Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Sammie and Susie Littletail
Author: Garis, Howard Roger, 1873-1962
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sammie and Susie Littletail" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



text donated by Rivers Edge Used Books.



SAMMIE AND SUSIE LITTLETAIL

By

HOWARD R. GARIS


Illustrations by

LOUIS WISA


1910



PUBLISHER'S NOTE


These stories appeared originally in the Evening News, of Newark, N.J.,
and are reproduced in book form by the kind permission of the publishers
of that paper, to whom the author extends his thanks.



Contents


     I. Sammie Littletail in a Trap
    II. Sammie Littletail is Rescued
   III. What Happened to Susie Littletail
    IV. Papa Littletail's Picture
     V. Sammie Littletail Digs a Burrow
    VI. Sammie and Susie Help Mrs. Wren
   VII. Uncle Wiggily Gets Shot
  VIII. Susie and Sammie Find a Nest
    IX. Sammie Littletail Falls In
     X. Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy Gives a Lesson
    XI. Sammie's and Susie's Terrible Time
   XII. Susie Goes to a Party
  XIII. The Littletail Family Move
   XIV. How the Water Got In
    XV. Sammie and Susie at the Circus
   XVI. Sammie and the Snake
  XVII. Susie and the White Kittie
 XVIII. Sammie and the Black Doggie
   XIX. Uncle Wiggily Makes Maple Sugar
    XX. Sammie and Susie Hunt Eggs
   XXI. Susie Littletail Jumps Rope
  XXII. Sammie Colored Sky-Blue-Pink
 XXIII. Susie Littletail's Hot-Cross Buns
  XXIV. Hiding the Easter Eggs
   XXV. Uncle Wiggily and the Red Fairy
  XXVI. Susie and the Blue Fairy
 XXVII. Sammie and the Green Fairy
XXVIII. Susie and the Fairy Godmother
  XXIX. Uncle Wiggily and the Fairy Spectacles
   XXX. Sammie Saves Billie Bushytail
  XXXI. Susie and the Fairy Carrot



SAMMIE AND SUSIE LITTLETAIL



I

SAMMIE LITTLETAIL IN A TRAP


Once upon a time there lived in a small house built underneath the
ground two curious little folk, with their father, their mother, their
uncle and Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy was the nurse, hired girl
and cook, all in one, and the reason she had such a funny name was
because she was a funny cook. She had long hair, a sharp nose, a very
long tail and the brightest eyes you ever saw. She could stay under
water a long time, and was a fine swimmer. In fact, Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy was
a big muskrat, and the family she worked for was almost as strange as
she was.

There was Papa Littletail, Mamma Littletail, Sammie Littletail, Susie
Littletail and Uncle Wiggily Longears. The whole family had very long
ears and short tails; their eyes were rather pink and their noses used
to twinkle, just like the stars on a frosty night. Now you have guessed
it. This was a family of bunny rabbits, and they lived in a nice hole,
which was called a burrow, and which they had dug under ground in a big
park on the top of a mountain, back of Orange. Not the kind of oranges
you eat, you know, but the name of a place, and a very nice place, too.

In spite of her strange name, and the fact that she was a muskrat, Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy was a very good cook and quite kind to the children bunnies,
Sammie and Susie. Besides looking after them, Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy used to
sweep the burrow, make up the beds of leaves and grass, and go to market
to get bits of carrots, turnips or cabbage, which last Sammie and Susie
liked better than ice cream.

Uncle Wiggily Longears was an elderly rabbit, who had the rheumatism,
and he could not do much. Sometimes when Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy was very busy
he would go after the cabbage or turnips for her. Uncle Wiggily Longears
was a wise rabbit, and as he had no other home, Papa Littletail let him
stay in a warm corner of the burrow. To pay for his board the little
bunnies' uncle would give them lessons in how to behave. One day, after
he had told them how needful it was to always have two holes, or doors,
to your burrow, so that if a dog chased you in one, you could go out of
the other, Uncle Wiggily said:

"Now, children, I think that is enough for one day, so you may go out
and have some fun in the snow."

But first Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy looked out of the back door, and then she
looked out of the front door, to see that there were no dogs or hunters
about. Then Sammie and Susie crept out. They had lots of fun, and pretty
soon, when they were quite a ways from home, they saw a hole in the
ground. In front of it was a nice, juicy cabbage stalk.

"Look!" cried Sammie. "Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy must have lost that cabbage on
her way home from the store!"

"That isn't the door to our house," said Susie.

"Yes it is," insisted Sammie, "and I am going to eat the cabbage. I
didn't have much breakfast, and I'm hungry."

"Be careful," whispered Susie. "Uncle Wiggily Longears warned us to
look on all sides before we ate any cabbage we found."

"I don't believe there's any danger," spoke Sammie. "I'm going to eat
it," and he went right up to the cabbage stalk.

But Sammie did not know that the cabbage stalk was part of a trap, put
there to catch animals, and, no sooner had he taken a bite, than there
came a click, and Sammie felt a terrible pain in his left hind leg.

"Oh, Susie!" he cried out. "Oh, Susie! Something has caught me by the
leg! Run home, Susie, as fast as you can, and tell papa!"

Susie was so frightened that she began to cry, but, as she was a brave
little rabbit girl, she started off toward the underground house. When
she got there she jumped right down the front door hole, and called out:

"Oh, mamma! Oh, papa! Sammie is caught! He went to bite the cabbage
stalk, and he is caught in a horrible trap!"

"Caught!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily Longears. "Sammie caught in a trap!
That is too bad! We must rescue him at once. Come on!" he called to Papa
Littletail, and, though Uncle Wiggily Longears was quite lame with the
rheumatism, he started off with Sammie's papa, and to-morrow night I
will tell you how they saved the little boy rabbit.



II

SAMMIE LITTLETAIL IS RESCUED


When Uncle Wiggily Longears and Papa Littletail hurried from the
underground house to rescue Sammie, Mamma Littletail was much
frightened. She nearly fainted, and would have done so completely, only
Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy brought her some parsnip juice.

"Oh, hurry and get my little boy out of that trap!" cried Mamma
Littletail, when she felt better. "Do you think he will be much hurt,
Uncle Wiggily?"

"Oh, no; not much," he said. "I was caught in a trap once when I was a
young rabbit, and I got over it. Only I took a dreadful cold, from
being kept out in the rain all night. We will bring him safe home to
you."

While Uncle Wiggily Longears and Papa Littletail were on their way, poor
Sammie, left all alone in the woods, with his left hind foot caught in a
cruel trap, felt very lonely indeed.

"I'll never take any more cabbage without looking all around it, to see
if there is a trap near it," he said to himself. "No indeed I will not,"
and then he tried to get out of the trap, but could not.

Pretty soon he saw his father and his uncle coming over the snow toward
him, and he felt much better.

"Now we must be very careful," said Uncle Wiggily Longears, to Papa
Littletail. "There may be more traps about."

So he sat upon his hind legs, and Papa Littletail sat up on his hind
legs, and they both made their noses twinkle like stars on a very frosty
night. For that is the way rabbits smell, and these two were wise
bunnies, who could smell a trap as far as you can smell perfumery. They
could not smell any traps, and they could not see any with their pink
eyes, so they went quite close to Sammie, who was held fast by his left
hind leg.

"Does it hurt you very much?" asked his papa, and he put his front paws
around his little rabbit boy, and gave him a good hug.

"Not very much, papa," replied Sammie, "but I wish I was out."

"We'll soon have you out," said Uncle Wiggily Longears, and then with
his strong hind feet he kicked away the snow and dried leaves from the
trap. Then Sammie could see how he had been fooled. The trap was so
covered up that only the cabbage stump showed, so it is no wonder that
he stepped into it.

The two rabbits tried to get Sammie out, but they could not, because the
trap was too strong.

"What shall we do?" asked Papa Littletail, as he sat down and scratched
his left ear, which he always did when he was worried about anything.

"The trap is fast to a piece of wood by a chain," said Uncle Wiggily
Longears. "We will have to gnaw through the wood, and then take Sammie,
the trap, chain and all, home. Once there, we can call in Dr. Possum,
and he can open the trap and get Sammie's leg out."

So the two big rabbits set to work to gnaw through the wood, to which
the chain of the trap was fastened. Sammie Littletail tried not to cry
from the pain, but some tears did come, and they froze on his face,
close to his little wiggily nose, for it was quite cold.

"I should have given you a lesson about traps," said Uncle Wiggily
Longears; "then perhaps you would not have been caught. I will give you
a lesson to-morrow."

Finally the wood was gnawed through, and Sammie, with his uncle on one
side and his papa on the other, to help him, reached home. The trap was
still on his leg, and he could not go very fast. In fact, the three of
them had to go so slow that a hunter and his dog came after them. They
managed, however, to jump down the hole of the underground house just in
time, and the big dog did not get them. He soon got tired of waiting,
and went away. Then Dr. Possum was sent for, and with his strong tail he
quickly opened the trap, and Sammie was free. But his leg hurt him very
much, and Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy put him in a bed of soft leaves and gave him
some sassafras and elderberry tea. Dr. Possum told Sammie he would have
to stay in the burrow for a week, until his leg was better. Sammie did
not want to, but his mother insisted on it, and to-morrow night I will
tell you an adventure that happened to Susie Littletail, when she went
to the store for some cabbage.



III

WHAT HAPPENED TO SUSIE LITTLETAIL


It was very lonesome for Sammie Littletail to stay in the underground
house for a whole week after he had been caught in the trap. He had to
move about on a crutch, which Uncle Wiggily Longears, that wise old
rabbit, gnawed out of a piece of cornstalk for him.

"Oh, dear, I wish I could go out and play!" exclaimed Sammie one day.
"It's awfully tiresome in here in the dark. I wish I could do
something."

"Would you like a nice, juicy cabbage leaf?" asked Susie.

"Wouldn't I, though!" cried Sammie, "But there isn't any in the pantry.
I heard Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy tell mother so."

"I'll go to the store and get you some," offered his sister. "I know
where it is."

The cabbage store was a big field where Farmer Tooker kept his cabbage
covered with straw during the winter. It was not far from the burrow,
and, though it was not really a store, the rabbits always called it
that. So that was where Susie Littletail went. She scraped the snow off
the straw with her hind feet and kicked the straw away so she could get
at the cabbage. Then she began to gnaw off the sweetest leaves she could
find for her little sick brother. She had broken off quite a number and
was thinking how nice they would be for him, when she suddenly smelled
something strange.

It was not cabbage nor turnips nor carrots that she smelled. Nor was it
sweet clover, nor any smell like that. It was the smell of danger, and
Susie, like all her family, could smell danger quite a distance. This
time she knew it was a man with a dog and a gun who was coming toward
her. For Uncle Wiggily Longears had told her how to know when such a
thing happened.

"Oh, it's some of those horrid hunters; I know it is!" exclaimed Susie.
"I must run home, though I haven't half enough cabbage."

She took the leaves she had gnawed off in her mouth and bounded off
toward the underground house. All at once a dog sprang out of the bushes
at her and the man with the gun shot at her, but he did not hit her. She
was so frightened, however, that she dropped the cabbage leaves and ran
for her life.

Oh, how Susie Littletail did run! She never ran so fast before in all
her life, and, just as the dog was going to grab her, she saw the back
door of her house, and into it she popped like a cork going into a
bottle.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" she cried three times, just like that. "I am safe!" and
she ran to where her brother was, on a bed of leaves.

"Why, Susie!" he called to her. "Whatever is the matter?"

"Yes. Why have you been running so?" asked Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. "What
happened?"

"A big dog chased me," answered Susie. "But I got away."

"Where is my cabbage?" Sammie wanted to know. "I am so hungry for it."

"Oh, I'm so sorry, but I had to drop it," went on Susie. "Oh, Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy, is papa home safe. Where is Uncle Wiggily Longears? I hope
neither of them is out, for I'm afraid that hunter and his dog will see
them."

"Your uncle is asleep in his room," said the muskrat nurse. "His
rheumatism hurts him this weather. As for your papa, he has not come
home yet, but I guess he is wise enough to keep out of the way of dogs.
Now don't make any noise, for your mamma is lying down with a headache.
I have a little preserved clover, done up in sugar, put away in the
cupboard, and I will give you some."

"That is better than cabbage," declared Sammie, joyfully.

But, just as Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy went to the cupboard to get the sugared
clover, something ran down into the underground house. It was a long,
thin animal, with a sharp nose, sharper even than Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy's,
and when the nurse saw the curious little beast, she cried out in
fright:

"Oh, run, children! Run!" she screamed. "This is a very dreadful
creature indeed! It is a ferret, but I will drive him out, and he shan't
hurt you!"

Then Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, dropping the pan of potatoes she was
peeling for supper, sprang at the ferret. And to-morrow night, if you
are good children, you shall hear how Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy drove the ferret
from the underground home and saved the bunny children.



IV

PAPA LITTLETAIL'S PICTURE


When Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy called out to the two bunny children to run
away from the ferret, Sammie and Susie were so frightened that they
hardly knew what to. Their mother came into the sitting-room of the
burrow, from the dark bedroom where she had gone to lie down, because of
a headache, and she also was much alarmed. So was Uncle Wiggily
Longears, who was awakened from his nap by the cries of the nurse.

"Run and hide! Run and hide!" called Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, and all the
rabbits ran and hid. The ferret, which was a long, slender animal,
something like a white rat, had been put into the burrow by the hunter,
who stood outside at the back door, hoping the rabbits would run out so
he could shoot them. But they did not. Instead, they went into the
darkest part of the underground house. Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy went
bravely up to the ferret.

"Now you get right out of this house," she said. "We don't want you
here!"

The ferret said nothing, but kept crawling all around, looking for the
rabbits. He was careful to keep away from the muskrat, for, in spite of
her soft name, Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had very sharp teeth.

"Come on, now; get right out of here!" the nurse said again, but the
ferret would not go. He wanted to catch the rabbits. Then the muskrat
jumped right up on his back and bit him quite hard on one of his little
ears. The ferret squealed at this.

Next Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy nipped him on the other ear; not very hard, you
know, but just hard enough to make that ferret wish he had stayed out of
the underground house.

"Now will you go?" asked the nurse.

"Yes," said the ferret, "I will," and he turned around and walked right
out of the house. The hunter was very much surprised when his ferret
appeared without having driven out any rabbits. He could not understand
it.

"Well," he said, "I guess I made a mistake, but I was sure I saw a
rabbit go down that hole. I guess I had better be going." So he called
his dog, put his ferret into his pocket and went away. And, oh, how glad
Sammie and Susie Littletail were!

Pretty soon Papa Littletail came hurrying home. As soon as he entered
the burrow the children noticed that he was rather pale. He said that
he had had a terrible fright, for, as he was on his way home from Mr.
Drake's house, a boy had pointed a big, black thing at him, which
clicked like a gun, but did not make a loud noise. Then Susie told him
about the dog who chased her, and how the ferret had frightened them.

"It is a good thing you were not shot," said Mamma Littletail to her
husband. "I don't know what we would have done if such a dreadful thing
had happened. How terrible boys are!"

"I did have a narrow escape," admitted Papa Littletail. "The boy had a
sort of square, black box, and I'm sure it was filled with bullets. It
had a great, round, shiny eye, that he pointed at me, and, when
something clicked, he cried out, 'There, I have him!' But I did not seem
to be hurt."

"I know what happened to you," said Uncle Wiggily Longears, and he
rubbed his leg that had the worst rheumatism in it. "You had your
picture taken; that's all."

"My picture taken?" repeated Papa Littletail, as he scratched his left
ear, which he always did when he was puzzled.

"That is it," said the children's uncle. "It happened to me once. The
boy had a camera, not a gun. It does not hurt to have your picture
taken. It is not like being shot."

"Then I wish all hunters would take pictures of us, instead of shooting
at us," said Sammie, and Susie also thought it would be much nicer. And
Uncle Wiggily told how lovers of animals often take their pictures, to
put in books and magazines, for little boys and girls to look at.

"Well," said Papa Littletail, "I suppose I should be very proud to have
my picture taken, but I am not the least bit."

Then he gave Sammie some nice pieces of chocolate-covered turnip, which
Mr. Drake had sent to the little boy with the lame leg.

"Do you think I can get out to-morrow?" asked Sammie, after supper. "My
leg is quite well."

"I think so," replied his papa. "I will ask Dr. Possum."

Which he did, and Sammie was allowed to go out. He had a very curious
adventure, too, and I think I shall tell you about it to-morrow night,
if you go to bed early now.



V

SAMMIE LITTLETAIL DIGS A BURROW


Sammie Littletail found that his leg was quite well enough to walk on,
without the cornstalk crutch, so the day after his papa's picture had
been taken, the little rabbit boy started to leave the burrow.

"Come along, Susie," he called to his sister.

"I will also go with you," said Uncle Wiggily Longears. "I will give you
children a few lessons in digging burrows. It is time you learned, for
some day you will want an underground house of your own."

So he led them to a nice place in the big park on top of the mountain,
where the earth was soft, and showed Sammie and Susie how to hollow out
rooms and halls, how to make back and front doors, and many other things
a rabbit should know.

"I think that will be enough of a lesson to-day," said Uncle Wiggily
Longears, after a while. "We will go home, now."

"No," spoke Sammie, "I want to dig some more. It's lots of fun."

"You had better come with us," remarked Susie.

But Sammie would not, though he promised to be home before dark. So
while Uncle Wiggily Longears and Susie Littletail started off, Sammie
continued to dig. He dug and he dug and he dug, until he was a long
distance under ground, and had really made quite a fine burrow for a
little rabbit. All at once he felt a sharp pain in his left fore leg.

"Ouch!" he cried. "Who did that?"

"I did," answered a little, furry creature, all curled up in a hole in
the ground. "What do you mean by digging into my house? Can't you see
where you are going?"

"Of course," answered Sammie, as he looked at his sore leg. "But
couldn't you see me coming, and tell me to stop?"

"No, I couldn't see you," was the reply.

"Why not?"

"Why not? Because I'm blind. I'm a mole, and I can't see; but I get
along just as well as if I did. Now, I suppose I've got to go to work
and mend the hole you made in the side of my parlor. It's a very large
one." The mole, you see, lived underground, just as the rabbits did,
only in a smaller house.

"I'm very sorry," said Sammie.

"That doesn't do much good," spoke the mole, as she began to stop up
the hole Sammie had made. She really did very well for a blind animal,
but then she had been blind so long that she did not know what daylight
looked like. "You had better dig in some other place," the mole
concluded, as she finished stopping up the hole.

Sammie thought so himself, and did so. He went quite deep, and when he
thought he was far enough down, he began digging upward, so as to come
out and make a back door, as his uncle had taught him to do. He dug and
he dug and he dug. All at once his feet burst through the soft soil, and
he found that he had come out on top of the ground. But what a funny
place he was in! It was not at all like the part of the park near his
burrow, and he was a little frightened. There were many tall trees
about, and in one was a big gray squirrel, who sat up and chattered at
the sight of Sammie, as if he had never seen a rabbit before.

"What are you doing here?" asked the squirrel. "Don't you know rabbits
are not allowed here?"

"Why not?" asked Sammie.

"Because there are nice trees about, and the keepers of the park fear
you and your family will gnaw the bark off and spoil them."

"We never spoil trees," declared Sammie, though he just then remembered
that his Uncle, Wiggily Longears, had once said something about
apple-tree bark being very good to eat.

"There's another reason," went on the squirrel, chattering away.

"What is it?" asked Sammie.

"Look over there and you'll see," was the reply, and when Sammie looked,
with his little body half out of the hole he had made, he saw a great
animal, with long horns, coming straight at him. He tried to run back
down the hole, but he found he had not made it large enough to turn
around in.

So Sammie Littletail, frightened as he as at the dreadful animal, had to
jump out of the burrow to get ready to run down it again, and, just as
he did so, the big animal cried out to him:

"Hold on there!"

Sammie shook with fright, and did not dare move. But, after all, the big
animal did not intend to harm him. And what happened, and who the big
animal was I will tell you to-morrow night.



VI

SAMMIE AND SUSIE HELP MRS. WREN


The big animal with the horns came close to Sammie.

"What are you doing here?" he asked.

"I--I don't know," replied the little rabbit boy.

"How did you get here?"

"I was digging a new burrow, and I--I just happened to come out here.
But I'll go right away again, if you'll let me."

"Of course I'll let you. Don't you know it's against the rules of the
park to be here? What do you suppose they have different parts of the
park for, if it isn't to keep you rabbits out of certain places?"

"I'm sure I don't know," was all Sammie could say.

"Do you know who I am?" asked the horned creature.

"No--no, sir."

"Well, I'm a deer."

"My--my mother calls me that, sometimes, when I've been real good," said
Sammie.

"No, I don't mean that kind at all," and the deer tried to smile. "My
name is spelled differently. I'm a cousin of the Santa Claus reindeer.
But you must go now. No rabbits are allowed in the part of the park
where we live. You should not have come," and the deer shook his horns
at Sammie.

"I--I never will again," said the little rabbit boy, and then, before
the deer knew it, Sammie jumped down his new burrow, ran along to the
front door, and darted off toward home.

When he was almost there he saw a little brown bird sitting on a bush,
and the bird seemed calling to him.

"Wait a minute, rabbit," said the bird. "Why are you in such a hurry?"

"Because I saw such a dreadful animal," was Sammie's reply, and he told
about the deer.

"Pooh! Deer are very nice creatures indeed," said the bird. "I used to
know one, and I used to perch on his horns. But what I stopped to ask
you about was whether you know of a nice nest which I could rent for
this spring. You see, I have come up from the South a little earlier
than usual, and I can't find the nest I had last year. It was in a
little wooden house that a nice man built for me, but the wind has blown
it down. I didn't know but what you might have seen a little nest
somewhere."

"No," said Sammie, "I haven't. I am very sorry."

"So am I," went on the little brown bird. "But I must tell you my name.
I am Mrs. Wren."

"Oh, I have heard about you," said the little rabbit.

"Are you sure you don't know of a nest about here?" she asked anxiously.
"I don't want to fly all the way back down South. Suppose you go home
and ask your mother."

"I will," said Sammie. "Don't you want to come, too?"

"Yes, I think I will. Oh, dear! I'm quite hungry. I declare, I had such
an early breakfast, I'm almost starved."

"I know my mother will give you something to eat," said Sammie politely,
"that is, if you like cabbage, carrots and such things."

"Oh, yes, almost anything will do. Now, you go ahead, and I will
follow."

So Sammie Littletail bounced on along the ground, and Mrs. Wren flew
along overhead.

"Where do you live?" she asked Sammie.

"In a burrow."

"What is a burrow?" she inquired.

"Why, it's a house," said Sammie.

"You are mistaken," said the bird, though she spoke politely. "A nest is
the only house there is."

"Well, a burrow is our house," declared Sammie. "You'll see."

He was soon home, and, while the bird waited outside, he went in to ask
his mother if she knew of a nest Mrs. Wren could hire.

"What a funny question!" said Mamma Littletail. "I will go out and see
Mrs. Wren."

So she went out, and the bird asked about a nest. But, as the rabbits
never had any use for them, the bunny knew nothing about such things.

"Oh, dear!" exclaimed the bird. "Wherever shall I stay to-night? Oh,
what trouble I am in."

"You might stay with us to-night," said Mamma Littletail, kindly, "and
look for a nest to-morrow."

"I never lived in a burrow," said Mrs. Wren, "but I will try it," so she
flew down into the underground house, and to-morrow night I am going to
tell you how she did a great kindness to Uncle Wiggily Longears.



VII

UNCLE WIGGILY GETS SHOT


Early the next morning Mrs. Wren, who had spent the night at the home of
the Littletail family, got up. She had some cabbage leaves for her
breakfast, and then started to leave the burrow where the rabbits lived.

"Where are you going?" asked Susie Littletail.

"I must go hunt for a nest," said the little bird. "You see, I want to
begin housekeeping as early as I can this spring, and as there are so
many birds coming up from the South, I want to get a house before all
the best ones are taken."

So, having thanked Sammie Littletail for showing her the way to the
burrow, and also thanking his mamma and papa, the bird flew away. She
promised, however, to come back if she could not find a place.

"That Mrs. Wren is a very nice creature indeed," said Mamma Littletail.

"Indeed she is," agreed Papa Littletail, as he started off to work in
the carrot store, where he was employed as a bookkeeper.

"It is a nice day," said Uncle Wiggily Longears, after a while. "I think
I will go for a walk. It may do my rheumatism good."

"Can I come?" asked Sammie, but his uncle said he thought the little boy
rabbit should stay home. So Sammie did, and he and Susie found a place
where some nice clover was just coming up in a field.

Just before dinner time Uncle Wiggily Longears came limping back to the
burrow. He was running as hard as he could, but that was not very fast.

"Why, Wiggily, whatever has happened?" asked Mrs. Littletail, who had
come to the front door to see if her children were all right. "Is your
rheumatism worse? Why do you limp so?"

"Because," answered Uncle Wiggily Longears, "I have been shot."

"Shot?" cried Mrs. Littletail.

"In the left hind leg," went on Uncle Wiggily. "The same leg that has
the rheumatism so bad. Oh, dear! I wish you would send for Dr. Possum."

"I will, right away. Sammie!" she called, "come and go for Dr. Possum,
for your uncle. He has been shot. How did it happen, Wiggily?"

"Well, I was down in the swamp, looking for some snakeroot, which Mr.
Drake said was good for rheumatism, when a man fired at me. I jumped,
but not in time, and several pieces of lead are in my leg."

"Oh, how dreadful!" cried Mamma Littletail.

In a little while Sammie came back with Dr. Possum.

"Ha! This is bad business," spoke the long-tailed doctor, when he looked
at Uncle Wiggily Longears's leg. "I fear I shall have to operate."

"Anything, so you get the shot out," said the old rabbit.

So Dr. Possum tried to get the leaden pellets out, but he could not,
they were in so deep.

"This is very bad business, indeed," he went on. "I fear I shall have to
take your leg off."

"Will it hurt?" asked Uncle Wiggily Longears.

"Um-er-well, not very much," said the doctor, as he twirled his glasses
on his tail.

Just then, who should come into the burrow but Mrs. Wren. She was very
much surprised to see Uncle Wiggily lying on a bed of soft grass, with
the doctor bending over him.

"What is the matter?" she asked.

"I have been shot," said Uncle Wiggily, "and the doctor cannot get the
bullets out."

"Suppose you let me try," said Mrs. Wren. "I have a very sharp bill, and
I think I can pull them out."

"Then you are a sort of a doctor," said Uncle Wiggily. "Go ahead, and
see what you can do."

"Yes, do," urged Dr. Possum.

So the little brown bird put her beak in the holes in Uncle Wiggily's
leg, where the bullets had gone in, and she pulled every one out. It
hurt a little, but Uncle Wiggily did not make a fuss.

"There," said Mrs. Wren, "that is done."

Then Dr. Possum put some salve on the leg and bound it up, promising to
come in next day to see how Uncle Wiggily was getting on.

"Did you find a nest-house?" asked Mamma Littletail of the bird.

"No," was the answer, "I think I shall have to stay with you another
night, if you will let me. Perhaps I shall find a nest to-morrow."

So she stayed with the Littletail family another night, and to-morrow
night I will tell you how she found a nest.



VIII

SUSIE AND SAMMIE FIND A NEST


Sammie Littletail was up early the next morning. He had not slept very
well, for Uncle Wiggily Longears had groaned very much because of the
pain in his leg where he was shot. Sammie thought if he got up early,
and went for some nice, fresh carrots for his uncle, it would make the
old rabbit feel better.

While Sammie was digging up some carrots, in a field not far from the
burrow where he lived, he saw the same gray squirrel that had warned him
about not going into the deer park.

"What are you doing now?" asked the squirrel. "It seems to me you are
always doing something."

"I am digging carrots for Uncle Wiggily Longears that was shot," said
Sammie.

"That is a very nice thing to do," the gray squirrel said. "You are a
better boy rabbit than I thought you were."

"What are you doing here?" Sammie asked the squirrel.

"Me? Oh, I am moving into a new nest. I am getting ready for spring."

"A new nest!" exclaimed Sammie, and, all at once, he thought of Mrs.
Wren, who could not find a nest-house to live in. "What are you going to
do with your old nest?" the little boy rabbit asked.

"Why leave it, to be sure. I never move my nest."

"Don't you want it any more?"

"Not in the least. I am through with it."

"May I have it?" asked Sammie, very politely.

"You? What can a rabbit do with a nest in a tree? They live in burrows."

"I know that," Sammie admitted. "I was not asking for myself," and then
he told the squirrel about Mrs. Wren. "May she have your old nest?" he
asked.

"Why, yes, if she likes it," the squirrel replied. "Only I am afraid she
will find it rather large for such a little bird."

"I will hurry home and tell her," spoke Sammie.

"All right. Tell her she can move in any time she likes," called the
gray squirrel after Sammie, who, filling his forepaws with carrots,
started off toward home as fast as he could run. He found Mamma
Littletail getting breakfast, and at once told her the good news. Then
he told Mrs. Wren, who had gotten up early to get the early worm that
always gets up before the alarm clock goes off.

"I will go and look at the nest at once," said the little bird. "I am
very much obliged to you, Sammie. Where is it?"

"Susie and I will show you," spoke the little boy rabbit. "Only we
cannot go all the way, because rabbits are not allowed in the deer park.
But I can point it out to you."

So, after breakfast, Sammie and Susie started off. They ran on the
ground and the little brown bird flew along over their heads. She went
so much faster than they did that she had to stop every once in a while
and wait for them. But at last they got to the place where they could
see the deserted squirrel nest.

"There it is," said Sammie, pointing to it.

"So I observe," said the bird. "I will fly up and look at it," which
she did. She was gone some time, and when she flew back to the ground,
where Sammie and Susie were waiting for her, the children asked:

"Did you like it?"

"I think it will do very well," replied Mrs. Wren. "It is a little
larger than I need, and there are not the improvements I am used to.
There is no hot and cold water and no bathroom, but then I suppose I can
bathe in the brook, so that is no objection. There is no roof to it,
though."

"No roof?" repeated Sammie.

"No. You see, squirrels never have one such as I am used to, but when my
family comes from the South we can build one. I will take the nest, and
I hope you bunnies will come to see me sometimes, when I am settled, and
have the carpets down."

"We can't climb trees," objected Susie.

"That's so--you can't," admitted Mrs. Wren. "Never mind, I can fly down
and see you. Now I think I will begin to clean out the nest, for the
squirrels have left a lot of nutshells in it."

So she began to clean out the nest, and Susie and Sammie started home.
But, before they got there something happened, and what it was I will
tell you, perhaps, to-morrow night, if the rooster doesn't crow and wake
me up.



IX

SAMMIE LITTLETAIL FALLS IN


When Sammie Littletail and his sister Susie went off toward the
underground house, after they had shown Mrs. Wren where she could get
the squirrel's old nest for a home, they felt very happy. They ran
along, jumping over stones, leaping through the grass that was beginning
to get very green, and had a jolly time.

"I wonder what makes me feel so good?" said Sammie to his sister. "It's
just as if Christmas was coming, or something like that; yet it isn't. I
don't know what it is."

"I know," spoke Susie, who was very wise for a little bunny-rabbit girl.

"What is it?" asked Sammie, as he paused to nibble at a sweet root that
was sticking out of the ground.

"It is because we have been kind to somebody," went on Susie Littletail.
"We did the little brown bird a kindness in showing her the squirrel's
nest where she could go to housekeeping, and that's what makes us
happy."

"Are you sure?" asked Sammie.

"Yes," said Susie; "I am," and she sat up on her hind legs and sniffed
the air to see if there was any danger about. "You always feel good when
you do any one a kindness," she went on. "Once I wanted to go out and
play, and I couldn't, because Nurse Fuzzy-Wuzzy was away and mamma had a
headache. So I stayed home and made mamma some cabbage-leaf tea, and she
felt better, and I was happy then, just as we are now."

"Well, maybe that's it," admitted Sammie Littletail. "I am glad Mrs.
Wren has a nice home, anyhow. But I wouldn't like to live away up in a
tree, would you?"

"No, indeed. I would be afraid when the wind blew and the nest shook."

"It is ever so much nicer underground in our burrow," continued Sammie.

"It certainly is," agreed Susie, "but I s'pose that a bird would not
like that. They seem to want to be high up in the air. But I don't like
it. Once I went away up on top of Farmer Tooker's woodpile, because his
gray cat chased me, and when I looked down I was very dizzy, and it was
not as high as a tree."

So the two bunny children hurried along, talking of many things, and,
now and then, finding some nice sweet roots, or juicy leaves, which they
ate. They paused every once in a while to look over the tops of little
hills to discover if any dogs or hunters or ferrets were in sight, for
they did not want to be caught.

At length they came to a little brook that was not far from their home.
The edge of the stream had ice on it, for, though spring was
approaching, the weather was still cold.

"Ah! There is some ice. I am going to have a slide!" Sammie shouted.

"You had better not!" cautioned his sister. "You might fall in."

"I will keep close to the shore," promised her brother, and he took a
run and slid along the ice. "Come on!" he cried. "It's fun, Susie."

The little bunny girl was just going to walk out on the ice, when
Sammie, who had taken an extra long run, slid right off the ice and into
the water.

"Oh! Oh, Susie!" he screamed. "I've fallen in! Help me out!"

"What shall I do?" asked his sister, and she stood up on her hind legs
and waved her little paws in the air.

"Get a stick and let me grab it!" called Sammie. "But don't come too
close, or you may fall in, too," for Sammie was very fond of his sister,
and did not want her to get hurt. He clung to the edge of the ice, and
shivered in the cold water, while, with her teeth, Susie gnawed a branch
from a tree. The branch she held out to her brother, who grasped it in
his mouth and was soon pulled up on shore. But, oh, how he shivered! And
how his fur was plastered down all over him, just like a cat when it
falls in the bathtub. But I hope none of you children ever put pussy in
there.

"You must run home at once," said Susie, "and drink some hot sassafras
tea, so you won't take cold. Come on, I'll run with you."

So they started off, running, leaping and bounding, and by the time they
got to their burrow, Sammie was quite warm. Down the front door hole
they plunged, and, as soon as Sammie's mother saw him, she cried out:

"Why, Sammie! You've been in swimming! Didn't I tell you never to go in
swimming?"

"I haven't been swimming, mother," said Sammie.

"Yes, you have; your hair is all wet," she answered.

Then Sammie told how he had fallen in. Uncle Wiggily Longears, the old
rabbit, heard him, and said he guessed he would have to give Sammie and
Susie some lessons in swimming, and if you are good, I will tell you
to-morrow night what happened on that occasion.



X

JANE FUZZY-WUZZY GIVES A LESSON


Uncle Wiggily Longears was a very wise old rabbit. He had lived so long,
and had escaped so many dogs and hunters, year after year, that he knew
about all a rabbit can know. Of course, that may not be so very much,
but it was a good deal for Uncle Wiggily Longears. So the day after
Sammie came home from having fallen in the brook the old rabbit got
ready to give Sammie and Susie Littletail their swimming lesson.

"You will want to know how to get out of the water when you fall in," he
said. "You come with me, and I will show you. It is not very cold out,
and I will give you a short lesson."

"Be careful not to let them drown," cautioned Mamma Littletail.

"I will," promised Uncle Wiggily Longears, and he started from the
burrow, followed by the two bunny children. But, just as their uncle got
out of the front door he was seized with a sharp spasm of rheumatism.

"Oh! oh! oh, dear!" he cried three times, just like that.

"What is the matter?" asked Sammie.

"Rheumatism," answered Uncle Wiggily Longears, and he put his left front
paw on his left hind leg. "I have it very bad. I don't believe I would
dare go in the water with you children to-day. We will have to wait. Yet
I don't like to, as you ought to learn to swim. I wonder if you could
learn if I stood on the bank and told you what to do?"

"I think it would be much better if you could come into the water and
show us," said Susie.

"Yes, of course it would," admitted Uncle Wiggily Longears. "Of course
it would, my dear, only you see--ouch! Oh, me! Oh, my!" and poor Uncle
Wiggily Longears wrinkled his nose and made it twinkle like a star on a
frosty night, and he wiggled his ears to and fro. "Oh, that was a
terrible sharp pain," he said. "I don't believe I'd better go, children.
I'm awfully sorry----"

"Let me take the children and show them how to swim," said Nurse Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy, who had just finished peeling the potatoes for dinner. She
could peel them very nicely with her long, sharp front teeth, which were
just like a chisel that a carpenter uses.

"Yes, I guess you could teach them," said Uncle Wiggily, as he rubbed
his leg softly. "You are a much better swimmer than I am; but can you
spare the time from the housework?"

You see, Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had to do all the housework for the Littletail
family, but, as she was a very good muskrat, she was able to do it, and
she often had time to spare, so she answered:

"Yes, I can just as well go as not, for I have the dinner on the stove,
and Mr. Littletail will not be home to lunch. I will give the children a
swimming lesson. It will not take long."

"Well," spoke Uncle Wiggily Longears, "I wish you would. I must go and
get something for my rheumatism."

"You had better try a hot cabbage leaf," said Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. "I have
heard that is good."

"I will," said the old rabbit, and he crawled back down into the
burrow, while Susie and Sammie, with Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, went on to
the brook.

The muskrat was a very good swimmer, indeed, and as soon as she reached
the water she plunged in and swam about, to show Sammie and Susie how it
ought to be done. She dived, and she shot across; she swam on her side,
and in the ordinary way. In fact, she swam in a number of ways that you
and I could not. At length she swam entirely under water for some
distance, and the bunny children were afraid she was drowned, but she
came up smiling, showing her sharp teeth, and explained that this was
one of the ways she used to escape from dogs, boys and other enemies.

Then the nurse-muskrat gave the bunny children their lesson. She had
little trouble in teaching them, as they learned quickly. She was just
showing them how to float along with only the tip of the nose showing,
in order to keep out of sight, when suddenly there was a noise on the
bank.

No, it was not some one after the bunny rabbit children's clothes, for
they had left them at home when they went to take a lesson. But it was a
number of boys with a dog, who were making the noise. As soon as the
boys saw the rabbits and the rat they gathered up a lot of stones, and
one boy cried out:

"Oh, look there! Two rabbits and a muskrat! Let's catch them, and sell
their skins!"

"Oh, dear!" exclaimed Susie, who was very much frightened. "Whatever
shall we do?"

"Don't be alarmed," said Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, calmly, as she started
to swim down stream. "Just follow me; swim as I do, with only your nose
out, and I will save you." The boys ran along the bank, throwing stones
at the little creatures, and the dog barked, and to-morrow night I will
tell you how Sammie and Susie got away and were saved by Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy, that is if you think you would care to hear the story.



XI

SAMMIE'S AND SUSIE'S TERRIBLE TIME


You may be sure the two Littletail children were very much frightened
when they were floating down the stream behind Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy,
with the boys on the bank throwing stones at them, and the dog barking
as hard as he could bark.

"Sic the dog in the water after them," called one boy.

"Naw! This dog doesn't like water," said the boy who owned it. "We'll
hit 'em with stones, and then poke 'em out with sticks."

Oh, how Sammie and Susie shuddered when they heard those words! They did
not know Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy was going to save them. The muskrat looked
around to see how the children were swimming.

"Don't be afraid," she called, but of course the boys could not
understand what she said. The dog could, being an animal and
understanding animal talk, but the dog couldn't tell the boys.

"Don't be afraid," said the nurse. "Sammie, keep your head under more.
Susie, strike out harder with your forepaws."

The two bunny children did as they were told. Just then a stone came
very close to Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, and she went completely beneath the
water.

"The muskrat's gone!" cried a boy.

"No," said another, "it can swim under water. But don't bother with the
rabbits. They're little, and their fur isn't much good. Kill the
muskrat, for we can get fifty cents for the skin."

"Oh, how mean boys are!" thought Susie Littletail. "To talk about
selling poor Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy's skin! Aren't they terrible!"

The boys now gave all their attention to throwing stones at the muskrat,
but she was very wise, and kept under water as much as possible, so they
could not hit her. They did not throw at Sammie or Susie. Presently Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy swam backward under water and came up near Sammie. She put
her sharp nose close to his ear and whispered:

"Down stream a little way is a burrow where I used to live. The front
door is under water, but if you hold your breath you can dive down, get
in and come up in the dry part. Then you can dig a way out in a field,
and we can go home, and escape the boys."

Jane told the same thing to Susie, and, pretty soon, when they came to
the place, the two bunny children took a long breath, and dived down
under water. Sammie and Susie took hold of the long tail of Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy to guide them in the dark, and, though it seemed a terrible
thing not to breathe under water, the three suddenly found themselves in
a little underground house, much like their own, where they could
breathe again.

"Now we are safe!" exclaimed the muskrat. "Just dig a back door and you
can get out."

So Sammie and Susie did so, and, pretty soon, they found themselves in a
nice field, some distance back from the water. They could see the boys
and their dog still watching near the bank to catch Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy,
and the boys never knew how the muskrat and the rabbit children escaped.

"My! but that was exciting," said Sammie, when they were on their way
home.

"Indeed it was," agreed Susie. "I'm so frightened that I have almost
forgotten how to swim."

"It will all come back to you the next time you go in the water," said
Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. "But I must hurry home now, or dinner will be late."

They got to the burrow without anything more happening. Mamma Littletail
and Uncle Wiggily Longears were much alarmed when told about the narrow
escape.

"Those boys!" cried the old rabbit. "If I wasn't laid up with
rheumatism, I'd show them!" and he snapped his teeth in quite a savage
manner indeed, for a rabbit can get angry at times.

After dinner Mamma Littletail asked Sammie and Susie to go to the
cabbage-field store for her, but, as Sammie wanted to stay home and
make a whistle out of a carrot, Susie went alone. As she was walking
along under a big tree, she heard a noise in the branches, and, looking
up, she saw a number of squirrels. One was the squirrel who had given
her old nest to Mrs. Wren. The little gray chaps were running about,
seemingly much excited over something. Presently they all scampered
down, and Susie saw that they had their mouths full of nuts. They put
them on the ground in a little heap, and then the little bunny girl
noticed that there was, nearby, an old stump, and it was set just like a
table, with dried leaves for plates, and the tops of acorns for cups.

"What is going on here?" Susie asked the squirrel whom she knew.

"I am giving a party in honor of having moved into my new nest," said
the squirrel. "Wouldn't you like to come?"

"Yes," said Susie very politely, "I would like very much to."

"Then," said the squirrel, "hop up on the stump, and I will get an extra
plate for you." Susie did so. It was the first party she had ever
attended, but I can't tell you what happened until to-morrow.



XII

SUSIE GOES TO A PARTY


Up and down the big oak tree scampered the squirrels, bringing nuts and
acorns from hollows, where they had been hidden all winter.

"Hey, Bushytail!" cried the squirrel whom Susie knew, addressing another
who was on the ground at the foot of the stump, "bring up a big leaf."

"What do you want with a big leaf?" inquired the squirrel who was called
Bushytail.

"Susie Littletail is going to stay to the party," replied the squirrel
who was giving it, "and I want the leaf for a plate for her. She will
need a large one."

Up the old stump climbed Bushytail with the leaf in his mouth, and he
put it in a vacant place. The stump was quite large enough for the
squirrels and rabbit to move about upon and still leave room for the
table to be set. Susie saw the squirrels placing nut meats on the
different plates and putting oak-leaf tea into the acorn cups. Suddenly
the squirrel whom Susie knew and whose name was Mrs. Lightfoot,
exclaimed:

"There! I never thought of that!"

"Thought of what?" asked Susie.

"Why, we haven't anything that you like to eat. You don't care for nuts,
do you?"

"Not very much," answered Susie, who wanted to be polite, yet she still
wanted to tell the truth.

"I thought so," spoke Mrs. Lightfoot. "Whatever shall I do? I've asked
you to the party and now there is nothing you like. It's too bad, for I
want you to have a good time!"

"I--I could go to the cabbage-field store and get some leaves, and I
could bring some carrots and eat them," suggested Susie.

"Yes, but it wouldn't be right to ask you to a party and then have you
bring your own things to eat," objected Mrs. Lightfoot.

"That's what they do at surprise parties," went on Susie, who had heard
Uncle Wiggily Longears tell of one he once attended. It was given by a
chipmunk.

"Yes, but this isn't a surprise party," said Mrs. Lightfoot. "I don't
know what to do."

"We can pretend it's a surprise party," went on Susie. "I know I was
very much surprised when you asked me to come to it."

"Were you, indeed?" inquired the squirrel. "Then a surprise party it
shall be. Listen!" she called to the other squirrels; "this is a
surprise party for Susie Littletail."

"Humph! I don't call this a surprise," grumbled an old squirrel, whose
tail had partly been shot off. But nobody minded him, as he was always
grumbling. So Susie went and got some cabbage leaves and carrots, and
brought them to the party. She had to eat them all alone, as the
squirrels did not care much for such things. The only thing Susie could
eat which the squirrels did was some ice cream, made with snow, maple
syrup and hickory nuts ground up fine. This was very good.

Susie had a grand time at the party, and after the hickory-nut ice cream
and other good things had been eaten, she and the squirrels played "Ring
Around the Old Oak Stump," which is something like "London Bridge" and
"Ring Around the Rosy" mixed up together. It was lots of fun, and Susie
almost forgot to go to the cabbage-field store. But she did go there,
though it was just about to be closed up, and when she got home with the
cabbage leaves for supper, she told about the surprise party. Then
Sammie wished he had gone to the store, instead of remaining at home to
make a whistle out of a carrot.

"I never had anything nice like that happen to me," said Sammie, in just
the least bit of a grumbly voice. And, what do you think? The very next
day something happened to Sammie, only it wasn't very nice. He was out
walking in a field, when he met a big cat.

"Where do you live?" asked the cat, in quite a friendly voice.

"Over there," said Sammie, pointing toward the burrow.

"Can you take me there?" asked the cat, and she wiggled her whiskers
and licked her nose with her tongue, for she was hungry.

"Yes, I'll show you," agreed Sammie, and he led the cat toward the
burrow. Now, he did not know any better, for he did not stop to think
that cats will eat rabbits. And the cat was just thinking how easily she
had provided a good dinner for herself, when Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, who was
peeping out of the front door of the burrow, saw pussy. The muskrat knew
at once that the cat had come to eat the little rabbits and the big
ones, too, and the only reason she did not eat Sammie was because she
wanted more of a meal. So the nurse showed her sharp teeth, and the cat
ran away. But she knew where the burrow was, and this was a bad thing,
for she might come back again in the night, when Sammie and Susie were
asleep.

"We must move away from here at once," said Uncle Wiggily Longears,
when he heard about the cat. "We must find a new burrow or make one.
Sammie, you acted very wrongly, but you did not mean to. Now, you must
help us pack up to move." And to-morrow night, if all goes well, I shall
tell you what happened when the Littletail family went to their new
home.



XIII

THE LITTLETAIL FAMILY MOVE


Did you ever see a rabbit family move? No, I don't suppose you have, for
not every one has had that chance. But the Littletail family, as I told
you last night, had to move because a big cat had found out where their
burrow was.

"I shall go out at once, and see if I can find a new place," said Uncle
Wiggily Longears, after the excitement caused by Sammie bringing home
the cat had calmed down. "We need a larger burrow, anyhow. I will find a
nice one."

"Can you go out with your rheumatism?" asked Mamma Littletail. "You are
very lame, you know. Perhaps you had better wait until Papa Littletail
comes home to-night, and he will go."

"No, we must lose no time," said the uncle. "I can manage with my
crutch, I guess."

So he started from the burrow, leaning heavily on a crutch Nurse Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy had gnawed from a cornstalk.

"Be careful of the cat," cautioned Susie.

"Oh, no cat can catch me, even if I have the rheumatism very bad," said
her uncle, and he limped away. While he was gone, Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy
promised to keep a sharp lookout for that cat.

Uncle Wiggily Longears was gone for some time. When he returned to the
burrow Papa Littletail had come back from where he worked in a carrot
factory, which was a new position for him, and he had heard all the
news.

"Well," he asked Uncle Wiggily, "did you find a new burrow?"

"Yes," answered the uncle, "I did. I will tell you all about it. I
walked a long distance, and I met several friends of mine. I asked them
about burrows, and they said the best ones were all taken. I was afraid
you would have to dig a new one, until I met Mr. Groundhog, and he told
me of one next to him, on the bank of a little pond. We can get it
cheap, he said."

"Has it all improvements?" asked Mamma Littletail. "I want a good
kitchen and a bathroom."

"It has everything," said the uncle. "It has three doors, and we can get
in and out easily. It is near a cabbage-field and a turnip patch. We can
bathe in the pond, so we don't need a bathroom."

"Where is it?" asked Papa Littletail. "I must be near the trolley, you
know."

"It is not far from the cars," went on Uncle Wiggily Longears. "Have you
ever heard of Eagle Rock?"

None of the family had.

"Well, it is not far from there," said Uncle Wiggily. "I went out on the
rock, and my! what a view there was! I could see away over the big
meadows, where some of your relatives live, Miss Fuzzy-Wuzzy, and then I
could see something called New York."

"What's New York?" asked Susie Littletail.

"I don't know," answered her uncle promptly. "I imagine it must be
something good to eat." But of course, children, you know how mistaken
he was. Uncle Wiggily told more about his walk, and finally it was
decided to take the new burrow, so the cat could not find them.

The next day the Littletail family moved. That is all they did, they
just moved. They had no packing or unpacking to do, except that Sammie
took the whistle he had made out of a carrot and Uncle Wiggily carried
his cornstalk crutch. By noon they were all settled, and Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy had cooked some of the new cabbage, which had been left in
the field all winter, and also some turnips, which were piled under a
lot of straw out-of-doors. She also found some potatoes, which she
peeled with her sharp teeth.

That afternoon, as Sammie was hopping about his new home, he heard some
one exclaim:

"Hello!"

"Hello," replied Sammie, who always wanted to be friendly.

"Where do you live?" the voice went on, and, all at once, Sammie thought
of the cat.

"No, you don't!" he cried. "You can't fool me again. I know you!"

"Oh, do you?" asked the voice. "Well, seeing that I'm a stranger here,
and you are too, I don't think that you know me."

Sammie looked on top of a clod of earth, whence the voice came, and saw
a big frog.

"Oh, it's you, is it?" he asked faintly.

"Of course," replied the frog. "My name's Bully; what's yours?" Sammie
told him. "Ever hear of me?" went on the frog, and when Sammie said he
had not, the frog continued: "Well, let's see who can jump the
farthest," and with that he began to get ready. Sammie, who was a very
good jumper, did also, and just as they were about to see who was the
better at it, there suddenly--But there, I shall have to wait until
to-morrow night to tell you what happened next.



XIV

HOW THE WATER GOT IN


Let me see, where did I leave off last night? Oh, I remember now, I was
telling you about Sammie Littletail's new playmate, Bully, the frog, and
how they were about to have a jumping contest, when something happened.
This is what happened:

Bully was crouching down for a spring, when he suddenly looked up. This
was not hard for him, as his eyes were nearly on top of his head, but
Sammie had to get on his hind legs to peer upward properly. And this is
what both of the little creatures saw: A big bird, with long legs and a
very long bill, was standing on one leg right over the frog. The bird
was looking intently at Bully.

"Come on!" cried the frog to the rabbit. "We must get away from here as
quickly as we can."

"Why?" asked Sammie Littletail.

"Because," said Bully, "that bird will eat us. My father warned me never
to stay near that bird. Let us go away at once."

"What sort of a bird is it?" asked Sammie, who now had no wish to jump.
"I'm sure it can't be very harmful. The only birds that I have to look
out for are owls, eagles and hawks, and it isn't any of them."

"No, I'm not one of them," spoke the bird with the long legs, snapping
its bill as if sharpening it. "I'm a blue heron, that's what I am,
though some folks think I'm a stork or a crane."

"Well," spoke Sammie, "you're not dangerous, are you?"

"Not for you," went on the blue heron, and he snapped his beak again,
just like two knives being sharpened. "I came for that fellow," and the
bird lowered the leg it had hidden under its feathers and pointed at the
frog. "I came for you," the heron went on. "You're wanted at once.
What's your name?"

Sammie Littletail thought the bird might have asked the frog's name
first before saying that Bully was wanted, but the bird did not seem to
consider this.

"What's your name?" the long-legged bird asked again.

"Bully," answered the frog, in a trembling, croaking voice.

"Humph!" exclaimed the heron. "That's a good name. Mine is Billy. Bully
and Billy go well together. I'm called Billy because I have such a long
bill, you see," the heron explained to Sammie Littletail. "But enough of
this. I've come for you, Bully. I'm hungry. I'm going to eat you. That's
why you're wanted at once and immediate."

"I--I think there's some mistake," faltered Bully.

"No mistake at all," snapped the heron. "It's in all the books. Cranes,
storks and herons always eat frogs, mice and-so-forth. I never ate any
and-so-forth, but I imagine it must be very nice. At any rate, I'm going
to eat you!" and he snapped his bill like three knives being sharpened.

"Oh, are you?" cried Bully, the frog, and he suddenly gave a great jump,
greater even than that which the Jumping Frog that Mark Twain wrote
about gave, and into the pond he plunged, and went right to the bottom.
Now, what do you think about that? Yes, sir, he went right to the
bottom, where the blue heron couldn't get him, and then he called up, in
a voice which sounded very hoarse because it came from so far under
water:

"Ha! Who got left?"

"I suppose he means me," spoke the heron to Sammie, and the bird, very
much annoyed, fanned itself with its long leg. "I don't believe that's
fair," the heron went on. "It's in all the books," and then, with a
great flapping of wings, the tall creature flew away, and Bully, the
frog, came out.

"You had a narrow escape," said Sammie.

"Oh, I'm used to that," replied the frog. "Now, let's practice jumping."

Which they did, only the frog always jumped into the water and Sammie
remained on dry land, so they never could tell who was the best at it.
Then they played other games, and became very good friends. The frog
pond was very near the new burrow where Sammie lived, and the two used
to meet quite often. One day the frog said:

"I think it would be very nice if you would dig a way from your burrow
to my pond. Then, when it rained, I could come to see you without
getting wet, and you could come to see me."

"That is a fine idea," declared Sammie. "I'll do it."

So, without saying anything to his mother or sister or Uncle Wiggily
Longears, Sammie began to dig under ground to reach the pond. It took
him some time, but at last he came out just above the top of the water,
near where Bully lived.

"This is great!" cried the frog, as he looked in the hole. "Now when it
rains we will not get wet."

And, what do you think! It rained that very night. It rained so hard
that the pond rose higher and higher, until the water began to run in
the hole Sammie had dug. It awakened the Littletail family in the middle
of the night, and when Uncle Wiggily Longears saw the water creeping
nearer and nearer to him, and felt the rheumatism worse than ever, he
cried out:

"A flood! A flood! We must swim out, or we shall all be drowned." Now
you will have to be patient until to-morrow night to hear what took
place. But they were not drowned; I'll tell you that much.



XV

SAMMIE AND SUSIE AT THE CIRCUS


Of course, you remember how Sammie Littletail dug a tunnel from the
burrow to the pond, and how the water came in. Of course. Well, Nurse
Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy made a raft of cornstalks, and on this the whole rabbit
family floated out of the burrow. Bully, the frog, who was a playmate of
Sammie's, helped them. They had to go right out into the rain, and it
was not very pleasant.

"Whatever are we going to do?" asked Mamma Littletail, but she did not
scold Sammie for digging the tunnel and making all the trouble.

"Yes, we must get in out of the wet, or my rheumatism will be so bad I
shall not be able to walk," complained Uncle Wiggily Longears.

"I know what we can do," proposed the muskrat nurse.

"What?" asked Susie Littletail.

"We can ask Mr. Groundhog to let us stay all night in his burrow,"
suggested the nurse. "I'm sure he will let us, for he has plenty of
room."

Mr. Groundhog, who was an elderly creature, very fond of sleep in the
winter, welcomed the rabbits to his burrow, and there they stayed out of
the rain. In the morning the sun was shining brightly, and before very
long the water all dried out of the bunnies' underground house, so that
they could go back in it.

One day, about a week after this, when Uncle Wiggily Longears was out
walking with Sammie and Susie, going quite slowly, because he was a
trifle lame from rheumatism, Bully, the frog, came hopping up to them.

"Are you going to the circus?" he asked.

"Circus? What circus?" asked Sammie, who was interested very quickly,
you may be sure.

"Why, the animal circus that is always held in the woods every spring.
They do all sorts of queer things to get ready for the summer. I'm
going. It's lots of fun. Better come."

"I haven't seen any circus posters up," remarked Susie.

"Of course not," answered Bully. "The animals never put them up, because
they don't want a lot of people coming to look on and bother them. Don't
you want to come? It's not very far."

"But we have no one to take us," spoke Susie.

"Yes, you have!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily Longears quickly. "I will take
you myself. It would never do for you children to go to a circus alone.
I will take you."

"But your rheumatism is so bad you can hardly walk," objected Susie.
"Besides, it will be worse if you sit in the woods."

"Never mind about that," answered the uncle bravely. "I'll manage to
stand it. I am determined you children shall not go to that circus
alone. Of course, I don't care anything about a circus myself, but I
must take care of you," and the elderly rabbit looked very brave, though
the pain of his rheumatism was quite bad.

"My father is going to hop over three stumps," said Bully, the frog,
quite proudly. "Come on, or we may be late."

So Uncle Wiggily took Sammie and Susie to the animal circus, and Bully,
the frog, went also. He had a free ticket, because his father was one of
the performers. They had reserved seats on big toadstools, though Bully
said they ought to be called frogstools, as frogs used them more than
toads did.

Then the performance began, after the birds had sung an opening chorus.
The bunny children had a jolly time. They saw some pigeons give airship
exhibitions that were better than any flying machines you ever heard of.
They watched the snakes make hoops of themselves, through which jumped
squirrels and rabbits. It was so exciting that Uncle Wiggily Longears
clapped his paws as hard as he could. Then Dr. Possum, who was not very
busy taking care of sick people that day, hung downward from a limb by
his tail ever so long, but when Bully's papa jumped over three big
stumps at once, without so much as touching one--well, you should have
heard the clapping and shouting then! Best of all, Sammie and Susie
liked the baby deer, who stood up on his hind legs and danced, while a
crow whistled. It was so exciting that Sammie and Susie almost forgot to
eat the candy-covered carrots and the molasses-cabbage which their uncle
bought for them. It was the best time they had ever remembered, and they
talked of nothing else on their way home. Even Uncle Wiggily's
rheumatism seemed better. Now, if nothing happens, I am going to tell
you to-morrow night of an adventure Sammie Littletail had with a snake.



XVI

SAMMIE AND THE SNAKE


"Sammie," said Mamma Littletail to her little bunny boy one fine day, "I
wish you would take this basket of cabbage leaves and preserved clover
over to Mr. Groundhog. He was so good to let us go in his burrow that
night the flood came in here that I want to do him a kindness."

"Can't Susie come, too, mamma?" asked Sammie, who did not like to go
through the woods alone, especially since there were so many boys
wandering about on top of the Orange Mountain, now that spring was
getting near.

"Yes, Susie may go if she wants to," answered the rabbit childrens'
mother. "Do you want to, dear?"

"Oh, yes. I'll go with Sammie. But I think he ought to carry the
basket."

"Of course I will," said Sammie, and the two set off to the burrow where
Mr. Groundhog had his home. It was not far from the underground house
where the rabbit family lived, and the children soon reached it. They
knocked on the door, and a voice called out:

"Who's there?"

"Sammie and Susie Littletail," answered Sammie. "We have some cabbage
leaves and preserved clover that mamma sent you."

"That is very nice," remarked the groundhog. "Come right in. I am afraid
to come to the door, you know."

Sammie and Susie walked in and gave Mr. Groundhog the things in the
basket. Then Susie, who was very curious, asked him a question.

"Why didn't you want to come to the door?" she inquired.

"Because," whispered the groundhog, looking around as if he was afraid
some one would see him, "I might see my shadow again, you know, and that
would make winter longer than ever. You know I went out Candlemas Day
and I saw it, and it frightened me so I rushed back in here, and I'm not
going out again until March 16, which will be just six weeks. If I
hadn't seen my shadow, winter would not last so long--at least, that's
what people say. I don't know whether to believe them or not. But I am
not going out again until warm weather is here, so I am very glad your
mamma sent me something to eat."

The groundhog gave the bunny children some bits of dried sweet potato
he had put away, and they started for home.

"I don't believe much in that shadow business," said Sammie, as he and
his sister walked along. "How could a groundhog, seeing his shadow, make
winter any longer?"

"I don't know," answered Susie, "but it must be so, because every one
says so; even Uncle Wiggily Longears."

"I'm going to ask Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy when I get home," declared
Sammie. "Come on, let's go 'round by Farmer Tooker's cabbage patch.
Maybe we can find a stump or two to gnaw. I'm getting hungry. Mr.
Groundhog didn't give me enough sweet potato."

"Perhaps that was all he had," suggested Susie.

They were walking along, through a little wood, when, all of a sudden,
the two bunnies heard a hiss, just like the steam coming out of the
radiator.

"What's that?" cried Sammie.

"It's a snake!" shouted Susie. "Look out, Sammie, or he will grab you."

Sammie tried to jump out of the way, but he was too late, and the big
black snake grabbed him. The snake coiled around poor Sammie, and bit
the little rabbit's ear to make him keep quiet, I suppose, for Sammie
was trying to get loose.

"Oh, oh, oh!" exclaimed Susie. "You bad snake! Let my little brother
alone."

But the black snake never said a word, only he clung the tighter to poor
Sammie.

"Run for help, Susie!" called the little boy rabbit. "Run and ask Mr.
Groundhog to come and drive the snake away!"

So Susie ran as fast as she could, and did not even stop to rap on the
burrow door where Mr. Groundhog lived. She went right in, and told the
elderly creature that a bad snake had her little brother. "And won't you
please come and get him loose?" asked Susie, who was crying. "If you
shut your eyes you won't see your shadow, and be frightened. I will lead
you to him."

"Never mind about my shadow!" exclaimed Mr. Groundhog. "I don't care
whether I see it again or not. I'll go and save Sammie Littletail, who
was so kind to me."

So he ran and hit the snake with a club, until it was glad enough to let
Sammie loose, and it was quite time, too, for poor Sammie's breath was
nearly squeezed out of him. Then Sammie, after he had thanked Mr.
Groundhog, ran home with Susie. Now if you remind me of it, I shall try
to tell you, to-morrow night, something about Susie and the white
kittie.



XVII

SUSIE AND THE WHITE KITTIE


Susie Littletail had gone for a walk in the woods. It was coming on
spring, but the little bunny girl did not go to see if there were any
wildflowers peeping up. Indeed, she cared very little about flowers,
except the kind that were good to eat, and these were mostly clover
blossoms. So that is what Susie went out to look for.

Uncle Wiggily Longears had said to her that day: "It seems to me, Susie,
that it's getting quite warm out. My rheumatism is better, and it never
does get better unless it's getting warm. So, of course, it must be
getting warm."

Susie thought so, too.

"Then if it's getting warmer it must be almost spring," went on her
uncle. "Now, if I were you, I would go take a walk and see how the
clover is coming on. Some nice, fresh clover would taste very good."

"I'll see if I can get you any," spoke Susie, who was a very good little
rabbit girl, and who always was kind to her old uncle. So that is why
she was walking in the woods. She was almost through the place where the
tall trees grew, and was just going to step out into a field that looked
as if it had clover in it, when she heard a funny little noise. It was a
sort of a squeak, and at first Susie thought it might be Nurse Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy, for, sometimes, the muskrat started off with a squeak when
she wanted to talk. But it was not her nurse whom Susie saw. Instead it
was a dear little pussy kitten.

"Did you make that funny noise?" asked the little rabbit girl of the
kitten.

"Yes," answered pussy, "but I don't call it a funny noise."

"I do," went on Susie.

"It was not at all funny, and I don't see anything to laugh at," spoke
pussy, and then Susie saw that the white kitten had a large tear in each
eye. "That was a mew," the kittie said.

"Why did you mew, pussie?" asked Susie.

"Because I am lost, and I don't know my way home. I guess you would mew
if you couldn't find your papa or mamma."

"No," said Susie, "I wouldn't mew, but I would be very much frightened.
But why don't you go home?" And Susie sat up and wrinkled her nose, just
like water when it bubbles in the tea kettle, for that was the way she
smelled, and she wanted to see if she could smell danger.

"How can I go home when I don't know the way?" asked the white kitten.

"Which way did you come in here?"

"If I knew that, I would know which way to go back home," the pussy
replied, and the large tears, one in each eye, fell out and dropped on
the ground, while two more came into her eyes.

"Are you crying because you are lost?" asked Susie.

"Of course. Wouldn't you?"

"Perhaps," answered Susie. "But you see I never was lost. I can always
smell my way home, no matter how far off I go," and she wiggled her nose
so fast that it made the kittie quite cross-eyed to watch it, and being
cross-eyed made pussy sneeze. Then the pussy felt better.

"Can you show me the way home?" asked the kittie of Susie.

"Not to your house, for I don't know where it is," answered Susie, "but
I could show you the way to mine."

Then the white kittie wanted Susie to do this, but the little rabbit
girl thought it might not be safe, for the little kittie might show the
big cats where the new underground house was.

"What is your name?" asked Susie of the kittie.

"My name is Ann Gora, but every one calls me Ann."

"That is a funny name," said Susie.

"I don't think it is at all," went on the kitten. "It is no funnier than
Susie," and she began to cry again.

"Oh, don't cry!" exclaimed Susie, and she patted the kittie on the back
with her foot. "Come with me. We will walk through the field, and maybe
we will see your house. I think you must live in a house with people,
for kitties never live in the woods like the squirrels, or in burrows as
we do. We will look until we find a house with people in it, and maybe
you belong there."

"That will be fine!" cried the kittie, and she dried her tears on her
paw. So Susie and the kittie walked on together. And pretty soon Susie
saw a little girl coming toward them. The little girl was looking in the
grass, and calling, "Ann--Ann," in a soft voice. And when she saw the
little kittie she ran to her and caught her up in her arms and hugged
her. Then Susie Littletail ran home, for she was afraid of little girls,
and on the way she saw that the clover was coming up nicely, so she told
Uncle Wiggily. Now, if it is not too cold to-morrow night, I am going to
tell you about Sammie and the black doggie.



XVIII

SAMMIE AND THE BLACK DOGGIE


One day, when Sammie Littletail was on his way home from Dr. Possum's
house, where he had gone to get some sweet-flag root, for Uncle Wiggily
Longear's rheumatism, something happened to the little boy rabbit. He
was coming through a big field, where the grass was quite high, when he
heard a little bark. He knew at once that it was a dog, and Sammie was
afraid of dogs, as all rabbits are, so he started to run. But the dog
called out:

"Don't run, little rabbit."

"Why not?" asked Sammie. "I'm afraid of you."

"But I won't hurt you," went on the dog.

"You might," answered Sammie. "Dogs always hurt rabbits."

"Not all dogs," continued the little black one. "Besides, I am what they
call a doggie. A doggie is a small dog, you know, and small dogs won't
hurt rabbits."

"Are you sure?" asked Sammie.

"Perfectly sure. Besides, I am a trick dog, and trick dogs are so well
fed at home that they do not have to hunt rabbits to eat."

"Are you sure?" asked Sammie again.

"Perfectly sure. You just watch me, and you will see that I do not eat
you. Watch me carefully."

"Oh, I meant are you sure that you are a trick dog," went on Sammie.

"Of course, I am sure. I can do lots of tricks. I can play dead. I can
turn a back somersault, and I can walk on my hind legs--"

"Oh, I can do that, too," interrupted Sammie.

"Yes, I know. I saw you do that a little while ago. But can you walk on
your front legs, with your hind ones up in the air? Now, can you do
that?" and the black doggie looked straight at Sammie.

"I never tried that," replied Sammie.

"No; and I guess you'd better not, unless you want to fall. I fell lots
of times before I learned it. But I can do it now, and every time I do
my master gives me a sweet cracker."

"What's a sweet cracker?" asked Sammie, who thought it sounded very
nice.

"Don't you know what a sweet cracker is?" asked the doggie, who was much
surprised.

"No, I don't," declared Sammie.

"Well, you ought to. I'm astonished at you. It's sweet, and it's a
cracker, that's all I can tell you. You ought to know such things
yourself."

"Look here!" cried Sammie, who thought the doggie was trying to show how
smart it was, "do you know what molasses carrots are?"

"No," said the doggie. "I don't believe there are any such things."

"Yes, there are," declared Sammie. "I have had them to eat. So, you see,
if I don't know what a sweet cracker is, you don't know what molasses
carrots are. We're even now."

"Oh, let's talk about something else," said the doggie quickly. "I will
show you some of my tricks, if you like."

"I would like to see them very much," answered Sammie politely.

So the little black doggie walked on his hind legs, and then he walked
on his front legs. Next, he played dead, and Sammie was quite
frightened, until with a bark the doggie jumped up and turned three back
somersaults, one after the other, just as easy as you can upset the
salt-cellar. After that he made believe to say his prayers, and rolled
over and sneezed like any boy or girl, it was so natural.

Sammie was becoming very much interested, for the doggie's tricks were
almost as good as those Sammie had seen at the circus, when, all at
once, who should come along but a big man. He whistled to the little
black doggie, and the doggie, who was trying to stand on the end of his
tail, got down and ran to the man. Sammie was so frightened that he ran,
too, only he ran home.

Sammie told his papa and mamma and Susie and Uncle Wiggily what had
happened to him, and they told him he must be careful not to go near
black doggies again.

"Oh," promised Sammie, "I won't, you may be sure. But, Uncle Wiggily,
are squirrels all right to play with?"

"Oh, yes, squirrels are very nice," said his Uncle. "Why, did you see
some?"

"Yes, I met two, and they said their names were Billie and Johnnie
Bushytail, and they are coming over to see me some time."

"That will be nice," remarked Susie. "May I play with them, too?"

"I guess so," replied Sammie. "But, mamma, I'm hungry. Isn't there
anything to eat?"

"You can have some bread and butter," said his mamma.

"With sugar on?" asked Sammie.

"We are all out of sugar," went on Mrs. Littletail. "You must run to the
store for some."

"I will," promised Sammie, "after I eat something."

"All out of sugar," remarked Uncle Wiggily. "That reminds me, I must
make some maple sugar soon. I will have it when Billie and Johnnie
Bushytail come over to see you; or, perhaps before then, if you are good
children." So Sammie and Susie said they would be good, and in another
book after this one, I'm going to tell you about Billie and Johnnie
Bushytail, the little boy squirrels, and what they did. They lived near
Sammie and Susie Littletail. But the story to-morrow night will be about
Uncle Wiggily making maple sugar.



XIX

UNCLE WIGGILY MAKES MAPLE SUGAR


Uncle Wiggily Longears walked out of the burrow. First he stretched one
leg, then he stretched another leg; then he gave a big, long stretch to
his third leg, and then, would you believe it? he stretched his fourth
leg. Next he wiggled both ears, one after the other, and said:

"I feel very fine indeed! Oh, yes, and a boiled carrot besides, very
fine!" He looked up at the blue sky, which had some little white clouds
on it, just like small snowbanks, or bits of lamb's wool. "I never knew
when I felt better," went on Uncle Wiggily Longears. "Even my
rheumatism does not hurt much." Just then he saw Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy
coming out of the burrow, and he spoke to her: "Aren't Sammie and Susie
up yet?" he asked.

"They are just washing their faces and hands, ready for breakfast,"
answered the muskrat nurse. "They will soon be out."

Sure enough, in a little while the two bunny children came running out.

"Oh, what a lovely day!" cried Susie Littletail, and she wrinkled up her
nose, and made it go very fast, almost as fast as an automobile or a
motorcycle. "Doesn't it smell fine?" she asked her brother, and she took
a good, long breath.

"It smells just like spring," answered Sammie. "The wind is nice and
warm, there are lots more birds around than there were, and the grass is
getting greener and greener every minute," and he turned a somersault,
he felt so glad that summer was coming.

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, three times, just like that. "Now
I know what makes me feel so fine. It is because spring is here. We must
get ready to boil maple sugar."

"What is maple sugar?" asked Susie.

"What? I am surprised at you!" exclaimed Sammie. "Maple sugar is that
brown, sweet stuff you buy in the store, and in the winter you eat it on
your pancakes, or you can shave it up and put it on hot rice, or you can
put it on fritters. That is what maple sugar is."

"Exactly," went on Uncle Wiggily, and he stretched the leg with the
rheumatism in so that it hardly hurt him a bit. "Well, children, we are
going to make some maple sugar. Come with me, and I will show you how.
Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, we shall have to ask you to help us. We need your
sharp teeth to gnaw a hole in the tree."

So Uncle Wiggily, Sammie, Susie and Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy went off into
the woods. Oh, it was a beautiful day, and in some places the tiny green
leaves on the trees were just beginning to show through the brown buds.

"Just think," said Uncle Wiggily, as they walked along. "It will soon be
Easter. And, oh! what a lot of work we rabbits will have then, with all
the eggs to look after. For, you see, rabbits always have to take charge
of the Easter eggs, but of course you know that."

So the rabbits and the muskrat nurse kept on through the woods, leaving
Papa and Mamma Littletail at home in the burrow.

Uncle Wiggily walked on ahead, and pretty soon he came to a tree, where
he stopped.

"This is a maple tree," he said, "and we will get some juice from it to
make maple sugar, so as to have it ready for Easter. Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy,
will you kindly bite a hole in that tree?"

"Of course I will," answered the muskrat, so she stood up on her hind
legs, and gnawed a little hole in the tree. Then Uncle Wiggily took a
stem of last year's goldenrod, that was hollow, and put it in the hole.
Pretty soon, what should happen but that some juice, like water, began
running out of that tree right through the hollow stem.

"That is maple sap," said the old rabbit, "and when we boil it we shall
have maple sugar. Susie, you get an old tin can to catch the sap in, and
Sammie, you build a fire to boil it over."

So Susie got an old tomato can, and put it under the place where the
juice was running out, and pretty soon, not so very long, the can was
full. By that time Sammie and Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had a fire built. Then
they hung the can of sap over the fire, and it boiled, and it boiled,
and it boiled. It took quite some time, but Uncle Wiggily tried it every
now and then by pouring a little of the hot syrup on some snow he found
in a hollow place.

"Eat this," he said to Susie and Sammie, when it was cool; and, oh,
maybe it wasn't good! Better than the best candy you ever tasted! Then
they boiled it and boiled it some more, and pretty soon, just as true as
I'm telling you, if that sap didn't turn into maple sugar. Now, what do
you think about that, eh? Well, maybe those bunny rabbit children
weren't glad. They made quite a lot, and took some home to Mamma and
Papa Littletail, who were very glad to get it. They ate several pieces,
and then put some away for Dr. Possum, and his little boy, Possum
Pinktoes. Then Papa Littletail said: "I have just received a letter from
some children, who are anxious about their Easter eggs, as it is nearly
Easter, so I think we had better begin to get them ready." Uncle Wiggily
thought so, too, and to-morrow night, if there is no moon, I shall tell
you about hunting the eggs.



XX

SAMMIE AND SUSIE HUNT EGGS


Sammie and Susie Littletail were leaping over the brown leaves and the
pine needles in the woods. There was a little wind blowing, and it
ruffled up the fur on the backs of the rabbit children, but they did not
mind that.

"I wonder where we shall find the eggs?" asked Susie of her brother, and
she nibbled on a bit of maple sugar that Uncle Wiggily Longears had made
for them.

"I'm sure I don't know," answered Sammie, and he, also, ate some of the
sweet stuff. "But we are sure to find them, because Uncle Wiggily said
so. He would have come to show us, only his rheumatism is worse again."

"We must ask somebody," said Susie, and just then whom should they see
coming along through the woods but Bully, the frog.

"Hello!" exclaimed Bully, "let's see who can jump the farthest, Sammie."

"No," answered the little boy rabbit, "I can't; I am after Easter eggs.
Do you know where there are any?"

"Do you mean frogs' eggs?" asked Bully, and he croaked a couple of
times, just to keep from getting hoarse.

"I hardly think frogs' eggs would do," and Sammie looked at his sister,
and his sister looked at him, until, strange as it may seem, they were
both looking at each other.

"No," said Susie, "frogs' eggs would never do. They are not large
enough. We must get hens' eggs or ducks' eggs."

"I know where there is a nice duck," went on Bully. "She lives near my
pond. Come, and I will take you to her. Maybe she will give you some
eggs."

So they went to where the duck lived. Bully, the frog, hopping along,
and Sammie and Susie hopping after him, and every time the frog came to
a bit of water he hopped in and got all wet, and he didn't mind it a
bit, but I'm sure I would. However, pretty soon they came to where the
duck lived.

"Mrs. Wibblewobble," said Bully to her, for that was the duck's name.
Really, it was, I'm not joking. "Mrs. Wibblewobble, here are Sammie and
Susie Littletail looking for eggs," said Bully. "Could you let them have
any?"

"Quack! quack!" answered the duck, and it sounded just as if she said,
"What? what?" So Sammie, thinking she was a little deaf, asked her
himself.

"Can you please tell us where we can find some eggs?" and he spoke
quite loudly.

"Tut, tut!" exclaimed Mrs. Wibblewobble. "I heard Bully when he asked me
the first time. I merely said, 'Quack! quack!' because I was thinking. I
always say that when I think. Now be patient." So she said "Quack!
quack!" again, several times, and paddled around in the water, putting
her head under every now and then to dig in the mud for some snails.
"No," she finally said, "I have thought very hard, and I do not know
where you could find any eggs."

Sammie and Susie were quite disappointed, and Bully said: "Perhaps you
have some of your own you could let them have."

"No," answered Mrs. Wibblewobble, "all my eggs have been turned into
little ducklings. Here they come now."

Then all at once, as quick as you can scratch your chin, what should
come walking down to the pond but the dearest, nicest little ducklings
you ever saw. They all said, "Quack! quack!" which, as you knew, meant
that they were thinking, and Sammie and Susie did not want to disturb
them.

"This is my family," announced Mrs. Wibblewobble. "Family, those are the
Littletail children, and Bully, the frog." Then the ducklings all said,
"Quack! quack!" again, which this time showed that they had stopped
thinking, and they swam around just like their mother.

"Well," said Bully, "we shall get no eggs here. Come on, we will go see
Mrs. Cluck-Cluck, the fairy hen. Maybe she has some to spare."

But on their way they lost the road, and didn't know in which direction
to go. Then fox was, but he couldn't help himself. Then Sammie, Susie
and Bully walked on and on they heard a noise in the leaves, oh, such a
queer, quiet little noise! and then, what do you think? Why, the sly,
sly old fox stuck his head out.

"Whom are you looking for?" he asked, as softly as can be.

"We are looking for Mrs. Cluck-Cluck, to get some eggs," said Sammie.

"Ah, ha! Ho! ho!" laughed the sly old fox. "Come with me and I'll show
you her house. I'm sure she has some eggs."

Sammie and Susie thought this very kind of him, and they were just going
to follow that fox off when Bully warned them:

"Don't go," he said; "that fox only wants to eat Mrs. Cluck-Cluck up.
Let's run away."

So they ran away, and my! how angry that sly old fox was. He almost bit
his own tail. But Sammie and Susie did not mind. They were very thankful
to Bully for telling them of their danger. Then they hopped on and on,
until they were quite tired.

They were afraid they were never going to find any eggs, but, all of a
sudden Susie cried:

"Oh, look, Sammie!"

And there, on a nest in the grass, was Mrs. Cluck-Cluck the kind lady
hen, and she gave the rabbit children all the eggs they wanted. Sammie
and Susie carried them home to their underground house, and, after a
while, they had a lot of fun with them.

The next story will be about Susie learning to jump the rope, and I'll
tell it to you, if the cow doesn't fall off the top of the telegraph
pole, and tickle the rag doll with her horns.



XXI

SUSIE LITTLETAIL JUMPS ROPE


Sammie and Susie Littletail were coming home from school. Didn't I
mention before that the little bunny children went to school? Well, I
meant to, I'm sure, and if I overlooked it I hope you will excuse me,
and I'll see that it does not happen again this spring or summer. Oh,
my, yes; they went to school in an old hollow tree, and an owl was the
school teacher--a good, kind old owl, who never kept the bunny children
in.

So, as I said, they were coming home from school, and Sammie had stopped
to play marbles with some of his little boy rabbit friends, while Susie
walked on with some little rabbit girls. Some of the girls were jumping
rope, and they invited Susie to join them.

"Come on," said one little rabbit with two pink eyes, "we will turn for
you, and you can have 'three slow, pepper,' Susie dear."

But Susie couldn't, because she didn't know how to jump rope. Now isn't
that strange? No, sir, she didn't know the first thing about jumping
rope, for she had never had a chance to learn.

So when she got home to the burrow that afternoon, and Nurse Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy had given her a bit of chocolate-covered carrot, Uncle
Wiggily Longears noticed that the little rabbit girl looked rather sad.

"What is the matter, Susie?" he asked.

"I can't jump rope," she answered, "and all the other rabbit girls can."

"Never mind," said Uncle Wiggily, "I will show you how. Come with me.
Oh, dear! Oh, my goodness me, and some sassafras root! Oh! oh!"

"What is the matter?" asked Susie, much frightened, for she had never
heard her uncle cry so.

"Oh, it's only my rheumatism, Susie dear," he answered. "Don't mind me.
I shall be all right presently. Just ask Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy to bring me
the watercress liniment."

So when the muskrat nurse had brought the liniment, and Uncle Wiggily
had rubbed some on his leg, he felt better.

"Now, Susie," he said, "I will show you how to jump rope. I used to do
it when I was a boy, but I am not so lively and nimble now as I was
then."

"But I have no rope," objected Susie, though she felt a little more
happy. "I can't jump without a rope."

"Tut! tut! Do not think about such a little thing as that," went on her
uncle. "I will have a rope for you in a few minutes. Come with me."

Just then Sammie came along, and, after he had had some corn bread with
preserved sweet cabbage leaves on, he went with his sister and uncle in
the woods.

"I am going to learn to jump rope," said Susie, quite proudly. "Don't
you want to learn, Sammie?"

"No," he said, "that's only for girls. I'd rather play marbles and fly a
kite, but I'll turn for you, if we can find a rope," for, you see,
Sammie was always kind to his sister.

"We will have a rope in a minute," remarked Uncle Wiggily. "I know where
to find it."

Just then who should come walking along but Possum Pinktoes, and, as
soon as he saw the rabbits, he pretended to go to sleep.

"Oh, you do not need to go to sleep, and make believe that you are
dead," spoke Sammie. "We would not hurt you for the world."

Then Possum Pinktoes, who was only pretending to sleep, as he always did
when he thought he was in danger, opened first one eye, then the other.

"I am going to learn to jump rope," said Susie to him.

"Ha! Jump rope, eh?" exclaimed Possum Pinktoes. "I know the very thing
for you. A wild grapevine! It will make a fine rope."

"That's just what I was going to say," called out Uncle Wiggily.

"Come with me, and I'll show you where there are plenty of vines," went
on the possum, so they followed him, and pretty soon they came to the
place. Sammie and Uncle Wiggily cut a long piece, and then they took
hold of each end and began to turn the rope for Susie. At first she
could not do very well, even though there was a nice, smooth, grassy
place to learn on. Then out of a pond jumped Bully, the frog, and, as he
was one of the best jumpers in the woods, or, for that matter, on Orange
Mountain, he showed Susie just how to do it.

So she learned to jump "salt," which is slow, and "pepper," which is
fast, and "double pepper," which is very fast indeed. Then she learned
to jump with two ropes, one going one way and one the other, and finally
she could skip as well as any little rabbit girl in the owl's school.
Uncle Wiggily tried to jump, but he was so stiff and his rheumatism hurt
him so that he couldn't do it.

Then they all started for home, and what do you think happened?
Something quite serious, I do assure you, and I'm not fooling. A big
hawk, not the kind, good fish-hawk, but another kind, who was out
looking for early spring chickens, swooped down and tried to carry Susie
Littletail off to his nest. Now Uncle Wiggily was so old he couldn't do
much, but Sammie was not going to see his little sister harmed, so what
did he do but jump at that hawk with his sharp little feet, and kick him
until the bad bird let go of poor Susie. She was quite frightened, but
not much hurt, and maybe she didn't hug and kiss Sammie for saving her.
Then they all hurried home to the burrow, and if there is nothing to
prevent it, to-morrow night's story will be about Sammie turning
sky-blue-pink.



XXII

SAMMIE COLORED SKY-BLUE-PINK


Susie Littletail was out on a nice, grassy place in front of the
underground house, jumping her grapevine rope, and having a very good
time, indeed. She had gotten all over the fright caused by the bad hawk
trying to grab her, and felt quite happy. Sammie Littletail had been
searching for the hawk, to have him arrested for being so cruel to the
little rabbit girl, but he could not find the big bird, so he had come
back to watch Susie jump. You see it was Easter week, and they had no
school. The old owl teacher was very glad of it, too, for he had more
time to sleep and doze in the sun.

Just as Susie finished doing "three slow, pepper," Nurse Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy came to the door of the burrow, and called:

"Sammie, your mamma wants you."

"What does she want?" he asked.

"She wants you to go to the drug store and get some stuff to color the
Easter eggs with. Hurry, please, because she has lots to do."

"May we help color them?" asked Susie, hanging up her grapevine rope on
a low bush.

"I think so," answered the muskrat nurse. "Now, hurry, Sammie; your
mamma wants to get all done before your papa comes home from the carrot
factory to-night."

"All right," answered the little boy rabbit. "I guess I can help color
the eggs, too," and he hurried off to the drug store, that was near Dr.
Possum's house.

Now pretty soon--in fact, almost immediately--something is going to
happen to Sammie Littletail, so I want you all to sit quietly, and not
wiggle so that you'll break the couch, or I can't go on. That's better.
Well, then, Sammie went through the woods, and, on his way, he felt so
happy that he sang this little song, which he had heard the kindergarten
children singing at the owl school a few days before. This is the song,
but of course I can't sing it very well. Please don't laugh. I'll do the
best I can, although, perhaps, I shan't get the words just right:

    "'Soldier boy, soldier boy, where are you going,
        Waving so proudly your red, white and blue?'
    'I'm going to the war to fight for my country,
        And if you'll be a soldier boy, you may come too.'"

That's the way Sammie sang it, anyhow, and just as he finished he got to
the drug store.

"Who was that singing?" asked Dr. Possum, who happened to be in the
store just then.

"I was," said Sammie.

"Oh, indeed; I didn't know you sang," went on Dr. Possum. "That is very
good indeed. I could not do better myself. Will you kindly sing it
again?" So Sammie sang it again, and then he got the colors for his
mamma to put on the Easter eggs.

"Now, children," said Mamma Littletail, when Sammie reached home. "Get
the eggs that Mrs. Cluck-Cluck gave you the other day, and we will color
them."

"Oh, won't we have fun!" cried Susie.

"Indeed we will!" said Sammie.

So they first boiled the eggs good and hard, so that if they happened to
drop one, it wouldn't get all over the floor, and you know how
unpleasant it is, to say the least, when an egg drops, and gets all over
the floor. Isn't it, really? Well, they boiled the eggs, and then Mamma
Littletail had the dye ready.

Well, you should have seen all the colors she had! There was red and
blue and yellow and green and purple and pink and old rose and crushed
strawberry and ashes of roses and magenta and Alice blue and Johnnie red
and Froggie green and toadstool brown and skilligimink. That last, the
storekeeper told Sammie, was a new color, very scarce. As there isn't
any more of it at the store, I can't just tell you what it looked like,
except that it was a very fine color indeed, Oh, yes!

Well, Sammie and Susie helped their mamma dip the eggs in the dye and
stained them all sorts of pretty colors. Some were all one shade, and
some were half one tint and half another, and then there were some all
speckled with different colors, and very hard to make. Then, after they
were all dry, Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with her sharp teeth, just like
chisels that a carpenter uses, drew pretty things on the eggs; pictures
of trees and birds and mountains and flowers and fairy castles and lakes
and hills, and all sorts of things. Oh, they were the prettiest Easter
eggs you ever saw!

"Here is the last egg," said Sammie. "May I dip this one in, mamma?"

"Yes," she answered, but she never would have let him if she had known
what was going to happen.

"I'll make this a skilligimink color," said Sammie, and he stood over
the pot. Then, what do you think occurred? Why, Sammie leaned too far
over and he fell right in that pot of skilligimink color; he and the egg
together. And oh, dear me! what a time there was. He splashed around
and scattered the skilligimink color all over the kitchen, and when his
mamma and Susie fished him out, if he wasn't dyed the most beautiful
sky-blue-pink you ever saw! Oh, but he was a sight! The skilligimink
color made him look like a piece of the rainbow. "Oh, Sammie!" cried
Susie, "how funny you do look?" And Sammie grunted: "Huh! I guess it's
nothing to laugh at!" So they dried him with a towel, but the color
didn't come off for ever so long, honest it didn't. But they had a
lovely lot of Easter eggs, anyhow, ready for the children, and so Sammie
didn't mind much. Now, how about Hot Cross Buns for to-morrow night, eh?
Oh, of course, I mean a story about them.



XXIII

SUSIE LITTLETAIL'S HOT CROSS BUNS


Let's see, where did we leave off last night? Oh, I remember now, it was
about how Sammie fell down and hurt his nose, wasn't it? Oh, no, it
wasn't either. It was about how he was colored sky-blue-pink; to be
sure. Well, now I'm going to tell you about Hot Cross Buns, how Susie
Littletail made some very especially fine ones, and what happened to
them. But the last part is a secret, so I wish you wouldn't tell any
one.

Susie was out skipping her grapevine rope, and thinking what a nice day
it was, when her mamma called to her:

"Susie, don't you want to help Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy make some Hot
Cross Buns?"

"Of course," the little rabbit girl said, and, being a very kind little
creature, she added: "Can Sammie help me, mamma?"

"Oh, I don't want to," said Sammie, who was playing marbles with Bully,
the frog. They were using old hickory nuts and acorns for their shooters
and for the agates in the ring. "I'm going to be a soldier or run an
automobile when I grow up, so I don't want to learn to cook."

"Humph! I guess soldiers and automobile men are glad enough to eat when
some one else cooks for them," said Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. "Anyhow, I can't
have you mussing around my kitchen, Sammie, so Susie is the only one who
can help me make Hot Cross Buns."

"Ask her if we can have the batter dishes and the one she mixes the
frosting in, to clean out," prosed Bully, in a whisper, and when Sammie
asked the nurse, who was also a cook, she said:

"Oh, I suppose so. But don't come around bothering while Susie and I are
busy. I'll set the dishes out for you."

Then Sammie and Bully felt very good, for it's lots of fun to clean out
the cake dishes when any one is baking, especially when Hot Cross Buns
are being made. So the little boy rabbit and the little frog, who was
such a good jumper, played marbles under the trees in the big woods.

Then Susie and Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy went to work in the kitchen. First
they took some flour, milk, eggs, sugar and whatever else goes into Hot
Cross Buns, and mixed them all up in a big dish.

"Oh, my! How good that smells!" exclaimed Susie. "Won't Sammie and
Bully be glad to get that?"

"Yes," said the nurse-cook, "but now we must make the frosting to go on
top, and I think I'll mix in it some of the maple sugar that Uncle
Wiggily boiled."

"Oh, fine!" exclaimed Susie, and she clapped her two front paws
together, she was so glad.

So she and Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy made a nice dish of maple-sugar frosting to
go on top of the buns when they were baked.

"Now," said the cook, after a little while, "we must get the pans ready
to bake them in. And, as we haven't much room in the kitchen, we will
just set the dish of dough and the frosting out on the window sill,
where they won't be in our way. As soon as we have the tins greased we
will make the buns and put them in the oven to bake."

So the nice, sweet, good-smelling and good-tasting batter and the dish
of maple-sugar frosting were set outside on the window sill. Oh, how
nice it smelled. It's a good thing that sly old fox wasn't around, I
tell you!

Well, after a while, Sammie and Bully got tired of playing marbles, and
they walked around to the back of the underground house. And what do you
think? If Bully didn't see those dishes that had been set out on the
window sill! Yes indeed, he saw them! Oh, he had sharp eyes, let me tell
you!

"Look here!" he cried to Sammie. "They've put the stuff out for us. Oh,
what a lot of it! Nice, sweet batter, and nice maple-sugar frosting. How
kind they are."

"Do you s'pose all this is for us?" asked Sammie, who, whenever he
cleaned out the baking dishes, had never seen so much as that in them.

"Of course it is," answered Bully. "Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy said she'd put it
out for us, and here it is out. Of course, it must be for us."

Well, Sammie thought so, too, after that, and then the little boy rabbit
and Bully sat down, with those two dishes, that had stuff in to make Hot
Cross Buns, and they began to eat it all up. And after awhile, when it
was pretty nearly all gone, who should come limping along but Uncle
Wiggily Longears.

"Well, well," he said, just like that. "What have we here?" Then Sammie
told him how the good stuff had been left out by Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. "My
goodness me!" exclaimed the old rabbit, leaning on his cornstalk crutch,
"how very odd."

"Would you like some?" asked Bully, the frog, very, very politely.

"Indeed I would," answered Uncle Wiggily Longears.

So they gave him some, and it tasted just as good as when he was a
little boy rabbit. But just as the last of the sweet batter and the
maple-sugar frosting was eaten up, what should happen but that Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy went to the window to take it in to bake, and of course it
was gone. Well, you should have seen how surprised she was. She was
going to scold Sammie and Bully, only they said it was all a mistake. So
they didn't get a whipping, and very luckily there was enough more stuff
in the burrow to make more Hot Cross Buns. So Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy and Susie
mixed up some, and these were soon baking in the oven. And, oh, how good
they smelled, and they tasted as good as they smelled, each one with a
maple-sugar cross on. Now, to-morrow night, if you would like me to,
I'll tell you about hiding the Easter eggs.



XXIV

HIDING THE EASTER EGGS


What a lot of Easter eggs there were! I'm sure if you tried to count all
that Sammie and Susie Littletail, and Papa and Mamma Littletail, to say
nothing of Uncle Wiggily Longears and Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had
colored, ready for Easter, you never could do it, never, never, never!
Of course, Uncle Wiggily couldn't get so very many of the eggs ready for
the children, because, you know, he has rheumatism, but then Sammie and
Susie were so quick, and Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy hurried so, that long before
Easter Sunday-morning, or Easter Monday morning, whenever you children
hunt for your eggs, they were all ready.

You see, the rabbits have to hide all the Easter eggs that you children
hunt for. Of course, I don't mean those in the store windows; the pretty
ones, made of candy, and with little windows that you look through to
see beautiful scenes. Oh, no, not those, but the ones you find at home.
Those in the windows are put there by different kinds of rabbits.

Well, all the Easter eggs were ready, and Sammie and Susie, their papa
and mamma, Uncle Wiggily Longears and Nurse Jane-Fuzzy-Wuzzy, set out to
hide them. There were many colors. I think I have told you about them,
but I'll just mention a few again. There were red ones, blue ones, green
ones, pink ones, Alice blue ones, Johnnie red ones, Froggie green ones,
strawberry color, and then that new shade, skilligimink, which is very
fine indeed, and which turned Sammie sky-blue-pink.

So the rabbits started off with their baskets of colored eggs on their
paws.

"Now, be careful, Sammie," called his mamma. "Don't fall down and break
any of those eggs."

"No, mamma," answered Sammie, who was still colored sky-blue-pink, for
it hadn't all worn off yet. "I'll be very careful."

"So will I, mamma," called Susie.

So they walked on through the woods to visit Newark and all the places
around where children want Easter eggs. Of course, if you had gone out
in the woods on top of Orange Mountain you could not have seen those
rabbits, because they were invisible. That is, you couldn't see them,
because Mrs. Cluck-Cluck, the fairy hen, had given them all cloaks spun
out of cobwebs, just like the Emperor of China once had, and this made
it so no one could see them. For it would never do, you know, to have
the rabbits spied upon when they were hiding the eggs. It wouldn't be
fair, any more than it would be right to peek when you're "it" in
playing blind man's buff.

Well, pretty soon, after a while, as they all walked through the woods,
Sammie kept going slower and slower and slower, because his basket was
quite heavy, until he was a long way in back of his papa, his mamma and
Susie. But he didn't mind that, for he knew he had plenty of time, when
all at once what should come running out of the bushes but a great big
dog. At first Sammie was frightened, but then when he looked again he
knew the dog was not a rabbit-dog. No, what is worse, he was an egg-dog.
Now an egg-dog is a dog that eats eggs, and they are one of the very
worst kinds of dogs there are. So the dog saw Sammie and knew what the
little rabbit boy had in his basket. But he asked him, making believe he
didn't know: "What have you in that basket, my little chap?" You see, he
called him "little chap" so as to pretend he was a friendly egg-dog.

"There are Easter eggs in the basket," said Sammie politely.

"And what, pray, are Easter eggs, if I may be so bold as to ask?"
inquired the dog, licking his teeth with his long red tongue, and
blinking his eyes, as if he didn't care.

"Easter eggs," replied Sammie, "are eggs for children for Easter, and
they are very prettily colored."

"Oh, ho!" exclaimed the dog, just like that, and he sniffed the air.
"Please excuse me. But would you kindly be so good as to let me see
those eggs? I never saw any colored ones."

"Well," answered Sammie, "I am in a hurry, but you may have one peep."

So he opened the top of the basket and there, sure enough, were the
eggs, the green, the blue, the pink, the Johnnie red and the
skilligimink colored ones and all.

"Oh, how lovely!" cried the bad dog, sniffing the air again. "May I have
one?"

"No," said Sammie, very decidedly, "these are for the little children."
Then that dog got angry. Oh, you should have seen how angry he got. No,
on second thoughts I am glad you did not see how unpleasant he was, for
it might spoil your Easter. Anyhow, he was dreadfully angry, dreadfully!
He showed his teeth, and he made his hair stand up straight, and he
growled: "Give me all those eggs, or I'll take them right away from
you! I am an egg-dog, and I must have eggs. Give them to me, I say!"

Well, maybe poor Sammie wasn't frightened! He trembled so that the eggs
rattled together and very nearly were broken. Then he started to run
away, but the bad dog ran after him, and what do you think? Just as the
horrid creature was about to take those lovely Easter eggs out of the
basket and eat them up, who should come flying through the woods but
Mrs. Cluck-Cluck, the fairy hen! She dashed at that dog, with her
feathers sticking out, and made him run off. Then how glad Sammie was!
He hurried and caught up to his papa and mamma, and soon all the Easter
eggs were hidden.

Oh, what fun Sammie and Susie had running back through the woods after
the eggs were all put in the secret places! Susie found a turnip in a
field, and Sammie a carrot, and they ate them as they hopped along.
Uncle Wiggily walked quite slowly, for his rheumatism was bothering him,
and when those rabbits got home to the burrow, what do you think they
found? Why, there were invitations for them all to come to a party that
was going to be given by Lulu and Alice Wibblewobble. Alice and Lulu
were little duck girls, and they lived with their papa and mamma, Mr.
and Mrs. Wibblewobble, in a pen, not far from the rabbit burrow. They
had a brother named Jimmie, but it wasn't his birthday, for he was a day
older than his sisters, who were twins. That is their birthdays came at
the same time. Some day I'm going to tell you a lot of stories about
these same ducks.

"May we go to the party, mamma?" asked Susie.

"Of course," answered Mamma Littletail, and they all went, even Nurse
Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. They had a fine time, which I will tell you about in
another book that has a lot of duck stories in it. But I just want to
mention one thing that occurred.

Just as the party was over, and every one was coming home, Uncle Wiggily
couldn't find his crutch, which Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had gnawed out of
a cornstalk for him. Finally he did find it behind the door. Then he,
and Sammie and Susie, and Mr. and Mrs. Littletail started for the
burrow.

Then, all at once, when they were in the front yard of the
Wibblewobble home, if a silver trumpet didn't sound in the woods:
"Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-ra!" just like that, and up came riding a little boy,
all in silver and gold, on a white horse. He wanted to know if he was
too late for the party, the little boy did, and when Uncle Wiggily said
yes, the little boy was much disappointed.

Then Uncle Wiggily asked him who he was, and the little boy said:

"I am the fairy prince! I used to be a mud turtle, and live in the pond
where Lulu and Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble swim. But I got tired of
being a mud turtle, though I _was_ a fairy prince, so I changed myself
into a little boy."

But, do you know, Uncle Wiggily didn't believe him, and, what's more, he
said so. Oh, yes, indeed he did! Then what did that little
boy-fairy-prince do, but up and say:

"Well, you soon will believe me, Uncle Wiggily. You come back to the
woods a little later, and something wonderful will happen. I'll make you
believe in fairies; that's what I will, for you will see a red fairy
very shortly."

But still Uncle Wiggily didn't believe, and he went home, moving his
nose and ears at the same time. But you just wait, for if I should
happen to find a penny rolling up hill, I will tell you, to-morrow
night, about Uncle Wiggily and the red fairy.



XXV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE RED FAIRY


Well, I didn't find that penny rolling up hill, after all, but never
mind, I'll tell you a story just the same. Let's see, we left off about
Uncle Wiggily Longears, the old gentleman rabbit, and what was going to
happen to him when he should meet the red fairy, didn't we?

Uncle Wiggily walked along very slowly, going home from the party Lulu
and Alice Wibblewobble had. Sammie Littletail saw how slowly his uncle
walked, and asked:

"What is the matter, Uncle Wiggily? Does your rheumatism hurt you very
much?"

"No, it isn't that," replied the old gentleman rabbit, "though it does
pain me some. I was just wondering about that red fairy."

"Oh, do you really suppose one will appear, as the fairy prince said?"
asked Susie, making her nose twinkle like two stars and a comet on a
frosty night.

"No," spoke Uncle Wiggily very decidedly, "I don't really believe one
will. Still, there may. You never can tell in this world what is going
to happen," and I think Uncle Wiggily was right about it.

"Oh!" cried Susie, "I wish I could come with you, Uncle Wiggily. I never
saw a real fairy in all my life. Couldn't I come with you?" and the
little rabbit girl went close to her uncle, and took hold of his crutch,
gnawed by the muskrat, Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, out of a cornstalk.

"Yes, I suppose you could," answered Susie's Uncle, who was very kind to
her.

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Sammie. "It might spoil the magic spell, if more
than one went, Uncle Wiggily. Maybe the fairy would not like it. You had
better go alone."

"All right," answered the old gentleman rabbit, "anything to please you.
I'll go alone."

Well, when the rabbit family got back to their burrow, after the party,
they could talk of nothing else but what was going to happen when Uncle
Wiggily should meet the red fairy. Sammie and Susie didn't want to go to
bed, they were so excited, but their mamma sent them up with Nurse Jane
Fuzzy-Wuzzy.

Now listen very carefully, for the fairy will soon appear, and you know
what happens then. Oh, yes, indeed, something wonderful.

Well, when it came time, Uncle Wiggily started off alone to the woods
to meet the red fairy. He walked on, and on, and on, and he had to go
pretty slow, because his rheumatism was hurting him again. And suddenly,
when he was right under a big oak tree, what should he hear but a silver
trumpet blowing "Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-ra!" Just like that, honest. Then he
stood still, and a sort of shivery feeling came over him, and he looked
up and he looked down and he looked to one side and then to the other.
And then he wiggled his ears, and he wrinkled up his nose as fast as
fast could be. Then he heard some one call:

"Uncle Wiggily Longears!"

"Yes, I'm here!" he answered.

"And I am the red fairy!" cried the voice again, and when the old
gentleman rabbit looked up in the tree, what do you suppose he saw?
Well, you'd never guess, so I'll tell you.

There, perched on a limb, was a beautiful little lady, all dressed in
red, with a red cloak on, and a red hat on, and it had a red feather in
it; in fact, she was as red as Red Riding Hood ever thought of being.

"Do you believe in fairies, Uncle Wiggily?" she asked.

"No," replied the old rabbit, "I can't say that I do."

"Well," went on the little creature, "you soon will. Watch me
carefully."

And with that, what did she do but float down from that tall tree, just
as one of those red balloons you buy at the circus floats along. Yes,
sir, she floated right down to where Uncle Wiggily was. Then she waved
her magic wand in the air three times, and said this word:
"Higgildypiggilyhobbledehoi!" It's a very hard word for you to say, I
know, but easy for a fairy. Well, she said that word, and then, all at
once, what should happen but that a golden ball appeared, floating in
the air.

"Catch the golden ball!" cried the red fairy.

"I can't!" answered the old rabbit. "I haven't played ball in years, and
years, and years."

"Well," went on the fairy, with a laugh, "no matter. It will come to
you," and you may not believe me, but if that golden ball didn't float
right down into Uncle Wiggily's hands. He had to drop his crutch to
catch it.

"Now," proceeded the red fairy, "do you want to see me do something
magical to prove that I am wonderful, and a real fairy?'"

"Yes," answered Uncle Wiggily, "certainly."

"Well, what shall I do? Name something wonderful."

"If you could cure me of my rheumatism it would be wonderful," he
answered. "It hurts me something fierce, now."

"Ha! That is not wonderful at all," spoke the red fairy. "That is
altogether too easy. But I will do it all the same. Watch me carefully."

Then, as true as I'm telling you, if that golden ball didn't begin to
dance up and down, and sideways, and around and around Uncle Wiggily,
leaping here, and there, and everywhere, until he could hardly see it.
And the silver trumpet blew: "Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-ra!" just like that, and
all of a sudden Uncle Wiggily felt himself being lifted up, and whirled
around, and then came a clap of thunder, and then it all got still, and
quiet, and a little bird began to sing. Then the fairy's voice asked:

"Well, Uncle Wiggily, how is your rheumatism now?"

"Why!" exclaimed the old rabbit, "it is all gone. It certainly is. I
never would have believed it," and, honestly, the pain was all gone, and
he didn't need his crutch for a long time after that. Then he believed
that the red lady was a fairy, and he hurried home to tell Sammie and
Susie, while the little red lady and the golden ball flew back into the
tree. "Oh!" cried Susie, when she heard the story, "I wish I could see a
fairy!" And, listen, she did! The very next day; and, if nothing
happens, the story to-morrow night will be about Susie Littletail and
the blue fairy.

Now listen, Uncle Wiggily felt so good at being cured of his rheumatism
that he asked the red fairy if some boys and girls, who had been very
good, couldn't stay up after they had heard the bedtime story to-night.

"I want to make them happy because I am happy," said Uncle Wiggily.

"Yes, they stay up if their papas and mammas will let them," answered
the red fairy, so now you just ask, but be very polite about it, and see
what happens. But don't stay up too late, you know, for that would never
do, never at all.



XXVI

SUSIE AND THE BLUE FAIRY


They were talking about Uncle Wiggily's visit to the red fairy, in the
rabbits' burrow the next day, when Susie remarked:

"Well, if I saw a fairy, I think I'd ask for something more magical than
having my rheumatism cured."

"No you wouldn't," said her uncle, as he nibbled a bit of
chocolate-covered carrot that Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had made. "You
think you would, but you wouldn't. In the first place, you never had
rheumatism, or you'd be glad to get the first fairy you saw to cure it.
And in the second place, when you see a fairy it makes you feel so
funny you don't know what you are saying. But I am certainly glad I met
that one. I never felt better in all my life than I do since my
rheumatism is cured. I believe I'll dance a jig."

"Oh, no, don't," begged Mamma Littletail.

"Yes, I shall to," spoke Uncle Wiggily. "Begging your pardon, of course,
Alvinah." You see, Mamma Littletail's first name was Alvinah. So Uncle
Wiggily danced a jig, and did it fairly well, considering everything.

That afternoon Susie Littletail went for a walk in the woods. She was
all alone, for Sammie had gone over to play with Bully, the frog, and
Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, his squirrel chums. Susie walked along,
and she was rather hoping she might meet the fairy prince, who was
changed from a mud turtle into a nice boy, and came to Lulu and Alice
Wibblewobble's party. But Susie didn't meet him, and, when it began to
get dark, she started for home.

"Oh!" she exclaimed aloud, as she came to a little spot where the grass
grew nice and green, and where the trees were all set in a circle, just
as if they were playing, Ring Around the Rosy, Sweet Tobacco Posey. "Oh,
dear, I wish I would meet with a fairy, as Uncle Wiggily did! But I
don't s'pose I ever will. I never have any good luck! Only last week I
lost my ring with the blue stone in it."

And just then--oh, in fact, right after Susie finished speaking, what
should she hear but a voice singing. Yes, a voice singing; a sweet,
silvery voice, and this is what it sang. Of course, I can't sing this in
a sweet, silvery voice, but I'll do the best I can. Now this is the
song:

    "If any one is seeking
        A fairy for to see,
    If they will kindly glance up
        Into this chestnut tree
    They'll see what they are seeking,
        I'm truly telling you,
    For I'm a little fairy
        All dressed in baby-blue."

Then, you may believe me or not, if Susie didn't look up into the tree,
and there, in a hole where the Owl school teacher once lived, was a
really and truly-ruly fairy. Honest. Susie knew at once it was a fairy
that she saw because the little creature was colored baby blue, you
know, the shade they put on babies, and she had gauzy wings, with stars
on them, and carried a magic wand which also had a star on it, did the
little blue creature. Still, the little rabbit girl wanted to make
sure, so she asked: "Are you a fairy?"

"I am," replied the little creature in blue. "Can you kindly tell me how
much two and two are?"

"Four," answered Susie.

"Is it really?"

"Of course. You ought to know that," spoke Susie proudly, for she was at
the head of her arithmetic class.

"Ought I?" asked the fairy with a sigh. "Well, I suppose I had, but I
haven't been to school in ever so long--not since I was a wee bit of a
child, and that's ever and ever so many years ago, when I was no bigger
than that," and she pointed to something in the air.

"Bigger than what?" asked Susie, who didn't see anything.

"Than that speck of star dust," went on the blue fairy. "It's so small
you can't see it. But no matter. Because you were so kind as to tell me
how much two and two are, I will give you three wishes."

"Will you, really?" cried Susie in delight.

"Yes, three wishes, for I am a regular fairy, and that is the regular
number of wishes you may have. Some fairies only give two wishes, and
some only one. But I always give three. Go ahead now, and wish."

"Let me see," thought Susie, and her nose twinkled like three stars, she
was so excited. "First I wish for a golden coach drawn by four horses."

"Oh!" cried the fairy, "I'm so sorry, for wishes like that, though they
come true, never last. Still, you may have it," and she waved her magic
wand, and if the golden coach and four horses didn't appear right there
in the woods--honest! "Wish again, my dear," went on the fairy, and this
time Susie was more careful.

"I wish for ten boxes of chocolate-covered carrots," she said, and once
more the fairy said she was sorry, for that wish wouldn't last. Still,
it came true, and down from the tree where the blue fairy sat, came
tumbling the ten boxes of chocolate-covered carrots, each one wrapped up
in lace paper. Susie put them in the golden coach, and was ready for her
next wish. She thought a good long while over this one. Then she said:

"I wish I could find my ring with the blue stone!"

At that the fairy clapped her tiny hands. "That is a fine wish!" she
cried. "It will come true, and stay so. But the others----" and she
shook her head sorrowfully. Then she waved her magic wand three times in
the air, and suddenly, in less than two jumps, if the ring with the
blue stone, that Susie had lost, didn't appear right on the end of the
wand. And it flew off and landed right on Susie's paw. Oh, wasn't she
glad! And the fairy said: "The ring will last, because that is blue, and
I am blue, too. Now, good bye, Susie." And with that she disappeared,
changing into a butterfly with golden wings. Then Susie started to get
in the golden coach and ride home, but, would you believe me, if those
horses didn't run away, upsetting the coach and breaking it, and
scattering all the ten boxes of chocolate-covered carrots all over. Oh,
how badly Susie felt, but it was just what the fairy said would happen.
The first two wishes didn't last. Anyhow, Susie had the ring, and she
hurried home to tell her story. Now, if it doesn't rain to-morrow, the
story to-morrow night will be about Sammie and the green fairy.



XXVII

SAMMIE AND THE GREEN FAIRY


When Susie told her brother Sammie about what happened to her in the
woods, when she saw the blue fairy, the little rabbit boy remarked:

"Aw, I guess you fell asleep and dreamed that, Susie." for that's the
way with brothers sometimes. I once had a brother, and he--but there,
I'll tell you about him some other time.

"No," answered Susie, "I didn't dream it. Why, here's my ring to prove
it," and she held out the one with the blue stone in it.

"I guess you found that in the woods, where you lost it," went on
Sammie. "I don't believe in fairies at all."

"But didn't one cure Uncle Wiggily's rheumatism?"

"Aw, well, I guess that would have gotten better anyhow."

"It wouldn't, so there!" exclaimed Susie. "I just hope you see a fairy
some day, and I hope they don't treat you as kind as the one treated me,
even if the horses did run away and disappear." But of course Susie
didn't really want anything bad to happen to her brother. But you just
wait and see what did happen. Oh, it was something very, very strange,
yes, indeed, and I'm not fooling a bit; no, indeed. I wouldn't make it
out anything different than what it really was, not for a penny and a
half.

Well, it happened about a week later. Sammie was coming home from a ball
game, which he had played with Johnnie and Billie Bushytail (of whom I
will tell you later), and some others of his chums, and he was in a
deep, dark part of the wood, when suddenly he heard a crashing in the
bushes.

"Pooh!" exclaimed Sammie. "I s'pose that's one of them fairies. I'm not
going to notice her," and with that he tossed his baseball up in the
air, careless like, to show that he didn't mind. But he was a bit
nervous, all the same, and his hand slipped and his best ball went right
down in a deep, dark, muddy puddle of water. Then Sammie felt pretty
bad, I tell you, and he was going to get a stick to fish the ball out,
when he heard the crashing in the bushes again, and what should appear
but--no, not a fairy, but bad, ugly fox.

"Ah!" exclaimed the fox, looking at Sammie, and smacking his lips, "I've
been waiting for you for some time."

"Yes?" asked the little boy rabbit, and he tried to see a way to run
past that fox, only there wasn't any.

"Yes, really," went on the fox. "Have you had your supper?"

"No," replied Sammie, "I haven't."

"Neither have I," continued the fox, "but I'm going to have it pretty
soon, in fact, almost immediately," which you children know means right
away. "I'm going to eat directly," went on that bad fox, and he smacked
his lips again and looked at Sammie, as if he was going to eat him up,
for that's really what he meant when he said he was going to have
supper. Oh, how frightened Sammie was. He began to tremble, and he
wished he'd started for home earlier. Then the fox crouched down and was
just going to jump on that little boy rabbit, when something happened.

Right up from that puddle of water, where Sammie had lost his ball,
sprang a little man in green. He was green all over, like Bully, the
frog, but the funny part of it was that he wasn't wet a bit, even though
he came up out of the water.

"Ha! What have we here?" he cried out, just like that.

"If--if you please, sir," began Sammie.

"It's my supper time!" cried the fox, interrupting, which was not very
polite on his part. "It's my supper time, and I'm hungry."

"I don't see anything to eat," spoke the little green man. "Nothing at
all," and he looked all around.

"If--if you please, kind sir," went on Sammie, "I think he intends to
eat me."

"What! What!" cried the little green man. "The very idea! The very
idonical idea! We'll see about that! Oh, my, yes, and a bushel of apple
turnovers besides! Aha! Ahem!"

Then he looked most severely at that fox, most severely, I do assure
you, and he asked: "Were you going to eat up my friend Sammie
Littletail?"

"I was, but I didn't know he was a friend of yours," replied the fox,
beginning to tremble. Oh, you could see right away that he was afraid of
that little green man.

"Oh, you bad fox, you!" cried the little green man. "Oh, you bad fox!
Just for that I'm going to turn you into a little country village!
Presto, chango! Smacko, Mackeo! Bur-r-r-r!" and he waved his hands at
the fox, who immediately disappeared. And he was changed into a little
country village, with a church, a school and thirty-one houses, and it's
called Foxtown to this very day. I ought to know, for I used to live
there.

"Well, Sammie?" asked the little green man, when the fox had vanished,
"How do you feel now?"

"Much better, kind sir. Thank you. But who are you?"

"Me? Who am I? Why, don't you know?"

"No, indeed, unless you're some relation to Bully, the frog."

"Well, I am a sort of distant thirty-second cousin to him. I am the
green fairy. And to prove it, look here, I will get your ball back for
you."

Then while Sammie looked on, his eyes getting bigger and bigger and his
breath coming faster and faster, until it was like a locomotive or a
choo-choo, whatever you call them, going up hill, if that little green
man didn't wave his hands over that puddle of water, where Sammie's ball
had fallen. And he spoke the magic word, which must never be spoken
except on Friday nights, so if you read this on any night but Friday you
must skip it, and wait. The word is (Tirratarratorratarratirratarratum),
and I put it in brackets, so there would be no mistake. Well, all of a
sudden, after the magic word was spoken, if Sammie's ball didn't come
bounding up out of that water, and it was as dry as a bone, and it had a
nice, new, clean, white cover on.

"There," said the little green man proudly, "I guess that's doing some
tricks in the fairy line, isn't it?"

"It certainly is," agreed Sammie, "I can't thank you enough."

"Just believe in fairies after this," said the little green man, as he
changed into a bumble bee and flew off. Now, how would you like to hear
about Susie and the fairy godmother to-morrow night, eh?



XXVIII

SUSIE AND THE FAIRY GODMOTHER


You can just imagine how excited Susie and her mamma and papa and Nurse
Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, the muskrat, were when Sammie got home and told about
the bad fox who had been changed into a country village. Uncle Wiggily
Longears was surprised, too. He said:

"My, it does seem to me that there are strange goings on in these woods.
There never used to be any fairies here. I wonder where they come from?"

"Well, it's a good thing that fox has been changed into a town," spoke
Papa Littletail. "If he hadn't been, I would have had him arrested for
frightening you, Sammie. I know the policeman down at our corner, and
I'm sure he would have arrested him for me. But it's all right now," and
Sammie's papa sat back in his chair and read the paper, for he was tired
that night from working in the turnip factory. You see, he changed from
the carrot factory, and got a place sorting turnips. And sometimes he
would bring little sweet ones home to the children.

One day Susie was hurrying back from the store with a loaf of bread, a
yeast cake and three-and-a-half of granulated sugar, and she was sort of
wondering if she would meet the blue fairy again when, just as she got
opposite a place where some goldenrod grew, she heard a voice saying:

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear me! I shall never be able to reach it! Never, never,
never!" Susie looked around, and what should she see but a nice, little
old lady, trying to break off a stem of goldenrod.

"Oh, dear me suz-dud!" cried the old lady again, and then Susie saw that
she was very little indeed, hardly larger than a ten-cent plate of ice
cream after it's all melted. So she couldn't reach the goldenrod, she
was so little.

"What is the matter?" asked Susie very politely. "Can I help you?"

"Thank you, my dear child," went on the little old lady. "If you would
be so kind as to reach me down a stem of goldenrod, I would be very much
obliged to you."

"What do you want with it?" asked Susie, wondering who the little old
lady could possibly be.

"Why, I want it for a fairy wand," she answered. "I have lost mine."

"Are you a fairy, too?" asked the little rabbit girl, and she began to
wonder what would happen next as she broke off a stem for the old lady.

"Indeed I am," replied the little old lady. "I am a fairy godmother. I
have charge of all the other fairies, the blue fairy and the red fairy
and the green fairy, and all the other colors, including the fairy
prince, who used to be a mud turtle."

"But, if you are a fairy," asked Susie, "why couldn't you make that
goldenrod come down to you, when you weren't tall enough to reach up to
it?"

"Hush!" exclaimed the fairy godmother, for she really was one, as you
shall see. "Hush, my dear child! It's a great secret. Don't tell any
one," and she put her right hand over her mouth and her left hand over
her ear, and held the goldenrod under her arm. "You see, I lost my magic
wand," she went on, "and I couldn't do any more magic until I got a new
one. Now I am all right, and to reward you you may come with me."

"But I have to get home with the bread and sugar and yeast cake," said
Susie.

"No," spoke the fairy godmother, "you will not need to be in a hurry.
Besides, what I will show you will happen in an instant, and you will
get home in time after all."

So she waved the goldenrod in the air, and once more the silver trumpet
sounded: "Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-ra!" and, all of a sudden, Susie found herself
lifted up, and there she and the fairy godmother were sailing right
through the air on a big burdock leaf. At first Susie was afraid, but
she soon got over her fright and enjoyed the ride.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"We are going to where the fairies live," answered the little old woman,
but she seemed larger now, and the old dress she had worn had changed
into a cloak of gold and silver with diamonds and rubies on it all over,
like frost on a cold morning.

So pretty soon--oh, I guess in about as long as it would take to eat a
peanut, or, maybe, two, if they didn't come to fairyland. At least
that's what Susie thought it was, for there were fairies all about. The
red fairy was there, and the green, and the blue one. And the blue fairy
asked: "Have you your ring yet, Susie?" Then Susie said she had, but she
didn't want to talk any more, for so many wonderful things were going
on.

The fairies were skipping about, leaping here and there, some riding on
the backs of birds and butterflies and bumblebees, and some running in
and out of holes in the ground.

"What are they doing?" asked Susie, moving her long ears back and forth.

"They are doing kind things to the people of the earth," replied the
fairy godmother, "and it keeps them busy, let me tell you." Then Susie
saw fairies doing all sorts of magical tricks, such as making lemonade
out of lemons, and things like that.

Then, all at once, just when one little fairy was making a hat out of
some straw, the godmother said: "It is time for us to go now," so the
burdock leaf came sailing through the air, and Susie got on. As they
came near the woods where the goldenrod grew they saw a boy throwing a
stone at a robin.

"Ah, I must stop that!" cried the fairy godmother, so she waved her new
magic wand that Susie had helped her get, and, honestly, if that stone
didn't turn right around in the air, and instead of hitting the bird, it
flew back and hit that boy right on the end of his nose! Oh, how he
cried, and, what is better, he never threw stones at birds again. I call
that a pretty good trick, don't you? Well, the burdock leaf came to the
ground, and Susie ran home, and she was just in time to help her mother
set bread. To-morrow night's story is going to be about Uncle Wiggily
and the fairy spectacles. That is, I think it is, but, if you like, you
may turn over the page to make sure. But you are only allowed just one
peep, only one, mind you.



XXIX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE FAIRY SPECTACLES


Sammie and Susie Littletail were playing out in front of their burrow.
Their mamma had a headache, and had gone to lie down in a dark room, and
Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had put a mustard leaf on the back of Mamma
Littletail's neck, for that is sometimes good for a headache.

"What shall we do?" asked Susie.

"Oh, I don't know," replied her brother. "S'pose we play stump tag?"

"All right; you're 'it,' Sammie," called Susie.

So Sammie began to hop after Susie. You see, when you play stump tag
you have to keep on a stump if you don't want to be tagged. It's lots of
fun. Try it some day, if you can find a place where there are plenty of
stumps. Well, after playing this for some time, the rabbit children got
tired. Then they played other games, and they were making quite a noise,
when Uncle Wiggily Longears came out.

"You children will have to make less racket," he said, real cross like.
"Your mamma has a headache."

Then Sammie and Susie were quieter for a time, but soon they were almost
as noisy as ever.

"Now you must run right away from here!" cried Uncle Wiggily, coming to
the door of the underground house again, and he spoke still more
crossly.

"What do you s'pose ails Uncle Wiggily?" asked Susie, as she and Sammie
hopped away.

"I don't know," replied Sammie, "unless it's his rheumatism again."

"No, it can't be that. Don't you remember, the red fairy cured him?"

"Maybe it came back."

"Oh, no, fairies don't do things that way. I guess he must have
indigestion. But I wish he wouldn't be so cross, especially when mamma
has a headache and Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy can't come out to play with us. Oh,
dear! Isn't it too bad?"

"What's too bad?" asked a little voice, under a big clump of grass, and
at that moment what should come walking out but a little pink fairy. Oh,
she was the dearest little thing you ever saw! I just wish I could take
you to see her, but it's not allowed. Some day, perhaps--but there, I
must get on with the story. Well, the little pink fairy stood out in
the sunlight, and she asked again: "What is the matter?"

"Oh," explained Susie, who, by this time, had gotten used to fairies of
all kinds, "Mamma has a headache, and Uncle Wiggily is cross."

"Headache, eh? Uncle Wiggily cross. Perhaps his glasses do not fit him,"
suggested the fairy.

"Oh, I guess there's nothing the matter with his spectacles," answered
Sammie. "I saw him reading a book with them."

"You never can tell," declared the pink fairy. "Suppose you call him out
here, and we'll take a look at his glasses. Maybe he has the wrong
kind."

"What about mamma's headache?" asked Susie.

"Oh! I'll stop that in a minute," replied the fairy kindly, so she
waved her magic wand in the air three times. "Now your mamma's head is
all better," she added.

And, sure enough, when Susie ran in the burrow to ask Uncle Wiggily to
come out, if Mamma Littletail's head wasn't all well. Wasn't that just
fine? Well, at first Uncle Wiggily didn't want to come out. He was still
cross, but finally Susie begged him so hard that he did. He saw the
little pink fairy, and he asked, real cross like: "Well, what do you
want of me?"

"Aha!" exclaimed the pink fairy. "I see what the trouble is. It's your
spectacles."

"They're all right," growled Uncle Wiggily.

"They are not," declared the fairy very decidedly. "Let me look at
them," and before you could say "Pussy-cat Mole jumped over a coal," she
frisked those glasses off. "Oh!" she cried, "look here, Sammie and
Susie! What terribly gloomy spectacles!" Then she held them up, first in
front of Sammie, and then in front of Susie. And when they looked
through them the little rabbit children saw that everything was dark,
and gloomy, and dreary, and even the sun seemed to be behind a cloud.
Oh, it was as cold and unpleasant as it is just before a snowstorm. "No
wonder you were cross!" cried the fairy. "But I will soon fix matters!
Presto-chango! Ring around the rosey, sweet tobacco posey!" she cried,
and then she rubbed first one pink finger on one glass, and then another
pink finger on the other glass of the spectacles.

And a most wonderful thing happened, she smiled as she held the glasses
up in front of Sammie and Susie, and as true as I'm telling you, if
everything wasn't as bright and shining as a new tin dishpan. Oh,
everything looked lovely! The flowers were gay, and the sun shone, and
even the green grass was sort of pink, while the sky was rose-colored.

"There," said the fairy to Uncle Wiggily. "Try those."

So Uncle Wiggily Longears put on his glasses again, and he cried out:

"Why, goodness me! Oh, my suz-dud! Oh, turnips and carrots and a
chocolate cake! Oh, my goodness me!"

"What's the matter?" asked Susie.

"Why, everything looks different," answered her uncle. "Oh, how much
better I feel! Whoop-de-doodle-do!" and he began to dance a jiggity-jig.
"Who would have thought my glasses were so dark and gloomy?" he went on.
"I feel ever so much better, now. Come on, Sammie and Susie, and I'll
buy you some cabbage ice cream. And you too, little pink fairy." You
see, he had been looking through gloomy glasses all that while, and that
was what made him cross.

"Oh, thank you, I only eat rose-leaf ice cream," the fairy said. "But
I'm not hungry now. Good-luck to all of you, and may you be always
happy!" Then she turned into a little bird and flew away singing, while
Uncle Wiggily and the rabbit children went to the ice cream store. Now,
unless I'm much mistaken, to-morrow night's story will be about Sammie
and how he saved Billie Bushytail. But of course you never can tell what
will happen.



XXX

SAMMIE SAVES BILLIE BUSHYTAIL


Sammie Littletail was out in a green field digging a burrow, or
underground house. He didn't really need another house, for the one he,
and his papa, and mamma, and sister, lived in was very nice, but, as he
had nothing else to do, he thought he would dig a big hole, and, maybe,
go all the way through to China. Sammie thought he would like to see how
China looked, and he thought he might make the acquaintance of some
Chinese rabbits.

Well, he hadn't gotten down very far, and he was still a good many miles
from China, when he heard some one singing a song in a very loud voice.
Now I don't advise you to sing it quite so loudly, for you might awaken
the baby, if you have one in your house. Anyway, it does just as well to
sing it softly. This is the song Sammie heard:

    "I want to be a sailor
        And sail the ocean blue.
    I'd journey to a distant land
        And then come back to you.
    I'd bring you lots of happiness,
        A big trunk filled with joy;
    A barrel full of hickory nuts
        For every girl or boy."

Well, when Sammie heard that he cried out:

"Is that a fairy?"

"No, it's me," was the answer.

"Oh, then you must be Billie or Johnnie Bushytail," went on Sammie, for
he remembered that once the little boy squirrels went sailing and were
shipwrecked.

"Yes, I'm Billie," said the voice, and then up popped the little
squirrel. "But what did you say about a fairy?" he asked.

"I thought at first you were a fairy," continued Sammie, and then he
stopped digging the hole in the ground. "There have been such a lot of
fairies around here lately," Sammie added. "Red ones, and green ones,
and blue ones, and--"

"Are you talking about Easter eggs or something else?" inquired Billie
Bushytail.

"Fairies, of course."

"Oh, get out! Oh, ho! Don't tell me that! Why, how superfluous!" cried
Billie, for that last was a new word he had just learned. "Don't mention
fairies to me!" he continued.

"Why not?" Sammie wanted to know.

"Because I don't believe there are such things!" cried Billie, frisking
his big tail until it looked like a dusting brush that they use after
sweeping to knock the dust from the furniture onto the floor again.
"Don't talk to me like that, Sammie."

"Well," remarked the little boy rabbit, "all I've got to say is that
there _are_ fairies! But where's Johnnie? Maybe he believes in 'em."

"No, he doesn't. Besides he's gone out walking with Sister Sallie. Come
on, let's have a catch. Where's your ball?"

"I didn't bring it," replied Sammie. "But we can have some fun playing
in this hole I've dug." So they played for some time, and pretty soon,
oh, in about two and a half frisks of Billie's tail, what should happen,
but that, all of a sudden, a great big hawk swooped down from the sky
and grabbed that little boy squirrel up in its claws, and flew off with
him. Well, you can just imagine how scared Sammie was. His nose wiggled
so he sneezed three times. Then he looked up, and there was the hawk,
flying away, and away, and away with poor Billie. Oh, wasn't it
dreadful!

"Save me! Save me!" Billie cried from up there among the clouds.

"I will! I will!" shouted Sammie, and then he got so excited that he ran
around in a circle, and tried to catch his tail, but it was so short
that he couldn't even see it, no matter how fast he went around. Then he
grabbed up a stone, and he threw it at that hawk, but of course he
couldn't hit him, for the big, bad bird was too far away. "Oh, whatever
shall I do?" exclaimed Sammie. "If I could only fly now, I'd go up after
that hawk. Oh, why didn't Susie wish for wings for me and her instead of
for a golden chariot and ten boxes of chocolate-covered carrots the time
she saw the blue fairy? Oh, why didn't she? Wings would have been of
some use!"

Then he ran around after his tail some more, but he couldn't catch it,
and the hawk kept taking Billie farther and farther away, and then
Sammie cried out: "Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" three times, just like
that. Then, all at once, if the little green man didn't suddenly appear.
He always appears when any one says "Oh, dear!" three times in exactly
the right way, but it's hard to know just what is the right way.

"Well," said the little green man, "you seem to be in trouble."

"I am," cried Sammie. "A hawk has Billie Bushytail, and I want to save
him."

"Very well," said the little green man, "since you are so kind, you
shall save him. Shut your eyes, cross your front paws, and wrinkle your
nose three times and a half." So Sammie did this, and, would you
believe me? if, in another instant, the little green man hadn't changed
into a big, kind, good-natured eagle. "Get up on my back," the eagle
said to Sammie, "and we will save Billie."

So Sammie got on the eagle's back, and the big bird flew after that
hawk, and, pretty soon, it caught up to him.

"Here, you let Billie Bushytail go!" cried Sammie, and then he took a
long stick he had grabbed up, and he hit that hawk. At first the hawk
wasn't going to let go of the little squirrel, but when the eagle bit
him three times on each leg, then that bad bird was glad enough to drop
Billie and fly off. Oh, my, no, he didn't drop Billie to the ground;
that would have been too bad. He only dropped him on the eagle's back,
where Sammie was, and pretty soon the two boys were safe on the ground
once more, and the eagle had turned into a little green man again.

"I'm ever so much obliged to you for saving me, Sammie," spoke Billie.

"Oh, I couldn't have done it if it hadn't been for the green fairy,"
replied Sammie, and of course he couldn't. Then Billie thanked the
little man very kindly, and he felt sorry for not believing in fairies,
and he said he would try to, after that. So the boy squirrel and the boy
rabbit played together some more, until it was time to go home. Now, if
you don't walk in your sleep to-night, I'll tell you to-morrow about
Susie and the fairy carrot.



XXXI

SUSIE AND THE FAIRY CARROT


Susie and Sammie Littletail had been off in the woods for a walk, and to
gather some flowers, for they expected company at the underground house,
and they wanted it to look nice. Mr. and Mrs. Bushytail and Billie and
Johnnie and Sister Sallie were coming, and Susie and her brother hoped
to have a very nice time.

Well, they wandered on, and on, and on, and had gathered quite a number
of flowers, when Sammie said:

"Come on, we've got enough; let's go home."

"No," answered Susie, "I want to get some sky-blue-pink ones. I think
they are so pretty."

"I don't," answered her brother, for that color always reminded him of
the time he fell in the dye pot, when they were coloring Easter eggs.
"I'm going home. Yellow, and red, and blue, and white flowers are good
enough. I don't want any fancy colors."

"Well, you go home and I'll come pretty soon," said his sister, so while
Sammie turned back, the little rabbit girl kept on. Oh, I don't know how
far she went, but it was a good distance, I'm sure, but still she
couldn't seem to find that sky-blue-pink flower. She looked everywhere
for it, high and low, and even sideways, which is a very good place; but
she couldn't find it. And she kept on going, hoping every minute it
would happen to be behind a stump or under a bush. But no, it wasn't.

And then, all of a sudden, about as quick as you can shut your eyes and
open them again, if Susie wasn't lost! Yes, sir, lost in those woods all
alone. She looked all around, and she didn't know where she was. She'd
never been so far away from home before, and, oh, now frightened she
was! But she was a brave little rabbit girl, and she didn't cry, that
is, at first. No, she started to try to find her way back, but the more
she tried the more lost she became, until she was all turned around, you
know, like when they blindfold you and turn you around three times
before they let you try to pin the tail on the cloth donkey at a party.
Yes, that's how it was.

Well, then Susie began to cry, and I don't blame her a bit. I think I
would do the same myself. Yes, she sat right down and cried. Then she
felt hungry and she looked around for something to eat, and what should
she see, right there in the woods, but a carrot.

"Oh!" she cried, "how lucky! Now I shan't be hungry, anyhow." So she
picked up the carrot and started to eat it, when all at once that carrot
spoke to her. What's that? You don't see how a carrot could speak? Well,
it did all the same. But you just listen, please, and maybe you'll see
how it happened.

"Please don't eat me," the carrot said, in a squeaky voice.

"Why not?" asked Susie, who was very much surprised.

"Because I am a fairy carrot," it went on. Now do you see how it could
speak? Well, I guess! "Yes, I am a fairy carrot, Susie, and I can help
you. What do you want most?" it asked.

"I want to find my way home," said the little rabbit girl.

"Very well, my dear," went on the vegetable. "Place me on the ground in
front of you, stand on your hind legs, wiggle your left ear, and see
what happens."

So Susie did this, and would you believe me, for I'm not exaggerating
the least bit, if that fairy carrot didn't roll right along on the
ground in front of Susie.

    "Follow, follow, follow me,
    And you soon at home will be,"

the carrot said, in a sing-song voice, and it rolled on, still more, and
Susie followed.

First the carrot went through a deep, dark part of the woods, but Susie
wasn't at all afraid, for she believed in fairies. Then, pretty soon,
the carrot came to a great big hole. It was too big to jump over, and
too deep to crawl down into, and too wide to run around.

"Oh, dear!" cried Susie, "I don't see how I'm going to get over this."
But do you s'pose that carrot was bothered? No, sir; not the least bit.
It stretched out, like a piece of rubber, and stuck itself across that
hole until it was a regular little bridge, and Susie could walk safely
over. Then it became an ordinary fairy carrot again, and rolled on in
front of her, showing her just which way to go.

After a while she came to a great big lake, one she had never seen
before.

"Oh, how shall we get over this?" cried Susie.

"Don't worry," spoke the carrot. Then what did it do but turn into a
little boat, and Susie got into it, and sailed over that lake as nicely
as you please. Then it turned into an ordinary, garden, fairy carrot
again, and rolled on, Susie following. Pretty soon they came to a place
where the woods and brush were all on fire.

"Oh, I know we shall never get over that place!" exclaimed Susie, for
she was very much afraid of fire, because she once burned a hole in her
apron.

"Oh, we'll get over that," promised the carrot. "Just you watch me!" And
really truly, if it didn't turn into a rainstorm, and sprinkle down on
the flames, and put that fire out, and then, just so Susie wouldn't get
wet it turned into an umbrella; and held itself over her all the rest of
the way home. So Susie got safely back to the burrow, with all the
flowers but the sky-blue-pink one, and maybe she wasn't glad! And maybe
her folks weren't glad too! They had begun to worry about her, and
Sammie was just going to start off to look for her. So Susie told how
the fairy carrot had brought her home, and Uncle Wiggily said:

"Well, there are certainly queer things happening nowadays. I never
would have believed it if you hadn't told me."

Now, listen, to-morrow night's story is going to be about--let me
see--Oh! on second thought I believe there are enough stories in this
book, and, if you would like to read some more I'll have to put them in
another. How would you like to hear about some squirrels? Billie and
Johnnie Bushytail and Sister Sallie and Jennie Chipmunk and their
friends, eh? If you would like to read of them you can do so in the next
volume, which is going to be named, "Bedtime Stories: Johnnie and Billie
Bushytail." I hope you will like the squirrels, for they are very good
friends of Sammie and Susie Littletail, and Uncle Wiggily Longears, too.
Now, good-bye for a little while, dear children.



THE END





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sammie and Susie Littletail" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home