BED TIME STORIES
CURLY AND FLOPPY TWISTYTAIL (THE FUNNY PIGGIE BOYS)
HOWARD R. GARIS
Author of "SAMMIE AND SUSIE LITTLETAIL," "JACKO AND JUMPO KINKYTAIL," "THE UNCLE WIGGILY STORIES," "THE DADDY SERIES," "CIRCUS ANIMAL STORIES," "THE ISLAND BOYS," ETC.
ILLUSTRATED BY LOUIS WISA
Curly Twistytail Is Named
Floppy Gets His Name
Pinky's Rubber Ball
How Curly Helped Mother
Curly and the Elephant
Flop and the Bag of Meal
Piggy Boys at School
Curly Is Vaccinated
Curly and the Spinning Top
Flop and the Turtle
Curly and the Chestnuts
Baby Pinky and the Doctor
Curly and the Big Apple
The Piggies and the Pumpkin
The Piggies In a Cornfield
Flop Has a Tumble
Mr. Twistytail's Lost Hat
Mother Twistytail's New Bonnet
Curly and the Sour Milk
Flop and the Pie Lady
The Piggies and the Jelly
Flop and the Marshmallows
The Piggies and the Fish
Curly and the Afraid Girl
The Piggies At the Party
Floppy and the Bonfire
Flop and the Skate Wagon
Pinky and the Lemon
The Piggies and Santa Claus
Floppy and the Stockings
The Twistytails' Christmas
CURLY TWISTYTAIL IS NAMED
Once upon a time, not so very many years ago, in the days when there were fairies and giants and all things like that, there lived in a little house, on the edge of a wood, a family of pigs. Now these pigs weren't like the pigs, which perhaps you children have seen on most farms. No, indeed! They were just the nicest cleanest, sweetest pigs you ever dreamed of—not that pigs on a farm can't be clean, if they want to, but, somehow or other, no one seems to have time to see that they are clean. I guess it would take some one like Jennie Chipmunk to sweep and dust their pen for them.
Anyhow the pigs I am going to tell you about were very different from most pigs, and they had some very funny adventures.
First, there was the papa pig, and his name was Mr. Archibald Twistytail though no one ever called him anything but Mr. Twistytail except maybe his wife, when he forgot to bring up a scuttle of coal so she could do the washing. And then, of course there was Mrs. Twistytail—she was the mamma pig. And there were two little boy pigs, and for a time they didn't have any names, as their papa and mamma were so busy that they couldn't think what to call them. So they just said "Here sonny!" or "Hi, Bubby," whenever they wanted them to come in, or eat their dinner.
One of these little boy pigs always wore short trousers with stripes painted on them, and the other little piggie chap's trousers were like a checker-board.
And then—oh, but I almost forgot about the little baby pig. She was the sweetest little creature you can imagine, and her right name was Pinky, because she was so pink, just like a baby's toes when she sleeps in her crib. But Pinky was hardly ever called by her right name, almost every one said just "Baby," and that answered very well.
And now I'm going to tell you how one of the pigs got his name. He was the oldest pig of the three children, and one day he and his brother thought they would go out for a walk.
"Come along!" exclaimed the oldest boy pig. "Maybe we will have an adventure, such as Uncle Wiggily Longears used to have," for you see the pigs knew Uncle Wiggly almost as well as you do.
"All right," said the younger boy pig. "Where shall we go?"
"Off in the woods," spoke his brother. "The woods are full of adventures."
So they strolled out of their house, and started for the woods. I forgot to say that the Twistytail family of pigs lived in a regular house—of course not the kind you boys and girls live in, but still it was a very good house for pigs. It had tables in it, and chairs and beds and all things like that. And the reason they were called "Twistytail" was because their tails did have a sort of twist or turn in them.
Well, the two pig boys wandered on through the woods, and pretty soon they came to two paths, one leading to left and the other to the right.
"Let's go this way," said the older pig boy, who yet didn't have any name, and he pointed his leg toward the right-hand path.
"No, I think we will find an adventure on this road," said his younger brother, and he started off to the left.
"Oh, there you go!" cried the older pig boy. "You never want to do what I like!"
"Well, I've got just as good a right to go this way as you have to go that way," answered the younger piggie-iggie, and so those two brothers, instead of keeping together and looking for adventures, separated, and one went one way, while the other went the other way. And now you just wait and see what happens.
All of a sudden, as the older piggie boy was walking along, digging up nice sweet roots with his nose—for you know that is the way piggies dig—all of a sudden, I say, there was a growling noise in the bushes, and before the little pig boy could jump out of the way, or even call for his mamma or papa, a big black bear sprang out from inside a hollow stump, and grabbed him. Right in his paws he grabbed that little pig boy.
"Oh, ho!" growled the big black bear. "You are just what I've been waiting for. Now for a nice roast pork dinner. Oh, yum! yum!"
"Oh!" squealed the little pig boy. "Surely you don't mean to eat me, Mr. Bear! Please let me go!"
"Indeed I'll not!" exclaimed the bear. "I was hiding here, hoping Sammie Littletail or Uncle Wiggily would come along, so I could have a rabbit dinner, but you will do just as well. Come along!"
And so the bear carried off the little piggie boy farther into the woods, intending to take him to a den where there was a good hot fire. And all the while the little piggie tried to get away but he couldn't because the bear held him so tightly in his paws.
Pretty soon the bear came to his den. Then he said:
"Let me see, now. I must have some apple sauce to go with my roast pork dinner. I'll just tie this little pig to the fence while I go off and get some apples to make into sauce. I can cook the apples and the pig on the same fire."
Then the bear looked blinkingly at the little pig, and said:
"Let me see. How can I tie him to the fence? Oh, I know, by his tail. I'll just fasten him by his tail." And that's what he did, tying the poor little piggie to the fence by his tail, with a piece of wild grape vine for a string. And the bear wound the grape vine string, that was fast to the little pig's tail around and around the round rail of the fence. Then the bear went off after apples for sauce.
Well, of course the poor little pig felt very badly, and he didn't know what to do. He even cried a little bit, but I'm sure you won't blame him for that, will you? And he said:
"Oh, I wish my little brother was here. He might help me!"
And then, all of a sudden, there was a rustling in the bushes, and the little pig, who was tied by his tail to the fence, thought it was the bear coming back. But it wasn't, for all at once a voice called out:
"Oh, brother! What has happened to you?" And there was the piggie's little brother looking for him.
"Oh!" cried the pig boy who was tied to the fence by his tail. "A bear caught me. A big black bear! He is going to eat me as soon as he comes back with the apple sauce. Save me!"
"Indeed I will," said the little brother. And with his sharp teeth he gnawed through the grape vine string, and then his brother was free. "Come on!" exclaimed the littlest pig. "We must run home away from the bear!"
And they did, getting back to their house safely, and oh! how disappointed that bear was when he returned with the apples and found his pig dinner gone. He was so peevish that he threw all the apples away.
And when Mrs. Twistytail saw her little boy she exclaimed:
"Oh, my sakes alive! How did you get that curl in your tail?"
"I—I guess that was where the bear tied me to the fence," said the piggie boy, and so it was. His tail was all curled tight, like a little girl's hair. His mamma tried to take the curl out with a warm flatiron, but the kink stayed in the tail, and so Mr. Twistytail said:
"I guess we'll have to call our piggie boy by the name of Curly after this," and so they did, and that's how one piggie boy got the name of "Curly Twistytail."
And in case the shells don't all come off the eggs and leave the feathers sticking out for a sofa cushion, I'll tell you next how the other little pig got his name.
FLOPPY GETS HIS NAME
One day, oh, I guess it must have been about a week after Curly Twistytail, the little pig boy, had the adventure with the bear, and his brother rescued him, as I told you in the story before this one,—one day Curly's brother, who hadn't any name as yet, said:
"Oh, Curly, let's go out for another walk, and maybe something will happen to us."
"All right," agreed Curly, "only I hope a bear doesn't happen. It's no fun to think you're going to be turned into roast pork and eaten with apple sauce," for that is what the bear was going to do, you know.
So off the two little pig brothers started, and their mamma called after them:
"Now, stay together. Don't go one on one path, and one on another, as you did before, and have trouble. Stay together, and help one another."
"We will!" they answered, and really they meant to, but, you see, little pigs sometimes forget, just as real children do.
On they went together. Curly and his brother who hadn't any name, except that sometimes people called him "Bub," or maybe "Son," or even "Hey, Johnnie!" though that wasn't his real name at all.
Pretty soon, in about as long as it takes to eat a lollypop if you don't hurry to get down to the stick part of it—pretty soon the two piggie boys met Grandfather Squealer, who was the grandpapa of all the pigs in that part of the country.
"Oh, ho!" exclaimed the old gentleman pig, "Oh, ho! How are you today, Curly?"
"Very well, sir, thank you," replied the pig boy politely, and he looked around to see if the curly kink had come out of his tail where the bear had tied him to the round fence rail, but the curl was still there.
"And how is this other little chap?" went on Grandpa Squealer, as he took a pinch of snuff, and then looked in his vest pocket to see if he had any spare pennies. "How are you, Bub?" he asked. "You haven't any name yet, have you?"
"No sir," answered the brother of Curly. "I wish I had, though," and he also wished that Grandpa Squealer would find a penny so that he and his brother could buy a lollypop, and that wish came true, if you will kindly believe me. For the old gentleman pig did find two pennies.
"There now, boys," he said, "run along to the candy store. And maybe you can buy a name for yourself," and he playfully pulled the ears of Curly's brother. Then Grandpa Squealer sneezed again and walked on, and so did the two boy pigs.
"I'm going to buy a corn lollypop," said Curly.
"I think I'll buy a sour-milk one," said his brother, for you know little pigs, and big ones, too, like sour milk as much as you like yours sweet. Isn't that funny?
So they walked on together, talking of different things, and pretty soon they came to a place where there were two stores. One was painted red and the other was painted blue.
"I'm going in the red store for my lollypop," said Curly.
"Oh, let's go in the blue one," suggested his brother. "Maybe I can buy a name for myself in there. I am tired of being called 'Bub' and 'Johnny,' and names like that."
But the two brothers couldn't agree, so Curly went in the red store and his brother in the blue one. The blue store was kept by an old lady dog, and when the little pig, who, as yet, had no name, entered, the old lady dog storekeeper looked over the counter and asked:
"Well, little pig boy, what do you want?"
"If you please," he answered, "do you keep names to sell?"
"Why, what a funny question!" barked the dog lady. "The only names I have are names of candy, and I'm sure you don't want any of those, do you? There is peppermint and spearmint and cinnamon and lemon drops and cocoanut kisses and lollypops and jaw-breakers and tootsie rolls and chocolate—do you want any of those names?"
"No," replied the little pig boy, "I don't think I like any of those names for myself. I wouldn't want to be called Cocoanut Kisses, nor yet Lollypops, nor even Tootsie Rolls. Oh dear! I wish I could get a name such as my brother Curly has. But maybe I will some day. And now, if you please, I'll have a sour-milk lollypop."
So the old lady dog storekeeper gave it to the little pig boy, and he handed her his penny. He was just taking the paper off the lollypop, and was going to eat it—the lollypop, not the paper, you understand—and go out and see if his brother had come out of the red store, when, all of a sudden, a little puppy dog boy who had just come in from school saw the pig boy in the store, and right at him he sprang with a bow wow bark.
"Here! Come back!" cried the lady storekeeper who was the mother of the puppy dog boy. "Let that little pig alone."
"I'm only going to play tag with him," answered the puppy dog, and with that he sprang at the piggie and caught him by the ear. He really didn't mean to, but his teeth closed fast on poor piggie's ear, and there they stuck.
"Oh! Oh! Oh!" howled piggie. "I'm caught! Oh let me go. Please let me go!"
"Yes, let go of him at once, you naughty boy!" cried the doggie's mamma, as she made a grab for his tail. But just then piggie began to run, squealing as hard as he could, and as the doggie did not let go of his ear, the little barking chap was dragged along too. And then out from the red store ran Curly and he squealed and his brother squealed, also, and the boy dog barked, and so did the storekeeper lady dog, and such a time you never heard in all your life! Oh! such a racket!
"Let go my ear! Let go my ear!" squealed the pig, and the doggie boy tried to let go but he couldn't, until Curly got hold of him by the left leg and pulled him loose.
"Oh dear! Oh dear!" cried the piggie who had bought the sour milk lollypop. "Is my ear pulled off, Curly?"
"No, but it is hanging down like anything," said his brother. "I guess its broken!"
"Oh, I am so sorry!" exclaimed the little boy dog. "I didn't mean to do it. I was only going to tag you, but I slipped. Come in the house and my mamma will put some salve on your ear, and I'll give you an ice cream cone."
And just then Grandfather Squealer came past, and he saw Curly's little brother, with his ear hanging down, going flippity-flop, and the old gentleman said:
"Oh ho! I think I will call you Flopear, or Floppy for short. That is a good name, and it just fits you." And so after that the second little pig was always called Floppy for his ear never stood up again but always hung down like a bell clapper. But the salve soon made it well, and the storekeeper lady gave Floppy and Curly each an ice cream cone.
So that's all now, if you please, but in case the butcherman doesn't throw the loaf of bread at the candlestick and scare the lamp chimney I'll tell you in the story after this about Pinky Twistytail's rubber ball.
PINKY'S RUBBER BALL.
"Now, children," exclaimed Mrs. Twistytail, the pig lady, one morning, when she had given Curly and Floppy and Baby Pinky their breakfast of sour milk with cornmeal stirred in it, "now, children, run out and play. I have the sweeping and dusting to do, and then I am going to make an apple pie."
"Oh, goodie!" cried Curly. "Do you want us to help you, mamma?"
"No, I'm afraid you would eat more apples than you would put in the pie," said Mrs. Twistytail with a laugh. "Run along now."
"Come on Curly," said Floppy and he ran out and turned a somersault, even though it was near winter, for he felt happy, now that he had a name and didn't have to be called "Bub" or "Johnny" or something like that.
"What shall we do?" asked Curly.
"Let's build a fort and play soldier," suggested Floppy. "Pinky can be a prisoner and we'll make believe capture her, and then we'll rescue her, and shoot off make-believe guns, and—"
"No—No!" cried Baby Pinky, as she tried to stand up on the end of her twisty tail, but she couldn't, for it was too slimpsy and not stiff enough. She fell down, but her brothers picked her up, and then the curl came back in her tail.
You see, after the bear had tied Curly to the fence and made his tail all frizzy-like, all the other pigs, including Pinky and Floppy wanted their tails to curl also, and their mamma had to do it for them, twisting them around the rolling-pin. And she even curled her own, and her husband's, that that's why all pigs have curly tails now, because it's stylish, you see.
"Why don't you want to play soldier?" asked Floppy of his little sister.
"Oh, it's too scary!" she said. "And the guns make so much noise. If you won't shoot off any guns I'll play."
"Pooh!" exclaimed Curly, "all soldiers have to shoot guns! You couldn't be a soldier with a gun that didn't make any noise."
"Then I'm not going to play," said Pinky, who was just the color of the inside of a shiny sea shell. "I'll bounce my rubber ball," she went on, "and you boys can play soldier."
So she bounced her ball that Grandfather Squealer had given her, while Curly and Floppy as I'll call him for short, made a fort out of cobs from which they had gnawed all the corn, and they had a fine time. They were off playing in the woods, while Pinky stayed near the house.
She was hoping her mamma would soon have the apple pie baked and would call her in and give her a piece, when, all of a sudden, as Pinky bounced her ball, it went high in the air, but it didn't come down again right away.
"My! What can have happened?" thought little Pinky, and she looked around, and there she saw a great big fuzzy fox, standing behind her. And the fox cried out, as he rubbed his nose:
"Did you hit me with that rubber ball?"
"Yes—yes—perhaps I did," said poor Baby Pinky, trembling so that she nearly shook the curl out of her tail. "I tossed my ball up in the air, but I'm sure I didn't mean to hit you with it. Please forgive me."
"No, indeed, I will not!" exclaimed the fox. "Your rubber ball hit me right on the nose when it came down, and I caught it. And, just for that, I am going to carry you away with me and make a pork pie of you!"
"Oh, please don't!" begged Pinky, shaking more than ever, and she squealed as loudly as she could, but her mamma did not hear her, for she was beating up some eggs to make a cake, and the egg beater made so much noise that she couldn't hear her own little girl. And Curly and Floppy were shooting off their make-believe guns, and making so much noise in the woods that they couldn't hear, and there was the fox about to carry off the poor little piggie girl to his den. Oh, wasn't it terrible?
"Here we go!" cried the fox, and with that he grabbed up poor Pinky, tossing her rubber ball on the ground. Up it bounced, and, hardly knowing what she did, the little pig girl caught it in her foot, holding it tight. Then the fox slung her across his back and ran off with her, Pinky squealing all the while as hard as she could.
"Squeal away!" growled the old fuzzy fox. "You'll soon stop it when I put you in the pork pie!"
And Pinky kept on squealing. Pretty soon the fox ran through the woods where Curly and Flop were playing soldier, but the fox didn't know that. Pinky did, however, and when she got beneath the trees she squealed louder than ever, hoping her brothers would hear.
"Keep quiet!" barked the fox.
"No! No!" exclaimed Pinky, and she squealed again. Oh! she squealed like anything. Then Curly heard her. So did Flop.
"That sounds like Pinky," said Curly, blinking his eyes.
"It surely does," agreed his brother. "Something must have happened to her." They ran out of the fort they had made of corncobs piled one on the other, and they saw their little baby sister being carried off by the fox. Wow! Think of that!
"Here, you let our Pinky alone!" cried Curly bravely.
"No! No! No!" answered the bad fox.
"Then we'll shoot you!" shouted Flop. "Shoot him, Curly!"
Then those two brave pig boys shot their make-believe guns at the fox. "Bang! Bang! Bung! Bung!" But do you s'pose he stopped for that? Not a bit of it! On he ran, faster than ever, carrying away Pinky, and Curly and Flop ran after him, but what could they do? It looked as if the little pig girl would soon be made into pork pie, when she suddenly called out:
"Oh, boys! My rubber ball! Fill it with water and squirt it at the fox!" and she threw her ball to Curly.
"Don't you dare squirt rubber-ball water at me!" howled the fox, for he was very much afraid of getting his tail wet.
"Yes we will!" shouted Curly and with that he caught the ball his sister tossed to him. It only took him a second to stop at a mud puddle and fill the ball with water. Then, taking careful aim, just as a brave pig soldier boy should, he squeezed the ball, and "Zip!" out squirted the water all over the bad fox.
"Oh wow! Double wow, and pumpkin pie! That water went right into my eye!" howled the fox, and then, with his tail all wet, so that it weighed ten pounds, or more, that fox was so utterly frightened and kerslostrated that he let go of poor little Pinky and ran off to his den, and he didn't have any pork pie for a long time afterward.
"Oh, you saved me!" cried Pinky to her two brothers, when they had picked her up, and started back home with her.
"You helped save yourself," said Curly. "You and your rubber ball," and he and Flop were very glad their sister had not been carried off by the bad fox.
And on the next page, if the washtub doesn't fall out of its crib and knock a hole in the tea kettle so that all the lemonade runs out, I'll tell you how Curly helped his mamma.
HOW CURLY HELPED MOTHER
"Well, this is certainly a fine day for washing!" exclaimed Mrs. Twistytail, the pig lady, one morning as she got up from the nice, clean, straw bed where she had slept with little Pinky. "I must get right to work and hang out the sheets and pillow-cases so the sun will make them nice and white."
So she hurried through with the breakfast of sour milk with corn meal and sugar cakes, and as soon as Mr. Twistytail had gone to the factory, where he helped make sausage for buckwheat cakes, Mrs. Twistytail said:
"Now, children, do you want to help me wash?"
"Oh, yes, mamma!" they all cried at once.
"I'll turn the wringer," said Curly, "for I am good and strong."
"And I'll put the clothes pins in the basket and have them all ready," said Pinky, for, though she was only a little girl pig she could easily carry the clothes pins.
"What can I do?" asked Flop, the other little pig boy. His real name was Floppy, or Flop Ear, but I call him Flop for short you see.
"Oh, you can bring me in the sticks to make the fire," said his mamma, and soon the three piggie children were working away as fast as they could, helping their mamma, who was busy sorting out the clothes.
Soon the fire was made, and the sudsie-soapy water was boiling the clothes to sort of cook them nice and clean, and Pinky had the clothes pins all ready. Flop had put up the line, after he had brought in the firewood, and Curly was all ready with the wringer.
Well, you should have seen Mrs. Twistytail rub-adub-dub the clothes up and down on the washboard. My! how she did scatter the suds all over, and once some splashed right up in her eye, but she only laughed and sang a funny little song.
"Ready now, Curly!" she called to her eldest little boy. "Ready to wring out the clothes through the first water!"
So Curly turned the wringer, which doesn't ring like a bell, you know, but squeezes all the water out of the clothes so they will dry better. Around and around Curly turned the wringer handle, and the clothes came out like corn out of the popper.
"Oh, what fun!" cried the little pig boy, and his brother and sister thought it was very jolly to help their mamma.
"Now, you may run away and play for a while," said the pig lady. "I have to get the rinsing and bluing waters ready."
So Curly and Flop and Pinky ran out in the yard to play. Flop and Pinky saw a little boy and girl pig whom they knew, and they began playing, but Curly walked about, thinking maybe he might find a penny, when all of a sudden he saw his mamma hurrying out of the kitchen.
"Where are you going, mamma?" he called to her. "Is the washing all done? Can't I wring any more clothes?"
"Oh, yes," she answered. "There are plenty more to wring out even yet, but they must wait. Mrs. Littletail, who lives down the street, has just sent in to say that her little rabbit boy Sammie has the stomach ache and I am taking over some hot peppermint tea for him. The washing can wait until I get back."
On ran Mrs. Twistytail to make Sammie Littletail feel better, and just then her own little boy Curly had a great idea.
"I'll just slip in and finish the washing for mamma," he said to himself, as he saw that Flop and Pinky were still playing tag. "Won't she be s'prised when she comes in and sees the clothes all hung up to dry?"
So Curly hurried into the kitchen and there he saw a lot of water in a tub, and the pile of clothes in the basket ready to be rinsed and blued and hung out to dry. Then Curly began to help his mamma to make her surprised.
Into the tub he plumped the clothes, and then, fastening on the wringer, he began to wring them out as dry as he could. There were a lot of sheets and pillow-cases, and these last were like bags, full of wind and water when you put the open end in between the rubber rollers first. And then, when they came toward the closed end. My! how they would puff out and make a funny sissing noise.
Curly always liked to wring out the pillow-cases this way, and he had lots of fun. Soon he had a big basket of clothes ready to hang on the line. Wasn't he the smart little piggie boy, though?
Out into the yard he carried the basket of clothes. It was hard work, but he managed it. And how the wind did blow! It was all Curly could do to hold the big sheets from blowing away, but somehow he did, and he didn't want to call Flop or Pinky to help, for he wanted to surprise them, too, as well as his mamma.
Well, he had hung up quite a lot of clothes to dry, and then came a large pillow-case. The wind was blowing harder than ever, and as Curly tried to hang the case on the line a big, strong breeze just took hold of it, puffed it out like a balloon, and then—and then, my goodness me, sakes alive! the wind took the pillow-case right up in the air, and as Curly was hanging tightly to it, he went up also!
Right up into the air he went, sailing and sailing, just like an aeroplane, and he cried out:
"Mamma! Papa! Flop Ear! Pinky! Save me!" But none of them heard him, and he went higher and higher until the pillow-case, full of air like a balloon, caught in a tree, and there was the little piggie boy held where he couldn't get down. Oh, dear me, wasn't that terrible?
Curly didn't know what to do. The tree was too big for him to jump down and he couldn't climb very well. He thought he would have to stay up there forever, maybe. But he didn't. Pretty soon Sammie Littletail's stomach ache was all better and Mrs. Twistytail came home. The first things she saw were the clothes hanging out on the line—that is, all but the pillow-case that had taken Curly up in the tall tree.
"My goodness me! sakes alive and a corn cob," exclaimed Mrs. Twistytail. "The children must have done this to help me. My, but I am surprised. But I wonder where they are?" Then she saw Flop and Pinky playing tag, but she couldn't see Curly.
"Oh, Curly, Curly, where are you?" she called, and her little boy answered:
"I'm up in the tree with the pillow-case!" Then his mamma saw him and she nearly fainted. But she didn't quite faint, and then she telephoned for a fireman with a long ladder, who came and got Curly safely down.
So that's how he helped his mamma, and he surprised her more than he meant to, but it all came out right in the end. And soon the washing was all done, and the firemen gave each of the pig children a penny.
So that's all now, but in the next story, in case the oil can doesn't slide down the clothes pole and break the handle off the pump, so the angle worm can't get his ice cream cone, I'll tell you about Curly and the elephant.
CURLY AND THE ELEPHANT
When Curly Twistytail, the little pig boy, was digging away with his nose in the front yard, one day, hunting for lollypops, or maybe ice cream cones, under the grass, for all that I know; one day, I say, as he was rooting away, he heard his mamma calling:
"Oh, Curly; Oh, Flop Ear! I want some one to go to the store for me."
"That means I've got to go," thought Curly, as he looked around to see if his tail was still kinked into a little twist.
"I'll have to go because Flop is off playing ball with Bully the frog. Well, there's no use getting cross about it," so, giving a cheerful grunt or two, just to show that he didn't at all mind, Curly ran around to the back door and said:
"What is it, mamma? I'll go to the store for you?"
"Oh, there you are!" exclaimed Mrs. Twistytail. "Well, I want a dozen eggs, and be sure to get fresh ones, and don't smash them on the way home."
"I won't," said the little piggie boy, and with that he ran down the street squealing a tune about a little monkey who hung down by his tail, and when he went to sleep he sat inside the water pail.
Well, Curly got the eggs all right, and he was on his way home with them, when, all at once, as he came to the corner of the woods, where an old stump stood, out from behind it jumped a bad dog.
"Ha, what have you in that bag, little piggie boy?" asked the bad dog, catching hold of Curly by his ear so that he could not run away.
"Eggs," answered Curly. "There are eggs in this bag for a cake my mamma is going to bake."
"No, you are mistaken," said the dog, gritting his teeth. "Those eggs are for me, I want to eat them," and he reached out his paw for the paper bag.
Now, though Curly did not know it, this was a bad egg dog—that is, he liked to eat eggs raw, without ever boiling or frying them, and that kind of a dog is the worst there is. No one likes him, not even the old rooster who crows in the morning.
"I'll just take those eggs," said the bad dog, "and, though I don't know how to make a cake, still I can manage to eat them," and with that he took an egg out of the bag, chipped a little hole in the shell, and drank up the yellow and white part just as you would drink an ice cream soda. And, mind you, that dog never even winked an eye! What do you think of that?
"Number one!" the dog exclaimed, as he reached for another egg. "Now for number two!"
And oh! how badly Curly felt when he saw his mamma's eggs going that way. It was almost as bad as if he had dropped the bag on the sidewalk and smashed them, only, of course, it was not his fault.
Then the little piggie boy decided to be brave and bold. The bad dog was eating the second egg, and he had his nose tipped up in the air, so the white and yellow of the egg would run out of the shell down his throat, when, all of a sudden, Curly pulled himself loose from the dog's paw and grabbed up the bag with the ten eggs in it and ran away as fast as he could.
"Here! Come back!" cried the bad egg dog, as he threw the empty shell at Curly. "Come back here with the rest of my eggs!"
"Your eggs! No indeed!" cried Curly, and he didn't in the least mind when the egg shell hit him on the end of his nose, for, being empty, you understand, the shell didn't hurt any more than a piece of paper would have done.
"Ha! If you won't come back I'll chase after you!" barked the bad egg dog, and with that he began chasing after Curly.
Faster and faster ran Curly, and faster and faster came the dog after him, until he had nearly caught the little piggie boy. Then Curly thought to himself:
"Well, maybe if I roll one more egg to him he'll stop to eat that and let me alone. Anyhow, nine eggs will be enough for a cake, and I can tell mamma how it happened that the others were lost."
So the piggie boy stopped running long enough to take an egg out of the bag and roll it along the sidewalk toward the dog.
"Ah, ha!" growled the dog. "Egg Number Three!" and he stopped to eat the yellow and white part of it. Of course, Curly ran on, and he got some distance ahead, but you see the more eggs the dog ate the faster he could run, so on he came, and he had almost caught up to Curly when the little piggie boy thought again:
"Well, here goes for another egg!"
So he rolled a second one toward that bad dog, who ate it, hardly stopping at all, and on he came again.
"Now, I have you!" the dog cried, as he threw the empty shell at Curly, striking him on the nose once more. "Now, I'll get all the eggs, and besides, I'll bite your tail off for running away!"
"Oh, how dreadful!" thought Curly, and he wondered how it would feel to have no tail. He was running as fast as he could, and he was wishing a policeman or fireman would save him from the bad dog, when, all at once, out from a yard with a high fence around it sprang something big and white, with yellow legs, and there came a hissing sound, just as if water were being squirted out of a hose. Then a voice said:
"Here, you bad dog, let my friend Curly alone! Run away, now, or I'll nip you on your toes and nose! Skip! Hiss! Scoot!"
And that dog was so frightened that he didn't think a single thing more about eggs, but he just tucked his tail between his legs, where it wouldn't get in his way, and off he ran.
"Oh, saved at last!" gasped Curly, as he sat down on the curbstone to rest, "and I still have eight eggs left for mamma's cake." Then he looked up to see who had rescued him, and it was old Grandfather Goosey Gander, the father of all the geese. The brave creature had hissed at the bad egg dog and frightened him away.
"Oh, how thankful I am to you," said Curly, politely, "and when the cake is baked you shall have a piece, Grandpa Goosey."
So he went on home with the rest of the eggs and—well, I do declare! I have forgotten all about the elephant! I know he was to be in this story, somewhere, but there's no room now, so I'll have to put him in the next one, which will be about Flop and the bag of meal—that is, if the clothes-basket doesn't fall on the gas stove and make the rice pudding go down the cellar to hide away from the rag doll.
FLOP AND THE BAG OF MEAL
Now, let me see, I promised to put in this story, something about the elephant; didn't I? That's because I left it out of the story on the page before this, where Curly had such a dreadful time with the bad egg dog.
Well, now, if I leave the elephant out of this story I promise that I'll give each one of you an ice cream cone with a raisin in it. All you'll have to do—in case I forget to tell about the elephant and how he helped Flop—all you have to do, I say, is to come up to my house and say "Magoozilum!" at me, just like that, and turn two somersaults on the parlor rug, and the ice cream cone is yours for the asking.
But now let's get right at the story. You see it happened this way. Once upon a time, when Curly and his brother Flop were out in the yard of the piggy-house, playing "ring around the apple tree," their mother called to them:
"Oh, boys! come in here!" she said, and when they got to the kitchen where she was working, she asked them: "Do you know what I'm making?"
"Pies," said Curly.
"Pudding," suggested Flop, as he tried to make his slimpsy ear stand up straight, but he couldn't.
"Neither one," said their mother. "But if one of you will go to the store for me I'll make a Johnny cake for supper."
"A Johnny cake?" asked Curly. "Is it called that because a boy has to be named Johnny to eat it?"
"No," answered his mother with a laugh, "but lots of boys named Johnny do eat it. However, just at the last minute I find that I have no corn meal. Now who wants to go to the store for a bag full, so I can make the Johnny cake?"
"I went for the eggs, last time," said Curly, sort of slow and thoughtful like.
"Then I suppose it's Flop's turn to go for the bag of meal," said his mother. "But I do hope the bad dog doesn't chase him."
"Oh, I'm not afraid, mamma," said the little piggie boy. "If he comes after me I'll throw corn meal dust in his nose and make him sneeze, and then he can't see to catch me."
"Very well," said Mrs. Twistytail, so she gave Flop the money for the bag of meal. Off he started to the store, while his brother, Curly, went back in the yard to play hop-skip-and-jump, all by himself.
Flop went along the street, whirling his tail in a little circle like a pin-wheel, or a merry-go-round, and he was thinking how good the Johnny cake would taste, when, all of a sudden, he heard a noise.
It was a noise something like thunder, yet not quite so loud, and Flop was wondering what it was, when, all at once, as he turned around the corner, he saw a big elephant sitting on a stump, and crying as hard as he could cry. And this elephant had made the noise.
Ah ha! That's the time I caught you; I've got the elephant in this story after all, so you can't have the ice cream cones this time. But never mind, maybe some other day you may.
Anyhow, there was the elephant crying, and he shed as many tears as you could cry in a year, even if you've been vaccinated. And Flop instead of being afraid, went right up to the big creature and said, most politely:
"What is the matter? Can I help you?"
"Eh? What's that?" exclaimed the elephant. "Bless my trunk strap! It's a little pig. Oh dear!"
"What is the matter?" asked Flop.
"Oh, I ran a big sliver in my left hind foot," said the elephant, "and I can't get it out. I've tried to pull it with my tail, but my tail isn't long enough, and I can't even reach it with my trunk. And I was to go to the codfish ball tonight, and now I can't, for I never could dance with a sliver in my foot."
"Perhaps I can pull it out," said Flop, and when the elephant held up his foot, which was nearly as large as a washtub, the little piggie boy could see the splinter as plainly as anything.
"I'll get it out," he exclaimed and then he wound his kinky, curly tail around the splinter and pulled it right out of the elephant's foot as quick as a wink.
"Oh, how kind of you!" cried the big creature. "If ever I can do you a favor I will. Now I can go to the party tonight and dance. But I'll just sit here awhile and rest, before I go."
So Flop went on to the store to get the corn meal, and he told the man about how Mrs. Twistytail was going to make a Johnny cake and how he had pulled the splinter out of the elephant's foot, and the store man said:
"You are a brave little piggie boy, and here is a lollypop for you."
Well, Flop was on his way home, carrying the bag of meal, and he was taking little nips and nibbles off the lolly-pop, when all at once what should happen but that, out from behind a tree sprang the bad skillery-scalery alligator.
"Ah, ha!" he cried. "Now I have you. Now for some roast pork and apple sauce!" and he made a grab for Flop, but he didn't quite catch him, I'm glad to say. And how that little piggie boy did run! Faster and faster he ran, carrying the bag of meal for the Johnny cake, but still the 'gator came after him and almost had him.
"Oh, will no one save me?" cried Flop, for he could hardly run any more, and then all of a sudden, he came to the place where the elephant was still sitting on a stump, resting himself.
"Oh, help me! Help me!" cried Flop.
"Indeed, I will!" shouted the elephant. And with that, in his strong trunk, he lifted Flop up on his broad back. Still the skillery- scalery alligator came on, and he cried in his rasping voice:
"I want that pig!"
"Oh you do, eh?" asked the elephant, sarcastic like. "Well, you can't have him. Take that!" and then the elephant just reached around back with his trunk and took some corn meal out of the bag that Flop held and the elephant blew the meal in the alligator's eyes and nose and mouth and then—
"A-choo! Aker-choo! Boo-hoo! Hoo hoo! Splitzie-doo! Foo-foo!" sneezed the alligator, turning forty-'leven somersaults. "Oh, dear me, what a cold I have!" and he sneezed so hard that all of his back teeth dropped out, and he couldn't bite any one for nearly a week. And then he crawled off, leaving Flop to go home in peace and quietness and watch his mamma make a Johnny cake.
And when the cake was baked they gave the kind elephant some to take to the codfish ball with him, and that's the end of this story, if you please.
But on the next page, if I have left any of those ice cream cones with raisins inside, to give to the trolley car conductor when he punches my transfer, I'll tell you about the piggie boys at school.
PIGGY BOYS AT SCHOOL
One day Curly, the little pig who had such a funny shaped tail, said to his brother, Flop Ear:
"Say, let's run off and look for adventures as Uncle Wiggily, the old gentleman rabbit, used to do!"
"Where shall we run?" asked Flop.
"Oh, almost anywhere," answered Curly. "We'll go down the road, toward Sylvan Way, and out beyond the old black stump, and turn the corner around the place where the apple tree grows, and then we'll see what will happen."
"All right," agreed Flop, so the two little pig brothers started off. Their mamma was making some red flannel pies in the kitchen, ready for winter, and of course she did not see them go, or perhaps she might have stopped them.
Pretty soon, in a little while, oh, maybe in about an hour and a half, Curly and Flop came to a building all made of red brick, with a chimney sticking from the top for the smoke to come out of, and a lot of doors and windows in it.
"I wonder what that is?" said Flop.
"Maybe it's where the skillery scalery alligator lives," suggested Curly.
"Oh, no, he lives in a rocky cave under the water," spoke Flop. "This isn't his house."
"Then it's where the bad fox lives," went on Curly as he put his nose down in the dirt to see if he could find any hickory nuts there.
"No, the fox lives in a stump," said Flop. "I don't know what this place can be."
And then, all of a sudden, before you could take a brush and paint a picture of a lion on a soda cracker, all of a sudden the piggie boys heard a lot of voices singing a song like this:
"We are little children, To school we love to go; We run along, And sing a song, In rain or hail or snow."
"Oh, ho!" exclaimed Curly. "That's a school, that's what it is."
"To be sure," agreed his brother. "Let's go in and learn our A B C's and then we can go home and tell mamma all about it. This is an adventure, all right."
"I believe it is," said Curly. So the two little piggy boys walked along through the front door of the school, right into the room where the nice lady bug teacher was telling the children how to make a straight line crooked by bending it, and how to put butter on their bread, by spreading it.
"Oh, my!" exclaimed a little rabbit girl, as she saw the two piggie boys in school. "Look at that!"
"Quiet! No talking!" said the lady bug teacher.
"Oh, but this is like Mary's little lamb, only it's different," said Jonny Bushytail, the squirrel boy, as he remembered the verse about the lamb in school. Only this time it was pigs.
And, all this while Curly and Flop just stood there, in the school room looking about them and wondering what they had better do. For they had never been to school before; not even in the kindergarten class.
"This is a funny place," said Flop.
"Isn't it?" agreed Curly. "They all seem quite surprised to see us."
"They do, indeed," agreed Flop and, as a matter of fact, all the animal children in the school were laughing. But the teacher—she didn't laugh. Instead, she said:
"Quiet, if you please! Fold your paws, everybody! Now, that the little pigs have come to school we must see how much they know, so we can tell what class to put them in." So she said to Curly:
"D-o-g," spelled the little pig boy.
"Wrong," said the teacher. "I guess you will have to go in the kindergarten class." Then she said to Flop Ear; "Spell boy."
"G-i-r-l," spelled Flop.
"Wrong," said the teacher. "You, too, will have to go in the kindergarten class. Now, I wonder if either of you piggy boys can make a paper bird in a cage."
So she gave each of them a pair of scissors and some red paper, and blue and pink and yellow and brown and all colors like that. But my goodness sakes alive and some candy with cocoanut on the top! Curly and Flop had never learned to cut things out of paper, and of course they did not know how. They just cut and slashed and didn't make anything but scrips and scraps.
"Oh, dear!" exclaimed the teacher. "Such piggie boys I never saw! They can't even be in the baby kindergarten class!"
"Maybe they can do something," said Susie Littletail's new baby sister. "Some trick or anything like that."
"Of course we can!" cried Curly, who was ashamed that his brother and himself could do nothing the teacher asked. "Just watch us!" he cried.
So he stood up on the end of his tail and spun around like a top, and then he made a squealing noise like a horn and played a tune called "Ham and Eggs are Very Fine, but Ice Cream Cones are Better." Then Flop turned a somersault and stood on one leg, and then the two piggie boys danced up and down together like leaves falling off a tree.
"Oh! those little fellows are smarter than I thought they were," said the lady bug teacher. "I guess they can be in our first class after all."
And just then a great big, bad, black bear rushed into the schoolroom, and he was going to grab up about forty-'leven of the animal children.
But Curly suddenly shouted:
"Here, you scoot away from us or I'll make a bee sting you on the nose!" and as the bear was very much afraid of being stung on the end of his soft and tender nose, he ran away as fast as he could and stayed in his den, eating postage stamps for nearly a week, and didn't bother anybody.
Then the teacher and all the animal children thought the piggie boys were very clever indeed, and the lady bug invited them to come to school whenever they wanted to. And Curly and Flop said they would come.
Then they ran home to dinner and that's all there is to this story. But on the next page, in case the little girl with brown eyes doesn't cut all the green grass for the rag baby's hair ribbon, I'll tell you about Curly being vaccinated.
CURLY IS VACCINATED
About two days, or maybe three days and part of another one, after Curly Twistytail and his brother, Flop, had run away to school and had performed their funny tricks, as I told you in the story before this one, something else happened. And this is the way it was:
Curly was out in the yard in front of the piggy house one morning, raking up the leaves and thinking what fun he would have making a fire and roasting some ears of corn, when he heard his mamma calling:
"Oh, boys! Where are you?"
"Here I am," answered Curly as he jumped over a pile of leaves and fell into the middle of them. But it did not hurt him, as they were so nice and soft.
"And here I am, too!" exclaimed Flop, and the other little piggie boy, who was up in a hammock, swinging with one of the Katy Dids, jumped down and ran to the back kitchen door.
"What is it, mother?" called both the little piggie boys together.
"I want one of you to go to the store for me," she said, "I need some chocolate to put on top of a cake."
"Oh, I'll go!" exclaimed Floppy and Curly together, quickly, and you could not tell which one spoke first. But Mrs. Twistytail said:
"Well, I think I'll let Floppy go, and when he comes back I'll give you each some of the cake."
So off Flop ran to the store, squealing as hard as anything because he was so happy. At first Curly felt a little sad that he couldn't go to the store, for the man who kept it always gave the piggie boys a sweet cracker or something like that. But, of course, only one was needed to carry the chocolate.
"Never mind," said Curly's mamma to him. "You may go next time."
So then he felt better, and he was thinking what fun it would be to have a piece of chocolate cake, when all of a sudden he stopped to think.
"I guess I'll go to school again!" he exclaimed. "That will be fun. Yes, I'll go to school!"
So off he started, while his brother was getting the chocolate at the store, and pretty soon Curly came to the place where the lady bug school teacher had her classes of animal children in a hollow stump.
Curly knocked at the door, and when the teacher came to open it he made his best bow.
"Well, what is it, little piggie boy?" asked the teacher, kindly.
"If you please," said Curly, "I want to come to school."
"Very good," said the teacher. "I think you may. You and your brother were so kind as to scare off the bear, so you may come to our class. But, first, let me ask you—have you been vaccinated?"
"Vaccinated?" repeated Curly. "Is that like a lollypop?"
"No, that is having the doctor scratch your leg with a toothpick so you won't get sick and have the epizootic," said the teacher. "Let me see your paw."
So she looked at Curly's paw, which he held out, and she saw that he had never been vaccinated, so she said he would have to have that done to him before he could come to school every day.
"You go home," said the teacher to the little piggie boy, "and get vaccinated. Then come back in about a week."
So, as Curly wanted to go to school very much, on his way home he went past Dr. Possum's office. And going in, he said:
"I want to be vaccinated, doctor, so I can go to school."
"Very well," answered Dr. Possum. "We'll do it."
So Curly rolled up his sleeve, and the doctor scratched his paw with a toothpick, and put some funny kind of yellow salve on it, and wrapped it up in a little celluloid cap to keep the snowflakes from it, and also that no mosquitos could bite it.
"Now, in about a week your arm will begin to itch," said the doctor, "and it will tickle you, and then, after a bit, you will be vaccinated, and you can go to school."
"Very good," said Curly, and he wondered why all little animal children had to be vaccinated, and have the mumps and the measles- pox and epizootic, and all things like that, but he couldn't guess, and so he didn't try.
He was rolling down his sleeve, and Dr. Possum was putting away the toothpick with which he had vaccinated the little piggie boy, when, all of a sudden, into the room jumped a big fuzzy fox, crying out:
"Oh, Joy! Oh, good luck! Oh, hungriness! Here I have a pig dinner and an opossum dinner all at once! Oh, happiness!"
Then he made a jump, and was just going to grab Dr. Possum and Curly too, when the little piggie boy cried out:
"Vaccinate him! Vaccinate him, Dr. Possum. That will make him so itchy that he can't bite us."
"The very thing!" cried Dr. Possum, and before the big fuzzy fox could get out of the way Dr. Possum vaccinated him on the end of his nose with the toothpick all covered with the funny yellow salve, and the fox was so kerslostrated that he jumped over his tail seven times, and then leaped out of the window, leaving Curly and Dr. Possum in peace. And in about a week—oh, how that fox's nose did itch! Wow! And some sandpaper besides!
As for Curly, he was vaccinated very nicely, indeed, and he could go to school when his arm got well. And what happened next I'll tell you in the story after this, and it will be about Curly and the spinning top—that is, it will if the pink parasol coming up the street doesn't slip on the horse chestnut and make the pony cart fall down the coal hole.
CURLY AND THE SPINNING TOP
"Oh dear!" cried Curly one morning, before his papa, Mr. Twistytail, the pig gentleman, had started for work. "Oh dear, how dreadful I feel!"
"Why, what is the matter?" asked his papa, as he looked in the back of the shiny dishpan to see if his collar was on straight.
"Oh, my arm hurts so!" went on Curly. "It all seems swelled up, and it has a lump under it and I don't feel a bit good. Oh dear!"
"It's his vaccination," said his mamma. "It is beginning to 'take' now, and it pains him."
"What is beginning to 'take', mamma?" asked Curly. "It is beginning to take the pain away? Because if it isn't I wish it was. Oh dear!"
"It will soon be better," said Mrs. Twistytail. "Would you like some nice yellow cornmeal ice cream, or some lollypops, flavored with sour milk?"
"Neither, mamma," answered the piggie boy. "But I would like something to amuse me."
"All right," answered the pig lady. "Then I'll send Flop Ear down to the store to get you a toy. Come Floppy," she called, "go and get something with which to amuse your brother," for you see Flop hadn't yet been vaccinated, and his arm was not sore.
"What would you like?" asked Flop of his brother. "Shall I get you a mouth organ, or a kite, so you can fly away up to the clouds?"
"Neither one," said Curly. "I want a spinning top that I can make go around when I lie down in bed. And I want it to make music and jump around on a plate and slide on a string and all things like that."
"All right," said Flop Ear. "I'll try to get it for you."
So he went down to the eleven-and-six-cent store to buy a spinning top for his brother. And he found it, too. It was a top all painted red and blue and yellow and green, and when you wound it up, and pressed a spring, it spun around and around as fast as anything, making soft and low music like the wind blowing through the trees on a summer night, and sending the mosquitoes all sailing away to the north pole.
"I know Curly Tail will like this," said Flop Ear.
So the store man wrapped the top up for him in a nice piece of blue paper, tied with a pink string, just the kind they have in the drug store, and Flop started back with the top to amuse his little sick, vaccinated brother.
And when Curly saw that top, all colored red and green, and blue and yellow and skilligminkpurple, as it was, he felt better at once, and, sitting up in bed, he began to spin it on a nice smooth board that his brother brought up from the woodpile for him.
Around and around on the board spun the top, looking like a pinwheel on the night before Fourth of July, and Curly's sore arm began to feel better all at once.
Then Flop started to run down in the yard to play hop scotch with Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, the puppy dogs, and Curly said:
"Some day, Flop, when you've been vaccinated, I'll get you a top to amuse you."
"Thank you," spoke Flop most politely, as he slid down the banisters and bumped off on the last step with a bounce.
So Curly played with his spinning top, and his brother was down in the yard, having fun, when, all at once in at the window where Curly was in bed, jumped a great big snail. Now a snail is an animal that has horns, and he lives in a shell that grows on his back, and he goes very slowly. But sometimes, when he has eaten red pepper for his lunch, he can go as fast as anything. And this was what had happened to this snail. He had eaten red pepper, and he fairly jumped in at the window where Curly was lying in bed.
"Bur-r-r-r!" warbled the snail, "Here I am," and he made a grab for the little piggie boy, for he was a very large snail indeed, as big as a dog house.
"Look out for my vaccination!" cried Curly. "Don't hit my arm, please."
"Oh, what do I care for vaccinations!" cried the snail. "If you don't give it to me at once, so I can throw it away, I'll stick you with my horns," and he wiggled them at Curly just as a mooley cow would have done.
"Give you my vaccination!" cried Curly. "Why, how can I, when it's fast on my leg?"
"No matter!" snapped and snipped the snail. "Give it to me at once," and he reached over, and he was just going to squeeze Curly Tail's vaccination, and maybe hurt him like anything for all I know, when, all of a sudden, the little piggie boy thought of his spinning top.
It was all wound up, ready to spin, so Curly just pushed the spring, and whizzicum-whazzicum, around and around went the top, on the board in bed, right in front of the snail. And when the queer creature, with his home on his back, saw it he cried out:
"Oh, merry-go-rounds! Oh, pin wheels! Oh, circus hoops!" For it made him dizzy to see the top spinning around, you see. "Stop it!" he begged, but Curly would not, and at last the snail got so dizzy from watching the spinning top that he fell right over backward on it, and around and around he went, faster and faster, until, all of a sudden, just as when you get off a merry-go-round before it stops moving, that snail was tossed off from the top right out of the window into the mulberry bush, where he belonged, and so he didn't stick Curly with his horns after all. Wasn't that good?
So that's how Curly, with his spinning top, got the best of the snippery snail, and a few days later the little piggy boy could go to school whenever he wanted, for his vaccination was all better. And as for that snail, well, the less said about him the better—at least in this story.
And pretty soon, in case the man who is taking up the dried leaves in the street, doesn't put the rag baby in his bag and take her off to gather chestnuts, I'll tell you about Flop Ear and the frozen turtle.
FLOP AND THE TURTLE
"Bur-r-r! Whew! Ice cream!" exclaimed Curly, the little piggie boy, one morning, as he hopped out of his bed in the clean straw and ran to the head of the stairs to see if breakfast was ready. "It's cold! Terrible cold!"
"Of course it is," agreed Flop, his brother. "It will soon be winter and time for chestnuts and popcorn and sliding down hill and all that. Of course it's cold."
"I hope there is some warm water to wash in," went on Curly.
"Warm water! What's that!" cried his papa from the next room. "Nonsensicalness! Cold water is better for you. It will make your skin nice and rosy. Wash in cold water."
So Curly, whether he wanted to or no, had to sozzle and splash himself all over in cold water, and really it did him good, for it made him feel nice and warm and made his ears and nose as red as a pink flannel blanket.
Then the two piggie boys were ready for breakfast, and they had hot corn meal cakes, with sour-milk and maple syrup sprinkled on them, and eggs, with the shells taken off, and warm milk and all things like that.
Then it was time for Curly to go to school, but as for Flop, he had not yet been vaccinated, and so he could not go to blackboard classes and learn how to add two and two together and make a mud pie of them, or how to write his name with red chalk that made blue marks.
"What are you going to do while I'm at school?" asked Curly of his little piggie brother, who was playing in the front yard.
"Oh, I think I'll build myself a little house out of corncobs," said Flop, "and then I'll go over and tell Jennie Chipmunk that she can put her rag doll to sleep in it."
"Fine!" cried Curly. "And when I come home from school I'll bring you each a lollypop."
So Curly put on his warm checker-pattern coat and stuck his paws in little red mittens, for it was quite cold that morning, and off he went to school.
But his brother, who had to stay home because he was not vaccinated, looked out in the yard, and pretty soon he said:
"Oh, I guess I'll go out and take a walk. Maybe I can find something or have an adventure."
So out Flop walked in the yard, and pretty soon, in a little while, not so very long, he came to a place where there was something that looked like a black stone with yellow marks on it.
"That's just what I'm looking for," said Flop, as he saw the queer stone. "I heard my mamma saying the other day that she needed some weight to keep the kitchen door from blowing shut. This stone will be the very thing for her."
So over he ran to where he saw the thing that looked like a stone, and he picked it up, no matter if it was cold. For there was frost on the ground—white frost that made everything look as though a little shower of snow had fallen—and everything was cold and frozen.
Into the house ran Flop, the little piggie boy, carrying his black stone, all streaked with yellow.
"Oh, see what I have found for you, mamma!" he exclaimed. "It will keep the kitchen door from blowing shut."
"So it will," said his mamma. "What a kind boy you are." So she took the stone and placed it where it would keep the kitchen door from slamming, and going shut, and then she made a custard pie so that Curly could have some when he came home from school.
Pretty soon the pie was done, and Flop was almost asleep in the nice warm kitchen waiting for his piece. His mamma suddenly called to him:
"Flop, will you watch the pie for a minute while I run across the street and borrow a yeast cake from Mrs. Wibblewobble, the duck lady?"
"Yes, of course I will," said Flop, rubbing his sleepy eyes. Then he looked all around the kitchen, and on the table where it was cooling he saw the nice pies his mamma had made, and he thought how good a piece would be, and then he also saw something else.
Into the kitchen came creeping a bad old egg dog—the same one who had tried to get the eggs from Curly a few days before.
"Pies!" cried the bad egg dog! "Custard pies! How I love 'em! Yum- yum!" and with that he made a jump and he was just going to eat the lovely custard pie Mrs. Twistytail had made when Flop said:
"Here, you let that pie alone, if you please. It isn't yours. It's my mamma's."
"No matter!" growled the bad egg dog. "I will eat it anyhow, and you can't stop me!"
And with that he started to throw Flop out of the window, but the little piggie boy cried:
"Oh, what shall I do? Will no one help me?"
"Yes, of course. I will!" answered a voice, and then that queer object, which Flop had thought was a stone, began to move. Out of a shell came a long neck, and a head with a sharp mouth on the end, and out came four sharp claws, and instead of a stone there was a mud turtle as large as life. Really there was, I'm not fooling a bit!
"I'll help you!" cried the brave turtle.
"Oh, you!" said Flop. "I thought you were a stone to keep the kitchen door from swinging shut."
"No, I am a turtle—a frozen turtle," said the voice. "At least I WAS frozen. The cold weather made me so slimpsy-slopsy that I couldn't move, if you will kindly excuse me saying so. But as soon as I got warmed up in your nice kitchen I became as lively as ever. I'll soon fix that dog. Watch me!"
And all of a sudden the turtle bit that dog on the end of its tail, and the dog ran off howling, and so he didn't get any of the nice pie, and he didn't bother Flop, nor Curly and his vaccination, any more, and that night they gave the turtle some hot lemonade so he wouldn't catch any more cold from having been almost frozen by the frosts. And as for that dog, why a dentist pulled one of his ears next day.
So you see what Flop thought was a stone turned out to be a frozen turtle who did him a great favor. And ever after that whenever Mrs. Twistytail made pie the turtle was always in the kitchen to keep the door open, and drive out any bad dogs in case they happened to get in.
And so no more now, if you please, as I am sleepy, and I know you must be, too. But in case the little girl in Montclair doesn't drop her doll on the sidewalk, and spill the sawdust all over the stick of molasses candy I'll tell you next about Curly and the chestnuts.
CURLY AND THE CHESTNUTS
"Why, Curly," exclaimed the nice old lady owl school teacher one day, when the class in drawing was doing its lesson. "Why, Curly Twistytail! I'm certainly surprised at you!"
Of course, all the animal children looked over at the little piggie boy, and at his brother Flop, also; but Flop had done nothing. And what do you suppose it was that Curly had done?
Why, instead of drawing a picture of a pail of sour milk, as the teacher had told him to do, he had made a picture of a monkey-doodle sitting on top of a Jack o'Lantern pumpkin. Wasn't that just awful! Well, I guess yes, and some tooth brushes besides.
"Oh, Curly, how could you?" asked the owl teacher, in a sorrowful voice.
"I—I didn't mean to," spoke the little piggie boy. "I—I guess it just—happened."
You see, during the drawing lesson, when the animal children were supposed to make different pictures on their papers, the teacher would fly around the room softly and come up from behind the desks. Thus, she could look over the animal children's shoulders and see what they were doing, when they didn't know it. It was then that she had seen what Curly, the pig, drew.
"Well, Curly," went on the owl teacher, sadly, "of course, it was wrong of you to make that kind of a picture, and, though I do not like to do it, I shall have to punish you. You will have to stay in after school."
And so that's how it was that Curly did not go out with the other animal children when school was dismissed. He had to stay in and clean off the blackboards, but he didn't mind that much, and really he was sorry for being a little bit bad.
"You may go now," said the owl school teacher, after a while, and Curly hurried home, feeling a little sad, and wondering what his mamma would say to him. He also wanted to hurry and have some fun with his brother, Flop.
Well, as Curly was going through the woods, all of a sudden, under a tree, something fell and hit him on the nose. He jumped to one side and exclaimed:
"Who is throwing stones at me?"
But no one answered, and Curly went on. Soon something else fell down, and hit him on the ear.
"I say!" he cried. "Would you please stop that? Is that the skillery-scalery alligator, or the fuzzy fox?"
But no one answered him, and Curly hurried on, thinking that perhaps bad fairies might be trying to have fun with him, or maybe turn him into a ham, or a piece of bacon, or something like that.
Well, he had not gone on much farther when, all at once, another something pattered down from a high tree, and struck him on the nose again.
"Oh, I say!" cried Curly, "please stop!" for this time it had been something sharp that hit him. "That isn't fair!" went on the little piggie boy. "Who is throwing things at me?"
He looked down on the ground, and there he saw something like a rubber ball, only it was a sort of greenish brown color, and had stickers all over on it. And then it burst open, and out rolled three little brown things.
"My word!" cried Curly, just like an English piggie boy. "My word! What is this?"
"Ha! Ha!" laughed a voice behind him, and turning quickly around Curly saw Jacko Kinkytail, a hand organ monkey, hanging by his tail from a tree branch. "Ha! Ha!" laughed the monkey again. "Don't you know what those brown things on the ground are?"
"No indeed," replied the piggie boy. "What are they?"
"Chestnuts," said Jacko the hand organ monkey. "They are chestnuts, and they fell off the trees and hit you. No one was throwing stones at you, though the prickly burrs inside of which the chestnuts are, seem as large as stones."
"Chestnuts, eh?" spoke Curly. "What good are they?"
"To eat," answered the monkey. "We will build a fire and roast some, and you will like them very much."
"Goodie-oodie!" squealed Curly, and, as he and the monkey began to gather up the chestnuts, the piggie boy was rather glad, after all, that he had been kept in, though of course he was sorry that he had made the wrong picture in drawing class.
So while Curly gathered up the chestnuts, rooting them out from under the leaves with his nose, that was like a piece of rubber, and stamping them out of the prickly burrs with his sharp feet—while he was doing this, I say, the monkey was making a fire to roast the nuts.
Soon Curly had quite a pile of them by an old stump, and the monkey had built a hot fire.
"Now, we will roast the chestnuts," spoke Jacko, and he put several pawsful on the hot coals.
"And when will they be roasted?" asked Curly.
"Soon," answered the monkey. "We will have a game of tag while we are waiting."
And, all of a sudden, as they were playing tag, out from under a big flat stone, came the bad skillery-scalery alligator, with a tin horn on his back. Oh! but he was a bad fellow!
"Ah, ha!" he cried. "Now I have you! Now I will have a piggie boy to eat and a monkey boy to wait on the table. Come along, both of you!" and the bad alligator made a grab for the two friends and was about to carry them off to his den.
"Oh, please let me go!" begged Curly.
"Yes do!" asked the monkey. "Let us go."
"No! No!" snapped the alligator. And just then there sounded this noise:
"Bang! Bang! Snap! Crack! Bang! Boom!"
"Oh I what is that?" cried the 'gator. "Oh! the hunters with their guns are after me. I must run! This is no place for me!"
Then, dropping Curly and the monkey, the bad alligator ran away as fast as he could, and didn't hurt either of them, and the "bang- bang!" noises kept getting louder and louder.
"Oh, what are they?" asked Curly, who was almost as much frightened as the alligator had been at the strange sounds.
"Nothing but the roasting chestnuts," answered Jacko the monkey. "They are bursting and making noises like guns because the fire is so hot, and because I forgot to make holes in the nuts to let the steam out. But it is a good thing I did, for they burst and scared the alligator."
"Indeed, they did," agreed Curly.
"And we'll roast some more chestnuts in place of the burst ones," said the monkey, and he did, and Curly had as many as he wanted, and some to take home. Soon he arrived at the piggie-house, and every one was glad to see him and the chestnuts, and that's all to this story.
But in case the pretty Red Cross nurse with the blue eyes and the jolly laugh says that it's all right for the trolley car to jump over the house and play tag with the chimney, I'll tell you next about Baby Pinky and the doctor.
BABY PINKY AND THE DOCTOR
One night, in the piggie house where Mr. and Mrs. Twisty tail lived with their three children, there was a crying noise.
"Hey! What's that?" asked Curly, one of the piggie boys, as he threw some of the straw from his bed over on the one where his brother Floppy slept.
"Oh, I don't know. Cats howling, I guess," answered Flop. "Go to sleep and don't mind 'em."
So he and Curly tried hard to go to sleep again, but you know how it is, sometimes, the more you try to close your eyes, and dream, the wider awake you get. It was this way with the two piggie boys, though you can hardly blame them for not sleeping, as the crying noise sounded louder and louder.
"That isn't cats," said Curly, after a while.
"No," agreed Flop. "I guess it isn't. Sounds more like Baby Pinky crying. I wonder what's the matter?"
"Let's get up and look," suggested Curly who always liked to be doing something, even at night. So the two piggie boys crawled softly from their beds and looked out of the door. They saw in the next room their papa scooting around in his bare feet, carrying a kettle of hot water, and then they heard their mamma saying:
"There, there now, little one. Your pain will soon be better. Don't cry and wake up the boys."
"Oh, we are awake!" exclaimed Curly through the open door of his room.
"What's the matter?" asked his brother. "Is somebody sick?"
"Baby Pinky is," answered Mrs. Twistytail. "But go to sleep. We'll call you if we want you." The two piggie boys saw their papa getting more hot water, and other things, from the kitchen, and they heard their mamma walking around with their baby sister, and they tried to go to sleep, but they didn't rest much, for they were too anxious.
During the night they managed to doze off, but still they heard noises through the house, and when it was almost morning, but when the stars were still twinkling, they heard their papa go softly out of the front door. And they heard their mamma say: "Tell the doctor to come as soon as he can, Archibald." You see, Mr. Twistytail's first name was Archibald. And he answered:
"Yes, I'll get him soon," and then the two boys heard their papa sort of blowing his nose hard and coughing, as if he had a bad cold. You see, papa pigs feel as badly when their little children get sick as real papas do, every bit.
Now in the morning, when the sun was up, there was a busy time at the pig-house. First came Grandfather Squealer, the oldest pig of them all, and he was a very nice gentleman.
"You boys must be very good and quiet," he said to Curly and Flop. "For your little sister is very sick, and may have to go to the hospital."
"What's a hospital?" asked Curly.
"It's a place where they make sick folks get well," answered Grandfather Squealer. "Now, you boys get ready for school. The doctor is still here, and may be for some time."
And so Dr. Possum was—up in the room looking after poor sick Pinky. There was something the matter inside her—I didn't know what it was, but anyhow she had to go to the hospital to have it fixed, just as when the clock doesn't go, the jeweler has to put new wheels in it, or fix the old ones.
"But I don't want to go to the hospital," squealed Pinky, when they told her she would have to. "I want to stay home," and she made such a fuss that Dr. Possum said:
"This isn't good for her. We must get her to be more quiet, or she will be very ill."
"Oh, please let us try to get her quiet," begged Curly, who, with his brother, heard what was said. "We'll do some funny tricks, and stand on our tails, and sing a little song, and then Pinky will want to go to the hospital."
"Very well," spoke Dr. Possum, so the two piggie boys did all the tricks they could think of, from whirling around on the ends of their tails to rolling themselves down a hill, like a hoop, with an apple in their mouths. As Pinky watched them, she felt a little better, and when the big ambulance automobile came to take her to the hospital she was almost laughing.
And even when she got in the nice big hospital, so clean and neat, she wasn't frightened, for the little squirrel nurses were so kind to her and they looked so pretty in their caps and blue dresses that Pinky felt sure she was going to like it there. And then the doctor said to her.
"Now, Pinky, little girl, I will have to hurt you the least bit, but no more than I can help, and after it is over you will be all better and you will have no pain and you will be well. Are you going to be a brave little piggie and stand for it?"
"Ye—yes," faltered Pinky, but when the time came for them to really make her better, and when it hurt, she cried out:
"Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" and she wiggled so hard that the nurses and doctors could hardly hold her, just as when some children get vaccinated.
"This will never do," said Dr. Possum. "If she doesn't keep quiet we cannot make her get well."
"I can't!" cried Pinky. "I can't! I can't!"
Well, no one knew what to do, until just then Uncle Wiggily Longears, the old gentleman rabbit, came along, and he saw at once what was the matter.
"I'll fix it!" he exclaimed. "If Curly and Flop will stand outside the hospital and sing funny songs while the doctor is fixing Pinky, she will not mind it in the least."
"We'll try it," said Dr. Possum. So the two piggie boys began to sing funny songs under Pinky's window. They sang about the mousie who had a rubber nose, and every time he blew it he bounced on his tiptoes. Then there was another one about a doggie, who could not wag his tail, because he'd fastened on it the monkey's drinking pail. And when Pinky heard these songs she felt much better, and she let the doctor do whatever he had to do to her.
And when he hurt her quite badly (though, of course, he did not mean to, for it was to make her better), and when Pinky cried, Curly and Flop danced harder than ever and sang about the kittie who had a penny hat, and when the ribbons all fell off she gave it to a rat.
Pinky laughed at that, and when her two brothers chased after Sammie Littletail, the rabbit, and made him jump over a telegraph pole just for fun, she felt so jolly that Dr. Possum could finish making her all better, and she never cried once again.
So this shows you that even little animal children can go to the hospital and not mind it at all, though I hope none of you boys and girls ever get ill enough to have to go. And in a short time Pinky was all better, and she was glad she had let the doctor do what he had to.
So on the next page, in case the baking powder doesn't shoot the sponge cake in the bathtub and make the towel ring the bell, I'll tell you about Curly and the big apple.
CURLY AND THE BIG APPLE
One day, oh, I guess it was about a week after Baby Pinky went to the hospital, something else happened to the two piggie brothers. And, as most of it happened to Curly, I have named this story for him, though Flop had a part in it.
When her piggie boys came home from school one afternoon Mrs. Twistytail said to them:
"I wonder if you don't want to go to the store for me?"
"Of course we do mamma," spoke Curly as quickly as ice cream melts on a hot day.
"Certainly," added Flop, and the funny part of it was that the two brothers had just planned to go off in the woods and play soldier and Indian after school.
But as soon as they heard that their mamma wanted them to go on an errand for her, they at once made up their minds that they would go to the store first and play afterward.
"What do you want, mamma?" asked Curly. "Is it a cake of milk chocolate, because if it is—"
"We'll help eat it," finished Flop quickly with a laugh.
"No, all I need is some cornmeal to make pancakes with in the morning," spoke the pig lady. "Run along now, but you need not hurry back, and you may play on the way."
Curly and Flop whistled through their noses at hearing this, for they knew they could have some fun after all, and away they started for the store. The old gentleman duck who kept it, and who was a forty 'leventh cousin to Grandfather Goosey Gander, wrapped the cornmeal in two separate bags, so that Curly could carry one, and Flop the other.
"That will make it even," said the store duck, as he gave the piggie boys each a sweet cracker.
Back home they started, playing tag, and hide the acorn, and all such games like that, including one called "Please Don't Pull My Tail and I Won't Pull Yours." That's a very funny game.
Well, all of a sudden, as Curly and Flop were going along, they came past a field where a kind old rat gentleman was picking his apples off the trees. There were many of the apples, and they had to be put in barrels and brought into the cellar.
"Oh, don't those apples smell good," said Flop as he leaned over the fence and looked at them.
"Indeed they do," agreed Curly. "They remind me of apple pie and cheese."
Then the rat gentleman looked up, saw the piggie, and said:
"Come in, boys, and you may each have one apple. Help yourselves."
"Thank you, very much," spoke Curly. "Come on!" he cried to his brother Flop, "we'll each take a big apple, and there will be enough for a pie when we get home."
"Oh, but we can't carry big apples, with the bags of meal," said Flop. "I'm going to take a middle-sized apple."
"Well, I'm not. I'm going to take the largest I can find in the field," declared Curly, and he went hunting for a specially large one.
Of course, in a way, it was all right to do this, for the rat gentleman had told them to help themselves, but you just wait and see what happens.
Curly picked out a very large apple—the very biggest one that grew on the trees, but Flop was content with a smaller one. Then the piggie brothers started for home again.
Curly had hard work to carry the big apple and also his bag of corn meal, and first he would have to put one down to rest his legs, and then put down the other to rest his paws. But Flop could easily carry his middle-sized apple and the meal. Finally Curly said:
"Flop, can't you help me?"
"I'm afraid not," answered his brother, "though I would if I could. But I have all I can do to take care of my apple and the meal. Why don't you get a smaller apple?"
"Because I want the big one," said Curly quickly.
Well, he was staggering along with the big apple and also his bag of cornmeal, but his brother was going along much more easily, when, all of a sudden, out from the bushes sprang the fuzzy fox.
"Ah ha!" he cried. "This time I have good luck! Here are little pigs to make roast pork, and they have with them the apples for apple sauce. Oh, joy is me! Now for a fine dinner!"
With that he made a grab for both the piggie brothers, but they managed to jump away. Off ran Flop with his middle-sized apple and the cornmeal, and after him came Curly, only he could not go so fast because his apple was so big.
"Wait! Wait!" begged Curly of his brother.
"I can't!" was the answer. "I'll send a policeman back to help you. But if you will let go of the big apple you can easily run away from the fox, for he is old, and not a good runner. Drop the apple."
"No, indeed!" cried Curly. "I want the biggest one I can find!" So he held tightly to the apple, and also to the cornmeal, and on he ran, but the fuzzy fox was getting nearer and nearer, and almost had him.
"I've got you!" suddenly snapped the fox. "I'll have roast pork and apple sauce tonight all right!" and he was just going to grab Curly and the apple and bag of meal, when out from the bushes jumped Uncle Wiggily Longears, the old gentleman rabbit.
"Here!" he cried to the fox. "You stop chasing Curly, and go home to your den!" and with that Uncle Wiggily stuck out his rheumatism crutch, and tripped up the fox so that went tumbling head over heels, and when he got up he was so lame that he could not chase even a snail for more than a week.
"Run! Run!" called Uncle Wiggily to Curly and the little piggie boy did run, and, after some trouble, he got safely home with his big apple and the meal, but Flop was there ahead of him.
"After this," said Uncle Wiggily, when he came up to the piggie house, "after this, Curly, don't take such a large apple, and you can run better when a fox chases you."
"I'll be careful after this," promised the piggie boy, and I guess he was. Anyhow it was a good lesson to him. And that night he and his brother had cornmeal pancakes with apple sauce on, and Uncle Wiggily stayed to supper.
Now in case the automobile tire doesn't jump into the frying pan, and pretend it's a sausage for the lady in the purple dress to eat, I'll tell you next about the piggie boys and the pumpkin.
THE PIGGIES AND THE PUMPKIN
"Well, well!" exclaimed Mrs. Twistytail, the pig lady, as she went to the cupboard and looked in. "Whoever would have believed it?"
"Believed what, mamma?" asked Pinky, the little baby pig, who had been in the hospital, but who was now much better.
"Why, there isn't a bit of bread for supper!" went on Mrs. Twistytail. "And your papa will come home from the office so hungry as never was! Oh, my! I must run right out to the store and get a loaf."
"Can't Curly or Flop go?" asked the baby pig, as she looked to see if her hair ribbon was on crooked, but it wasn't. I'm glad to say.
"They aren't here," said the mamma pig. "I guess they must be off playing football, or seeing if there is any ice on the skating pond."
"Then let me go, mamma," suggested little Pinky. "I'm sure I could ask for a loaf of bread and carry it home, too."
"No, you are quite too small," said the pig lady. "I'll go myself to the store and I'll ask Mrs. Goosey Gander, next door to come in and stay with you."
But she didn't have to do that, for a few minutes later in came Curly and Flop, the two nice boy piggies, and they were just as glad as could be to go to the store for their mamma.
Well, they started off all right, and soon they were at the bread store, where the baker cat wrapped up a nice loaf in pink paper and they started for home, going as fast as they could, so as to be there before their papa came to supper.
And, what do you think? Just as they reached the spot where stood the old stump, with the knobs growing on the side of it, like warts on a toad's back, they heard a voice saying:
"I wonder what I shall do with it? It is quite too large to cook, and I have no little boys to give it to. I think I must let it roll down hill into the pond."
"Who is that speaking?" asked Curly of his brother.
"I don't know," said Flop Ear, "but it sounds like the kind rat- gentleman who gave us the apples."
"That's just who it is," said the voice. "And who are you, if I may ask?"
"Two piggie boys," was the answer. "Can we help you?"
"Well, I have here a very large pumpkin," was what the rat gentleman said. "It is too large to cut up into pies, and I thought maybe some one might like it to make a Jack o' lantern of. Would you like it?"
"Indeed we would!" cried Flop. And Curly said the same thing.
So the nice old rat gentleman called the two piggie boys into his farmhouse and he gave them the pumpkin.
Oh! so big as it was! I'm sure I never could tell you what a fine, large pumpkin he gave to Curly and Flop. The one that was turned into a coach for Cinderella was very small along side of this.
"What shall we do with it?" asked Flop Ear.
"Make a lantern of it, of course," said his brother. "We can scoop out the insides, and cut the eyes and nose and mouth, put a candle in it, and have a lot of fun."
"All right," said Flop, "we'll do it."
So they tied a string around the pumpkin and lifted it between them, each one carrying his share. And the loaf of bread was put on top, where it would not fall off.
Well, the piggie boys had not gone very far, carrying the pumpkin home to make a Jack o'lantern, when, all of a sudden, out from behind a lot of bushes, jumped a big wolf. Isn't it funny how those bad creatures seem to always bother the piggie boys? Every once in a while something is happening to them.
I can't help it. I wish I could, but you know I have to write things exactly as they happen. Anyhow, out from behind the bushes jumped the wolf, and as soon as he saw those sweet, tender little piggies he exclaimed:
"Oh joy! Oh, happiness! Oh, appetite! Now is my chance! I shall certainly grab those two piggies and carry them off to my den."
And he chased after Flop and Curly.
But, as luck would have it, they heard him coming, and they started to run with the big pumpkin and the loaf of bread. Still the wolf came closer and closer.
"I'll have you in a few minutes!" he cried.
"I believe he will!" exclaimed Flop. "What shall we do?"
"What can we do?" asked Curly, as he helped his brother to jump over a stone, and lifted the pumpkin at the same time. "What can we do?"
"Why not make a Jack o'lantern of the pumpkin and scare the wolf?" suggested Flop. "Some of our friends did that once."
"We haven't time," said Curly. "If we stopped to make a Jack o'lantern the wolf would catch up to us and grab us. I'll tell you what to do. Let's scoop out a hollow place in the pumpkin and get inside it. Then the wolf won't see us."
"Good!" cried Flop. So he and his brother ran on as fast as they could to get far ahead of the wolf. Then they stopped for a minute, and, with their sharp hoofs, they cut the top off the pumpkin. Then, with their digging noses, they dug out the soft seeds, and soon the pumpkin was all hollowed out, so they could jump inside.
"Get in!" cried Curly to Flop.
"What about the loaf of bread?" asked his brother.
"Never mind that. We can get another. We must get away from the wolf," cried Curly.
So they jumped inside the pumpkin, and only just in time, for the wolf came rushing down the hill. But Curly and his brother wiggled themselves inside the pumpkin, and away it rolled down toward the piggies' house. The wolf saw the loaf of bread on the hill, and he thought sure the piggie boys were near it. So he made a grab, but he did not get them.
For of course they were inside the pumpkin, rolling over and over, like a rubber ball down hill. The wolf chewed up the bread, and then he saw the rolling pumpkin. Then he happened to think:
"Perhaps the pigs are inside that!" After it he ran, but it was too late, for by that time the piggie boys were safely at home. Into their front yard rolled the pumpkin, off flew the top, and out they jumped to tell their papa and mamma and baby Pinky all about it.
And Grandpa Goosey Gander loaned Mr. Twistytail a loaf of bread for supper. As for the wolf, he ran back up the hill as mad as anything about the way he had been fooled, and ever after that he never ate any pumpkin pie.
So that's all there is to this story, but in case the new brick chimney doesn't fall down in the rice pudding and make the trained nurse wild because her doll carriage has no wheels, I'll tell you on the next page about the piggie boys in the corn field.
THE PIGGIES IN A CORNFIELD
One day—oh! I guess it must have been about two grunts and a squeal after Curly and Flop, the two piggie boys, had the adventure with the pumpkin—something else happened to them. In the first place, they had to stay in after school.
Now, please don't get worried, nor think anything bad of them on that account. They did not have to stay in because they whispered in class, or anything like that. No, they stayed in to help their teacher clean off the blackboards, but when they got out all the other animal children were gone.
"Come on, let's run," suggested Flop, "and maybe we can catch up to them."
"I wish we could!" exclaimed Curly, "for Jackie Bow Wow, the puppy dog, borrowed my pencil and forgot to give it back."
So the two piggie boys ran as fast as they could, but they could see nothing of the other animal children—not even little Jennie Chipmunk, who could not go very fast, for every time she saw any dust on a stone or a tree stump she used to stop and brush it off with her tail. She was so neat and clean, you see, and as she had to stop quite often, on account of there being so much dust, she couldn't go fast at all.
But, as I said, Curly and Flop couldn't even catch up to her, which shows you that they had stayed in after school for quite some time.
"Oh! they'll all be home long before us," said Curly after a bit, sitting down on a stone to rest.
"I guess so," agreed his brother, as he made his two ears stand up straight and then flop down again. "But never mind, I think you can get your pencil from Jackie Bow Wow tomorrow."