that!" cried Susie as she saw the alligator.
"Yes. Let's run home!" shouted Jennie in fright.
But before either of them could stir a step the savage alligator, who had escaped from the circus again, grabbed them, one in each claw, and then, holding them so that they couldn't get away, he sat up on the end of his big tail, and looked first at Susie and then at Jennie.
"Oh, please let us go!" cried Susie, with tears in her eyes.
"Oh, yes, do; and I'll give you this half of a cookie I have left," spoke Jennie kindly.
"I don't want your cookie, I want you," sang the alligator, as if he were reciting a song. "I'm going to eat you both!"
Then he held them still tighter in his claws, and fairly glared at them from out of his big eyes.
"I'm going to eat you all up!" he growled, "but the trouble is I don't know which one to eat first. I guess I'll eat you," and he made a motion toward Susie. She screamed, and then the alligator changed his mind. "No, I guess I'll eat you," and he opened his mouth for Jennie. Then he changed his mind again, and he didn't know what to do. But, of course, this made Jennie and Susie feel very nervous and also a big word called apprehensive, which is the same thing.
"Oh, help! Help! Will no one help us?" cried Susie at last.
"No, I guess no one will," spoke the alligator, real mean and saucy like.
But he was mistaken. At that moment, hopping through the woods was Bawly No-Tail, wearing his paper soldier hat. He heard Susie call, and up he marched, like the brave soldier frog boy that he was. Through the holes in the bushes he could see the big alligator, and he saw Susie and Jennie held fast in his claws.
"Oh, I can never fight that savage creature all alone," thought Bawly. "I must make him believe that a whole army of soldiers is coming at him."
So Bawly hid behind a tree, where the alligator couldn't find him, and the frog boy beat on a hollow log with a stick as if it were a drum. Then he blew out his cheeks, whistling, and made a noise like a fife. Then he aimed his wooden gun and cried: "Bang! Bang! Bung! Bung!" just as if the wooden gun had powder in it. Next Bawly waved his cap with the feather in it, and the alligator heard all this, and he saw the waving soldier cap, and he, surely enough, thought a whole big army was coming after him.
"I forgot something," the alligator suddenly cried, as he let go of Susie and Jennie. "I have to go to the dentist's to get a tooth filled," and away that alligator scrambled through the woods as fast as he could go, taking his tail with him. So that's how Bawly saved Susie and Jennie, and very thankful they were to him, and if they had had any cookies left they would have given him two or sixteen, I guess.
Now if our gas stove doesn't go out and dance in the middle of the back yard and scare the cook, so she can't bake a rice-pudding pie-cake, I'll tell you next about Grandpa Croaker and the umbrella.
GRANDPA CROAKER AND THE UMBRELLA
One day, as Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, was coming home from school he thought of a very hard word he had had to spell in class that afternoon. It began with a "C," and the next letter was "A" and the next one was "T"—CAT—and what do you think? Why Bully said it spelled "Kitten," and just for that he had to write the word on his slate forty-'leven times, so he'd remember it next day.
"I guess I won't forget it again in a hurry," thought Bully as he hopped along with his books in a strap over his shoulder. "C-a-t spells—" And just then he heard a funny noise in the bushes, and he stopped short, as Grandfather Goosey Gander's clock did, when Jimmy Wibblewobble poured molasses in it. Bully looked all around to see what the noise was. "For it might be that alligator, or the Pelican bird," he whispered to himself.
Just then he heard a jolly laugh, and his brother Bawly hopped out from under a cabbage leaf.
"Did I scare you, Bully?" asked Bawly, as he scratched his right ear with his left foot.
"A little," said Bully, turning a somersault to get over being frightened.
"Well, I didn't mean to, and I won't do it again. But now that you are out of school, come on, let's go have a game of ball. It'll be lots of fun," went on Bawly.
So the two brothers hopped off, and found Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrels, and Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, and some other animal friends, and they had a fine game, and Bawly made a home run.
Now, about this same time, Grandpa Croaker, the nice old gentleman frog, was hopping along through the cool, shady woods, and he was wondering what Mrs. No-Tail would have good for supper.
"I hope she has scrambled watercress with sugar on top," thought Grandpa, and just then he felt a drop of rain on his back. The sun had suddenly gone under a cloud, and the water was coming down as fast as it could, for April showers bring May flowers, you know. Grandpa Croaker looked up, and, as he did so a drop of rain fell right in his eye! But bless you! He didn't mind that a bit. He just hopped out where he could get all wet, for he had on his rubber clothes, and he felt as happy as your dollie does when she has on her new dress and goes for a ride in the park. Frogs love water.
The rain came down harder and harder and the water was running about, all over in the woods, playing tag, and jumping rope, and everything like that, when, all at once, Grandpa Croaker heard a little voice crying:
"Oh, dear! I'll never get home in all this rain without wetting my new dress and bonnet! Oh, what shall I do?"
"Ha, I wonder if that can be a fairy?" said Grandpa.
"No, I'm not a fairy," went on the voice. "I'm Nellie Chip-Chip, the sparrow girl, and I haven't any umbrella."
"Oh, ho!" exclaimed Grandpa Croaker as he saw Nellie huddled up under a big leaf, "why do you come out without an umbrella when it may rain at any moment? Why do you do it?"
"Oh, I came out to-day to gather some nice wild flowers for my teacher," said Nellie. "See, I found some lovely white ones, like stars," and she held them out so Grandpa could smell them. But he couldn't without hopping over closer to where the little sparrow girl was.
"I was so interested in the flowers that I forgot all about bringing an umbrella," went on Nellie, and then she began to cry, for she had on a new blue hat and dress, and didn't want them to get spoiled by the rain that was splashing all over.
"Oh, don't cry!" begged Grandpa.
"But I can't get home without an umbrella," wailed Nellie.
"Oh, I can soon fix that," said the old gentleman goat—I mean frog. "See, over there is a nice big toadstool. That will make the finest umbrella in the world. I'll break it off and bring it to you, and then you can fly home, holding it over your head, in your wing, and then your hat and dress won't get wet."
Nellie thanked Grandpa Croaker very kindly and thought what a fine frog gentleman he was. Off he hopped through the rain, never minding it the least bit, and just as he got to the toadstool what do you s'pose he saw? Why, a big, ugly snake was twined around it, just as a grapevine twines around the clothes-post.
"Hello, there!" cried Grandpa. "You don't need that toadstool at all, Mr. Snake, for water won't hurt you. I want it for Nellie Chip-Chip, so kindly unwind yourself from it."
"Indeed, I will not," spoke the snake, saucily, hissing like a steam radiator on a hot day.
"I demand that you immediately get off that toadstool!" cried Grandpa Croaker in his hoarsest voice, so that it sounded like distant thunder. He wanted to scare the snake.
"I certainly will not get off!" said the snake, firmly, "and what's more I'm going to catch you, too!" And with that he reached out like lightning and grabbed Grandpa, and wound himself around him and the toadstool also, and there the poor gentleman frog was, tight fast!
"Oh! Oh! You're squeezing the life out of me!" cried Grandpa Croaker.
"That's what I intend to do," spoke the snake, savagely.
"Oh, dear! Oh, dear! What shall I do?" asked Nellie. "Shall I bite his tail, Mr. Frog?"
"No, stay there. Don't come near him, or he'll grab you," called Grandpa Croaker in a choking voice. "Besides you'll get all wet, for it's still raining. I'll get away somehow." But no matter how hard he struggled Grandpa couldn't get away from the snake, who was pressing him tighter and tighter against the toadstool.
Poor Grandpa thought he was surely going to be killed, and Nellie was crying, but she didn't dare go near the snake, and the snake was laughing and snickering as loud as he could. Oh, he was very impolite! Then, all of a sudden, along hopped Bully and Bawly, the frog boys. The ball game had been stopped on account of the rain, you know.
"Oh, look!" cried Bully. "We must save Grandpa from that snake!"
"That's what we must!" shouted Bawly. "Here, we'll make him unwind himself from Grandpa and the toadstool and then hit him with our baseball bats."
So those brave frog boys went quite close to the snake, and that wiggily creature thought he could catch them, and so put out his head to do it. Then Bully and Bawly hopped around the toadstool in a circle, and the snake, keeping his beady, black eyes on them, followed them with his head, around and around, still hoping to catch them, until he finally unwound himself, just like a corkscrew out of a bottle.
Then Bully and Bawly hit him with their baseball bats, and the snake ran away, taking his tail with him, and Grandpa Croaker was free. Then, taking a long breath, for good measure, the old gentleman frog broke off the toadstool and gave it to Nellie Chip-Chip for an umbrella, and the sparrow girl could go home in the rain without getting wet. And Grandpa thanked Bully and Bawly and hopped on home with them. So that's the end of this story.
But in case the little dog next door doesn't take our doormat and eat it for supper with his bread and butter I'll tell you in the story after this one about Bawly and Jollie Longtail.
For a few days after Grandpa Croaker, the old frog gentleman, had been wound around the toadstool by the snake, as I told you in the story before this one, he was so sore and stiff from the squeezing he had received, that he had to sit in an easy chair, and eat hot mush with sugar on. And, in order that he would not be lonesome, Bawly and Bully No-Tail, the frog boys, sat near him, and read him funny things from their school books, or the paper, and Grandpa Croaker was very thankful to them.
The frog boys wanted very much to go away and play ball with their friends, for, it being the Easter vacation, there was no school, but, instead, they remained at home nearly all the while, so Grandpa wouldn't feel lonesome.
But at last one day the old gentleman frog said:
"Now, boys, I'm sure you must be very tired of staying with me so much. You need a little vacation. I am almost well now, so I'll hop over and see Uncle Wiggily Longears. Then you may go and play ball, and here is a penny for each of you."
Well, of course Bully and Bawly thanked their Grandpa, though they really hadn't expected anything like that, and off they hopped to the store to spend the money. For they had saved all the pennies for a long time, and they were now allowed to buy something.
Bully bought a picture post card to send to Aunt Lettie, the nice old lady goat, and Bawly bought a bean shooter. That is a long piece of tin, with a hole through it like a pipe, and you put in a bean at one end, blow on the other end, and out pops the bean like a cork out of a soda water bottle.
"What are you going to do with that bean shooter?" asked Bully of his brother.
"Oh, I'm going to carry it instead of a gun," said Bawly, "and if I see that bad alligator, or snake, again I'll shoot 'em with beans."
"Beans, won't hurt 'em much," spoke Bully.
"No, but maybe the beans will tickle 'em so they'll laugh and run away," replied his brother. Then they hopped on through the woods, and pretty soon they met Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, the puppy dogs.
"Let's have a ball game," suggested Peetie, as he wiggled his left ear.
"Oh, yes!" cried Jackie, as he dug a hole in the ground to see if he could find a juicy bone, but he couldn't I'm sorry to say.
Well, they started the ball game, and Bawly was so fond of his bean shooter that he kept it with him all the while, and several times, when the balls were high in the air, he tried to hit them by blowing beans at them. But he couldn't, though the beans popped out very nicely.
But finally the other players didn't like Bawly to do that, for the beans came down all around them, and tickled them so that they had to laugh, and they couldn't play ball.
Then Bawly said he'd lay his shooter down in the grass, but before he could do so his brother Bully knocked such a high flying ball that you could hardly see it.
"Oh, grab it, Bawly! Grab it!" cried Peetie and Jackie, dancing about on the ends of their tails, for Bawly was supposed to chase after the balls. Away he went with his bean shooter, almost as fast as an automobile.
Farther and farther went the ball, and Bawly was chasing after it. All of a sudden he found himself in the back yard of a house where the ball had bounced over the fence, and of course, being a good ball player, Bawly kept right on after it. But he never expected to find himself in the yard, and he certainly never expected to see what he did see.
For there was a great, big, ugly, cruel boy, and he had something in his hand. At first Bawly couldn't tell what it was, and then, to his surprise, he saw that the boy had caught Jollie Longtail, the nice little mousie boy, about whom I once told you.
"Ah ha! Now I have you!" cried the boy to the mouse. "You went in the feed box in my father's barn, and I have caught you."
"Oh, but I only took the least bit of corn," said Jollie Longtail. But the boy didn't understand the mouse language, though Bawly did.
"I'm going to tie your tail in a knot, hang you over the clothes line and then throw stones at you!" went on the cruel boy. "That will teach you to keep away from our place. We don't like mice."
Well, poor Jollie Longtail shivered and shook, and tried to get away from that boy, but he couldn't, and then the boy began tying a knot in the mousie's tail, so he could fasten Jollie to the clothes line in the yard.
"Oh, this is terrible!" cried Bawly, and he forgot all about the ball that was lying in the grass close beside him. "How sorry I am for poor Jollie," thought Bawly.
"There's one knot!" cried the boy as he made it. "Now for another!"
Poor Jollie squirmed and wiggled, but he couldn't get away.
"Now for the last knot, and then I'll tie you on the clothes line," spoke the boy, twisting Jollie's tail very hard.
"Oh, if he ever gets tied on the clothes line that will be the last of him!" thought Bawly. "I wonder how I can save him?"
Bawly thought, and thought, and thought, and finally he thought of his bean shooter, and the beans he still had with him.
"That's the very thing!" he whispered. Then he hid down in the grass, where the boy couldn't see him, and just as that boy was about to tie Jollie to the line, Bawly put a bean in the shooter, put the shooter in his mouth, puffed out his cheeks and "bango!" a bean hit the boy on the nose!
"Ha!" cried the boy. "Who did that?" He looked all around and he thought, maybe, it was a hailstone, but there weren't any storm clouds in the sky. Then the boy once more started to tie Jollie to the line.
"Bungo!" went a bean on his left ear, hitting him quite hard.
"Stop that!" the boy cried, winking his eyes very fast.
"Cracko!" went a bean on his right ear, for Bawly was blowing them very fast now.
"Oh, wait until I get hold of you, whoever you are!" shouted the boy, looking all around, but he could see no one, for Bawly was hiding in the grass.
"Smacko!" went a bean on the boy's nose again, and then he danced up and down, and was so excited that he dropped poor Jollie in the soft grass, and away the mousie scampered to where he saw Bawly hiding.
Then Bawly kindly loosened the knots in the mousie's tail, picked up the ball, and away they both scampered back to the game, and told their friends what had happened. And maybe Jollie wasn't thankful to Bawly! Well, I just guess he was! And that boy was so kerslastrated, about not being able to find out who blew the beans at him, that he stood right up on his head and wiggled his feet in the air, and then ran into the house.
Now, if it should happen that our pussy cat doesn't go roller skating and fall down and hurt its little nose so he can't lap up his milk, I'll tell you next about Bully and the water bottle.
BULLY AND THE WATER BOTTLE
Well, just as I expected, my little cat did go roller skating, and skated over a banana skin, and fell down and rubbed some of the fur off his ear. But anyhow I'll tell you a story just the same, and it's going to be about what happened to Bully No-Tail, the frog, when he had a water bottle.
Do you know what a water bottle is? Now don't be too sure. You might think it was a bottle made out of water, but instead it's a bottle that holds water. Any kind of a bottle will do, and you can even take a milk bottle and put water in it if the milkman lets you.
Well, one day, when Bully didn't know what to do to have some fun, and when Bawly, his brother, had gone off to play ball, Bully thought about making a water bottle, as Johnnie Bushytail had told him how to do it.
Bully took a bottle that once had held ink, and he cleaned it all out. Then he got a cork, and, taking one of his mamma's long hatpins, he made, with the sharp point, a number of holes through the cork, just as if it were a sieve, or a coffee strainer. Then Bully filled the bottle with water, put in the cork, and there he had a sprinkling-water-bottle, just as nice as you could buy in a store.
"Now I'll have some fun!" exclaimed Bully, as he jiggled the bottle up and down quite fast, with the cork end held down. The water squirted out from it just like from the watering can, when your mamma waters the flowers.
"I guess I'll go water the garden first," thought Bully. So he hopped over to where there were some seeds planted and the little green sprouts were just peeping up from the ground. Bully sprinkled water on the dry earth and made it soft so the flowers could come through more easily.
"Oh, this is great!" cried the frog boy, as he held the water bottle high in the air and let some drops sprinkle down all around on his own head and clothes.
But please don't any of you try that part of the trick unless you have on your bathing suit, for your mamma might not like it. As for Bully, it didn't matter how wet he got, for frogs just like water, and they have on clothes that water doesn't harm.
So Bully watered all the flowers, and then he sprinkled the dust on the sidewalk and got a broom, and swept it nice and clean.
"Ha! That's a good boy!" said Grandpa Croaker, in his deepest voice, as he hopped out of the yard to go over and play checkers with Uncle Wiggily Longears. "A very good boy, indeed. Here is a penny for you," and he gave Bully a bright, new one.
"I'm going to buy some marbles, as I lost all mine," said Bully, as he thanked his Grandpa very kindly and hopped off to the store.
But before Bully had hopped very far he happened to think that his water bottle was empty, so he stopped at a nice cold spring that he knew of, beside the road, and filled it—that is, he filled his water bottle, you know, not the spring.
"For," said Bully to himself, "I might happen to meet a bad dog, and if he came at me to bite me I could squirt water in his eyes, almost as well as if I had a water pistol, and the dog would howl and run away."
Well, the frog boy hopped along, and pretty soon he came to a store where the marbles were. He bought a penny's worth of brown and blue ones, and then the monkey-doodle, who kept the store, gave him a piece of candy.
"Now I'll find some of the boys, and have a game of marbles," thought Bully, as he took three big hops and two little ones. Then he hopped into the woods to look for his friends.
Well, Bully hadn't gone on very far before, just as he was hopping past a big stump, he heard a voice calling:
"Now I have you!"
Well, you should have seen that frog boy jump, for he thought it was a savage wolf or fox about to grab him. But, instead he saw Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel, and right in front of Johnnie was a great big horned owl, with large and staring eyes.
"Now I have you!" cried the owl again, and this time Bully knew the bad bird was speaking to poor Johnnie Bushytail and not to him. And at that the owl put out one claw, and, before the squirrel could run away the savage creature had grabbed him. "Didn't I tell you I had you?" the bird asked, sarcastic like.
"Yes, I guess I did," answered Johnnie, trembling so that his tail looked like a dusting brush. "But please let me go, Mr. Owl. I never did anything to you."
"Didn't you climb up a tree just now?" asked the owl, real saucy like.
"Yes. I guess I did," answered Johnnie. "I'm always climbing trees, you know. But that doesn't hurt you; does it?"
"Yes, it does, for you knocked down a piece of bark, and it hit me on the beak. And for that I'm going to take you home and cook you for dinner," the owl hooted.
"Oh, please, please don't!" begged poor Johnnie, but the owl said he would, just the same, and he began to get ready to fly off to his nest with the squirrel.
"Ha, I must stop that, if it's possible," thought Bully, the frog, who was still hiding behind the stump. "I mustn't let the owl carry Johnnie away. But how can I stop him?" Bully peeked around the edge of the stump and saw the owl squeezing poor Johnnie tighter and tighter in his claws.
"Ah, I have it!" cried Bully. "My water bottle and my marbles!" And with that he hopped softly up on top of the stump, and leaning over the edge he saw below him the owl holding Johnnie. Then Bully took the water bottle, turned it upside down, and he sprinkled the water out as hard as he could on that savage owl's back. Down it fell in a regular shower.
"My goodness me!" cried the owl. "It's raining and I have no umbrella! I'll get all wet!"
Then Bully squirted out more water, shaking it from the bottle as hard as he could, and he rattled his bag of marbles until they sounded like thunder and hailstones, and the owl looked up, but couldn't see Bully on the stump for the water was in his eyes. Then, being very much afraid of rain and thunder storms, that bad owl bird suddenly flew away, leaving Johnnie Bushytail on the ground, scared but safe.
"Ha! That's the time the water bottle did a good trick!" cried Bully, as he went to see if Johnnie was hurt. But the squirrel wasn't, very much, and he could soon scramble home, after thanking Bully very kindly.
And that owl was so wet that he caught cold and had the epizootic for a week, and it served him right. Now in case the baby's rattle box doesn't bounce into the pudding dish and scare the chocolate cake, I'll tell you next about Bawly going hunting.
"Oh, Grandpa, will you please tell us a story?" begged Bully and Bawly No-Tail one evening after supper, when they sat beside the old gentleman frog, who was reading a newspaper. "Do tell us a story about a giant."
"Ha! Hum!" exclaimed Grandpa Croaker. "I'm afraid I don't know any giant stories, but I'll tell you one about how I once went hunting and was nearly caught myself."
"Oh, that will be fine!" cried the two frog boys, so their Grandpa took one of them up on each knee, and in his deepest, bass, rumbling, stumbling, bumbling voice he told them the story.
It was a very good story, and some day perhaps I may tell it to you. It was about how, when Grandpa was a young frog, he started out to hunt blackberries, and got caught in a briar bush and couldn't get loose for ever so long, and the mosquitoes bit him very hard, all over.
"And after that I never went hunting blackberries without taking a mosquito netting along," said the old frog gentleman, as he finished his story.
"My but that was an adventure!" cried Bully.
"That's what!" agreed his brother. "You were very brave, Grandpa, to go off hunting blackberries all alone."
"Yes, I was considered quite brave and handsome when I was young," admitted the old gentleman frog, in his bass voice. "But now, boys, run off to bed, and I'll finish reading the paper."
The next morning when Bully got up he saw Bawly at the side of the bed, putting some beans in a bag, and taking his bean shooter out from the bureau drawer where he kept it.
"What are you going to do, Bawly?" asked Bully.
"I'm going hunting, as Grandpa did," said his brother.
"But blackberries aren't ripe yet. They're not ripe until June or July," objected Bully.
"I know it, but I'm going to hunt mosquitoes, not blackberries. I'm going to kill all I can with my bean shooter, and then there won't be so many to bite the dear little babies this summer. Don't you want to come along?" asked Bawly.
"I would if I had a bean shooter," answered Bully. "Perhaps I'll go some other time. To-day I promised Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow I'd come over and play ball with them."
So Bully went to play ball, with the puppy dogs, and Bawly went hunting, after his mamma had said that he might, and had told him to be careful.
"I'll put up a little lunch for you," she said, "so you won't get hungry hunting mosquitoes in the woods."
Off Bawly hopped, with his lunch in a little basket on one leg and carrying his bean shooter, and plenty of beans. He knew a deep, dark, dismal stretch of woodland where there were so many mosquitoes that they wouldn't have been afraid to bite even an elephant, if one had happened along. You see there were so many of the mosquitoes that they were bold and savage, like bears or lions.
"But just wait until I get at them with my bean shooter," said Bawly bravely. "Then they'll be so frightened that they'll fly away, and never come back to bother people any more."
On and on he hopped and pretty soon he could hear a funny buzzing noise.
"Those are the mosquitoes," said the frog boy. "I am almost at the deep, dark, dismal woods. Now I must be brave, as my Grandpa was when he hunted blackberries; and, so that I may be very strong, to kill all the mosquitoes, I'll eat part of my lunch now."
So Bawly sat down under a toadstool, for it was very hot, and he ate part of his lunch. He could hear the mosquitoes buzzing louder and louder, and he knew there must be many of them; thousands and thousands.
"Well, here I go!" exclaimed the frog boy at length, as he wrapped up in a paper what was left of his lunch, and got his bean shooter all ready. "Now for the battle. Charge! Forward, March! Bang-bang! Bung-bung!" and he made a noise like a fife and drum going up hill.
"Well, I wonder what that can be coming into our woods?" asked one mosquito of another as he stopped buzzing his wings a moment.
"It looks like a frog boy," was the reply of a lady mosquito.
"It is," spoke a third mosquito, sharpening his biting bill on a stone. "Let's sting him so he'll never come here again."
"Yes, let's do it!" they all agreed.
So they all got ready with their stingers, and Bawly hopped nearer and nearer. They were just going to pounce on him and bite him to pieces when he suddenly shot a lot of beans at them, hitting quite a number of mosquitoes and killing a few.
"My! What's this? What's this?" cried the mosquitoes that weren't killed. "What is happening?" and they were very much surprised, not to say startled.
"This must be a war!" said some others. "This frog boy is fighting us!"
"That's just what I'm doing!" cried Bawly bravely. "I'm punishing you for what you did to Grandfather Croaker! Bang-bang! Bung-bung! Shoot! Fire! Aim! Forward, March!" and with that he shot some more beans at the mosquitoes, killing hundreds of them so they could never more bite little babies or boys and girls, to say nothing of papas and mammas and aunts and uncles.
Oh, how brave Bawly was with his bean shooter! He made those mosquitoes dance around like humming birds, and they were very much frightened. Then Bawly took a rest and ate some more of his lunch, laying his bean shooter down on top of a stump.
"Now the battle will go on again!" he cried, when he had eaten the last crumb and felt very strong. But, would you believe me, while he was eating, those mosquitoes had sneaked up and taken away his bean shooter.
"Oh, this is terrible!" cried Bawly, as he saw that his tin shooter was gone. "Now I can't fight them any more."
Then the mosquitoes knew that the frog boy didn't have his bean-gun with him, for they had hid it, and they stung him, so much that maybe, they would have stung him to death if it hadn't happened that Dickie and Nellie Chip-Chip, the sparrows, flew along just then. Into the swarm of mosquitoes the birds flew, and they caught hundreds of them in their bills and killed them, and the rest were so frightened that they flew away, and in that manner Bawly was saved.
So that's how he went hunting all alone, and when he got home his Grandpa Croaker and all the folks thought him very brave. Now, in case I see a red poodle dog, with yellow legs, standing on his nose while he wags his tail at the pussy cat, I'll tell you next about Papa No-Tail and the giant.
PAPA NO-TAIL AND THE GIANT
Did you ever hear the story of the giant with two heads, who chased a whale, and caught him by the tail, and tickled the terrible monster with a big, crooked hickory fence rail?
Well, I'm not going to tell you a story about that giant, but about another, who had only one head, though it was a very large one, and this giant nearly scared Papa No-Tail, the frog gentleman, into a conniption fit, which is almost as bad as the epizootic.
It happened one day that there wasn't any work for Mr. No-Tail to do at the wallpaper factory, where he dipped his feet in ink and hopped around to make funny black, and red, and green, and purple splotches, so they would turn out to be wallpaper patterns. The reason there was no work was because the Pelican bird drank up all the ink in his big bill, so they couldn't print any paper.
"I have a holiday," said Papa No-Tail, as he hopped about, "and I am going to have a good time."
"What are you going to do?" asked Grandpa Croaker as he started off across the pond to play checkers with Uncle Wiggily Longears.
"I think I will take Bully and Bawly and go for a swim, and then we'll take a hop through the woods and perhaps we may find an adventure," answered Mr. No-Tail.
So he went up to the house, where Bully and Bawly, the two boy frogs, were just getting ready to go out roller skating, and Mr. No-Tail asked them if they didn't want to come with him instead.
"Indeed we do!" cried Bully, as he winked both eyes at his brother, for he knew that when his papa took them out hopping, he used often to stop in a store and buy them peanuts or candy.
Well, pretty soon, not so very long, in a little while, Papa No-Tail and the two boys got to the edge of the pond, and into the water they hopped to have a swim. My! I just wish you could have seen them. Papa No-Tail swam in ever so many different ways, and Bully and Bawly did as well as they could. And, would you believe me? just as Bully was getting out of the water, up on the bank, ready to go hopping off with Bawly and his papa through the woods, a big fish nearly grabbed the little frog boy by his left hind leg.
"Oh my!" he cried, and his papa hopped over quickly to where Bully was, and threw a stick at the bad fish to scare him away.
"Ha! hum!" exclaimed Mr. No-Tail, "that was nearly an adventure, Bully, but I don't like that kind. Come on into the woods, boys, and we'll see what else we can find."
So into the woods they went, where there were tall trees, and little trees, and bushes, and old stumps where owls lived. And the green leaves were just coming out nicely on the branches, and there were a few early May flowers peeping up from under the leaves and moss, just as baby peeps up at you, out from under the bedclothes in the morning when the sun awakens her.
"Oh, isn't it just lovely here in the woods!" cried Bully.
"It is certainly very fine," agreed Bawly, and he looked up in the treetops, where Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the squirrels, were frisking about, and then down on the ground, where Sammie and Susie Littletail, the rabbits, were sitting beside an old stump, in which there were no bad owls to scare them.
"Now I think we'll sit down here and eat our lunch," said Papa No-Tail after a while, as they came to a nice little open place in the woods, where there was a large flat stump, which they could use as a table. So they opened the baskets of lunch that Mamma No-Tail had put up for them, and they were eating their watercress sandwiches, and talking of what they would do next, when, all of a sudden, they heard a most startling, tremendous and extraordinary noise in the bushes.
It was just as if an elephant were tramping along, and at first Papa No-Tail thought it might be one of those big beasts, or perhaps an alligator.
"Keep quiet, boys," he whispered, "and perhaps he won't see us." So they kept very quiet, and hid down behind the stump.
But the noise came nearer and nearer, and it sounded louder and louder, and, before you could spell "cat" or "rat," out from under a big, tall tree stepped a big, tall giant. Oh, he was a fearful looking fellow! His head was as big as a washtub full of clothes on a Monday morning, and his legs were so long that I guess he could have hopped, skipped and jumped across the street in about three steps.
"Oh, look!" whispered Bully.
"Oh, isn't he terrible!" said Bawly, softly.
"Hush!" cautioned their papa. "Please keep quiet and maybe he won't see us."
So they kept as quiet as they could, hoping the giant would pass by, but instead he came right over to the stump, and the first any one knew he had sat down on the top of it. I tell you it's a good thing Bully and Bawly and their papa had hopped off or they would have been crushed flat. But they weren't, I'm glad to say, for they were hiding down behind the stump, and they didn't dare hop away for fear the giant would see, or hear them.
The big man sat on the stump, and he looked all about, and he saw some bread and watercress crumbs where Bully and Bawly and their papa had been eating their lunch.
"My!" exclaimed the giant. "Some one has been having dinner here. Oh, how hungry I am! I wish I had some dinner. I believe I could eat the hind legs of a dozen frogs if I had them!"
Well, you should have seen poor Bully and Bawly tremble when they heard that.
"This must be a terrible giant," said Mr. No-Tail. "Now I tell you what I am going to do. Bully, I will hide you and Bawly in this hollow stump, and then I'll hop out where the giant can see me. He'll chase after me, but I'll hop away as fast as I can, and perhaps I can get to some water and hide before he catches me. Then he'll be so far away from the stump that it will be safe for you boys to come out."
Well, Bully and Bawly didn't want their papa to do that, fearing he would be hurt, but he said it was best, so they hid inside the stump, and out Mr. No-Tail hopped to where the giant could see him. Papa No-Tail expected the big man would chase after him, but instead the giant never moved and only looked at the frog and then he laughed and said:
"Hello, Mr. Frog! Let's see you hop!" And then, what do you think that giant did? Why he took off his head, which wasn't real, being hollow and made of paper, like a false face, so that his own head went inside of it. And there he was only a nice, ordinary man after all.
"What! Aren't you a giant?" cried Papa No-Tail, who was so surprised that he hadn't hopped a single hop.
"No," said the man; "I am only a clown giant in a circus, but I ran away to-day so I could see the flowers in the woods. I was tired of being in the circus so much and doing funny tricks."
"But—but—what makes you so tall?" asked Mr. No-Tail.
"Oh, those are wooden stilts on my legs," said the giant. "They make me as tall as a clothes post, these stilts do."
And, surely enough, they did, being like wooden legs, and the man wasn't a real giant at all, but very nice, like Mr. No-Tail, only different: and he left off his big hollow paper head, and Bully and Bawly came out of the stump, and the circus clown-giant, just like those you have seen, told the frog boys lots of funny stories. Then they gave him some of their lunch and showed him where flowers grew. Afterward the make-believe giant went back to the circus, much happier than he had been at first.