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´╗┐Title: Uncle Wiggily's Story Book
Author: Garis, Howard Roger
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 "Uncle Wiggily's Story Book" ***

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UNCLE WIGGILY'S
STORY BOOK

+By+

HOWARD R. GARIS

AUTHOR OF

Uncle Wiggily's Airship; Uncle Wiggily's
Automobile; Uncle Wiggily on the Farm;
Uncle Wiggily's Travels

[Illustration]

+Platt & Munk+, _Publishers_

NEW YORK



_UNCLE WIGGILY'S STORY BOOK_

Copyright MCMXXI and MCMXXXIX

+By+

+Platt & Munk+



CONTENTS

STORY

I. +Uncle Wiggily's Toothache+

II. +Uncle Wiggily and the Freckled Girl+

III. +Uncle Wiggily and the Mud Puddle+

IV. +Uncle Wiggily and the Bad Boy+

V. +Uncle Wiggily and the Good Boy+

VI. +Uncle Wiggily's Valentine+

VII. +Uncle Wiggily and the Bad Dog+

VIII. +Uncle Wiggily and Puss in Boots+

IX. +Uncle Wiggily and the Lost Boy+

X. +Uncle Wiggily and Stubby Toes+

XI. +Uncle Wiggily's Christmas+

XII. +Uncle Wiggily's Fourth of July+

XIII. +Uncle Wiggily and the Skates+

XIV. +Uncle Wiggily Goes Coasting+

XV. +Uncle Wiggily's Picnic+

XVI. +Uncle Wiggily's Rain Storm+

XVII. +Uncle Wiggily and the Mumps+

XVIII. +Uncle Wiggily and the Measles+

XIX. +Uncle Wiggily and the Chicken-Pox+

XX. +Uncle Wiggily's Hallowe'en+

XXI. +Uncle Wiggily and the Poor Dog+

XXII. +Uncle Wiggily and the Rich Cat+

XXIII. +Uncle Wiggily and the Horse+

XXIV. +Uncle Wiggily and the Cow+

XXV. +Uncle Wiggily and the Camping Boys+

XXVI. +Uncle Wiggily and the Birthday Cake+

XXVII. +Uncle Wiggily and the New Year's Horn+

XXVIII. +Uncle Wiggily's Thanksgiving+

XXIX. +Uncle Wiggily at the Circus+

XXX. +Uncle Wiggily and the Lion+

XXXI. +Uncle Wiggily and the Tiger+

XXXII. +Uncle Wiggily and the Elephant+

XXXIII. +Uncle Wiggily and the Camel+

XXXIV. +Uncle Wiggily and the Wild Rabbit+

XXXV. +Uncle Wiggily and the Tame Squirrel+

XXXVI. +Uncle Wiggily and the Wolf+



UNCLE WIGGILY'S GREETING


+Dear Children+:

This is a quite different book from any others you may have read about
me. In this volume I have some adventures with real children, like
yourselves, as well as with my animal friends.

These stories tell of the joyous, funny, exciting and everyday
adventures that happen to you girls and boys. There is the story about
a toothache, which you may read, or have read to you, when you want to
forget the pain. There is a story of a good boy and a freckled girl.
And there is a story about a bad boy, but not everyone is allowed to
read that.

There is a story for nearly every occasion in the life of a little boy
or girl; about the joys of Christmas, of a birthday; about different
animals, about getting lost, and one about falling in a mud puddle. And
there are stories about having the measles and mumps, and getting over
them.

I hope you will like this book as well as you seem to have cared for
the other volumes about me. And you will find some beautiful pictures
in this book.

Now, as Nurse Jane is calling me, I shall have to hop along. But I hope
you will enjoy these stories.

Your friend,
+Uncle Wiggily Longears+.



Uncle Wiggily's Story Book



STORY I

UNCLE WIGGILY'S TOOTHACHE


Once upon a time there was a boy who had the toothache. It was not a
very large tooth that pained him, and, really, it was quite surprising
how such a very large ache got into such a small tooth. At least that
is what the boy thought.

"But I'm not going to the dentist and let him pull it!" cried the boy,
holding his hand over his mouth. "And I'm not going to let anybody in
this house pull it, either! So there!" He ran and hid himself in a
corner. Girls aren't that way when they have the toothache--only boys.

"Perhaps the tooth will not need pulling," said Mother, as she looked
at the boy and saw how much pain he had.

"That's so!" exclaimed Grandma, who was trying to think of some way
in which to help the boy. "Maybe the dentist can make a little hole in
your tooth, Sonny, and fill the hole with cement, as the man filled the
hole in our sidewalk, and then all your pain will stop."

"No, I'm not going to the dentist! I'm not going, I tell you!" cried
Sonny. And I think he stamped his foot on the floor, the least little
bit. It may have been that he saw a tack sticking up, and wanted to
hammer it down with his shoe. But I am afraid it was a stamp of his
foot; and afterward that boy was sorry.

But, anyhow, his tooth kept on aching, and it was the kind called
"jumping," for it was worse at one time than another. Sometimes the boy
thought the pain jumped from one side of his tongue to the other side,
and again it seemed that it leaped away up to the roof of his mouth.

The toothache even seemed to turn somersaults and peppersaults, and
once it appeared to jump over backward. But it never completely jumped
away, which is what the boy wished it would do.

"You'd better let me take you to the dentist's," said his Mother.
"He'll either fix the tooth so it won't ache any more, or he'll take it
out, so a new tooth will grow in. And, really, the pain the dentist may
cause will only be a little one, and it will be all over in a moment.
While your tooth may ache all night."

"No, I'm not going to the dentist! I'm not going!" cried Sonny boy, and
then again he acted just as if there were a tack in the carpet that
needed hammering down with his foot.

Now it was about this time that Uncle Wiggily Longears, the bunny
rabbit gentleman, was hopping from his hollow stump bungalow in the
woods to go look for an adventure. But, as yet, Uncle Wiggily knew
nothing about the boy with the toothache. That came a little later.

"Are you going to be gone long?" asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the
muskrat lady housekeeper, of the bunny gentleman.

"Only just long enough to have a nice adventure," answered Mr.
Longears, and away he hopped on his red, white and blue striped
rheumatism crutch, with his pink, twinkling nose held in front of him
like the headlight on a choo-choo train.

Now, as it happened, Uncle Wiggily's hollow stump bungalow was not far
from the house where the Toothache Boy lived, though the boy had never
seen the rabbit's home. He had often wandered in the woods, almost in
front of the bunny's bungalow, but, not having the proper sort of eyes,
the boy had never seen Uncle Wiggily. It needs very sharp eyes to see
the creatures of the woods and fields, and to find the little houses in
which they live.

At any rate the boy had never noticed Uncle Wiggily, though the bunny
gentleman had often seen the boy. Many a time when you go through the
woods the animal folk look out at and see you, when you never even know
they are there.

And pretty soon Uncle Wiggily hopped right past the house where the
Toothache Boy lived. And just then, for about the tenth time, Mother
was saying:

"You had better let me take you to the dentist and have that toothache
stopped, Sonny."

"No! No! I don't want to! I--I'm a--a--I guess it will stop itself,"
said the boy, hopeful like.

Uncle Wiggily, hiding in the bushes in front of the boy's house,
sat up on his hind legs and twinkled his pink nose. By a strange and
wonderful new power which he had, the bunny gentleman could hear and
understand boy and girl talk, though he could not speak it himself. So
it was no trouble at all for Uncle Wiggily to know what that boy was
saying.

"He's afraid; that's what the boy is," said the bunny uncle to himself,
leaning on his red, white and blue striped crutch. "He's afraid to
go to the dentist and have that tooth filled, or pulled. Now that's
very silly of him, for the dentist will not hurt him much, and will
soon stop the ache. I wonder how I can make that boy believe this? His
mother and grandmother can't seem to."

For Mr. Longears heard Mother and Grandma trying to get that Toothache
Boy to let them take him to the dentist. But the boy only shook his
head, and made believe hammer tacks in the carpet with his foot, and he
held his hand over his mouth. But, all the while, the ache kept aching
achier and achier and jumping, leaping, tumbling, twisting, turning and
flip-flopping--almost like a clown in the circus.

"No! No! I'm not going to the dentist!" cried the boy.

Then Uncle Wiggily had an idea. He could look in through the window of
the house and see the boy. In front of the window was a grassy place,
near the edge of the wood, and close by was an old stump, shaped almost
like the easy chair in a dentist's office.

"I know what I'll do," said Uncle Wiggily. "I'll make believe I have
the toothache. I'll go get Dr. Possum and I'll sit down in this stump
chair. Then I'll tell Dr. Possum to make believe pull out one of my
teeth."

"I s'pose if Nurse Jane were here she might ask what good that would
do?" thought Uncle Wiggily. "But I think it will do a lot of good. If
that boy sees me, a rabbit gentleman, having a tooth pulled, which is
what he will think he sees, it may make him brave enough to go to the
dentist's. I'll try it."

Away hopped Uncle Wiggily to Dr. Possum's office.

"What's the matter? Rheumatism again?" asked the animal doctor.

"No, but I want you to come over and pull a tooth for me," said
Uncle Wiggily, blinking one eye, and twinkling his pink nose
surreptitious-like.

"Pull a tooth! Why, your teeth are all right!" cried Dr. Possum.

"It's to give a little lesson to a boy," whispered the bunny, and then
Dr. Possum blinked one eye, in understanding fashion.

A little later Uncle Wiggily sat himself down on the old stump that
looked like a chair, and Dr. Possum stood over him.

"Open your mouth and show me which tooth it is that hurts," said Dr.
Possum, just like a dentist.

"All right," answered Uncle Wiggily, and, from the corner of his left
eye the bunny gentleman could see the Toothache Boy at the window
looking out. The boy saw the rabbit and Dr. Possum at the old stump,
and he saw Mr. Longears open his mouth and point with his paw to a
tooth.

"Oh, Mother!" cried the boy, very much excited. "Look! There's a funny
rabbit, all dressed up in a tall silk hat, having a tooth pulled.
Grandma, look!"

"Well, I do declare!" murmured the old lady. "Isn't that perfectly
wonderful! I didn't know that animals ever had the toothache!"

"Oh, I s'pose they do, once in a while," said the Toothache Boy's
mother. "But see how brave that rabbit gentleman is! Not to mind having
the animal dentist stop his ache! Just fancy!"

Neither Grandma nor Mother said anything to Sonny Boy. All three of
them just stood at the window, and watched Uncle Wiggily and Dr.
Possum. And, as they looked, Dr. Possum put a little shiny thing, like
a buttonhook, in the bunny gentleman's mouth. He gave a sudden little
pull and, a moment later, held up something which sparkled in the sun.
It was only a bit of glass, which Uncle Wiggily had held in his paw
ready for this part in the little play, but it looked like a tooth.

"Well, I declare!" laughed Grandma. "The bunny had his tooth pulled!"

"And he doesn't seem to mind it at all," added Mother.

Surely enough, Uncle Wiggily hopped off the make-believe dentist-stump,
and with his red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch, began to
dance a little jiggity-jig with Dr. Possum.

"This dance is to show that it doesn't hurt even to have a tooth
pulled; much less to have one filled," said the bunny.

"I understand!" laughed Dr. Possum. And as he and Uncle Wiggily danced,
they looked, out of the corners of their eyes, and saw the Toothache
Boy standing at the window watching them.

"Well, I never, in all my born days, saw a sight like that!" exclaimed
Grandma.

"Nor I," said Mother. "Isn't it wonderful!"

Sonny Boy took his hand down from his mouth.

"I--I guess, Mother," he said, as he saw Uncle Wiggily jump over his
crutch in a most happy fashion, "I guess I'll go to the dentist, and
have him stop my toothache!"

"Hurray!" softly cried Uncle Wiggily, who heard what the boy said.
"This is just what I wanted to happen, Dr. Possum! Our little lesson is
over. Now we may go!"

Away hopped the bunny, to tell Nurse Jane about the strange adventure,
and Dr. Possum, with his bag of powders and pills on his tail, where he
always carried it, shuffled back to his office.

Sonny Boy went to the dentist's, and soon his tooth was fixed so it
would not ache again. He hardly felt at all what the dentist did to him.

"I--I didn't know how easy it was 'till I saw the rabbit have his tooth
pulled," said the boy to the dentist.

"Hum," said the dentist, noncommittal-like, "some rabbits are very
funny!"

And if the puppy dog doesn't waggle his tail so hard that he knocks
over the milk bottle when it's trying to slide down the doormat, I
shall have the pleasure, next, of telling you the story of Uncle
Wiggily and the freckled girl.



STORY II

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE FRECKLED GIRL


Uncle Wiggily was hopping through the woods one summer day, when, as he
happened to stop to get a drink of some water that the rain-clouds had
dropped in the cup of a Jack-in-the-pulpit flower, the bunny gentleman
heard a girl saying:

"Oh, I wish I could get them off! I wish I could scrub them off with
sandpaper, or something like that! I've tried lemon juice and vinegar,
but they won't go. And oh, they make me so homely!"

Uncle Wiggily stopped suddenly and rubbed the end of his pink,
twinkling nose with the brim of his tall, silk hat.

"This is very queer," said the bunny uncle to himself. "I wonder what
is it she has tried to take off with lemon juice? She seems very
unhappy, this little girl does."

The bunny uncle looked through the trees and, seated on a green,
mossy stump, he saw a girl about ten or twelve years old. She held a
looking-glass in her hand, and as she glanced at her likeness in the
mirror she kept saying:

"How can I get them off? How can I make them disappear so I will be
beautiful? Oh, how I hate them!"

"What in the world can be the matter?" thought Uncle Wiggily to
himself. For, as I have told you, the bunny gentleman was now able to
hear and understand the talk of girls and boys, though he could not
himself speak that language.

He hopped a little closer to the unhappy girl on the green, mossy
stump, but the bunny stepped so softly on the leaf carpet of the forest
that scarcely a sound did he make, and the girl with the mirror never
heard him.

"I wonder if I said a little verse, such as I have read in fairy books,
whether they would go away?" murmured the girl. "I've tried everything
but that. I'll do it--I'll say a magical verse! But I must make up one,
for I never have read of the kind I want in any book."

She seemed to be thinking deeply for a moment and then, shutting her
eyes, and looking up at the sun which was shining through the trees of
the wood, the girl recited this little verse:

    "Sun, sun, who made them come,
    Make them go away.
    Then I'll be like other girls,
    Happy all the day!"

"This is like a puzzle, or a riddle," whispered Uncle Wiggily to
himself, as he kept out of sight behind a bush near the stump. "What
is it she wants the sun to make go away? It can't be rain, or storm
clouds, for the sky is as blue as a baby's eyes. I wonder what it is?"

Then, as the girl took up the mirror again, and looked in it, Uncle
Wiggily saw the reflection of her face.

It was covered with dear, little brown freckles!

"Ho! Ho!" softly crooned Uncle Wiggily to himself. "Now I understand.
This girl is unhappy because she is freckled. She thinks she doesn't
look pretty with them! Why, if she only knew it, those freckles show
how strong and healthy she is. They show that she has played out in the
fresh air and sunshine, and that she will live to be happy a long, long
while. Freckles! Why, she ought to be glad she has them, instead of
sorry!"

But the girl on the stump kept her eyes shut, clenching the mirror in
her hand and as she held her face up to the sun she recited another
verse of what she thought was a mystic charm.

This is what she said:

    "Freckles, freckles, go away!
    Don't come back any other day.
    Make my face most fair to see,
    Then how happy I will be!"

Slowly, as Uncle Wiggily watched, hidden as he was behind the bush, the
girl opened her eyes and held up the looking-glass. Over her shoulder
the bunny gentleman could still see the freckles in the glass; the
dear, brown, honest, healthy freckles. But when the girl saw them she
dropped the mirror, hid her face in her hands and cried:

"Oh, they didn't go 'way! They didn't go 'way! Now I never can be
beautiful!"

Uncle Wiggily twinkled his pink nose thoughtfully.

"This is too bad!" said the bunny gentleman. "I wonder how I can help
that girl?" For, since he had helped the Toothache Boy by letting Dr.
Possum pretend to pull an aching tooth, the bunny gentleman wanted do
other favors for the children who loved him.

"I'd like to make that girl happy, even with her freckles," said the
bunny. "I'll hop off through the woods, and perhaps I may meet some of
my animal friends who will show me a way."

The bunny gentleman looked kindly at the girl on the stump. She was
sobbing, and did not see him, or hear him, as she murmured over and
over again:

"I don't like freckles! I hate them!"

Away through the woods hopped Uncle Wiggily. He had not gone very far
before he heard a bird singing a beautiful song. Oh, so cheerful it
was, and happy--that song!

"Good morning, Mr. Bird!" greeted Uncle Wiggily, for you know it is the
father bird who sings the sweetest song. The mother bird is so busy,
I suppose, that she has little time to sing. "You are very happy this
morning," the rabbit said to the bird.

"Why, yes, Uncle Wiggily, I am very happy," answered Mr. Bird, "and so
is my wife. She is up there on the nest, but she told me to come down
here and sing a happy song."

"Why?" asked the bunny.

"Because we are going to have some little birds," was the answer.
"There are some eggs in our nest, and my mate is sitting on them to
keep them warm. Soon some little birds will come out, and I will sing a
still happier song."

"That's fine," said Uncle Wiggily, thinking of the unhappy freckled
girl on the stump. "May I see the eggs in your nest?"

"Of course," answered the father-singer. "Our nest is in a low bush,
but it is well hidden. Here, I'll show you. Mrs. Bird will not mind if
you look."

The father bird fluttered to the nest, and Mrs. Bird raised her fluffy
feathers to show Uncle Wiggily some beautiful blue eggs.

"Why--why, they're _freckled_!" exclaimed the bunny gentleman. "Aren't
you birds sad because you have freckled eggs? Why, your little birds
will be freckled, too! And, if they are girl birds they will cry!"

"Why?" asked Mr. Bird in surprise. "Why will our girl birdies cry?"

"Because they'll be _freckled_," answered the bunny. "I just saw a girl
in the woods, crying to break her heart because she is freckled!"

"Nonsense!" chirped Mrs. Bird. "In the first place these are not
freckles on my eggs, though they look so. My eggs are spotted, or
mottled, and they would not be half so pretty if they were not colored
that way. Besides, being spotted as they are, makes them not so easily
seen in the nest. And, when I fly away to get food, bad snakes or cats
can not so easily see my eggs to eat them. I just love my _freckled_
eggs, as you call them!" laughed Mrs. Bird.

"Well, they are pretty," admitted Uncle Wiggily. "But will your little
birds be speckled, too?"

"Not at all," sang Mr. Bird. "Say, Uncle Wiggily!" he whistled, "if
we could get that girl here so she could see our spotted eggs, and
know how beautiful they are, even if they are what she would call
'freckled'; wouldn't that make her happier?"

"Perhaps it would," said the bunny rabbit. "I never thought of that.
I'll try it! You will not be afraid to let her see your eggs, will
you?" he asked.

"No; for girls are not like some boys--they don't rob the nests of
birds," replied the mother of the speckled eggs. "Bring the unhappy
girl here, and Mr. Bird and I will hide in the bushes while she peeps
into our nest."

"I will!" said Uncle Wiggily.

Away he hopped through the woods, and soon he came to the place where
the freckled girl was still sobbing on the stump.

"Now how can I get her to follow me through the woods, to see the nest,
when I can't talk to her?" whispered Uncle Wiggily.

Then he thought of a plan.

"I'll toss a little piece of tree-bark at her," chuckled the bunny.
"That will make her look up, and when she sees me I'll hop off
a little way. She'll follow, thinking she can catch me. But I'll keep
ahead of her and so lead her to the woods. I want to make her happy!"

The bunny tossed a bit of bark, hitting the girl on her head. She
looked around, and then she saw Uncle Wiggily, all dressed up as he was
with his tall silk hat and his red, white and blue striped rheumatism
crutch.

"Oh, what a funny rabbit!" exclaimed the girl, smiling through her
tears, and forgetting her freckles, for a while at least. "I wonder if
I can catch you?" she said.

"Well, not if I know it," whispered Uncle Wiggily to himself, for he
knew what the girl had said. "But I'll let you think you can," the
bunny chuckled to himself.

He hopped on a little farther, and the girl followed. But just as she
thought she was going to put her hands on the rabbit, Uncle Wiggily
skipped along, and she missed him. But still she followed on, and soon
Uncle Wiggily had led her to the bushes where the birds had built their
nest.

Mr. and Mrs. Bird were watching, and when they saw Uncle Wiggily and
the freckled girl, Mr. Bird began to sing. He sang of blue skies,
or rippling waters of sunshine and sweet breezes scented with apple
blossoms.

"Oh, what a lovely song!" murmured the freckled girl. "Some birds must
live here. I wonder if I could see their nest and eggs? I wouldn't hurt
them for the world!" she said softly.

Uncle Wiggily shrank back out of sight. The girl looked around for the
singing birds, and just then the wind blew aside some leaves and she
saw the nest. But she saw more than the nest, for she saw the eggs that
were to be hatched into little birds. And, more than this; the girl saw
that the eggs were spotted or mottled--freckled as she was herself!

"Oh! Oh!" murmured the girl, clasping her hands as she looked down at
the speckled eggs in the nest. "They have brown spots on, just like my
face. They are _freckled eggs_--but, oh, how pretty they are! I never
knew that anything freckled could be beautiful! I never knew! Oh, how
wonderful!"

As she stood looking at the eggs, Mr. Bird sang again, a sweeter song
than before, and the wind blew softly on the freckled face of the
unhappy girl--no, not unhappy now, for she smiled, and there were no
more tears in her eyes.

"Oh, how glad I am that the funny rabbit led me to the nest of
freckled eggs!" said the girl. "I wonder where he is?"

She looked around, but Uncle Wiggily had hopped away. He had done all
that was needed of him.

The mother bird softly fluttered down into her nest, covering the
beautiful mottled eggs with her downy wings. She was not afraid of the
girl. The girl reached out her hand and timidly stroked the mother
bird. Then she gently touched her own freckled cheeks.

"I'm never going to care any more," she whispered. "I did not know that
freckles could be so pretty. I'm glad I got 'em!"

The freckled girl walked away, leaving the mother bird on the nest,
while the father of the speckled eggs, that soon would be little birds,
sang his song of joy. The freckled girl, with a glad smile on her face,
went back to the stump, and, without looking into the mirror, she
tossed the bit of looking-glass into a deep spring.

"I don't need you any more," she said, as the glass went sailing
through the air. "I know, now, that freckles can be beautiful!"

And if the pussy cat doesn't think the automobile tire is a bologna
sausage, and try to nibble a piece out to make a sandwich for the rag
doll's picnic, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the mud
puddle.



STORY III

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE MUD PUDDLE


Did you ever fall down in a mud puddle? Perhaps this may have happened
to you when you were barefooted, with old clothes on, so that it did
not much matter whether you splashed them or not.

But that isn't what I mean.

Did you ever fall into a mud puddle when you had on your very best
clothes, with white stockings that showed every speck of mud? If
anything like that ever happened to you, when you were going to
Sunday-school, or to a little afternoon tea party, why, you know how
dreadfully unhappy you felt! To say nothing of the pain in your knees!

Well, now for a story of how a little boy named Tommie fell in a mud
puddle, and how Uncle Wiggily helped him scrub the mud off his white
stockings--off Tommie's white stockings I mean, not Uncle Wiggily's.

Tommie was a little boy who lived in a house on the edge of the wood,
near where Uncle Wiggily had built his hollow stump bungalow. No,
Tommie wasn't the same little boy who had the toothache. He was quite a
different chap.

One day the postman rang the bell at Tommie's house, and gave Tommie a
cute little letter.

"Oh, it's for me!" cried Tommie. "Look, Mother! I have a letter!"

"That's nice," said Mother. "Who sent it to you?"

"I'll look and tell you," answered the little boy. The writing in the
letter was large and plain, and though Tommie had not been to school
very long he could read a little. So he was able to tell that the
letter was from a little girl named Alice, who wanted him to come to a
party she was going to have one afternoon a few days later.

"Oh, may I go?" Tommie asked his mother.

"Yes," she answered.

"And wear my best clothes?"

"Surely you will put on your best clothes to go to the party," said
Mother. "And I hope you have a nice time!"

Tommie hoped so, too. But if only he had known what was going to
happen! Perhaps it is just as well he did not, for it would have
spoiled his fun of thinking about the coming party. And half the fun
of nearly everything, you know, is thinking about it beforehand, or
afterward.

At last the day came for the tea party Alice was to give at her home,
which was a little distance down the street from Tommie's house.

"Oh, how happy I am!" sang Tommie, as he ran about the porch.

But when, after breakfast, it began to rain, Tommie was not so happy.
He stood with his nose pressed against the glass of the window until
it was pressed quite flat. I mean his nose was flat, for the glass was
that way anyhow, you know. And Tommie watched the rain drops splash
down, making little mud puddles in the street.

"Can't I go to Alice's party if it rains?" asked Tommie.

"Well, no, I think not," Mother answered. "But perhaps it will stop
raining before it is time for you to go. You don't have to leave here
until after lunch."

Tommie turned again to press his nose against the glass, glad that the
rain was outside, so that the drops which rolled down the window could
not wet his face. And he hoped the clouds would clear away and that the
sun would shine before the time for the party.

Now about this same hour Uncle Wiggily Longears, the bunny rabbit
gentleman, was also looking out of the window of his hollow stump
bungalow in the woods, wondering, just as Tommie wondered, whether the
rain would stop.

"But surely you won't go out while it is still raining," said Nurse
Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper.

"No," answered Uncle Wiggily, "my going out is not so needful as all
that. I was going to look for an adventure, and I had rather do that in
the sunshine than in the rain. I can wait."

And then, almost as suddenly as it had started, the rain stopped.

"Oh, I'm so glad!" sang Tommie, as he danced up and down. "Now I can go
to the party!"

"And I can go adventuring," said Uncle Wiggily. Now of course he did
not hear Tommie, nor did the little boy hear the bunny. But, all the
same, they were to have an adventure together.

Tommie had been ready, for some time, to start down the street to go
to the party Alice was giving for her little girl and boy friends. All
that Tommie needed, now, was to have his collar and tie put on, and
his hair combed again, for it had become rather tossed and twisted
topsy-turvy when he pressed his head against the window, watching the
rain.

"Be careful of mud puddles!" Tommie's mother called to him, as, all
spick and span, he started down the street toward the home of Alice, a
block or so distant. "Don't fall in any puddles!"

"I'll be careful," Tommie promised.

And as Uncle Wiggily started out about this same time for his
adventure, Nurse Jane called to the bunny:

"Be careful not to get wet on account of your rheumatism."

"I'll be careful," promised Uncle Wiggily, just as Tommie had done.

Now everything would have been all right if Tommie had not stubbed his
toe as he was going along the street, about half way to the party. But
he did stumble, where one sidewalk stone was raised up higher than
another, and, before he could save himself, down in the mud puddle fell
poor Tommie! He fell on his hands and knees, and they were both soaked
in the muddy water of the puddle on the sidewalk.

Of course it did not so much matter about Tommie's hands. He could
easily wash the mud and brown water off them. But it was different with
his white stockings. Perhaps I forgot to tell you that Tommie wore
white stockings to the party. But he did, and now the knees of these
stockings were all mud!

And as he looked at his mud-soiled stockings, and at his hands, from
which water was dripping down on the sides of his legs, Tommie could
not help crying.

"I can't go to the party this way!" sobbed Tommie to himself, for he
was big enough to go down the street alone, and there were no other
children on it just then. "I can't go to the party this way! But if I
go home Mother will make me change my things, and I'll be late, and
maybe she won't let me go at all! Oh, dear!"

And in order to keep out of sight of any other boys or girls who might
come along, Tommie stepped behind some bushes that grew along the
street.

[Illustration: He looked down at his mud-soiled stockings]

And what was his surprise to see, sitting on a stone, behind this same
bush, an old gentleman rabbit, wearing glasses, and with a tall silk
hat on his head. On the ground beside him was a red, white and blue
striped crutch, for rheumatism.

But the funniest thing about the rabbit gentleman (who, as you have
guessed, was Uncle Wiggily), the funniest thing was that he had a bunch
of dried grass in one paw, and he was busy scrubbing some dried spots
of mud off his trousers. So busy was Uncle Wiggily doing this that he
neither saw nor heard Tommie come behind the bush. And Tommie was so
surprised at seeing Uncle Wiggily that the little boy never said a word.

"Why--why!" thought Tommie, as he saw the bunny take up a pine tree
cone, which was like a nutmeg grater, and scrape the dried mud off his
trousers, "he must have fallen into a mud puddle just as I did!"

And that is just what had happened to Uncle Wiggily. He had been
walking along, thinking of an adventure he might have, when he splashed
into a puddle and spattered himself with mud!

But, instead of crying, Uncle Wiggily set about making the best of
it--cleaning himself off so he would look nice again, to go in search
of an adventure.

"I'll let the mud dry in the sun," said Uncle Wiggily out loud,
speaking to himself, with his back partly turned to Tommie. "Then it
will easily scrape off."

The sun was so warm, after the rain, that it soon dried the mud on the
bunny gentleman's clothes, and with the bunch of grass, and the sharp
pine tree cone, he soon had loosened the bits of dirt.

"Now I'm all right again," said Uncle Wiggily out loud. And though
of course Tommie did not understand rabbit talk, the little boy could
see what Uncle Wiggily had done to help himself after the mud puddle
accident.

"I say!" cried Tommie, before he thought, "will you please lend me that
pine tree cone clothes brush? I want to clean the mud off my white
stockings so I can go to the party!"

Uncle Wiggily looked up in surprise! He had not known, before, that
Tommie was there; but the bunny heard what the little boy said. With a
low and polite bow of his tall silk hat, Uncle Wiggily tossed the bunch
of grass and the pine cone to Tommie. By that time the mud had dried so
the little boy could scrape most of it off his stockings.

"I hope you have a nice time at the party," said Uncle Wiggily, in
rabbit language, of course. And then, as Tommie scraped the last of the
dried mud away, leaving only a few spots on his stockings, the bunny
gentleman hopped out of the bush and on his way.

"And I can go to Alice's house without having to run home to change my
stockings," thought Tommie. "I wonder who that rabbit was?"

And when Tommie reached the party he found that he was not the only
little boy who had fallen in a mud puddle. The same thing had happened
to Sammie and Johnnie, two other boys.

"But how did you get your stockings so clean, without going home and
changing them?" asked the other boys of Tommie.

"Oh, an old rabbit gentleman, with a tall silk hat and a red, white
and blue crutch showed me how to scrape off the dried mud with a pine
cone," Tommie answered. "I cleaned my white stockings as the bunny
brushed his clothes."

"Oh, is that a fairy story?" cried the boys and girls at Alice's party.

"Well, he _looked_ like a fairy!" laughed Tommie, who had washed his
hands in the bath room at Alice's house, so they were clean for eating
cake and ice cream. "And I'm not afraid of mud puddles any more. I know
what to do if I fall in one," said Tommie.

And if the onion doesn't make tears come into the eyes of the potato
when they're playing tag around the spoon in the soup dish, the next
story will be about Uncle Wiggily and the bad boy.



STORY IV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BAD BOY


Once upon a time there was a bad boy. He lived on the edge of the wood
in which Uncle Wiggily Longears, the bunny rabbit gentleman, had built
his hollow stump bungalow. The bad boy did not know Uncle Wiggily, but
Mr. Longears knew about the bad boy, and so did Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy,
the bunny's muskrat lady housekeeper.

"Don't ever go near that bad boy's house," said Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy one
morning, as the rabbit gentleman started out with his red, white and
blue striped rheumatism crutch.

"Why not?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"Because," answered Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy, "that boy will throw stones at
you, and maybe hit you on your pink, twinkling nose."

"He can't throw stones now," said Uncle Wiggily. "He can't find any.
The ground is covered with snow."

"Then he'll throw snowballs at you," said the muskrat lady housekeeper.
"Please keep away from him."

"I'll think about it," promised the bunny gentleman, as he hopped away,
with his tall, silk hat on his head.

Now you know why, once upon a time, there was a bad boy. He was bad
because he threw stones and snowballs at rabbits and other animals.
There were more things bad about him than this, but one is enough for a
story.

Uncle Wiggily hopped on and on, across the fields and through the
woods, and soon he came to the house of the bad boy. It was a regular
house, not a hollow stump bungalow, such as that in which Mr. Longears
lived.

"I wonder if there isn't any way of making that bad boy good?" thought
the bunny rabbit gentleman. "Bad boys aren't of much use in the world,
but good boys, or girls, who put out crumbs for the hungry birds to eat
in winter--they are of great use in the world! I wonder if I could make
that bad boy good?"

But, no sooner had Uncle Wiggily began to wonder in this fashion, than,
all of a sudden, he heard a loud voice shouting:

"Hi! There he is! A rabbit! I'm going to throw a snowball at him!"

Uncle Wiggily looked over his shoulder and saw the bad boy rushing out
of his house, followed by another boy.

"Oh, what a nice, funny rabbit!" cried the second boy. "He looks as if
he came from a circus--all dressed up!"

"I'll make him turn a somersault if I can whang him with a snowball!"
shouted the bad boy, running toward the bunny gentleman.

"Perhaps I had better be going," said Uncle Wiggily, who could
understand boy and girl talk, though he could not speak it himself.
"I'll wait until some other day about trying to make this boy good."

Mr. Longears started to run, but he had not taken many hops before,
all of a sudden, he felt a sharp, thumping pain in his side, and he was
almost knocked over by a snowball thrown by the bad boy.

"Hi there! I hit him! I hit him!" howled the bad boy, dancing up and
down.

"Yes," sadly said the other chap. "You hit him, but what good did it
do?"

"It shows I'm a straight shot!" proudly answered the other. "Maybe I
can catch that rabbit now."

He ran over the snow. But though Uncle Wiggily had been knocked down by
the ball thrown by the bad boy, the rabbit gentleman managed to get to
his feet, and away he hopped on his rheumatism crutch--so fast that the
bad boy could not get him.

Then the bad boy and the other chap, who was not so bad, played in the
snow, until it was time to go home. Uncle Wiggily hopped to his hollow
stump bungalow, but he said nothing to Nurse Jane about the pain in his
side.

"If I tell her she won't let me go out to the movies to-night with
Grandpa Goosey," thought Mr. Longears.

So, though his side pained him, Uncle Wiggily said never a word, but
early that evening he hopped over to Grandpa Goosey's home in the duck
pen. And on the way Uncle Wiggily had to pass the house of the bad boy.

"But it is getting dark, and he will not see me," thought the bunny
gentleman. "I guess it will be safe."

Now it happened that, just as Uncle Wiggily was hopping under the
window of the bad boy's house, the bunny heard a voice inside saying:

"Oh, dear! How my ear aches! Oh, what a pain! Can't you do something to
stop it, Mother?"

"If I had some soft cotton I could put a little warm oil on it and
that, in your ear, would make it feel better," answered a lady's voice.
"But I have no cotton in the house. If you'll wait until I go to the
drug store----"

"No! No!" howled the voice of the bad boy. "I don't want you to go to
the store and leave me alone! Can't you get some cotton without going
to the store?"

"No," answered the mother. "You shouldn't have played out in the cold,
and thrown snowballs at the rabbit. You must have gotten some snow in
your ear to make it ache!"

"Oh, do something to make it stop!" cried the bad boy. "Oh, why haven't
we some cotton?"

Uncle Wiggily, outside under the window, heard all this talk. Now
the bunny gentleman knew where to find something like cotton without
going to the drug store. Inside each of the big brown buds of the
horse-chestnut tree is a little wad of cotton. Mother Nature puts the
cotton there to keep the bud warm through the winter, so green leaves
will come out in the spring.

Uncle Wiggily looked around and saw, lying on the snow, a branch which
the wind had broken from a horse-chestnut tree. Hopping across the
newly-fallen spring snow to this branch, Uncle Wiggily gnawed off some
of the buds. Breaking these open with his teeth, he took out some of
the soft, fluffy cotton.

"I'll just leave this on the bad boy's doorstep," thought the bunny.
"I'll tap with my crutch and hop away."

So the bunny gentleman, with the wad of cotton, skipped up the front
steps of the house when no one saw him. His paws made funny little
marks in the soft snow. Uncle Wiggily put the cotton on the sill,
tapped once, twice, three times with his rheumatism crutch, and then
hopped away.

"Somebody's at the door!" said the bad boy. "Maybe that's daddy coming
home, so he can go to the drug store and get that cotton for my aching
ear."

"Maybe," said his mother. "I hope it is."

She opened the door, and when she saw there the bunch of cotton--just
what she wanted--you can imagine how surprised she was!

"Why, who could have left it?" asked the bad boy, when his mother told
him what had happened. "Who do you s'pose did?"

"I don't know," she answered. "But I saw some rabbit tracks in the snow
on our steps."

"Rabbit tracks?" repeated the boy, wonderingly, as his mother softly
put some warm cotton and oil in his ear, making the pain almost stop.

"Yes, rabbit tracks," said Mother. "And, if I were you, I'd never throw
any more snowballs at rabbits."

The boy (I'll not call him bad any more) put his head down on the
pillow of his bed. He could go to sleep now, as the pain in his ear had
almost stopped.

"I wonder if that funny rabbit, dressed up like a little old man, could
have brought me the cotton?" said the boy.

"I wonder, too," softly spoke Mother with a smile.

"Anyhow, I won't ever throw stones or snowballs at rabbits any more,"
promised the boy.

"Or cats or dogs, either?" his mother asked.

"Or cats or dogs, either," added the boy.

Then he went to sleep, and Uncle Wiggily, picking the bits of fuzzy
horse-chestnut tree cotton off his tall, silk hat, hopped on to Grandpa
Goosey's house and went to the movies.

So that's the story of the bunny gentleman and the bad boy, and I hope
you liked it. But if the rag doll's go-cart doesn't race with the baby
carriage and slip on the banana skin as though it had on roller skates,
I'll tell you in the next story about Uncle Wiggily and the good boy.



STORY V

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE GOOD BOY


"Now do be careful to-day, please, Uncle Wiggily," begged Nurse
Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper of the bunny rabbit
gentleman, as he hopped down off the steps of his hollow stump bungalow
one morning.

[Illustration: "Now do be careful to-day."]

"Careful? Why, I'm always careful," answered the bunny, as he twinkled
one side of his pink nose and looked to make sure that his red, white
and blue striped rheumatism crutch was not painted green. "Don't you
think so, Nurse Jane?" asked Mr. Longears.

"Indeed I do not," Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy answered. "You get so excited,
looking for adventures, that you don't care whether you are chased by
the Pipsisewah or Skeezicks."

"But I always get away from them; don't I?" asked Uncle Wiggily.
"And the Woozie Wolf, the Fuzzy Fox and even the Skillery Scallery
Alligator. I always get away, Nurse Jane."

"It is hard work for you, sometimes," said the muskrat lady. "I do
wish you would be more careful, Wiggy. Besides, these new adventures
of yours--helping real girls and boys out of their troubles--are
dangerous. Of course, I love children, and I know you do, also. But
some day you'll be caught by one of these bad boys or girls."

"There aren't any bad girls," laughed Uncle Wiggily. "They are just a
bit funny; that's all. As for bad boys; well, I hope to see them all
turn good. And, anyhow, the children love me so much I don't believe
they'll harm me."

"Well, you'd better be careful just the same," Nurse Jane said. Then
she went in to dust the dishes and sweep the furniture, and Uncle
Wiggily hopped over the fields and through the woods, looking for an
adventure.

The bunny gentleman had not gone far from his hollow stump bungalow
before he saw a crowd of boys on their way to school. One of the boys
had a tin can in his hand, and another carried a piece of rope.

"Oh, maybe those boys are going camping," thought Uncle Wiggily,
"and they're going to build a campfire and cook their carrot soup,
or whatever they eat, in the tin can over the fire. I'll hide in the
bushes and watch them. And I can hear what they say."

By means of a gift which a good fairy gave him, Uncle Wiggily, for
a time, was able to hear and understand the talk of boys and girls,
though he could not, himself, speak their language. He wanted to hear
what these boys would say, so the bunny gentleman hid in the bushes.

The boys came along, laughing, shouting and trying to sing, but that
last they did not do as well as girls would have done. Somehow or
other, girls are better singers than boys.

Well, anyhow, the boys came nearer to where Uncle Wiggily was hiding in
the bushes, and, all of a sudden, one of the lads gave a whoop like a
wild Indian, and cried:

"There's a dog! Let's get him!"

"There, now!" thought Uncle Wiggily to himself. "I knew boys were good.
They want to take that dog with them to camp and give him some of the
soup they are going to boil in the tin can. I hope they don't give it
to him too hot, though, and burn his tongue."

Uncle Wiggily peeked over the top of the bush, and saw one of the boys
chasing the dog. It was a little dog; rather thin, so you could almost
count his ribs, and he did not seem to have had much to eat of late.
And as soon as the dog saw the boy running after him, that dog began to
run also.

"Why, that's queer," said Uncle Wiggily. "Why does the dog run away
from that good boy? If I were only nearer I'd tell the dog that the boy
is going to be kind to him and give him tomato-can camp-soup."

"Oh, let the dog go!" called a red-haired boy to the one who was
running along with the tin can in his hand.

"No, I'm going to catch him and tie this tin can on his tail," the
first boy answered. "You ought to see how fast he'll run when he has
this tin can on his tail!"

"Dear me!" thought Uncle Wiggily, hardly able to believe what he heard.
"Tie a tin can on a dog's tail! And I thought that boy was going to be
kind! Oh, oh, what a mistake I made!"

Most of the boys turned off on another path and went to school, but the
one with the tin can chased after the dog, and another boy, who seemed
very nice and quiet, stayed near the bush, behind which Uncle Wiggily
was hidden. Finally the boy with the tin can caught the poor, thin,
yelping dog, and carried him back to the bush.

"Where's that piece of rope?" asked the bad boy, holding the yelping,
squirming little dog under one arm, while in the other hand he carried
the empty tin can.

"What are you going to do with the rope?" asked the quiet boy. He held
his hands behind his back.

"I'm going to use the rope to tie this tin can on the dog's tail,"
answered the bad boy. "That's what I am!"

"Then I won't give it to you," spoke the quiet lad. "I'm not going to
let you tie any tin can to a dog's tail if I can help it! There! You
can't have the rope!"

With a sudden motion he threw, away over in the weeds, the rope, which
he had picked up after another lad had dropped it to go to school.

"Oh, ho! So that's what you're going to do, is it?" cried the bad boy.
"I'll fix you for that!"

He dropped his tin can; but still holding the poor dog under his arm,
the bad boy rushed at the quiet chap.

"I'll make you get that rope and help me tie the tin can on this dog's
tail!" cried the bad boy.

"I think it is about time for me to do something," said Uncle Wiggily
to himself. The bunny gentleman, hidden behind the bush, had heard all
that was said.

All of a sudden, just as the bad boy was going to hit the quiet lad,
for not helping to tie the tin can on the dog's tail, Uncle Wiggily
turned, and, in the soft sand and dirt, began to dig very fast with his
paws.

Now a rabbit gentleman is one of the best diggers in the world. With
his paws he can make himself a burrow, or underground house, almost
before you can eat a lollypop. And Uncle Wiggily, pawing in the dirt,
made a regular shower of sand, gravel and little stones fly right in
the face of the bad boy.

By looking over his shoulder Uncle Wiggily could see which way to dig
so that the sand would go in the eyes of the bad boy, but not in the
face of the one who was kind to animals.

Whiff! Whiff! Whiff! the sand, gravel and little stones shot over the
top of the bushes, and spattered all over the bad boy.

"Say! Who's doing that?" cried the unkind chap, trying to hold his arm
in front of his face to keep the sand out of his eyes. "If you fellows
don't stop that----"

But he couldn't say any more, for a lot of sand went flying into his
mouth. He dropped the poor, thin dog, who ran away and hid himself in a
hollow tree, and then the bad boy had to use both hands to wipe out the
gravel that rattled down inside his shirt, and so he couldn't hit the
kind boy.

"Who's scattering that gravel?" cried the bad boy, scowling.

"I don't see anyone," said the other, smiling.

But there was Uncle Wiggily, behind the bush, scattering the gravel
with his paws in a regular shower.

"I wish Nurse Jane could see me now," chuckled the bunny gentleman.
"She surely would laugh."

At last so much gravel, sand and little stones showered into the face
of the bad boy that he ran away, crying:

"Oh! Oh! Oh! Something terrible must have happened! I guess I'd better
not tie any tin cans on dogs' tails any more."

"I guess you'd better not," said the other boy.

"And I say the same," laughed Uncle Wiggily, as he brushed some dust
off his tall, silk hat, and straightened his necktie. Then the bunny
gentleman watched, while the kind boy went to the hollow tree and
patted the poor, frightened little dog. And then this boy hid the tin
can where no other boys could find it, and went on to school.

And I think--mind you I'm not sure--but I think that bad boy turned
good after that. Anyhow if he didn't he ought to.

"Well, I had quite an adventure," said the bunny rabbit gentleman, as
he hopped on to his hollow stump bungalow. "A very good adventure!"

And if the jumping jack doesn't cut a slice off the mud pie with the
bread-knife, and tell the rag doll it's a piece of chocolate cake, I'll
tell you next about Uncle Wiggily's valentine.



STORY VI

UNCLE WIGGILY'S VALENTINE


Uncle Wiggily quickly hopped across the room and closed the door of his
hollow stump bungalow, where he was busy in the sitting room. He heard
Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy coming along.

"Well, that's queer!" exclaimed the muskrat lady housekeeper, as she
noticed what Uncle Wiggily did. "I wonder what he means? Wiggy," she
called, "are you getting ready for some strange, new adventure, such as
stopping bad boys from tying tin cans on dogs' tails?"

"Nothing like that now; no, my dear," answered the bunny rabbit, and he
quickly pulled the table cover over something he had been looking at.
"This is a secret!"

"Oh--a secret!" exclaimed Nurse Jane, puzzled-like.

The muskrat lady looked at a calendar hanging on the wall, and noticed
that the day was February 14.

"I think I can guess what your secret is, Uncle Wiggily," she said to
herself. "I s'pose it's something for Mrs. Twistytail, the pig lady, or
maybe for Grandpa Goosey Gander. Well, I hope you enjoy it."

Then Nurse Jane went back to the dining room, where she was giving the
dishes their morning bath; and Uncle Wiggily began to rustle some paper
and tie knots in a piece of gold string, the while murmuring to himself:

"I hope she likes it! Oh, I do hope she likes it. I'll put it on the
steps, throw a stone at the door so she thinks someone is knocking, and
then I'll run and hide behind a bush and watch how surprised she is
when she opens it."

Uncle Wiggily had been very busy all that morning, after having been
out in the woods the day before. What he had made I shall tell you
about in a little while. Enough now for you to know that the bunny
rabbit had something he did not want Nurse Jane to see.

Pretty soon, after opening the door a crack, and listening to Miss
Fuzzy Wuzzy wash the face of the clock, Uncle Wiggily hopped softly
out and down the front steps, with a box under his paw. His tall silk
hat was on rather sideways, and he carried his red, white and blue
striped rheumatism crutch upside down, but when you remember that it
was February 14, I think you will kindly excuse the bunny gentleman.

Uncle Wiggily hopped on through the woods, and over the fields. Every
now and then he would stop, and, with his crutch, brush to one side
the dried leaves and little heaps of snow that were scattered here and
there in the forest.

"I hope I may find some," said Mr. Longears to himself. "It won't be
half so pretty without them. I hope I find some."

He searched in many places, and at last he found what he was looking
for. Carefully he picked something up off the ground, and put it in the
box he carried.

"Nurse Jane will surely like this," said the bunny gentleman. He was
about to hop on again when, all of a sudden, he heard someone crying in
the woods. There was a sobbing sound and, looking around the corner of
a tree, Uncle Wiggily saw a little girl, sitting on a log. And she was
crying as hard as she could cry!

"That isn't the Freckled Girl," said the bunny gentleman to himself.
"She said she wouldn't mind her freckles after she looked at the pretty
speckled birds' eggs. It isn't the Freckled Girl. I wonder who she is,
and what's the matter?"

And pretty soon Uncle Wiggily found out, for he heard the sobbing girl
say:

"Oh, I wish I had money enough to buy one! All the other girls and boys
can buy valentines to send teacher, but I can't! And she'll think I
don't like her, but I do! Oh, I wish I had a valentine!"

"My goodness me sakes alive and some peanut pudding!" whispered the
bunny rabbit gentleman. "That girl is crying because she hasn't a
valentine for her teacher!"

Then the bunny gentleman looked down at the box, wrapped in tissue
paper, which he carried under his paw--the box in which he had placed
something he had found under the leaves and snow of the forest a little
while before.

"She wants a valentine," murmured the bunny rabbit gentleman. "And here
I have one that I made for Nurse Jane. I was going to leave it on the
steps and surprise my muskrat lady housekeeper. But I suppose I could
give it to this little girl, and--well, Nurse Jane won't care, when I
tell her."

"I'll do it! I'll give this girl my valentine," said Uncle Wiggily so
suddenly that his pink nose almost twinkled backward.

He looked over the top of a bush behind which he had sat down to wrap
up Nurse Jane's valentine. Then the bunny hopped over to the girl who
sat on the log, still sobbing because she had no token for her teacher.

The girl heard the rustling in the leaves, made by Uncle Wiggily's paws
as he hopped, and she looked up suddenly. Then she rubbed her eyes,
hardly able to believe what she saw.

"Why! Why!" she murmured. "Am I dreaming? Is this a fairy? A rabbit
gentleman, dressed in a tall silk hat, and with his red, white and blue
striped rheumatism crutch! Oh! Why, it's Uncle Wiggily! It's Uncle
Wiggily out of my Bedtime Story Books! Oh, how glad I am to see you,
dear Uncle Wiggily! Please come up and sit by me on this log!"

But Uncle Wiggily was not allowed to do this. He put his paw over his
lips, to show that though he could hear, and understand what the girl
said, he could not talk to her in reply. Then he placed his valentine
beside her on the log and quickly hopped away.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily! Wait a minute! Please wait a minute!" cried the
girl, but the bunny gentleman dared not stay.

"I must try and find Nurse Jane another valentine," he said to himself,
as he skipped along the woodland paths.

Left alone, the girl on the log opened the box Uncle Wiggily had left.
It was made from pieces of white birch bark, such as the Indians used
for their canoes. Inside, were some sprigs from an evergreen tree, with
some round, brown buttons from the sycamore tree. And in the middle
of the evergreen sprigs were some lovely pink and white blossoms of
the trailing arbutus--the earliest flower of Spring--growing under the
leaves and late snows. It was these arbutus flowers which the bunny had
come to the woods to find and complete his valentine. Now he had given
it to the girl.

"Oh, how lovely!" she murmured, tears no longer in her eyes. "Won't
teacher be surprised when I put this on her desk and tell her Uncle
Wiggily gave it to me? Oh, there's a verse, too!"

And there was! Written on a piece of white birch bark, which is what
the animal folk use instead of paper, was this little verse:

  "These twigs of cedar, like my heart,
    Are ever green for you.
  The blossoms whisper that I am
    Your Valentine so true!"

"I know teacher will just love this!" said the little girl, and she was
so excited she could hardly run to school. She had to hop and skip.

"Here's a valentine Uncle Wiggily gave me in the woods," the little
girl told her teacher, all excited and out of breath.

"Uncle Wiggily? How strange!" exclaimed the teacher. "I--I hope you
didn't dream it," she said to the little girl. "But, at any rate, the
valentine is real. And how lovely! It's the very nicest one I ever saw!"

Then you can imagine how pleased the little girl was. Uncle Wiggily,
hopping back to his bungalow through the woods, gnawed a piece of white
birch bark off a tree, and, with a burned, black stick for a pencil, he
scribbled on it:

"Dear Nurse Jane: This is my valentine. I love you!"

"+Uncle Wiggily.+"

And when the muskrat lady found that on the doorstep a little later,
she laughed and said it was the nicest valentine she could wish for.
And when Uncle Wiggily told about giving the other valentine to the sad
little girl, the muskrat lady said:

"You did just right, Wiggy! Now let's go to the movies!"

So they did. And if electric light doesn't cry when it has to go down
cellar in the dark, to get a piece of coal for the fire to play with,
you shall next hear about Uncle Wiggily and the bad dog.



STORY VII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BAD DOG


Once upon a time, about as many years ago as it takes a lollypop to
slide down the back cellar door, there lived in a kennel, not far from
Uncle Wiggily's hollow stump bungalow, a bad dog. And the bunny rabbit
gentleman, more than once, wished that this dog would always stay in
his kennel, or remain chained in front of it so he couldn't get loose.

"For that dog," said Uncle Wiggily to Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, "is the
pest of my life! Every time he sees me he chases me. He isn't at all
like Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, or Old Dog Percival."

"Why don't you scratch sand and gravel in his eyes as you did in the
face of the bad boy?" asked the muskrat lady housekeeper.

"You can't treat dogs as you do boys," replied Uncle Wiggily. "Though,
of course, some boys and some dogs are great friends. But this dog
seems always to want to chase me."

"Then you must be very careful if you go off in the woods to-day,
looking for an adventure," said Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy.

"I will," promised the bunny rabbit gentleman.

Away he hopped on his red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch,
and his tall, silk hat. And this time Uncle Wiggily took with him his
glasses, which he sometimes wore in order to see better.

"And I want to see the very best I can to-day," said Mr. Longears to
himself, as he hopped along. "I want to see that bad, unpleasant dog
before he sees me!"

Uncle Wiggily was skipping along, thinking perhaps that he had better
pick a bunch of violets and take them to the lady mouse teacher in the
hollow stump school, when, all of a sudden, there sounded through the
woods a loud:

"Wuff! Wuff!"

"That isn't the Fox, nor yet the Wolf, nor even the Skillery Scallery
Alligator," said Uncle Wiggily, looking around the corner of the
mulberry bush. "I think it must be that savage dog!"

And, surely enough it was. And a moment later the dog came bursting
through the bushes, barking and growling and headed straight for Uncle
Wiggily.

"I'll make believe I'm playing baseball and try for a home run!" said
the rabbit gentleman to himself, and through the bushes, turning and
twisting this way and that, he ran for his hollow stump bungalow.

Uncle Wiggily reached it only just in time, too. For as he hopped up
the steps, and closed the door, locking it, the dog jumped over the
gate.

"My goodness me sakes alive and a basket of soap bubbles!" cried Nurse
Jane. "What's the matter, Wiggy? Is the house on fire?"

"It's that dog--chasing--me!" panted the bunny, for he was quite out
of breath.

"The idea! How impolite of him!" exclaimed the muskrat lady, and she
shook her broom out of the window at the bad chap.

"Well, you got away from me this time, but the next time I'll get you,"
growled the dog, as he slunk away.

"Why is he so anxious to catch you?" asked Nurse Jane, as Uncle Wiggily
sat down in an easy chair to rest.

"Oh, I guess he'd chase any of the animal folk he saw in the wood,"
answered the bunny gentleman. "He'd chase Sammie or Susie Littletail
the rabbits, Johnnie or Billie Bushytail the squirrels and I'm sure he
would make Lulu, Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, the duck children, lose
their feathers in trying to flutter away from him."

"It's too bad," said Nurse Jane. "You ought to speak to Old Percival,
the Policeman Dog about this bad chap."

"I shall," said Uncle Wiggily. He did, too, but the bad dog was so sly
that Old Percival could not catch him. Uncle Wiggily also spoke to the
little dog, whom he had saved from having a tin can tied on his tail by
a bad boy.

"I'll tell this savage dog to let you alone," the little chap promised.

But all this did no good. Every time the bad dog saw Uncle Wiggily
in the woods he chased the rabbit gentleman, and once nearly caught
the bunny. I don't know why this dog was so unpleasant and mean
toward Uncle Wiggily. I guess maybe the dog didn't know any better.
Perhaps he thought Uncle Wiggily didn't like dogs, but Mr. Longears
did--especially Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the little puppy chaps.

Well, as it happened, one day the people who owned the big, savage dog,
that always chased Uncle Wiggily, went away on a visit. And they went
in such a hurry that they left the dog chained to his kennel, and they
forgot to leave him any water to drink, or food to eat.

At first the dog was not hungry, but later in the day, when it was time
for him to have had a meal, and some water, that dog began to feel very
unhappy.

"Bow! Wow! Wow!" he barked, trying to call someone out to feed him, and
pour water in the sun-dried pan. But no one came, and the dog grew more
hungry, and so thirsty that his tongue hung down out of his mouth.

Just about this time Uncle Wiggily was going through the woods on
his way to the six and seven cent store to get Nurse Jane a spool of
thread. The bunny rabbit heard the barking of the dog, and started to
run, for he knew that voice. But as he paused to listen, and find out
from which direction the sound came, so he could run away from it,
instead of toward it, Uncle Wiggily heard a voice saying:

"Bow wow! Oh, how hungry I am! How thirsty I am!"

It was the savage dog speaking, and Uncle Wiggily of course understood
animal talk, even better than he had learned to know, as he had of
late, what boys and girls said.

"Hum! So that dog is hungry and thirsty, is he?" said the bunny to
himself. "Well, why doesn't he go and dig up some of the bones he must
have buried? And why doesn't he go to the duck pond and get a drink, I
wonder?"

Uncle Wiggily thought there was something strange about this, and
as the barking and animal-talking voice of the dog did not come any
nearer, the bunny hopped over to see what was the matter.

There he saw the savage dog, fastened by a heavy chain to his kennel,
with nothing to eat, no water to drink and no one to bring him any.

"Oh, how hungry I am! How thirsty I am!" barked the dog.

[Illustration: "Oh, are you?" politely asked Uncle Wiggily]

"Oh, are you?" politely asked Uncle Wiggily, looking out from behind a
stone. He was not afraid to be this near the bad dog, for the savage
chap was chained, and could not get loose.

"Yes, I am very thirsty and hungry," whined the dog. "But of course
I don't expect you to feed me or give me water. I've been too bad to
you--I've chased you too often! I can't ask you to help me!"

"I don't see why not," said Uncle Wiggily politely. "If I were ill in
my bungalow, with rheumatism, and Nurse Jane wasn't there to wait on
me, and you came along, wouldn't you get me a drink of water?"

The dog thought a moment before answering. Then he sort of drooped his
tail, sorry-like and softly said:

"Yes, I believe I would."

"Then," said the bunny gentleman, "I'll bring you a drink, and if you
tell me where you have buried some bones, I'll dig them up for you,
since I can't loosen your kennel chain to let you dig them yourself."

"Oh, how kind you are!" said the dog. "I--I really don't deserve this."

"Stuff and nonsense!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "We all make
mistakes--that's why they put rubbers on the end of lead pencils, as
someone has said. I'll help you when you're in trouble."

Then the bunny found a half a cocoanut shell, and dipping this in the
nearby brook, brought water to the thirsty dog. And when he had taken
a long drink, cooling his parched and hot tongue, the dog pointed to
where he had buried some bones, behind the barn.

Uncle Wiggily dug up the bones with his paws, which were just made for
such work, and carried them to the dog.

"Oh, I can't thank you enough," said Gurr-Rup, which was the dog's
name. "And I promise, Mr. Longears, that I'll never chase you again."

"Thank you!" laughed the bunny, as he hopped on to the three and four
cent store. "I hoped you wouldn't."

So this teaches us that it doesn't hurt the needle to put the thread
in its eye, and if the apple doesn't jump out of the dumpling, and try
to hide in the chocolate cake, when it ought to take the pie to the
moving pictures, on the next page you will find a story about Uncle
Wiggily and Puss in Boots.



STORY VIII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND PUSS IN BOOTS


"Where are you going, Uncle Wiggily?" called Nurse Jane Fuzzy one day,
as the muskrat lady saw the bunny gentleman hopping away from his
hollow stump bungalow.

"I am going to get myself a new pair of rubber boots," said Mr.
Longears. "My old ones are wearing out, and they have little holes in,
so they leak. We have had so much rain, of late, that I will need a new
pair of boots if I am to look for any more adventures. So I am going to
the shoemaker's."

"But why are you taking your old boots along?" asked Nurse Jane, for
Uncle Wiggily had them under his paw.

"I am taking them to the shoemaker to show him what size I want my new
boots," answered the bunny. "Also he may be able to mend these old ones
so they will do to wear in the garden."

"That's a good idea," said Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy. "And while you are out I
wish you would go to the seven and eight cent store for me. I want some
needles and thread, some balls of red yarn and some white flannel."

"My! All that! Are you going to make a bedquilt?" asked the bunny
gentleman.

"No," laughed Nurse Jane. "I am going to use the white flannel to make
me a new petticoat, the red yarn I am going to use to knit Sammie and
Susie Littletail, the rabbit children, some mittens, and the needle and
thread I will use to sew up a hole in the lace curtain."

"Very well," spoke Uncle Wiggily politely, "you shall have all three,
and I'll get myself a new pair of boots."

It did not take the bunny rabbit gentleman long to hop to the shop of
the Monkey Doodle shoemaker, where Mr. Longears bought himself a new
pair of rubber boots.

"As for those old ones," said the Monkey chap, "I can mend them for
you, so they will do to wear many times yet."

"Please do so," begged the bunny. And when his old boots were mended he
carried them over his shoulder with the new ones, for he was wearing
his shoes. Along he hopped to the seven and eight cent store.

Uncle Wiggily bought the needles, thread, white flannel and red yarn
for the rabbit children's mittens, and he was hopping back to his
hollow stump bungalow, when, all of a sudden, coming from behind a
sassafras bush, he heard a voice saying:

"Oh, dear! How sad! Now I suppose they'll take me out of all the story
books, and the children will never love me any more!"

"Hum! This is strange," said Uncle Wiggily to himself. "I wonder who
it is that can't be in the story books any more? That is very sad! I
wouldn't want them to put me out of all the Bedtime Story Books in
which I have my adventures."

So the bunny gentleman looked around the corner of a lollypop bush,
and there he saw a cat, dressed in a coat, trousers and cap, but
without anything on his hind paws, sitting on a stump.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Cat!" politely greeted Uncle Wiggily. "You seem to
be in trouble."

"I am," was the answer. "Only my name is Puss, and not Cat, though, of
course, that's what I really am. Puss in Boots is my right name, but
there is no use trying to keep it any longer."

"Why not?" Uncle Wiggily asked.

"Because I have lost my boots," answered Puss. "A little while ago I
met a cross dog who chased me. I ran across a swamp and became stuck
in the mud. I managed to pull my paws out of the boots, but the boots
themselves remained fast in the mud. Now I have no boots and I can be
called Puss in Boots no longer! I shall have to keep out of all the
story books!"

[Illustration: "I have lost my boots," answered Puss]

"Nonsense!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "Why, I have two pairs of boots
here! Take one of them, I can only wear one pair of boots at a time,"
and very politely Mr. Longears gave his new boots to the cat.

"Oh, but I can't take your new boots!" objected Puss. "The old ones
will do me very well."

"No," kindly insisted Uncle Wiggily. "Please take the new ones. Since
my old ones were mended they will answer me very well, and they'll be
easier on my paws."

So Uncle Wiggily gave Puss the new boots, keeping the old mended ones
for himself, and as the cat put the boots on his paws he looked just as
he ought to--like his pictures in the story books.

"Now I can keep my place, the children will not miss me. Thank you,
Uncle Wiggily," mewed Puss.

"Pray do not mention it," said the bunny. "I am glad I don't have to
carry two pairs of boots."

So Mr. Longears hopped on a little farther, and soon he heard some tiny
voices saying:

  "Oh, Mother dear! Look here! Look here!
  Our mittens we have lost!"

"Ho! I should know who they are!" said the bunny. "Those must be the
three kittens!"

And, surely enough, they were, as the bunny saw a moment later, when
he turned around the corner of a mulberry tree. There were three little
pussy kittens, holding up their paws for their mother to see, and there
wasn't a single mitten on any one of the paws! What do you think of
that?

  "What, lost your mittens! You careless kittens!
  Now you can't have any pie!"

Thus sang the mother cat. And when the three little kittens, who had
lost their mittens, began to cry, Uncle Wiggily felt so sorry for them
that he stepped up and said:

"Excuse me, Mrs. Cat. But I have a lot of red yarn I bought for Nurse
Jane to knit mittens for Sammie and Susie Littletail. There is more
than Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy needs, I'm sure, so I shall give you some to knit
mittens for your pussies."

"Oh, how kind you are!" mewed the mother cat, as Uncle Wiggily gave her
three balls of red yarn, still leaving plenty for the rabbit children's
mittens. "Now you may have some pie, and I'll give Uncle Wiggily a
piece, too," said the cat mother to her kittens.

"You are very kind," remarked Mr. Longears. "But I must hop on with the
needle and thread, and the piece of white flannel Nurse Jane is going
to use to make herself a new petticoat."

So on hopped the bunny, while the mother cat sat down to knit some
new mittens for her kittens. And Uncle Wiggily had not gone very far
before, all of a sudden, he heard another sad mewing sound and a voice
said:

"Dear me! The hole goes all the way through! I shall never be able to
go to see Old Mother Hubbard this way! Oh, what an accident!"

"That sounds like more trouble," thought Uncle Wiggily, and, looking
over the top of a stone wall, he saw a pussy cat lady sitting on a
stump, sadly looking at her skirt.

"What is the matter?" asked Mr. Longears.

"Oh! How you surprised me!" mewed the cat lady. "But here is the
trouble. I'm Pussy Cat Mole. I jumped over a coal, and in my best
petticoat burned a great hole!" and she showed the edge of her
petticoat where, surely enough, a hole was burned through.

"And I ought to be at Mother Hubbard's now, to go with her to the
movies," said Pussy Cat Mole. "But, alas, I can not go!"

"Oh, yes, you can!" said Uncle Wiggily.

"Not with this big burned hole in my petticoat!" mewed the cat.

"Ah, but you shall sew on a patch," said the bunny. "I have here needle
and thread, and some white flannel. Can't you mend your best petticoat
with all those?"

"Indeed I can," mewed Pussy Cat Mole. "Thank you, so much!"

Uncle Wiggily gave her a needle and thread, and with her claws Miss
Mole tore off a piece of white flannel, for there was more than
Nurse Jane needed. She sewed the patch neatly on, and then, with her
petticoat nicely mended, Pussy Cat Mole went on to Mother Hubbard's.

"Ah, how delightful it is to be helpful," said Uncle Wiggily, as he
hopped back to his bungalow. And he was very glad he had met the three
cats, one after another. For a little later that day the bad Woozie
Wolf chased the bunny.

But the mother of the three kittens, after she had knit their mittens,
tickled the wolf with her knitting needles. Puss with the boots,
stepped on the wolf's tail so hard that he cried "Ouch!" And Pussy Cat
Mole ran at the wolf with a piece of red stone, which she pretended was
a red hot coal that in her best petticoat had burned a great hole.

"I'll burn you! I'll burn you!" she mewed at the wolf.

"Then this is no place for me!" he howled, and away he ran, not hurting
the bunny at all. And how the bunny gentleman and the three cats
laughed!

So if the elephant from the Noah's Ark doesn't drop a cold penny down
the back of the gold fish and make it sneeze, the next story is going
to be about Uncle Wiggily and the lost boy.



STORY IX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE LOST BOY


"There goes that boy out again, flying his kite," said Nurse Jane Fuzzy
Wuzzy, as she looked from the window of the hollow stump bungalow one
morning.

"What boy?" Uncle Wiggily wanted to know.

"The new boy who has just moved into the red brick house," answered the
muskrat lady housekeeper. "I hope he isn't a bad boy, who will chase
you, Uncle Wiggily, and come to the forest to play tricks on Sammie and
Susie Littletail, and the other animal boys and girls."

"Oh, he doesn't look like that kind of a boy," said the bunny rabbit
gentleman, as he sat down to eat his breakfast of carrot pancakes
with turnip maple sugar gravy sprinkled down the middle. "But I'll be
careful until I get to know him better."

Uncle Wiggily's hollow stump bungalow had lately been rebuilt near the
edge of a wood, and, just beyond the thicket of trees and tangle of
bushes was a small town, where lived many boys and girls.

Only a few of these boys and girls knew about the bunny rabbit
gentleman, and his muskrat lady nurse, and those who did were kind to
Uncle Wiggily, because the rabbit gentleman had been kind to them,
doing them many favors.

But now that a new boy had moved into the red brick house, Uncle
Wiggily felt that he must not hop around in too lively a fashion, until
he found out whether the boy was bad or good. For there are some bad
boys, you know.

"He seems quiet enough," said Nurse Jane, as she spread some lettuce
marmalade on a slice of bread for Uncle Wiggily. "He sits there flying
his kite. I guess it will be safe for you to go to the store for me,
Wiggy."

"What do you want from the store?" asked the bunny gentleman, as he
took his tall, silk hat down off the piano. Sometimes he went to the
store quite dressed up. At other times he would put on an old cap and
overalls, just as he came from the garden.

"I want another ball of red yarn," Nurse Jane answered. "I did not
have quite enough to knit the mittens for Sammie and Susie, the rabbit
children."

"I suppose that's because I gave some of the yarn to the three little
kittens who lost their mittens," said the bunny, twinkling his pink
nose upside down, to make sure it would not fall off as he hopped along.

"Well, that's one of the reasons," Nurse Jane answered. "But I'm glad
you helped the little kittens. You can easily get me another ball of
yarn."

"Of course," Uncle Wiggily agreed, and soon he was hopping over the
fields and through the woods, on his way to the store. Not one of the
stores where the boys and girls bought their toys and lollypops, but a
special animal store, kept by a Monkey Doodle gentleman.

And as Uncle Wiggily hopped along under the bushes, near the house of
the Kite Boy, the bunny heard the boy's mother say:

"Don't go away and get lost, Buddie!"

"No'm, I won't!" promised the boy, as he held his kite string in his
hand and watched his toy fly high in the air.

Uncle Wiggily stopped for a moment, underneath a big burdock plant, and
looked at Buddie, which was the boy's pet name. Buddie could not see
the rabbit gentleman. If he had, Buddie would have been much surprised
to notice a bunny with glasses and a tall silk hat.

The wind blew the kite higher into the air, and Uncle Wiggily thought
of the many times he had helped Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the
squirrels, fly their kites, and how he had, more than once, made kites
for Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the puppy dog boys.

Then the bunny gentleman hopped on to the store to get the ball of red
yarn for Nurse Jane. He stayed some little time, Mr. Longears did, for
he met Grandfather Goosey Gander, and talked to the old gentleman duck
about rheumatism, and what to do when you sneezed too much.

But finally Uncle Wiggily started back for his hollow stump bungalow,
and soon he was in the middle of the wood, about half way home. And all
of a sudden the bunny gentleman heard a crying voice saying:

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear! I don't know where my home is! I'm lost! Oh, dear!
I'm lost!"

Mr. Longears peered through the bushes, and there he saw the boy from
the red brick house, who held in his hand a broken kite.

"Ah, I see what has happened!" said the bunny. "His kite broke loose
from the string. Forgetting what he promised his mother, about not
going away, the boy ran after his kite, over into the woods, and now he
is lost. I wonder if I can help him find his way home?"

Uncle Wiggily did not show himself yet. Hiding behind the bushes, the
bunny followed the lost boy as he wandered about among the trees, not
knowing which way to go.

"Oh, where is my house?" said the boy over and over again. "Why can't I
find it?"

Then a mournful voice cried:

"Woo! Woo! Woo!"

"Oh, dear! What's that?" exclaimed the lost boy, suddenly stopping.

"It's only an owl bird," said Uncle Wiggily to himself. He wished he
might speak to the boy, and tell him this, but though the bunny could
understand boy-talk, the boy couldn't understand rabbit language.

The Kite Boy went on a little farther, and then he heard a rustling in
the dried leaves.

"Oh-o-o-o!" gasped the lost boy. "Maybe that's a snake!"

"Nonsense!" laughed Uncle Wiggily to himself. "It is only a brown
thrush bird, scattering the leaves to look for something to eat. And,
even if it were a snake it wouldn't hurt the boy. I wish I might tell
him so."

The boy wandered along a little farther, and suddenly there boomed out
through the forest a sound of:

"Ga-rump! Ga-roomp! Ga-Zing!"

"Oh, maybe that's a giant!" cried the boy, dropping his broken kite.

"Ha! Ha!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "That's only Grandpa Croaker, the big
bull frog who tells such funny stories to Bully and Bawly No-Tail, the
frog boys! How Grandpa Croaker will laugh when I tell him the lost boy
thought him a giant! But I must help this boy out of the woods, or his
mother will be worried."

"Let me see, how can I do it without letting him see me? Ha! I have
it. This ball of red yarn. I'll hop to the edge of the wood, near his
house, and fasten one end of the red yarn to a tree there. Then I'll
come back, unwinding the ball on the way, and when I get to the boy,
I'll toss him what is left of the ball. Then all he'll have to do will
be to follow the red cord right to his house."

[Illustration: It lead the boy home]

No sooner said than done! Uncle Wiggily knew his way through the
forest, even in the dark, and he soon reached the edge of the wood and
saw the boy's red brick house.

Then, tying one end of the red yarn to the bush near where the boy had
been sitting to fly his kite, Uncle Wiggily turned back, unrolling the
ball as he hopped along. He soon came to the lost boy again, and the
poor little chap was crying harder than ever.

Over the bush and at the feet of the boy, the bunny tossed the little
ball of yarn that remained.

"Oh, what's that?" cried Buddie, almost ready to jump out of his skin.
But when he saw the little red ball, and the red string
stretching off through the trees, he was no longer afraid.

"Oh, maybe this is a fairy string, and will lead me home!" he joyfully
cried, as he began to follow it. And, though we know it wasn't a fairy
string, still it was just as good, for it led the boy home, as he
followed the yarn, winding up the ball as he walked along. And, oh,
how fast he ran when he came within sight of his house, crying, as he
dropped the ball:

"Here I am, Mother! Here I am. I'm not lost any more!"

"Well, I'm glad of that," Mother answered. "You shouldn't have gone
into the woods. I was just coming to look for you."

"Well," whispered Uncle Wiggily to himself, "I'm glad I could be of
some help in this world." Then the rabbit, who had followed the lost
boy until Buddie found his home, wound up the red yarn again, and took
it to Nurse Jane.

"My! That was quite an adventure," said the muskrat lady when the
bunny gentleman told her about it. And if the boiled egg doesn't try
to go sailing in the gravy boat, and splash condensed milk on the
bread-knife, I'll tell you on the page after this about Uncle Wiggily
and Stubby Toes.



STORY X

UNCLE WIGGILY AND STUBBY TOES


There are some children who are always stubbing their toes and falling
down. That was what happened, far too often, to the little boy in this
story. And I am going to tell you how Uncle Wiggily helped cure him.

Perhaps you may think it strange that an old rabbit gentleman, with a
pink, twinkling nose and a tall, silk hat could cure a boy of stubbing
his toes. But this only goes to show that you never can tell what is
going to happen in this world.

So we shall start by saying that, once upon a time, there was a boy who
slipped and stumbled so often that he was called "Stubby Toes."

Stubby Toes was not a very big boy. In fact, one of the reasons he
stubbed his toe so often (first the big toe of one foot, and then the
big toe of the other foot), the reason, I say, was because he was so
small. He had not yet grown up so that he knew how to step over things
that lay in his path, causing him to stumble.

Why, sometimes that boy would stumble over a pin on the sidewalk. And
again I have known him to trip and almost fall because he saw, in his
way, a leaf from a tree.

"Upsi-daisey!" his sister would cry as she caught him by the hand, so
he would not fall. "Upsi-daisey, Stubby Toes!"

It was Sister who really gave Stubby Toes his name, but she was only in
fun, of course.

Well, one day when Uncle Wiggily had started out of his hollow stump
bungalow to look for an adventure, Sister took her little brother
Stubby Toes for a walk. And, as it happened, the path taken by Sister
and Stubby Toes stretched along through the woodland where the bunny
gentleman lived.

"I think I'll go see Baby Bunty to-day," said Uncle Wiggily to himself,
as he hopped along, twinkling his pink nose in the sunshine. "I have
a little touch of the rheumatism, and Baby Bunty is so lively, always
playing tag, or something like that in the way of games, that she'll
make me spry, and chase the pain away."

But as the bunny gentleman came near the place where the little boy
and his sister were walking, all of a sudden Stubby Toes tripped over
a little stone, about as large as the end of your lollypop stick,
and--down he almost fell!

"Upsi-daisey!" cried Sister as she pulled Brother to his feet.
"Upsi-daisey!"

"Oh, ho! Boo hoo! I--I stubbed my toe!" cried the little boy.

"Of course you did!" said Sister, laughing.

I think I forgot to tell you that Stubby Toes often cried when he
slipped this way. Yes, almost every time he cried, and Sister wished he
wouldn't, and so did Mother.

"Boo hoo! Boo hoo!" the boy wailed. "I bunked myself!"

Sister laughed and recited this little verse, which is a good one to
sing whenever anything happens. It is a verse I read once, many years
ago.

    "Oh, fie,
    Do not cry,
    If you stub your toe.
    Say 'Oh!'
    And let it go.
    Be a man,
    If you can,
    And do not cry!"

After Sister had sung this for Brother, she wiped away his tears, which
just started to trickle down his cheeks, and they walked on again.

"This is a good little girl," said Uncle Wiggily to himself, for,
hidden in the bushes he had heard and seen all that went on. "I wish
I could teach Stubby Toes not to stumble so much. I wonder how I can?
I'll ask Baby Bunty about it."

So Uncle Wiggily hopped on to Baby Bunty's bungalow, and, meanwhile
Brother and Sister walked through the woods.

Well, I wish you could have seen what happened to Stubby Toes! But, no!
Perhaps, on second thought, it is better that you did not. But, oh! So
many times as he almost fell!

He tripped over a little baby angle worm, who was crawling to the store
to get a loaf of cake for his mother. And next Stubby Toes almost
landed on his nose, because the shadow of a bird flitted across his
path.

"Oh, Stubby Toes!" cried Sister, as she kept him from falling on his
face. "Will you ever learn to walk without stumbling?"

"Boo hoo!" was all that Stubby Toes answered, for, just then he
tripped over a blade of grass, and this time he fell down all the way.
Only he happened to land on some soft, green moss, so he was not much
hurt, I'm glad to say.

"This is too bad!" Uncle Wiggily said to himself, for he had heard and
seen it all. "I must get Baby Bunty to teach this little chap how to
walk more carefully."

It was not far to the home of Baby Bunty. That little rabbit girl was
out skipping her rope in front of her house.

"Tag, Uncle Wiggily! You're it!" she cried, as soon as she saw the
bunny gentleman.

"Tut! Tut! We have no time for a game now," said Mr. Longears. "I want
you to come with me, Baby Bunty, and teach Stubby Toes a lesson," and
he told about the little boy.

"Oh, I see what you mean," said Baby Bunty. "You want me to hop along
in front of him, and show him how not to stub his toe."

"That's it!" said Uncle Wiggily. "Stubby Toes and Sister are kind to
animals and will not harm us."

So, a little later, Uncle Wiggily and Baby Bunty were walking along the
woodland path just ahead of the little boy and his sister.

"Now, Baby Bunty," said Mr. Longears, "show this boy how nicely you can
hop along, even if there are sticks and stones on the path."

Away skipped the little rabbit girl. She came to a stone, but over it
she stepped as nicely as you please. She reached a stick, but she gave
a hop, and there she was on the other side! And she never stubbed her
toe once, because she was careful!

By this time the little boy and his sister had seen Uncle Wiggily and
Baby Bunty.

"Oh, look at the funny rabbits!" cried Stubby Toes. "I want to catch
'em!"

"No! No! Mustn't touch!" said Sister, and she reached out to catch hold
of Stubby Toes, but it was too late! He tripped his foot on a dandelion
blossom in the grass, and down he went!

"Boo hoo!" he cried.

"Oh, fie!" said Sister, singing the little verse again. "Look at the
baby rabbit! She doesn't stub her toes!"

And, surely enough, Baby Bunty, skipping along on the path in front
of Stubby Toes, never fell once. She skipped over pebbles and stones,
sticks and clumps of grass, and never once stepped on a flower.

"See if you can't do that, Stubby Toes!" begged Sister.

And of course that boy didn't want a little baby rabbit girl to walk
better than he did. So he dried his tears, stood up straight and began
to walk more firmly, watching where he set down his feet.

He came to a big stone and--over it he stepped without stumbling. He
reached a stick--and, over that he put both feet without falling! He
passed a lump of dirt--and right over it he JUMPED--and he didn't stub
his toe once! What do you think of that?

"Oh, I'm not going to call you Stubby Toes any more!" laughed Sister.
"Now you have learned to walk as well as that baby rabbit."

Uncle Wiggily laughed so hard that his tall silk hat almost slipped
down over his pink, twinkling nose.

"I think we have done enough, Baby Bunty," he said, "Come on now, and
I'll buy you a carrot lollypop!"

Away hopped the bunnies, and back home went Sister and Brother who was
Stubby Toes no longer. Baby Bunty had taught him a good lesson.

And if the jumping jack doesn't fall off his stick when he is trying
to play hop scotch with the bean bag, you shall next hear about Uncle
Wiggily's Christmas.



STORY XI

UNCLE WIGGILY'S CHRISTMAS


Down swirled the snow, its white flakes blown by the cold December
wind. From the North it came, this wind; and a bird--not a robin, for
they had long ago flown South--a bird went in the barn, and hid his
head under his wing, poor thing!

It was cold in the woods around Uncle Wiggily's hollow stump bungalow,
and the rabbit gentleman brought in stick after stick of wood for Nurse
Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy to pile on the blazing fire that roared up the chimney.

Uncle Wiggily, having filled the wood box, took his cap, and his
fur-lined coat down from the rack.

"Dear me, Wiggy! You aren't going out on a day like this, are you?"
asked Nurse Jane.

"Yes," answered the bunny gentleman, "I am, if you please, Nurse Jane.
I promised Grandfather Goosey Gander I'd go down town shopping with
him. He wants to look through the five and ten cent stores to see what
they have for Christmas."

"Oh, well, if it's about Christmas, that's different," said the muskrat
lady. "But wrap yourself up well, for it is storming hard. I don't want
you to take cold."

"Nor do I want a cold," said Uncle Wiggily. "My pink nose gets very red
when I sneeze. I'll be careful, Nurse Jane."

Out into the snowy, blowy woods went Uncle Wiggily. He passed the
burrow-house where Sammie and Susie Littletail, the rabbit children,
lived. Susie was at the window and waved her paw to the bunny gentleman.

"Only three more days until Christmas! Aren't you glad, Uncle Wiggily?"
called Susie.

"Indeed I am," answered Mr. Longears. "Very glad!"

Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the squirrels, looked from the window of
their house. Johnnie held up a string of nuts that he was getting ready
to put on the Christmas tree.

"Billie and I are going to help Santa Claus!" chattered Johnnie.

"Good!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "Santa Claus needs help!"

The bunny hopped along through the snow until he reached the kennel of
Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the puppy dog boys.

"We're popping corn!" barked Jackie. "Getting ready for Christmas!
That's why we can't be out!"

"Stay in the house and keep warm!" called Uncle Wiggily.

He hopped on a little farther until he met Mr. Gander, and the rabbit
gentleman and the goose grandpa made their way through the five and
ten, the three and four and the sixteen and seventeen cent stores. Each
place was piled full of Christmas presents for animal boys and girls,
and animal fathers and mothers were shopping about, to tell Santa Claus
what to bring to the different houses, you know.

Uncle Wiggily saw some things he knew Nurse Jane would like, and
Grandpa Goosey bought some presents that had come directly from the
workshop of Santa Claus.

Then along came Mr. Whitewash, the Polar Bear gentleman.

"Ho! Ho!" roared Mr. Whitewash, in his jolly voice. "Come to my ice
cave, gentlemen, and have a cup of hot, melted icicles!"

"I'd like to, but I can't," said Uncle Wiggily. "Nurse Jane wanted
me to get her some spools of thread. I'll buy them and go back to my
bungalow."

"Then I'll go with you, Mr. Whitewash," quacked Grandpa Goosey, and he
waddled off with the bear gentleman, while Uncle Wiggily, having bought
the thread, hopped toward his bungalow.

The bunny uncle had not gone very far before he heard some children
talking behind a bush around which the snow was piled in a high drift.
Uncle Wiggily could hide behind this drift and hear what was said.

"Is Santa Claus coming to your house?" asked one boy of another.

"I don't guess so," was the answer. "My father said our chimney was so
full of black soot that Santa Claus couldn't get down. He'd look like a
charcoal man if he did, I guess."

"It's the same way at our house," sighed the first boy. "Our chimney is
all stopped up. I guess there'll be no Christmas presents this year."

"My! That's too bad!" thought Uncle Wiggily to himself. "There ought
to be a Christmas for everyone, and a little thing like a soot-filled
chimney ought not to stand in the way. All the animal children whom I
know are going to get presents. I wish I could help these boys. And
they probably have sisters, also, who will get nothing for Christmas.
Too bad!"

Uncle Wiggily peered over the top of the snowbank. He saw the boys,
but they did not notice the rabbit, and Mr. Longears knew where the
boys lived. Their homes were in houses near the brick one, where dwelt
the lad who was once lost in the woods. Uncle Wiggily unwound a ball of
red yarn, if you will kindly remember, and by following this the Kite
Boy found his house.

"I wish I could help those boys who are not going to have any
Christmas," said the bunny gentleman to himself, as he hopped on with
Nurse Jane's spools of thread.

And just then, in the air overhead, he heard the sounds of:

"Caw! Caw! Caw!"

"Crows!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "My friends the black crows! They
stay here all winter. Black crows--black--black--why, a chimney is
black inside, just as a crow is black outside! I'm beginning to think
of something! Yes, that's what I am!"

The rabbit's pink nose began twinkling very fast. It always did when he
was thinking, and now it was sparkling almost like a star on a frosty
night.

"Ha! I have it!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "A crow can become no blacker
inside a sooty chimney than outside! If Santa Claus can't go down a
black chimney, why a crow can! I'll have these crows pretend to be St.
Nicholas!"

No sooner thought of than done! Uncle Wiggily put his paws to his lips
and sent out a shrill whistle, just as a policeman does when he wants
the automobiles to stop turning somersaults.

"Caw! Caw! Caw!" croaked the black crows high in the white, snowy air.
"Uncle Wiggily is calling us," said the head crow. "Caw! Caw!"

Down they flew, perching on the bare limbs of trees in the wood not far
from the bunny's hollow stump bungalow.

"How do you do, Crows!" greeted the rabbit. "I called you because I
want you to take a few Christmas presents to some boys who, otherwise,
will not get any. Their chimneys are choked with black soot!"

"Black soot will not bother us," said the largest crow of all. "We
don't mind going down the blackest chimney in the world!"

"I thought you wouldn't," said Uncle Wiggily. "That's why I called you.
Now, of course, I know that the kind of presents that Santa Claus will
bring to the animal children will not all be such as real boys and
girls would like. But still there are some which may do."

"I can get willow whistles, made by Grandpa Lightfoot, the old squirrel
gentleman. I can get wooden puzzles gnawed from the aspen tree by
Grandpa Whackum, the beaver. Grandpa Goosey Gander and I will gather
the round, brown balls from the sycamore tree, and the boys can use
them for marbles."

"Those will be very nice presents, indeed," cawed a middle-sized crow.
"The boys ought to like them."

"And will you take the things down the black chimneys?" asked Uncle
Wiggily. "I'll give you some of Nurse Jane's thread so you may easily
carry the whistles, puzzles, wooden marbles and other presents."

"We'll take them down the chimneys!" cawed the crows. "It matters not
to us how much black soot there is! It will not show on our black
wings."

So among his friends Uncle Wiggily gathered up bundles of woodland
presents. And in the dusk of Christmas eve the black crows fluttered
silently in from the forest, gathered up in their claws the presents
which the bunny had tied with thread, and away they flapped, not only
to the houses of the two boys, but also to the homes of some girls,
about whom Uncle Wiggily had heard. Their chimneys, too, it seemed,
were choked with soot.

But the crows could be made no blacker, not even if you dusted them
with charcoal, so they did not in the least mind fluttering down the
sooty chimneys. And so softly did they make their way, that not a boy
or girl heard them! As silently and as quietly as Santa Claus himself
went the crows!

All during Christmas eve they fluttered down the chimneys at the homes
of poor boys and girls, helping St. Nicholas, until all the presents
that Uncle Wiggily had gathered from his friends had been put in place.

Then, throughout Woodland, in the homes of Sammie and Susie Littletail
the rabbits, of Johnnie and Billie Bushytail the squirrels, Jackie
and Peetie Bow Wow the dogs, Curly and Floppy Twistytail the piggie
boys--in all the homes of Woodland great changes took place. Firefly
lights began to glow on Christmas trees. Mysterious bundles seemed to
come from nowhere, and took their places under the trees, in stockings
and on chairs or mantels.

And then night came, and all was still, and quiet and dark--as dark as
the black crows or the soot in the chimneys.

But in the morning, when the stars had faded, and the moon was pale,
the glorious sun came up and made the snow sparkle like ten million
billion diamonds.

"Merry Christmas, Uncle Wiggily!" called Nurse Jane. "See what Santa
Claus brought me."

"Merry Christmas, Nurse Jane!" answered the bunny. "And what a fine lot
of presents St. Nicholas left for me! See them!"

"Oh, isn't he a great old chap!" laughed Nurse Jane, as she smelled a
bottle of perfume.

And all over the land voices could be heard saying:

"Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!"

Near the hearth in the homes of some boys and girls who had not gone to
bed with happy thoughts of the morrow, were some delightful presents.
How they opened their eyes and stared--these boys and girls who had
expected no Christmas.

"Why! Why!" exclaimed one of the two lads whom Uncle Wiggily had heard
talking near the snowbank. "How in the world did Santa Claus get down
our black chimney?"

But, of course, they knew nothing of Uncle Wiggily and the crows. And
please don't you tell them.

So all over, in the Land of Boys and Girls, as well as in the Snow
Forest of the Animal Folk, there echoed the happy calls of:

"Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!" Once again there was joy in the
land.

And if the sunflower doesn't shine in the face of the clock, and make
its hands go whizzing around backward, I shall take pleasure, next, in
telling you about Uncle Wiggily's Fourth of July.



STORY XII

UNCLE WIGGILY'S FOURTH OF JULY


"You must be extra careful to-morrow, Uncle Wiggily," said Nurse Jane
Fuzzy Wuzzy to the bunny rabbit gentleman one morning, as he stood on
the steps of his hollow stump bungalow.

"Why be careful to-morrow, more than on any other day in the year?"
asked Mr. Longears. "Is it going to rain or snow?"

"Whoever heard of snow on the Fourth of July?" inquired the muskrat
lady housekeeper, as she fastened a fluffy brush to the end of her
tail, for she was presently going in the house to dust the furniture.

"Oh, so to-morrow is the Fourth of July!" exclaimed the bunny. "I had
forgotten all about it. Yes, indeed, I must be careful! I am living
near the real children, now, and some of them might think it fun to
explode a torpedo under my pink, twinkling nose, or try to fasten a
fire-cracker to my little tail."

"That's what I was thinking of," went on Nurse Jane. For Uncle
Wiggily's bungalow, while still in the woods, was near to the homes of
some boys and girls. And though only one boy, so far, had been bad to
the bunny (and this boy soon turned good), there was no telling what
might happen.

So as Uncle Wiggily hopped along the forest path, he took care not to
get too far away from the bushes, behind and under which he could hide.
For sometimes boys and girls came to the forest, and once a Kite Boy
was lost, and the bunny helped him find his way home, you may remember.

"Hello, Uncle Wiggily!" suddenly called a voice, and Mr. Longears
quickly jumped around, thinking it might be a real boy or girl. But it
was only Neddie Stubtail, the little boy bear.

"I've been buying my fire-crackers," said Neddie to his uncle, the
bunny. "I'm going to have lots of fun Fourth of July," and he showed
Mr. Longears a bundle of dry sticks, painted red, white and blue like
the bunny's rheumatism crutch.

You must know that in Animal Land the boys and girls have the same sort
of fun you children do on holidays, but in a different manner. Instead
of real fire-crackers, that have to be set off with a match, or piece
of punk, with sparks that, perhaps, burn you, the animal children get
some dried sticks. These they break, with loud, cracking sounds, but
without any fire. And they have lots of fun. After the sticks are
broken they can be put in the stove to boil the tea kettle.

"Did you get your sister, Beckie, any Fourth of July things?" asked
Uncle Wiggily of the boy bear.

"Oh, yes, I got her some little stick crackers," answered Neddie.

"That's good!" spoke Mr. Longears. Then he went on through the woods,
meeting Toddle and Noodle Flat-Tail the beaver boys, Joie, Tommie and
Kittie Kat the kittens, Nannie and Billie Wagtail the goats, and many
other animal boys and girls. All of them called:

"Hello, Uncle Wiggily! Happy Fourth of July!"

And the bunny answered back:

"Thank you! I wish you the same!"

Thus hopping through the woods, meeting the animal children, and
learning of the fun they were to have next day, the bunny rabbit
gentleman at length came to the end of the forest. A little farther on
were the houses and homes of real boys and girls, some of whom had been
helped by Mr. Longears.

"I think this is as far as I had better go, seeing it's so close to
the Fourth of July," thought Uncle Wiggily. "If the real children are
anything like those of my animal friends who live in the woods, they'll
be shooting off their crackers and torpedoes ahead of time."

And, just as he said that, Uncle Wiggily heard a loud:

"Bang! Bang!"

The bunny jumped to one side, and hid under the broad leaf of a burdock
plant. Then he laughed.

"I thought that was a hunter-man's gun," whispered Uncle Wiggily. "But
I guess it was some boy setting off a fire-cracker. I need not have
been afraid."

He was just going to hop along a little farther, before turning back to
his hollow stump bungalow when, all at once he saw a hammock swinging
between two trees near the edge of the wood.

In the hammock lay a boy with a thin, pale face, and beside him sat
a nurse, gently pulling on a rope that caused the little nest-like
swinging bed to sway to and fro.

"Oh ho!" thought Uncle Wiggily. "A sick boy! I'm sorry for him! He
won't be able to run around and have fun on Fourth of July as Jackie
and Peetie Bow Wow will."

And then the bunny heard the boy in the hammock speaking. And, being
able, as he was of late, to understand the talk of real persons, Uncle
Wiggily heard the boy say:

"Do you think I'll ever be able to run around again, and have fun, and
shoot off fire-crackers?"

"Of course you will," the nurse answered cheerfully.

"But I can't have any fire-crackers now, can I?" asked the boy,
timidly, as though knowing what the answer would be.

"No, Buddie! You are not quite well enough," the nurse gently replied.
"No fire-crackers for you!"

"How about torpedoes?"

"You couldn't have those, either, I'm afraid," and the nurse smiled as
she leaned over to give the boy a drink of orange juice.

"Oh, dear!" sighed the boy in the hammock, just like that. "Oh, dear!"

Uncle Wiggily felt very sorry for him.

"I wish I could do something," thought the bunny gentleman. "This
boy won't have much fun on the Fourth of July--not even as much fun
as Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the piggie chaps, will have throwing
corncobs against a tin pan and making believe they are skyrockets."

"Oh, dear!" again sighed the boy in the hammock. "Oh, dear!"

"What's the matter now?" asked his nurse.

"I don't s'pose I could even have a Roman candle, or a pinwheel, could
I?" the invalid asked.

"Oh, indeed no!" laughed the nurse. "What a funny chap you are!"

But the boy didn't feel very funny.

Uncle Wiggily twinkled his pink nose. Then he put his tall, silk hat
firmly on his head and, tucking under his paw his red, white and blue
striped rheumatism crutch, off through the woods hopped the bunny uncle.

"I'm going to get some Fourth of July for that boy," said Mr. Longears.
"He simply must have some."

Uncle Wiggily spent some time hopping here and there through the woods,
and early the next morning, when the real boys and girls were shooting
off real fire-crackers and torpedoes, and when the animal lads and
lassies were cracking sticks and making torpedoes from broad, green
leaves, Mr. Longears hopped to where the boy was, once more, swinging
in his hammock.

The boy's head was turned to one side, and he was looking at some of
his friends, over in the vacant lots, setting off fire-crackers. Uncle
Wiggily, when the nurse wasn't looking, tossed into the hammock, from
the bush behind which the bunny was hidden, a bundle of green things.
They fell near the boy's hands.

Hardly knowing what he was doing the sick lad pinched one of the green
things between his fingers.

"Pop!" it went.

"What's that?" cried the nurse. "It sounded like a fire-cracker."

The boy pinched another green leaf-like ball between his fingers.

"Pop!" sounded again, as the ball burst.

"Why," cried the nurse. "That's like a torpedo! What have you there,
Buddie?"

"I don't know," the boy answered. "But these round, green balls, that
burst and pop when I squeeze them, fell into my hammock. There's a lot
of 'em! I can pinch them and make a noise for Fourth of July."

"So you can!" exclaimed the nurse, pinching one herself, and jumping
when it went "Pop!"

"And they won't hurt me, will they?" asked the boy.

"No," answered the nurse, "they won't hurt you at all. They must have
fallen off this tree, but I never knew, before, that such things as
green fire-crackers grew on trees!"

"Ha! Ha!" laughed Uncle Wiggily to himself, hidden under a bush. "She
doesn't know I brought the puff balls to the boy."

For that is what the bunny had done. In the woods he had found the
green puff balls, inside which were the seeds of the plant. Later on,
in the fall, the puff balls would be dry, and would crackle when you
touched them, opening to scatter the seeds. But now, being green, and
filled with air, they burst with a Fourth of July noise when squeezed.

"Oh, now I can have some fun!" laughed the sick boy, as he cracked one
puff ball after another. "Hurrah! Now I'm celebrating Fourth of July!"

And he was. Uncle Wiggily had helped him, and the bunny gentleman had
brought enough puff balls to last all day.

"Pop! Pop!" That is how they sounded as the boy pinched them in his
hammock. Some were large, like big fire-crackers, and others were
small, like little torpedoes.

"Oh, what a lovely Fourth of July!" sighed the boy, when evening came
to put the sun to bed, and the nurse wheeled the boy into the house.

And then, when it grew dark, Uncle Wiggily called together ten thousand
firefly-lightning bugs, and they flittered and fluttered about the
porch, on which the boy had been taken after supper. The fireflies made
pinwheels of themselves, they went up like skyrockets, they leaped
about in bunches like the balls from Roman candles and finally, when
it was time to go to bed, they took hold of each others' legs and,
clinging together, spelled out:

[Illustration: "Oh, it's just like real fireworks!"]

"Oh, it's just like real fireworks!" cried the happy boy.

"I'm glad he liked it!" said Uncle Wiggily, as he hopped home to his
hollow stump bungalow.

So if the pussy cat doesn't claw the tail off the letter Q and make it
look like a big, round O, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and
the little boy's skates.



STORY XIII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SKATES


There was once a little boy to whom Santa Claus brought a pair of
skates at Christmas. And, of course, that boy, as soon as he saw the
shiny, steel runners, wished that the pond would freeze over so that he
might try his new playthings.

"When do you s'pose there'll be skating?" he asked his mother again and
again, for, as yet, there was only a "skim" of ice on the pond.

"Oh, pretty soon," his mother would answer. "You mustn't go skating
when the ice is too thin, you know. If you did you would break through,
into the cold water."

"And that would spoil my skates, wouldn't it?" asked the boy.

"Yes, but besides that you might be drowned, or catch cold and be very
ill," Mother said. "So keep off the ice with your new skates until the
pond has frozen good and thick."

"Yes'm, I will," promised the little boy, and, really, he meant to keep
his word. But as the days passed, and the weather was not quite cold
enough to freeze thick ice, the little boy became tired of waiting.

Every chance he had, after school, he would go down to the edge of the
pond, and throw stones on the ice to see how thick it was. Often the
stones would break through, and fall into the cold, black water with a
"thump!" Then the boy would know the ice was not thick enough.

"I don't want to fall through like a stone," he would say, and back to
his house he would go with his new skates dangling and jingling at his
back, over which they were hung by a strap.

But one day, when the boy threw a large stone on the ice of the pond,
instead of breaking through, the rock only made a dent and stayed there.

"Oh, hurray!" cried the boy. "I guess it's strong enough to hold me
now! I'm going skating!"

However, first he started to walk on the edge of the ice near the
shore, and when he did so, and heard cracking sounds, he jumped quickly
back.

"I guess I'd better not try it yet," said the boy to himself. "I'll
wait a little while until it freezes harder."

So he sat down by the edge of the pond to wait for the ice to freeze
harder. But as he sat there, and saw how white and shiny it was, and
as he looked at his new skates, which he had only put on in the house,
that boy couldn't wait another minute.

He walked along the shore a little farther, to a place where the ice
seemed more hard and shiny and there, after throwing some stones, and
venturing out a little way, finding that there was no cracking sound,
the little boy made up his mind to try to skate. There was no one else
on the pond--no other boys and girls, and it was a bit lonesome. But
the boy was so eager to try his new skates that he did not think of
this.

Down he sat on the ground, and began putting on his Christmas skates.
And it was just about this time that Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, Uncle
Wiggily's muskrat lady housekeeper, happened to look out of the window
of the hollow stump bungalow. The bunny's bungalow was so hidden in the
woods, near the pond, that few boys or girls ever saw the queer little
house. But Uncle Wiggily could see them, as they came to the woods
winter and summer, and often he was able to help them.

"Well, I declare!" exclaimed Nurse Jane, as she looked out of the
window a second time.

"What's the matter?" asked Uncle Wiggily, who was just finishing
his breakfast of lettuce bread and carrot coffee, with some turnip
marmalade.

"Why, there's a boy--a real boy and not one of the animal
chaps--getting ready to go skating!" said the muskrat lady, for she
could see the boy putting on his skates.

"That ice isn't thick enough for real boys or girls to skate on," the
bunny gentleman said. "It would be all right for Sammie Littletail, or
Johnnie or Billie Bushytail, but real boys are too heavy--much heavier
than my nephew Sammie the rabbit, or than the bushytail squirrel chaps."

"Well, this boy is going on all the same," cried Nurse Jane. "And
I know he'll break through, and he'll frighten his mother into a
conniption fit!"

"That will be too bad!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he wiped a little
of the turnip marmalade off his whiskers, where it had fallen by
mistake. "I must try to save him if he does fall in!"

"It would be better to keep him from going on the ice," spoke Nurse
Jane. "Safety first, you know!"

"If I could speak boy language I'd hop down there and tell him the ice
is too thin," answered Uncle Wiggily. "But though I know what the boys
and girls say, I cannot, myself, speak their talk. However, I think I
know a way to save this boy, if he happens to break through the ice."

"Well, he's almost sure to break through," declared Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy,
"so you'd better hurry."

"No sooner said than done!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, and, catching up
his red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch, and putting on his
fur cap (for the day was cold), away the bunny hopped from his hollow
stump bungalow.

Instead of going to the place where the boy, with his skates fastened
on his shoes, was about to try the ice, the bunny gentleman went to the
house of some friends of his. The house would seem queer to you, for
all it looked like was a pile of sticks half buried in the frozen pond.

But in this house lived a family of beavers--queer animals whose fur is
so warm and thick that they can swim in ice water and not feel chilly.
In fact the beavers had to dive down under the ice and water to get
into their winter home.

"Are Toodle and Noodle in the house?" asked Uncle Wiggily, as he
reached the stick-house. On shore, not far from it, was Grandpa
Whackum, the old beaver gentleman, with his broad, flat tail.

"Why, yes, Toodle and Noodle are inside," answered Grandpa Whackum.
"Shall I call them out?"

"If you please," spoke Uncle Wiggily. "I want them to come and help me
save a boy who, I think, is going to break through the thin ice with
his new skates."

"That will be too bad!" exclaimed Grandpa Whackum. Then with his broad
tail he pounded or "whacked" on the ground, and soon up through a hole
in the ice came swimming Toodle and Noodle Flat-Tail, the two beaver
boys.

[Illustration: "Oh, hello, Uncle Wiggily!"]

"Oh, hello, Uncle Wiggily!" they called. "We're glad to see you!"

"Hello!" answered the bunny gentleman. "Will you come with me, and help
save a real boy?"

"Of course," said Toodle, shaking off some ice water from his fur coat.

"He won't try to catch us, will he?" asked Noodle.

"I think not," the bunny gentleman replied. "If what I think is going
to happen, does really happen, that boy will be too surprised to catch
anything but a cold! Come along, beaver chaps!"

So Toodle and Noodle, wet and glistening from having dived out of their
house, and down under water to come up through the hole in the ice,
followed Uncle Wiggily. The sun and wind soon dried their fur.

"There's the boy," said Uncle Wiggily, as he and the beaver chaps
reached the edge of the pond. "He's skating on thin ice. He'll go
through in a minute!"

And, surely enough, hardly had the bunny spoken than there was a
cracking sound, the ice broke beneath the boy's feet and into the dark,
cold water he fell.

"Oh! Oh!" cried the boy. "Help me, somebody! Oh! Oh!"

"Ha! It's a good thing Nurse Jane saw him!" said Uncle Wiggily. "Quick
now, Toodle and Noodle! I brought you along because you have such good,
sharp teeth--much sharper and better than mine are for gnawing down
trees. I can gnaw off the bark, but you can nibble all the way through
a tree and make it fall."

"Is that what you want us to do?" asked Toodle.

"Yes," answered Uncle Wiggily. "We'll go close to shore, where the boy
has fallen in. Near him is a tree. You'll gnaw that so it will fall
outward across the ice, and he can reach up, take hold of it and pull
himself out of the hole."

By this time the poor boy was floundering around in the cold water. He
tried to get hold of the edges of the ice around the hole through which
he had fallen, but the ice broke in his hands.

"Help! Help!" he cried.

"We're going to help you," answered Uncle Wiggily, but, of course, he
spoke animal language which the boy did not understand. But Toodle and
Noodle understood, and quickly running to the edge of the shore they
gnawed and gnawed and gnawed very extra fast at an overhanging tree
until it began to bend and break. Uncle Wiggily gnawed a little, also,
to help the beaver boys.

Then, just as the real boy was almost ready to sink down under water,
the tree fell on the ice, some of its branches close enough so the boy
skater could grasp them.

"Oh, now I can pull myself out!" he said. "This tree fell just in time!
Now I'll be saved!"

He did not know that Uncle Wiggily and the beaver boys had gnawed the
tree down, making it fall just in the right place at the right time.
For the boy was so frightened at having broken through the ice, that he
never noticed the bunny gentleman and the beaver boys on shore.

He caught hold of the tree branches in his cold fingers, pulled himself
up out of the water, that boy did; and to shore. Then as he sat down,
all wet and shivering, to take off his skates, so he could run home,
Uncle Wiggily called to Toodle and Noodle:

"Come on, beaver boys! Our work is done! We have saved that boy, and I
hope he never again tries to skate on thin ice."

Then Uncle Wiggily hopped toward his hollow stump bungalow, and the
beaver boys slid on the ice, near shore, toward their own stick-house,
for the pond was frozen hard and thick enough to hold them. And the boy
ran home as fast as he could, and drank hot lemonade so he wouldn't
catch cold.

He did get the snuffles, but of course that couldn't be helped, and it
wasn't much for falling through the ice; was it?

"You never should have gone skating until the pond was better frozen,"
his mother said.

"I know it," the boy answered. "But wasn't it lucky that tree fell when
it did?"

"Very lucky!" agreed his mother. And neither the boy nor his mother
knew that it was Nurse Jane, Uncle Wiggily and the beaver boys who had
caused the tree to topple over just in time.

But that's the way it sometimes is in this world. And if the cow
doesn't tickle the man in the moon with her horns, when she jumps over
the green cheese, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily going coasting.



STORY XIV

UNCLE WIGGILY GOES COASTING


"Oh, it's stopped snowing! It's stopped snowing! Now we can go
coasting; can't we, Mother?"

"And on our new Christmas sleds! Oh, what fun!"

A boy and a girl ran from the window, against which they had been
pressing their noses, looking out to see when the white flakes would
stop falling from the sky. Now the storm seemed to be over, leaving the
ground covered with the sparkling snow crystals.

"Yes, you may go coasting a little while," said Mother. "But don't stay
too late. When Daddy comes to supper you must be home."

"We will!" promised the boy and girl, and, laughing in glee, they ran
to get on their boots, their mittens and warm coats.

"I want to go coasting! Take me to slide down hill!" cried Bumps, the
little sister of the boy and girl. "I want a sleigh ride."

"Oh, Bumps, you're too little!" objected Sister.

"And she'll fall down and bang herself," added Brother. In fact the
"littlest girl" did fall down so often that she was called "Bumps" as a
pet name.

"I won't fall down!" Bumps promised. "I'll be good! Please take me
coasting?"

"I think you might take her," said Mother.

"Yes, we will," spoke Sister. "Come on, Bumps!"

"Well, if she falls off the sled when it's going down hill, and she
gets bumped, it won't be my fault!" declared Brother.

"I--I'll be good--I won't fall!" promised Bumps. So Mother bundled her
up, and out she went to the coasting hill with Brother and Sister, each
of whom had a sled.

"I'm not going to give her rides on my sled all the while!" said
Brother, half grumbling.

"We'll take turns," more kindly suggested Sister. "Take hold of my
hand, Bumps, and don't fall any more times than you can help, dear!"

"No; I won't," answered Bumps. The littlest girl was smiling and happy
because she was going coasting with Sister and Brother. And she made up
her mind she would try very, very hard not to fall.

On the other side of the forest, near which was the coasting hill of
the children, lived Uncle Wiggily in his hollow stump bungalow. From
afar he had often watched the boys and girls sliding down on their
sleds, but the bunny gentleman had never gone very close.

"For," he said to himself, "they might, by accident, run over me. And,
though I haven't much of a tail to be cut off, I would look queer
if anything should happen to my long ears. I'll keep away from the
coasting hill of the boys and girls."

But not far from the bunny's bungalow was another and smaller hill,
down which the animal boys and girls coasted. Of course, very few of
them had such sleds as you children have, with shiny steel runners, and
with the tops painted red, blue, green and gold. In fact, some of the
animal boys didn't bother with a sled at all.

Take Toodle and Noodle Flat-Tail, the beaver chaps, for instance. They
just slid down hill on their broad, flat tails. And as for Johnnie and
Billie Bushytail, the squirrels, they sat on their fuzzy tails and
scooted down the hill of snow. Others of the animal children sometimes
used pieces of wood, an old board or some sticks bound together with
strands from a wild grape vine.

And about the time that Sister, Brother and Bumps went coasting, Sammie
and Susie Littletail, the rabbits, passed the hollow stump bungalow of
Uncle Wiggily Longears. The little bunnies were each pulling a sled
made from pieces of birch bark they had gnawed from trees.

"Let's ask Uncle Wiggily to go coasting with us," spoke Susie.

"Oh, yes! Let's!" echoed Sammie. "It'll be lots of fun!"

And Uncle Wiggily was very glad to go coasting. Out of his bungalow he
hopped, his pink nose twinkling twice as fast as the shiny star on top
of the Christmas tree.

"Dear me, Wiggy!" cried Nurse Jane. "You don't mean to say you're going
coasting with your rheumatism!"

"No, I'm going coasting with Sammie and Susie," the laughing bunny
answered. "I haven't any rheumatism to go coasting with to-day, I'm
glad to tell you." And, surely enough, he didn't need to take his red,
white and blue striped crutch.

When Sammie, Susie and Uncle Wiggily reached the coasting hill, they
found there many of the animal children.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily! Ride on my sled!" invited one after another. "Ride
on mine! Coast with me!"

"I'll take turns with each one!" promised the bunny gentleman, and so
he did, riding with Sammie and Susie first, then with the Bushytail
squirrel brothers, next with Lulu, Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, the
ducks, and so on down to Dottie and Willie Flufftail, the lamb children.

Oh, such fun as Uncle Wiggily had on the animal children's coasting
hill. And on the other side of the forest, Sister, Brother and Bumps
had their fun, with the real boys and girls.

At last it began to grow dusk, and when Uncle Wiggily was thinking of
telling the animal children it was time for them to leave for home, up
came rushing Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the puppy dog boys.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily!" barked Jackie. "We were just over to the big hill,
where the real boys coast, and we saw----"

"We saw a little baby girl--that is, almost a baby--in a pile of snow!"
finished Peetie, for his brother Jackie was out of breath and couldn't
bark any more.

"What's that?" cried Uncle Wiggily. "A real, live little girl in the
snow?"

"Right in a snow drift!" barked Jackie. "All alone!"

"Why," said the bunny gentleman, as he thought it over, "she must have
been coasting with her brother or sister, and maybe she fell off a sled
and went down deep in the snow. And they played so hard they never
missed her! But she mustn't be allowed to stay asleep in the snow.
She'll freeze!"

"If she's only a little one--almost a baby--couldn't we put her on one
of our sleds?" asked Sammie.

"And ride her home," went on Susie.

"If we all pull together we'd be strong enough to pull a real, live
girl, if she wasn't too large," quacked Jimmie Wibblewobble, the duck.

"We'll try!" said Uncle Wiggily. "All of you take the grape-vine ropes
from your sleds and follow me."

Quickly the animal children did this, taking with them only the large
double sled of Neddie Stubtail, the boy bear, which was the largest
sled of all. It was low and flat, and Uncle Wiggily thought it would be
easy to roll a little girl up on it and pull her along.

Soon Uncle Wiggily and the animal children reached the hill where the
real boys and girls had coasted. None of them was there now, all having
gone home to their suppers.

"Here she is!" softly barked Jackie, leading the way to a snowbank, at
the foot of the hill.

And there, sound asleep in the soft, warm snow was--Bumps!

Yes, as true as I'm telling you--Bumps!

The little girl had been sliding down with her sister, and had rolled
off the sled at the bottom of the hill after about the forty-'leventh
coast. And Bumps was so tired, and sleepy, from having been outdoors so
long, that, as soon as she rolled from the sled into the snow, she fell
asleep! Think of that!

And as Sister wanted to have a race with Brother and some of the other
children, she never noticed what happened to Bumps. But there she
was--in the snow asleep. Poor little Bumps!

"It will never do to leave her here!" whispered Uncle Wiggily to the
animal boys and girls. "Don't awaken her, but roll her over on Neddie's
sled, and we'll pull her to her home. I know where she lives. We'll
leave her in front of the door, I'll throw a snowball to make a sound
like a knock, and then we can run away. Her father and mother will come
out and take her in."

So all working together, pushing, pulling, tugging and rolling most
gently, the bunny gentleman and the animal boys and girls slid Bumps
upon the low sled of the bear boy. Then they fastened the grape-vine
ropes to it, and, all taking hold, off they started over the snow
toward the village.

It was almost dark, so no one saw the strange procession of Uncle
Wiggily and his friends; and the bunny gentleman was glad of this.
Right up to the home of Bumps they pulled her, and just as they got the
sled in her yard Bumps opened her eyes.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" she cried when she saw all the animal children, and Uncle
Wiggily, too, standing around her. "I'm in fairyland! Oh, how I love
it!"

"Quick, Sammie--Susie--Jackie--Peetie--scoot away!" called Uncle
Wiggily in animal talk, and the rabbits, squirrels, guinea pigs, ducks,
bears, beavers and others, all hopped away through the soft snow, out
of sight. Uncle Wiggily tossed a snowball at the door, making a sound
like a knock, and then the bunny gentleman also hopped away, laughing
to himself.

He turned back in time to see the door open and Sister, Brother, Daddy
and Mother rush out.

"Oh, here's Bumps, now!" cried Brother. "We must have forgotten and
left her at the hill."

"Oh, that's what we did!" exclaimed Sister.

"Yes, but how did she get home?" asked Mother. "She never walked, I'm
sure!"

"And look at the queer wooden sled!" said Sister.

"Who brought you home, Bumps?" asked Daddy.

"A--a nice bunny man, and some little bunnies, and squirrels, and
a little bear boy and some ducks and chickens and little lambs
and--and----" But Bumps was out of breath now.

"Oh, she's been asleep and _dreamed_ this!" laughed Brother. "Some man
must have found her and put her on this board for a sled, to bring her
home."

"Nope!" declared Bumps, "it was a bunny! It was a funny bunny!"

"Bring her in the house!" laughed Mother. "She must have been dreaming!"

But we know it wasn't a dream; don't we? And if the strawberry
shortcake doesn't go swimming with the gold fish in the lemonade and
catch cold, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the picnic.



STORY XV

UNCLE WIGGILY'S PICNIC


"Come on, Uncle Wiggily! Wake up! Wake up!" called Nurse Jane Fuzzy
Wuzzy in the hollow stump bungalow one morning. "Come on!"

"What's that? What's the matter? Is the chimney on fire again?" asked
the bunny gentleman, and he was so excited that he slid down the
banister, instead of hopping along from step to step as he should have
done.

"Of course the chimney isn't on fire!" laughed Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy. "But
this is the day for the picnic of the animal children, and you promised
to go with them to the woods."

"Oh, so I did!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, and he put one paw on his pink
nose to stop the twinkling, which started as soon as he grew excited
over thinking the chimney was on fire. "Well, I'm glad you called me,
Nurse Jane. I'll get ready for the picnic at once. What are you going
to put up for lunch?"

"Oh, some carrot bread, turnip cookies, lettuce sandwiches and nut
cake," answered the muskrat lady.

"That sounds fine!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "I'm very glad I'm going to
the picnic!"

"Well, you had better hurry and get ready," remarked Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy.
"Here come Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow to see if you aren't soon going to
start."

Uncle Wiggily looked from the window of his hollow stump bungalow, and
saw the two little puppy dog boys coming along.

Jackie was so excited that he stubbed his paw and fell down twice,
while Peetie was so anxious to show Uncle Wiggily what was in the
package of lunch the puppies were going to take to the woods, that
Peetie fell down three times, and turned a back somersault.

"Uncle Wiggily! Uncle Wiggily! Aren't you coming?" barked Jackie.

"Hurry or it may rain and spoil the picnic," added Peetie.

"Oh, I hope not!" answered the bunny gentleman. "For if there is one
thing, more than another, that spoils a picnic, it is rain! Snow isn't
so bad, for we don't have picnics when it snows."

"Maybe it won't rain," hopefully spoke Nurse Jane, who was busy putting
up lunch for Uncle Wiggily. "There isn't a cloud in the sky!"

And, surely enough, when Uncle Wiggily, Nurse Jane and dozens of animal
children started off to the woods for their picnic, the sun shone
bravely down from the blue sky and a more lovely day could not have
been wished for.

The forest where the bunny gentleman, Nurse Jane and the animal
children went for their picnic was a large one, with many trees and
bushes. There were dozens of places for the squirrels, rabbits, goats,
ducks, dogs, pussy cats and others to play; and when they reached the
grove they put their lunches under bushes, on the soft cool, green moss
and began to have fun.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily! Please turn skipping rope for us?" begged
Brighteyes, the little guinea pig girl.

"And please come play ball with us!" grunted Curly and Floppy
Twistytail, the piggie boys.

"Have a game of marbles with us," teased Billie Wagtail, the goat, and
Jacko Kinkytail, the monkey chap.

"I'll play with you all in turn," laughed the bunny gentleman. He was
in the midst of having fun, and was just gnawing off a piece of wild
grape vine to make a swing for Lulu and Alice Wibblewobble, the ducks,
when up came hopping Bully No-Tail, the frog boy. Bully was quite
excited.

"What's the matter, Bully?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"Oh, gur-ump!" croaked Bully. "There is a big crowd of boys and girls
over on the other side of the pond. They're having a picnic, too!
Ger-ump! Ger-ump!"

"Real boys and girls!" added Bawly, who was Bully's brother.
"Hump-bump!"

"Well, that will do no harm!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "Let the real boys
and girls have their picnic. They will not see us, for very few boys
and girls know how to use their eyes when they go to the woods. I have
often hidden beside a bush close to where a boy passed, and he never
saw me. Let the boys and girls have their picnic, and we'll have ours!"

So that's the way it was. Uncle Wiggily and the animal children played
tag, and they slid down hill. Perhaps you think they could not do this
in summer when there was no snow. But the hills in the forest were
covered with long, smooth, brown pine needles, and these layers of
needles were so slippery that it was easy to slide on them.

And then, all of a sudden, just about when it was time to eat lunch, it
began to rain! Oh, how hard the drops pelted down! Rain! Rain! Rain!

"Scurry for shelter--all of you!" cried Nurse Jane. "Get out of the
rain!"

The animal boys and girls knew how to take care of themselves in a
rain storm, even if they had no umbrellas. Most of them had on fur or
feathers which water does not harm. And they snuggled down under trees
and bushes, finding shelter and dry spots so that, no matter how hard
it poured, they did not get very wet.

They hid their lunches under rocks and overhanging trees so nothing was
spoiled. And when the rain was over and the sun came out, as it did,
the animal picnic went on as before, and when the food was set out on
flat stumps for tables, there was enough for everyone, and plenty left
over.

Nurse Jane was looking at what remained of the good things to eat when
Jackie Bow Wow, who, with Peetie, had been splashing in a mud puddle,
came running up wagging his tail.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily!" barked Jackie. "What you think? Those real
children, on the other side of the wood, they had their things to eat
out on some stumps for tables, just as we had, and when the rain came,
oh! it spoiled everything!"

"They didn't know how to keep their lunches dry," added Peetie. "Now
they haven't anything to eat for their picnic, and they are starting
home, and some of the little girls are crying."

"That's too bad!" murmured Uncle Wiggily, kindly. "Too bad that the
rain had to spoil their picnic! Now we have plenty of things left that
children could eat--nuts, apples, some popcorn and pears," for the
animal folk had brought all these, and many more, to the woods with
them. "We have lots left over."

"We could give them something to eat," spoke Nurse Jane, "but how are
we going to get it to them? We can't call them here; and it would never
do to let them see us carrying the things to them."

"No," agreed Uncle Wiggily. "But I think I have a plan. We can make
some baskets of birch bark. Some of the animal children--such as Jacko
and Jumpo Kinkytail, the monkeys, Joie and Tommie Kat, Johnnie and
Billie Bushytail, the squirrels--are good tree climbers. Let them climb
trees near where the real children are having their picnic, and lower
to them, on grape-vine ropes, the food we have left."

"Oh, yes!" mewed Tommie, the kitten boy. "What jolly fun!"

Quickly Nurse Jane began to gather up the food. Uncle Wiggily put it in
birch bark baskets the animal children made and then, with the baskets,
fastened to vines, in their paws or claws, the animal boys went through
the wood to the place of the other picnic. Uncle Wiggily and the
remaining animal children followed.

There the poor, disappointed real children were, looking at their
rain-soaked and spoiled lunches. Some of the little girls were crying.

"We might as well go home," grumbled a boy. "Our picnic is no good!"

"Mean old rain!" sighed a girl.

But just then the animal chaps with lunch from Uncle Wiggily's
picnic--lunch which had not been rained on--climbed up into trees
over the heads of the boys and girls. Not a sound did the animal
chaps make. And when the real boys and girls had their backs turned,
there were lowered to the stump tables enough good things for a jolly
feast--apples, pears, popcorn, nuts and many other dainties.

[Illustration: The animal boys scurried off]

A little girl happened to turn around and see the birch bark baskets of
good things just as the animal boys scurried off through the trees.

"Oh, look!" cried the girl. "The fairies have been here! They have
left us some lunch in place of ours that the rain spoiled. Oh, see the
fairy lunch!"

And I suppose that is as good a name for it as any, since the boys and
girls didn't see Uncle Wiggily's friends lower the baskets from the
trees. And the real boys and girls ate the lunch and had a most jolly
time, and so did the bunny gentleman and his picnic crowd.

Now if the rubber plant doesn't stretch over and tickle the teapot so
that it pours coffee instead of milk into the sugar bowl, you may next
hear about Uncle Wiggily in the rain storm.



STORY XVI

UNCLE WIGGILY'S RAIN STORM


Down pelted the rain in Animal Land.

It also poured in Boy and Girl Land, which was on the other side of
the forest from where Uncle Wiggily Longears lived in his hollow stump
bungalow.

The bunny rabbit gentleman looked out of a window, and saw the drops
fall drip, drip, dripping from trees and bushes, making little puddles
amid the leaves where birds could come, later, and take a bath.

"You aren't thinking of going out in this storm; are you?" asked Nurse
Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady bungalow-keeper, as she saw Mr.
Longears putting on his coat.

"Why, I was, yes," slowly answered the bunny gentleman. "I am
neither sugar nor salt, that I will melt in the rain. And, as it
isn't freezing, I think I'll take a hop through the woods, and see
Grandfather Goosey Gander."

"Well, as long as you are going out, I wish you'd go to the store for
me," requested Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy.

"What do you want?" asked the bunny gentleman.

"Oh, bring a muskmelon for dinner," said Nurse Jane.

"A watermelon would be much easier to carry through the rain," Uncle
Wiggily answered. "I think I'll bring a watermelon. If it gets wet no
harm is done."

"All right," agreed Nurse Jane, laughing, so away hopped the bunny
rabbit uncle, over the fields and through the woods. It seemed to rain
harder and harder, but Uncle Wiggily did not mind. He had an umbrella,
though he did not always carry one. It was made from a toadstool, and
it kept off most of the rain. Though, as Mr. Longears said, he was
neither a lollypop nor an ice-cream cone that would melt in a shower.

But not everyone was as happy as Uncle Wiggily in this storm. On the
other side of the forest, as I told you, was Boy and Girl Land, and in
one of the houses lived a brother and a sister. They, too, stood at the
window, pressing their noses against the glass as the rain beat down,
and they were not happy.

  "Rain, rain, go away!
  Come again some other day!
  Brother and I want to go and play!"

That is the verse the little girl recited over and over again as she
watched the rain pelting down. But the storm did not stop for all that
she said the verse backward and frontward.

"Will it ever stop?" crossly cried the boy. "Why doesn't it stop?"
and he drummed on the window sill, banged his feet on the floor and
whistled. And his sister loudly recited over and over again:

  "Rain, rain, go away!"

"Children! Children!" gently called Mother from where she was lying
down in the next room. "Can't you please be a little quiet? My head
aches and I am trying to rest. The noise makes my pain worse."

"We're sorry, Mother," said the girl.

"But being quiet isn't any fun!" grumbled the boy. "Why can't we go out
and play?"

"Because you would get all wet," answered his mother. "I've told you
that two or three times, dear. Now please be quiet. It will stop
raining sometime, and then you may go out."

"What can we play with?" asked the boy, not very politely I'm sorry to
say.

"Why, some of your toys," replied his mother. "Surely you have enough."

"I'm tired of 'em!" grunted the boy.

"So'm I," echoed his sister.

Then she began once more to say the verse about the rain, as if that
would do any good, and the boy rubbed his nose up and down the window,
making queer marks.

Uncle Wiggily, on his way to see Grandpa Goosey Gander, and get a
watermelon for Nurse Jane, took a short cut through a field, and passed
the house where the children were kept in on account of the rain. And,
as it happened, the window near which the boy and girl stood was open a
little way at the top.

So, as the bunny gentleman hopped past, he not only saw the children,
but he heard what they said, being able, as I have before related to
you, to understand real talk.

But the children were looking up at the sky so intently, trying to see
if it would stop raining, that they never noticed Uncle Wiggily. Though
if they had seen him, all dressed as he was like a gentleman from the
moving pictures, they would have been very much surprised.

"Too bad those children have to stay in on account of the rain,"
thought Uncle Wiggily. "I wonder if I couldn't find some way of amusing
them? If they are tired of their own playthings I might toss in,
through the open window, some of the things the animal boys and girls
play with. I'll do it!"

Off through the woods in the rain hopped Uncle Wiggily. He found a
number of smooth, brown acorns, some of which had the cups, or caps
still on. He filled one pocket with the acorns.

Next the bunny picked up some cones from the pine tree. There were
large and small cones, and Nurse Jane always used one as a nutmeg
grater, it was so rough, while Uncle Wiggily kept one near his bed to
scratch his back at night.

"Let me see, what else would the animal children take?" said the bunny
to himself. "I think they would take some green moss, and the girls
would make beds with it for their dolls. The animal boys would take
hollow reeds and blow little pebbles through them as real boys blow
beans in their tin shooters. I'll take some moss and reeds."

This the bunny uncle did, also picking up some empty snail and
periwinkle shells he found on the bank of a brook.

"The little girl can string these shells for beads," thought the bunny.
"And I'll strip off some pieces of white birch bark so the boy can make
a little canoe, as the Indians used to do."

Having gathered all these things--playthings which the animal children
found in the woods every day--the bunny hopped back to the house of
the boy and girl. The window was open, but the boy and girl had left
it. The girl was giving her mother a drink of water, and the boy was
bringing up some coal for the fire.

"This is my chance!" thought Uncle Wiggily.

Standing outside, he tossed in through the open window the acorns,
the pine cones, the shells, the moss and other things. Then he hopped
quickly away and hid behind a bush. He could hear the children come
back into the room, and soon he heard the girl cry:

"Oh, look what the wind blew in! Some acorns! I can make little cups of
them, and use the tops for saucers! And I'll set a play-party table for
my doll, and decorate it with green moss. Oh, how perfectly lovely!"

"I'm going to make a boat out of this birch bark!" cried the boy. "And
look! A hollow reed, like a bean blower! Now I can have some fun!"

"Look at the lovely shells I can string and make a necklace of!" went
on the girl.

"And I can make wooden legs, and a wooden head and stick em on these
pine cones and make believe they're Noah's ark animals!" laughed the
boy. "Hurray!" he cried most happily.

"What is going on out there?" called Mother from where she was lying
down. "Have you found something to play with?"

"Yes'm," answered the boy. "We'll be quiet now."

"And we don't care if it does rain," said the girl. "The wind blew a
lot of lovely things in the window!"

But of course we know that Uncle Wiggily tossed them in.

"I guess they'll be all right now, no matter how much it rains,"
said the bunny, as he hopped along to see Grandpa Goosey, and buy the
snowmelon--excuse me, I mean the watermelon--for Nurse Jane.

So this teaches us that sometimes a rain storm is good for letting
you find out new ways of having fun. And if the looking-glass doesn't
make funny faces at the rag doll, when she's trying to see if her
hair ribbon is on backward, on the next page you may read about Uncle
Wiggily and the mumps.



+Note+

Uncle Wiggily specially requests that the following story will NOT be
read to children who have the mumps. Please wait until they are better.



STORY XVII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE MUMPS


Uncle Wiggily Longears, the bunny rabbit gentleman, was hopping through
the woods one day, and he was thinking of making his way over to the
other side of the forest, where the real boys and girls lived, hoping
he might have an adventure, when, all at once, Mr. Longears heard some
voices talking behind a mulberry bush.

"I know what we can do," said the voice of a boy, as Uncle Wiggily
could tell, for he had learned to know the talk of boys and girls.

"What can we do?" asked the voice of another boy.

"We can pick up a lot of stones," went on the first boy, "and we can
make believe we're hunters, and we can walk through the woods and throw
stones at the birds, and squirrels, and rabbits! Come on! Let's do it!"

"Oh, no! I don't want to do _that_," said the second boy. "It isn't any
fun to throw stones at birds and bunnies. If you hit a mother bird, and
break her wing, she can't take anything to eat to the little birds, and
they'll starve."

"Pooh! That's nothing!" exclaimed the first boy, and Uncle Wiggily
peeked over the top of the bush to see what manner of boys these were.
But the bunny rabbit gentleman kept himself well hidden.

"I don't want any stones thrown at me," he thought.

"And," went on the second boy, who seemed rather kind, "if you throw
a stone at a rabbit you might break its leg, and then it couldn't hop
home to the baby rabbits."

"That is very true!" thought Uncle Wiggily, who was listening to all
that went on. "I wish there were more boys like this kind one."

"Well, I don't care!" grumbled the first boy. "I'm going off and throw
stones at birds and rabbits and squirrels!"

"And I'm going home," said the second boy. "I don't feel very good. I
have a pain in my cheek and maybe I'm going to have the toothache."

"Goodness me, sakes alive! I hope nothing like _that_ happens to such
a kind boy," thought Uncle Wiggily. "And as for that other chap, I'll
run ahead of him, through the woods, and tell my friends to hide so he
can't throw stones at them."

So, while one boy went home and the other picked up some stones, Uncle
Wiggily skipped along through the woods, calling, in his animal talk,
to his friends to hide themselves.

"For a boy is coming to stone you!" exclaimed the bunny rabbit
gentleman. "Hide! Hide away from the stone-throwing boy!"

And so it happened that when the unkind chap came tramping through the
woods, the only bird he saw to stone was an old black crow, as black as
black could be.

"I'll hit you!" cried the boy, as he threw a stone.

But the crow was a wise old bird, and wastn't even afraid of the scary,
stuffed men that farmers put in their cornfields. So the crow dodged
the stone and then he laughed at the boy.

"Haw! Haw! Haw!" laughed the old black crow. "Haw! Haw! Haw!"

The boy grew very cross at this, and threw more stones, and some fell
among the flower bushes where some bees were gathering the sweet juices
of flowers to make into honey. One stone knocked a bee off a blossom,
and spilled the honey it was gathering.

"Just for that I'm going to sting that boy!" buzzed the bee. Out it
flittered, making such a zipping sound around that boy's head as to
cause the bad chap to drop his stones and run away. So the bee did not
have to sting him after all.

"Boys are no good!" buzzed the bee to Uncle Wiggily, as the honey chap
flew back to the flowers.

"Oh, _some_ boys are good," said the bunny gentleman. "The boy who was
with this bad chap was good, and kind to animals. And that reminds me;
this boy said he didn't feel very well. I must hop over to-morrow, and
take a look at his house. I know where he lives. I hope he isn't going
to have the toothache."

But the kind boy, as I call him just for fun, you know, had something
worse than the toothache. His neck and jaws began to swell in the
night, and he could hardly swallow a drink of water which his mother
gave him when she heard him tossing in bed.

"What you s'pose is the matter of me, Mother?" asked the boy.

"Well," said Mother, as she smoothed his pillow, "perhaps you caught
cold in the woods to-day."

But it was worse than that. When the Doctor came in the morning, and
looked at the boy, and gently felt of his neck (even which gentle touch
made the boy want to cry) the Doctor said:

"Hum! Mumps!"

"Did you say 'bumps,' Doctor?" asked the boy's mother. "Did he fall
down and bump himself?"

"No, I said _mumps_!" exclaimed the doctor. "That's a swelling inside
his neck, and it will hurt him a lot. But if you keep him in bed, and
warm, and give him easy things to eat, he'll soon be all right again."

"Poor boy!" murmured Mother. "Well, I suppose _mumps_ are better than
_bumps_!"

"I'm not so sure about that," spoke the Doctor as he walked to the door
with the boy's mother. "Whatever you do," he said in a whisper, "don't
give him anything _sour_--such as lemons or pickles. Sour things make
the mumps pain more than ever. Don't even _speak_ of vinegar in front
of him, or so much as _whisper_ it!"

"I won't," promised Mother.

But the boy's little sister overheard what Doctor and Mother were
saying, and, being a mischievous sort of girl, she decided to have some
fun. At least _she_ called it fun.

"I'm going to stand in front of Brother and hold up a pickle so he can
see it," said Sister to herself. "I want to see what he'll do!"

So Sister hurried down to the kitchen and brought up a pickle. Then
she went in the room where Brother was in bed and, holding the sour
pickle in front of him, called:

"Look!"

And, no sooner did the boy look than he felt a sharp pain in his
throat, almost as bad as toothache, and he cried:

"Go on away! Stop showing me that--that----" Well, he couldn't even say
the word "pickle," for just the thought of anything sour hurts your
mumps, you know.

The boy hid his face in his pillow, and when he couldn't see the pickle
he felt a little better. But his Sister was still full of mischief.

"Lemons! Lemons! Nice sour lemons!" she called teasingly.

"Stop it! Stop it!" begged the boy. "Oh, how my mumps hurt! Mother,
make Sister stop hurting my mumps!"

And when Mother came, and found what Sister was doing, she made the
little girl go to bed, even though it was daytime.

"You will, very likely, get the mumps yourself," said Mother. "And I
hope no one says anything sour to _you_."

And, later on, Sister did get the mumps, but I'm glad to say her
brother did not hold a lemon up in front of her. For, as I told you,
even the _thought_ of anything sour hurts the mumps.

Now you know the reason why I didn't want you to read this story when
you had the swelling in your neck. It was better to wait until your
mumps were gone; wasn't it?

So this boy had the mumps, and he had them on both sides at once, which
is the very worst form. He could hardly swallow anything because of the
pain, even things that were not sour. Now and then he managed to sip a
little hot chocolate.

His mother put a warm flannel bandage around his face, which was much
swelled, and, thus wrapped up, the little boy could, now and then, get
out of bed.

It was on one of these times, when his jaws were wrapped up, and his
face swollen, that Uncle Wiggily happened to hop along through the
woods, not far from the Mump Boy's house. And, having very good eyes,
Mr. Longears saw the sick lad.

"Poor fellow!" thought the bunny gentleman. "He is ill, just as he
thought he was going to be! Toothache it is, too!"

"Who has the toothache!" asked Dr. Possum, for the animal doctor came
along just then, with his bag of medicine held fast in the curl of his
tail.

"That boy," answered Uncle Wiggily, pointing from the bush, where he
and Dr. Possum were hiding, to the window of the boy's home.

"He hasn't the toothache! Those are the mumps!" said Dr. Possum, who
knew all about such things.

"Mumps!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "Oh, that's too bad. Why, if that boy
is mumpy he must have trouble eating. I wonder if I could leave on his
doorstep something he would like--something that he wouldn't have to
chew and which would slip down easily?"

"Whatever you leave for him, don't have it _sour_," advised Dr. Possum,
as he hurried along to see Curly Twistytail, the piggie boy, who had
cut his nose on a piece of glass while digging for wild sunflower roots
in the woods.

"Ha! Nothing sour for the Mump Boy!" said Uncle Wiggily to himself, as
Dr. Possum hopped away. "Then something sweet will be just the proper
thing. Sweet honey! I have it! I'll ask my friends, the bees, for some
of their honey. I'll get Nurse Jane to make a little pail of birch
bark, and I'll leave the wild honey on the boy's stoop."

Off hopped the bunny gentleman, until he found where the bees had their
home in a hollow tree.

"Could you give me some honey for a good boy with bad mumps?" asked the
rabbit.

"Some honey for a good boy with the bad mumps?" said the Queen Bee.
"Certainly, Uncle Wiggily! As much as you like!"

Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the bunny's muskrat lady housekeeper, made a
little box of white bark from the birch tree, and when this pretty box
was filled with wild, sweet honey, Uncle Wiggily took it with him one
evening.

It was time for the Mump Boy to go to bed, but the pain in his neck was
so bad that he cried.

"I'm hungry, too," he said. "Oh, why can't I eat something that won't
hurt my mumps?"

"I'll try to think of something for you," said Mother wearily.

Just then Uncle Wiggily hopped to the edge of the forest, close to the
Mump Boy's house, and running up, he put the birch box of wild honey
on the stoop. Then the bunny threw some little stones at the door and
hopped away, hiding in the bushes.

"Wait until I see who's at the door," said Mother, as she smoothed the
boy's pillow. "Then I'll get you something."

She looked out on the porch, and saw the little birch bark box.

"It looks like a valentine," she thought, "though this isn't
Valentine's Day."

"What is it?" asked the boy. "Is it anything I can eat that won't hurt
my mumps?"

"Why, yes, it is!" joyfully said his mother, as she saw what it was.
"Sweet, wild honey!"

Even the name, so different from sour pickles or lemons, made the Mumps
Boy feel better.

"Please give me some," he begged. "It sounds good!"

[Illustration: Uncle Wiggily saw him at the window]

The wild sweet honey slipped down as gently as a feather, not hurting
the boy's neck at all. And soon after that he went to sleep and in a
few days he was better.

Uncle Wiggily saw the boy at the window, the bandage no longer on his
face, and he even saw the boy eating the last of the wild honey.

"I guess he liked it," thought the bunny, as he hopped away.

When the boy was all better, and could be out and play, he asked all of
his friends which one it was who had left the honey on the porch. One
and all answered:

"I didn't do it!"

"I wonder who it was?" said the boy, over and over again.

Well, we know; don't we? But we aren't allowed to tell. And when the
Boy's Sister caught the mumps, Uncle Wiggily left her some honey also.
Which was very kind of him, I think.

So if the little pussy cat doesn't drop her penny in the snowbank,
thinking it will turn into a dollar so she can buy a box of lollypops,
you may next hear about Uncle Wiggily and the measles.



STORY XVIII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE MEASLES


Once upon a time there was a boy who didn't like to go to school. Every
chance he had he stayed at home instead of going to his classes to
learn his lessons.

Sometimes he would get up in the morning and say:

"Mother, I think I'm going to have the toothache. I guess I better not
go to school to-day."

But his mother would laugh and say:

"Oh, run along! If you get the toothache in school the teacher will let
you come home."

Then the boy would go to school, though he didn't want to, and he would
be thinking up some new excuse for staying home, so really he did not
recite his lessons as well as he might.

One day this boy came running in the house, all excited, and called out:

"Oh, Mother! I just know I can't go to school to-morrow!"

"Why not?" asked Mother.

"'Cause I've been playing with the boy across the street, an' he's got
the measles, an' I'll catch 'em an' I can't go to school. You ought t'
see! He's all covered with red spots!" The boy who didn't like school
was much excited. "He's all red spots!" he exclaimed.

"Is he?" asked Mother. "Well, the measles aren't painful, though they
are 'catching,' as you children say. However, you can't catch them
quite as soon as one day. So you may go to school until you break out
with red spots. Then it will be time enough to stay at home."

"Can't I stay home to-morrow?" begged the boy.

"Oh, of course not!" laughed Mother. "I want you to go to school and
become a smart man! Time enough to stay home when you get the measles!"

Now, of course, this did not suit that boy at all. When he went to bed
he was thinking and thinking of some plan by which he could stay home
from school. For there was to be a hard lesson next day, and, though I
am sorry to say it, that boy was too lazy to study as he ought.

"If I could only break out with the measles I could stay home," he
kept saying over and over again as he lay in bed. Every now and then
he would get up, turn on the electric light in his room and look at
himself in the glass to see if any red spots were coming. But he could
see none.

"What's the matter, Boysie?" his mother called to him from her room.
"Why are you so restless?"

"Maybe I'm getting the measles," he hopefully answered.

"Nonsense! Go to sleep!" laughed Daddy.

Finally the boy did go to sleep, but either he dreamed it, or the idea
came to him in the night, for, early in the morning, he awakened and,
slipping on his bath robe, went into his sister's room.

"Hey, Sis!" he whispered. "Where's your box of paints?"

"What you want 'em for?" asked Sister.

"Oh, I--I'm going to paint something," mumbled the boy. Sister was too
sleepy--for it was only early morning as yet--to wonder much about it,
so she told her brother where to find the paints, and then she turned
over and went to sleep again.

Now what do you suppose that boy did?

Why, he went back to his room, and with his sister's brush and color
box he painted red spots on his face, just as he had seen them on the
face of the real Measles Boy across the street. Then this boy put the
paints away and waited.

After a while Mother called:

"Come, Boysie! Time to get up and go to school!"

"I--I don't guess I'd better go to school this morning," said the boy,
trying to make his voice sound weak and ill and faint-like.

"Not go to school! Why not?" cried Mother in surprise.

"I--I'm all red spots," the boy answered. And when his mother went in
his room, and saw that he really was spotted, she exclaimed:

"Why, you _have_ the measles! I didn't think they'd break out so
_soon_! Well, you must stay in the dark on account of your eyes. I'll
bring you in some breakfast, and of course you can't go to school!"

Then that boy had to put the bedquilt over his mouth so he wouldn't
laugh. If his room had been light his mother, of course, would have
seen that the spots were only red paint. But in the dimness of early
morning she didn't see.

"Isn't Brother going to school?" asked Sister as she ate her breakfast.

"He has the measles," said Mother. "I expect you'll come down with them
next, and break out in a day or so. But wait until you do."

And if Sister thought anything about her red paint she said nothing. I
don't believe she ever imagined her brother would play such a trick.

At first, after his sister had gone to school, and he had been given
his breakfast in bed, the boy thought it was going to be lots of fun
to pretend to have the measles and stay home from school. But after a
while this began to grow tiresome.

It was a beautiful, warm sunshiny day outside, and staying in a dark
room wasn't as much fun as that boy had thought. He could hear the bees
humming outside his open window, and the birds were singing.

His mother opened the door and spoke to him.

"I'm just going across the street a few minutes," she said. "You'll be
all right, won't you?"

"Yes'm," answered the boy. "My measles don't hurt hardly any."

And of course they couldn't, being only painted measles, you know.

When Mother went away, softly closing the door after her, the sound
of the buzzing bees and the singing birds came to the boy through his
window. He knew it must be lovely outside, and yet he had to stay in
bed.

"But I can get up and run out for a little while," he said to himself.
"Mother will never know!"

No sooner thought of than done! The boy quickly put on some
clothes--not many, for it was summer--and out into the yard he went,
his face all red paint spots. He didn't dare wash them off or his
mother would have noticed.

Now it happened that Uncle Wiggily, the bunny rabbit gentleman, was
out that day, taking a walk with Grandfather Goosey Gander. The two
friends passed through the woods, close to the edge of the yard of the
house where the make-believe Measles Boy lived. And the boy saw the
bunny gentleman, all dressed up as Uncle Wiggily was. Grandpa Goosey,
also, had on his coat and trousers. Uncle Wiggily wore his golf suit
that day--black and white checkered trousers and a cap.

[Illustration: "Hop faster!" quacked Grandpa]

"Oh, what a funny rabbit! What a funny goose!" cried the boy. "I'm
going to catch 'em and have a play circus in my yard!"

Forgetting that he was supposed to be suffering from measles, this boy
chased after Uncle Wiggily and Grandpa Goosey.

"We'd better run," quacked the goose gentleman. "Boy, you know! Chase
us! Throw stones, you know. Better run; what?"

"I believe you!" answered Uncle Wiggily. "Run it is!"

Off hopped the bunny! Off waddled the goose! But the boy was a fast
runner, in spite of the red spots on his face and he came nearer and
nearer to Uncle Wiggily.

"I'm afraid he's going to catch me, Grandpa!" spoke Mr. Longears
in animal talk, of course, which the boy could not hear, much less
understand.

"Hop faster!" quacked Grandpa, who was half running and half flying.

On came the boy! Grandpa Goosey, who was ahead, looked back and saw
that Uncle Wiggily was soon going to be caught.

"There is only one way to save the bunny," thought Grandpa Goosey.
"I'll splash some water in that boy's face and eyes so he can't see for
a moment. Then Uncle Wiggily and I can get away!"

Near the path along which the boy was chasing the bunny and goose was a
puddle of water. As quick as a wink Grandpa Goosey splashed into this,
and, with his wings and webbed feet, he sent such a shower of water
into the face of the boy that the bad chap had to stop.

"Oh! Ouch! Stop splashing me!" cried the boy. His face was all wet, but
he wiped it off on his sleeve, and with his handkerchief. And when he
had cleared his eyes of water he started to run again.

But by this time Uncle Wiggily and Grandpa Goosey were far off, hidden
in the forest, and the boy could not find them.

"I guess I'd better go back home and get into bed," thought the boy.
"Mother will be looking for me."

He was just going in the house when his mother came up the steps.

"Why, Boysie!" exclaimed Mother. "You shouldn't have gone out with the
measles! Why--where _are_ your measles?" she asked, for the spots were
gone. "Your face is all red, like a lobster; but you haven't any more
measles spots! What happened?"

The boy remembered the water that Grandpa Goosey had splashed up from
the puddle. He took out his handkerchief and looked at it. That, too,
was red!

"Why, it's _red paint_!" cried Mother. "Oh, Boysie! How could you play
such a trick?" and she felt so sad that tears came into her eyes. "What
made you do it, Boysie?"

"I--I didn't want to go to school," the boy answered, softly and much
ashamed.

"Oh, how foolish of you!" said Mother. "Now I'll have to take you to
school myself, but I won't tell teacher what you did--that is, I will
not if you study your lessons well."

"I will, Mother! I will!" the make-believe Measles Boy promised. "I'll
never want to stay home from school again!"

And he never did--even when he really had the measles which broke out
on him about a week later. But he did not have them very hard, though
he didn't need any of his sister's paints to make red spots.

And when Grandpa Goosey looked in the window of the boy's house, and
saw the little chap with his face all speckled, the goose gentleman
said:

"Serves him right for chasing Uncle Wiggily and me!"

Well, perhaps it did. Who knows? Anyhow, if it should happen that the
doorknob doesn't turn around and try to crawl through the keyhole when
the milk bottle chases the pussy cat off the back stoop, then I may
tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the chicken-pox.



STORY XIX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE CHICKEN-POX


One day Charlie and Arabella Chick, the little rooster and hen children
of Mrs. Cluck-Cluck, the hen lady, came fluttering over to Uncle
Wiggily's hollow stump bungalow.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily!" cackled Arabella. "What you think has happened?"

"Well, I hardly am able to guess," answered the bunny gentleman. "I do
hope, though, that your coop isn't on fire. You seem much excited, my
dears!"

"Well, I guess you'd be excited, too, if a boy threw stones at you!"
crowed Charlie. "Wouldn't you?"

"Indeed I would," admitted Uncle Wiggily. "Once a boy did stone me and
I didn't like it at all."

"We don't like it either," cawed Arabella.

"Isn't there some way you can stop that boy from throwing sticks and
stones at us?" Charlie wanted to know.

"Tell me about it," suggested Uncle Wiggily.

"Well, it's this way," began Arabella. "This boy lives on the other
side of the Big Forest. Sometimes Charlie and I go over there to pick
up beechnuts and other good things to eat, and every time that boy
sees us he pegs things at us! Wouldn't you call him a bad boy, Uncle
Wiggily?"

"Most surely I would," answered the rabbit gentleman. "But why does he
do it? You don't crow over him; do you, Charlie?"

"No, indeed," answered the rooster boy. "I only crow to warn Arabella
when I see that fellow coming, to tell her to run and hide under a
bush."

"And I don't pick him, or scratch gravel at him or anything like that,"
cackled the little hen girl. "I wish he'd let us alone, Uncle Wiggily."

"We came over to see if you could think up a way to make him stop,"
crowed Charlie. "Can you?"

"Hum! I'll try," promised the bunny gentleman, twinkling his pink nose
like the frosting on top of an orange shortcake. "Suppose we go look
for this boy," went on Uncle Wiggily. "So I'll know him when I see him."

"I can show you his house," offered Charlie. "But we'll have to be
careful. For if he sees us he'll peg things at us."

"Let us hope not," murmured Uncle Wiggily.

But it was a vain hope, as they say in fairy books. For after Uncle
Wiggily, Charlie and Arabella had gone to the other side of a forest,
there, all of a sudden, they saw the boy.

"Hi! There are those funny dressed-up chickens!" shouted the boy, who
had red hair, and a face full of freckles. "And there's a rabbit with
them, all dressed up in a tall silk hat! Oh, my! What style! I'm going
to see if I can knock his hat off with a stone! I'm going to peg rocks
at 'em!"

"See! What did I tell you?" cackled Arabella, who could understand
boy-talk, as could also Charlie and Uncle Wiggily.

"Bang!" bounced a stone on Uncle Wiggily's tall silk hat, sending it
spinning through the air.

"Ha! Ha!" laughed the boy, as he picked up another stone. "I'm a good
shot, I am!"

"I should call that rather a _bad_ shot--for my hat," remarked Uncle
Wiggily, as he picked up his silk hat and hopped toward the bushes.
"Come on, Arabella and Charlie!" called the bunny gentleman. "This boy
is acting just as you said he did. I must think up some way of teaching
him a lesson!"

The little hen girl and rooster boy scooted under the bushes, and
only just in time, for the boy threw many more stones, and one struck
Charlie on the comb. Not the comb that he used to make his feathers
smooth, but the red comb on his head--one of his ornaments; his tail
feathers being others.

"Hi, fellows! Come on chase the funny chickens and the dressed-up
rabbit!" cried the boy. But though some of his chums ran up, as he
called, with sticks and stones, Uncle Wiggily, with Charlie and
Arabella, managed to hide away from the thoughtless lads. For they were
thoughtless. They didn't think that stones hurt animals.

"Yes, I certainly must teach that boy a lesson," said Uncle Wiggily.

"I--I wish he'd catch the chicken-pox!" crowed Charlie. "Or maybe the
roosterpox! Then he'd have to stay in and couldn't chase us!"

"I wouldn't care if he had the mumps and toothache at the same time!"
cackled Arabella.

For several days Uncle Wiggily watched for a chance to teach the
thoughtless boy a lesson, and at last it came. The bunny gentleman was
out hopping in the woods one morning when he met Charlie and Arabella
fluttering along the forest path.

[Illustration: The boy was asleep under a tree----]

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily!" said Arabella in a cackling whisper. "That boy is
asleep now, on a bed of moss under a tree. He's sleeping hard, too, for
Charlie and I went close to him and he didn't awaken. Maybe you can do
something to him now."

"Maybe I can," said Uncle Wiggily. "I'll go see!"

He hopped through the woods with the chicken children, and soon came
to where the boy was asleep under a tree. It was a pine tree, with
sticky gum oozing from the trunk and branches. And as soon as the bunny
gentleman saw this gum he whispered:

"I have an idea! I'll teach this boy a lesson."

"How?" asked Charlie.

"I'll make him think he has the chicken-pox, or something worse,"
answered the bunny, with a silent laugh.

"Goodie!" cackled Arabella.

"Ha! Ha!" crowed Charlie.

"Quiet now, chicken children," whispered Uncle Wiggily. "Each of you
pull me out a few loose feathers."

Charlie and Arabella did this. Then the bunny uncle took some of the
soft gum from the pine tree, and put spots of it on the face and hands
of the sleeping boy. Though he stirred a little, the boy did not awaken.

When the boy was well spotted with the sticky gum, Uncle Wiggily
took the chicken feathers that Charlie and Arabella had plucked, and
fastened these feathers on the boy's face and hands in the gum.

"Oh, how funny he looks!" softly cackled Arabella.

"Hush!" cautioned Uncle Wiggily, putting his paw on his pink, twinkling
nose. "Let him sleep!"

Drawing back into the bushes, Uncle Wiggily, Charlie and Arabella
waited for the boy to awaken, which he did pretty soon. He turned over,
sat up and stretched. Then he looked at his hands, and saw chicken
feathers stuck on them.

"Oh! Oh!" cried the boy. "What has happened to me?"

He jumped to his feet and caught sight of himself in a spring of water
that was like a looking glass.

"Oh! Oh!" cried the boy again. "This is terrible! Oh, my face!"

Home he ran through the woods, while Charlie and Arabella laughed to
see him go.

"Oh, Mother! Mother! Look at me!" cried the boy. "I'm all feathers! I
must have the chicken-pox!"

"Goodness me, sakes alive and a basket of eggs!" exclaimed the boy's
mother. "You must have gone to sleep in a hen's nest! But you haven't
the chicken-pox! The chicken-pox is spots like the measles, but you are
covered with _feathers_!"

"But how did I get this way?" asked the boy, as he pulled off some of
the feathers. "I wasn't like it when I went to sleep in the woods."

"Maybe a fairy did it," spoke his little sister, who believed in them.

"Pooh! There aren't any fairies!" sneered the boy. "I guess it was that
hen and rooster I stoned."

"Did you do that?" asked his mother. "Did you?"

"A--a little!" stammered the boy.

"Well, it isn't any wonder you're this way, then," Mother said. "And,
for all I know, you may get the real chicken-pox!"

And, as true as I'm telling you that boy did! But he was not made very
ill, for some reason or other. Perhaps because he had to be washed so
clean, to get off the sticky pine gum and the feathers, the chicken-pox
didn't go in very deeply.

At any rate, when the boy was all well again, he threw no more stones
at Charlie or Arabella.

"You cured him, Uncle Wiggily!" crowed the rooster boy.

And I really think the bunny did. So if toy balloon doesn't take the
spout off the teakettle to blow beans through at the egg beater, I'll
tell you next about Uncle Wiggily's Hallowe'en.



STORY XX

UNCLE WIGGILY'S HALLOWE'EN


Hopping along under the bushes one day, near the edge of the forest
nearest to where lived the real boys and girls, Uncle Wiggily Longears,
the bunny rabbit gentleman, heard two boys talking together.

"We'll put a tick-tack on her window," said the First Boy.

"And she'll be scared stiff!" said the Second Boy. "Oh, what fun we'll
have this Hallowe'en!"

"Hum!" thought the bunny rabbit gentleman to himself, after hearing
this. "It may be fun for _you_, but how about whoever it is you're
going to scare stiff? I only hope it isn't my nice muskrat lady
housekeeper, Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy!"

Uncle Wiggily twinkled his pink nose, and listened with both ears.

"Yes," went on the First Boy, "we'll have a lot of fun this Hallowe'en
with tick-tacks and the like of that! And we'll put on false faces so
the Little Old Lady of Mulberry Lane won't know us!"

"Oh ho! So that's the one they're going to play tricks on; is it?"
thought Uncle Wiggily to himself. "The Little Old Lady of Mulberry
Lane! I know her--poor creature; she lives all alone, and she may have
a cupboard, like Old Mother Hubbard, but she hasn't a dog or a bone. I
suppose," thought Uncle Wiggily, "that Jackie or Peetie Bow Wow would
stay with her, if she wanted them. I must see about it."

"But, first of all, I must plan some way so these mischievous boys
won't put a tick-tack on the window of the Little Old Lady of Mulberry
Lane. I know what tick-tacks are!"

And well Uncle Wiggily knew, for sometimes the boys and girls of
Woodland, near the Orange Ice Mountains, where the bunny had built
his hollow stump bungalow, put one of the scary things on his window.
That is, they were scary if you didn't know what they were, but Uncle
Wiggily did.

Oftentimes Sammie Littletail, the rabbit, or Johnnie and Billie
Bushytail, the squirrels, would take some string, a pin and an old
nail, or little stone, and make a tick-tack. They fastened a short
piece of string to the pin, and on the other end of the string they
tied a dangling stone. When it grew dark the animal chaps would sneak
up to Uncle Wiggily's window, and stick the pin in the wooden sash so
the stone, or nail, hung dangling down against the glass. Then they
would tie the long string, or thread, about half way down on the short
cord and hide off in the bushes, with one end of the long string in
their paws.

From their hiding place the animal boys would pull the long string. The
pebble, or stone, would rattle against Uncle Wiggily's window, making a
sound like:

"Tick! Tack!"

That's how it got its name, you see.

"So they are going to play tick-tack on the Little Old Lady of Mulberry
Lane; are they?" said Uncle Wiggily to himself, as the two boys walked
away. "Well, I must try to stop them!"

Mulberry Lane was a street near the forest where the bunny gentleman
lived in his hollow stump bungalow, and the Little Old Lady was the
only one whose house was built there. The bunny liked the Little Old
Lady, for in winter she scattered crumbs for the birds.

Uncle Wiggily hopped home to his hollow stump, and from the attic he
took down one of his old, tall silk hats.

"What in the world are you doing, Uncle Wiggily?" asked Nurse Jane. "Do
you think it is April Fool, and are you going to wear an old hat so the
animal boys won't play tricks on you?"

"Well, not exactly," the bunny answered. "I'll tell you later, Miss
Fuzzy Wuzzy--if it works."

"Hum!" said the muskrat lady housekeeper, as she saw Mr. Longears put
in his pocket some pieces of white paper and a pot of paste. "I do
believe he's going to fly a kite--and on Hallowe'en of all nights!"

For it quickly became Hallowe'en night. As soon as the dusky shadows
of evening began to fall, strange figures flitted to and fro, not only
in the woods of the animal folk, but on the other side, in the village
where the real boys and girls lived.

Real boys, with the heads of wolves, the faces of clowns and some as
black as the charcoal-man skipped here and there, ringing doorbells,
outlining in chalk on the steps something that looked like an envelope,
or else they tapped on windows with long sticks so that when the
windows were opened no one could be seen.

Uncle Wiggily, hopping off through the darkness toward the edge of the
forest, carried with him one of Nurse Jane's old brooms, an old, tall
silk hat and a coat the bunny gentleman had, long ago, tried to throw
in the rag bag. Only Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy wouldn't let him.

"I'll mend it, sew on some new buttons and it will be as good as ever,"
she said. Well, Uncle Wiggily found this coat and took it with him.

"I'll stop those boys from putting a tick-tack on the window of the
Little Old Lady of Mulberry Lane," thought the bunny as he hopped
along. "I'll tick-tack them!"

He kept in the shadows of the trees so none of the animal children saw
him. But the bunny gentleman saw them. He saw Neddie Stubtail, the boy
bear, dressed up like the Pipsisewah. And Billie Wagtail, the goat, had
on a false face just like the skinny Skeezicks.

Here and there animal girls were hurrying to Hallowe'en parties. Lulu
and Alice Wibblewobble, the ducks, were giving one, and Baby Bunty, the
little rabbit girl, had been invited to "bob" for carrots at the house
of Buddy and Brighteyes, the guinea pigs.

Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, who were dressed in clown suits, hurrying to
have fun with Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the squirrels, caught sight
of Uncle Wiggily.

"Come and have some Hallowe'en fun with us!" barked Jackie.

"I will in a little while," promised the bunny.

On and on he hopped, and soon he came to the house of the Little Old
Lady of Mulberry Lane. The bunny could look in her window and see her
reading a book by the light of a candle.

"I'll hide under her window," thought the bunny, "and when those boys
come with the tick-tack--well, we'll see what happens!"

Uncle Wiggily did not have long to wait. Pretty soon he heard a
rustling in the bushes and some whisperings.

"Here they come!" thought Mr. Longears. He put the extra tall silk hat
on top of the broom, and fastened his old coat to the handle, on a
cross-stick he had nailed there. Then, taking the pieces of white paper
from his pocket, Uncle Wiggily pasted them on the shiny part of the
old silk hat in the shape of a grinning Jack o' Lantern face. Then the
bunny crouched down behind the bushes with the scarecrow he had made.

"You sneak up and fasten on the tick-tack," whispered one boy, "and
I'll pull the string so it will rattle and scare the Old Lady stiff!"

"I want to pull the string, too!" said the other boy.

"Yes, you can, after you fasten on the tick-tack."

"Well, give it here then," said the second boy.

They were so close to the bush, behind which Uncle Wiggily was hidden,
that the bunny could have reached out and touched them with his paw if
he had wished.

But he didn't do that. Instead, Uncle Wiggily suddenly lifted up the
broom, dressed as it was in the old coat and the tall hat with the
grinning, white paper face like a Jack o' Lantern.

"Boo-oo-oo-bunk!" groaned the bunny rabbit, scary-like.

The boys, who were just getting ready to frighten the Little Old Lady
of Mulberry Lane, jumped up in fright themselves. They saw the queer
face laughing at them.

"Oh, it's a Hallowe'en hobgoblin! A hobgoblin!" cried one boy.

"Come on! Come on!" shouted the other. "Let's get out of here!" And
dropping string, tick-tack and everything, away they ran. They never
knew that it was only a bunny rabbit gentleman who had surprised them.

"Ha! Ha!" laughed Uncle Wiggily, as he peered out from behind the
broomstick and the scary tall-hat creature he had made. "I guess they
won't bother the Old Lady now!"

The Little Old Lady of Mulberry Lane laid aside the book she had been
reading and opened her door.

"Is anybody there?" she gently asked, looking out over her dark garden.
"Seems to me I heard a noise-like. Is anybody there, trying to play
Hallowe'en tricks on a poor, lone body like me? Anybody there?"

No one answered--not even Uncle Wiggily--for he couldn't speak real
talk, you know. But he heard what the Old Lady said.

"Nobody there! I guess it must have been the wind," said the Little Old
Lady of Mulberry Lane, as she shut the door.

But we know it wasn't the wind; don't we?

Then the bunny hopped back to his own part of the forest, to have
Hallowe'en fun with the animal boys and girls. The frightened boys ran
home and jumped into bed. And if the piano key doesn't unlock the door
of the phonograph, and let all the music run down the pussy cat's tail,
you may next hear of Uncle Wiggily and the poor dog.



STORY XXI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE POOR DOG


Once upon a time there was a dog so poor that he had no kennel to sleep
in. He made his bed in old boxes and barrels along the street, or
behind stores. And as for things to eat--that poor dog thought himself
lucky if he found a bone without any meat on it! Oh, he was dreadfully
poor, was that dog!

He had no collar to wear, though of course he did not miss a necktie,
for dogs never wear those. But when this dog saw other dogs, with
shiny brass or nickel collars around their necks, when he saw some of
them riding in automobiles as he splashed through the mud, and when he
looked over in yards and saw some dogs gnawing juicy, meaty bones in
front of their warm kennels--this poor dog sometimes felt sad.

"I don't see what use I am in this world," thought the poor dog, as he
chased away a tickling fly who wanted to ride on his tail. "I certainly
can't help anyone, for I can hardly help myself! I think I'll go off in
the woods and get lost! Yes, that's what I'll do," barked the poor dog.
"Get lost!"

Perhaps if he had had a good breakfast that morning, with a biscuit or
two, or even a slice of puppy cake, he might have been more happy. As
it was, after crawling out of an empty rain-water barrel, where he had
slept all night, and after finding only a small bone for his breakfast,
this dog went off to the woods.

"Good-bye, everybody!" he softly barked, as he stood on the edge of
the forest, and looked back toward the village he was leaving. But
there was no one even to bark a farewell to him. All alone the poor dog
started into the woods. "Good-bye!" he whined.

Now in this same forest, on the opposite side from the trees nearest
the village, stood the hollow stump bungalow of Uncle Wiggily Longears.
And this same morning that the poor dog decided to lose himself, the
bunny rabbit gentleman started out with his tall, silk hat, his red,
white and blue striped rheumatism crutch, and his pink twinkling nose
to look for an adventure.

"Keep your eyes open for the Woozie Wolf or the Fuzzy Fox!" called
Nurse Jane, the muskrat lady housekeeper as Mr. Longears hopped away.

"I will!" promised the bunny uncle.

Uncle Wiggily hopped along and along and along, looking behind bushes
and rocks for an adventure when, all of a sudden, he saw a sort of hole
down in between two logs.

"Perhaps there is an adventure down in there for me," said the rabbit
gentleman. "I'll poke my paw down in and find out. This hole isn't
large enough to be the den of the Fox or Wolf."

Uncle Wiggily thrust one of his forepaws down into the hole, and began
feeling around between the logs. He touched something soft and fuzzy,
and he was just beginning to think that perhaps Baby Bunty was hiding
down there so he couldn't tag her when, all of a quickness, those logs
rolled together. Before Uncle Wiggily could pull out his paw it was
caught fast, and there he was, held just as if he were in a trap.

"Oh, my goodness me, sakes alive, and a basket of soap bubbles!" cried
the bunny rabbit gentleman. "I'm caught! How dreadful! I must get out!"

Well, he pulled and he pulled and he pulled, but still his paw was held
fast. He scrabbled around among the dried leaves, he tried to lift one
log off the other with his rheumatism crutch, and he tried to gnaw a
hole in the top log that held him fast. But it was all of no use.

"Oh, I'm afraid I'll have to stay here forever, unless I get help!"
thought Uncle Wiggily. "But I must call for aid! Perhaps Grandpa
Goosey, or Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, will hear me!"

[Illustration: "Who calls for help?"]

Uncle Wiggily stopped his pink nose from twinkling, so that he could
call more loudly, and then he shouted:

"Help! Help! Help!"

For a time there was no answer, only the wind blowing among the leaves
of the trees. And then, all at once, there was a rustling in the bushes
and a voice asked:

"Who calls for help?"

"I do," answered Uncle Wiggily. "Oh, even if you are the Woozie Wolf or
the Fuzzy Fox, please help me!"

"I am neither the Wolf nor the Fox," was the answer. "I am only a poor
dog who came to this forest to lose himself. I never have been able yet
to help anyone."

"Well, perhaps you can help me," said Uncle Wiggily, as cheerfully as
he could speak. "Come here and see where the logs have fallen on my
paw, holding me fast."

So the poor dog, with his ragged clothes which made him look almost
like a tramp, came through the bushes, close to Uncle Wiggily.

"My, but you're stylish!" said the dog, as he saw Uncle Wiggily's tall,
silk hat.

"That isn't anything," sadly said the bunny rabbit gentleman. "Tall
hats do not make for happiness. I'd rather have on an old, ragged cap,
like yours, and be free, than wear a diamond and gold crown like a king
and be held fast here."

"Yes, it isn't fun to be caught in a trap," barked the poor dog. "But I
think I can gnaw through one of those logs and set you free."

Then he began to gnaw. He gnawed and he gnawed and he gnawed, and, in
a little while, one of the logs was cut in two, just as if it had been
sawed, and Uncle Wiggily could pull out his paw.

"I can't tell you how thankful I am," said the bunny to the dog. "What
fine, strong white teeth you have. How did you get them?"

"From gnawing bones without any soft meat on them, I suppose," answered
the dog. "Poor dogs must have strong teeth, or they would starve. Rich
dogs, who get soft food, can afford to have soft teeth."

"Well, then I am very glad you are a poor dog!" laughed Uncle Wiggily.

"You are?" barked the other, in great surprise.

"Certainly; of course I am!" exclaimed the bunny. "Just think! Suppose
you had been one of those rich dogs, with soft, crumbly teeth! You
would not have been able to gnaw through the log and I would still be
held fast."

"Yes, that's so," agreed the dog, wagging his tail. "I never thought of
that."

"Then be thankful, as I am, that you are poor, and have strong teeth,"
went on Mr. Longears. "You have been of great help to me."

"Have I?" barked the dog. "Then I am very glad! I never before helped
anyone. I thought I was too poor!"

"Well, you aren't going to be poor any more," went on the bunny rabbit
gentleman. "Come to the woods and live near my hollow stump bungalow. I
have a friend, Old Dog Percival, who will let you stay in his kennel.
He is rich!"

"Oh, that makes me very happy!" said the dog, who used to be poor. "I
have always wanted a kennel to live in!"

Then he went home with the bunny rabbit. And, though he never became a
very rich dog, still he had a warm kennel, which Percival shared with
him, and he always had enough to eat; and he became great friends with
Mr. Longears and Nurse Jane.

So this teaches us that even if a lollypop has a stick this does
not mean it needs a whipping. And if the sunflower doesn't shine so
brightly in the eyes of the potato that it can't see to get out of the
oven, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the rich cat.



STORY XXII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE RICH CAT


Once upon a time there was a very rich cat, but with all she had she
was not happy. She owned an automobile and kept a little mouse servant
girl to wait on her. And an old gentleman rat did all the heavy work
around the house, such as putting out the ashes and cutting the grass.

"Heigh-ho!" sighed the rich cat lady one morning, after she had lapped
up some thick, heavy cream, which was left on her doorstep each day.
"Heigh-ho! I am so tired!"

"Tired of what?" squeaked the little mouse servant, as she brought a
paper napkin for the rich cat to wipe the cream from her whiskers. Even
though she was well-off, the cat lady had whiskers, and she was very
proud of them.

"Oh, I am tired of sitting around doing nothing!" purred the rich cat.

"Then why not go for a ride in your auto?" asked the poor little mouse
servant girl.

"I am tired of that, too," spoke the rich cat. "It is the same old
thing every day! Dress and go out. Come back and dress to eat! Dress
to go out again! Come back and undress to go to bed and get up in the
morning to dress and do it all over again! I--I'd like to have an
_adventure_!" mewed the cat lady.

"Oh, mercy! An _adventure_!" squeaked the mouse. "Never!"

"Yes," went on the cat, "a real, exciting adventure. I saw a poor dog
the other day--at least he used to be poor, and he is far from rich
now. But he looked so well, and so lively, with such strong, white
teeth! I heard him telling another dog he had had a most wonderful
adventure in the woods with an old rabbit gentleman named Uncle
Wiggily. I quite envied that poor dog!"

"Oh, and you so rich!" murmured the mousie girl.

"I don't care!" mewed the wealthy cat lady. "I'd almost be willing to
be poor if I could have an adventure. Come, I'll go for a ride in the
auto. It will be better than dawdling around the house."

So the cat lady ordered out her auto, with the rat gentleman to drive
it, and the little mousie girl to sit beside her on the cushioned seat.

"Where shall I drive to, Lady Cat?" asked the old gentleman rat
chauffeur.

"Oh, anywhere--to the woods--the fields--anywhere so that I may have an
adventure--I don't care!" mewed the rich cat.

So the rat gentleman drove the auto through the village, and out into
the forest. At first the roads were very good, but at last they became
bumpy, and the cat lady and mousie girl were much shaken up and jiggled
about, not to say joggled.

"Do you want to go on?" asked the rat.

"Oh, yes," answered the cat. "It shakes up my liver, and I seem to be
feeling more hungry. Go on, perhaps I shall find an adventure."

The auto lurched and bumped on a little farther and, all of a sudden
there was a crash.

"Oh!" screamed the little mousie girl.

"What is the matter?" asked the cat lady, looking through her fancy
glasses.

"We have had an accident," answered the gentleman rat. "The auto is
broken, and I shall have to go for help."

"Let us go, also," squeaked the mousie girl. "We don't want to stay
here in the woods alone."

"_You_ may not want to," said the cat with a smile. "But _I_ am going
to. Run along with Mr. Rat, Miss Mouse, and get help. I'll stay here!"

So the rich cat lady was left alone, sitting in the auto, one wheel of
which was broken, while the rat gentleman and mousie girl went to look
for a garage where they could get help.

"Perhaps this is the start of an adventure," thought the cat.

A moment later she heard a rustling in the bushes, and out popped a
strange dog. Now the rich cat lady knew some rich dogs who wore silver
and gold collars, and were friends of hers. She was not afraid of them.
But this was a dog without any collar, though he had on a suit of
clothes. And, when the cat lady looked a second time, she saw that it
was a boy dog and not a grown man dog.

"Bow! wow!" barked the boy dog. "You're a strange cat! What are you
doing in these woods? Hi, Jackie!" howled the dog. "Come help me chase
this strange cat up a tree!"

"All right, Peetie! I'm with you!" answered a voice, and out of the
bushes came another boy dog. The two dogs rushed at the cat lady.

Now she might not have been afraid of _one_ boy dog, but when _two_ of
them leaped toward her, this was enough to frighten almost any pussy!
Don't you think so?

"Meaouw! Mew! Mee!" cried the cat, and before she knew it she was
climbing a tree. Up she scrabbled, her claws tearing off bits of bark,
until she was perched on a limb, high above her auto and the barking
dogs down below.

"My goodness me, sakes alive, and a liver cream puff!" said the excited
rich cat lady to herself, her heart beating like an alarm clock. "This
is dreadful! To think of me, a wealthy cat, being chased up a tree by
two poor dogs! What will my friends think?"

Then she looked down at the dogs and said:

"Run away if you please, little puppy boys!"

"No! No!" they barked. "Bow! Wow!"

"You run and tell him," said one puppy to the other. "Tell him there's
a strange cat in his woods. I'll stay here at the foot of the tree so
she can't get down until you come back with him!"

"I wonder whom they are going to bring back?" thought the rich cat up
the tree. And she could not help laughing a little as she thought how
strange she must look. "The mouse servant and rat chauffeur will be
surprised when they come back and see me here," thought the cat.

One little puppy dog boy ran away, while the other remained on guard at
the foot of the tree.

"May I come down?" asked the cat lady.

"No, indeed!" growled the dog, though he did not speak impolitely. "You
must stay up there!"

"Dear me!" thought the cat lady. "This is quite an unexpected
adventure!"

All of a sudden she saw the puppy at the foot of the tree jump up. At
the same time there was a rustling in the bushes, and along came the
other puppy, with an old gentleman rabbit, who wore a tall silk hat,
who had a pair of glasses on his pink, twinkling nose and who walked
with a red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch.

"There she is, Uncle Wiggily!" barked a puppy dog. "We saw her in your
woods, and chased her up a tree until you could look at her. Maybe she
is the Woozie Wolf or the Fuzzy Fox, dressed up like a cat."

"Indeed I am not," said the rich pussy lady up the tree. "I am the Rich
Mrs. Cat, and my auto has broken. When my mousie servant girl and the
rat gentleman who drives my car return, they will tell you I never harm
rabbits. But are you Uncle Wiggily Longears?" she asked.

"Yes," answered the bunny, "I am. And I know you, Mrs. Cat. I heard
about you from the poor dog. I am very sorry Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow
chased you up a tree. They meant no harm."

"I am sure they did not," mewed the cat politely.

"But they are always on the lookout so nothing will happen to me," went
on Uncle Wiggily. "I would get up and help you down, only I can't climb
a tree."

"Oh, I can easily get down," said the cat lady, and she did, though her
rich clothes were rather ruffled. But she had plenty of money to buy
more. So don't worry about that.

"Make yourself at home in these woods--the animal folk call them
mine," said Uncle Wiggily kindly. "I am sorry you had this trouble. Now
I must hop away. I hope your auto will soon be mended. Come, Jackie and
Peetie, if you want to help me."

"Where are you going?" asked the rich cat.

"To help a poor cat family," said Uncle Wiggily. "The cat gentleman
of the house has been out of work a long time, his wife is ill and he
has a number of little kittens. I was on my way to see the family when
Jackie came to tell me you were up a tree."

"Well, I'm down the tree now," laughed the rich cat lady. "And will you
please let me help this poor family? I have a lot of money--see!" and
she showed a purse full of golden leaves which the animal folk use for
money. "I can buy them food, and if Mr. Cat wants work, let him take my
auto, after it is fixed, and use it for a jitney."

"What!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "Aren't you going to use that fine car any
more? All it needs is a new wheel."

"Give it to the poor cat," was the answer. "I am never going to ride in
it again. I feel so much better since I came to the woods--and climbed
a tree--that I am going to live here for the rest of my life. I'll buy
a hollow stump bungalow near you, Uncle Wiggily. I know, now, I am
going to be very happy."

"Well, you will make the poor cat family happy, at any rate," said Mr.
Longears.

"And to make others happy is to be happy yourself," mewed the rich cat
lady.

She went with Uncle Wiggily, Jackie and Peetie to the home of the poor
cat family, and when the worried cat gentleman heard that he was to
have the auto for a jitney, with which he could make money, he was so
glad he almost stood on his head. And his wife and the kitten children
were glad also.

When the rat gentleman chauffeur and the mousie servant girl came back,
in another auto, to take the rich lady home, she said:

"I am going to stay with Uncle Wiggily. From now on I am going to live
in the woods and be happy and poor."

"Oh, my!" squeaked the mousie servant. "Just fancy!"

"I never heard of such a thing," said the rat gentleman. "You had much
better come home and live as you did before."

But the cat lady would not change her mind, and she built herself a
bungalow near Uncle Wiggily's, and lived there happily forever after.

So from this we may learn, if we will, that when a pail leaks it is
best to have it mended. And if the hand-organ monkey doesn't take the
squeak out of the rubber ball to make a tin horn for the rag doll, the
next story will be about Uncle Wiggily and the horse.



STORY XXIII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE HORSE


Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper for Uncle Wiggily
Longears, the bunny rabbit gentleman, once baked a cherry pie, of which
Mr. Longears was very fond. In fact, Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy baked _two_ pies.

One she put upon the shelf for Uncle Wiggily's supper. The other pie
Nurse Jane wrapped in a clean napkin, put it in a basket, and then she
said:

"Come on, Uncle Wiggily. We will take this pie to Grandfather Goosey
Gander."

"That will be fine!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. So he set off with Nurse
Jane, over the fields and through the woods. "And perhaps we may have
an adventure," said the bunny gentleman, hopeful-like.

"Well, if we do," spoke Nurse Jane, "I hope nothing happens to this
cherry pie. I baked one for you, and the other especially for Grandpa
Goosey. I shouldn't like the Fuzzy Fox, nor yet the Woozie Wolf, to get
this pie."

"Nor I," said Uncle Wiggily. "And I don't believe Grandpa Goosey would,
either."

The rabbit gentleman and Nurse Jane hopped along together, until, after
a while, Uncle Wiggily saw a horse in a field.

"Look at that poor horse!" said the bunny gentleman, coming to a stop,
and peeping over the top of his pink, twinkling nose. "There he stands,
all day long, with nothing to eat but grass."

"What else would he eat?" asked Nurse Jane, suspiciously.

"I don't s'pose he ever had a cherry pie," went on Uncle Wiggily
reflective-like. "Poor horse! Never had any cherry pie!"

"Wiggy!" exclaimed Nurse Jane, as she took a firmer hold of the basket
handle. "If you are thinking of giving Grandpa Goosey's pie to that
horse----"

"Well, that's just what I'm thinking of," answered Mr. Longears. "Here,
Nurse Jane, please give me that pie. You may run back home and get the
one you were saving for me to give to Grandpa Goosey. I'll call this
pie mine, and I'm going to give it to the horse."

"Well, I never in all my born days," exclaimed Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy, "heard
the like of that!"

Still she knew Uncle Wiggily meant to be kind, so she gave the bunny
rabbit gentleman the basket with the pie inside, and started back for
the hollow stump bungalow to get the other.

The bunny rabbit certainly was not selfish, whatever else he was.

"Hello, Horsie!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he hopped through the
field where the big animal was eating.

"Hello," answered the horse. "Oh, it's Uncle Wiggily!" he went on, as
he stopped cropping the grass and looked up.

"Did you ever eat a cherry pie?" asked the bunny rabbit, beginning to
take the cloth off the one in the basket.

"Cherry pie? I don't believe I ever did," slowly answered the horse.
"Cherry pie! Hum! No, I never tasted any."

"Wouldn't you like to?" asked the bunny. "I should think you would get
tired of eating grass all day long."

"Well, grass is my food, and I like it," neighed the horse. "But I like
some oats once in a while, and some bran. Yes, and I think I'd like
some cherry pie, also."

"Here! Take this one! Nurse Jane can bake more!" said generous Uncle
Wiggily, and he held out the pie.

"Oh, my! That's a fine one!" whinnied the horse. "That looks most
delicious."

"And it tastes as delicious as it looks," went on the bunny. "I know
Nurse Jane's pies. Take a bite!"

The horse did. One bit was all that was needed to enable him to eat the
whole pie, for it was only rabbit size, of course, not as large as the
pies your mother bakes.

"Um!" said the horse, as the red cherry juice ran down his lips. "That
was a good pie! I could eat more!"

"I'm sorry, but that's the only one I have," spoke Uncle Wiggily.
"Nurse Jane has gone to get mine, that she put in the cupboard, to give
to Grandpa Goosey. But to-morrow I'll have her bake you a large pie."

Just then Nurse Jane came along, with the other pie in the basket, and
Uncle Wiggily said:

"The horse ate that cherry pie, Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy, and liked it very
much. I have told him you'd bake him a larger one."

"Well, I s'pose I can," said the muskrat lady, looking at Uncle Wiggily
in a funny way. "I s'pose I can."

"You are very kind," neighed the horse. "If I could only do you some
favor----"

But just then, all of a sudden, out from behind a bush jumped the bad
old Woozie Wolf.

"Ah ha!" howled the Wolf. "This is the time I have caught Nurse Jane as
well as Uncle Wiggily. I shall have four ears to nibble to-day!" and he
looked hungrily at the bunny and muskrat lady.

"Do you mean to say you are going to hurt good, kind Uncle Wiggily, who
has just given me a cherry pie?" asked the horse quickly.

"Of course I am!" growled the Wolf. "He gave me no pie! I'm going to
nibble the bunny!"

"Well, I just won't let you!" said the horse.

"How are you going to stop me?" asked the Wolf.

"Well, I have big teeth," the horse said. "They are not as sharp as
yours, for they do not need to be so that I may crop the grass. But I
can bite you with them, just the same."

"Ho! Ho!" sneered the Wolf. "Two can play at that game! I can bite
worse than you."

"That's so, he can," whispered Uncle Wiggily to the horse. "Be careful!"

"Well, then I'll _kick_!" said the horse. "I'll rear up on my front
legs and kick you with my hind ones, Mr. Wolf, if you hurt Uncle
Wiggily."

"But you have no sharp toe-nails, such as I have!" growled the Wolf.
"I'll scratch you with my toe-nails if you kick me."

"That's right--he will!" whispered Nurse Jane.

"I'm afraid you cannot save us," sadly said the bunny gentleman to the
kind horse.

"Yes, I can!" suddenly neighed the horse. "This Wolf can do some things
better than I, but he cannot run as fast. Quick! Jump up on my back,
Uncle Wiggily and Nurse Jane. I'll gallop and trot, I'll gallop and
trot and I'll gallop and trot--until I take you far away from this bad
animal!"

"Don't you dare take Uncle Wiggily away from me!" howled the Wolf, for
well he knew he could not run as fast as the horse.

[Illustration: The wolf was left far, far, behind.]

"Yes, I shall! I'll save Uncle Wiggily!" whinnied the horse. "Up on my
back! Quick!" he called to the bunny and Nurse Jane.

Up they leaped, before the Wolf could get them. Then the horse galloped
and trotted, galloped and trotted and galloped and trotted, until the
Wolf was left far, far behind. And, oh, how angry that Wolf was! And
how he howled! I wish you could have heard him.

No, on second thought, it is just as well you didn't hear him. It was
not very nice howling.

"There! Now you are safe, Uncle Wiggily and Nurse Jane," said the
horse, as he stopped galloping and trotting, away over on the far side
of the field, far, far from the Wolf.

"Thank you for saving us," spoke the bunny, as he and Nurse Jane slid
off the horsie's back.

"I'll bake you the largest cherry pie that ever was," promised the
muskrat lady, "just as soon as I take this one to Grandpa Goosey."

And she made such a large pie that it took the horse forty 'leven bites
to eat it.

So everything came out all right, you see. And if the postman doesn't
try to slip a letter through the slot in the baby's penny bank, and
make the five cent piece jump over the dollar bill, I'll tell you next
about Uncle Wiggily and the cow.



STORY XXIV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE COW


This is a story about Uncle Wiggily and the cow. Not the cow with the
crumpled horn, nor yet the one that jumped over the moon, when the dish
ran away with the spoon.

This was a sort of a red cow which ate green grass and gave white milk
that was churned into yellow butter to be eaten on brown bread. There
is no use asking me about all those colors for I don't know--nobody
knows. They're just there, and that's all there is about it.

Now for the story.

One day the bunny rabbit gentleman was hopping over the fields and
through the woods on his way to the store for Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy.
He was going to get his muskrat lady housekeeper a jug of molasses so
Nurse Jane might make a cake.

Uncle Wiggily hopped on and on, wondering if he would have an adventure
that day, and he was thinking how good the molasses cake would taste
when, all of a sudden, down in a field he saw a red cow. Not exactly
red like a rose, you understand, or red like a barn, but still somewhat
between those colors--a brownish-red, I suppose it would be called.

"Moo! Moo! Moo!" called the cow, in such mournful tones that Uncle
Wiggily right away said:

"Something must be the matter! I'm going down and see if I can help
that poor cow!"

Down into the meadow hopped the bunny rabbit gentleman, and when he
reached the cow he looked at her and she looked at him, and the bunny
asked:

"What is the matter, Mrs. Cow?"

"Oh," was the sad answer, "I've lost the cud that I always chew, and
now I don't know what to do! I'm so upset I'm sure I'll give sour milk
to-night, instead of sweet!"

"That would be too bad," Uncle Wiggily remarked. "This cud of
yours--may I ask what it is?"

[Illustration: "Well! Well!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily.]

"Well, it isn't gum, as many boys and girls suppose, when they see me
chewing," spoke the cow lady. "My cud is a bunch of grass, which I crop
and pull up by winding my tongue about it, for I haven't two sets of
teeth as have many animals. I only have teeth on my upper jaw. On my
lower jaw I have no teeth, but the gums are very hard so I can chew
grass, and that is what makes my cud. I only chew the grass a little
bit, when I first pull it from the meadow. I swallow it down into my
first stomach, and, when I have more time, I bring the cud of grass up
into my mouth and chew it as long as I please, so it will be good for
me to put into my last stomach."

"Well, well!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily in surprise. "So you have two
stomachs and only one set of teeth."

"Yes," went on the cow, "but what is worrying me now is to know whether
I lost my cud of grass in the meadow, after I had chewed on it a while,
or whether it slipped down into my last stomach before it was time."

"What will happen if it did?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"I'm afraid I'll have indigestion," the cow lady answered. "And that
will make my milk bad and sour. Oh, dear! I wish I knew where my cud
was!"

"How did you come to lose it--or miss it?" asked the bunny.

"Why, I was watching Bully and Bawly No-Tail, the two frog boys,
hopping down by the brook," the cow lady said. "They were playing
leap-toad, you know--or, perhaps, it was leap-frog; and Bully made such
a funny jump over Bawly's back that I laughed right out loud. I was
chewing my cud at the time, and when I stopped laughing I missed it.
Now whether I swallowed it, or whether it dropped in the brook, I don't
know. Isn't that dreadful?"

"Can't you tell by the way you feel--inside, you know," asked the
bunny, "what became of your cud?"

"Not for some little time," answered the cow lady, "and then it will be
too late. Oh, if only I could find my cud somewhere in this meadow I'd
know I hadn't swallowed it, and I'd be all right."

"I know just how you feel," said Uncle Wiggily. "Once, when Susie
Littletail, the rabbit, was a tiny baby, her mother gave her a big cake
spoon to play with. She went out of the room, leaving Susie to play
with the spoon, and when she came back it was gone."

"What was gone?" asked the cow lady, "Susie or the spoon?"

"The spoon," answered the bunny gentleman. "And as Susie was too little
to talk, and tell where it was, her mother didn't know whether she had
hidden, or dropped the spoon somewhere, or whether she had swallowed
it."

"Just fancy!" mooed the cow. "How exciting! But what happened?"

"Why, finally," said Uncle Wiggily, "after I had hopped over to help,
we found the spoon behind the piano where Susie had thrown it. Then we
knew she hadn't swallowed it."

"And if I could find my cud I'd know I hadn't swallowed _that_," sadly
said the cow lady.

"I'll help you look," offered Uncle Wiggily. "I'm a pretty good hopper,
and I'll hop around the meadow and look for your cud of half-chewed
grass."

The bunny set down his molasses jug and began looking all over the
meadow for the cud. And the cow helped, but she could not move very
fast. Besides, she was worried and nervous.

"Here it is! I've found it!" suddenly called Uncle Wiggily, and there
on the grass, near the brook where the frog boys had been leaping, was
the cow lady's cud.

"Oh, how glad I am to get it back!" she mooed as she began to chew it
again. "Now my milk will be nice and sweet. You have done me a great
favor, Uncle Wiggily. I hope I may do you the same some day."

"Pray do not mention it," said the bunny politely, as he hopped on with
his molasses jug. "It was just a little adventure for me."

Uncle Wiggily hopped on to the store, had the jug filled with molasses
and then went to his hollow stump bungalow.

"Well, you were gone a long time," said Nurse Jane. "I have been
waiting to make the ginger cake."

"I had to help a cow lady find her lost cud," said the bunny.

"Oh, Wiggy! What next!" laughed Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy. "Helping cow ladies!
Oh! Oh!"

"That's all right," the bunny said. "Perhaps some day a cow lady may
help us."

"I don't see how she can," spoke Nurse Jane, as she started to make
the cake. But pretty soon she called to the bunny who had gone to sit
outside on a bench and warm his rheumatism in the sun.

"Oh, Wiggy!" exclaimed Nurse Jane. "I can't get the cork out of the
molasses jug. It's in so tight! I can't pull it out, and if I break it,
and push it inside, then the molasses won't run out. Oh, what a lot of
trouble!"

"Let me try!" offered the bunny. But he could not get the cork out of
the molasses jug either, not even with his red, white and blue striped
rheumatism crutch.

"I guess I'll have to break the jug!" said the bunny at last.

"Oh, don't do that!" spoke a voice behind him, and, turning, Uncle
Wiggily saw the cow lady. "I am on my way home to be milked," she
mooed, "and I saw you in trouble, so I came over. What's wrong?"

"We can't get the cork out of the molasses jug," answered Uncle Wiggily.

"Perhaps I can," said Mrs. Cow. "Please let me try."

"We have a corkscrew somewhere," remarked Nurse Jane, "but I can't find
it."

"I shall not need it," went on the cow.

Then with one of her long, sharp horns she easily pried the cork out of
the molasses jug, breaking nothing and making it very easy for Nurse
Jane to pour out the sweet stuff for the ginger cake.

"Thank you, Mrs. Cow," said Uncle Wiggily, as the milk lady animal went
on her way.

"Pray don't mention it!" mooed the cow. "Now we are even, as far as
favors go!"

Uncle Wiggily looked at Nurse Jane, and the muskrat lady smiled at the
bunny gentleman.

"You were right, Wiggly," spoke Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy. "I never thought a
cow could help anyone, but this shows how little I know."

"That's all right!" laughed the bunny. "Mistakes will happen!"

So once again everything came out all right for the bunny gentleman,
you see, and if the pussy cat doesn't make a popcorn ball out of snow,
for the puppy dog to play bean bag with, you shall next hear about
Uncle Wiggily and the camping boys.



STORY XXV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE CAMPING BOYS


"Oh, Uncle Wiggily! What you think?" cried Baby Bunty one day, as she
hopped up to the rabbit gentleman, who was pulling the weeds out of his
carrot garden.

"What I think, Baby Bunty?" repeated Mr. Longears, smiling down one
side of his pink, twinkling nose. "Well, I think lots of things, my
little rabbit girl. But if you think I'm going to play _tag_ with you
this morning you are wrong. I haven't time!"

"Oh, I don't want you to play tag!" exclaimed Baby Bunty, though she
was such a lively little tyke that she nearly always wanted Uncle
Wiggily to play a game of some sort. "But there's something over in the
woods," she went on. "What you think it is?" and she was quite excited.

"Something over in the woods, Baby Bunty?" asked Uncle Wiggily, as he
looked at one of his carrots to see if the point needed sharpening; but
it didn't, I'm glad to say. "Well, what's in the woods, Baby Bunty; the
Fox, the Skeezicks or the Pipsisewah?"

"Neither one, Uncle Wiggily," answered the little rabbit girl. "But
there's a lot of those funny animals you call 'boys,' and they're
making a snow house, and maybe they'll try to catch you, or me or Nurse
Jane," and Baby Bunty looked quite worried.

"A _snow_ house this time of year! Tut! Tut! Nonsense!" laughed Uncle
Wiggily. "This is summer and there isn't any snow with which to make
houses."

"Well, these boys, in the woods, are making a _white_ house, anyhow,
Uncle Wiggily," spoke the little rabbit girl, who once had lived in a
hollow stump, before she came to visit the bunny gentleman. "It's a
white house, and there's a lot of boys, and they're cutting down wood,
and making a fire and boiling a kettle of water and oh, they're doing
lots of things! I thought I'd better come and tell you."

"Hum!" said Uncle Wiggily, straightening up to rest his back, which
ached from pulling the weeds out of his garden. "Yes, perhaps it is a
good thing you told me, Baby Bunty. I'll go have a look at the white
house the boys are putting up."

Uncle Wiggily and Baby Bunty hopped through the woods, and soon they
were near that side of the forest nearest the village where real boys
and girls lived. Through the green trees gleamed something white, on
which the sun shone as brightly as it does at the seashore.

"There's the house," said Baby Bunty, pointing with her paw off among
the trees.

"Ho! That isn't exactly a _house_!" Uncle Wiggily told the little
rabbit girl. "That's a white tent, and those boys must be camping
there. Boys like to come to the woods to camp in the summer. We'll hop
a little closer and listen. Then we can tell what they are doing."

"We mustn't let 'em see us!" whispered Baby Bunty. "Oh, no!"

"Well, no, maybe not first along," Uncle Wiggily agreed. "But nearly
all boys, especially the kind that go camping, are fond of animals,
and will not hurt them. We will see what sort of boys these are, Baby
Bunty."

So the bunny gentleman and the little rabbit girl hid behind the bushes
and watched the camping boys, for that is what they were. They had come
to spend a few weeks in the woods, living in a white tent which, at
first, Baby Bunty thought was a snow house.

The boys had just come to camp, and the tent had been up only a little
while. But already the lads had started a campfire; and they had hung a
Gypsy kettle over the blaze, and were cooking soup.

"Get some more water, somebody!" called one boy.

"And I'm not going to cut any more wood!" exclaimed another. "I've been
cutting wood ever since we got here!"

"We'll take turns!" spoke a third boy.

"Look out! That soup's boiling over!" shouted a fourth.

"They're regular boys all right!" chuckled Uncle Wiggily, as he
crouched under a bush with Baby Bunty. "They're so excited at coming to
camp they hardly know what they're doing."

Uncle Wiggily and Baby Bunty could hear and understand what the boys
said, though they themselves could not speak to the camping chaps. For
a time the two rabbits watched the little lads, who were trying to get
a meal. They made many mistakes, of course, such as getting the salt
mixed up with the sugar, and they left the bread out of its tin box so
it dried, for they had never been camping before.

"But they'll soon learn," said Uncle Wiggily.

"I hope they won't chase us, and throw stones at us," Baby Bunty
remarked, as she and Mr. Longears hopped away.

"I think they are good boys," spoke the bunny gentleman.

And the camping boys were. When they had finished eating they scattered
crumbs so the birds could pick them up. Larger pieces of left-over food
were placed on a flat stump where the squirrels and chipmunks could get
them.

Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the two boy squirrels, saw some of this
food as they were coming through the woods. The camping boys were away
just then, so the squirrel chaps had no fear of going close to the
white tent-house. Johnnie found a piece of bread and butter, and Billie
picked up half a ginger snap.

[Illustration: Johnnie found a piece of bread and butter.]

"That shows the camping boys are kind to animals," said Uncle Wiggily,
when Johnnie and Billie told him what they had found. "I hope I may get
a chance to do these lads a favor."

And Uncle Wiggily had this chance sooner than he expected.

For about a week the weather was most lovely for camping. The sun shone
every day, the wind blew just enough to send the sailboat spinning
about the lake and there wasn't a drop of rain.

It is rain which soaks most of the fun out of camping, just as rain
takes away your fun at home. And these boys, never having camped in a
tent before, gave no thought to storms.

One afternoon it began to rain. Uncle Wiggily, in his hollow stump
bungalow, where he was reading the cabbage-leaf paper, heard the
pitter-patter of the drops on the window, and looked up.

"Where is Baby Bunty, Nurse Jane?" asked the bunny gentleman.

"Why, she hasn't come back from the store yet," answered the muskrat
lady housekeeper.

"Did she take an umbrella?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"No," replied Nurse Jane, "she did not."

"Then she'll get soaking wet!" exclaimed Mr. Longears. "I'll go after
her with a toadstool."

You know in Woodland, near the Orange Ice Mountain, where Uncle Wiggily
lived, toadstools were often used for umbrellas. Of course, some of the
animal folk had regular umbrellas, but when they were in a hurry they
could break off a big toadstool, or mushroom, and use that.

So Uncle Wiggily hopped out of his hollow stump bungalow, and, growing
near his front gate, he found a big toadstool. Picking this, he held it
over his head and hurried along through the rain to meet Baby Bunty,
who had gone to the three and five cent store for Nurse Jane.

Uncle Wiggily had to hop almost to the place where the tent of the
camping boys stood before he met the little rabbit girl, half drenched.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily! You ought to see!" cried Baby Bunty. "There is so
much water around the tent that those nice boys will be washed away, I
guess!"

"Water around their tent?" repeated the bunny gentleman. "You don't say
so!"

"Yes," said Baby Bunty. "The rain is coming down so hard that it is
running like a little brook around the tent. The boys are inside, and I
heard them saying that the water would soon come up over the cots and
they wouldn't have any dry place to sleep to-night!"

"Silly boys!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, holding the toadstool umbrella
over Baby Bunty. "They didn't know enough to dig a ditch around the
outside of their tent to let the rain water run off. All campers do
that, but as this is the first time these boys came to the woods I
suppose they didn't know about it. Always dig a ditch, or trench, in
the earth around your tent when you go camping, Baby Bunty."

"I will," promised the little rabbit girl, real serious like.

"But that isn't going to help the boys now," went on Uncle Wiggily. "I
think I shall have to take a paw in this. They are good boys, and are
kind to animals. I must do them a favor."

"But how can you?" asked Baby Bunty.

"Why, I, being a rabbit, am one of the best diggers in the world,"
went on Mr. Longears. "Still, I will need help to dig a ditch around
the tent, as it is rather large. Hop home, Baby Bunty, and tell Sammie
Littletail, Toodle and Noodle Flat-Tail, the beaver boys, and Grandpa
Whackum, the old beaver gentleman, to please come here. With their help
I can dig the ditch."

So Baby Bunty, taking the toadstool umbrella, hopped away, and Uncle
Wiggily, to await her return, hid under a thick-branched pine tree
which kept off most of the rain. The drops pelted down, and around the
tent of the camping boys was almost a flood. Night was coming on, too,
and before morning the water would rise up so high that it would wet
the feet of the boys in their beds.

Pretty soon, just about dusk, when it was still raining hard, along
came Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, Toodle and Noodle the beavers,
with their broad, flat tails, and Grandpa Whackum, the oldest beaver of
them all. Beavers just love to work in the water and they can dig dirt
canals better than most boys.

"Lively now, my friends!" called Uncle Wiggily, coming out from under
the pine tree. "We'll dig a ditch around the tent for the kind boys.
They won't see us, as they are inside, and probably will not come out
in the train."

So Uncle Wiggily, Sammie and the beavers began work. Quickly and
silently they dug and dug and dug in the soft earth, piling the dirt to
one side, and making a trench so that the rain water could run off into
the brook. And soon the little pond that had formed around the tent of
the camping boys had drained away.

"Now they will have no more trouble," said Uncle Wiggily as he and his
friends, all wet and muddy, finished the trench. "We can go home."

Home they went, through the rain, to get something to eat and dry
out. And in the morning, though it still rained, no water rose inside
the boys' tent. And none came through the roof, for that was like an
umbrella, the canvas cloth being stretched over the ridge-pole.

"Oh, look!" cried one boy, coming to the flap of the tent, as the front
of the canvas house is called. "Someone has dug a ditch around our
camp, and now we'll keep dry!"

"Why, it's a regular little canal!" exclaimed a second boy. "It wasn't
there yesterday!"

"Who did it?" asked the other lads.

But none of them knew, and I hope you will not tell them, for I want to
keep it a secret.

And when the rain stopped, the ground around the tent dried out very
quickly because the proper ditch had been dug around it. And the
camping boys put out on the flat stump many good things for the animal
folk to eat. And the next time those boys went camping they knew enough
to make a trench around their tent.

Now let me see; what shall we have next? Well, I think I shall tell
you the story of Uncle Wiggily and the birthday cake--that is, I will
if the snow-shovel doesn't make the coal-scuttle sneeze when they are
playing tag down under the cellar steps.



STORY XXVI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BIRTHDAY CAKE


"To-morrow is my birthday! To-morrow is my birthday! And I'm going to
have a cake with ten candles on!"

A little girl sang this over and over as she danced around the house
one morning.

"Ten candles! And they'll be lighted, and I can blow them out and cut
the cake and pass it around; can't I, Mother?" asked the little girl.

"Yes, my dear," Mother answered. "But if you are going to have a
birthday cake you must go to the store and get me some flour, sugar
and eggs. I did not know I needed them, but I do, if you are to have a
cake."

"Oh, of course I want a cake!" said the little girl. "It wouldn't be
at all like a birthday without a cake! And ten candles on top, all
lighted! Last year I only had nine candles. But now I can have ten! Ten
candles! Ten candles on my birthday cake!" sang the happy little girl
again and again. "Ten candles! Ten candles!"

"You had better go to the store, instead of singing so much!" laughed
her mother. "Sing on your way, if you like. But don't forget the flour,
sugar and eggs."

"I'll get them," said the little girl, and off she started, taking a
short cut through the woods to reach the store more quickly.

These woods were the same ones in which Uncle Wiggily had built his
hollow stump bungalow, and about the same time the little girl started
off to get the things for her birthday cake the bunny rabbit gentleman
stood on his front porch.

"Where are you going?" asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, his muskrat lady
housekeeper.

"Oh, just to hop through the forest, to look for an adventure,"
answered Mr. Longears. "I haven't had one since I helped dig the
rain-trench about the tent of the camping boys."

"I should think that would be enough to last a long time," spoke Miss
Fuzzy Wuzzy.

"Oh, no. I need a new adventure every day!" laughed the bunny, and over
the fields and through the woods he hopped.

Now Uncle Wiggily had not gone very far before, all of a sudden, he
stepped into a trap. It was a spring trap, set in the woods by some
hunter who had covered it with dried leaves so it could not easily be
seen. That's the way hunters fool the wild animals.

And, not seeing the trap, Uncle Wiggily hopped right into it.

"Snap!" went the jaws of the trap together, catching the poor bunny
gentleman fast by one hind leg.

"Oh, my!" cried Mr. Longears. "I'm caught! But it is fortunate that it
is a smooth-jawed trap, and not the kind with sharp teeth. If I could
only get my leg loose I'd be all right; except that my paw might be
lame and stiff for a few days. I must try to get out!"

Uncle Wiggily tried to pull his paw from the trap, but it was of no
use. The spring held the jaws too tightly together. The bunny gentleman
twinkled his pink nose as hard as he could, and he even tried to pry
apart the trap jaws with his red, white and blue striped rheumatism
crutch. But he couldn't.

"Oh, dear!" though Uncle Wiggily. "I must call for help. Perhaps Neddie
Stubtail, the strong boy bear, will hear me. He could easily spring
open this trap and set me free."

So the bunny gentleman called as loudly as he could:

"Help! Help!"

Of course he talked animal talk, and for this reason the little girl,
who was going to have a birthday cake, with ten candles on it, did
not know what Uncle Wiggily was saying. She heard him making a noise,
though, for she passed the place where the bunny was caught in the
trap, soon after the accident happened.

"I wonder what that funny noise is?" said the little girl, as Uncle
Wiggily again called for help. "It sounds like some animal. I wish I
understood animal talk!"

Uncle Wiggily wished, with all his heart, that the little girl could
hear what he was saying, for he was calling for help. The bunny
understood girl-talk, and he knew what this girl was saying, for she
spoke her thoughts out loud.

"But she doesn't know what I want!" said poor Uncle Wiggily to himself.
"She is sure to be good and kind, as all girls are, and if I could only
get her to come over this way she might take me out of the trap."

The little girl, on her way home from the store, had come to a stop not
far from Uncle Wiggily, but she could not see him because he was behind
a bush.

"I must make some kind of a noise that she will hear," thought the
bunny. Then he thrashed around in the bushes with his crutch, rattling
the dried leaves and the green bushes, and the little girl heard this
noise.

"Oh, maybe a bird is caught in a big cobweb!" said the little girl.
"I'll get it loose--I love the birds!"

Putting down her bundle of flour, sugar and eggs on a flat stump, she
made her way through the bushes until she saw where Uncle Wiggily was
caught in the trap.

[Illustration: "I wish you would come to my birthday party!"]

"Oh, what a funny rabbit!" cried the little girl as she looked at the
bunny gentleman all dressed, as he always was when he went to look
for an adventure. "He looks just like a picture on an Easter card!"
laughed the little girl. "I wish I had him at my party!"

"Well, I wish she'd take this trap off my paw!" thought Uncle Wiggily,
though of course he could say nothing, however much he could hear.

Then the little girl looked down among the leaves and saw where the
trap pinched Uncle Wiggily.

"Oh, you poor bunny rabbit!" she cried. "I'll set you loose."

Very gently she pressed her foot on the spring of the trap, to open it.
And when the jaws were opened Uncle Wiggily could lift out his paw,
which he did. He hopped a little way over the dried leaves, limping a
bit, for the pinching trap had pained him. Then, coming to a stop on
a smooth, grassy place, the bunny leaned on his red, white and blue
striped rheumatism crutch and, taking off his tall silk hat, he made a
low and polite bow to the little girl.

"Thank you for having done me a great favor!" said Uncle Wiggily in
animal talk. "I wish I could do one for you!"

But of course the little girl could not understand this bunny language,
so she only laughed and said:

"Oh, what a dear, funny bunny! With a tall hat and everything! I wish
you would come to my birthday party! I'm going to have a cake with ten
lighted candles on!"

"Thank you, I'd like to come, but it is out of the question," answered
Uncle Wiggily in his own talk. Then, with another low and polite bow,
he hopped away.

The little girl picked up the things she had bought at the store and
went home.

"You'll never guess what I saw in the woods," she told her mother. "A
bunny rabbit, all dressed in a black coat and red trousers, was caught
in a trap, and I set him free!"

"Nonsense!" laughed Mother. "Whoever heard of a rabbit like that? You
are so excited about your birthday cake that you were dreaming, I
think!"

"Oh, no, Mother! I didn't dream!" said the little girl. "Really I
didn't!"

"Well, never mind. Now we'll make your birthday cake," answered Mother.

The birthday cake was mixed and baked in the oven, and on top was
spread pink frosting.

"We'll put the candles on to-morrow, when you have your party," Mother
told the little girl.

To-morrow came, after a night in which Cora Janet, which was the little
girl's name, had dreamed about riding in an airship, with a bunny
gentleman dressed up like a soldier. In the afternoon many boys and
girls came to Cora Janet's birthday party.

"Oh, how lovely everything is!" exclaimed a little boy, when he was
given his second dish of ice cream.

"Wait until you see my birthday cake with ten candles on!" whispered
Cora Janet.

When it was almost time to bring on the lighted cake, Mother called
Cora Janet out into the kitchen.

"Did you get the candles, Cora?" Mother asked.

"Why, no!" the little girl answered. "I--I thought we had candles!"

"And I thought I told you to get them," Mother went on. "There isn't
one in the house! I've looked everywhere. Never mind, perhaps I can
borrow some next door. Go back to your friends."

"Oh, I do hope you can get candles!" sighed Cora Janet. "A birthday
cake without candles will hardly be right!"

Mother asked the lady who lived next door, on one side, if she had any
candles.

"Not a one, I'm sorry to say," was the answer.

Then Mother asked the lady on the other side.

"Oh, I never use candles," this lady replied, coming out on her back
stoop to talk over the fence to Cora Janet's mother. "I'm so sorry!"

"Well, I guess they'll have to eat the cake without any birthday
candles on," said Mother. "Cora Janet will be so disappointed, too,
as she is such an imaginative child! Just fancy, Mrs. Blake, she came
home yesterday, and told about helping out of a trap an old rabbit
gentleman, with a tall silk hat!"

"The idea! She must have dreamed it!" said Mrs. Blake.

"No, she didn't dream it! That really happened!" said Uncle Wiggily to
himself, who was just then hopping through the fields back of the house
where Cora Janet lived. "So this is her home, is it?" went on the bunny
gentleman to himself. "And she hasn't any candles for her birthday
cake! Too bad!"

Uncle Wiggily had hopped along just in time to hear Cora Janet's mother
asking for candles of the neighbors.

"It's so late that all the stores are closed," went on Mrs. Blake, "or
I'd go get some candles for Cora."

"Never mind," spoke Mother. "She will have to bear her disappointment
as best she can."

"No! That must not be!" said Uncle Wiggily to himself. "I cannot give
her real candles, but I can leave on her steps some slivers of the
pine tree. They have in them pitch, tar and resin and will burn almost
like candles. When I was a rabbit boy I often lighted these pine-tree
candles."

Not far away were the woods, and, hopping across the field in the dusk
of the evening, Uncle Wiggily, with his sharp teeth, soon gnawed off
some pine-knot splinters from one of the trees. In olden times, when
there were no electric or kerosene lamps, children used to study their
lessons in front of the fireplaces, by these pine knots.

"These will do for birthday-cake candles," whispered Uncle Wiggily, as
he hopped back to Cora Janet's house with a paw full of the pine knots.
He put them on the stoop, and then, with his hind paws, he kicked some
gravel from the front walk up against the dining-room windows.

"What's that?" asked Cora Janet, as she heard the noise.

"Some bad boys playing tick-tack," said one of the girls at the party.
"They're playing tricks because they weren't asked."

"I'll see who it is," spoke Mother.

She went out on the porch. There she saw the pile of pine-knot slivers.
Having lived in the country when she was a girl, Mother knew that these
bits of wood could be used for candles.

"Oh, now I can make the birthday cake blaze most brightly!" exclaimed
Mother. Into the house she hurried. She stuck ten pine-knot slivers on
the cake, for Uncle Wiggily had left a full dozen, not knowing exactly
how old Cora Janet was. Then, when the pine knots were lighted, Mother
carried the cake into the room where the boys and girls were wishing
Cora Janet many happy returns for her birthday.

"Oh, where did you get the candles?" asked Cora.

"I guess the rabbit you dreamed you saw must have left them," answered
Mother, in fun, of course, for she never thought that really could
happen.

"Dream-candles or not, they are lovely!" murmured the little girl.

And everyone at the party said the same thing.

They watched Cora Janet as, one by one, she blew out the pine candles
on her birthday cake. And when the last one flickered away, the cake
was cut amid the joyous laughter of the boys and girls.

"Well, I'm glad I could do her a favor," said the bunny rabbit to
himself, as hidden under the lilac bush, he heard and saw all that went
on. "I shall always love Cora Janet!"

And he did.

So if the needle doesn't wink its eye when it sits on the
sewing-machine to read the paper of pins, I'll tell you next about
Uncle Wiggily and the New Year's horn.



STORY XXVII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE NEW YEAR'S HORN


Christmas had come and gone, and the next holiday for the boys and
girls who lived in the village outside of Uncle Wiggily's forest was
to be New Year's Day. I call it Uncle Wiggily's forest for on one edge
of it the bunny rabbit gentleman had built himself a hollow stump
bungalow. There he lived with Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, his muskrat lady
housekeeper.

On the farther side of the wood was the village where many real boys
and girls had their homes. To them, as I say, Christmas had come and
gone, bringing to most of them presents which they liked very much.

"I'm going to have a lot of fun on New Year's," said one boy to another
as they were coasting on the hill the last day of the old year.

"What are you going to do?" asked the other boy.

"I'm going to blow the Old Year out and the New Year in," was the
answer.

"Gracious me sakes alive!" thought Uncle Wiggily Longears, the bunny
rabbit gentleman, who happened to be resting under a bush near where
the boys were coasting down hill. "I hope he doesn't blow the Old Year
so far away that the New Year will be afraid to come in," said Mr.
Longears to himself. Then he listened again, for the boys were talking
further.

"How you going to blow?" one lad wanted to know.

"With my Christmas horn," was the answer. "I got a dandy horn for
Christmas. To-night is New Year's eve. My father said I could stay up
late. At twelve o'clock the Old Year goes away and the New Year comes,
and we're going to have a party at our house, and I'm going to blow my
horn like anything!"

"So'm I," said several other boys.

"Where does the Old Year go when you blow it away?" asked a lad who had
red hair and freckles.

"Oh, I don't know," answered the boy who had first talked of his
Christmas horn. "It just goes--that's all! It disappears same as the
hole in a doughnut when you eat it."

"You don't eat the _hole_!" declared another boy.

"Well, you eat all around it," was the answer, "and then there isn't
any hole any more. It's the same with the Old Year. After twelve
o'clock on December 31 there isn't any Old Year any more. It's January
the first, and it's the New Year. I'm going to blow my horn loud! All
the fellows are!"

"We will, too!" cried the rest of the boys.

But one lad, who had a clumsy, home-made sled on the hill, did not say
he was going to blow the New Year in. He turned away as the other lads
talked of their coming fun. Someone asked him:

"Are you going to watch the Old Year out, Jimmy?"

"No, I guess not," was the answer. "I'm going to sleep."

"The noise will wake you up," someone suggested.

"Well, then I'll go to sleep again," was the answer.

"I guess the reason Jimmy won't blow the Old Year out and the New Year
in is because he hasn't any horn," said a boy with a fine new blue
sled. "He didn't get hardly anything for Christmas."

"That's too bad!" softly spoke the lad who had first mentioned about
blowing in the New Year. "Maybe I can find an old horn at my house,
and I'll take it to him. If I could find two I'd take another to his
sister. But I don't believe I can."

"Oh, won't we have fun, blowing the New Year in?" cried the boys, as
they walked to the top of the hill so they might coast down. But Jimmy
did not join in the joyous shout. He was a poor boy, and, as the others
had said, he had not found much in his stocking at Christmas. Certainly
there was no bright tooting horn!

"This is too bad!" thought Uncle Wiggily, as he hopped back to his
hollow stump bungalow, after the coasting boys were out of the way so
they would not see him. "I wonder how I could get a New Year's horn for
that poor boy?"

The bunny gentleman was wondering about this, but he could not seem to
think of any plan, when, as he was about to hop up his bungalow steps,
he saw Billie Wagtail, the goat boy.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily!" bleated Billie. "See my new horns!"

"Your new horns!" exclaimed Mr. Longears, turning toward the goat chap.
"Are you going to blow the New Year in, also?"

"Yes, but not with these horns," went on Billie. "I mean, see the new
horns on my head. I was ill, you know, and my old horns dropped off,
and now I have these new ones," and he shook his head, on which were
two long, curving sharp horns. "I'm going to blow the New Year in,"
bleated the boy goat, "but not on my head horns; on my Christmas tin
horn."

"That's more than one boy whom I know about is going to do," said
Uncle Wiggily a little sadly. Then the bunny gentleman had a sudden
thought. "Do you s'pose, Billie," he asked the goat boy, "that your old
horns could be made into blowing ones for New Year's?"

"Why, yes, I guess so," Billie answered. "But you'd have to saw off one
end to make a place to blow in. My horns are partly hollow and if you
blew in the little end, after making a hole there, the noise would come
out the other end."

[Illustration: "Oh, Uncle Wiggily!" bleated Billie. "See my new horns!"]

"Then I know what I can do!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "Get me your old
horns, Billie boy, and I'll fix them up for New Year's blowing. I know
how to do it!"

The Wagtail goat chap gave the bunny gentleman the old horns. Uncle
Wiggily took them into his bungalow, and he and Nurse Jane washed them
clean and polished them. Then, with her sharp teeth, the muskrat lady
gnawed a little off the small end of each horn, so they could be blown
through.

Uncle Wiggily made two wooden whistles and fastened one in the small
end of each horn.

"Now I'll try it, Janie," he said to Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy.

Uncle Wiggily blew into the small end of one horn. Out of the other end
came a sweet tooting sound.

"Hurray!" cried the bunny gentleman. "These will be just right for New
Year's! I'll take one to the poor boy and one to his sister. Then they
can celebrate with their friends who have regular tin horns."

"It is very kind of you to be so thoughtful," said Nurse Jane.

"And it was kind of you to help me make the New Year's horns from
Billie's old ones," spoke Uncle Wiggily, as he skipped along, for it
was getting dark and soon the Old Year would go away--like the hole in
the doughnut--and the New Year would come, to bring with it Fourth of
July, birthdays and Christmas.

Up the steps of the house of the poor boy and girl who had no New
Year's horns to blow hopped Uncle Wiggily. No one saw him in the dusk.
He placed the horns on the doormat, tapped three times with his red,
white and blue striped rheumatism crutch on the porch, and then hopped
away.

"What was that?" asked the girl of the boy.

"I'll go see," he answered.

The boy opened the door and saw, in the light of the moon, which just
then came from behind a cloud, the two goat horns made into New Year's
"tooters."

"Oh, hurray!" shouted the boy, as he blew on one of the horns. "Now we
can send the Old Year on its way and tell the New Year how glad we are
to see him. Hurray!"

"And I can blow, too!" laughed the girl. "Hurray!"

Her brother gave her the other horn, and when twelve o'clock midnight
came, the children blew on the tooters as loudly as they could. So did
all the other boys and girls in the village; and the animal boys and
girls in their nest-houses and burrows also blew on horns and wooden
whistles to welcome the New Year.

All over the land the bells rang and horns were blown. Uncle Wiggily
heard them in his hollow stump bungalow, and so did Nurse Jane.

"Happy New Year!" wished the muskrat lady.

"Happy New Year!" echoed the bunny gentleman.

The boy and girl, blowing Billie Wagtail's old horns, danced around
their father and mother, wishing them a Happy New Year also.

"Where did you get the horns?" asked Mother.

"Oh, I guess Santa Claus dropped them, on his way back to the North
Pole," answered the boy.

But we know better than that; don't we?

So, after all, everything came out right, and the boy and girl were
very happy with their queer New Year's horns.

But if the Jumping Jack doesn't tickle the lollypop with the sharp end
of the ice-cream cone, and make it fall off the stick, I'll tell you
next about Uncle Wiggily's Thanksgiving.



STORY XXVIII

UNCLE WIGGILY'S THANKSGIVING


There came, one afternoon, a knock at the door of the hollow stump
bungalow where Uncle Wiggily Longears lived.

"Do you s'pose that can be the Fuzzy Fox or the Woozie Wolf?" anxiously
asked Nurse Jane, the muskrat lady housekeeper.

"No," answered the bunny gentleman. "They would not dare come boldly up
to my bungalow, in broad daylight, though if it were night they might
come sneaking along, trying to nibble my ears. I suppose this may be
Sammie or Susie Littletail, or Johnnie or Billie Bushytail. I'll let
them in."

But when Uncle Wiggily opened the door, in came rushing a great big
turkey gobbler gentleman. In his bill he carried a basket in which set
a dish filled with something red.

"I have it, Uncle Wiggily! I have it!" exclaimed the turkey. "I picked
it up and ran away with it! Now they can't have any Thanksgiving and
I'll be safe! Shut the door!" he gobbled, and setting the basket on the
floor he scuttled behind a chair, while Nurse Jane and Uncle Wiggily
were so surprised they hardly knew what to do.

"_What_ in the world have you brought with you, Mr. Gobble Obble?"
asked the bunny gentleman. Gobble Obble was the turkey's name.

"The _cranberry sauce_," was the answer. "At our house, where I have
been living, they are making a great fuss over Thanksgiving, which will
happen in a few days. They have been feeding me up to fatten me, and
every day the Man would come out and look at me; though I didn't know
what for until I heard the children talking about it."

"Talking about what?" Nurse Jane wanted to know.

"_Thanksgiving_," gobbled the turkey. "This morning I heard the cook
say: 'That gobbler is fat enough to roast, now. I think I'll make the
cranberry sauce. It will be Thanksgiving soon!'"

"Then," went on the turkey, "I knew why they had been feeding me things
to make me fat! You can't imagine how I felt! Well, the cook made the
cranberry sauce. She put it in a dish and set it out on the back steps
to cool. I watched my chance, picked it up and ran over here. There's
the cranberry sauce!" and Mr. Gobble Obble pointed to it with one wing.

"But why in the world did you bring away the cranberry sauce? What good
is that going to do you?" asked Uncle Wiggily, very much puzzled by the
turkey's queer talk and actions.

"Listen," gobbled the turkey. "I heard one of the children say that
Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without _turkey and cranberry
sauce_! Then, thinks I to myself, if I run away, and take the cranberry
sauce with me, there will be no Thanksgiving, and many poor turkeys
will be glad of it."

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" laughed Uncle Wiggily, chuckling so hard that his pink
nose twinkled like a lightning bug on Fourth of July.

"What's the matter?" asked Mr. Gobble Obble. "Won't you be good enough
to hide me and the cranberry sauce until after Thanksgiving? Then I'll
be safe."

"Of course you may stay here," said the bunny gentleman. "But the
idea of thinking you can stop Thanksgiving by hiding yourself, or the
cranberry sauce!"

"Can't I?" asked Mr. Gobble Obble, doubtful-like.

"Of course you can't!" exclaimed Mr. Longears. "Why, Thanksgiving
doesn't mean just feasting on turkey, ice cream and cranberries!"

"It does at the house I ran away from," said Mr. Gobble Obble.

"Yes, and I suppose it does at many other houses," went on the bunny
gentleman. "But Thanksgiving is really a time in which to be thankful
for the things one has had to eat all the year--for that, and other
blessings. The Pilgrim Fathers, who came over to live among the
Indians, were thankful for even a little parched corn."

"What are Indians?" asked the turkey, who had never studied history.

"Wild men, who wore feathers such as yours," said Nurse Jane. "They are
Indians."

"I'll tell you about the Indians some day," promised Uncle Wiggily.
"Now we must talk more about Thanksgiving."

"I don't like to talk about it," sighed Mr. Gobble Obble. "It isn't a
happy thing for me even to think about, much less talk about!"

"But you shouldn't have run away with the cranberry sauce," went on the
bunny gentleman. "I'm afraid I shall have to ask you to take it back."

"All right--I will," promised Mr. Gobble Obble. "But I'll go after
dark, so the cook won't see me. Then I'll come here again and stay with
you and Nurse Jane."

"Yes, do," invited the bunny. "Spend Thanksgiving with us."

So when it grew dark Mr. Gobble Obble picked up the basket of cranberry
sauce in his bill, and went over the fields and through the woods to
the village, where lived the real boys and girls and their fathers
and mothers. Softly and silently, like the shadow of a feathered
Indian, the turkey made his way to the back stoop. There he set down
the cranberry sauce and scuttled over to Uncle Wiggily's hollow stump
bungalow again.

Days and nights came and went, and then it was Thanksgiving.

"Very lucky am I to live to see this day," gobbled the turkey as he ate
breakfast with Uncle Wiggily and Nurse Jane. "If I hadn't run away with
the cranberry sauce I'd be roasting in the oven now!"

"Well, I'm glad you aren't," spoke the bunny. "Though of course it
wasn't right for you to take the cranberry sauce."

"They'll have that for Thanksgiving, anyhow," remarked Nurse Jane. "But
now, Wiggy," she went on, "if I get the baskets ready, will you start
out with them?"

"Yes, Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy," answered the bunny gentleman, twinkling his
pink nose.

"What baskets are you speaking of?" asked Mr. Gobble Obble, as he saw
the muskrat lady putting carrot cakes, turnip flopovers and lettuce
sandwiches up in little bundles.

"These are for the poor folk of animal land," answered Uncle Wiggily.
"Each year, at Thanksgiving, Nurse Jane puts up a good dinner for
them, and I take the baskets around in my automobile."

"How nice!" gobbled the turkey. "May I help? I'm so thankful for not
being in the oven, that I'd like to make some one else thankful too, if
I could."

"That's the idea!" cried the bunny. "Yes, come along, Mr. Gobble Obble!"

Soon the bunny gentleman had filled his automobile with baskets of good
things packed by Nurse Jane. Over the fields and through the woods rode
Uncle Wiggily and the turkey gentleman, and many a poor animal family
was the happier for Uncle Wiggily's visit.

And at last, when the final basket had been left, and Uncle Wiggily and
the turkey were on their way back to the bungalow, out from behind a
bush jumped the bad old Fuzzy Fox.

"I want to nibble Uncle Wiggily's ears for my Thanksgiving dinner!"
howled the Fox. "I want ears to nibble!"

"Well, you can't--not to-day!" laughed Uncle Wiggily, and he made the
auto go so fast that the Fox was left far, far behind.

"Oh, ho!" gobbled the turkey as they came within sight of the stump
bungalow. "This ride will give us a good appetite for the Thanksgiving
dinner."

"Indeed it will!" laughed the bunny.

But when they went inside, and met Nurse Jane, the muskrat lady looked
at them in such a queer way that Uncle Wiggily asked:

"What is the matter, Miss Fuzz Wuzz?" (He sometimes called her that in
fun.) "Has anything happened?" "Yes, Uncle Wiggily, there has," sadly
answered the muskrat lady housekeeper. "I will not keep it from you!"

"Have--have they come after me?" asked the turkey in a faint and
far-off voice. "Have they?"

"Oh, no," said Nurse Jane. "But by mistake I packed up everything in
the house to eat in those Thanksgiving baskets, Uncle Wiggily! I didn't
save out a thing for ourselves, and what to do about your Thanksgiving
dinner I don't know! I'm so sorry----"

"Tut! Tut! Never mind," broke in Uncle Wiggily kindly. "I dare say we
shall find something to nibble on. A couple of carrots will do me."

"Well, I have _those_," Nurse Jane said, "and a little corn."

"I love corn!" gobbled the turkey.

"I can eat it myself," the muskrat lady declared. "So if you can put up
with that for Thanksgiving, we'll eat!"

Then they sat down to the corn and carrots, and Uncle Wiggily said:

"I'm thankful I could make the auto go so fast that we ran away from
the fox."

"So am I," agreed the gobbler. "And I'm thankful I'm here sitting up to
the dining table, instead of being nicely roasted on _top_ of it! And
I'm thankful I could help you feed the poor animal families."

"I'm thankful," spoke Nurse Jane, "because you two gentlemen didn't
scold and make a fuss when you found what a mistake I'd made about the
dinner."

"Ha! Ha!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "Then we are _all_ thankful, and
there could not possibly be a better Thanksgiving than this!"

So they ate the corn and carrots and were very happy. And if the
jumping jack doesn't waggle his tail like a skyrocket and knock over
the milk bottles so they think they're roller skates and slide down the
back stoop, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the circus.



STORY XXIX

UNCLE WIGGILY AT THE CIRCUS


Jackie Bow Wow, the little puppy dog boy, came running up to Uncle
Wiggily one morning, so excited that he barked three times and fell
down twice, stubbing his toe over a lollypop stick on the path.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily!" barked Jackie. "What you think? There's pictures
of elephants, and tigers and lions and camels! There's a man putting up
a big tent! There are red wagons and golden chariots, and blue wagons
and one that plays funny tunes!"

"And there's a man with his face all painted red, white and blue, just
like your rheumatism crutch!" barked Peetie Bow Wow, the other little
puppy dog chap, as he ran up wagging his tail. "And there's popcorn,
peanuts and pink lemonade! Wuff! Wuff!"

"What's it all about?" asked the bunny rabbit gentleman, as he sat down
on the steps of his hollow stump bungalow, while the puppy dog boys
caught their breaths, which had nearly run away from them.

"It's a circus!" cried Jackie and Peetie just like twins, which they
almost were. "A real circus!"

"A circus!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "That's nice! Do you mean it is
the kind you animal boys sometimes get up; where you charge two pins to
get in and three pins for a seat?"

"Oh, no! It's a regular man-circus, that real boys and girls go to
see!" barked Jackie.

"It's like the kind we once ran away and joined, where we learned to do
jumping, to turn somersaults and other tricks," explained Peetie.

"Well, if it's that kind of a circus," spoke Uncle Wiggily, "we needn't
bother our heads about it. We animal folk can't go to any real circus,
you know!"

"Oh, but that's what we came to see you for!" whined Jackie. "We want
you to take us to the circus!"

"Take you to the circus!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "Why, the very idea!
How would an old rabbit gentleman and two funny puppy dog boys look
walking into a real circus? The men would think we belonged to it, and
had somehow gotten out of our cages. They'd shut us up behind the iron
bars, as the lions and tigers are kept. Take you two to the circus! Oh,
no! It couldn't be thought of!"

"Oh, dear!" sighed Jackie.

"We told the others that you'd take us," softly barked Peetie.

"What others?" Uncle Wiggily wanted to know, curious like.

"Oh, Sammie and Susie Littletail, Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, Lulu,
Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, and a lot of the animal boys and girls,"
went on Peetie. "We were over on the edge of the woods, looking at the
circus men put up the tent and the colored posters, and we all thought
you'd take us."

"Baby Bunty will be so disappointed!" said Jackie.

Uncle Wiggily twinkled his pink nose serious like and thoughtful.

"Hum! Circus!" murmured the old rabbit gentleman. "So Baby Bunty
wants to go, does she? Well, she never saw a circus, not even a
make-believe one, such as you boys get up. Now I don't care for a
circus _myself_--I've seen too many of 'em. But I'll go--just to take
Baby Bunty!"

"And may we come?" asked Jackie, eagerly.

"Oh, well, yes, I s'pose so!" slowly answered Mr. Longears. "Nurse Jane
will say I'm queer; but what matter? A circus comes but once a year!
Now run along, doggie boys. I'll have to think up some way of getting
all of you into the circus tent, for we can't buy tickets and go in the
regular way. The circus men wouldn't understand."

Jackie and Peetie were so delighted that they turned somersaults all
the way across the field as they ran to tell the other animal boys and
girls. Meanwhile Uncle Wiggily hopped along on his red, white and blue
twinkling nose----Oh, listen to me, would you! I mean his rheumatism
crutch. I guess I'm getting excited about the circus.

Anyhow Uncle Wiggily hopped across the field to the edge of the forest
where Jackie and Peetie had said the big show was going to be given
that afternoon. Surely enough there was the large white tent, much
larger than the one the camping boys had used the time Uncle Wiggily
helped dig a rain-water canal for the lads, so they would have dry beds
to sleep in.

There was the circus tent!

And there were red, green, yellow, blue and purple posters showing
pictures of lions, tigers, camels, elephants and all such wild animals.

"It's a regular circus surely enough," said Uncle Wiggily to himself.
"But how am I going to get in with the animal boys and girls? I can't
go up to the wagon and buy tickets, much as I'd like to. I can't speak
man-talk, though I can understand it. How can I get in?"

Just then Uncle Wiggily saw two real boys slowly walking around outside
the big tent. They seemed to be looking for something.

[Illustration: "It's a circus, surely enough," said Uncle Wiggily.]

"I hope they haven't lost their ticket money," thought the bunny. One
boy said to the other:

"Here's a good place to get in!"

"All right! Crawl under!" exclaimed the other.

Then those two boys suddenly crawled under the circus tent, because
they had no money to buy tickets. Uncle Wiggily watched them.

"Why! The idea!" exclaimed Mr. Longears. "What a way to get in! Why--I
have it! That's how I can get in with the animal children! I can crawl
under the tent! Of course I wouldn't do it that way if I could buy
them tickets, and get in the regular way. But I can't--the ticket man
wouldn't understand if I hopped up with green or yellow leaf money.
Crawling under the tent is the only way."

Uncle Wiggily hopped back to the woods where he had built his hollow
stump bungalow. The animal children were gathered about waiting for him.

"Come on. It's time to start!" said Susie Littletail, who had on her
best hat made of green ferns.

"Where are you going, Wiggy?" asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, as she
saw the bunny gentleman starting off at the head of the procession of
animal boys and girls.

"Oh, I'm just going to take Baby Bunty to the circus," said Mr.
Longears, holding the littlest rabbit girl by her paw.

"Are you sure you aren't going for _yourself_?" asked Nurse Jane with a
laugh.

"Of course not!" exclaimed the bunny. "The idea!"

On he hopped with the animal children, and when they came near to the
edge of the woods, where the circus tent gleamed white amid the green
trees, Uncle Wiggily said:

"Wait here, children, until I hop ahead and see if everything is all
right."

The bunny, hiding behind a bush, looked across a little field at the
tent. He saw two more boys walk softly up and try to crawl under the
white canvas, but all at once a man with a big club rushed up, drove
away the boys, and cried:

"No, you don't! You can't get in this circus that way!"

"Oh, dear!" thought Uncle Wiggily. "If men are on guard to keep boys
from crawling under the tent, they won't let me in with the animal
children! What can I do? Baby Bunty will be so disappointed! Ha! I
know! I'll start here in this field, and dig a burrow, or tunnel under
ground. I'll slant it down until I'm beneath the tent, and then I'll
slant it up, so when we come out we'll be inside the tent. In that way
the men with clubs will not see us!"

Uncle Wiggily hopped back to the waiting animal children.

"I'll have to dig a tunnel-burrow to get you into the circus," said the
bunny. "Stay here and keep quiet!"

Starting in the field, behind the bushes and a little way from the
circus tent, Uncle Wiggily began to dig. He was a fast worker, and soon
he had dug the burrow all the way through.

He came out inside the circus tent, beneath the rows of seats on which
were perched many boys, girls and grown folk watching the funny clowns,
listening to the band, seeing the men on the high trapeze bars and
looking at the horses.

"Ha! The circus is just beginning!" said Uncle Wiggily to himself, as
the big bass drum boomed out: "Zoom! Zoom!"

He crawled back through the burrow and got the animal children in line.

"Forward march!" cried Uncle Wiggily, and through the underground
burrow crawled the rabbits, squirrels, puppy dogs, pussy cats,
chickens, ducks, guinea pigs and all the smaller animal friends of the
rabbit gentleman.

They were not seen by the men with clubs, because they crawled beneath
the tent far below the ground. Then they came up inside the circus,
under the high tier of seats.

"Oh, isn't it wonderful!" cried Baby Bunty, keeping hold of Uncle
Wiggily's paw.

"Hush!" whispered the rabbit gentleman. "Don't let the people up above
know we're down here or they might chase us out!"

So there sat Mr. Longears and his little friends, having a fine view
of the circus almost from start to finish. And the people sitting on
the seats above dropped peanuts and kernels of popcorn which the animal
children picked up and ate. The only thing they didn't have was pink
lemonade, but perhaps that was not good for them.

And at last, when the band began to play like anything, and the horses
and elephants raced around the big ring, Uncle Wiggily said:

"Come, now. The circus is ended. We had better get out before the crowd
starts or we may be stepped on. Did you like it, Baby Bunty?"

"Oh, it was the most wonderful thing I ever saw!" sighed the little
rabbit girl. "Thank you, ever so much!"

"Yes, and we thank you also, Uncle Wiggily," called the other animal
children.

Then they crawled down through the burrow again, outside the tent and
came into the woods, through which they scampered to their different
homes. But they had been to the circus!

And if the window curtain doesn't roll up so fast that it flies to the
top of the ceiling, taking the gold fish with it, you shall next hear
about Uncle Wiggily and the lion.



STORY XXX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE LION


Once upon a time, as Uncle Wiggily was hopping through the woods, he
heard a roaring sound, coming, it seemed, from a distant clump of trees.

"Oh, ho!" exclaimed the bunny rabbit gentleman. "That's thunder! I
suppose we are going to have a storm. I didn't bring my umbrella, but I
can find a large toadstool, or mushroom. That will do as well."

The animal folk often use toadstools for umbrellas, you know, and Uncle
Wiggily had done this more than once. The bunny hopped on a little
farther, and the roaring, rumbling sound boomed out again.

"The thunder is coming nearer," thought Mr. Longears. "I had better
hurry if I am going to pick a toadstool umbrella!"

He limped on his red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch over
toward a large mushroom (which, of course, isn't the same as a
toadstool, though they look alike), and Uncle Wiggily was just breaking
off the stem, so he would not get wet in the thunder shower, when, all
of a sudden, a loud voice asked:

"Can you please tell me where the circus went to?"

Uncle Wiggily turned so quickly that he nearly lost the twinkle from
the end of his pink nose. For the voice that spoke was almost as loud
as thunder.

"Was that you making the noise like a storm?" asked the bunny as he
saw a large yellow creature, with a great head, surrounded by a fluffy
mane, and a tail on the end of which was a bunch of hair.

"It was," answered the big animal. "I'll try to speak more gently if it
hurts your ears. But, naturally, I have a loud voice, being a lion, you
know."

"Yes, I knew you were a lion. I remember seeing you in the circus,"
spoke the bunny gentleman, who was not at all afraid. "But tell me, why
aren't you with the show now?"

"Because I ran away," the lion answered. "I got tired of being shut up
in my cage all the while, and, when the man left the iron door open I
slipped out. I've been hiding in the woods ever since; but it is not as
much fun as I thought it would be. Now I wish I could go back to the
circus. Can you please tell me where it is?"

"I am sorry to say I cannot," Uncle Wiggily answered. "But if you will
come with me to my hollow stump bungalow--not that you can get inside,
for you are too large--why, perhaps Nurse Jane may know where your
circus is. She knows nearly everything."

"Who is Nurse Jane?" asked the lion.

"She is Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy, my muskrat lady housekeeper," replied the
bunny gentleman.

"A rat, is she?" went on the lion. "I don't know much about rats, but
once a mouse gnawed the ropes, when I was caught in a net, and set me
free--that was before I joined the circus."

"Well, a muskrat is something like a big mouse," said Uncle Wiggily,
"so I think you will like Nurse Jane."

"I'm sure I shall," the lion rumbled, trying to make his voice soft and
gentle.

"Well, then," went on Uncle Wiggily, "please come along with me, and
I'll try to find the circus for you. Nurse Jane may know where it moved
to, or some of the animal boys and girls may tell us."

So Uncle Wiggily hopped through the woods, the lion stalking along
beside him, and soon they reached the hollow stump bungalow of the
bunny gentleman.

"Nurse Jane! Nurse Jane!" called Mr. Longears. "I have brought home a
friend with me!"

"Not to dinner, I hope, Wiggy," remarked Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy, from inside
the bungalow. "I have a dreadful headache! I haven't been able to wash
the breakfast dishes yet, and as for making the beds, and dusting the
furniture--it is out of the question! So if you want dinner----"

"Please tell her not to bother," whispered the lion. "I am not hungry
and----"

"Is that thunder?" asked the muskrat lady, thrusting her head, tied up
in a wet towel, from her bedroom window.

And when the muskrat lady saw the big lion she screamed.

"Pray do not be frightened, my dear Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy," the lion said.
"I just came with Uncle Wiggily to inquire where I might find the
circus, from which I foolishly ran away. But I'll toddle on, and not
bother you, since you are ill."

"Oh, it isn't really any bother," spoke the muskrat lady. "I could get
you a cup of tea. It was only your loud voice that startled me."

"I'm sorry," rumbled the lion, as gently as he could. "I'm afraid my
voice is rather louder than the purr of a pussy cat. But I can't help
it."

"Oh, of course not!" agreed Nurse Jane. "I wish I could ask you in, but
our bungalow was not made for lions."

"I'll come in and get him something he can eat outside," offered Uncle
Wiggily. "By that time some of the animal boys or girls, who know where
the circus went, may come along, since you don't know, Nurse Jane."

[Illustration: He ate nearly all the bungalow]

"No, I am sorry to say I don't know," spoke the muskrat lady, as she
went back to bed with her headache.

Uncle Wiggily took some carrot soup and some lettuce tea out to the
lion, but though the tawny creature said he was not hungry, he ate
nearly all there was in the bungalow, for his appetite was much larger
than that of the muskrat lady or Mr. Longears.

"And now I would like to do you and Nurse Jane a favor," went on the
circus chap, licking the soup off his whiskers with his red tongue.
"Couldn't I help wash the dishes or make the beds?"

"I'm afraid not!" laughed Uncle Wiggily, thinking how funny it would
look to see a lion making a rabbit's bed.

"Yes, I suppose I am too large to get in the bungalow," went on the
roaring chap, in as gentle a voice as he could make come from his
throat. "But I know one way in which I can help!"

"How?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"With my tail," said the lion. "That isn't too large to put through one
of your windows. And on the end of my tail is a tuft of fluffy hair,
just like a dusting brush. Please let me stick my tail in through the
different windows. Then I can switch it around, and dust the furniture
for Nurse Jane."

"Do you think you can?" asked the bunny, doubtful-like.

"Of course!" said the lion. "True, I never before have dusted furniture
in a bunny's hollow stump bungalow, but that is no reason for not
trying. Please give me a chance!"

So Uncle Wiggily opened all the windows. The lion backed up, and thrust
his tail first in one and then in another. When his tail was in the
parlor he switched it around--I mean he switched his tail around--and
the fluffy tuft of hair on the end knocked all the dust off the chairs,
table and piano. Soon the parlor was as nicely dusted as Nurse Jane
could have done it herself.

In this way, with his tail, the lion dusted all the rooms in the
bungalow, even the one where Nurse Jane was lying down with a headache.
And when the muskrat lady saw the lion's fluffy tail switching around
on her chairs in such a funny way, she laughed, and then, in a little
while, her headache was all better.

"You certainly are a good houseworker," said the muskrat lady as she
got up and drank a cup of tea. "And you have done me a great favor."

"Pray do not mention it," spoke the lion politely as he flapped his
tail in the air to rid it of dust. "It was a pleasure!"

Then along came Jacko Kinkytail, the monkey boy, and he said the circus
had moved on to a town about ten miles away.

"Thank you! I'll travel there and get back in my cage," rumbled the
lion. Then, with a polite bow to Nurse Jane and Mr. Longears, the
tawny, yellow chap with the big voice walked away through the forest.
And every time the muskrat lady thought of the lion thrusting his tail
in through the window to dust the furniture she had to laugh.

Now would you like to hear a story about Uncle Wiggily and the tiger?
Well, you may if the scrubbing brush doesn't take the cake of soap out
to the washrag's party and forget to bring it back for the bathtub to
play ball with.



STORY XXXI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE TIGER


"Uncle Wiggily! Oh, Uncle Wiggily!" called a voice after the rabbit
gentleman, as he was hopping away from his hollow stump bungalow one
morning.

"What's the matter now?" inquired the bunny, turning around so quickly
that his tall silk hat nearly slipped down over his pink, twinkling
nose. "Does the Woozie Wolf or the Fuzzy Fox wish to nibble my ears?"

"I hope not!" exclaimed Nurse Jane, the muskrat lady housekeeper, for
she it was who had called. "But will you please take my scissors with
you, Uncle Wiggily?"

"Take your scissors? What for?" asked Mr. Longears.

"To have them sharpened," answered Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy. "They are so dull
I can hardly cut anything, and I want to cut some linen up into new
sheets and pillow cases. Take my scissors along with you, Wiggy dear,
and have them made good and sharp."

"I will," promised the bunny rabbit gentleman. Then, wrapping the dull
scissors in a grape-vine leaf, Uncle Wiggily put them in the top of his
tall silk hat, and set the hat on his head.

"Why do you put them there?" asked Nurse Jane.

"So I'll remember them," the rabbit gentleman answered. "If I put them
in my pocket I'd forget them. But now, if I meet Mrs. Twistytail, the
pig lady, or Mrs. Wibblewobble, the duck lady, and bow to them, I'll
take off my hat. Out will slide the scissors, and then I'll remember
that I am to get them sharpened."

"That's a good idea," said Nurse Jane. "Now don't forget to bring them
back to me good and sharp. If you don't I can't cut up into sheets and
pillow cases the new linen I have bought."

"I'll not forget," promised the bunny gentleman.

He hopped on and on through the woods, and he had not gone very far
before, all of a sudden, he heard a growling, rumbling-umbling noise, a
little like far-off thunder.

"I wonder if that can be the lion again?" thought Uncle Wiggily.
"Perhaps he couldn't find the circus and he has come back to dust more
furniture for Nurse Jane with the end of his tail stuck through a
window in the bungalow."

Uncle Wiggily looked through the forest, but he saw no tawny lion.
Instead he saw, limping toward him, a beast almost as big as the lion,
but with a beautiful black and yellow striped coat.

"Oh, ho! Mr. Tiger--the one I saw when I went to the circus with Baby
Bunty!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "This is a tiger!"

"Yes, I am the striped tiger," answered the other animal. "And, oh,
what trouble I am in!"

"What is the matter?" kindly asked the rabbit gentleman, for he could
see that the tiger was limping and in pain.

"I ran a thorn in my foot," went on the black and yellow fellow, "and
my eyes are so poor I can't see to pull it out."

"Perhaps I can," Uncle Wiggily said. "I have strong glasses."

So the bunny gentleman looked through his spectacles, and soon saw the
thorn that was in the tiger's foot. It did not take Uncle Wiggily long
to pull it out.

"Oh, thank you, so much!" growled the tiger, though not in a cross
voice. "It serves me right, I suppose, for having run away from the
circus."

"Did you run away, too, as the lion did?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"Yes," answered the striped beast, "we ran away together--the lion,
some other animals and myself. But now I'd be glad to run back again."

"The lion was," said Uncle Wiggily. "He was very glad to go back."

"Don't tell me you have met _him_!" exclaimed the tiger. "Where is he?"

"He started back yesterday, after stopping at my bungalow and helping
Nurse Jane dust the furniture with his tail through the windows," the
bunny answered.

"Then I'm going back, too!" declared the tiger. "It isn't as much fun
roaming by yourself through the woods as I thought it would be. I'm
going back!"

"Before you start," kindly suggested Uncle Wiggily, "please come to my
bungalow with me."

"Does more furniture need dusting?" asked the tiger, laughing. "I have
no fluffy tuft on the end of my tail, as has the lion."

"It isn't that," the bunny answered. "But I would like to have Nurse
Jane put some salve on the place where the thorn ran in your paw, and
also wrap it up in a rag."

"That would be very nice," spoke the tiger. "Right gladly will I come
with you."

So he limped through the forest with the bunny gentleman, and soon they
came to the hollow stump bungalow.

"More company for you, Nurse Jane!" called the jolly rabbit uncle.

"That's nice," answered Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy. "Oh, you're a tiger, aren't
you?" she went on, as she saw the striped beast.

"And he has a sore paw," spoke Uncle Wiggily. "Will you put salve on it
for him, Nurse Jane?"

"Of course," answered the muskrat lady. And when the tiger's sore paw
was nicely wrapped in a clean rag, he started off through the woods to
find the circus.

"Good-bye, and come again," invited Uncle Wiggily, making a low and
polite bow with his tall silk hat.

"I will," promised the tiger. And then the bunny suddenly exclaimed:

"Oh, your scissors, Nurse Jane! I forgot all about getting them
sharpened," and he picked them up from where they had fallen when he
took off his hat.

"Oh, dear! That's too bad!" said the muskrat lady. "And I wanted to cut
the linen in strips to make sheets and pillow cases. Now it is so late
I'm afraid the sharpening place will be closed."

"Perhaps I can help," said the tiger, turning back.

"Can you sharpen scissors?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"No," was the answer, "but my claws are sharper than any scissors you
ever saw. If you and Nurse Jane will hold the cloth, I will cut it
into strips for you with my sharp claws. I don't need to use my sore
paw. I'll take my other one."

"Oh, that will be very kind of you," said Nurse Jane. "I forgot that
tigers have sharp claws."

So the muskrat lady and the rabbit gentleman held the linen cloth in
front of the tiger, and with his claws he cut and slashed it into just
the shapes Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy needed for making sheets and pillow cases.

"I am very glad I could do you this favor," the tiger said, when all
the linen was cut.

"So am I," spoke Uncle Wiggily, "for if you hadn't been here to use
your claws, Nurse Jane would not have forgiven me for not remembering
to get the scissors sharpened. Good-bye!"

"Good-bye!" echoed the tiger, as he walked on to find the circus. And
that night he slept in his cage again.

So if the doorknob doesn't try to crawl through the keyhole to play
bean bag with the rice pudding in the gas stove oven, I'll tell you
next about Uncle Wiggily and the elephant.



STORY XXXII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE ELEPHANT


"Matches, Uncle Wiggily! Matches!" cried Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy one
morning, as the bunny rabbit gentleman was hopping down the forest
path, away from his hollow stump bungalow.

"What's that? Patches?" exclaimed Mr. Longears. "Did I put on my garden
trousers that have patches?" and he tried to twist his neck like a
corkscrew, so he could look behind him.

"No, I didn't say '_patches_'!" laughed Nurse Jane. "I said _matches_.
Don't forget to bring me some matches to light the fire, when you come
back from looking for an adventure."

"Oh! Matches!" repeated the bunny. "I'll get some for you, Nurse Jane."

Over the fields and through the woods hopped the bunny rabbit
gentleman. He looked here, there and everywhere for an adventure, but
could not seem to find one. The Woozie Wolf nor the Fuzzy Fox did not
chase him to nibble his ears. Not that Uncle Wiggily wanted them to,
but, if they had, that would have been an adventure.

"Well, perhaps I shall find one when I come back," said the bunny
gentleman as he hopped along to the seven and eight cent store, where
he bought a box of matches.

Carrying these fire-sticks in his paw, Uncle Wiggily was hopping
through the forest, on his way back to the hollow stump bungalow when,
all at once, the bunny gentleman felt the ground trembling, and he
heard a sound like a big horn being blown, and then a loud voice said:

"Oh, dear! I can't get it out!"

"Well, what can this be?" thought Uncle Wiggily. "That horn sounds like
the big brass one I heard in the circus. From the way the earth shakes
I'd say a big automobile truck was coming along. And as for someone who
can't get something out--well, that sounds like trouble! I'd like to
help, but first I must see who it is."

Uncle Wiggily looked through the bushes, and at first he thought he saw
the side of some big house moving behind the trees. Then he noticed
something like a great leaf flapping in the wind, and a moment later
something long, like a fire hose, was thrust forward.

"Why, it's an elephant!" exclaimed the bunny, as he caught sight of the
big chap.

"An elephant is just who I am," was the answer in a rumbling voice,
coming through the rubber hose of a trunk. "I'm from the circus, and I
wish I might be back there this minute, eating my hay!"

"Oh, so you have run away from the circus also, like the lion and
tiger?" questioned the bunny.

"Yes," answered the elephant, "I did. But what do you know of my
friends, the lion and tiger?"

"Oh, I have met them," answered Mr. Longears. "But is that your only
sorrow--wishing you were back in the circus?"

"Indeed it is not," the elephant answered. "I have stepped on a loose
stone, and it is fast between the toes of my left hind foot. I can't
get it loose by stamping on the ground, and I can't reach so far back
with my trunk. I'm in great pain and trouble!"

"That is too bad," spoke Uncle Wiggily. "I guess your stamping on the
ground is what I thought was an auto truck coming along."

"Perhaps," admitted the big circus elephant. "I wish I could get that
stone out from between my toes," he went on, stamping so hard that he
shook the very trees, making them rustle as though a wind had blown
them.

"Maybe I can help you," said Uncle Wiggily most kindly. "I have with me
my red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch. With that I may be
able to poke out the stone that hurts you."

"I wish you'd try," begged the elephant.

It did not take the bunny gentleman long to loosen the stone from
between the elephant's toes, for the foot of an elephant is not like
that of a horse or cow--he really has toes and toe-nails, just as you
have, only a little larger, of course. Well, I should say so!

"Ah, I feel much better, Uncle Wiggily! Thank you!" spoke the elephant
through his hollow rubber hose-like trunk, and it sounded like a
trumpet or brass horn when he talked. "Now that the stone is out of my
foot I shall go back to the circus."

"The path to the place where the circus is now showing leads past my
bungalow," said the rabbit gentleman. "I'll hop along and point out for
you the way. I'd like you to meet Nurse Jane."

"That will give me pleasure, also," remarked the elephant, who was very
polite.

So he and Uncle Wiggily went along together, but several times the
bunny had to say:

"Please don't go so fast, Mr. Elephant. I can't keep up with you."

"I beg your pardon," spoke the immense chap. "Suppose I lift you upon
my back and carry you that way?"

"I should much like that," the rabbit uncle said. So in his trunk the
elephant gently lifted up Uncle Wiggily, and set him down on the broad
back.

[Illustration: "Ah, this is even better than my auto," said Uncle
Wiggily]

"Ah, this is even better than my auto," laughed Uncle Wiggily, as the
elephant crashed his way through the forest. Soon they came to the
hollow stump bungalow.

"More company for you, Nurse Jane!" called Uncle Wiggily, with a laugh.

"Eh? What's that? Where are you? I don't see anybody but a big
elephant?" cried the muskrat lady, looking up.

"I'm on his back!" answered the bunny. And as the elephant lifted Mr.
Longears down in the trunk, Nurse Jane was so surprised that she hardly
knew what to say.

"Will you--er--have a cup--I mean a _washtub_ of tea?" the muskrat
lady asked, well knowing that so big a creature must drink a lot of
everything.

"Some water is all I need, thank you," answered the elephant. "I had
something to eat in the forest before I met Uncle Wiggily."

Then the big chap put his trunk down in the brook and sucked up a great
quantity of water. Uncle Wiggily put the box of matches down on the
bench at the side of the bungalow, where the sun shone bright and hot,
and watched the elephant drink.

"Well, now I'll travel along and go back to the circus," said the big
chap with the large trunk and little tail. "I'll tell the lion and
tiger I met you."

"Please do." begged the bunny, and then, all of a sudden Nurse Jane
cried:

"Fire! Fire! Fire! Oh, the sun has set off the box of matches, and the
bungalow is burning! Fire! Fire! Fire!"

Surely enough, this had happened. The box of matches, fizzing and
spluttering, was burning Uncle Wiggily's bungalow.

"Turn in an alarm; Get the firemen! Call out the water bugs!" cried the
bunny gentleman.

"Just a moment! Don't get excited!" spoke the elephant calmly. "I will
put out that fire in a second!"

He sucked up more water from the brook in his trunk and squirted it on
the blaze. The fire hissed and spluttered and died out in a puff of
smoke.

"Oh, you have saved my bungalow!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "Thank you ever
so much! Only for you I'd be burned out of house and home!"

"Pooh! That wasn't any more than you did for me--taking the stone out
of my foot," said the elephant. "With my rubber hose-nose of a trunk, I
very often put out little fires."

"Oh, I'm so glad Uncle Wiggily met you!" sighed Nurse Jane. "If he
hadn't, our bungalow would have burned down, perhaps, Mr. Elephant!"

"Well, one good turn deserves another," laughed the elephant as he
tramped away through the forest to find the circus, and the bunny
gentleman and Nurse Jane waved "Good-bye" to the big chap.

So if the wheelbarrow doesn't catch cold when it runs after the train
of cars to get a ride around the block, the next adventure will be
about Uncle Wiggily and the camel.



STORY XXXIII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE CAMEL


"What sort of an adventure do you think you will have to-day, Uncle
Wiggily?" asked the muskrat lady housekeeper of the bunny rabbit as he
hopped away from the hollow stump bungalow one morning.

"Well, Nurse Jane, I hardly know," was the answer. "I may meet with
some of those queer circus animals again."

"I hope you do," Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy said, as she tied her whiskers in a
bow knot, for she was going to dust the furniture that day. "The circus
animals are very kind to you. And it is strange, for some of them are
such savage jungle beasts."

"Yes," spoke the bunny gentleman, "I am glad to say the circus animals
were kind and gentle. More so than the Pipsisewah or Skeezicks. But
then, you see, the circus animals have been taught to be kind and
good--that is, most of them."

"I hope you never meet the other sort--the kind that will want to
nibble your ears!" exclaimed Nurse Jane as Uncle Wiggily put his tall
silk hat on front-side before and started off with his red, white and
blue striped rheumatism crutch under his paw.

"I hope nothing happens to him," sighed Nurse Jane as she went in to
put the dishes to bed in the china closet.

But something was going to happen to Uncle Wiggily. You shall hear all
about it.

On and on through the woods hopped the bunny rabbit gentleman, looking
first on one side of the path and then on the other for an adventure.
He was beginning to think he would never find one when, all of a
sudden, he heard a rustling in the bushes, and a voice said:

"Oh, dear! I can't go a hop farther! I'm so tired, and my bundle is so
heavy. I guess I'm getting old!"

"Ha! That sounds like trouble of the old-fashioned sort!" murmured
Uncle Wiggily to himself. "I may be able to give some help, as long as
it isn't the fox or wolf, and it doesn't sound like them."

The bunny gentleman peered through the trees and, sitting on a flat
stump, he saw an old gentleman cat, looking quite sad and forlorn.

"Hello, Mr. Cat!" called Uncle Wiggily, cheerfully, as he hopped over
toward the stump. "What's the trouble?"

"Oh, lots of trouble!" mewed the cat. "You see I'm a peddler. I go
about from place to place selling pins and needles and things the lady
animals need when they sew. Here is my pack," and he pointed to a large
bundle on the ground near the stump.

"But what is the matter?" asked the bunny gentleman. "Don't the animal
ladies buy your needles, pins and spools of thread? Just step around
and see Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, my muskrat lady housekeeper. She is
always sewing and mending. She'll buy things from your pack."

"Oh, it isn't _selling_ them that's the trouble," said Mr. Cat. "But I
am getting so old and stiff that I can hardly carry the pack on my back
any longer. I have to sit down and rest because my back aches so much.
Oh, how tired I am! What a weary world this is!"

"Oh, don't say that!" laughed Uncle Wiggily, who felt quite cheerful
that morning. "See how the sun shines!"

"It only makes it so much hotter for me to carry the pack on my back,"
sighed the cat.

"Ha! That is where I can help you!" exclaimed Mr. Longears. "I am quite
well and strong, except for a little rheumatism now and then. That,
however, doesn't bother me now, so I'll carry your peddler's pack for
you."

"Will you? That's very kind!" said the cat. "Perhaps I may be able to
do you a favor some day."

"Oh, that will be all right!" laughed the bunny, as he twinkled his
pink nose. "Come along, we'll travel together and perhaps find an
adventure."

Uncle Wiggily slung the cat-peddler's pack up on his back, the pussy
carried the bunny's crutch, and so off they started together through
the woods. They had not gone very far, and the bunny was wondering
whether he could not sell Nurse Jane a lot of pins to help the poor cat
when, all of a sudden, a loud, snarling sort of voice cried out:

"Oh, where can I find some water? Oh, how much I need a drink! I can go
without one for seven days, but this is the eighth and if I don't see
some water soon I don't know what will happen!"

"I wonder who that is?" asked the peddler cat.

"I don't know, but we'll soon find out," spoke Mr. Longears.

They looked through the bushes and there they saw a very strange
animal, and not what you would call pretty, either. This animal had
a long neck, bent like the letter U, and his face looked as though he
had rolled over on it in his sleep. But the queerest part of all was
his back, on which were two humps, like little mountains, running up to
peaks.

"Oh, what a queer chap!" mewed the peddler cat.

"Hush, don't let him hear you!" whispered Uncle Wiggily. "I think this
is an animal from the circus."

"You are right--I am!" exclaimed the two-humped chap, looking toward
the bushes behind which Uncle Wiggily and the cat were standing. "I
heard what you said, too, Mr. Cat," the odd chap went on. "But I don't
mind. I'm a camel, and I'm used to hearing folks say how queer I look.
But I am in trouble now. Oh, dear!"

"What's the matter?" asked Uncle Wiggily, kindly.

"I'm so thirsty," the camel said. "You see, I took a long drink before
I ran away from the circus, which I did, very foolishly, as I wanted
some adventures. Well, I'm having them, all right! I've been lost in
the woods, and, though I had enough to eat I couldn't find a thing to
drink. On the desert, where I came from, I could find water once in a
while. But here I'm lost."

"And, though I am a camel," went on the humped creature, "and can hold
enough water in my stomach to last for several days, now my time is up.
I haven't had a drink for over seven days, and unless I get one soon I
don't know what will happen."

"Oh, I can take you to the duck pond and you can get a drink there, Mr.
Camel," Uncle Wiggily said, as he hopped out from behind the bush.

"Oh, ho! What a funny chap you are!" snarled the camel, not that he
was cross, only a snarl was his regular way of speaking. "Are you a
little camel?"

"Why, no, I'm not a camel," answered the bunny. "What made you think
so?"

"Because of that hump on your back," said the camel. "Some of us
camels have two humps, and some only one. But surely you cannot be a
one-humped camel! I never saw one with ears so long!"

"Indeed, I'm not a camel!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "I'm a rabbit, and
this pack that you see belongs to this poor peddler cat, who is too
tired to carry it. So I am carrying it for him."

"That is very kind of you," spoke the thirsty circus animal. "In fact,
it seems to me you are very fond of being kind, Mr. Longears. You carry
the cat's pack, and now you offer to show me where to get a drink. And,
if you can, I wish you would soon lead me to water. I am very thirsty!"

"Follow me!" called Uncle Wiggily. Then he hopped off through the
woods, carrying the cat's peddler pack, and followed by the two-humped
camel, whose long neck swayed to and fro like a clock pendulum, while
his humps shook like two bowls full of jelly.

Soon they came to the duck pond and there the camel put his queer face
down into the water and drank as much as he pleased. He took a long
time to drink, as camels always do, for they must take enough into
their stomachs to last for a week in case they can not find more water
before the end of seven days.

The cat and Uncle Wiggily stood watching the camel, thinking how queer
and homely he was, but honest for all that, when, all of a sudden, out
from behind a bush jumped the bad old Pipsisewah!

"Wow! Wow! I've got you now!" howled the Pipsisewah. "I'll nibble your
ears now, Uncle Wiggily!"

The bunny rabbit gentleman started to run, but, because he had strapped
to his back the pack of the cat peddler, the bunny could not hop fast
at all.

"I'll get you! I'll get you!" cried the Pipsisewah.

"Oh dear! Oh dear!" sighed Uncle Wiggily, wondering who was going to
save him, for he knew the tired old cat peddler couldn't.

And then, all of a sudden, the circus camel finished his long drink,
and, with a jolly snarl, he cried:

"Here! You let Uncle Wiggily alone!" Then with his broad foot, made big
and wide so it would not sink into the soft sand of the desert, the
camel stepped on the tail of the Pipsisewah, holding him back so he
couldn't chase Uncle Wiggily.

"Wow! Wow!" howled the Pip.

"Ha! Ha!" laughed the peddler cat. "Oh, mew!"

"Just wait until I get loose, and I'll chase you, too!" cried the
Pipsisewah to the cat. "Just wait!"

"Don't be afraid!" said the camel, with a smile which made him look
more homely than before, though this didn't matter. "Here, Uncle
Wiggily, hop up on my back, between my two humps! You, too, Mr. Cat,
jump up on my back. You and the bunny gentleman can sit there as the
people of the desert used to ride me before I joined the circus. Hop
up, my kind friends, and I'll soon carry you safe out of these woods.
I can go fast, now that I have had a big drink of water. Hop up!"

Uncle Wiggily, with the cat's pack, hopped up on the back of the camel.
The cat, too, sprang up. All the while the camel kept his broad foot on
the tail of the Pipsisewah, so the bad animal couldn't get loose. And
when the bunny and cat were safe in place, snuggled down in between the
camel's humps, the queer creature started off, letting go the tail of
the Pip.

"Ha! Now you can't get us!" mewed the cat, looking down from the
camel's back.

"Just you wait! I'll get Uncle Wiggily yet, and you too!" the Pip
howled. "And I'll fix you, Mr. Camel, for stepping on my tail!"

"Pooh! Nonsense!" snarled the camel, "Uncle Wiggily helped me by
showing me where to find water, and now I am helping him." And away he
went, quite fast, indeed, for such a queer chap.

And the old Pip skipped away to put some soft moss on his sore tail.

"Isn't this jolly!" laughed Uncle Wiggily, twinkling his pink nose. "I
never expected to have a ride on the back of a camel! It's just like a
circus parade! I wish Nurse Jane could see me!"

And the muskrat lady did, for the kind camel gave Uncle Wiggily a ride
all the way home to the bunny's hollow stump bungalow, and when the
muskrat lady housekeeper saw Mr. Longears up between the two humps she
cried:

"My land sakes flopsy dub and a basket of soap bubbles! What will
happen next?"

"I don't know," laughed Uncle Wiggily.

"As for me, I am going back to the circus," the camel said. And he did.
The peddler cat, after selling Nurse Jane some sewing silk, stayed
for some time with Mr. Longears, getting rested so he would be strong
enough to carry his own pack of needles, pins and thread. And as for
the bunny--well, he had more adventures, of course.

And the next one will be about Uncle Wiggily and the wild rabbit--that
is if the teaspoon doesn't take the cork out of the bottle of bitter
medicine and give it to the rag doll to make mud pies with.



STORY XXXIV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE WILD RABBIT


"There he is again!" cried Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, as she ran to the
window of the hollow stump bungalow and looked out. "He's digging up
all the nice carrots in your garden, Uncle Wiggily!"

"Who is?" asked the bunny gentleman, laying aside the cabbage-leaf
newspaper he was reading, with his glasses perched on his pink,
twinkling nose. "Who is taking my carrots, Nurse Jane?"

"That wild rabbit," answered the muskrat lady housekeeper. "He lives
in the thick bushes in the middle of the woods. I think he hasn't been
here very long, and he doesn't seem to know any of your other animal
friends. He's wild and runs the minute I go out. But he has been
spoiling your garden lately."

"That isn't nice of him," said Uncle Wiggily. "I'll go out myself and
see what he has to say."

But as soon as Uncle Wiggily started down the steps of his hollow stump
bungalow, toward where the other bunny was digging up the carrots, the
wild rabbit hopped away.

"What's the matter with you?" asked Uncle Wiggily, twinkling his pink
nose in a friendly way. "Why are you spoiling my garden?"

"Because I like to!" answered the wild rabbit. "You live in a fine
hollow stump bungalow, and all I have is a hole in the ground, or
burrow. You're rich and I'm poor, and I'm going to spoil everything you
have!"

"Oh, that isn't a good way to feel!" said Uncle Wiggily kindly. "That's
the way the Bolshevics talk! I used to be poor, like you, but I went
off to seek my fortune and I found it. I built me this hollow stump
bungalow, and, if you like, I'll show you how to make one. Nurse Jane
and I will help you!"

"Nope!" cried the wild rabbit. "I'd rather be bad! I'm going to dig
in your garden every chance I get, and you can't catch me, either, so
there!" And it sounded as if that wild rabbit might be making a funny
"face" at Uncle Wiggily. Mind you, I'm not saying for sure, but maybe!

"Dear me!" thought Mr. Longears, as he went back in his house. "That
wild rabbit is certainly a queer chap. I don't want to hurt him, but I
wish he would get tame. I'll have to speak to Policeman Dog Percival
about him, and set Percival on guard in my carrot patch."

"Did you make that wild rabbit stop his digging?" asked Nurse Jane, as
she met Uncle Wiggily coming in.

"No, he says he's going to be bad," sighed the bunny gentleman, as he
took his tall, silk hat down off the rubber plant.

"Where are you going?" asked Nurse Jane.

"Out in the woods to look for an adventure," answered Uncle Wiggily.
"And perhaps I may find a way to make that wild rabbit tame and good."

"I hope so," sighed Nurse Jane. "It isn't nice to have our garden
spoiled."

As Uncle Wiggily was hopping through the woods, over on that side of
the forest nearest the village, where the real children lived, the
bunny gentleman, all of a sudden, heard the voice of a little girl.

"Oh, Donald!" said the little girl, in sad tones. "You've broken it.
You've spoiled my nice little jumping bunny!"

"Well, I didn't mean to," answered a boy's voice. "He jumped all right
a minute ago!"

"Yes, but you went and squeezed the rubber ball too hard, that's what
you did!" sobbed the little girl. "And now my nice Easter bunny won't
hop any more! Boo hoo!"

"Dear, dear!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily to himself. "This is too bad!
There's trouble here! I wonder if I can help?"

You see Uncle Wiggily knew what the boy and girl were saying, though
the bunny himself could not speak their talk. Uncle Wiggily hopped
softly nearer the children. He looked through the bushes, and there he
saw a little boy trying to mend a toy bunny for the little girl.

The toy bunny was made to look like a real one, with ears and fur and
everything. Fastened to the toy was a little rubber hose and a rubber
ball was on the end of the hose.

When the toy rabbit was placed on the ground, and the rubber ball was
pressed, some air was squeezed inside the bunny's legs, and he would
hop across the floor; and his ears would flop up, too, because he had
springs and other things inside him.

"There's no use squeezing the ball," sadly said the little girl. "My
toy bunny is broken, and won't ever hop again! Oh, dear! Boo hoo!"

"My! This is too bad!" said Uncle Wiggily. "I wonder what I can do
to make that little girl feel happier? I might get Sammie or Susie
Littletail, the rabbit children, to come and stay with the real
children for a while. They seem to be kind--this boy and girl. They
wouldn't hurt Sammie or Susie. That's what I'll do! I'll go get the
Littletail brother and sister, and have them hop over here so this boy
and girl can easily catch them and play with them a while."

Uncle Wiggily started off through the woods. The boy and girl sat in
a moss-covered dingly dell, trying to mend the broken toy. And Mr.
Longears had not gone very far before, all of a sudden, he came to a
little hollow place, filled with leaves. There he heard a voice saying:

"Oh dear! Oh what a pain! Oh what trouble I am in!"

"Ha! This seems to be my busy day for trouble!" exclaimed Uncle
Wiggily, as he looked at the leaf-filled hollow. "Who are you, and what
is the matter?" asked the bunny gentleman.

"Oh, I'm the wild rabbit," was the answer. "The wild rabbit who was
eating the carrots in your garden. But alas! I can eat no more!"

"Why not?" Uncle Wiggily asked.

"Because I have fallen and broken my leg," was the answer. "I can hop
no more, and I suppose I shall have to stay here and starve. I'm sorry
I was bad, and tried to spoil your garden, Uncle Wiggily."

"Oh, perhaps you didn't really mean it," the bunny gentleman said. "But
wait here a minute. I think I can help you."

"Oh, if you only would!" sighed the wild rabbit with a broken leg.

"I think I see a chance here," said Uncle Wiggily softly to himself,
"to help that boy and girl, and also the wild rabbit."

Off hopped Uncle Wiggily through the woods. It did not take him long
to reach the place where the boy and girl had been playing with the
hippity-hop rabbit toy that was now broken. The children were still
there. The little girl had sat down on a log to cry, and the boy was
trying to make her a willow whistle so she wouldn't feel so unhappy.
The broken toy rabbit lay on a pile of leaves some distance away from
the boy and girl. I suppose they had tossed it there, thinking it was
of no more use.

[Illustration: "He's hopping off by himself!"]

"This is just what I want," said Uncle Wiggily. He found a long piece
of wild grape vine, like a small rope, and, when the boy and girl
weren't looking, Uncle Wiggily slipped up and fastened one end of the
grape-vine cord to the broken toy. Then, hopping off behind the bushes,
Uncle Wiggily began pulling the piece of vine. Of course he also
pulled the toy rabbit along the ground.

"Oh, look!" suddenly cried the little girl. "Look, Donald! My toy
rabbit is all right again! He's hopping off by himself!"

And, surely enough, the toy did seem to be hopping away. But this, as
you know, was because Uncle Wiggily was pulling it by the grape-vine
string.

"Come on! Help me catch him!" begged the little girl.

"I will!" her brother said. Together they raced on after the toy, which
Uncle Wiggily jerked along the forest path. The bunny gentleman kept
out of sight behind the bushes, and as the wild grape vine was just the
color of the earth and leaves the children did not see it. To them it
looked as if the toy was hopping away all by itself.

"I say, Mab!" called Donald. "He hops better than he ever did before! I
wonder who is squeezing the rubber ball? I can't see anyone."

"Maybe it's fairies," suggested Mab, in a low voice.

"Pooh! There aren't any fairies!" laughed Donald.

On and on ran the boy and girl after the skipping toy rabbit, and Uncle
Wiggily pulled it so fast as he hopped along, out of sight, that Donald
and Mab could not get their hands on the toy. It kept ahead of them all
the way.

Uncle Wiggily knew what he was doing and, in a little while, he led the
boy and girl up to the place where the wild rabbit with a broken leg
lay in the bed of leaves. Uncle Wiggily jerked the toy rabbit close to
the wild one, and then pulled the toy out of sight behind a clump of
ferns.

"Oh, Don! Look!" cried the girl. "Our toy rabbit has changed into a
real one!" And she pointed to the wild rabbit, which could not move
away, though he wanted to very much, as his heart beat very fast.

"A toy rabbit couldn't change into a real one!" said the boy.

"Well, mine did; else how could this live rabbit be here, and my toy
one gone?" asked Mab. For that is what seemed to have happened, all on
account of Uncle Wiggily.

"And see, Don," went on the little girl, as she knelt down beside the
poor, wild bunny. "His leg is broken, just as my toy rabbit's leg was
broken. Oh, it is the same one! My toy has changed into a live rabbit!
Oh, you poor, sweet, lovely darling!" cried the little girl, as she
cuddled the wild rabbit up in her arms.

"Say! This sure is queer!" exclaimed the boy. "Very queer!"

Uncle Wiggily, peering through the bushes where he was hiding with the
broken toy rabbit, looked out and saw the little girl holding the wild
rabbit with its broken leg. The wild rabbit would have hopped away if
it could, but was not able.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily! Uncle Wiggily! Is this how you help me?" sadly
cried the wild rabbit. Of course, he spoke in rabbit talk, which
neither the boy nor girl understood. But Uncle Wiggily, hiding in the
bushes, heard and softly answered:

"Don't be afraid, wild rabbit. These children will be kind to you, I
know. They will take you home, and mend your broken leg and you will be
as stylish as I am."

"Oh, if I'm going to be _stylish_, that's different!" said the wild
rabbit. Then he nestled down in the girl's arms, and she and the boy
took the bunny home and their father mended the broken leg with splints
of wood and soft cloth bandages.

"Well, I guess that wild rabbit won't spoil my carrots any more,"
laughed Uncle Wiggily as he hopped along. "I'll take this broken toy
home to Sammie and Susie."

As for the wild rabbit, he was no longer frightened when he heard Uncle
Wiggily say that the children would be kind. And no one could have been
more kind than were Donald and Mab. When the wild rabbit had to stay
quiet until his leg healed, they brought him, every day, fresh lettuce
and carrots, with cool water to drink. And when the leg was all well,
the wild rabbit was so tame that he never wanted to leave the boy and
girl, and go back to spoil Uncle Wiggily's garden. He lived happily
with Donald and Mab all the rest of his life.

Sammie and Susie had fun playing with the broken toy, and they thought
Mr. Longears was very clever to think of a way to not only help the
wild bunny and the boy and girl, but also to save his carrots from
being eaten.

So if the strawberry shortcake doesn't try to stretch itself up tall
and look like a big mince pie, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily
and the tame squirrel.



STORY XXXV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE TAME SQUIRREL


Once upon a time, as Uncle Wiggily Longears, the bunny rabbit
gentleman, was hopping through the woods, he heard a rustling in the
bushes, and he crouched down to hide himself.

"For," thought the bunny, "this may be the Pipsisewah or the Skeezicks,
or even the Woozie Wolf or the Fuzzy Fox. I had better be careful!"

But when Uncle Wiggily looked over the top of the bush, whence the
rustling sound had come, all he saw was the tame rabbit, who once had a
broken leg. The rabbit, who was now tame, was hopping along the forest
path.

"Hello!" called Uncle Wiggily in his most jolly voice, as he twinkled
his pink nose upside down, just for a change. "Where are you going,
Tame Rabbit? I shall call you that as a new name. I hope you are not
going to run away from Donald and Mab, the boy and girl who were so
kind to you."

"Indeed I am not running away," answered the Tame Rabbit. "I am just
going to the woods to look for some flowers. Don and Mab are going to
have a little woodland party this afternoon, and I want to get them
some flowers to put on the flat stump which they will use for a table."

"That is very kind of you," Uncle Wiggily said. "I'll help!"

"Wouldn't you like to come to the party?" asked the Tame Rabbit, as he
and the bunny gentleman hopped into the forest together. "There will be
lots of good things to eat--even ice cream!"

"Thank you, I'd better not come, as some of the boys and girls might
not be as thoughtful as Mab and Don," spoke Uncle Wiggily. "Some of
them might throw peanut shells at my tall, silk hat; just for fun, you
know."

"Well, perhaps they might," admitted the Tame Rabbit. "I don't wear
anything but an old cap--nobody tries to knock that off," he added with
a laugh. "But can't you just look in at the party, Uncle Wiggily? Just
stop for a moment?"

"Yes, I'll do that," promised Mr. Longears. And when he had nibbled,
with his teeth, some wild flowers for the Tame Bunny, Uncle Wiggily
hopped to his hollow stump bungalow, promising to peek through the
bushes at the children's party later in the day.

That afternoon, as he was hopping through the woods, Uncle Wiggily
heard the sounds of shouting and laughter.

"That must be the party," thought the bunny gentleman. "I'll skip over
and take a look."

In a little moss-covered dingly dell among the trees, Uncle Wiggily saw
Don, Mab and many of their little boy and girl friends dancing about a
broad, flat stump, which was set like a table. And in the middle was
the bunch of flowers, some of which Uncle Wiggily had helped gather.

"Those children are certainly having a good time!" thought Uncle
Wiggily, twinkling his pink nose so that it almost turned a somersault.
"And the Tame Rabbit, who used to be wild, is enjoying himself, too."
The other bunny surely was having fun, hopping here and there almost
as if playing tag with the children.

All at once Mab cried:

"Come on now! We'll eat!"

"Hurray!" cried all the boys.

The girls didn't get so excited about it, but I think they were just as
glad to eat as were the boys. The children gathered around the stump
table, and I wish I could tell you all the good things they had for the
woodland party. But I'm not allowed to do this for fear it would make
you too hungry.

All I can say is that there was just the most lovely party-things you
ever heard of! The Tame Rabbit sat near Don and Mab, eating what they
gave him.

"Now we'll crack the nuts and play more games!" called Mab, after a
while.

But when she went to pass the nuts she found that they were not
cracked, and some of them had very hard shells.

"Oh, Don! Didn't you bring the nut cracker?" asked Mab.

"No, I thought you did," answered her brother.

"And I thought you did!" exclaimed Mab. "Oh, what shall we do?"

"We can crack the nuts with stones on top of the stump," said one boy.

But when they tried this, some of the nuts flew away over in the
bushes, without getting cracked at all. Others hit the girls on the
ends of their noses. And some of the children pounded their fingers
instead of cracking the nuts.

"Oh, dear!" sighed Mab, as she saw what was going on. "My party will be
spoiled, all because we haven't a nut cracker."

The Tame Rabbit heard all this. So did Uncle Wiggily, who was looking
on, hidden in the bushes. Both bunnies knew what was said though they
couldn't speak boy and girl talk.

"Can't you help the children, Uncle Wiggily?" asked the Tame Rabbit, as
he hopped out to the bush where the bunny gentleman was hidden. None of
the children saw the two animals talking together.

"How do you mean help them?" asked Mr. Longears.

"By getting them a nut cracker," went on the Tame Rabbit.

"A nut cracker?" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "A squirrel is the best
nut cracker I know of. Ha! I have it! I'll send one of the Bushytail
brothers over here to crack nuts for the children. I think the boys and
girls will be kind to him. I'll go get Johnnie or Billie."

Away hopped Uncle Wiggily through the woods, and soon he met Johnnie
Bushytail.

"Johnnie, don't you want to come and be a nut cracker for some
children?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"Why, of course!" chattered Johnnie, who was a very tame squirrel. "I
love children," he said. "And I suppose I may eat a few of the nuts I
crack."

"Oh, surely," answered Uncle Wiggily.

The bunny gentleman led Johnnie back through the woods to the
children's party. The boys and girls were still trying to crack the
hard nuts, but they could not do it well at all. Johnnie suddenly
scrambled out of the bushes and up on the flat stump, and, taking a
nut in his paws, he cracked it, by gnawing through the hard shell with
his sharp teeth. Then he took out the meat and laid it on a birch-bark
plate.

"Oh, look!" exclaimed Don, pointing to the Bushytail chap. "A tame
squirrel is cracking the nuts for us! Look!"

[Illustration: "Maybe he's a fairy!" she whispered.]

"Oh, the dear little thing!" cried Mab. "And see, he's all dressed up
like a real boy. Maybe he's a fairy!" she whispered as Johnnie cracked
more nuts.

"Pooh! There aren't any fairies!" said Don. "But he sure is helping us!"

Johnnie sat up on the stump, his tail held straight up behind his back,
and he cracked nut after nut.

"This is fine!" whispered the Tame Rabbit to Johnnie, the tame
squirrel, while Uncle Wiggily, hiding behind a bush, saw and heard it
all. "The children will love you for this."

"I'm glad of that," answered Johnnie, in animal talk, which the boys
and girls could not hear. Then the tame squirrel cracked many more
nuts, eating some himself, for there were more than enough for all the
children at the party.

"Oh, I wonder if we could take this squirrel home with us, as we took
the Wild Tame Rabbit?" said the boy, as Johnnie cracked the last nut.

"Try it," suggested Mab to her brother.

But when Donald put out his hand, and tried to catch Johnnie, the
squirrel boy just flipped his tail and scampered away.

"Thank you, I'd rather not be caught," chattered Johnnie, though of
course Don and Mab did not know what he was saying. Then, when the
woodland party was over, the children went home.

So that's how it all happened, as true as I'm telling you. And if the
Jumping Jack doesn't stick beans in the sugar cookies, in place of the
raisins he takes out to put in the molasses candy, I'll tell you next
about Uncle Wiggily and the wolf.



STORY XXXVI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE WOLF


Uncle Wiggily was hopping through the woods with Nurse Jane one day,
wondering what sort of an adventure he might have, and he was helping
the muskrat lady housekeeper carry some clothes pins that she had
bought at the three and four cent store when, all of a sudden, Miss
Fuzzy Wuzzy called loudly:

"Look out!"

"What's the matter?" asked Uncle Wiggily. "Am I spilling the clothes
pins?"

"No," answered the muskrat housekeeper of the hollow stump bungalow.
"But, see that big wolf! Let's run!"

"Where's any wolf?" asked the bunny gentleman. "I don't see any," and
he began searching in his pockets for his spectacles, which he had
taken off, as they tickled his pink, twinkling nose.

"There's a big, gold wolf, over behind that mulberry bush," whispered
Nurse Jane.

"What's that? A _gold_ wolf? I never heard of such a thing!" exclaimed
Uncle Wiggily. "You must be mistaken, Nurse Jane. I'll take a look!"

Then bravely singing the song--"Here we go 'round the Mulberry Bush,"
Uncle Wiggily hopped up to where Nurse Jane pointed. Surely enough,
something was gleaming gold-like among the trees, and as soon as Uncle
Wiggily had put on his glasses, and had taken a good look, he cried:

"Well, well, Nurse Jane! This is a gold wolf, surely enough! But it
cannot hurt us!"

"Why not?" asked the muskrat lady, who was getting ready to run.

"Because it is only a wolf carved out of _wood_, and painted like
gold," answered the bunny gentleman. "I see what this is--it is one of
the gilded wolves that were on the Little Red Riding Hood chariot from
the circus. This golden, wooden wolf fell off the wagon and the circus
people did not stop to pick it up."

"Well, I'm glad it's a wooden wolf," spoke the muskrat lady. "Then it
can't nibble your ears; can it?"

"Not in the least," laughed Uncle Wiggily. "But if I had a wheelbarrow,
or something, I'd take this wolf home to my bungalow."

"What for?" Nurse Jane wanted to know.

"Oh, I'd set it in the hall, near the umbrella rack," said Uncle
Wiggily. "Just think! A golden, wooden wolf would be quite an ornament."

"Yes," agreed Nurse Jane, "it might look nice. But how can you get it
home? It is too heavy to drag, and it has no wheels on as the animals
have in the Noah's arks."

"Hum! Let me see, now," said Uncle Wiggily, walking around the golden,
wooden wolf. "If I only had some wheels!"

And just then, along through the woods came Billie and Nannie Wagtail,
the goat boy and girl, each with roller skates dangling by a strap over
their shoulders.

"Oh, Billie! The very chap I wanted!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "Let me
take your roller skates for the golden wolf! And you too, Nan!"

"With pleasure," bleated Billie, shaking his horns. "I'll help you
fasten them on."

"Will the wolf bite?" asked Nannie, a bit timidly.

"Of course not!" laughed Uncle Wiggily.

So the roller skates were fastened on the paws of the golden, wooden
wolf, and then, with a bit of wild grape vine for a rope, the gilded
animal from the Red Riding Hood circus wagon was dragged through the
woods to Uncle Wiggily's bungalow.

There the savage creature, who couldn't bite even a lollypop stick, was
placed in the hall near the front door.

"Our friends will think us quite stylish like and proper," said Uncle
Wiggily, admiring the wolf ornament.

"Yes," agreed Nurse Jane. "As long as it doesn't scare any of the
animal children it will be all right."

But the animal children soon learned that the wolf was only made of
gilded wood, and though his mouth was widely open, showing his sharp
teeth, he could never, never bite them.

One day, about a week after he had brought the gilded wolf to his
bungalow, Uncle Wiggily was home all alone. Nurse Jane had gone to the
movies, with Mrs. Wibblewobble, the duck lady, and the bunny gentleman
was just thinking of going to look for an adventure, or a piece of pie
in the pantry, when, all of a sudden, there came a knock at his door.

"That must be Nurse Jane," said Uncle Wiggily. "She is back a bit
early, and has, I suppose, forgotten her key. I'll let her in."

The bunny gentleman opened his bungalow door, but, instead of his
muskrat lady housekeeper he saw the bad old Skeezicks.

"Ah ha!" cried the Skeezicks. "I fooled you, didn't I? You thought I
was Nurse Jane and you came to let me in! Now I'm going to nibble your
ears! Ha! Ha!"

Uncle Wiggily tried to shut the door, but the bad Skeezicks pushed his
way in, and was just going to nibble the bunny's ears when, all of a
sudden, the impolite Skee saw the golden wolf.

Coming into the dark hall, as he did from the bright outdoors, the
Skeezicks could not see that the wolf was not real. It looked so
natural that the Skee stopped short and then he cried:

"Oh, excuse me! Oh, I didn't know you were here, Mr. Wolf, or I never
would have come in. You are going to nibble Uncle Wiggily's ears, I
suppose. You have the first turn. Well, I'll nibble them some other
time, when you have finished. Please excuse and don't bite me! I'll
skip right long!"

And with that, out of the door the Skeezicks jumped, never hurting the
bunny gentleman at all.

"Ha! Ha!" laughed Uncle Wiggily, as he closed the door. "The golden,
wooden wolf did me a good turn after all! He scared away the Skeezicks.
I'm glad the circus wolf lives in my bungalow!"

And Nurse Jane said the same thing when she came home from the movies.

So this teaches us that it is a good thing to have something of gold
around the house, even if it is only a gold dollar.

But now we have come to the end of this book. Not that Uncle Wiggily's
adventures were over, for he had many more. But these are all I have
room for here. Enough to say that the bunny rabbit lived happily for
many, many years in his hollow stump bungalow in the woods, with Nurse
Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy. And there you may, perhaps, see him some day.

Who knows?

+ADIEU+

[Illustration]


Transcriber's Note

Obvious typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected.

Blank pages have been removed.

Character names vary from story to story and have been handled thus:
 Peetie Bow Wow was mis-spelled twice. These have been corrected
 Jackie is called Jackie Bow Wow in two places. These have been retained.
 Mr. Longears was referred to as Dr. Longears once. This has been corrected
 Billie was referred to as Billy in a caption. This has been retained

Emphasised text is handled thus:
 _italic_
 +small capital+





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