UNCLE WIGGILY'S TRAVELS
HOWARD R. GARIS
Author of Sammie and Susie Littletail, Johnnie and Billy Bushytail, Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, "Those Smith Boys," series, "The Island Boys," series, 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 cents per volume, postpaid
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HOWARD R. GARIS'
Bed Time Animal Stories
No. 1. SAMMIE AND SUSIE LTTTLETAIL No. 2. JOHNNY AND BILLY BUSHYTAIL No. 3. LULU, ALICE & JIMMIE WIBBLEWOBBLE No. 5. JACKIE AND PEETIE BOW-WOW No. 7. BUDDY AND BRIGHTEYES PIGG No. 9. JOIE, TOMMIE AND KITTIE KAT No. 10. CHARLIE AND ARABELLA CHICK No. 14. NEDDIE AND BECKIE STUBTAIL No. 16. BULLY AND BAWLY NO-TAIL No. 20. NANNIE AND BILLIE WAGTAIL No. 28. JOLLIE AND JILLIE LONGTAIL
Uncle Wiggily Bed Time Stories
No. 4. UNCLE WIGGILY'S ADVENTURES No. 6. UNCLE WIGGILY'S TRAVELS No. 8. UNCLE WIGGILY'S FORTUNE No. 11. UNCLE WIGGILY'S AUTOMOBILE No. 19. UNCLE WIGGILY AT THE SEASHORE No. 21. UNCLE WIGGILY'S AIRSHIP No. 27. UNCLE WIGGILY IN THE COUNTRY
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For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publishers.
A.L. BURT CO., 114-120 East 23d St., New York
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UNCLE WIGGILY'S TRAVELS
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.
I. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE RED SQUIRREL 9
II. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BROWN WREN 16
III. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SUNFISH 22
IV. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE YELLOW BIRD 28
V. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SKY-CRACKER 34
VI. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BUTTERCUP 40
VII. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE JULY BUG 46
VIII. UNCLE WIGGILY AND JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT 52
IX. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE LOST CHIPMUNK 58
X. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BLACK CRICKET 64
XI. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BUSY BUG 70
XII. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE FUNNY MONKEY 76
XIII. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BIG DOG 82
XIV. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PEANUT MAN 88
XV. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE CRAWLY SNAKE 94
XVI. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE WATER-LILIES 100
XVII. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SUNFLOWER 106
XVIII. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE LIGHTNING BUGS 112
XIX. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PHOEBE BIRDS 118
XX. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE MILKMAN 124
XXI. UNCLE WIGGILY'S SWIMMING LESSON 131
XXII. UNCLE WIGGILY IN THE BEAR'S DEN 137
XXIII. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE TOADSTOOL 144
XXIV. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE CHICKIE 150
XXV. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE WASP 157
XXVI. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BLUEBELL 163
XXVII. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE WIBBLEWOBBLES 170
XXVIII. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BERRY BUSH 176
XXIX. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE CAMP FIRE 183
XXX. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE COWBIRD 189
XXXI. UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE TAILOR BIRD 195
Uncle Wiggily's Travels
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE RED SQUIRREL
You know when Uncle Wiggily Longears, the old rabbit gentleman, started out to look for his fortune, he had to travel many weary miles, and many adventures happened to him. Some of those adventures I have told you in the book just before this one, and now I am going to tell you about his travels when he hoped to find a lot of money, so he would be rich.
One day, as I told you in the last story in the other book, Uncle Wiggily came to a farm, and there he had quite an adventure with a little boy. And this little boy had on red trousers, because, I guess, his blue ones were in the washtub. Anyhow, he and the rabbit gentleman became good friends.
And now I am going to tell you what happened when Uncle Wiggily met the red squirrel.
"Where do you think you will go to look for your fortune to-day, Uncle Wiggily?" asked the little boy with the red trousers the next morning, after the rabbit had stayed all night at the farm house.
"I do not know," said the rabbit gentleman. "Perhaps I had better do some traveling at night. I couldn't find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but perhaps there may be a gold, or silver fortune, at the end of a moon-beam. I think I'll try."
"Oh, but don't you get sleepy at night?" asked the little boy's mother as she fried an ice cream cone for Uncle Wiggily's breakfast.
"Well, I could sleep in the day time, and then I would stay awake at night," answered the traveling uncle, blinking his ears.
"Oh, but aren't you afraid of the bogeyman at night?" inquired the boy with the red hair—I mean trousers.
"There are no such things as bogeymen," said Uncle Wiggily, "and if there were any, they would not harm you. I am not a bit afraid in the dark, except that I don't like mosquitoes to bite me. I think I'll travel to-morrow night, and look for gold at the end of the moon-beam."
So he started off that day, and he went only a short distance, for he wanted to find a place to sleep in order that he would be wide awake when it got dark.
Well, he found a nice, soft place under a pile of hay, and there he stretched out to slumber as nicely as if he were in his bed at home. He even snored a little bit, I believe, or else it was Bully Frog croaking one of his songs.
The day passed, and the sun went down, and it got all ready to be night, and still Uncle Wiggily slept on soundly. But all of a sudden he heard voices whispering:
"Now you go that way and I'll go this way, and we'll catch that rabbit and put him in a cage and sell him!"
Well, you can just believe that Uncle Wiggily was frightened when he awakened suddenly and saw two bad boys softly creeping up and making ready to catch him.
"Oh, this is no place for me!" the rabbit cried, and he grabbed up his crutch and his valise and hopped away so fast that the boys couldn't catch him, no matter how fast they could run, even bare-footed.
"Let's throw stones at him!" they cried. And they did, but I'm glad to say that none of them hit Uncle Wiggily. Isn't it queer how mean some boys can be? But perhaps they were never told any better, so we'll forgive them this time.
"Well, it is now night," said the rabbit gentleman as he hopped on through the woods, "so I think I will sit under this tree and wait for the moon to come up. And while I'm waiting I'll eat my supper."
So Uncle Wiggily ate his supper, which the kind farmer lady had put up for him, and then he sat and waited for the moon to rise, and pretty soon he heard a funny noise, calling like this:
"Who? Who? Who-tu-tu-tu."
"Oh, you know who I am all right, Mr. Owl," said the rabbit. "You can see very well at night. You can see me."
"My goodness, if it isn't Uncle Wiggily!" cried the owl in surprise. "What are you doing out so late, I'd like to know?"
"Waiting for a moon-beam, so I can see if there is any gold for my fortune at the end of it," was the answer. "Is the moon coming up over the trees, Mr. Owl?"
"Yes, here it comes," said the owl, "and now I must fly off to the dark woods, for I don't like the light," and he fluttered away.
Then the moon came up, all silver and glorious; shining over the tree tops like a shimmering ball, and soon the moon-beams fell to the ground in slanting rays, but they fell so softly, like feathers, that they did not get hurt at all.
"Well, I guess I'll follow that big one," said the old gentleman rabbit, as he picked out a nice, broad, large, shiny moon-beam. "That must have gold at the end, and, if I find it, my fortune is made." So off he started to follow the moon-beam to where it came to an end.
It seemed to go quite a distance through the dark woods, and Uncle Wiggily traveled on for several hours, and he didn't seem to be any nearer the end by that time than he was at first.
"My land, this is a very long beam," he exclaimed. "It is almost big enough to make a church steeple from. But I'll keep on a little longer, for I'm not a bit sleepy yet."
Well, all of a sudden, just as he was turning the corner around a big stone, the rabbit gentleman heard a funny noise.
It wasn't like any one crying, yet it sounded as if some one was in trouble, for the voice said:
"Oh, dear! I'll never get it big enough, I know I can't! I've combed it and brushed it, and done it up in curl papers to make it fluffy, but still it isn't like theirs. What shall I do?"
"Hum, I wonder who that can be?" thought Uncle Wiggily. "Perhaps it is some little lost child; but no children would be out in the woods at night. I'll take a look."
So he hopped softly over, and peered around the edge of the stone, and what do you think he saw?
Why, there was a nice, little, red squirrel-girl, and she had a comb and a brush, and little looking-glass. And the glass was stuck up on a stump where the moon-beam that Uncle Wiggily was following shone on it and reflected back again. And by the light of the moon-beam the red squirrel was combing and brushing out her tail as hard as she could comb and brush it.
"What are you doing?" asked Uncle Wiggily in surprise.
"Oh, my! How you startled me!" exclaimed the red squirrel. "But I'm glad it's you, Uncle Wiggily. I'm going to a surprise party soon, and I was just trying to make my tail as big as Johnnie or Billie Bushytail's, but I can't do it," she said sadly.
"No, and you never can," said the rabbit. "Their tails are a different kind than yours, for they are gray squirrels and you are a red one. But yours is very nice. Be content to have yours as it is."
"I guess I will," said the red squirrel. "But what are you doing out so late, Uncle Wiggily?"
"Looking for the end of the moon-beam to get my fortune."
"Ha! The moon-beam ends right here," said the red squirrel-girl, pointing to her looking-glass, and, surely enough, there the bright shaft of light ended. "But there is no fortune here, Uncle Wiggily, I am sorry to say," she added.
"I see there isn't," answered the rabbit. "Well, I must travel on again to-morrow, then. But now I will see that you get safely home, for it is getting late."
And, just as he said that, what should happen but that a black, savage, ugly bear stuck his nose out of the bushes and made a grab for the rabbit. But what do you think the red squirrel did?
She just took her hair brush and with the hard back of it she whacked the bear on the end of his tender-ender nose, and he howled, and turned around to run away, and the squirrel girl tickled him with the comb, and he ran faster than ever, and the bear didn't eat Uncle Wiggily that night.
Then the rabbit stayed at the red squirrel's mamma's house the rest of the evening, and the next day the squirrel went to the surprise party with her tail the regular size it ought to be, and not as big as the Bushytail brothers' tails, and everybody was happy.
Now in case the granddaddy longlegs doesn't tickle the baby with his long cow-pointing leg and make her laugh so she gets the hiccoughs, I'll tell you in the next story about Uncle Wiggily and the brown wren.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BROWN WREN
Well, just as I expected, the granddaddy longlegs did tickle the baby, but she only smiled in her sleep, and didn't awaken, so, as it's nice and quiet I can tell you another story. And it's going to be about how Uncle Wiggily, in his travels about the country, in search of his fortune, helped a little brown wren.
"Well, where are you going this morning?" asked the red squirrel's mother as Uncle Wiggily finished his breakfast, and shook out from his long ears the oatmeal crumbs that had fallen in them.
"Oh, I suppose I will have to be traveling on," answered the rabbit. "That fortune of mine seems to be a long distance off. I've tried rainbows and moon-beams and I didn't find any money at their ends. I guess I'll have to look under the water next, but I'll wait until I get back home, and then I'll have Jimmie Wibblewobble the duck boy put his head at the bottom of the pond and see if there is any gold down there."
So off the old gentleman rabbit started, limping on his crutch, for his rheumatism was troubling him again, and at his side swung his valise, with some crackers and cheese and bread and butter and jam in it—plenty of jam, too, let me tell you, for the red squirrel's mamma could make lovely preserves, and this was carrot jam, with turnip frosting on it.
Well, Uncle Wiggily traveled on and on, over the hills and through the deep woods, and pretty soon he came to a place where he saw a lot of little black ants trying to carry to their nest a nice big piece of meat that some one had dropped.
"My, how hard those ants are working," thought the rabbit. "But that meat is too heavy for them. I'll have to help carry it."
Now the piece of meat was only as big as a quarter of a small cocoanut, but, of course, that's too big for an ant to carry; or even for forty-'leven ants, so Uncle Wiggily kindly lifted it for them, and put it in their nest.
"Thank you very much," said the biggest ant. "If ever we can do you a favor, or any of your friends, we will."
The old gentleman rabbit said he was glad to hear that, and then, taking up his crutch and valise again, on he went.
Pretty soon he came to a place in the woods where the sun was shining down through the trees, and a little brook was making pretty music over the stones. And then, all at once, the old gentleman rabbit heard a different kind of music, and it was that of a little bird singing. And this is the song.
Now I did not make up this song. It is much prettier than I could write, even if I had my Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes on, and I don't know who did write it. But it used to be in my school reader when I was a little boy, and I liked it very much. I hope whoever did write it won't mind if you sing it. This is it:
"There's a little brown bird sitting up in a tree, He's singing to you—he's singing to me. And what does he say, little girl—little boy? Oh, the world's running over with joy!"
Then the bird sang about how there were five eggs laid away up in a nest, and how, pretty soon, little birds would come out from them, and then, all of a sudden, the bird sang like this:
"But don't meddle,—don't touch, Little girl—little boy, Or the world will lose some of its joy!"
"Ha! you seem quite happy this beautiful morning," said Uncle Wiggily, as he paused under the tree where the bird was singing. "Why, I do declare," he exclaimed. "If it isn't Mrs. Wren! Well, I never in all my born days! I didn't know you were back from the South yet."
"Yes, Uncle Wiggily," said the little brown wren, "I came up some time ago. But I'm real glad to see you. I'm going to take my little birdies out of the shell pretty soon. They are almost hatched."
"Glad to hear it," said the rabbit, politely, and then he told about seeking his fortune, and all of a sudden a great big ugly crow-bird flew down out of a tall tree and made a dash for Mrs. Wren to eat her up. But Mrs. Wren got out of the way just in time, and didn't get caught.
But alack, and alas-a-day! The crow knocked down the wren's nest, and all the sticks and feathers of which it was made were scattered all about, and the eggs, with the little birdies inside, would have been all broken ker-smash, only that they happened to fall down on some soft moss.
"Oh, dear!" cried Mrs. Wren, sorrowfully. "Now see what that crow has done! My home is broken up, and my birdies will be killed."
"Caw! Caw! Caw!" cried the crow as unkindly as he could, and it sounded just as if he laughed "Haw! Haw! Haw!"
"Oh, whatever shall I do?" asked Mrs. Wren. "My birdies will have no nest, and I haven't time to make another and break up the little fine sticks that I need and gather the feathers that are scattered all over. Oh, what shall I do? Soon my birdies will be out of the shells."
"Never fear!" said Uncle Wiggily, bravely. "I will help you. I'll gather the sticks for you."
"Oh, but you haven't time; you must be off seeking your fortune," answered the wren.
"Oh, I guess my fortune can wait. It has been waiting for me a long time, and it won't hurt to wait a bit longer. I'll get you the sticks," said the rabbit gentleman.
So while Mrs. Wren sat over the eggs to keep them warm with her fluffy feathers, Uncle Wiggily looked for sticks with which to make a new nest. He couldn't find any short and small enough, so what do you think he did?
Why, he took some big sticks and he jumped a jiggily dance up and down on them with his sharp paws, and broke them up as fine as toothpicks for the nest. Then he arranged them as well as he could in a sort of hollow, like a tea cup.
"Oh, if we only had some feathers now, we would be all right," said Mrs. Wren. "It's a very good nest for a rabbit to make."
"Don't say a word!" cried some small voices on the ground. "We will gather up the feathers for you." And there came marching up a lot of the little ants that Uncle Wiggily had been kind to, and soon they had gathered up all the scattered feathers. And the nest was made on a mossy stump, and lined with the feathers, and the warm eggs were put in it by Mrs. Wren, who then hovered over them to hatch out the birdies. And she was very thankful to Uncle Wiggily for what he had done.
Now, in case the water in the lake doesn't get inside the milk pail and make lemonade of it, I'll tell you in the next story how the birdies were hatched out, and also about Uncle Wiggily and the sunfish.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SUNFISH
Uncle Wiggily slept that night—I mean the night after he had helped Mrs. Wren build her nest—he slept in an old under-ground house that another rabbit must have made some time before. It was nicely lined with leaves, and the fortune-hunting bunny slept very nice and warm there.
When the sun was up, shining very brightly, and most beautifully, Uncle Wiggily arose, shook his ears to get the dust out of them, and threw the dried-leaf blankets off him.
"Ah, ha! I must be up and doing," he cried. "Perhaps I shall find my fortune to-day."
Well, no sooner had he crawled out of the burrow than he heard a most beautiful song. It was one Mrs. Wren was singing, and it went "tra-la-la tra-la-la! tum-tee-tee-tum-tum-tee-tee!" too pretty for anything. And then, afterward, there was a sort of an echo like "cheep-cheep cheep-cheep!"
"Why, you must be very happy this morning, Mrs. Wren!" called Uncle Wiggily to her as she sat in her new nest which the rabbit had made for her on the mossy stump.
"I am," she answered, "very happy. What do you think happened in the night?"
"I can't guess," he answered. "A burglar crow didn't come and steal your eggs, I hope!"
"Oh, nothing sad or bad like that," she answered. "But something very nice. Just hop up here and look."
So Uncle Wiggily hopped up on the stump, and Mrs. Wren got off her nest, and there, on the bottom, in among some egg-shells, were a lot of tiny, weeny little birdies, about as big as a spool of silk thread or even smaller.
"Why, where in the world did they come from?" asked the old gentleman rabbit, rubbing his eyes.
"Out of the eggs to be sure," answered Mrs. Wren. "And I do declare, the last of my family is hatched now. There is little Wiggily out of the shell at last. I think I'll name him after you, as he never could keep still when he was being hatched. Now I must take out all the broken shells so the birdies won't cut themselves on them." And she began to throw them out with her bill, just as the mother hen does, and then one of the new little birdies called out:
"Yes, I know you're hungry," answered their mamma, who understood their bird talk. "Well, I'll fly away and get you something to eat just as soon as your papa comes home to stay in the house. You know Mr. Wren went away last night to see about getting a new position in a feather pillow factory," said Mrs. Wren to Uncle Wiggily, "and he doesn't yet know about the birdies. I hope he'll come back soon, as they are very hungry, and I don't like to leave them alone to go shopping."
"Oh, I'll stay and take care of them for you while you go to the store," said the old gentleman rabbit, kindly.
"That will do very well," said Mrs. Wren. So she put on her bonnet and shawl and took her market basket and off she flew to the store, while Uncle Wiggily stayed with the new birdies, and they snuggled down under his warm fur, and were as cozy as in their own mother's feathers.
Well, Mrs. Wren was gone some time, as the store was crowded and she couldn't get waited on right away, and Uncle Wiggily stayed with the birdies. And they got hungrier and hungrier, and they cried real hard. Yes, indeed, as hard as some babies.
"Hum! I don't know what to do," said the old gentleman rabbit. "I can't feed them. I guess I'll sing to them." So he sang this song:
"Hush, birdies, hush, Please don't cry; Mamma'll be back By and by.
"Nestle down close Under my fur, I'm not your mother, but I'm helping her."
But this didn't seem to satisfy the birdies and they cried "cheep-cheep" harder than ever.
"Oh, dear! I believe I must get them something to eat," said Uncle Wiggily. So he covered them all up warmly with the feathers that lined the nest, and then he hopped down and went limping around on his crutch to find them something to eat.
Pretty soon he came to a little brook, and as he looked down into it he saw something shining, all gold and red and green and blue and yellow.
"Why, I do declare, if here isn't the end of the rainbow!" exclaimed the old gentleman rabbit, as he saw all the pretty colors.
He rubbed his eyes with his paw, to make sure he wasn't dreaming, but the colors were surely enough there, down under water.
"No wonder the giant couldn't find the pot of gold, it was down in the water," spoke the rabbit. "But I'll get it, and then my fortune will be made. Oh, how glad I am!"
Well, Uncle Wiggily reached his paw down and made a grab for the red and green and gold and yellow thing, but to his surprise, instead of lifting up a pot of gold, he lifted up a squirming, wiggling sunfish.
"Oh, my!" exclaimed the rabbit in surprise.
"I should say yes! Two Oh mys and another one!" gasped the fish. "Oh, please put me back in the water again. The air out on land is too strong for me. I can't breathe. Please, Uncle Wiggily, put me back."
"I thought you were a pot of gold," said the rabbit, sadly. "I'm always getting fooled. But never mind. I'll put you in the water."
"What are you doing here?" asked the fish, as he slid into the water again and sneezed three times.
"Just at present I am taking care of Mrs. Wren's new little birdies," said the rabbit. "She has gone to the store for something for them to eat, but they are so hungry they can't wait."
"Oh, that is easily fixed," said the sunfish. "Since you were so kind to me I'll tell you what to do. Get them a few little worms, and some small flower seeds, and feed them. Then the birdies will go to sleep."
So Uncle Wiggily did this, and as soon as the birds had their hungry little mouths filled, sound to sleep they went. And in a little while Mrs. Wren came back from the store with her basket filled, and Mr. Wren flew home to say that he had a nice position in a feather factory, and how he did admire his birdies! He hugged and kissed them like anything.
Then the two wrens both thanked Uncle Wiggily for taking care of their children, and the rabbit said good-by and hopped on again to seek his fortune. And if the trolley car conductor gives me a red, white and blue transfer, for the pin cushion to go to sleep on, I'll tell you in the following story about Uncle Wiggily and the yellow bird.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE YELLOW BIRD
Once upon a time, when Johnnie Bushytail was going along the road to school, he met a fox—oh, just listen to me, would you! This story isn't about the squirrel boy at all. It's about Uncle Wiggily Longears to be sure, and the yellow bird, so I must begin all over again.
The day after the old gentleman rabbit had helped Mrs. Wren feed her little birdies he found himself traveling along a lonely road through a big forest of tall trees. Oh, it was a very lonesome place, and not even an automobile was to be seen, and there wasn't the smell of gasoline, and no "honk-honks" to waken the baby from her sleep.
"Hum, I don't believe I'll find any fortune along here," thought Uncle Wiggily as he tramped on. "I haven't met even so much as a red ant, or even a black one, or a grasshopper. I wonder if I can be lost?"
So he looked all around to see if he might be lost in the woods. But you know how it is, sometimes you're lost when you least expect it, and again you think you are lost, but you're right near home all the while.
That's the way it was with Uncle Wiggily, he didn't know whether or not he was lost, so he thought he'd sit down on a flat stone and eat his lunch. The reason he sat on a flat stone instead of a round one was because he had some hard boiled eggs for his lunch, and you know if you put an egg on a round stone it's bound to roll off and crack right in the middle.
"And I don't like cracked eggs," said the rabbit. So he laid the eggs he had on the flat stone, and put little sticks in front of them and behind them, so they couldn't even roll off the flat stone if they wanted to. Then he ate his lunch.
"I guess it doesn't much matter if I am lost," said the traveling fortune-hunting rabbit a little later. "I'll go on and perhaps I may meet with an adventure." So on he hopped, and pretty soon he came to a place where the leaves and the dirt were all torn up, just as if some boys had been playing a baseball game, or leap-frog, or something like that.
"My, I must look out that I don't tumble down any holes here," thought Uncle Wiggily, "for maybe some bad men have been setting traps to catch us rabbits."
Well, he turned to one side, to get out of the way of some sharp thorns, and, my goodness! if there weren't more sharp thorns on the ground on the other side of the path. "I guess I'll have to keep straight ahead!" thought our Uncle Wiggily. "I never saw so many thorns before in all my life. I'll have to look out or I'll be stuck."
So he kept straight on, and all of a sudden he felt himself going down into a big hole.
"Oh! Oh dear! Oh me! Oh my!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "I've fallen into a trap! That's what those thorns were for—so I would have to walk toward the trap instead of going to one side."
But, very luckily for Uncle Wiggily, his crutch happened to catch across the hole, and so he didn't go all the way down, but hung on. But his valise fell to the bottom. However, he managed to pull himself up on the ground, though his rheumatism hurt him, and soon he was safe once more.
"Oh, my valise, with all my clothes in it!" he cried, as he looked down into the hole, which had been covered over with loose leaves and dirt so he couldn't see it before falling in. "I wonder how I can get my things back again?" he went on.
Then he looked up, and in a tree, not far from him, he saw something bright and yellow, shining like gold.
"Ah, ha!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "At last I have found the pot of gold, even if the rainbow isn't here. That is yellow, and yellow is the color of gold. Now my fortune is made. I will get that gold and go back home."
So, not worrying any more about his valise down the trap-hole, Uncle Wiggily hopped over to the tree to get what he thought was a big bunch of yellow gold. But as he came closer, he saw that the gold was moving about and fluttering, though not going very far away.
"That is queer gold," thought the old gentleman rabbit. "I never saw moving gold before. I wonder if it is a good kind."
Then he went a little closer and he heard a voice crying.
"Why, that is crying gold, too," he said. "This is very strange."
Then he heard some one calling:
"Oh, help! Will some one please help me?"
"Why, this is most strange of all!" the rabbit cried. "It is talking gold. Perhaps there is a fairy about."
"Oh, I only wish there was one!" cried the yellow object in the tree. "If I saw a fairy I'd ask her to set me free."
"What's that? Who are you?" asked the rabbit.
"Oh, I'm a poor little yellow bird," was the answer, "and I'm caught in a string-trap that some boys set in this tree. There is a string around my legs and I can't fly home to see my little ones. I got into the trap by mistake. Oh! can't you help me? Climb up into the tree, Uncle Wiggily, and help me!"
"How did you know my name was Uncle Wiggily?" asked the rabbit.
"I could tell it by your ears—your wiggling ears," was the answer. "But please climb up and help me."
"Rabbits can't climb trees," said Uncle Wiggily. "But I will tell you what I'll do. I'll gnaw the tree down with my sharp teeth, for they are sharp, even if I am a little old. Then, when it falls, I can reach the string, untie it, and you will be free."
So Uncle Wiggily did this, and soon the tree fell down, but the golden yellow bird was on a top branch and didn't get hurt. Then the old gentleman rabbit quickly untied the string and the bird was out of the trap.
"I cannot thank you enough!" she said to the rabbit. "Is there anything I can do for you to pay you?"
"Well, my valise is down a hole," said Uncle Wiggily, "but I don't see how you can get it up. I need it, though."
"I can fly down, tie the string to the satchel and you can pull it up," said the birdie. And she did so, and the rabbit pulled up his valise as nicely as a bucket of water is hoisted up from the well. Then some bad boys and a man came along to see if there was anything in the hole-trap, or the string-trap they had made; but when they saw the bird flying away and the rabbit hopping away through the woods they were very angry. But Uncle Wiggily and the yellow bird were safe from harm, I'm glad to say.
And the rabbit had another adventure soon after that, and what it was I'll tell you soon, when the story will be about Uncle Wiggily and the skyrockets. It will be a Fourth of July story, if you please; that is if the bean bag doesn't fall down the coal hole and catch a mosquito.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SKY-CRACKER
Let me see, I think I promised to tell you a story about Uncle Wiggily and the skyrocket, didn't I? Or was it to be about a firecracker, seeing that it soon may be the Fourth of July? What's that—a firecracker—no? A skyrocket? Oh, I'm all puzzled up about it, so I guess I'll make it a sky-cracker, a sort of half-firecracker and half-skyrocket, and that will do.
Well, after Uncle Wiggily had gotten the little yellow bird, that looked like gold, out from the string-trap in the tree, the old gentleman rabbit spent two nights visiting a second cousin of Grandfather Prickly Porcupine, who lived in the woods. Then Uncle Wiggily got up one morning, dressed himself very carefully, combed out his whiskers, and said:
"Well, I'm off again to seek my fortune."
"It's too bad you can't seem able to find it," said the second cousin to Grandfather Prickly Porcupine, "but perhaps you will have good luck to-day. Only you want to be very careful."
"Why?" asked the old gentleman rabbit.
"Well, because you know it will soon be the Fourth of July, and some boys may tie a firecracker or a skyrocket to your tail," said the porcupine.
"Ha! Ha!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "They will have a hard time doing that, for my tail is so short that the boys would burn their fingers if they tried to tie a firecracker to it."
"Then look out that they don't fasten a skyrocket to your long ears," said the second cousin to Grandfather Prickly Porcupine, as he wrapped up some lettuce and carrot sandwiches for Uncle Wiggily to take with him.
The old gentleman rabbit said he would watch out, and away he started, going up hill and down hill with his barber-pole crutch as easily as if he was being wheeled in a baby carriage.
"Well, I don't seem to find any fortune," he said to himself as he walked along, and, just as he said that he saw something sparkling in the grass beside the path in the woods. "What's that?" he cried. "Perhaps it is a diamond. If it is I can sell it and get rich." Then he happened to think what the second cousin of Grandfather Prickly Porcupine had told him about Fourth of July coming, and Uncle Wiggily said:
"Ha! I had better be careful. Perhaps that sparkling thing is a spark on a firecracker. Ah, ha!"
So he looked more carefully, and the bright object sparkled more and more, and it didn't seem to be fire, so the old gentleman rabbit went up close, and what do you suppose it was?
Why, it was a great big dewdrop, right in the middle of a purple violet, that was growing underneath a shady fern. Oh, how beautiful it was in the sunlight, and Uncle Wiggily was glad he had looked at it. And pretty soon, as he was still looking, a big, buzzing bumble bee buzzed along and stopped to take a sip of the dewdrop.
"Ha! That is a regular violet ice cream soda for me!" said the bee to Uncle Wiggily. And just as he was taking another drink a big, ugly snake made a spring and tried to eat the bee, but Uncle Wiggily hit the snake with his crutch and the snake crawled away very much surprised.
"Thank you very much," said the bee to the rabbit. "You saved my life, and if ever I can do you a favor I will," and with that he buzzed away.
Well, pretty soon, not so very long, in a little while, Uncle Wiggily came to a place in the woods where there were a whole lot of packages done up in paper lying on the ground. And there was a tent near them, and it looked as if people lived in the white tent, only no one was there just then.
"I guess I'd better keep away," thought the old gentleman rabbit, "or they may catch me." And just then he saw something like a long, straight stick, standing up against a tree. "Ha, that will be a good stick to take along to chase the bears away with," he thought. "I think no one wants it, so I'll take it."
Well, he walked up and took hold of it in his paws, but, mind you, he didn't notice that on one end of the stick was a piece of powder string, like the string of a firecracker, sticking down, and this string was burning. No, the poor old gentleman, rabbit never noticed that at all. He started to take the stick away with him when, all of a sudden, something dreadful happened.
With a whizz and a rush and a roar that stick shot into the air, carrying Uncle Wiggily with it, just like a balloon, for he hadn't time to let go of it.
Up and up he went, with a roar and a swoop, and just then he saw a whole lot of boys rushing out of the woods toward the white tent. And one boy cried:
"Oh, fellows, look! A rabbit has hold of our sky-cracker and it's on fire and has gone off and taken him with it! Oh the poor rabbit! Because when the sky-cracker gets high enough in the air the firecracker part of it will go off with a bang, and he'll be killed. Oh, how sorry I am. The hot sun must have set fire to the powder string."
You see those boys had come out in the woods to have their Fourth of July, where the noise wouldn't make any one's head ache.
Well, Uncle Wiggily went on, up and up, with the sky-cracker, and he felt very much afraid for he had heard what the boys said.
"Oh, this is the end of me!" he cried, as he held fast to the sky-cracker. "I'll never live to find my fortune now. When this thing explodes, I'll be dashed to the ground and killed."
The sky-cracker was whizzing and roaring, and black smoke was pouring out of one end, and Uncle Wiggily thought of all his friends whom he feared he would never see again, when all of a sudden along came flying the buzzing bumble bee, high in the air. He was much surprised to see Uncle Wiggily skimming along on the tail of a sky-cracker.
"Oh, can't you save me?" cried the rabbit.
"Indeed I will, if I can," said the bee, "because you were so kind to me. You are too heavy, or I would fly down to earth with you myself, but I'll do the next best thing. I'll fly off and get Dickie and Nellie Chip-Chip, the sparrow children, and they'll come with a big basket and catch you so you won't fall."
No sooner said than done. Off flew the bee. Quickly he found Dickie and Nellie and told them the danger Uncle Wiggily was in.
"Quick," called Dickie to Nellie. "We must save him."
Off they flew like the wind, carrying a grocery basket between them. Right under Uncle Wiggily they flew, and just as the sky-cracker was going to burst with a "slam-bang!" the old gentleman rabbit let go, and into the basket he safely fell and the sparrow children flew to earth with him. Then the sky-cracker burst all to pieces for Fourth of July, but Uncle Wiggily wasn't on it to be hurt, I'm glad to say.
He spent the Fourth visiting the Bumble bee's family, and had ice cream and cake and lemonade for supper, and at night he heard the band play, and he gave Nellie and Dickie ten cents for ice cream sodas, and that's all to this story.
But on the next page, if the baker man brings me a pound of soap bubbles with candy in the middle for Cora Janet's doll, I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and the buttercup.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND BUTTERCUP
I hope none of you were burned by a sky-cracker or a Roman candle stick when you had your Fourth of July celebration, but if you were I hope you will soon be better, and perhaps if I tell you a story it will make you forget the pain. So here we go, all about Uncle Wiggily and the buttercup.
The old gentleman rabbit spent a few days in an old burrow next to the bumble bee's house, and then one morning, when the sun was shining brightly, he started off again to seek his fortune.
"I never can thank you enough," he said to the bee, "for going after the sparrow children and saving me from the exploding sky-cracker. If ever I find my fortune I will give you some of it."
"Thank you very kindly," said the bee, as she looked in the pantry, "and here are some sweet honey sandwiches for you to eat on your travels. This is some honey that I made myself."
"Then it must be very good," said the old gentleman rabbit politely, as he put the sandwiches in his valise and started off down the dusty road.
Well, he hopped on and on, sometimes in the woods where it was cool and green and shady, and sometimes out in the hot sun, and every minute or so he would stop and look around to see if he could find his fortune.
"For, who knows?" he said, "perhaps I may pick up a bag of gold, or some diamonds at almost any minute. Then I could go back home and buy an automobile for myself to ride around in, and my travels would be over. I have certainly been on the go a long time, but my health is much better than it was."
So he kept on, looking under all the big leaves and clumps of ferns for his fortune. But he didn't find it, and pretty soon he came to a hole in the ground. And in front of this hole was a little sign, printed on a piece of paper, and it read:
"COME IN! EVERYBODY WELCOME."
"Humph! I wonder if that means me?" thought the old gentleman rabbit. "Let's see, gold grows under ground, in mines, and perhaps this is a gold mine. I'm going down. I'm sure there is a fortune waiting for me. Yes, I'll go down."
So he laid aside his valise and barber-pole crutch and got ready to go down in the hole, which wasn't very big.
"But I can scratch it bigger if I need to," said Uncle Wiggily.
Well, he had no sooner gotten his front feet and part of his nose down the hole, but his ears were still sticking out, when he heard a voice calling:
"Here! Where are you going?"
"Down this hole after gold," replied Uncle Wiggily.
"You mustn't go down there," went on the voice, and pulling out his nose and looking about him, the old gentleman rabbit saw a white pussy cat sitting on a stump. And the pussy cat was washing his face with his paws, taking care not to let the claws stick out for fear of scratching his eyes.
"Why can't I go down this hole, Pussy?" asked the rabbit. "Do you have charge of it?"
"No, indeed," was the answer, "but there is a bad snake who lives down there, and he puts up that sign so the animals will come down, and then he eats them. That's the reason he says they are welcome. No, indeed, I wouldn't want to see you go down there!"
"Ha! Hum! I wouldn't like to see myself!" spoke Uncle Wiggily, and he crawled away from the hole just in time, for the snake stuck out his ugly head and was about to bite the rabbit. It was the same snake that had nearly caught the bumble bee.
"Say!" cried the snake, quite angry like, to the pussy cat, "I wish you would get away from here! You are always spoiling my plans. I thought I was going to have a nice rabbit dinner, and now look at what you have done," and that snake was so angry that he hissed like a boiling teakettle.
"I will never let you eat up Uncle Wiggily!" cried the pussy. "Now look out for yourself, Mr. Snake!" and with that the pussy made his back round like a hoop, and he swelled up his tail like a bologna sausage, and he showed his teeth and claws to the snake, and that snake popped down the hole again very quickly, I can tell you, taking his tail with him. Oh, my, yes, and a bucket of sawdust soup besides.
"I thank you very much for telling me about that snake, little pussy cat," said Uncle Wiggily. "Well, I am disappointed about my fortune again. I shall never be rich I fear. But I almost forgot that I have some fine honey sandwiches and I will give you some, for you must be hungry. I know I am."
"I am, too," said the pussy. So Uncle Wiggily opened his valise and took out the honey sandwiches which the bee had given him, but when he went to eat them he found that the bee had forgotten to butter the bread.
"Oh, that is too bad!" cried the pussy, when Uncle Wiggily spoke of it. "Still they will do very well without butter."
"No, we must have some," said the rabbit. "I wonder how I can get butter in the woods?" So he looked all around and the first thing he saw was a yellow buttercup flower. You know the kind I mean. You hold them under your chin to see if you like butter, and the shine of the flower makes your chin yellow.
"Ha!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "Now we will have butter."
"But you are not going to eat the flower, are you?" asked the pussy.
"No, indeed!" cried the rabbit, "I'll show you."
Now there was a cow in the field a short distance away, and Uncle Wiggily went over and got some milk from the cow in a little tin cup. "Butter is made from milk," said the rabbit to the pussy. "So I will just pour some milk in the buttercup flower, and shake it just as if it was a churn, and then we'll have butter for our honey sandwiches."
So he did this. Into the buttercup he poured the milk, and it became yellow like butter at once. But Uncle Wiggily did not have to shake the flower, for a little wind came along just then and shook it for him.
And pretty soon, in a little while, the milk in the buttercup was churned into lovely sweet butter, and the rabbit and pussy spread it on their honey sandwiches, and what a fine feast they had. Just as they were eating it the bad alligator came along, and wanted to take the honey away from them, but the pussy scratched the end of the savage beast's tail with his claws, and the bad alligator ran away as fast as he could.
Then Uncle Wiggily and the pussy traveled on together and the next day they had quite an adventure. What it was I'll tell you in the next story when, in case the steamboat stops at our house for a little girl wearing a green sunbonnet, with horse chestnuts on it, I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and the July bug.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE JULY BUG
"Well, what shall we do to-day?" asked the white pussy of Uncle Wiggily, as they traveled on together, the next day after the adventure at the snake hole. They had slept that night in a nice hollow stump.
"Hum! I hardly know what to do," replied the old gentleman rabbit. "Of course I must be on the watch for my fortune, but, as I don't seem to be finding it very fast, what do you say to having a picnic to-day?"
"The very thing!" cried pussy. "We will get some lunch, and go off in the woods and eat it. Only we ought to have a lot more people. Two are hardly enough for a picnic."
"I would like some of my friends to come to it," spoke Uncle Wiggily, "but I am afraid they are too far off."
"Couldn't you send them word by telephone?" inquired the pussy. "I'm sure I would like to meet them, for I have heard so much about Sammie and Susie Littletail, and Johnnie and Billie Bushytail."
"There is no telephone in these woods," replied Uncle Wiggily, "and we haven't time to send them postcards. I wish I could get word to them, however, but I don't s'pose I can."
"Yes, you can!" suddenly cried a voice down in the grass. "I'll tell all your friends to come to the picnic if you like."
"Indeed, I would like it," said the rabbit, "but who are you, if I may be so bold as to ask? I can't see you."
"There he is—it's a big June bug!" exclaimed the pussy.
"I beg your pardon," spoke the bug quickly, as he crawled out from under a leaf and sat on a toadstool. "But I am not a June bug, if you please."
"You look like one," said Uncle Wiggily politely.
"I am a July bug," went on the funny little creature. "I was intended for a June bug, but there was some mistake made, and I didn't come out of my shell until July. So you see I'm a July bug, and at first I thought it would be jolly fun, to hear all the firecrackers and skyrockets go off."
"It isn't so much fun as you imagine," said Uncle Wiggily, as he thought of the time he went sailing into the air on the sky-cracker. "But don't you like being a July bug?"
"Not very much. You see I'm the only one there is, and all the others are June bugs. The June bugs won't speak to me, nor let me play with them, so I'm very lonesome. I heard you talking about a picnic you were going to have, and so I offered to call all your friends to it. I thought perhaps if I did that you would let me come to it also."
"To be sure!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "You may gladly come, but how are you going to send word to all of my friends?"
"I will fly through the air and tell them to come," was the answer. "I am a very swift flyer. Watch me," and then and there the July bug buzzed around so fast that Uncle Wiggily and the pussy couldn't see his wings go flip-flop-flap.
Well, they decided it would be a good plan to have the July bug act as a postman, so Uncle Wiggily wrote out the invitations on little pieces of white birch bark, and gave them to the bug. Off he flew into the air waving one leg at Uncle Wiggily and the pussy.
"Well, now we must get ready for the picnic—get the things to eat—for that bug flies so fast that soon all my friends will be here," said the rabbit, so he and the pussy began to get the lunch ready.
Uncle Wiggily had some food in his valise, but they got more good things from a kind old monkey who lived in the woods. He used to work on a hand organ, but when he got old he bought him a nest in the woods with the pennies he had saved up, and he lived in peace and quietness, and played a mouth organ on Sundays.
Well, you will hardly believe me, but it's true, no sooner had Uncle Wiggily and the pussy put up the lunch, wrapping some for each visitor in nice, green grape leaves, than the first ones of the picnic party began to arrive. They were Dickie and Nellie Chip-Chip, the sparrows, for they could fly through the air very quickly, and so they came on ahead.
"We got your invitation that the July bug left us, Uncle Wiggily, and we came at once," said Dickie.
"Where are the others?" asked the old gentleman rabbit.
"They are coming," answered Nellie, as she tied her tail ribbon over again, for the bow knot had become undone as she was flying through the air.
Well, in a little while along came hopping, Sammie and Susie Littletail, the rabbit children, and Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel brothers, and Bully and Bawly the frogs, and Dottie and Munchie Trot, the ponies, and Lulu and Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, the duck twins, and Buddy and Brighteyes Pigg, and oh, all the boy and girl animals I have ever told you about.
And oh! how glad they were to see Uncle Wiggily. He had to tell them all about his travels after his fortune before they would go off in the woods to the picnic. But at last they went, each one with a little leaf-package of lunch. The July bug came along, too, and he had a very little package of good things, because he was so small, you see, but it was enough.
They all sat down on the ground with flat stones for plates, and sticks for knives and forks, and they ate their picnic lunch there. Oh, they had the finest time, and it didn't matter if some ants did get in the sugar. Uncle Wiggily said they could have all they wanted of the sweet stuff.
And, when the picnic was almost over, there was a sudden noise in the bushes, and two bad foxes sprang out. One tried to grab Uncle Wiggily, and another made a dash for Lulu Wibblewobble.
"Oh dear!" cried Dottie Trot, without looking to see if her hair ribbon was on straight. "We shall all be eaten up!"
"No, you won't!" cried the brave July bug. "I'll fix those foxes!"
So that brave July bug just buzzed his wings as hard as he could, and straight at those foxes he flew, bumping and banging them on their noses and in the eyes, so that they gave two separate and distinct howls, and ran away, taking their big tails with them.
So that is how the July bug saved everybody from being eaten up, and then the picnic was over and every one said it was lovely.
"Well, I'll start on my travels again to-morrow," said Uncle Wiggily, as his friends told him good-by.
Now what happened to him the next day I'll tell you very soon, for, in case I see a chipmunk with a blue tail and a red nose climbing up the clothes pole, the story will be about Uncle Wiggily and Jack-in-the-pulpit.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT
Uncle Wiggily was slowly hopping along through the woods, sometimes leaning on his crutch, when his rheumatism pained him, and again skipping along when he got out into the warm sunshine. It was the day after the picnic, and the old gentleman rabbit felt a bit lonesome as all his friends had gone back to their homes.
"I do declare!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he walked slowly along by a little lake, where an August rabbit was running his motor boat, "if I don't find my fortune pretty soon I won't have any vacation this year. I must look carefully to-day, and see if I can't find a pot full of gold."
Well, he looked as carefully as he could, but my land sakes and a pair of white gloves! he couldn't seem to find a smitch of gold and not so much as a crumb of diamonds.
"Hum!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, "at this rate I guess I'll have to keep on traveling for several years before I find my fortune. But never mind, I'm having a good time, anyhow. I'll keep on searching."
So he kept on, and all of a sudden when he was walking past a prickly briar bush, he heard a voice calling:
"Hey, Uncle Wiggily, come on in here."
"Ha! Who are you, and why do you want me to come in there?" asked the old gentleman rabbit.
"Oh, I am a friend of yours," was the answer, "and I will give you a lot of money if you come in here."
"Let me see your face," asked the rabbit, "I want to know who you are."
"Oh! I have a dreadful toothache," said the creature hiding in the bushes. "I don't want to stick my face out in the cold. But if you will take my word for it I am a good friend of yours. I would like very much for you to come in here."
"Well, perhaps I had better," said the old gentleman rabbit, "for I certainly need money."
And he was just going to crawl in under the prickly briar bush when all of a sudden he happened to look, and he saw the skillery-scallery tail of the alligator accidentally sticking out. Yes, it was the alligator trying to fool dear old Uncle Wiggily.
"Oh, ho!" cried the wise old rabbit. "I guess I won't go in there after all," so he hopped to one side and the alligator kept waiting for him to come in so he could eat him, but when the rabbit didn't come in the savage creature with the skillery-scallery tail cried:
"Well, aren't you coming in?"
"No, thank you," said the rabbit. "I have to go on to seek my fortune," and away he hopped. Well, that alligator was so angry that he gnashed his teeth and nearly broke them, and he crawled after Uncle Wiggily, but of course, he couldn't catch him.
Uncle Wiggily was pretty careful after that, and whenever he came near a prickly briar bush he listened with both his long ears stuck up straight to see if he could hear any sounds like an alligator. But he didn't, and so he kept on.
Well, it was coming on toward evening, one afternoon, and the old gentleman rabbit was tramping along the road, wondering where he would sleep, when all of a sudden something came bursting out of the bushes toward the rabbit, and a voice cried out:
"Hide! Hide! Uncle Wiggily. Hide as quickly as you can!"
"Why should I hide?" asked the old gentleman rabbit. "Is there a giant coming after me?"
"Worse than a giant," said the voice. "It is a bad wolf that jumped out of his cage from the circus, and he is just ready to eat up anything he sees," and the July bug, for it was he who had fluttered out of the bushes, to tell Uncle Wiggily, made his wings go slowly to and fro like an electric palm-leaf fan.
"A wolf, eh?" cried the old gentleman rabbit. "And do you think he will eat me?"
"He surely will," said the July bug. "I happened to fly past his house, and I heard him say to his wife that he was going out to see if he could find a rabbit supper. So I know he's coming for you. You'd better hide."
"Oh! where can I hide?" asked the rabbit, as he looked around for a hollow stump. But there wasn't any, and there were no holes in the ground, and he didn't know what to do.
Then, all at once there was a crashing in the bushes and it sounded like an elephant coming through, breaking all the sticks in his path.
"There's the wolf! There's the wolf!" cried the July bug. "Hide, Uncle Wiggily," and then the bug perched on the high limb of a tree where the wolf couldn't catch him.
Well, the poor old gentleman rabbit looked for a place to hide himself away from the wolf but he couldn't seem to find any, and he was just going to crawl under a stone and maybe hurt himself, when all at once he heard a voice say:
"Jump up here, Uncle Wiggily. I'll hide you from the wolf."
So the rabbit traveler looked up, and there he saw a flower called Jack-in-the-pulpit looking down on him. I've told you about them before, how the frog once took his bath in one, and how, when you pick a wood-bouquet you put them in with some ferns to make the bouquet look pretty. They are a flower like a vase, with a top curling over, and a thing standing up in the centre whose name is "Jack."
"Jump in here," said the Jack. "I'll fold my top down over you like an umbrella, and the wolf can't find you."
"But you are so small that I can't get inside," said the rabbit.
"Oh, I'll make myself bigger," cried the Jack, I and he took a long breath, and puffed himself up and swelled himself up, until he was large enough for Uncle Wiggily to jump down inside. Then the Jack-in-the-pulpit closed down the umbrella top over the rabbit, and he was hidden away as nice and snug as could be wished.
Pretty soon that bad savage wolf came prancing along, and he looked all over for the rabbit. Then he sniffed and cried:
"Ha! I smell him somewhere around here! I'll find him!" But he couldn't see Uncle Wiggily because he was safely hidden in the Jack-in-the-pulpit. So the wolf raged around some more and chased after his tail, and just as he smelled the rabbit hidden in the flower, the July bug flew down out of the tree, bang! right into the eyes of the wolf, and then the savage creature felt so badly that he ran home and ate cold bread and water for supper, and he didn't bother Uncle Wiggily any more that day.
So that's how the Jack-in-the-pulpit saved the rabbit and very thankful Uncle Wiggily was. And he stayed that night in a hollow stump, and the next day he went on to seek his fortune.
And quite a curious thing happened to him, as I shall have the pleasure of telling you about soon, when in case our canoe boat doesn't turn upside down and spill out the breakfast oatmeal, the next bedtime story will be about Uncle Wiggily and the lost chipmunk.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE LOST CHIPMUNK
Uncle Wiggily was walking along the road one morning, after he had slept all night in the hollow stump. He didn't have any breakfast either, for there was nothing left in his valise, and of course he couldn't eat his barber-pole crutch. If the crutch had had a hole in it, like in the elephant's trunk, then the old gentleman rabbit could have carried along some sandwiches. But, as it was, he had nothing for breakfast, and he hadn't had much supper either, the night before.
"Oh, how hungry I am!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "If only I had a piece of cherry pie now, or an ice cream cone, or a bit of bread and butter and jam I would be all right."
Well, he just happened to open his valise, and there on the very bottom, among some papers he found a few crumbs of the honey sandwiches the bumble bee had given him. Well, you never can imagine how good those few crumbs tasted to the old gentleman rabbit, which shows you that it is a good thing to be hungry once in a while, because even common things taste good.
But the crumbs weren't enough for Uncle Wiggily. As he walked along he kept getting hungrier and hungrier and he didn't know how he was going to stand it.
Then, all of a sudden, as he was passing by a hollow stump, he saw a whole lot of little black creatures crawling around it. They were going up and down, and they were very busy.
"Why, these are ants," said the rabbit. "Well, I s'pose they have plenty to eat. I almost wish I was an ant."
"Well! Well!" exclaimed a voice all at once. "If here isn't Uncle Wiggily. Where did you come from?" and there stood a second cousin to the ant for whom Uncle Wiggily had once carried home a pound of beefsteak with mushrooms on it.
"Oh, I am traveling about seeking my fortune," said the rabbit. "But I haven't been very successful. I couldn't even find my breakfast this morning."
"That's too bad!" exclaimed the ant who wore glasses. "We can give you something, however. Come on! everybody, help get breakfast for Uncle Wiggily."
So all the ants came running up, and some of them brought pieces of boiled eggs, and others brought oatmeal and others parts of oranges and still others parts of cups of coffee. So take it altogether, with seventeen million, four hundred and seventeen thousand, one hundred and eighty-five ants and a baby ant to wait on him, Uncle Wiggily managed to make out a pretty fair sort of a breakfast.
Well, after the old gentleman rabbit had eaten all the breakfast he could, he thanked the kind ants and said good-by to them. Then he started off again. He hadn't gone on very far through the woods, before, all of a sudden he saw something bright and shining under a blackberry bush.
"Well, I do declare!" cried the old gentleman rabbit. "I think that looks like gold. I hope I'm not fooled this time. I will go up very slowly and carefully. Perhaps I shall find my fortune now."
So up he walked very softly, and he stooped down and picked up the shining thing. And what do you think it was? Why a bright new penny—as shiny as gold.
"Good luck!" cried Uncle Wiggily, "I am beginning to find money. Soon I will be rich, and then I can stop traveling," and he put the penny in his pocket.
Well, no sooner had he done so than he heard some one crying over behind a raspberry bush. Oh, such a sad cry as it was, and the old gentleman rabbit knew right away that some one was in trouble.
"Who is there?" he asked, as he felt in his pocket to see if his penny was safe, for he thought that was the beginning of his fortune.
"Oh, I'm lost!" cried the voice. "I came to the store to buy a chocolate lollypop, and I can't find my way back," and then out from behind the raspberry bush came a tiny, little striped chipmunk with the tears falling down on her little paws.
"Oh, you poor little dear!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "And so you are lost? Well, don't you know what to do? As soon as you are lost you must go to a policeman and ask him to take you home. Policemen always know where everybody lives."
"But there are no policemen here," said the chipmunk, who was something like a squirrel, only smaller.
"That's so," agreed Uncle Wiggily. "Well, pretend that I am a policeman, and I'll take you home. Where do you live?"
"If I knew," said the chipmunk, "I would go home myself. All that I know is that I live in a hollow stump."
"Hum!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "There are so many hollow stumps here, that I can't tell which one it is. We will go to each one, and when you find the one that is your home, just tell me."
"But that is not the worst," said the chipmunk. "I have lost my bright, new penny that my mamma gave me for a chocolate lollypop. Oh dear. Isn't it terrible."
"Perhaps this is your penny," said the old gentleman rabbit a bit sadly, taking from his pocket the one he had found.
"It is the very one!" cried the lost chipmunk, joyfully. "Oh, how good of you to find it for me."
"Well," thought Uncle Wiggily with a sorrowful sigh as he handed over the penny, "I thought I had found the beginning of my fortune, but I've lost it again. Never mind. I'll try to-morrow."
So he gave the penny to the chipmunk, and she stopped crying right away, and took hold of Uncle Wiggily's paw, and he led her around to all the hollow stumps until she found the right one where she lived.
And he bought her an ice cream cone because he felt sorry for her. And, just as she was eating it, along came a big, black bear and he wanted half of it, but very luckily the July bug flew past just then, and he bit the bear in the eyes, so that the bad bear was glad enough to run home, taking his little stumpy tail with him. Then the chipmunk took Uncle Wiggily back to her home, and he stayed with her papa and mamma all night.
Now, in case the rocking chair on our porch doesn't tip over in the middle of the night, and scare the pussy cat off the railing, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the black cricket.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BLACK CRICKET
Uncle Wiggily, the nice old gentleman rabbit, was feeling quite sad one morning as he hopped along the dusty road. It was a few days after he had helped the lost chipmunk find her way back home, and he had given her the lost penny which he had also picked up.
"Oh, dear me!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he thought of the penny. "That's generally the way it is in this world. Nothing seems to go right. I naturally thought I had found the beginning of my fortune, even if it was only a penny, and it turned out that the money belonged to somebody else. Oh dear!"
Well, the old rabbit traveler actually felt so badly that he didn't much care whether he found his fortune or not, and that is a very poor way to feel in this world, for one must never give up trying, no matter what happens.
Then Uncle Wiggily looked in his satchel to see if he had anything to eat, but my goodness sakes alive and a ham sandwich! There wasn't a thing in the valise! You see he was thinking so much about the penny that he forgot to put up his lunch.
"Humph! This is a pretty state of affairs!" exclaimed the old rabbit gentleman. "Worse and worse, and some more besides! I do declare! Hum! Suz! Dud!"
Well, he didn't know what to do, so he sat down on a log beside a shady bush and thought it all over. And the more he thought the sadder he became, until he began to believe he was the most miserable rabbit in all the world.
"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "I might as well go back home and done with it."
But no sooner had he said this, than Uncle Wiggily heard the jolliest laugh he had ever known. Oh! it was such a rippling, happy joyous laugh that it would almost cure the toothache just to listen to it.
"Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho! He! He!" laughed the voice, and Uncle Wiggily looked up, and he looked down, and then he looked sideways and around a corner, but he could see no one. Still the laugh kept up, more jolly than ever.
"Humph! I wonder who that is?" said the rabbit. "I wish I could laugh like that," and Uncle Wiggily actually smiled the least little bit, and he didn't feel quite so sad.
Then, all at once, there was a voice singing, and this is the song, and if you feel sad when you sing it, just get some one to tickle you, or watch baby's face when he smiles, and you will feel jolly enough to sing this song, even if you have been crying because you stubbed your toe.
"Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho! I gladly sing, I sing about most anything. I sing about a pussy cat, Who caught a little mousie-rat. I sing about a doggie-dog, Who saw a turtle on a log. I sing about a little boy, Who cried because he broke his toy. And then he laughed, 'Ha! Ha! He! He!' Because he couldn't help it; see?"
"Well, well!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, "I wish I knew who that was. Perhaps it is a fairy, and if it is, I'm going to ask her for my fortune. I'm getting tired of not finding it," and when he thought about that he was sad again.
But a moment later a little black creature hopped out from under a leaf, and who should it be but a cricket.
"Was that you laughing?" asked the old gentleman rabbit, as he again looked in his valise to see if he had any sandwiches there. "Was it you?"
"It was," said the cricket. "I was just going—Oh, kindly excuse me, while I laugh again!" the cricket said, and then he laughed more jolly than before.
"What makes you so good-natured?" asked the rabbit.
"I just can't help it," said the cricket. "Everything is so lovely. The sun shines, and the birds sing, and the water in the brooks babble such jolly songs, and well—Oh, excuse me again if you please, I'm going to laugh once more," and so he did then and there. He just laughed and laughed and laughed, that cricket did.
"Well," said Uncle Wiggily, still speaking sadly, "of course it's nice to be jolly, anybody can be that way when the sun shines, but what about the rain? There! I guess you can't be jolly when it rains."
"Oh! when it rains I laugh because I know it will soon clear off, and then, too, I can think about the days when the sun did shine," said the cricket.
"Well," spoke Uncle Wiggily, "there is something in that, to be sure. And as you are such a jolly chap, will you travel along with me? Perhaps with you I could find my fortune."
"Of course I'll come," said the cricket, and he laughed again, and then he and the old gentleman rabbit hopped on together and Uncle Wiggily kept feeling more and more happy until he had forgotten all about the chipmunk's penny that wasn't his.
Well, in a little while, not so very long, the rabbit and the cricket came to a dark place in the woods. Oh! it was quite dismal, and, just as they passed a big, black stump with a hole in it, all of a sudden out popped the skillery-scalery-tailery alligator.
"Ah, ha!" exclaimed the unpleasant creature. "Now I have you both. I'm going to eat you both, first you, Mr. Cricket, and then you, Uncle Wiggily."
"Oh, please don't," begged the rabbit. "I haven't found my fortune yet."
"No matter," cried the alligator, "here we go!"
He made a grab for the cricket, but the little black insect hopped to one side, and then, all of a sudden he began to laugh. Oh, how hard he laughed.
"Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho! He! He!" My, it was wonderful! At first the alligator didn't know what to make of it. Harder and harder did the black cricket laugh, and then Uncle Wiggily began. He just couldn't help it. Harder and harder laughed the cricket and Uncle Wiggily together, and then, all at once, the alligator began to laugh. He couldn't help it either.
"Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho! He! He!" laughed the 'gator, and great big alligator tears rolled down his scaly cheeks, he laughed so hard. Why, he giggled so that he couldn't even have eaten a mosquito with mustard on.
"Come on, now!" suddenly cried the cricket to Uncle Wiggily. "Now is our chance to get away."
And before the alligator had stopped laughing they both hopped away in the woods together, and so the bad scalery-ailery-tailery creature didn't get either of them.
"My! it's a good thing you made him laugh," said the rabbit when they were safely away.
"It's a good thing to make anybody laugh," said the black cricket, and then he and Uncle Wiggily went on to seek the old gentleman rabbit's fortune.
And in the next story, in case the sunshine doesn't make my pussy cat sneeze and spill his milk, on the new door mat, I'll tell you all about Uncle Wiggily and the busy bug.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BUSY BUG
Everywhere Uncle Wiggily and the black cricket went in the next few days, every one was glad to see them. For they were both so jolly, and laughed and joked so much along the road, that no one who heard them could be sad.
They came to one place where there was a boy sick with the toothache, and his mamma had done everything for him that she could think of, even to putting mustard on it, but still that boy's tooth ached.
Well, as soon as that boy saw the cricket and the old gentleman rabbit, and heard them laugh, why the boy smiled, and then the pain, somehow, seemed to be better, and he smiled some more, and then he laughed.
Then Uncle Wiggily told a funny story about a monkey who made faces at himself in a looking-glass, and got so excited about it that he jumped around behind the glass, thinking another monkey was there, and there wasn't, and the monkey fell into the freezer full of ice cream and caught cold because he ate so much of it.
Well, that boy opened his mouth real wide to laugh at the funny story and his mamma all of a sudden slipped a string around the aching tooth and she pulled it out in a moment, and it never ached again.
"Oh, how glad I am!" cried the little boy. "I wish you would always stay with me, Uncle Wiggily—you and the jolly cricket."
"I'd like to, but I can't," said the old gentleman rabbit. "I must keep on after my fortune."
"I'll stay with you for a little while," said the cricket, and he did, telling some funny stories to other boys who had the toothache, and right away after that they allowed their bad teeth to be pulled, and their pain was over.
So Uncle Wiggily said good-by to the cricket and went on by himself. He was feeling very good now, for he and the cricket had met a kind muskrat, a thirty-fifth cousin to Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, and this muskrat gave Uncle Wiggily a lot of sandwiches for his satchel, so he wouldn't be hungry again for some time.
"And I don't mind so much about the cent, either," thought the rabbit, as he remembered the one that belonged to the chipmunk. "After all a cent is not so much, and I need more than that for my fortune. Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho!"
He just had to laugh, you see, when he thought of the jolly cricket. So he traveled on and on, over hill and dale, until one evening, just as the sun was going down behind the clouds, all red and golden and violet colored, he saw a little house built of green leaves.
"Ha!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "That is a very fine house. I wish I had one like it in which to stay to-night. But it's too small for me. I guess I'll have to keep on and look for a haystack under which to crawl."
Well, just as he said that, all of a sudden there was a little rustling, scratching noise, and a bug came to the door of the queer little green leaf house. The bug had a broom and she began sweeping off the front porch and then she knocked the dirt out of the doormat, and then she swept some cobwebs off the shutters and then she hurried out and swept off the sidewalk, all so quickly that you could scarcely see her move.
"My, but she is a fast worker," said Uncle Wiggily. "She is almost as quick as Jennie Chipmunk."
"I have to be!" exclaimed the bug, for the old gentleman rabbit had spoken out loud without thinking, and the bug had heard him. "I have to hustle around," she said, "for I am the busy bug, and I have to keep busy. I work from morning to night to keep my house in order. Now excuse me; I have to go in and dust the piano," and she was just going to run in the house, when Uncle Wiggily said:
"Do you happen to know of a place where I can stay to-night?"
"Why, yes," said the busy bug. "Next door is a house where Mr. Groundhog used to live. But now he is away on his vacation, and I have the keys. I'm sure he wouldn't mind you staying in there over night. I'll get it in order for you. Come along, hurry up, no time to lose!"
And before Uncle Wiggily knew what was happening the busy bug had run in, got the keys, opened the front door of the groundhog's house. Then she flew in, and she began dusting it. My! what a dust she raised. Uncle Wiggily had to sneeze, there was so much of it.
And the funny part of it was that the house was already just as neat and clean as a piece of cocoanut or custard, or maybe even apple pie.
"Don't fuss any more with it," said Uncle Wiggily. "It will do very well as it is."
"Oh, it must be made cleaner," said the busy bug, and she swept and dusted until Uncle Wiggily sneezed again. Then the bug dusted a little more, and at last she said the house was in pretty fair shape and Uncle Wiggily could sleep there.
Then the busy bug flew back home and she kept busy up to nine o'clock, making beds and dusting the crumbs off the mantelpiece and picking up grains of sand off the floor. Then she went to sleep.
Well, along in the middle of the night Uncle Wiggily was awakened by hearing some one talking under his window. He looked out, and there were two savage old owls.
"Now, we'll fly right in through her window," said one owl, "and we'll eat her all up, and then we'll tear her house down."
And, would you believe it, they started right toward the house of the poor busy lady bug, who was fast asleep.
"Ha! This must never be!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "I must save her. How can I do it?" So he looked around, and he saw a broom, which the busy bug had left behind when she finished sweeping. "That will do!" cried the rabbit. He took it in his paws and, leaning out of the window, he held it just as if it was a gun, and cried:
"Now, you bad owls, fly away or I'll shoot all your feathers off! Fly away and don't you harm my friend, the busy lady bug!"
Well, sir, those owls were so frightened, thinking that Uncle Wiggily was going to shoot them with the broom-gun (only, of course, they didn't know it was only a broom), and, would you believe it, they were terribly afraid and they flew off into the dark woods, and so didn't eat up the busy bug after all, and she slept in peace and quietness, never even waking up, she was so tired after being busy all day.
Then Uncle Wiggily went back to bed, and the owls didn't disturb him again that night. And in the morning the busy bug got his breakfast and thanked him when he told her about scaring the owls away with the make-believe broom-gun.
Uncle Wiggily traveled on, and soon he had another adventure. What it was I'll tell you almost right away, when, in case the cake of ice doesn't melt, and make a mud puddle for the baby to fall into, I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and the funny monkey.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE FUNNY MONKEY
It was a bright and beautiful sunshiny day, and Uncle Wiggily was hopping along the road, thinking many thoughts and about the busy bug and the black cricket and all things like that and how hard it was to look and look for your fortune and never find it, when all of a sudden, just as he happened to put his crutch down on a round stone, it slipped, and down he fell kerthump.
"Oh, wow! Ouch!" cried the old gentleman rabbit as he bumped his nose on a sharp stick. "That hurt! My, I hope I haven't broken one of my ears or paw-nails. If I did I'll have to get in the ambulance and go to the hospital."
So he sat up very slowly and carefully and looked himself all over and he was glad to see that he hadn't broken anything except a lettuce sandwich that he carried in his satchel and, as it was just as good broken as it was whole, it didn't matter much.
"Oh, are you hurt?" suddenly cried a voice, as Uncle Wiggily took some dirt out of his left ear. "If you are I can give you something to put on your cuts," and out from under a big leaf came a beautiful butterfly.
"What can you put on my cuts?" asked the rabbit.
"Oh, I can get some sticky gum from a tree or a flower and spread it on a leaf and make some court plaster," spoke the butterfly. "It will cure a cut very quickly."
"Thank you very much," said Uncle Wiggily, "but very luckily I haven't any cuts. I'm all right, I guess, but because you are so kind to me here is just a drop of honey that I found in the bottom of my satchel. The bee gave it to me." So he handed to the kind butterfly a little honey he had left. The butterfly was very glad to get it, and fluttered away, jumping from one flower to another as easily as a boy can spin his top.
Then the old gentleman rabbit traveled on, and pretty soon, when it was just about time for dinner, he came to a beautiful place in the woods. The trees were nice and green and shady, and there was a little brook that was bubbling and babbling over the mossy stones and then all at once Uncle Wiggily heard the queerest music he had ever heard. It was like forty-'leven bands all playing in the park at once.
"My, I must be near a big picnic!" cried the rabbit. "I shall have to look out for myself, or some boys may chase me."
The music kept getting louder but still the old gentleman rabbit didn't see any people, and he went on very slowly until he came to a little house built of shingles, and there in front of it sat a monkey. And he was the funniest monkey you ever saw.
For that monkey was playing five hand organs all at once. Yes, just as true as I'm telling you, he was. He played one organ with his left paw and he played another organ with his right paw, and he played still another with his left foot and he twisted the crank of another with his right foot. And then, to finish off with, he whirled around the crank of the fifth organ with his long tail. Oh, he was a smart monkey, I tell you!
"My! This is almost as good as a circus!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "I'm glad I came this way."
Well, that funny monkey played faster than ever, and on one organ he played the tune "Please Bring Your Umbrella Inside When it Rains," and on another he played "May I Have Some of Your Ice Cream Cone if I Give You a Kiss?" And on the third hand organ the monkey was playing the tune "Come Out Into the Hammock and See Who'll Fall Out First," and another tune was "Please Don't Let that Big Black Bug Tickle Me," and on the organ that he twisted with his tail the monkey ground out the song "Come On Inside the Motorboat and Have a Nice, Cool Swim."
"My, how do you do it?" asked the rabbit of the monkey. "You must be very musical."
"Oh, it comes natural to me," said the monkey, not a bit proud like.
"But where did you get so many organs?"
"Oh, I saved up my pennies for them," said the monkey. "You see, it was this way. I used to work for a man who had a hand organ, and he used to take me around with him to climb up on the porches, and in the second-story windows to get the pennies from the children. Well, I always loved music, and I wanted the man to let me play his organ, but he never would. So I made up my mind I would save up all my pennies and some day buy an organ for myself.
"Well, I did that, for you know often when I used to go around to collect pennies for the man, some children would give me a few for myself. Finally I got rich and I didn't work for the man any longer, and I had enough to buy five hand organs, for I can play five at once. Then I came here, and built this shingle house and every day I amuse myself by playing tunes, and I never have to climb up the rainwater pipe to get money. Oh, it is a happy life," and the monkey felt so funny that he hung by his tail from a tree branch, and made faces at Uncle Wiggily—just in fun, you understand.
Uncle Wiggily was very glad he had met the monkey, and he listened to the music, and the monkey even let the rabbit play one tune for himself, and it was called, "When You Wiggle Your Wiggily Ears Wiggle Them Good and Hard."
And then, all of a sudden, just as that tune was finished, there was a terrible noise in the bushes.
"My goodness! What's that?" cried the monkey as he hopped up on top of one of his hand organs and curled his tail around the handle.
"It sounds like a bear!" said the rabbit. "But don't worry. I'll do just as the cricket did to the alligator and make him laugh so that he won't hurt us."
"Good!" cried the monkey. And then the noise became louder and out from the bushes popped a big animal. But it was an elephant instead of a bear, and as soon as he saw the monkey and Uncle Wiggily he ran up to them and shook his trunk at them and cried:
"Oh, I'm so glad to see you! I just got away from the circus, and I want to have some fun!" and he was as kind and gentle as he could be and he and Uncle Wiggily had quite an adventure the next day.
I'll tell you about it on the next page, when, in case the little boy across the street doesn't tickle my pussy cat and make him sneeze the rubbers off the umbrella plant, the story will be about Uncle Wiggily and the big dog.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BIG DOG
Let's see, I left off in the last story just where the elephant came out of the woods and shook his tail—I mean his trunk—at Uncle Wiggily and the funny monkey, didn't I? Well, now, I'm going to tell you what happened after that.
"Why did you run away from the circus?" asked the old gentleman rabbit of the elephant. "I should think you would like it there. I know Sammie and Susie Littletail would love a circus."
"Yes, some folks like it," spoke the elephant slow and thoughtful-like, as he sat down on his trunk, "but I do not care for it. You see of late the children ate all the peanuts, instead of giving me my share, and I just couldn't stand it any longer. Why, it got so, finally, that when a man would give his little boy five cents to buy a bag of peanuts for me the little boy would eat all but two or three of the nuts, and those were all he gave to me. It wasn't enough, so I ran away."
"I don't in the least blame you," said the monkey, "and I'm going to let you play some of my hand organs."
Well, the elephant was delighted at that, and he played one organ with his trunk and another one with his tail, making some very nice music.
Uncle Wiggily stayed in the monkey's house that night, and the elephant wanted to come in also, but of course he was far too big, so he had to sleep outside under a tree. It was an apple tree, and in the middle of the night the elephant snored so hard and heavily through his trunk that he shook the tree and all the apples fell off, and in the morning the monkey made an apple pie from some of them.
"I think I had better start off on my travels again," said the old gentleman rabbit after breakfast. "There must be a fortune for me somewhere if I can only find it. So I'll trot along."
"I'll go with you," said the kind elephant. "Perhaps you might see your fortune in the top of a tall tree, and then you couldn't get it. But I would pull the tree down for you."
"That would be fine!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "I'll be glad to have you travel with me."
So they said good-by to the monkey, and off they started together, the rabbit and the elephant. They talked of many things, about how hot it was, and whether there would be rain soon, and about how much ice cream cones cost, and sometimes what a little bit of ice cream the man puts in the cones when he is in a hurry.
"Speaking of ice cream cones," said the elephant, "makes me hungry for some. I wish I had one."
"I wish I had one also," spoke Uncle Wiggily. "You would have to have a very large one, though, Mr. Elephant, but a small one would do for me."
"Don't say another word," cried the elephant as he waved his trunk in the air. "I'm going right off and get us some ice cream cones. I know where there's a store. You hop along slowly and I'll catch up to you."
So the elephant went off to the ice cream cone store, and Uncle Wiggily, with his valise and the barber pole crutch, hopped on through the woods, looking about to see if his fortune was up in any of the trees, but it wasn't there yet.
Well, pretty soon, in a little while, not so very long, all of a sudden the old gentleman rabbit heard a sniffing-sniffing noise in the woods. And then there was a rustling in the bushes.
"Ha, hum!" exclaimed the rabbit. "Perhaps that may be a bear. I had better look out for myself."
He started to hop softly away, so the bear, or whatever it was, wouldn't hear him, but he was too late. In an instant out of the bushes popped something big and black and shaggy, and the rabbit, taking one look at it, saw that it was a big dog.
"New is the time for me to run!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "That dog will eat me up, sure pop!"
Away hopped the old gentleman rabbit, his heart going "pitter-patter-pat," he was so frightened. On and on he ran down a path in the woods.
"Here, come back here! Come back!" cried the dog.
"Indeed, I will not," answered Uncle Wiggily. "I know what you want to do. You want to eat me."
"No, I don't, honestly!" cried the dog. "But come back, for if you run any farther on that road you'll fall into a lake and be drowned."
"Humph! I don't believe that!" cried the rabbit. "You are saying that to scare me," and on he hopped faster than ever.
"Come back! Come back!" cried the dog again, but Uncle Wiggily wouldn't. My! how fast he did hop, until, all of a sudden, as he returned around the corner of a stump, he saw a lake of water right in front of him. And before he could stop himself he had fallen plump into it; crutch, satchel and all, and of course he couldn't swim. And he could hear the dog coming barking down the path after him.
"Oh, this is the end of me, sure pop!" thought poor Uncle Wiggily. "I'll never get any fortune now."
"Oh, dear!" cried the dog. "I told you how it would be. I tried to save you from getting in the water," and then the rabbit knew the big dog had been telling the truth. But it was too late now. Uncle Wiggily was going down under the deep, dark, cold water when, all of a sudden, along came the elephant with a great big ice cream cone for himself, and a little one for Uncle Wiggily. He saw the rabbit in the water and he also saw the big shaggy dog.
"Did you push Uncle Wiggily in the water?" asked the elephant, "because if you did I'm going to throw you in."
"No, indeed, I didn't," answered the dog. "It was an accident," and he told the elephant how it happened. "But I'll jump in, grab him and swim out with him," said the dog.
"No, don't do that, you might accidentally bite him," spoke the elephant. "I have a better plan." So he laid down the ice cream cones and then he put the end of his hollow trunk in the lake, and he began to suck up and drink the water, just as you suck lemonade up through a straw.
And presto chango! in a few seconds all the water was sucked out of the lake by the elephant, and it was dry land and the rabbit could walk safely to shore, and so he wasn't drowned after all. And how he did thank the elephant! Uncle Wiggily ate his ice cream cone, and the elephant gave some of his to the dog, and they were all happy.
Now, if the elephant doesn't get a sliver in his foot so he can't dance at the hoptoads' picnic, I'll tell you in the next story about Uncle Wiggily and the peanut man.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PEANUT MAN
After Uncle Wiggily and the elephant and the big dog had eaten up the ice cream cones, they sat in the woods a while and looked at the place where the watery lake had been before the elephant drank it up to save the rabbit from drowning.
"My, but you must be strong to take up all that water," said the dog.
"Yes, I guess I am pretty strong," said the elephant, though he was not at all proud-like. "I will show you how I can pull up a tree," he said. So he wound his trunk around a big tree and he gave one great, heaving pull and up that tree came by the roots. Then, all of a sudden a voice cried:
"Oh, you're upsetting all my eggs!" and a robin, who had her nest in the tree, fluttered around feeling very sad.
"Oh, excuse me, Mrs. Robin," said the elephant. "I would not have disturbed you for the world had I known that your nest was in that tree. I'll plant it right back again in the same place I pulled it up. Anyhow, I intended to do it, as it is not a good thing to kill a tree. I'll plant it again."
So he put the tree back in the hole, and with his big feet he stamped down the earth around it. Then the robin's nest and eggs were safe, and she sang a pretty song because she was thankful to the elephant.
Well, the elephant had to sleep out-of-doors again that night, because he couldn't find a house large enough for him, but Uncle Wiggily slept in the big dog's kennel. In the morning the rabbit said: