Infomotions, Inc.Uncle Wiggily in the Woods / Garis, Howard R. (Howard Roger), 1873-1962



Author: Garis, Howard R. (Howard Roger), 1873-1962
Title: Uncle Wiggily in the Woods
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): uncle wiggily; wiggily; uncle; bunny uncle; bunny; nurse jane; fuzzy wuzzy; stump bungalow; rabbit gentleman; muskrat lady; jane fuzzy; hollow stump; uncle wiggily's; wiggily longears; grandpa goosey; bunny gentleman; cream puffs; rheumatism crutch; bow w
Contributor(s): Dimitrakopoulos, Polyvios [Translator]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 38,869 words (really short) Grade range: 5-7 (grade school) Readability score: 79 (easy)
Identifier: etext17807
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Title: Uncle Wiggily in the Woods


Author: Howard R. Garis



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Bedtime Stories

UNCLE WIGGILY IN THE WOODS

by

HOWARD R. GARIS

Author of "Sammie and Susie Littletail," "Uncle Wiggily and Mother
Goose," "The Bedtime Series of Animal Stories," "The Daddy Series," Etc.

Illustrated by Louis Wisa







[Frontispiece: She put her sled on the slanting tree, sat down and
Jillie gave her a little push.]




A. L. Burt Company
Publishers ------------ New York
Copyright 1917, by
R. F. Fenno & Company





UNCLE WIGGILY IN THE WOODS




CONTENTS


STORY

      I Uncle Wiggily and the Willow Tree
     II Uncle Wiggily and the Wintergreen
    III Uncle Wiggily and the Slippery Elm
     IV Uncle Wiggily and the Sassafras
      V Uncle Wiggily and the Pulpit-Jack
     VI Uncle Wiggily and the Violets
    VII Uncle Wiggily and the High Tree
   VIII Uncle Wiggily and the Peppermint
     IX Uncle Wiggily and the Birch Tree
      X Uncle Wiggily and the Butternut Tree
     XI Uncle Wiggily and Lulu's Hat
    XII Uncle Wiggily and the Snow Drops
   XIII Uncle Wiggily and the Horse Chestnut
    XIV Uncle Wiggily and the Pine Tree
     XV Uncle Wiggily and the Green Rushes
    XVI Uncle Wiggily and the Bee Tree
   XVII Uncle Wiggily and the Dogwood
  XVIII Uncle Wiggily and the Hazel Nuts
    XIX Uncle Wiggily and Susie's Dress
     XX Uncle Wiggily and Tommie's Kite
    XXI Uncle Wiggily and Johnnie's Marbles
   XXII Uncle Wiggily and Billie's Top
  XXIII Uncle Wiggily and the Sunbeam
   XXIV Uncle Wiggily and the Puff Ball
    XXV Uncle Wiggily and the May Flowers
   XXVI Uncle Wiggily and the Beech Tree
  XXVII Uncle Wiggily and the Bitter Medicine
 XXVIII Uncle Wiggily and the Pine Cones
   XXIX Uncle Wiggily and His Torn Coat
    XXX Uncle Wiggily and the Sycamore Tree
   XXXI Uncle Wiggily and the Red Spots




ILLUSTRATIONS


She put her sled on the slanting tree, sat down and Jillie gave her a
little push . . . . . . _Frontispiece_

Down toppled Uncle Wiggily's hat, not in the least hurt.

As they passed a high rock, out from behind it jumped the bad old
tail-pulling monkey.

The tree barked and roared so like a lion that the foxes were
frightened and were glad enough to run away.

Up, up and up into the air blew the kite and, as the string was tangled
around the babboon's paws, it took him up with it.

"Ker-sneezio!  Ker-snitzio!  Ker-choo!" he sneezed as the powder from
the puff balls went up his nose and into his eyes.

Jackie was so surprised that he opened his mouth.

Before Uncle Wiggily could stop himself he had run into the bush.




STORY I

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE WILLOW TREE

"Well, it's all settled!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit
gentleman, one day, as he hopped up the steps of his hollow stump
bungalow where Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, his muskrat lady housekeeper,
was fanning herself with a cabbage leaf tied to her tail.  "It's all
settled."

"What is?" asked Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy.  "You don't mean to tell me anything
has happened to you?" and she looked quite anxious.

"No, I'm all right," laughed Uncle Wiggily, "and I hope you are the
same.  What I meant was that it's all settled where we are going to
spend our vacation this Summer."

"Oh, tell me where!" exclaimed the muskrat lady clapping her paws,
anxious like.

"In a hollow stump bungalow, just like this, but in the woods instead
of in the country," answered Uncle Wiggily.

"Oh, that _will_ be fine!" cried Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy.  "I love the woods.
When are we to go?"

"Very soon now," answered the bunny gentleman uncle.  "You may begin to
pack up as quickly as you please."

And Nurse Jane and Uncle Wiggily moved to the woods very next day and
his adventures began.

I guess most of you know about the rabbit gentleman and his muskrat
lady housekeeper who nursed him when he was ill with the rheumatism.
Uncle Wiggily had lots and lots of adventures, about which I have told
you in the books before this one.

He had traveled about seeking his fortune, he had even gone sailing in
his airship, and once he met Mother Goose and all her friends from Old
King Cole down to Little Jack Horner.

Uncle Wiggily had many friends among the animal boys and girls.  There
was Sammie and Susie Littletail, the rabbits, who have a book all to
themselves; just as have Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the puppy dog boys,
and Jollie and Jillie Longtail, the mice children.

"And I s'pose we'll meet all your friends in the woods, won't we, Uncle
Wiggily?" asked Nurse Jane, as they moved from the old hollow stump
bungalow to the new one.

"Oh, yes, I s'pose so, of course," he laughed in answer, as he pulled
his tall silk hat more tightly down on his head, fastened on his
glasses and took his red, white and blue striped barber pole rheumatism
crutch that Nurse Jane had gnawed for him out of a cornstalk.

So, once upon a time, not very many years ago, as all good stories
should begin, Uncle Wiggily and Nurse Jane found themselves in the
woods.  It was lovely among the trees, and as soon as the rabbit
gentleman had helped Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy put the hollow stump bungalow to
rights he started out for a walk.

"I want to see what sort of adventures I shall have in the woods," said
Mr. Longears as he hopped along.

Now in these woods lived, among many other creatures good and bad, two
skillery-scalery alligators who were not exactly friends of the bunny
uncle.  But don't let that worry you, for though the alligators, and
other unpleasant animals, may, once in a while, make trouble for Uncle
Wiggily, I'll never really let them hurt him.  I'll fix that part all
right!

So, one day, the skillery-scalery alligator with the humps on his tail,
and his brother, another skillery-scalery chap, whose tail was double
jointed, were taking a walk through the woods together just as Uncle
Wiggily was doing.

"Brother," began the hump-tailed 'gator (which I call him for short),
"brother, wouldn't you like a nice rabbit?"

"Indeed I would," answered the double-jointed tail 'gator, who could
wobble his flippers both ways.  "And I know of no nicer rabbit than
Uncle Wiggily Longears."

"The very same one about whom I was thinking!" exclaimed the other
alligator.  "Let's catch him!"

"That's what we'll do!" said the double-jointed chap.  "We'll hide in
the woods until he comes along, as he does every day, and the we'll
jump out and grab him.  Oh, you yum-yum!"

"Fine!" grunted his brother.  "Come on!"

Off they crawled through the woods, and pretty soon they came to a
willow tree, where the branches grew so low down that they looked like
a curtain that had unwound itself off the roller, when the cat hangs on
it.

"This is the place for us to hide--by the weeping willow tree," said
the skillery-scalery alligator with bumps on his tail.

"The very place," agreed his brother.

So they hid behind the thick branches of the tree, which had leafed out
for early spring, and there the two bad creatures waited.

Just before this Uncle Wiggily himself had started out from his hollow
stump bungalow to walk in the woods and across the fields, as he did
every day.

"I wonder what sort of an adventure I shall have this time?" he said to
himself.  "I hope it will be a real nice one."

Oh!  If Uncle Wiggily had known what was in store for him, I think he
would have stayed in his hollow stump bungalow.  But never mind, I'll
make it all come out right in the end, you see if I don't.  I don't
know just how I'm going to do it, yet, but I'll find a way, never fear.

Uncle Wiggily hopped on and on, now and then swinging his
red-white-and-blue-striped rheumatism crutch like a cane, because he
felt so young and spry and spring-like.  Pretty soon he came to the
willow tree.  He was sort of looking up at it, wondering if a nibble of
some of the green leaves would not do him good, when, all of a sudden,
out jumped the two bad alligators and grabbed the bunny gentleman.

"Now we have you!" cried the humped-tail 'gator.

"And you can't get away from us," said the other chap--the
double-jointed tail one.

"Oh, please let me go!" begged Uncle Wiggily, but they hooked their
claws in his fur, and pulled him back under the tree, which held its
branches so low.  I told you it was a weeping willow tree, and just now
it was weeping, I think, because Uncle Wiggily was in such trouble.

"Let's see now," said the double-jointed tail alligator.  "I'll carry
this rabbit home, and then--"

"You'll do nothing of the sort!" interrupted the other, and not very
politely, either.  "I'll carry him myself.  Why, I caught him as much
as you did!"

"Well, maybe you did, but I saw him first."

"I don't care!  It was my idea.  I first thought of this way of
catching him!"

And then those two alligators disputed, and talked very unpleasantly,
indeed, to one another.

But, all the while, they kept tight hold of the bunny uncle, so he
could not get away.

"Well," said the double-jointed tail alligator after a while, "we must
settle this one way or the other.  Am I to carry him to our den, or
you?"

"Me!  I'll do it.  If you took him you'd keep him all for yourself.  I
know you!"

"No, I wouldn't!  But that's just what you'd do.  I know you only too
well.  No, if I can't carry this rabbit home myself, you shan't!"

"I say the same thing.  I'm going to have my rights."

Now, while the two bad alligators were talking this way they did not
pay much attention to Uncle Wiggily.  They held him so tightly in their
claws that he could not get away, but he could use his own paws, and,
when the two bad creatures were talking right in each other's face, and
using big words, Uncle Wiggily reached up and cut off a piece of willow
wood with the bark on.

And then, still when the 'gators were disputing, and not looking, the
bunny uncle made himself a whistle out of the willow tree stick.  He
loosened the bark, which came off like a kid glove, and then he cut a
place to blow his breath in, and another place to let the air out and
so on, until he had a very fine whistle indeed, almost as loud-blowing
as those the policemen have to stop the automobiles from splashing mud
on you so a trolley car can bump into you.

"I'll tell you what we'll do," said the hump-tail alligator at last.
"Since you won't let me carry him home, and I won't let you, let's both
carry him together.  You take hold of him on one side, and I'll take
the other."

"Good!" cried the second alligator.

"Oh, ho!  I guess not!" cried the bunny uncle suddenly.  "I guess you
won't either, or both of you take me off to your den.  No, indeed!"

"Why not?" asked the hump-tailed 'gator, sort of impolite like and
sarcastic.

"Because I'm going to blow my whistle and call the police!" went on the
bunny uncle.  "Toot!  Toot!  Tootity-ti-toot-toot!"

And then and there he blew such a loud, shrill blast on his willow tree
whistle that the alligators had to put their paws over their ears.  And
when they did that they had to let go of bunny uncle.  He had his tall
silk hat down over his ears, so it didn't matter how loudly he blew the
whistle.  He couldn't hear it.

"Toot!  Toot!  Tootity-toot-toot!" he blew on the willow whistle.

"Oh, stop!  Stop!" cried the hump-tailed 'gator.

"Come on, run away before the police come!" said his brother.  And out
from under the willow tree they both ran, leaving Uncle Wiggily safely
behind.

"Well," said the bunny gentleman as he hopped along home to his
bungalow, "it is a good thing I learned, when a boy rabbit, how to make
whistles."  And I think so myself.

So if the vinegar jug doesn't jump into the molasses barrel and turn
its face sour like a lemon pudding, I'll tell you next about Uncle
Wiggily and the winter green.




STORY II

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE WINTERGREEN

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice old gentleman rabbit, knocked on the
door of the hollow tree in the woods where Johnnie and Billie
Bushytail, the two little squirrel boys, lived.

"Come in!" invited Mrs. Bushytail.  So Uncle Wiggily went in.

"I thought I'd come around and see you," he said to the squirrel lady.
"I'm living in the woods this Summer and just now I am out taking a
walk, as I do every day, and I hoped I might meet with an adventure.
But, so far, I haven't.  Do you know where I could find an adventure,
Mrs. Bushytail?"

"No, I'm sorry to say I don't, Uncle Wiggily," answered the squirrel
lady.  "But I wish you could find something to make my little boy
Billie feel better."

"Why, is he ill?" asked the bunny uncle, surprised like, and he looked
across the room where Billy Bushytail was curled up in a big rocking
chair, with his tail held over his head like an umbrella, though it was
not raining.

"No, Billie isn't ill," said Mrs. Bushytail.  "But he says he doesn't
know what to do to have any fun, and I am afraid he is a little
peevish."

"Oh, that isn't right," said Mr. Longears.  "Little boys, whether they
are squirrels, rabbits or real children, should try to be jolly and
happy, and not peevish."

"How can a fellow be happy when there's no fun?" asked Billie, sort of
cross-like.  "My brother Johnnie got out of school early, and he and
the other animal boys have gone off to play where I can't find them.  I
had to stay in, because I didn't know my nut-cracking lesson, and now I
can't have any fun.  Oh, dear!  I don't care!"

Billie meant, I suppose, that he didn't care what he said or did, and
that isn't right.  But Uncle Wiggily only pinkled his twink nose.  No,
wait just a moment if you please.  He just twinkled his pink nose
behind the squirrel boy's back, and then the bunny uncle said:

"How would you like to come for a walk in the woods with me, Billie?"

"Oh, that will be nice!" exclaimed the squirrel lady.  "Do go, Billie."

"No, I don't want to!" chattered the boy squirrel, most impolitely.

"Oh, that isn't at all nice," said Mrs. Bushy-tail.  "At least thank
Uncle Wiggily for asking you."

"Oh, excuse me, Uncle Wiggily," said Billie, sorrylike.  "I do thank
you.  But I want very much to have some fun, and there's no fun in the
woods.  I know all about them.  I know every tree and bush and stump.
I want to go to a new place."

"Well, new places are nice," said the bunny uncle, "but old ones are
nice, too, if you know where to look for the niceness.  Now come along
with me, and we'll see if we can't have some fun.  It is lovely in the
woods now."

"I won't have any fun there," said Billie, crossly.  "The woods are no
good.  Nothing good to eat grows there."

"Oh, yes there does--lots!" laughed Uncle Wiggily.  "Why the nuts you
squirrels eat grow in the woods."

"Yes, but there are no nuts now," spoke the squirrel boy.  "They only
come in the Fall."

"Well, come, scamper along, anyhow," invited Uncle Wiggily.  "Who knows
what may happen?  It may even be an adventure.  Come along, Billie."

So, though he did not care much about it, Billie went.  Uncle Wiggily
showed the squirrel boy where the early spring flowers were coming up,
and how the Jacks, in their pulpits, were getting ready to preach
sermons to the trees and bushes.

"Hark!  What's that?" asked Billie, suddenly, hearing a noise.

"What does it sound like?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"Like bells ringing."

"Oh, it's the bluebells--the bluebell flowers," answered the bunny
uncle.

"Why do they ring?" asked the little boy squirrel.

"To call the little ants and lightning bugs to school," spoke Uncle
Wiggily, and Billy smiled.  He was beginning to see that there were
more things in the woods than he had dreamed of, even if he had
scampered here and there among the trees ever since he was a little
squirrel chap.

On and on through the woods went the bunny uncle and Billie.  They
picked big, leafy ferns to fan themselves with, and then they drank
with green leaf-cups from a spring of cool water.

But no sooner had Billie taken the cold water than he suddenly cried:

"Ouch!  Oh, dear!  Oh, my, how it hurts!"

"What is it?" asked Uncle Wiggily.  "Did you bite your tongue or step
on a thorn?"

"It's my tooth," chattered Billie.  "The cold water made it ache again.
I need to go to Mr. Stubtail, the bear dentist, who will pull it out
with his long claws.  But I've been putting it off, and putting it off,
and now--Oh, dear, how it aches!  Wow!"

"I'll cure it for you!" said Uncle Wiggily.  "Just walk along through
the woods with me and I'll soon stop your aching tooth."

"How can you?" asked Billie, holding his paw to his jaw to warm the
aching tooth, for heat will often stop pain.  "There isn't anything
here in the woods to cure toothache; is there?"

"I think we shall find something," spoke the bunny uncle.

"Well, I wish we could find it soon!" cried Billie, "for my tooth hurts
very much.  Ouch!" and he hopped up and down, for the toothache was of
the jumping kind.

"Ah, ha!  Here we have it!" cried Uncle Wiggily, as he stooped over
some shiny green leaves, growing close to the ground, and he pulled
some of them up.  "Just chew these leaves a little and let them rest
inside your mouth near the aching tooth," said Mr. Longears.  "I think
they will help you, Billie."

So Billie chewed the green leaves.  They smarted and burned a little,
but when he put them near his tooth they made it nice and warm and soon
the ache all stopped.

"What was that you gave me, Uncle Wiggily?" Billie asked.

"Wintergreen," answered Uncle Wiggily.  "It grows in the woods, and is
good for flavoring candy, as well as for stopping toothache."

"I am glad to know that," said Billie.  "The woods are a nicer place
than I thought, and there is ever so much more in them than I dreamed.
Thank you, Uncle Wiggily."

So, as his toothache was all better, Billie had good fun in the woods
with the bunny uncle, until it was time to go home.  And in the next
story, if the top doesn't fly off the coffee pot and let the baked
potato hide away from the egg-beater, when they play tag, I'll tell you
about Uncle Wiggily and the slippery elm.




STORY III

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SLIPPERY ELM

"Where are you going, Uncle Wiggily?" asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the
muskrat lady housekeeper, as she saw the rabbit gentleman standing on
the front steps of his hollow stump bungalow in the woods one morning.
"Where are you going?"

"Oh, just for a walk through the forest," spoke the bunny uncle.  "It
is so nice in the woods, with the flowers coming up, and the leaves
getting larger and greener every day, that I just love to walk there."

"Well," said Nurse Jane with a laugh, "if you happen to see a
bread-tree in the woods, bring home a loaf for supper."

"I will," promised Uncle Wiggily.  "You know, Nurse Jane, there really
are trees on which bread fruit grows, though not in this country.  But
I can get you a loaf of bread at the five and ten cent store, I dare
say."

"Do, please," asked the muskrat lady.  "And if you see a cocoanut tree
you might bring home a cocoanut cake for supper."

"Oh, my!" laughed the rabbit gentleman.  "I'm afraid there are no
cocoanut trees in my woods.  I could bring you home a hickory nut cake,
perhaps."

"Well, whatever you like," spoke Nurse Jane.  "But don't get lost,
whatever you do, and if you meet with an adventure I hope it will be a
nice one."

"So do I," Uncle Wiggily said, as he hopped off, leaning on his red,
white and blue stripped [Transcriber's note: striped?] rheumatism
crutch which Nurse Jane had gnawed for him out of a cornstalk.

The old rabbit gentleman had not gone very far before he met Dr. Possum
walking along in the woods, with his satchel of medicine on his tail,
for Dr. Possum cured all the ill animals, you know.

"What in the world are you doing, Dr. Possum?" asked Uncle Wiggily, as
he saw the animal doctor pulling some bark off a tree.  "Are you going
to make a canoe, as the Indians used to do?"

"Oh, no," answered Dr.  Possum.  "This is a slippery elm tree.  The
underside of the bark, next to the tree, and the tree itself, is very
slippery when it is wet.  Very slippery indeed."

"Well, I hope you don't slip," said Uncle Wiggily, kindly.

"I hope so, too," Dr. Possum said.  "But I am taking this slippery elm
bark to mix with some of the bitter medicine I have to give Billie
Wagtail, the goat boy.  When I put some bark from the slippery elm tree
in Billie's medicine it will slip down his throat so quickly that he
will never know he took it."

"Good!" cried Uncle Wiggily, laughing.  Then the bunny uncle went close
to the tree, off which Dr. Possum was taking some bark, and felt of it
with his paw.  The tree was indeed as slippery as an icy sidewalk slide
on Christmas eve.

"My!" exclaimed Mr. Longears.  "If I tried to climb up that tree I'd do
nothing but slip down."

"That's right," said Dr. Possum.  "But I must hurry on now to give
Billie Wagtail his medicine."

So Dr. Possum went on his way and Uncle Wiggily hopped along until,
pretty soon, he heard a rustling in the bushes, and a voice said:

"But, Squeaky-Eeky dear, I can't find any snow hill for you to ride
down on your sled.  The snow is all gone, you see.  It is Spring now."

"Oh, dear!" cried another voice.  "Such a lot of trouble.  Oh, dear!
Oh, dear!"

"Ha!  Trouble!" said Uncle Wiggily to himself.  "This is where I come
in.  I must see if I cannot help them."

He looked through the bushes, and there he saw Jillie Longtail, the
little girl mouse, and with her was Squeaky-Eeky, the cousin mouse.
And Squeaky-Eeky had a small sled with her.

"Why, what's the matter?" asked Uncle Wiggily, for he saw that
Squeaky-Eeky had been crying.  "What is the matter, little mice?"

"Oh, hello.  Uncle Wiggily!" cried Jillie.  "I don't know what to do
with my little cousin mouse.  You see she wants to slide down hill on
her Christmas sled, but there isn't any snow on any of the hills now."

"No, that's true, there isn't," said the bunny uncle.  "But, Squeaky,
why didn't you slide down hill in the Winter, when there was snow?"

"Because, I had the mouse-trap fever, then," answered Squeaky-Eeky,
"and I couldn't go out.  But now I am all better and I can be out, and
oh, dear!  I do so much want a ride down hill on my sled.  Boo, hoo!"

"Don't cry, Squeaky, dear," said Jillie.  "If there is no snow you
can't slide down hill, you know."

"But I want to," said the little cousin mouse, unreasonable like.

"But you can't; so please be nice," begged Jillie.

"Oh, dear!" cried Squeaky.  "I do so much want to slide down hill on my
sled."

"And you shall!" suddenly exclaimed Uncle Wiggily.  "Come with me,
Squeaky."

"Why, Uncle Wiggily!" cried Jillie.  "How can you give Squeaky a slide
down hill when there is no snow?  You need a slippery snow hill for
sleigh-riding."

"I am not so sure of that," spoke Uncle Wiggily, with a smile.  "Let us
see."

Off through the woods he hopped, with Jillie and Squeaky following.
Pretty soon Uncle Wiggily came to a big tree that had fallen down, one
end being raised up higher than the other, like a hill, slanting.

With his strong paws and his sharp teeth, the rabbit gentleman began
peeling the bark off the tree, showing the white wood underneath.

"What are you doing, Uncle Wiggily?" asked Jillie.

"This is a slippery elm tree, and I am making a hill so Squeaky-Eeky
can slide down," answered the bunny uncle.  "Underneath the bark the
trunk of the elm tree is very slippery.  Dr. Possum told me so.  See
how my paw slips!" And indeed it did, sliding down the sloping tree
almost as fast as you can eat a lollypop.

Uncle Wiggily took off a lot of bark from the elm tree, making a long,
sliding, slippery place.

"Now, try that with your sled, Squeaky-Eeky," said the bunny uncle.
And the little cousin mouse did.  She put her sled on the slanting
tree, sat down and Jillie gave her a little push.  Down the slippery
elm tree went Squeaky as fast as anything, coming to a stop in a pile
of soft leaves.

"Oh, what a lovely slide!" cried Squeaky.  "You try it, Jillie."  And
the little mouse girl did.

"Who would think," she said, "that you could slide down a slippery elm
tree?  But you can."

Then she and Squeaky took turns sliding down hill, even though there
was no snow, and the slippery elm tree didn't mind it a bit, but rather
liked it.

And if the coal man doesn't take away our gas shovel to shoot some
tooth powder into the wax doll's pop gun, I'll tell you next about
Uncle Wiggily and the sassafras.




STORY IV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SASSAFRAS

"Uncle Wiggily!  Uncle Wiggily!  Get up!" called Nurse Jane Fuzzy
Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, as she stood at the foot of the
stairs of the hollow stump bungalow and called up to the rabbit
gentleman one morning.

"Hurry down, Mr. Longears," she went on.  "This is the last day I am
going to bake buckwheat cakes, and if you want some nice hot ones, with
maple sugar sauce on, you'd better hurry."

No answer came from the bunny uncle.

"Why, this is strange," said Nurse Jane to herself.  "I wonder if
anything can have happened to him?  Did he have an adventure in the
night?  Did the bad skillery-scalery alligator, with humps on its tail,
carry him off?"

Then she called again:

"Uncle Wiggily!  Uncle Wiggily!  Aren't you going to get up?  Come down
to breakfast.  Aren't you going to get up and come down?"

"No, Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy," replied the bunny uncle, "not to give you a
short answer, I am not going to get up, or come down or eat breakfast
or do anything," and Mr. Longears spoke as though his head was hidden
under the bed clothes, which it was.

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily, whatever is the matter?" asked Nurse Jane,
surprised like and anxious.

"I don't feel at all well," was the answer.  "I think I have the
epizootic, and I don't want any breakfast."

"Oh, dear!" cried Nurse Jane.  "And all the nice cakes I have baked.  I
know what I'll do," she said to herself.  "I'll call in Dr. Possum.
Perhaps Uncle Wiggily needs some of the roots and herbs that grow in
the woods--wintergreen, slippery elm or something like that.  I'll call
Dr. Possum."

And when the animal doctor came he looked at the bunny uncle's tongue,
felt of his ears, and said:

"Ha!  Hum!  You have the Spring fever, Uncle Wiggily.  What you need is
sassafras."

"Nurse Jane has some in the bungalow," spoke Mr. Longears.  "Tell her
to make me some tea from that."

"No, what is needed is fresh sassafras," said Dr. Possum.  "And, what
is more, you must go out in the woods and dig it yourself.  That will
be almost as good for your Spring fever as the sassafras itself.  So
hop out, and dig some of the roots."

"Oh, dear!" cried Uncle Wiggily, fussy like.  "I don't want to.  I'd
rather stay here in bed."

"But you can't!" cried Dr. Possum in his jolly voice.  "Out with you!"
and he pulled the bed clothes off the bunny uncle so he had to get up
to keep warm.

"Well, I'll just go out and dig a little sassafras root to please him,"
thought Uncle Wiggily to himself, "and then I'll come back and stay in
bed as long as I please.  It's all nonsense thinking I have to have
fresh root--the old is good enough."

"I do feel quite wretched and lazy like," said Uncle Wiggily to
himself, as he limped along on his red, white and blue-striped
barber-pole rheumatism crutch, that Nurse Jane had gnawed for him out
of a cornstalk.  "As soon as I find some sassafras I'll pull up a bit
of the root and hurry back home and to bed."

Pretty soon the bunny uncle saw where some of the sassafras roots were
growing, with their queer three-pointed leaves, like a mitten, with a
place for your finger and thumb.

"Now to pull up the root," said the bunny uncle, as he dug down in the
ground a little way with his paws, to get a better hold.

But pulling up sassafras roots is not as easy as it sounds, as you know
if you have ever tried it.  The roots go away down in the earth, and
they are very strong.

Uncle Wiggily pulled and tugged and twisted and turned, but he could
break off only little bits of the underground stalk.

"This won't do!" he said to himself.  "If I don't get a big root Dr.
Possum will, perhaps, send me hack for more.  I'll try again."

He got his paws under a nice, big root, and he was straining his back
to pull it up, when, all of a sudden, he heard a voice saying:

"How do you do?"

"Oh, hello!" exclaimed the bunny, looking up quickly, and expecting to
see some friend of his, like Grandpa Goosey Gander, or Sammie
Littletail, the rabbit boy.  But, instead, he saw the bad old fox, who
had, so many times, tried to catch the rabbit gentleman.

"Oh!" said Uncle Wiggily, astonished like.  And again he said: "Oh!"

"Surprised, are you?" asked the fox, sort of curling his whiskers
around his tongue, sarcastic fashion.

"A little--yes," answered Uncle Wiggily.  "I didn't expect to see you."

"But I've been expecting you a long time," said the fox, grinning most
impolitely.  "In fact, I've been waiting for you.  Just as soon as you
have pulled up that sassafras root you may come with me.  I'll take you
off to my den, to my dear little foxes Eight, Nine and Ten.  Those are
their numbers.  It's easier to number them than name them."

"Oh, indeed?" asked Uncle Wiggily, as politely as he could, considering
everything.  "And so you won't take me until I pull this sassafras
root?"

"No, I'll wait until you have finished," spoke the fox.  "I like you
better, anyhow, flavored with sassafras.  So pull away."

Uncle Wiggily tried to pull up the root, but he did not pull very hard.

"For," he thought, "as soon as I pull it up then the fox will take me,
but if I don't pull it he may not."

"What's the matter?  Can't you get that root up?" asked the fox, after
a while.  "I can't wait all day."

"Then perhaps you will kindly pull it up for me," said the bunny uncle.
"I can't seem to do it."

"All right, I will," the fox said.  Uncle Wiggily hopped to one side.
The fox put his paws under the sassafras root.  And he pulled and he
pulled and he pulled, and finally, with a double extra strong pull, he
pulled up the root.  But it came up so suddenly, just as when you break
the point off your pencil, that the fox keeled over backward in a
peppersault and somersault also.

"Oh, wow!" cried the fox, as he bumped his nose.  "What happened?"  But
Uncle Wiggily did not stay to tell.  Away ran the bunny through the
woods, as fast as he could go, forgetting all about his Spring fever.
He was all over it.

"I thought the sassafras would cure you," said Dr. Possum, when Uncle
Wiggily was safely home once more.

"The fox helped some," said the bunny uncle, with a laugh.

And if the black cat doesn't cover himself with talcum powder and make
believe he's a white kid glove going to a dance, I'll tell you next
about Uncle Wiggily and Jack-in-the-Pulpit.




STORY V

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PULPIT-JACK

"Well, how are you feeling today, Uncle Wiggily?" asked Nurse Jane
Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, as she saw the rabbit
gentleman taking his tall silk hat down off the china closet, getting
ready to go for a walk in the woods one morning.

"Why, I'm feeling pretty fine, Nurse Jane," answered the bunny uncle.
"Since I ran home to get away from the fox, after he turned a
peppersault from pulling too strong to get up the sassafras root, I
feel much better, thank you."

"Good!" cried Nurse Jane.  "Then perhaps you would not mind going to
the store for me."

"Certainly not," spoke Uncle Wiggily.  "What do you wish?"

"A loaf of bread," replied Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy, "also a box of matches and
some sugar and crackers.   But don't forget the matches whatever you
do."

"I won't," promised the bunny uncle, and soon he was hopping along
through the woods wondering what sort of an adventure he would have
this day.

As he was going along keeping a sharp look-out for the bad fox, or the
skillery-scalery alligator with the double jointed tail.  Uncle Wiggily
heard a voice saying:

"Oh, dear!  I'll never be able to get out from under the stone and grow
tall as I ought.  I've pushed and pushed on it, but I can't raise it.
Oh, dear; what a heavy stone!"

"Ha!  Some one under a stone!" said Uncle Wiggily to himself.  "That
certainly is bad trouble.  I wonder if I cannot help?"

The bunny uncle looked all around and down on the ground he saw a flat
stone.  Underneath it something green and brown was peeping out.

"Was that you who called?" asked Mr. Longears.

"It was," came the answer.  "I am a Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant, you see,
and I started to grow up, as all plants and flowers do when summer
comes.  But when I had raised my head out of the earth I found a big
stone over me, and now I can grow no more.  I've pushed and pushed
until my back aches, and I can't lift the stone."

"I'll do it for you," said Uncle Wiggily kindly, and he did, taking it
off the Pulpit-Jack.

Then the Jack began growing up, and he had been held down so long that
he grew quite quickly, so that even while Uncle Wiggily was watching,
the Jack and his pulpit were almost regular size.

A Jack-in-the-Pulpit, you know, is a queer flower that grows in our
woods.  Sometimes it is called an Indian turnip, but don't eat it, for
it is very biting.  The Jack is a tall green chap, who stands in the
middle of his pulpit, which is like a little pitcher, with a curved top
to it.  A pulpit, you know, is where some one preaches on Sunday.

"Thank you very much for lifting the stone off me so I could grow,"
said the Jack to Uncle Wiggily.  "If ever I can do you a favor I will."

"Oh, pray don't mention it," replied the rabbit gentleman, with a low
bow.  "It was a mere pleasure, I assure you."

Then the rabbit gentleman hopped on to the store, to get the matches,
the crackers, the bread and other things for Nurse Jane.

"And I must be sure not to forget the matches," Uncle Wiggily said to
himself.  "If I did Nurse Jane could not make a fire to cook supper."

There was an April shower while Uncle Wiggily was in the store, and he
waited for the rain to stop falling before he started back to his
hollow stump bungalow.  Then the sun came out very hot and strong and
shone down through the wet leaves of the trees in the woods.

Along hopped the bunny uncle, and he was wondering what he would have
for supper that night.

"I hope it's something good," he said, "to make up for not having an
adventure."

"Don't you call that an adventure--lifting the stone off the
Jack-in-the-Pulpit so he could grow?" asked a bird, sitting up in a
tree.

"Well, that was a little adventure." said Uncle Wiggily.  "But I want
one more exciting; a big one."

And he is going to have one in about a minute.  Just you wait and
you'll hear all about it.

The sun was shining hotter and hotter, and Uncle Wiggily was thinking
that it was about time to get out his extra-thin fur coat when, all of
a sudden, he felt something very hot behind him.

"Why, that sun is really burning!" cried the bunny.  Then he heard a
little ant boy, who was crawling on the ground, cry out:

"Fire!  Fire!  Fire!  Uncle Wiggily's bundle of groceries is on fire!
Fire!  Fire!"

"Oh, my!" cried the bunny uncle, as he felt hotter and hotter, "The sun
must have set fire to the box of matches.  Oh, what shall I do?"  He
dropped his bundle of groceries, and looking around at them he saw,
surely enough, the matches were on fire.  They were all blazing.

"Call the fire department!  Get out the water bugs!" cried the little
ant boy.  "Fire!  Water!  Water!  Fire!"

"That's what I want--water," cried the bunny uncle.  "Oh, if I could
find a spring of water.  I could put the blazing matches, save some of
them, perhaps, and surely save the bread and crackers.  Oh, for some
water!"

Uncle Wiggily and the ant boy ran here and there in the woods looking
for a spring of water.  But they could find none, and the bread and
crackers were just beginning to burn when a voice cried:

"Here is water, Uncle Wiggily!"

"Where?  Where?" asked the rabbit gentleman, all excited like.  "Where?"

"Inside my pulpit," was the answer, and Uncle Wiggily saw, not far
away, the Jack-plant he had helped from under the stone.

"When it rained a while ago, my pitcher-pulpit became filled with
water," went on Jack.  "If you will just tip me over, sideways, I'll
splash the water on the blazing matches and put them out."

"I'll do it!" cried Uncle Wiggily, and he quickly did.  The pulpit held
water as good as a milk pitcher could, and when the water splashed on
the fire that fire gave one hiss, like a goose, and went out.

"Oh, you certainly did me a favor, Mr. Pulpit-Jack," said Uncle
Wiggily.  "Though the matches are burned, the bread and crackers are
saved, and I can get more matches."  Which he did, so Nurse Jane could
make a fire in the stove.

So you see Uncle Wiggily had an adventure after all, and quite an
exciting one, too, and if the lemon drop doesn't fall on the stick of
peppermint candy and make it sneeze when it goes to the moving
pictures, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the violets.




STORY VI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE VIOLETS

Down in the kitchen of the hollow stump bungalow there was a great
clattering of pots and pans.  Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit
gentleman who lived in the bungalow, sat up in bed, having been
awakened by the noise, and he said:

"Well, I wonder what Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy is doing now?  She
certainly is busy at something, and it can't be making the breakfast
buckwheat cakes, either, for she has stopped baking them."

"I say, Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy, what's going on down in your kitchen?" called
the rabbit gentleman out loud.

"I'm washing," answered the muskrat lady.

"Washing what; the dishes?" the bunny uncle wanted to know.  "If you
wash them as hard as it sounds, there won't be any of them left for
dinner, and I haven't had my breakfast yet."

"No, I'm getting ready to wash the clothes, and I wish you'd come down
and eat, so I can clear away the table things!" called the muskrat lady.

"Oh, dear!  Clothes-washing!" cried Uncle Wiggily, making his pink nose
twinkle in a funny way.  "I don't like to be around the bungalow when
that is being done.  I guess I'll get my breakfast and go for a walk.
Clothes have to be washed, I suppose," went on the rabbit gentleman,
"and when Nurse Jane has been ill I have washed them myself, but I do
not like it.  I'll go off in the woods."

And so, having had his breakfast of carrot pudding, with turnip sauce
sprinkled over the top, Uncle Wiggily took his red, white and blue
striped rheumatism crutch, and hopped along.

The woods were getting more and more beautiful every day as the weather
grew warmer.  The leaves on the trees were larger, and here and there,
down in the green moss, that was like a carpet on the ground, could be
seen wild flowers growing up.

"I wonder what sort of an adventure I will have today?" thought the
bunny uncle as he went on and on.  "A nice one, I hope."

And, as he said this, Uncle Wiggily heard some voices speaking.

"Oh, dear!" exclaimed a sad little voice, "no one will ever see us
here!  Of what use are we in the world?  We are so small that we cannot
be noticed.  We are not brightly colored, like the red rose, and all
that will happen to us will be that a cow will come along and eat us,
or step on us with her big foot."

"Hush!  You musn't talk that way," said another voice.  "You were put
here to grow, and do the best you know how.  Don't be finding fault."

"I wonder who can be talking?" said Uncle Wiggily.  "I must look
around."  So he looked up in the air, but though he heard the leaves
whispering he knew they had not spoken.  Then he looked to the right,
to the left, in front and behind, but he saw no one.  Then he looked
down, and right at his feet was a clump of blue violet flowers.

"Did you speak?" asked Uncle Wiggily of the violets.

"Yes," answered one who had been finding fault.  "I was telling my
sisters and brothers that we are of no use in the world.  We just grow
up here in the woods, where no one sees us, and we never can have any
fun.  I want to be a big, red rose and grow in a garden."

"Oh, my!" cried Uncle Wiggily.  "I never heard of a violet turning into
a rose."  Then the mother violet spoke and said:

"I tell my little girl-flower that she ought to be happy to grow here
in the nice woods, in the green moss, where it is so cool and moist.
But she does not seem to be happy, nor are some of the other violets."

"Well, that isn't right," Uncle Wiggily said, kindly.  "I am sure you
violets can do some good in this world.  You are pretty to look at, and
nice to smell, and that is more than can be said of some things."

"Oh, I want to do something big!" said the fault-finding violet.  "I
want to go out in the world and see things."

"So do I!  And I!  And I!" cried other violets.

Uncle Wiggily thought for a minute, and then he said:

"I'll do this.  I'll dig up a bunch of you violets, who want a change,
and take you with me for a walk.  I will leave some earth on your roots
so you won't die, and we shall see what happens."

"Oh, goodie!" cried the violets.  So Uncle Wiggily dug them up with his
paws, putting some cool moss around their roots, and when they had said
good-by to the mother violet away they went traveling with the bunny
uncle.

"Oh, this is fine!" cried the first violet, nodding her head in the
breeze.  "It is very kind of you, Uncle Wiggily to take us with you.  I
wish we could do you a kindness."

And then a bad old fox jumped out from behind a stump, and started to
grab the rabbit gentleman.  But when the fox saw the pretty violets and
smelled their sweetness, the fox felt sorry at having been bad and said:

"Excuse me, Uncle Wiggily.  I'm sorry I tried to bite you.  The sight
of those pretty violets makes me feel happier than I did.  I am going
to try to be good."

"I am glad of it," said Mr. Longears, as he hopped on through the
woods.  "You see, you have already done some good in this world, even
if you are only tiny flowers," he said to the violets.

Then Uncle Wiggily went on to his hollow stump bungalow, and, reaching
there, he heard Nurse Jane saying:

"Oh, dear!  This is terrible.  Here I have the clothes almost washed,
and not a bit of bluing to rinse them in.  Oh, why didn't I tell Wiggy
to bring me some blueing from the store?  Oh, dear!"

"Ha!  Perhaps these will do to make blue water," said the bunny uncle,
holding out the bunch of violets.  "Would you like to help Nurse Jane?"
he asked the flowers.

"Oh, yes, very much!" cried the violets.

Then Uncle Wiggily dipped their blue heads in the clean rinsing
water--just a little dip so as not to make them catch cold--and enough
color came out of the violets to make the water properly blue for Nurse
Jane's clothes, so she could finish the washing.

"So you see you have done more good in the world," said Uncle Wiggily
to the flowers.  Then he took them back and planted them in the woods
where they lived, and very glad they were to return, too.

"We have seen enough of the world," they said, and thereafter they were
glad enough to live down in the moss with the mother violet.  And if
the umbrella doesn't turn inside out so the handle tickles its ribs and
makes it laugh in school, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and
the high tree.




STORY VII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE HIGH TREE

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice rabbit gentleman, stood in front of
the looking glass trying on a new tall silk hat he had just bought
ready for Easter Sunday, which would happen in about a week or two.

"Do you think it looks well on me, Nurse Jane?" asked the bunny uncle,
of the muskrat lady housekeeper, who came in from the kitchen of the
hollow stump bungalow, having just finished washing the dishes.

"Why, yes, I think your new hat is very nice," she said.

"Do you think I ought to have the holes for my ears cut a little
larger?" asked the bunny uncle.  "I mean the holes cut, not my ears."

"Well, just a little larger wouldn't hurt any," replied Miss Fuzzy
Wuzzy.  "I'll cut them for you," and she did, with her scissors.  For
Uncle Wiggily had to wear his tall silk hat with his ears sticking up
through holes cut in it.  His ears were too large to go under the hat,
and he could not very well fold them down.

"There, now I guess I'm all right to go for a walk in the woods," said
the rabbit gentleman, taking another look at himself in the glass.  It
was not a proud look, you understand.  Uncle Wiggily just wanted to
look right and proper, and he wasn't at all stuck up, even if his ears
were, but he couldn't help that.

So off he started, wondering what sort of an adventure he would have
that day.  He passed the place where the blue violets were growing in
the green moss--the same violets he had used to make Nurse Jane's
blueing water for her clothes the other day, as I told you.  And the
violets were glad to see the bunny uncle.

Then Uncle Wiggily met Grandfather Goosey Gander, the nice old goose
gentleman, and the two friends walked on together, talking about how
much cornmeal you could buy with a lollypop, and all about the best way
to eat fried ice cream carrots.

"That's a very nice hat you have on, Uncle Wiggily," said Grandpa
Goosey, after a bit.

"Glad you like it," answered the bunny uncle.  "It's for Easter."

"I think I'll get one for myself," went on Mr. Gander.  "Do you think I
would look well in it?"

"Try on mine and see," offered Uncle Wiggily most kindly.  So he took
his new, tall silk hat off his head, pulling his ears out of the holes
Nurse Jane had cut for them, and handed it to Grandfather Goosey
Gander--handed the hat, I mean, not his ears, though of course the
holes went with the hat.

"There, how do I look?" asked the goose gentleman.

"Quite stylish and proper," replied Mr. Longears.

"I'd like to see myself before I buy a hat like this," went on Grandpa
Goosey.  "I hope it doesn't make me look too tall."

"Here's a spring of water over by this old stump," spoke Uncle Wiggily.
"You can see yourself in that, for it is just like a looking glass."

Grandpa Goosey leaned over to see how Uncle Wiggily's tall, silk hat
looked, when, all of a sudden, along came a puff of wind, caught the
hat under the brim, and as Grandpa Goosey had no ears to hold it on his
head (as the bunny uncle had) away sailed the hat up in the air, and it
landed right in the top of a big, high tree.

"Oh, dear!" cried Uncle Wiggily.

"Oh, dear!" said Grandpa Goosey.  "I'm very sorry that happened.  Oh,
dear!"

"It wasn't your fault at all," spoke Uncle Wiggily kindly.  "It was the
wind."

"But with your nice, new tall silk hat up in that high tree, how are we
ever going to get it down," asked the goose gentleman.

"I don't know," answered Uncle Wiggily.  "Let me think."

So he thought for a minute or two, and then he said:

"There are three ways by which we may get the hat down.  One is to ask
the wind to blow it back to us, another is to climb up the tree and get
the hat ourselves, and the third is to ask the tree to shake it down to
us.  We'll try the wind first."

So Uncle Wiggily and Grandpa Goosey asked the wind that had blown the
hat up in the top of the high tree to kindly blow it back again.  But
the wind had gone far out to sea, and would not be back for a week.  So
that way of getting the hat was of no use.

"Mr. High Tree, will you kindly shake my hat down to me?" begged Uncle
Wiggily next.

"I would like to, very much," the tree answered politely, "but I cannot
shake when there is no wind to blow me.  We trees cannot shake
ourselves, you know.  We can only shake when the wind blows us, and
until the wind comes back I cannot shake."

"Too bad!" said Uncle Wiggily.  "Then the only way left for us to do,
Grandpa Goosey, is to climb the tree."

But this was easier said than done, for neither a rabbit nor a goose
gentleman is made for climbing up trees, though when he was a young
chap Grandpa Goosey had flown up into little trees, and Uncle Wiggily
had jumped over them.  But that was long, long ago.

Try as they did, neither the rabbit gentleman nor the goose gentleman
could climb up after the tall silk hat.

"What are we going to do?" asked Grandpa Goosey.

"I don't know," replied Mr. Longears.  "I guess I'll have to go get
Billie or Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel boys, to climb the tree for
us.  Yes, that's what I'll do; and then I can get my hat."

Uncle Wiggily started off through the woods to look for one of the
Bushytail chaps, while Grandpa Goosey stayed near the tree, to catch
the hat in case it should happen to fall by itself.

All of a sudden Uncle Wiggily heard some one coming along whistling,
and then he heard a loud pounding sound, and next he saw Toodle
Flat-tail, the beaver boy, walking in the woods.

"Oh, Toodle!  You're the very one I want!" cried Uncle Wiggily.  "My
hat is in a high tree and I can't get it.  With your strong teeth, just
made for cutting down trees, will you kindly cut down this one, and get
my hat for me?"

"I will," said the little beaver chap.  But when he began to gnaw the
tree, to make it fall, the tree cried:

"Oh, Mr. Wind, please come and blow on me so I can shake Uncle
Wiggily's hat to him, and then I won't have to be gnawed down.  Please
blow, Mr. Wind."

So the wind hurried back and blew the tree this way and that.  Down
toppled Uncle Wiggily's hat, not in the least hurt, and so everything
was all right again, and Uncle Wiggily and Grandpa Goosey and Toodle
Flat-tail were happy.  And the tree was extra glad as it did not have
to be gnawed down.

[Illustration: Down toppled Uncle Wiggily's hat, not in the least hurt.]

And if the little mouse doesn't go to sleep in the cat's cradle and
scare poor pussy so her tail swells up like a balloon, I'll tell you
next about Uncle Wiggily and the peppermint.




STORY VIII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PEPPERMINT

"Uncle Wiggily, would you mind going to the store for me?" asked Nurse
Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, one morning, as she
came in from the kitchen of the hollow stump bungalow, where she had
been getting ready the breakfast for the rabbit gentleman.

"Go to the store?  Why of course I'll go, Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy," answered
the bunny uncle.  "Which store?"

"The drug store."

"The drug store?  What do you want; talcum powder or court plaster?"

"Neither one," answered Nurse Jane.  "I want some peppermint."

"Peppermint candy?" Uncle Wiggily wanted to know.

"Not exactly," went on Nurse Jane.  "But I want a little of the
peppermint juice with which some kind of candy is flavored.  I want to
take some peppermint juice myself, for I have indigestion.  Dr. Possum
says peppermint is good for it.  I must have eaten a little too much
cheese pudding last night."

"I'll get you the peppermint with pleasure," said the bunny uncle,
starting off with his tall silk hat and his red, white and blue striped
rheumatism barber pole crutch.

"Better get it in a bottle," spoke Nurse Jane, with a laugh.  "You
can't carry peppermint in your pocket, unless it's peppermint candy,
and I don't want that kind."

"All right," Uncle Wiggily said, and then, with the bottle, which Nurse
Jane gave him, he hopped on, over the fields and through the woods to
the drug store.

But when he got there the cupboard was bare--.  No!  I mustn't say
that.  It doesn't belong here.  I mean when Uncle Wiggily reached the
drug store it was closed, and there was a sign in the door which said
the monkey-doodle gentleman who kept the drug store had gone to a
baseball-moving-picture show, and wouldn't be back for a long while.

"Then I wonder where I am going to get Nurse Jane's peppermint?" asked
Uncle Wiggily of himself.  "I'd better go see if Dr. Possum has any."

But while Uncle Wiggily was going on through the woods once more, he
gave a sniff and a whiff, and, all of a sudden, he smelled a peppermint
smell.

The rabbit gentleman stood still, looking around and making his pink
nose twinkle like a pair of roller skates.  While he was doing this
along came a cow lady chewing some grass for her complexion.

"What are you doing here, Uncle Wiggily?" asked the cow lady.

Uncle Wiggily told her how he had gone to the drug store for peppermint
for Nurse Jane, and how he had found the store closed, so he could not
get any.

"But I smell peppermint here in the woods," went on the bunny uncle.
"Can it be that the drug store monkey doodle has left some here for me?"

"No, what you smell is--that," said the cow lady, pointing her horns
toward some green plants growing near a little babbling brook of water.
The plants had dark red stems that were square instead of round.

"It does smell like peppermint," said Uncle Wiggily, going closer and
sniffing and snuffing.

"It is peppermint," said the cow lady.  "That is the peppermint plant
you see."

"Oh, now I remember," Uncle Wiggily exclaimed.  "They squeeze the juice
out of the leaves, and that's peppermint flavor for candy or for
indigestion."

"Exactly," spoke the cow lady, "and I'll help you squeeze out some of
this juice in the bottle for Nurse Jane."

Then Uncle Wiggily and the cow lady pulled up some of the peppermint
plants and squeezed out the juice between two clean, flat stones, the
cow lady stepping on them while Uncle Wiggily caught the juice in the
empty bottle as it ran out.

"My!  But that is strong!" cried the bunny uncle, as he smelled of the
bottle of peppermint.  It was so sharp that it made tears come into his
eyes.  "I should think that would cure indigestion and everything
else," he said to the cow lady.

"Tell Nurse Jane to take only a little of it in sweet water," said the
cow lady.  "It is very strong.  So be careful of it."

"I will," promised Uncle Wiggily.  "And thank you for getting the
peppermint for me.  I don't know what I would have done without you, as
the drug store was closed."

Then he hopped on through the woods to the hollow stump bungalow.  He
had not quite reached it when, all of a sudden, there was a rustling in
the hushes, and out from behind a bramble bush jumped a big black bear.
Not a nice good bear, like Neddie or Beckie Stubtail, but a bear who
cried:

"Ah, ha!  Oh, ho!  Here is some one whom I can bite and scratch!  A
nice tender rabbit chap!  Ah, ha!  Oh, ho!"

"Are--are you going to scratch and bite me?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"I am," said the bear, snappish like.  "Get ready.  Here I come!" and
he started toward Uncle Wiggily, who was so frightened that he could
not hop away.

"I'm going to hug you, too," said the bear.  Bears always hug, you know.

"Well, this is, indeed, a sorry day for me," said Uncle Wiggily, sadly.
"Still, if you are going to hug, bite and scratch me, I suppose it
can't be helped."

"Not the least in the world can it be helped," said the bear,
cross-like and unpleasant.  "So don't try!"

"Well, if you are going to hug me I had better take this bottle out of
my pocket, so when you squeeze me the glass won't break," Uncle Wiggily
said.  "Here, when you are through being so mean to me perhaps you will
be good enough to take this to Nurse Jane for her indigestion, but
don't hug her."

"I won't," promised the bear, taking the bottle which Uncle Wiggily
handed him.  "What's in it?"

Before Uncle Wiggily could answer, the bear opened the bottle, and,
seeing something in it, cried:

"I guess I'll taste this.  Maybe it's good to eat."  Down his big, red
throat he poured the strong peppermint juice, and then--well, I guess
you know what happened.

"Oh, wow!  Oh, me!  Oh, my!  Wow!  Ouch!  Ouchie!  Itchie!" roared the
bear.  "My throat is on fire!  I must have some water!"  And, dropping
the bottle, away he ran to the spring, leaving Uncle Wiggily safe, and
not hurt a bit.

Then the rabbit gentleman hurried back and squeezed out more peppermint
juice for Nurse Jane, whose indigestion was soon cured.  And as for the
bear, he had a sore throat for a week and a day.

So this teaches us that peppermint is good for scaring bears, as well
as for putting in candy.  And if the snow man doesn't come in our house
and sit by the gas stove until he melts into a puddle of molasses, I'll
tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the birch tree.




STORY IX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BIRCH TREE

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice old rabbit gentleman, was walking
along through the woods one afternoon, when he came to the hollow stump
school, where the lady mouse teacher taught the animal boys and girls
how to jump, crack nuts, dig homes under ground, and do all manner of
things that animal folk have to do.

And just as the rabbit gentleman was wondering whether or not school
was out, he heard a voice inside the hollow stump, saying:

"Oh, dear!  I wish I had some one to help me.  I'll never get them
clean all by myself.  Oh, dear!"

"Ha!  That sounds like trouble!" thought Mr. Longears to himself.  "I
wonder who it is, and if I can help?  I guess I'd better see."

He looked in through a window, and there he saw the lady mouse teacher
cleaning off the school black-boards.  The boards were all covered with
white chalk marks, you see.

"What's the matter, lady mouse teacher?" asked Uncle Wiggily, making a
polite, low bow.

"Oh, I told Johnnie and Billy Bushytail, the two squirrel boys, to stay
in and clean off the black-boards, so they would be all ready for
tomorrow's lesson," said the lady mouse.  "But they forgot, and ran off
to play ball with Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the puppy dog boys.  So I
have to clean the boards myself.  And I really ought to be home now,
for I am very tired."

"Then you trot right along," said Uncle Wiggily, kindly.  "Tie a knot
in your tail, so you won't step on it, and hurry along."

"But what about the black-boards?" asked the lady mouse.  "They must be
cleaned off."

"I'll attend to that," promised the bunny uncle.  "I will clean them
myself.  Run along, Miss Mouse."

So Miss Mouse thanked the bunny uncle, and ran along, and the rabbit
gentleman began brushing the chalk marks off the black-boards, at the
same time humming a little tune that went this way:

  "I'd love to be a teacher,
    Within a hollow stump.
  I'd teach the children how to fall,
    And never get a bump.

  I'd let them out at recess,
    A game of tag to play;
  I'd give them all fresh lollypops
    'Most every other day!"


"Oh, my!  Wouldn't we just love to come to school to you!" cried a
voice at the window, and, looking up.  Uncle Wiggily saw Billie
Bushytail, the boy squirrel, and brother Johnnie with him.

"Ha!  What happened you two chaps?" asked the bunny uncle.  "Why did
you run off without cleaning the black-boards for the lady mouse
teacher?"

"We forgot," said Johnnie, sort of ashamed-like and sorry.  "That's
what we came back to do--clean the boards."

"Well, that was good of you," spoke Uncle Wiggily.   "But I have the
boards nearly cleaned now."

"Then we will give them a dusting with our tails, and that will finish
them," said Billie, and the squirrel boys did, so the black-boards were
very clean.

"Now it's time to go home," said Uncle Wiggily.  So he locked the
school, putting the key under the doormat, where the lady mouse could
find it in the morning, and, with the Bushytail squirrel boys, he
started off through the woods.

"You and Billie can go back to your play, now, Johnnie," said the bunny
uncle.  "It was good of you to leave it to come back to do what you
were told."

The three animal friends hopped and scrambled on together, until, all
of a sudden, the bad old fox, who so often had made trouble for Uncle
Wiggily, jumped out from behind a bush, crying:

"Ah, ha!  Now I have you, Mr. Longears--and two squirrels besides.
Good luck!"

"Bad luck!" whispered Billie.

The fox made a grab for the rabbit gentleman, but, all of a sudden, the
paw of the bad creature slipped in some mud and down he went, head
first, into a puddle of water, coughing and sneezing.

"Come on, Uncle Wiggily!" quickly cried Billie and Johnnie.  "This is
our chance.  We'll run away before the fox gets the water out of his
eyes.  He can't see us now."

So away ran the rabbit gentleman and the squirrel boys, but soon the
fox had dried his eyes on his big brush of a tail, and on he came after
them.

"Oh, I'll get you!  I'll get you!" he cried, running very fast.  But
Uncle Wiggily and Billie and Johnnie ran fast, too.  The fox was coming
closer, however, and Billie, looking back, said:

"Oh, I know what let's do, Uncle Wiggily.  Let's take the path that
leads over the duck pond ocean.  That's shorter, and we can get to your
bungalow before the fox can catch us.  He won't dare come across the
bridge over the duck pond, for Old Dog Percival will come out and bite
him if he does."

"Very well," said Uncle Wiggily, "over the bridge we will go."

But alas!  Also sorrowfulness and sadness!  When the three friends got
to the bridge it wasn't there.  The wind had blown the bridge down, and
there was no way of getting across the duck pond ocean, for neither
Uncle Wiggily nor the squirrel boys could swim very well.

"Oh, what are we going to do?" cried Billie, sadly.

"We must get across somehow!" chattered Johnnie, "for here comes the
fox!"

And, surely enough the fox was coming, having by this time gotten all
the water out of his eyes, so he could see very well.

"Oh, if we only had a boat!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, looking along the
shore of the pond, but there was no boat to be seen.

Nearer and nearer came the fox!  Uncle Wiggily and the squirrel boys
were just going to jump in the water, whether or not they could swim,
when, all at once, a big white birch tree on the edge of the woods near
the pond, said:

"Listen, Uncle Wiggily and I will save you.  Strip off some of my bark.
It will not hurt me, and you can make a little canoe boat of it, as the
Indians used to do.  Then, in the birch bark boat you can sail across
the water and the fox can't get you."

"Good!  Thank you!" cried the bunny uncle.  With their sharp teeth he,
Billie and Johnnie peeled off long strips of birch bark.  They quickly
bent them in the shape of a boat and sewed up the ends with long thorns
for needles and ribbon grass for thread.

"Quick!  Into the birch bark boat!" cried Uncle Wiggily, and they all
jumped in, just as the fox came along.  Billie and Johnnie held up
their bushy tails, and Uncle Wiggily held up his tall silk hat for
sails, and soon they were safe on the other shore and the fox, not
being able to swim, could not get them.

So that's how the birch tree of the woods saved the bunny uncle and the
squirrels, for which, I am very glad, as I want to write more stories
about them.  And if the gold fish doesn't tickle the wax doll's nose
with his tail when she looks in the tank to see what he has for
breakfast, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the butternut
tree.




STORY X

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BUTTERNUT TREE

"Well, I declare!" exclaimed Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady
housekeeper of Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit, as she looked in the
pantry of the hollow stump bungalow one day.  "Well, I do declare!"

"What's the matter?" asked Mr. Longears, peeping over the top of his
spectacles.  "I hope that the chimney hasn't fallen down, or the egg
beater run away with the potato masher."

"No, nothing like that," Nurse Jane said.  "But we haven't any butter!"

"No butter?" spoke Uncle Wiggily, sort of puzzled like, and abstracted.

"Not a bit of butter for supper," went on Nurse Jane, sadly.

"Ha!  That sounds like something from Mother Goose.  Not a bit of
butter for supper," laughed Uncle Wiggily.  "Not a bit of batter-butter
for the pitter-patter supper.  If Peter Piper picked a pit of peckled
pippers--"

"Oh, don't start that!" begged Nurse Jane.  "All I need is some supper
for butter--no some bupper for batter--oh, dear!  I'll never get it
straight!" she cried.

"I'll say it for you," said Uncle Wiggily, kindly.  "I know what you
want--some butter for supper.  I'll go get it for you."

"Thank you," Nurse Jane exclaimed, and so the old rabbit gentleman
started off over the fields and through the woods for the butter store.

The monkey-doodle gentleman waited on him, and soon Uncle Wiggily was
on his way back to the hollow stump bungalow with the butter for
supper, and he was thinking how nice the carrot muffins would taste,
for Nurse Jane had promised to make some, and Uncle Wiggily was sort of
smacking his whiskers and twinkling his nose, when, all at once, he
heard some one in the woods calling:

"Uncle Wiggily!  Oh, I say, Uncle Wiggily!  Can't you stop for a moment
and say how-d'-do?"

"Why, of course, I can," answered the bunny, and, looking around the
corner of an old log, he saw Grandpa Whackum, the old beaver gentleman,
who lived with Toodle and Noodle Flat-tail, the beaver boys.

"Come in and sit down for a minute and rest yourself," invited Grandpa
Whackum.

"I will," said Uncle Wiggily.  "And I'll leave my butter outside where
it will be cool," for Grandpa Whackum lived down in an underground
house, where it was so warm, in summer, that butter would melt.

Grandpa Whackum was a beaver, and he was called Whackum because he used
to whack his broad, flat tail on the ground, like beating a drum, to
warn the other beavers of danger.  Beavers, you know, are something
like big muskrats, and they like water.  Their tails are flat, like a
pancake or egg turner.

"Well, how are things with you, and how is Nurse Jane?" asked Grandpa
Whackum.

"Oh, everything is fine," said Uncle Wiggily.  "Nurse Jane is well.
I've just been to the store to get her some butter."

"That's just like you; always doing something for some one," said
Grandpa Whackum, pleased like.

Then the two friends talked for some little while longer, until it was
almost 6 o'clock, and time for Uncle Wiggily to go.

"I'll take my butter and travel along," he said.  But when he went
outside, where he had left the pound of butter on a flat stump, it
wasn't there.

"Why, this is queer," said the bunny uncle.  "I wonder if Nurse Jane
could have come along and taken it to the hollow stump bungalow
herself?"

"More likely a bad fox took the butter," spoke the old gentleman
beaver.  "But we can soon tell.  I'll look in the dirt around the stump
and see whose footprints are there.  A fox makes different tracks from
a muskrat."

So Grandpa Whackum looked and he said:

"Why, this is queer.  I can only see beaver tracks and rabbit tracks
near the stump.  Only you and I were here and we didn't take anything."

"But where is my butter?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

Just then, off in the woods, near the beaver house, came the sound of
laughter and voices cailed:

"Oh, it's my turn now, Toodle."

"Yes, Noodle, and then it's mine.  Oh, what fun we are having, aren't
we?"

"It's Toodle and Noodle--my two beaver grandsons," said Grandpa
Whackum.  "I wonder if they could have taken your butter?  Come; we'll
find out."

They went softly over behind a clump of bushes and there they saw
Toodle and Noodle sliding down the slanting log of a tree, that was
like a little hill, only there was no snow on it.

"Why, they're coasting!" cried Grandpa Whackum.  "And how they can do
it without snow I don't see."

"But I see!" said Uncle Wiggily.  "Those two little beaver boys have
taken my butter that I left outside of your house and with the butter
they have greased the slanting log until it is slippery as ice.  That's
how they slide down--on Nurse Jane's butter."

"Oh, the little rascals!" cried Grandpa Whackum.

"Well, they didn't mean anything wrong," Uncle Wiggily kindly said.
Then he called; "Toodle!  Noodle!  Is any of my butter left?"

"Your butter?" cried Noodle, surprised like.

"Was that your butter?" asked Toodle.  "Oh, please forgive us!  We
thought no one wanted it, and we took it to grease the log so we could
slide down.  It was as good as sliding down a muddy, slippery bank of
mud into the lake."

"We used all your butter," spoke Noodle.  "Every bit."

"Oh, dear!  That's too bad!" Uncle Wiggily said.  "It is now after 6
o'clock and all the stores will be closed.  How can I get more?"  And
he looked at the butter the beaver boys had spread on the tree.  It
could not be used for bread, as it was all full of bark.

"Oh, how can I get some good butter for Nurse Jane?" asked the bunny
uncle sadly.

"Ha!  I will give you some," spoke a voice high in the air.

"Who are you?" asked Uncle Wiggily, startled.

"I am the butternut tree," was the answer.  "I'll drop some nuts down
and all you will have to do will be to crack them, pick out the meats
and squeeze out the butter.  It is almost as good as that which you buy
in the store."

"Good!" cried Uncle Wiggily, "and thank you."

Then the butter tree rattled down some butternuts, which Uncle Wiggily
took home, and Nurse Jane said the butter squeezed from them was very
good.  And Toodle and Noodle were sorry for having taken Uncle
Wiggily's other butter to make a slippery tree slide, but they meant no
harm.

So if the pussy cat doesn't take the lollypop stick to make a mud pie,
and not give any ice cream cones to the rag doll, I'll tell you next
about Uncle Wiggily and Lulu's hat.




STORY XI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND LULU'S HAT

"Uncle Wiggily, do you want to do something for me?" asked Nurse Jane
Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, of the rabbit gentleman one
day as he started out from his hollow stump bungalow to take a walk in
the woods.

"Do something for you, Nurse Jane?  Why, of course, I want to," spoke
Mr. Longears.  "What is it?"

"Just take this piece of pie over to Mrs. Wibblewobble, the duck lady,"
went on Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy.  "I promised to let her taste how I made
apple pie out of cabbage leaves."

"And very cleverly you do it, too," said Uncle Wiggily, with a polite
bow.  "I know, for I have eaten some myself.  I will gladly take this
pie to Mrs. Wibblewobble," and off through the woods Uncle Wiggily
started with it.

He soon reached the duck lady's house, and Mrs. Wibblewobble was very
glad indeed to get the piece of Nurse Jane's pie.

"I'll save a bit for Lulu and Alice, my two little duck girls," said
Mrs. Wibblewobble.

"Why, aren't they home?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"No, Lulu has gone over to a little afternoon party which Nannie
Wagtail, the goat girl, is having, and Alice has gone to see
Grandfather Goosey Gander.  Jiminie is off playing ball with Jackie and
Peetie Bow Wow, the puppy dog boys, so I am home alone."

"I hope you are not lonesome," said Uncle Wiggily.

"Oh, no, thank you," answered the duck lady.  "I have too much to do.
Thank Nurse Jane for her pie."

"I shall," Uncle Wiggily promised, as he started off through the woods
again.  He had not gone far before, all of a sudden, he did not stoop
low enough as he was hopping under a tree and, the first thing he knew,
his tall silk hat was knocked off his head and into a puddle of water.

"Oh, dear!" cried Uncle Wiggily, as he picked up his hat.  "I shall
never be able to wear it again until it is cleaned and ironed.  And how
I can have that done out here in the woods is more than I know."

"Ah, but I know," said a voice in a tree overhead.

"Who are you, and what do you know?" asked the bunny uncle, surprised
like and hopeful.

"I know where you can have your silk hat cleaned and ironed smooth,"
said the voice.  "I am the tailor bird, and I do those things.  Let me
have your hat, Uncle Wiggily, and I'll fix it for you."

Down flew the kind bird, and Uncle Wiggily gave him the hat.

"But what shall I wear while I'm waiting?" asked the bunny uncle.  "It
is too soon for me to be going about without my hat.  I'll need
something on my head while you are fixing my silk stovepipe, dear
Tailor Bird."

"Oh, that is easy," said the bird.  "Just pick some of those thick,
green leafy ferns and make yourself a hat of them."

"The very thing!" cried Uncle Wiggily.  Then he fastened some woodland
ferns together and easily made himself a hat that would keep off the
sun, if it would not keep off the rain.  But then it wasn't raining.

"There you are, Uncle Wiggily!" called the tailor bird at last.  "Your
silk hat is ready to wear again."

"Thank you," spoke the bunny uncle, as he laid aside the ferns, also
thanking them.  "Now I am like myself again," and he hopped on through
the woods, wondering whether or not he was to have any more adventures
that day.

Mr. Longears had not gone on very much farther before he heard a
rustling in the bushes, and then a sad little voice said:

"Oh, dear!  How sad!  I don't believe I'll go to the party now!  All
the others would make fun of me!  Oh, dear!  Oh, dear!"

"Ha!  That sounds like trouble!" said the bunny uncle.  "I must see
what it means."

He looked through the bushes and there, sitting on a log, he saw Lulu
Wibblewobble, the little duck girl, who was crying very hard, the tears
rolling down her yellow bill.

"Why, Lulu!  What's the matter?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"Oh, dear!" answered the little quack-quack child.  "I can't go to the
party; that's what's the matter."

"Why can't you go?" Uncle Wiggily wanted to know.  "I saw your mother a
little while ago, and she said you were going."

"I know I was going," spoke Lulu, "but I'm not now, for the wind blew
my nice new hat into the puddle of muddy water, and now look at it!"
and she held up a very much beraggled and debraggled hat of lace and
straw and ribbons and flowers.

"Oh, dear!  That hat is in a bad state, to be sure," said Uncle
Wiggily.  "But don't cry, Lulu.  Almost the same thing happened to me
and the tailor bird made my hat as good as ever.  Mine was all mud,
too, like yours.  Come, I'll take you to the tailor bird."

"You are very kind, Uncle Wiggily," spoke Lulu, "but if I go there I
may not get back in time for the party, and I want to wear my new hat
to it, very much."

"Ha!  I see!" cried the bunny uncle.  "You want to look nice at the
party.  Well, that's right, of course.  And I don't believe the tailor
bird could clean your hat in time, for it is so fancy he would have to
be very careful of it.

"But you can do as I did, make a hat out of ferns, and wear that to
Nannie Wagtail's party.  I'll help you."

"Oh, how kind you are!" cried the little duck girl.

So she went along with Uncle Wiggily to where the ferns grew in the
wood, leaving her regular hat at the tailor bird's nest to be cleaned
and pressed.

Uncle Wiggily made Lulu the cutest hat out of fern leaves.  Oh, I wish
you could have seen it.  There wasn't one like it even in the five and
ten-cent store.

"Wear that to Nannie's party, Lulu," said the rabbit gentleman, and
Lulu did, the hat being fastened to her feathers with a long pin made
from the stem of a fern.  And when Lulu reached the party all the
animal girls cried out:

"Oh, what a sweet, lovely, cute, dear, cunning, swell and stylish hat!
Where did you get it?"

"Uncle Wiggily made it," answered Lulu, and all the girls said they
were going to get one just like it.  And they did, so that fern hats
became very fashionable and stylish in Woodland, and Lulu had a fine
time at the party.

So this teaches us that even a mud puddle is of some use, and if the
rubber plant doesn't stretch too far, and tickle the gold fish under
the chin making it sneeze, the next story will be about Uncle Wiggily
and the snow drops.




STORY XII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SNOW DROPS

"Uncle Wiggily!  Uncle Wiggily!  Will you come with me?" called a voice
under the window of the hollow stump bungalow, where the old gentleman
rabbit was sitting, half asleep, one nice, warm afternoon.

"Ha!  Come with you?  Who is it wants me to come with them?" asked the
bunny gentleman.  "I hope it isn't the bad fox, or the skillery-scalery
alligator with humps on his tail that is calling.  They're always
wanting me to go with them."

The rabbit looked out of the window and he heard some one laughing.

"That doesn't sound like a bad fox, nor yet an unpleasant alligator,"
said Mr. Longears.  "Who is it wants me to come with them?"

"It is I--Susie Littletail, the rabbit girl," was the answer.

"And where do you want me to come?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"To the woods, to pick some flowers," answered Susie.  "The lady mouse
teacher wants me to see how many kinds I can find.  You know so much
about the woods, Uncle Wiggily, that I wish you'd come with me."

"I will," said the nice rabbit gentleman.  "Wait until I get my tall
silk hat and my red, white and blue striped barber pole rheumatism
crutch."

And, when he had them, off he started, holding Susie's paw in his, and
limping along under the green trees and over the carpet of green moss.

Uncle Wiggily and the little rabbit girl found many kinds of flowers in
the woods.   There were violets, some white, some yellow and some
purple, with others blue, like the ones Uncle Wiggily used to make
blueing water for Nurse Jane's clothes.  And there were red flowers and
yellow ones, and some Jacks-in-their-pulpits, which are very queer
flowers indeed.

"Here, Susie, is a new kind of blossom.  Maybe you would like some of
these," said Uncle Wiggily, pointing to a bush that was covered with
little round, white balls.

"Oh, I didn't know the snow had lasted this long!" Susie cried.  "I
thought it had melted long ago."

"I don't see any snow," said Uncle Wiggily, looking around.

"On that bush," said Susie, pointing to the white one.

"Oh!" laughed the bunny uncle.  "That does look like snow, to be sure.
But it isn't, though the name of the flowers is snowdrop."

"Flowers!  I don't call them flowers!" said Susie.  "They are only
white balls."

"Don't you want to pick any?" asked the rabbit.

"Thank you, no," Susie said.  "I like prettier colored flowers than
those, which are just plain white."

"Well, I like them, and I'll take some to Nurse Jane," spoke the bunny
uncle.  So he picked a bunch of the snowdrops and carried them in his
paws, while Susie gathered the brighter flowers.

"I think those will be all teacher will want," said the little rabbit
girl at last.

"Yes, we had better be getting home," spoke Uncle Wiggily.  "Nurse Jane
will soon have supper ready.  Won't you come and eat with me, Susie?"

"Thank you, I will, Uncle Wiggily," and the little bunny girl clapped
her paws; that is, as well as she could, on account of holding her
flowers, for she loved to eat at Uncle Wiggily's hollow stump bungalow,
as did all the animal children.

Well, Uncle Wiggily and Susie were going along and along through the
woods, when, all of a sudden, as they passed a high rock, out from
behind it jumped the bad old tail-pulling monkey.

[Illustration: As they passed a high rock, out from behind it jumped
the bad old tail-pulling monkey.]

"Ah, ha!" chattered the monkey chap.  "I am just in time, I see."

"Time for what?" asked Uncle Wiggily, suspicious like.

"To pull your tails," answered the monkey.  "I haven't had any tails to
pull in a long while, and I must pull some.  So, though you rabbits
haven't very good tails, for pulling, I must do the best I can.  Now
come to me and have your tails pulled.  Come on!"

"Oh, dear!" cried Susie.  "I don't want my tail pulled, even if it is
very short."

"Nor I mine," Uncle Wiggily said.

"That makes no manner of difference to me," chattered the monkey.  "I'm
a tail-pulling chap, and tails I must pull.  So you might as well have
it over with, now as later."  And he spoke just like a dentist who
wants to take your lolly-pop away from you.

"Pull our tails!  Well, I guess you won't!" cried Uncle Wiggily
suddenly.  "Come on, Susie!  Let's run away!"

Before the monkey could grab them Uncle Wiggily and Susie started to
run.  But soon the monkey was running after them, crying:

"Stop!  Stop!  I must pull your tails!"

"But we don't want you to," answered Susie.

"Oh, but you must let me!" cried the monkey.  Then he gave a great big,
long, strong and double-jointed jump, like a circus clown going over
the backs of fourteen elephants, and part of another one, and the
monkey grabbed Uncle Wiggily by his ears.

"Oh, let go of me, if you please!" begged the bunny.  "I thought you
said you pulled tails and not ears."

"I do pull tails when I can get hold of them," said the malicious
monkey.  "But as I can't easily get hold of your tail, and as your ears
are so large that I can easily grab them, I'll pull them instead.  All
ready now, a long pull, a strong pull and a pull altogether!"

"Stop!" cried the bunny uncle, just as the monkey was going to give the
three kinds of pull at once.  "Stop!"

"No!" answered the monkey.  "No!  No!"

"Yes!  Yes!" cried the bunny uncle.  "If you don't stop pulling my ears
you'll freeze!" and with that the bunny uncle pulled out from behind
him, where he had kept them hidden, the bunch of white snowdrops.

"Ah, ha!" cried Mr. Longears to the monkey.  "You come from a warm
country, where there is no snow or snowdrops.  Now when you see these
snow drops, shiver and shake--see how cold it is!  Shiver and shake!
Shake and shiver!  Burr-r-r-r-r!"

Uncle Wiggily made believe the flowers were real snow, sort of
shivering himself (pretend like) and the tail-pulling chap, who was
very much afraid of cold and snow and ice, chattered and said:

"Oh, dear!  Oh, how cold I am!  Oh, I'm freezing.  I am going back to
my warm nest in the tree and not pull any tails until next summer!"

And then the monkey ran away, thinking the snowdrops Uncle Wiggily had
picked were bits of real snow.

"I'm sorry I said the snowdrops weren't nice," spoke Susie, as she and
Uncle Wiggily went safely home.  "They are very nice.  Only for them
the monkey would have pulled our tails."

But he didn't, you see, and if the hookworm doesn't go to the moving
pictures with the gold fish and forget to come back to play tag with
the toy piano, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the horse
chestnut tree.




STORY XIII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE HORSE CHESTNUT

"Bang!  Bango!  Bunko!  Bunk!  Slam!"

Something made a big noise on the front
porch of the hollow stump bungalow, where, in
the woods, lived Uncle Wiggily Longears, the
rabbit gentleman.

"My goodness!" cried Nurse Jane Fuzzy
Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper.  "I hope
nothing has happened!"

"Well, from what I heard I should say it is
quite certain that SOMETHING has happened,"
spoke the bunny uncle, sort of twisting
his ears very anxious like.

"I only hope the chimney hasn't turned a
somersault, and that the roof is not trying to
play tag with the back steps," went on Miss
Fuzzy Wuzzy, a bit scared like.

"I'll go see what it is," offered Uncle Wiggily,
and as he went to the front door there, on
the piazza, he saw Billie Wagtail, the little goat boy.

"Oh, good morning, Uncle Wiggily," spoke
Billie, politely.  "Here's a note for you.  I just
brought it."

"And did you bring all that noise with you?"
Mr. Longears wanted to know.

"Well, yes, I guess I did," Billie said, sort of
bashful like and shy as he wiggled his horns.
"I was seeing how fast I could run, and I ran
down hill and got going so lickity-split like that
I couldn't stop.  I fell right up your front
steps, rattle-te-bang!"

"I should say it was rattle-te-bang!" laughed
Uncle Wiggily.  "But please don't do it again, Billie."

"I won't," promised the goat boy.  "Grandpa
Goosey Gander gave me that note to leave for
you on my way to the store for my mother.
And now I must hurry on," and Billie jumped
off the porch and skipped along through the
Woodland trees as happy as a huckleberry pie
and a piece of cheese.

"What was it all about?" asked Nurse Jane,
when Uncle Wiggily came in.

"Oh, just Billie Wagtail," answered the
bunny uncle.  "He brought a note from
Grandpa Goosey, who wants me to come over
and see him.  I'll go.  He has the epizootic,
and can't get out, so he wants some one to talk
to and to play checkers with him."

Off through the woods went Uncle Wiggily
and he was almost at Grandpa Goosey's house
when he heard some voices talking.  One voice said:

"Oh, dear!  How thirsty I am!"

"And so am I!" said another.

"Well, children, I am sorry," spoke a third
voice, "but I cannot give you any water.  I am
thirsty myself, but we cannot drink until it
rains, and it has not rained in a long, long time."

"Oh, dear!  Oh, dear!  Oh, dear!" cried the
other voices again.  "How thirsty we are!"

"That's too bad," thought Uncle Wiggily.
"I would not wish even the bad fox to be thirsty.
I must see if I can not be of some help."

So he peeked through the bushes and saw some trees.

"Was it you who were talking about being
thirsty?" asked the rabbit gentleman, curious like.

"Yes," answered the big voice.  "I am a horse
chestnut tree, and these are my children," and
the large tree waved some branches, like fingers,
at some small trees growing under her.

"And they, I suppose, are pony chestnut
trees," said Uncle Wiggily.

"That's what we are!" cried the little trees,
"and we are very thirsty."

"Indeed they are," said the mother tree.  "You
see we are not like you animals.  We cannot
walk to a spring or well to get a drink when
we are thirsty.  We have to stay, rooted in one
place, and wait for the rain, or until some one waters us."

"Well, some one is going to water you right
away!" cried Uncle Wiggily in his jolly voice.
"I'll bring you some water from the duck pond,
which is near by."

Then, borrowing a pail from Mrs. Wibblewobble,
the duck lady, Uncle Wiggily poured
water all around the dry earth, in which grew
the horse chestnut tree and the little pony trees.

"Oh!  How fine that is!" cried the thirsty
trees.  "It is almost as nice as rain.  You are
very good, Uncle Wiggily," said the mother
tree, "and if ever we can do you a favor we will."

"Thank you," spoke Uncle Wiggily, making
a low bow with his tall silk hat.  Then he went
on to Grandpa Goosey's where he visited with
his epizootic friend and played checkers.

On his way home through the woods, Uncle
Wiggily was unpleasantly surprised when, all
of a sudden out from behind a stone jumped
a bad bear.  He wasn't at all a good, nice bear
like Beckie or Neddie Stubtail.

"Bur-r-r-r-r!" growled the bear at Uncle
Wiggily.  "I guess I'll scratch you."

"Oh, please don't," begged the bunny uncle.

"Yes, I shall!" grumbled the bear.  "And I'll
hug you, too!"

"Oh, no!  I'd rather you wouldn't!" said the
bunny uncle.  For well he knew that a bear
doesn't hug for love.  It's more of a hard,
rib-cracking squeeze than a hug.  If ever a bear
wants to hug you, just don't you let him.  Of
course if daddy or mother wants to hug, why,
that's all right.

"Yes, I'm going to scratch you and hug you,"
went on the bad bear, "and after that--well,
after that I guess I'll take you off to my den."

"Oh, please don't!" begged Uncle Wiggily,
twinkling his nose and thinking that he might
make the bear laugh.  For if ever you can get
a bear to laugh he won't hurt you a bit.  Just
remember that.  Tickle him, or do anything to
get him to laugh.  But this bear wouldn't even
smile.  He just growled again and said:

"Well, here I come, Uncle Wiggily, to hug you!"

"Oh, no you don't!" all of a sudden cried a
voice in the air.

"Ha!  Who says I don't?" grumbled the bear, impolite like.

"I do," went on the voice.  And the bear saw
some trees waving their branches at him.

"Pooh!  I'm not afraid of you!" growled
the bear, and he made a rush for the bunny.
"I'm not afraid of trees."

"Not afraid of us, eh?  Well, you'd better
be!" said the mother tree.  "I'm a strong horse
chestnut and these are my strong little ponies.
Come on, children, we won't let the bear get
Uncle Wiggily."  Then the strong horse chestnut
tree and the pony trees reached down with
their powerful branches and, catching hold of
the bear, they tossed him up in the air, far away
over in the woods, at the same time pelting him
with green, prickly horse chestnuts, and the
bear came down ker-bunko in a bramble brier bush.

"Oh, wow!" cried the bear, as he felt his soft
and tender nose being scratched.  "I'll be good!
I'll be good!"

And he was, for a little while, anyhow.  So
this shows you how a horse chestnut tree saved
the bunny gentleman, and if the postman
doesn't stick a stamp on our cat's nose so it can't
eat molasses cake when it goes to the puppy
dog's party, I'll tell you next about Uncle
Wiggily and the pine tree.




STORY XIV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PINE TREE

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice old gentleman rabbit, put on his tall
silk hat, polished his glasses with the tip of his tail, to make them
shiny so he could see better through them, and then, taking his red,
white and blue striped rheumatism crutch down off the mantel, he
started out of his hollow stump bungalow one day.

"Better take an umbrella, hadn't you?" asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy,
the muskrat lady housekeeper.  "It looks as though we might have an
April shower."

"An umbrella?  Yes, I think I will take one," spoke the bunny uncle, as
he saw some dark clouds in the sky.  "They look as though they might
have rain in them."

"Are you going anywhere in particular?" asked the muskrat lady, as she
tied her tail in a soft knot.

"No, not special," Uncle Wiggily answered.  "May I have the pleasure of
doing something for you?" he asked with a polite bow, like a little
girl speaking a piece in school on Friday afternoon.

"Well," said Nurse Jane, "I have baked some apple dumplings with
oranges inside, and I thought perhaps you might like to take one to
Grandfather Goosey Gander to cheer him up."

"The very thing!" cried Uncle Wiggily, jolly-like.  "I'll do it, Nurse
Jane."

So with an apple dumpling carefully wrapped up in a napkin and put in a
basket, Uncle Wiggily started off through the woods and over the fields
to Grandpa Goosey's house.

"I wonder if I shall have an adventure today?" thought the rabbit
gentleman as he waved his ears to and fro like the pendulum of a clock.
"I think I would like one to give me an appetite for supper.  I must
watch for something to happen."

He looked all around the woods, but all he could see were some trees.

"I can't have any adventures with them," said the bunny uncle, "though
the horse chestnut tree did help me the other day by tossing the bad
bear over into the briar bush.  But these trees are not like that."

Still Uncle Wiggily was to have an adventure with one of the trees very
soon.  Just you wait, now, and you shall hear about it.

Uncle Wiggily walked on a little farther and he heard a funny tapping
noise in the woods.

"Tap!  Tap!  Tap!  Tappity-tap-tap!" it sounded.

"My!  Some one is knocking on a door trying to get in," thought the
bunny.  "I wonder who it can be?"

Just then he saw a big bird perched on the side of a pine tree, tapping
with his bill.

"Tap!  Tap!  Tap!" went the bird.

"Excuse me," said the bunny uncle, "but you are making a mistake.  No
one lives in that tree."

"Oh, thank you, Uncle Wiggily.  I know that no one lives here," said
the bird.  "But you see I am a woodpecker, and I am pecking holes in
the tree to get some of the sweet juice, or sap.  The sap is running in
the trees now, for it is Spring.  Later on I will tap holes in the bark
to get at bugs and worms, when there is no more sap for me to eat."

And the woodpecker went on tapping, tapping, tapping.

"My!  That is a funny way to get something to eat," said the bunny
gentleman to himself.  He watched the bird until it flew away, and then
Uncle Wiggily was about to hop on to Grandpa Goosey's house when, all
of a sudden, before he could run away, out popped the bad old bear once
more.

"Ah, ha!  We meet again, I see," growled the bear.  "I was not looking
for you, Mr. Longears, but all the same I am glad to meet you, for I
want to eat you."

"Well," said Uncle Wiggily, sort of scratching his pink, twinkling nose
with his ear, surprised like.  "I can't exactly say I'm glad to see
you, good Mr. Bear."

"No, I s'pose not," agreed the fuzzy creature.  "But you are mistaken.
I am the Bad Mr. Bear, not the Good."

"Oh, excuse me," said Uncle Wiggily.  All the while he knew the bear
was bad, but he hoped by calling him good, to make him so.

"I'm very bad!" growled the bear, "and I'm going to take you off to my
den with me.  Come along!"

"Oh, I don't want to," said the bunny uncle, shivering his tail.

"But you must!" growled the bear.  "Come on, now!"

"Oh, dear!" cried Uncle Wiggily.  "Will you let me go if I give you
what's in my basket?" he asked, and he held up the basket with the nice
orange apple turnover in it.  "Let me go if I give you this," begged
the bunny uncle.

"Maybe I will, and maybe I won't," said the bear, cunning like.  "Let
me see what it is."

He took the basket from Uncle Wiggily, and looking in, said:

"Ah, ha!  An apple turnover-dumpling with oranges in it!  I just love
them!  Ah, ha!"

"Oh," thought Uncle Wiggily.  "I hope he eats it, for then maybe I can
get away when he doesn't notice me.  I hope he eats it!"

And the bear, leaning his back against the pine tree in which the
woodpecker had been boring holes, began to take bites out of the apple
dumpling which Nurse Jane had baked for Grandpa Goosey.

"Now's my chance to get away!" thought the bunny gentleman.  But when
he tried to hop softly off, as the bear was eating the sweet stuff, the
bad creature saw him and cried:

"Ah, ha!  No you don't!  Come hack here!" and with his claws he pulled
Uncle Wiggily close to him again.

Then the bunny uncle noticed that some sweet, sticky juice or gum, like
that on fly paper, was running down the trunk of the tree from the
holes the woodpecker had drilled in it.

"Oh, if the bear only leans back hard enough and long enough against
that sticky pine tree," thought Mr. Longears, "he'll be stuck fast by
his furry hair and he can't get me.  I hope he sticks!"

And that is just what happened.  The bear enjoyed eating the apple
dumpling so much that he leaned back harder and harder against the
sticky tree.  His fur stuck fast in the gum that ran out.  Finally the
bear ate the last crumb of the dumpling.

"And now I'll get you!" he cried to the bunny uncle; "I'll get you!"

But did the bear get Uncle Wiggily?  He did not.  The bear tried to
jump toward the rabbit, but could not.  He was stuck fast to the sticky
pine tree and Uncle Wiggily could now run safely back to his hollow
stump bungalow to get another dumpling for Grandpa Goosey.

So the bear had no rabbit, after all, and all he did was to stay stuck
fast to the pine tree until a big fox came along and helped him to get
loose, and the bear cried "Wouch!" because his fur was pulled.

So Uncle Wiggily was all right, you see, after all, and very thankful
he was to the pine tree for holding fast to the bear.

And in the next story, if our cat doesn't go hunting for the poll
parrot's cracker in the gold fish bowl and get his whiskers all wet,
I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and the green rushes.




STORY XV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE GREEN RUSHES

Once upon a time Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice rabbit gentleman, was
taking a walk in the woods, looking for an adventure, as he often did,
when, as he happened to go past the hollow tree, where Billie and
Johnnie Bushytail, the two squirrel boys lived, he saw them just poking
their noses out of the front door, which was a knot-hole.

"Hello, boys!" called Uncle Wiggily.  "Why haven't you gone to school
today?  It is time, I'm sure."

"Oh, we don't have to go today," answered Billie, as he looked at his
tail to see if any chestnut burrs were sticking in it.  But none was, I
am glad to say.

"Don't have to go to school?  Why not?" Uncle Wiggily wanted to know.
"This isn't Saturday, is it?"

"No," spoke Johnnie.  "But you see, Sister Sallie, our little squirrel
sister, has the measles, and we can't go to school until she gets over
them."

"And we don't know what to do to have some fun," went on Billie, "for
lots of the animal children are home from school with the measles, and
they can't be out to play with us.  We've had the measles, so we can't
get them the second time, but the animal boys and girls, who haven't
broken out, don't want us to come and see them for fear we'll bring the
red spots to them."

"I see," said Uncle Wiggily, laughing until his pink nose twinkled like
a jelly roll.  "So you can't have any fun?  Well, suppose you come with
me for a walk in the woods."

"Fine!" cried Billie and Johnnie and soon they were walking in the
woods with the rabbit gentleman.  They had not gone very far before,
all of a sudden, they came to a place where a mud turtle gentleman had
fallen on his back, and he could not turn over, right-side up again.
He tried and tried, but he could not right himself.

"Oh, that is too bad!" cried Uncle Wiggily, when he saw what had
happened.  "I must help him to get right-side up again," which he did.

"Oh, thank you for putting me on my legs once more, Uncle Wiggily,"
said the mud turtle.  "I would like to do you a favor for helping me,
but all I have to give you are these," and in one claw he picked some
green stalks growing near him, and handed them to the bunny uncle,
afterward crawling away.

"Pooh!  Those are no good!" cried Billie, the boy squirrel.

"I should say not!" laughed Johnnie, "They are only green rushes that
grow all about in the woods, and we could give Uncle Wiggily all he
wanted."

"Hush, boys!  Don't talk that way," said the bunny uncle.  "The mud
turtle tried to do the best he could for me, and I am sure the green
rushes are very nice.  I'll take them with me.  I may find use for
them."

Billie and Johnnie wanted to laugh, for they thought green rushes were
of no use at all.  But Uncle Wiggily said to the squirrel boys:

"Billie and Johnnie, though green rushes, which grow in the woods and
swamps are very common, still they are a wonderful plant.  See how
smooth they are when you rub them up and down.  But if you rub them
sideways they are as rough as a stiff brush or a nutmeg grater."

Well, Billie and Johnnie thought more of the rushes after that, but, as
they walked on with Uncle Wiggily, when he had put them in his pocket,
they could think of no way in which he could use them.

In a little while they came to where Mother Goose lived, and the dear
old lady herself was out in front of her house, looking up and down the
woodland path, anxious like.

"What is the matter?" asked Uncle Wiggily.  "Are you looking for some
of your lost ones--Little Bopeep or Tommy Tucker, who sings for his
supper?"

"Well, no, not exactly," answered Mother Goose.  "I sent Simple Simon
to the store to get me a scrubbing brush, so I could clean the kitchen
floor.  But he hasn't come back, and I am afraid he has gone fishing in
his mother's pail, to try to catch a whale.  Oh, dear!  My kitchen is
so dirty that it needs scrubbing right away.  But I cannot do it
without a scrubbing brush."

"Ha!  Say no more!" cried Uncle Wiggily in his jolly voice.  "I have no
scrubbing brush, but I have a lot of green rushes the mud turtle gave
me for turning him right-side up.  The rushes are as rough as a
scrubbing brush, and will do just as nicely to clean your kitchen."

"Oh, thank you!  I'm sure they will," said Mother Goose.  So she took
the green rushes from Uncle Wiggily and by using them with soap and
water soon her kitchen floor was scrubbed as clean as an eggshell, for
the green, rough stems scraped off all the dirt.

Then Mother Goose thanked Uncle Wiggily very much, and Billie and
Johnnie sort of looked at one another with blinking eyes, for they saw
that green rushes are of some use in this world after all.

And if the strawberry jam doesn't go to the moving pictures with the
bread and butter and forget to come home for supper, I'll tell you next
about Uncle Wiggily and the bee tree.




STORY XVI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BEE TREE

"Well, you're off again, I see!" spoke Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the
muskrat lady housekeeper, one morning, as she saw Uncle Wiggily Longears,
the rabbit gentleman, starting away from his hollow stump bungalow.  He
was limping on his red, white and blue striped barber pole rheumatism
crutch, that Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy had gnawed for him out of a cornstalk.
"Off again!" she cried.

"Yes, off again," said Uncle Wiggily.  "I must have my adventure, you
know."

"I hope it will be a pleasant one today," went on Nurse Jane.

"So do I," said Uncle Wiggily, and away he went hopping over the fields
and through the woods.  He had not gone very far before he heard a queer
buzzing sound, and a sort of splashing in the water and a tiny voice
cried:

"Help!  Help!  Save me!  I am drowning!"

"My goodness me sakes alive and some horse radish lollypops!" cried the
bunny uncle.  "Some one drowning?  I don't see any water around here,
though I do hear some splashing.  Who are you?" he cried.  "And where are
you, so that I may save you?"

"Here I am, right down by your foot!" was the answer.  "I am a honey bee,
and I have fallen into this Jack-in-the pulpit flower, which is full of
water.  Please get me out!"

"To be sure I will!" cried Mr. Longears, and then, stooping down he
carefully lifted the poor bee out of the water in the Jack-in-the-pulpit.

The Jack is a plant that looks like a little pitcher and it holds water.
In the middle is a green stem, that is called Jack, because he looks like
a minister preaching in the pulpit.  The Jack happened to be out when the
bee fell in the water that had rained in the plant-pitcher, or Jack
himself would have saved the honey chap.  But Uncle Wiggily did it just
as well.

"Oh, thank you so much for not letting me drown," said the bee, as she
dried her wings in the sun on a big green leaf.  "I was on my way to the
hive tree with a load of honey when I stopped for a drink.  But I leaned
over too far and fell in.  I can not thank you enough!"

"Oh, once is enough!" cried Uncle Wiggily in his most jolly voice.  "But
did I understand you to say you lived in a hive-tree?"

"Yes, a lot of us bees have our hive in a hollow tree in the woods, not
far away.  It is there we store the honey we gather from Summer flowers,
so we will have something to eat in the Winter when there are no
blossoms.  Would you like to see the bee tree?"

"Indeed, I would," Uncle Wiggily said.

"Follow me, then," buzzed the bee.  "I will fly on ahead, very slowly,
and you can follow me through the woods."

Uncle Wiggily did so, and soon he heard a great buzzing sound, and he saw
hundreds of bees flying in and out of a hollow tree.  At first some of
the bees were going to sting the bunny uncle, but his little friend cried:

"Hold on, sisters!  Don't sting this rabbit gentleman.  He is Uncle
Wiggily and he saved me from being drowned."

So the bees did not sting the bunny uncle, but, instead, gave him a lot
of honey, in a little box made of birch bark, which he took home to Nurse
Jane.

"Oh, I had the sweetest adventure!" he said to her, and he told her about
the bee tree and the honey, which he and the muskrat lady ate on their
carrot cake for dinner.

It was about a week after this, and Uncle Wiggily was once more in the
woods, looking for an adventure, when, all at once a big bear jumped out
from behind a tree and grabbed him.

"Oh, dear!" cried Uncle Wiggily.  "Why did you do that?  Why have you
caught me, Mr. Bear?"

"Because I am going to carry you off to my den," answered the bear.  "I
am hungry, and I have been looking for something to eat.  You came along
just in time.  Come on!"

The hear was leading Uncle Wiggily away when the bunny uncle happened to
think of something, and it was this--that bears are very fond of sweet
things.

"Would you not rather eat some honey than me?" Uncle Wiggily asked of the
bear.

"Much rather," answered the shaggy creature, "but where is the honey?" he
asked, cautious like and foxy.

"Come with me and I will show you where it is," went on the bunny uncle,
for he felt sure that his friends the bees, would give the bear honey so
the bad animal would let the rabbit gentleman go.

Uncle Wiggily led the way through the wood to the bee tree, the bear
keeping hold of him all the while.  Pretty soon a loud buzzing was heard,
and when they came to where the honey was stored in the hollow tree, all
of a sudden out flew hundreds of bees, and they stung the bear so hard
all over, especially on his soft and tender nose, that the bear cried:

"Wow!  Wouch!  Oh, dear!" and, letting go of the rabbit, ran away to jump
in the ice water to cool off.

But the bees did not sting Uncle Wiggily, for they liked him, and he
thanked them for driving away the bear.  So everything came out all
right, you see, and if the foot-stool gets up to the head of the class
and writes its name on the blackboard, with pink chalk, I'll tell you
next about Uncle Wiggily and the dogwood tree.




STORY XVII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE DOGWOOD

"Where are you going, Uncle Wiggily?" asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the
muskrat lady housekeeper, as the nice old rabbit gentleman started out
from his hollow stump bungalow one afternoon.

"Oh, just for a walk in the woods," he answered.  "Neddie Stubtail, the
little bear boy, told me last night that there were many adventures in
the forest, and I want to see if I can find one."

"My goodness!  You seem very fond of adventures!" said Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy.

"I am," went on Uncle Wiggily, with a smile that made his pink nose
twinkle and his whiskers sort of chase themselves around the back of
his neck, as though they were playing tag with his collar button.  "I
just love to have adventures."

"Well, while you are out walking among the trees would you mind doing
me a favor?" asked Nurse Jane.

"I wouldn't mind in the least," spoke the bunny uncle.  "What would you
like me to do?"

"Just leave this thimble at Mrs. Bow Wow's house.  I borrowed the dog
lady's thimble to use when I couldn't find mine, but now that I have my
own back again I'll return hers."

"Where was yours?" Uncle Wiggily wanted to know.

"Jimmie Caw-Caw, the crow boy, had picked it up to hide under the
pump," answered Nurse Jane.  "Crows, you know, like to pick up bright
and shining things."

"Yes, I remember," said Uncle Wiggily.  "Very well, I'll give Mrs. Bow
Wow her thimble," and off the old gentleman rabbit started, limping
along on his red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch, that Nurse
Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy had gnawed for him out of a bean-pole.  Excuse me, I
mean corn stalk.

When Uncle Wiggily came to the place where Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow,
the little puppy dog boys lived, he saw Mrs. Bow Wow, the dog lady, out
in front of the kennel house looking up and down the path that led
through the woods.

"Were you looking for me?" asked Uncle Wiggily, making a low and polite
bow with his tall silk hat.

"Looking for you?  Why, no, not specially," said Mrs. Bow Wow, "though
I am always glad to see you."

"I thought perhaps you might be looking for your thimble," went on the
bunny uncle.  "Nurse Jane has sent it back to you."

"Oh, thank you!" said the mother of the puppy dog boys.  "I'm glad to
get my thimble back, but I was really looking for Peetie and Jackie."

"You don't mean to say they have run away, do you?" asked Uncle
Wiggily, in surprise.

"No, not exactly run away.  But they have not come home from school,
though the lady mouse, who teaches in the hollow stump, must have let
the animal children out long ago."

"She did," Uncle Wiggily said.  "I came past the hollow stump school on
my way here, and every one was gone."

"Then where can Jackie and Peetie be keeping themselves?" asked Mrs.
Bow Wow.  "Oh, I'm so worried about them!"

"Don't be worried or frightened," said Uncle Wiggily, kindly.  "I'll go
look for them for you."

"Oh, if you will I'll be so glad!" cried Mrs. Bow Wow.  "And if you
find them please tell them to come home at once."

"I will," promised the bunny uncle.

Giving the dog lady her thimble, Uncle Wiggily set off through the
woods to look for Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow.  On every side of the
woodland path he peered, under trees and bushes and around the corners
of moss-covered rocks and big stumps.

But no little puppy dog chaps could he find.

All at once, as Mr. Longears was going past an old log he heard a
rustling in the bushes, and a voice said:

"Well, we nearly caught them, didn't we?"

"We surely did," said another voice.  "And I think if we race after
them once more we'll certainly have them.  Let's rest here a bit, and
then chase those puppy dogs some more.  That Jackie is a good runner."

"I think Peetie is better," said the other voice.  "Anyhow, they both
got away from us."

"Ha!  This must be Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow they are talking about,"
said Uncle Wiggily to himself.  "This sounds like trouble.  So the
puppy dogs were chased, were they?  I must see by whom."

He peeked through the bushes, and there he saw two big, bad foxes,
whose tongues were hanging out over their white teeth, for the foxes
had run far and they were tired.

"I see how it is," Uncle Wiggily thought.  "The foxes chased the little
puppy dogs as they were coming from school and Jackie and Peetie have
run somewhere and hidden.  I must find them."

Just then one of the foxes cried:

"Come on.  Now we'll chase after those puppies, and get them.  Come on!"

"Ha!  I must go, too!" thought Uncle Wiggily.  "Maybe I can scare away
the foxes, and save Jackie and Peetie."

So the foxes ran and Uncle Wiggily also ran, and pretty soon the rabbit
gentleman came to a place in the woods where grew a tree with big white
blossoms on it, and in the center the blossoms were colored a dark red.

"Ha!  There are the puppy boys under that tree!" cried one fox, and,
surely enough, there, right under the tree, Jackie and Peetie were
crouched, trembling and much frightened.

"We'll get them!" cried the other fox.  "Come on!"

And then, all of a sudden, as the foxes leaped toward the poor little
puppy dog boys, that tree began to hark and growl and it cried out loud:

"Get away from here, you bad foxes!  Leave Jackie and Peetie alone!
Wow!  Bow-wow!  Gurr-r-r-r!" and the tree barked and roared so like a
lion that the foxes were frightened and were glad enough to run away,
taking their tails with them.  Then Jackie and Peetie came safely out,
and thanked the tree for taking care of them.

[Illustration: The tree barked and roared so like a lion that the foxes
were frightened and were glad enough to run away.]

"Oh, you are welcome," said the tree.  "I am the dogwood tree, you
know, so why should I not bark and growl to scare foxes, and take care
of you little puppy chaps?  Come to me again whenever any bad foxes
chase you."  And Peetie and Jackie said they would.

So Uncle Wiggily, after also thanking the tree, took the doggie boys
home, and they told him how the foxes had chased them soon after they
came from school, so they had to run.

But everything came out all right, you see, and if the black cat
doesn't dip his tail in the ink, and make chalk marks all over the
piano, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the hazel nuts.




STORY XVIII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE HAZEL NUTS

"Going out again, Uncle Wiggily?" asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, one
morning, as she saw the rabbit gentleman taking his red, white and
blue-striped rheumatism crutch down off the clock shelf.

"Well, yes, Janie, I did think of going out for a little stroll in the
forest," answered the bunny uncle, talking like a phonograph.  What he
meant was that he was going for a walk in the woods, but he thought
he'd be polite about it, and stylish, just for once.

"Don't forget your umbrella," went on Nurse Jane.  "It looks to me very
much as though there would be a storm."

"I think you're right," Uncle Wiggily said.  "Our April showers are not
yet over.  I shall take my umbrella."

So, with his umbrella, and the rheumatism crutch which Nurse Jane had
gnawed for him out of a cornstalk, off started the bunny uncle, hopping
along over the fields and through the woods.

Pretty soon Uncle Wiggily met Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel boy.

"Where are you going, Johnnie?" asked the rabbit gentleman.  "Are you
here in the woods, looking for an adventure?  That's what I'm doing."

"No, Uncle Wiggily," answered the squirrel boy.  "I'm not looking for
an adventure.  I'm looking for hazel nuts."

"Hazel nuts?" cried the bunny uncle in surprise.

"Yes," went on Johnnie.  "You know they're something like chestnuts,
only without the prickly burrs, and they're very good to eat.  They
grow on bushes, instead of trees.  I'm looking for some to eat.  They
are nice, brown, shiny nuts."

"Good!" cried the rabbit gentleman.  "We'll go together looking for
hazel nuts, and perhaps we may also find an adventure.  I'll take the
adventure and you can take the hazel nuts."

"All right!" laughed Johnnie, and off they started.

On and over the fields and through the woods went the bunny uncle and
Johnnie, until, just as they were close to the place where some extra
early new kind of Spring hazel nuts grew on bushes, there was a noise
behind a big black stump--and suddenly out pounced a bear!

"Oh, hello, Neddie Stubtail!" called Johnnie.  And he was just going up
and shake paws when Uncle Wiggily cried:

"Look out, Johnnie!  Wait a minute!  That isn't your friend Neddie!"

"Isn't it?" asked Johnnie, surprised-like, and he drew back.

"No, it's a bad old bear--not our nice Neddie, at all!  And I think he
is going to chase us!  Get ready to run!"

So Johnnie Bushytail and Uncle Wiggily got ready to run.  And it was a
good thing they did, for just then the bear gave a growl, like a
lollypop when it falls off the stick, and the bear said:

"Ah, ha!  And oh, ho!  A rabbit and a squirrel!  Fine for me!
Tag--your it!" he cried, and he made a jump for Uncle Wiggily and
Johnnie.

But do you s'pose the bunny uncle and the squirrel boy stayed there to
be caught?  Indeed, they did not!

"Over this way!  Quick!" cried Johnnie.  "Here is a hazel nut bush,
Uncle Wiggily.  We can hide under that and the bear can't get us!"

"Good!" said the bunny uncle.  And he and Johnnie quickly ran and hid
under the hazel nut bush, which was nearby.

The bear looked all around as he heard Uncle Wiggily and Johnnie
running away, and when he saw where they had gone he laughed until his
whiskers twinkled, almost like the rabbit gentleman's pink nose, and
then the bear said:

"Ha, ha! and Ho, ho!  So you thought you could get away from me that
way, did you?  Well, you can't.  I can see you hiding under that bush
almost as plainly as I can see the sun shining.  Here I come after you."

"Oh, dear!" cried Uncle Wiggily.  "What shall we do, Johnnie?  I don't
want the bear to get you or me."

"And I don't either," spoke the little squirrel boy.

"I wonder if I could scare him away with my umbrella, Johnnie?" went on
Uncle Wiggily.  "I might if I could make believe it was a gun.  Have
you any talcum powder to shoot?"

"No," said Johnnie, sadly, "I have not, I am sorry to say."

"Have you any bullets?" asked the bunny uncle.

"No bullets, either," answered Johnnie, more sadly.

"Then I don't see anything for us to do but let the bear get us,"
sorrowfully said Mr. Longears.  "Here he comes, Johnnie."

"But he sha'n't get us!" quickly cried the squirrel boy, as the bear
made a jump for the bush under which the bunny and Johnnie were hiding.
"He sha'n't get us!"

"Why not?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"Because," said Johnnie, "I have just thought of something.  You asked
me for bullets a while ago.  I have none, but the hazel nut bush has.
Come, good Mr. Hazel Bush, will you save us from the bear?" asked
Johnnie.

"Right gladly will I do that," the kind bush said.

"Then, when he comes for us!" cried Johnnie, "just rattle down, all
over on him, all the hard nuts you can let fall.  They will hit him on
his ears, and on his soft and tender nose, and that will make him run
away and leave us alone."

"Good!" whispered the hazel nut bush, rustling its leaves.  "But what
about you and Uncle Wiggily?  If I rattle the nuts on the bear they
will also fall on you two, as long as you are hiding under me."

"Have no fear of that!" said the bunny uncle.  "I have my umbrella, and
I will raise that and keep off the falling nuts."

Then the bear, with a growl, made a dash to get Uncle Wiggily and
Johnnie.  But the hazel bush shivered and shook himself and
"Rattle-te-bang!  Bung-bung!  Bang!" down came the hazel nuts all over
the bear.

"Oh, wow!" he cried, as they hit him on his soft and tender nose.  "Oh,
wow!  I guess I'd better run away.  It's hailing!"

And he did run.  And because of Uncle Wiggily's umbrella held over his
head, the nuts did not hurt him or Johnnie at all.  And when the bear
had run far away the squirrel boy gathered all the nuts he wanted, and
he and Uncle Wiggily went safely home.  And the bear's nose was sore
for a week.

So if the hickory nut cake doesn't try to sit in the same seat with the
apple pie and get all squeezed like a lemon pudding, I'll tell you next
about Uncle Wiggily and Susie's dress.




STORY XIX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND SUSIE'S DRESS

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice old gentleman rabbit, was reading the
paper in his hollow stump bungalow, in the woods, while Nurse Jane
Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady house-keeper, was out in the kitchen
washing the dinner dishes one afternoon.

All of a sudden Uncle Wiggily fell asleep because he was reading a
bed-time story in the paper, and while he slept he heard a noise at the
front door, which sounded like:

"Rat-a-tat-tat!  Rat-a-tat-tat!"

"My goodness!" suddenly exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, awakening out of his
sleep.  "That sounds like the forest woodpecker bird making holes in a
tree."

"No, it isn't that," spoke Nurse Jane.  "It's some one tapping at our
front door.  I can't answer because my paws are all covered with
soapy-suds dishwater."

"Oh, I'll go," said Uncle Wiggily, and laying aside the paper over
which he had fallen asleep, he opened the door.  On the porch stood
Susie Littletail, the rabbit girl.

"Why, hello Susie!" exclaimed the bunny uncle.  "Where are you going
with your nice new dress?" for Susie did have on a fine new waist and
skirt, or maybe it was made in one piece for all I know.  And her new
dress had on it ruffles and thing-a-ma-bobs and curley-cues and
insertions and Georgette crepe and all sorts of things like that.

"Where are you going, Susie?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"I am going to a party," answered the little rabbit girl.  "Lulu and
Alice Wibblewobble, the duck girls, are going to have a party, and they
asked me to come.  So I came for you."

"But I'm not going to the party!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily.  "I haven't
been invited."

"That doesn't make any difference," spoke Susie with a laugh.  "You
know they'll be glad to see you, anyhow.  And I know Lulu meant to ask
you, only she must have forgotten about it, because there is so much to
do when you have a party."

"I know there is," Uncle Wiggily said, "and I don't blame Lulu and
Alice a bit for not asking me.  Anyhow I couldn't go, for I promised to
come over this afternoon and play checkers with Grandfather Goosey
Gander."

"Oh, but won't you walk with me to the party?" asked Susie, sort of
teasing like.  "I'm afraid to go through the woods alone, because
Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel boy, said you and he met a bear there
yesterday."

"We did!" laughed Uncle Wiggily.  "But the hazel bush drove him away by
showering nuts on his nose."

"Well, I might not be so lucky as to have a hazelnut bush to help me,"
spoke Susie.  "So I'd be very glad if you would walk through the woods
with me.  You can scare away the bear if we meet him."

"How?" asked Uncle Wiggily.  "With my red, white and blue crutch or my
umbrella?"

"With this popgun, which shoots toothpowder," said Susie.  "It belongs
to Sammie, my brother, but he let me take it.  We'll bring the popgun
with us, Uncle Wiggily, and scare the bear."

"All right," said the bunny uncle.  "That's what we'll do.  I'll go as
far as the Wibblewobble duck house with you and leave you there at the
party."

This made Susie very glad and happy, and soon she and Uncle Wiggily
were going through the woods together.  Susie's new dress was very fine
and she kept looking at it as she hopped along.

All of a sudden, as the little rabbit girl and the bunny uncle were
going along through the woods, they came to a mud puddle.

"Look out, now!" said Uncle Wiggily.  "Don't fall in that, Susie."

"I won't," said the little rabbit girl.  "I can easily jump across it."

But when she tried to, alas!  Likewise unhappiness.  Her hind paws
slipped and into the mud puddle she fell with her new dress.  "Splash!"
she went.

"Oh, dear!" cried Susie.

"Oh, my!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily.

"Look at my nice, new dress," went on Susie.  "It isn't at all nice and
new now.  It's all mud and water and all splashed up, and--oh, dear!
Isn't it too bad!"

"Yes, besides two it is even six, seven and eight bad," said Uncle
Wiggily sadly.  "Oh, dear!"

"I can't go to the Wibblewobble party this way," cried Susie.  "I'll
have to go back home to get another dress, and it won't be my new
one--and oh, dear!"

"Perhaps I can wipe off the mud with some leaves and moss," Uncle
Wiggily spoke.  "I'll try."

But the more he rubbed at the mud spots on Susie's dress the worse they
looked.

"Oh, you can't do it,  Uncle Wiggily!" sighed the little rabbit girl.

"No, I don't believe I can," Uncle Wiggily admitted, sadly-like and
sorry.

"Oh, dear!" cried Susie.  "Whatever shall I do?  I can't go to a party
looking like this!  I just must have a new dress."

Uncle Wiggily thought for a minute.  Then, through the woods, he spied
a tree with white, shiny bark on, just like satin.

"Ha!  I know what to do!" he cried.  "That is a white birch tree.
Indians make boats of the bark, and from it I can also make a new dress
for you, Susie.  Or, at least, a sort of dress, or apron, to go over
the dress you have on, and so cover the mud spots."

"Please do!" begged Susie.

"I will!" promised Uncle Wiggily, and he did.

He stripped off some bark from the birch tree and he sewed the pieces
together with ribbon grass, and some needles from the pine tree.  And
when Susie put on the bark dress over her party one, not a mud spot
showed!

"Oh, that's fine, Uncle Wiggily!" she cried.  "Now I can go to the
Wibblewobbles!"

And so she went, and the bad bear never came out to so much as growl,
nor did the fox, so the popgun was not needed.  And all the girls at
the party thought Susie's dress that Uncle Wiggily had made was just
fine.

So if the rain drop doesn't fall out of bed, and stub its toe on the
rocking chair, which might make it so lame that it couldn't dance, I'll
tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and Tommie's kite.




STORY XX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND TOMMIE'S KITE

"Uncle Wiggily, have you anything special to do today?" asked Tommie
Kat, the little kitten boy, one morning as he knocked on the door of
the hollow stump bungalow, where Mr. Longears, the rabbit gentleman,
lived.

"Anything special to do?  Why, no, I guess not," answered the bunny
uncle.  "I just have to go walking to look for an adventure to happen
to me, and then--"

"Didn't you promise to go to the five and ten cent store for me, and
buy me a pair of diamond earrings?" asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the
muskrat lady housekeeper.

"Oh, so I did!" cried Uncle Wiggily.  "I had forgotten about that.  But
I'll go.  What was it you wanted of me?" he asked Tommie Kat, who was
making a fishpole of his tail by standing it straight up in the air.

"Oh, I wanted you to come and help me build a kite, and then come with
me and fly it," said the kitten boy.  "Could you do that, Uncle
Wiggily?"

"Well, perhaps I could," said the bunny uncle.  "I will first go to the
store and get Nurse Jane's diamond earrings.  Then, on the way back,
I'll stop and help you with your kite.  And after that is done I'll go
along and see if I can find an adventure."

"That will be fun!" cried Tommie.  "I have everything all ready to make
the kite--paper, sticks, paste and string.  We'll make a big one and
fly it away up in the air."

So off through the woods started Uncle Wiggily and Tommie to the five
and ten cent store.  There they bought the diamond earrings for Nurse
Jane, who wanted to wear them to a party Mrs. Cluck-Cluck, the hen
lady, was going to have next week.

"And now to make the kite!" cried Tommie, as he and Uncle Wiggily
reached the house where the Kat family lived.

The bunny uncle and the little kitten boy cut out some red paper in the
shape of a kite.  Then they pasted it on the crossed sticks, which were
tied together with string.

"The kite is almost done," said Uncle Wiggily, as he held it up.  "And
can you tell me, Tommie, why your kite is like Buddy, the guinea pig
boy?"

"Can I tell you why my kite is like Buddy, the guinea pig boy?"
repeated Tommie, like a man in a minstrel show.  "No, Uncle Wiggily, I
can not.  Why is my kite like Buddy, the guinea pig boy?"

"Because," laughed the old rabbit gentleman, "this kite has no tail and
neither has Buddy."

"Ha, ha!" exclaimed Tommie.  "That's right!"

For guinea pigs have no tails, you know, though if you ask me why I
can't tell you.  Some kites do have tails, though, and others do not.

Anyhow, Tommie's kite, without a tail, was soon finished, and then he
and Uncle Wiggily went to a clear, open place in the fields, near the
woods, to fly it.

There was a good wind blowing, and when Uncle Wiggily raised the kite
up off the ground, Tommie ran, holding the string that was fast to the
kite and up and up and up it went in the air.  Soon it was sailing
quite near the clouds, almost like Uncle Wiggily's airship, only, of
course, no one rode on the kite.

"Have you any more string, Uncle Wiggily?" asked the kitten boy, after
a bit.

"String, Tommie?  What for?"

"Well, I want to make my kite string longer so it will go up higher.
But if you have none I'll run home and get some myself.  Will you hold
the kite while I'm gone?"

"To be sure I will," said Uncle Wiggily.  So he took hold of the string
of Tommie's kite, which was now quite high in the air.  And, sitting
down on the ground, Uncle Wiggily held the kite from running away while
Tommie went for more string.

It was a nice, warm, summer day, and so pleasant in the woods, with the
little flies buzzing about, that, before he knew it Uncle Wiggily had
fallen asleep.  His pink nose stopped twinkling, his ears folded
themselves down like a slice of bread and jam, and Uncle Wiggily's eyes
closed.

All of a sudden he was awakened by feeling himself being pulled.  At
first he thought it was the skillery-scalery alligator, or the bad fox
trying to drag him off to his den, and Uncle Wiggily, opening his eyes,
cried:

"Here!  Stop that if you please!  Don't pull me so!"

But when he looked around he could see no one, and then he knew it was
Tommie's kite, flying up in the air, that was doing the pulling.

The wind was blowing hard now, and as Uncle Wiggily had the kite string
wound around his paws, of course he was pulled almost off his feet.

"Ha!  That kite is a great puller!" said the bunny uncle.  "I must look
out or it might pull me up to the clouds.  I had better fasten the
string to this old stump.  The kite can't pull that up."

So the rabbit gentleman fastened the kite cord to the stout old stump,
winding it around two or three times, and he kept the loose end of the
string in his paw.

Uncle Wiggily was just going to sleep again, and he was wondering why
it took Tommie so long to find more string for the kite, when, all of a
sudden, there was a rustling in the bushes, and out jumped the bad old
babboon, who had, once before, made trouble for the bunny uncle.

"Ah, ha!" jabbered the babboon.  "This time I have caught you.  You
can't get away from me now.  I am going to take you off to my den."

"Oh, please don't!" begged Uncle Wiggily.

"Yes, I shall, too!" blabbered the babboon.  "Off to my den you shall
go--you shall go--you shall go.  Off to my den.  Oh, hold on!" cried
the bad creature.  "That isn't the song I wanted to sing.  That's the
London Bridge song.  I want the one about the dinner bell is ringing in
the bread box this fine day.  And the dinner bell is ringing for to
take you far away, Uncle Wiggily."

"Ah, then I had better go to my dinner," said the bunny uncle, sadly.

"No!  You will go with me!" cried the babboon.  "Come along now.  I'm
going to take you away."

"Well, if I must go, I suppose I must," Uncle Wiggily said, looking at
the kite string, which was pulling at the stump very hard now.  "But
before you take me away would you mind pulling down Tommie's kite?"
asked the bunny uncle.  "I'll leave it for him."

"Yes, I'll pull the kite down," said the babboon.

"Maybe you will," thought Uncle Wiggily, laughing to himself.  "And
maybe you won't."

The bad babboon monkey chap unwound the string from the stump, but no
sooner had he started to pull in the kite than there came a very strong
puff of wind.

Up, up and up into the air blew the kite and, as the string was tangled
around the babboon's paws, it took him up with it, and though he cried
out: "Stop!  Stop!  Stop!" the kite could not stop, nor the babboon
either.

[Illustration: Up, up and up into the air blew the kite and, as the
string was tangled around the babboon's paws, it took him up with it.]

"Well, I guess you won't bother me any more," said Uncle Wiggily, as he
looked at the babboon, who was only a speck in the sky now; a very
little speck, being carried away by the kite.

And the babboon did not come back to bother Uncle Wiggily, at least for
a long time.  Tommie felt badly when he found his kite blown away.  But
he was glad Uncle Wiggily had been saved, and he and the bunny uncle
soon made a new kite, better than the first.  They had lots of fun
flying it.

And in the story after this, if the chocolate pudding doesn't hide in
the coal bin, where the cook can't find it to put the whipped cream on,
I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and Johnnie's marbles.




STORY XXI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND JOHNNIE'S MARBLES

It was a nice, warm spring day, when the ground in the woods where the
animal boys and girls lived was soft, for all the frost had melted out
of it; and, though it was a little too early to go barefoot, it was not
too early to play marbles.

Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the squirrels; Sammie Littletail, the
rabbit, and Jimmie Wibblewobble, the duck, were having a game under the
trees, not far from the hollow stump bungalow which was the house of
Uncle Wiggily Longears, the bunny gentleman.

"First shot agates!" cried Johnnie.

"No, I'm going to shoot first!" chattered his brother Billie.

"Huh!  I hollered it before either of you," quacked Jimmie, the duck
boy, and he tossed some red, white and blue striped marbles on the
ground in the ring.  The marbles were just the color of Uncle Wiggily's
rheumatism crutch.

The animal boys began playing, but they made so much noise, crying
"Fen!" and "Ebbs!" and "Knuckle down!" that Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the
muskrat lady housekeeper, went to the bungalow door and called:

"Boys!  Boys!  Will you please be a little quiet?  Uncle Wiggily is
lying down taking a nap, and I don't want you to wake him up with your
marbles."

"Oh, I don't mind!" cried the bunny uncle, unfolding his ears from his
vest pockets, where he always tucked them when he went to sleep, so the
flies would not tickle him.  "It's about time I got up," he said.

"So the boys are playing marbles, eh?  Well, I'll go out and watch
them.  It will make me think of the days when I was a spry young bunny
chap, hopping about, spinning my kites and flying my tops."

"I guess you are a little bit twisted; are you not?" asked Nurse Jane,
politely.

"Oh, so I am," said Uncle Wiggily.  "I mean flying my kite and spinning
my top."

Then he pinkled his twink nose--Ah! you see that's the time I was
twisted--I mean he twinkled his pink nose, Uncle Wiggily did, and out
he went to watch the animal boys play marbles.

Billie, Johnnie and Jimmie, as well as Sammie, wanted the bunny uncle
to play also, but he said his rheumatism hurt too much to bend over.
So he just watched the marble game, until it was time for the boys to
go home.  And then Johnnie cried:

"Oh, I forgot!  I have to go to the store for a loaf of bread for
supper.  Come on, fellows, with me, will you?"

But neither Jimmie, nor Sammie nor Billie wanted to go with Johnnie, so
he started off through the woods to the store alone, when Uncle Wiggily
cried:

"Wait a minute, Johnnie, and I'll go with you.  I haven't had my walk
this day, and I have had no adventure at all.  I'll go along and see
what happens."

"Oh, that will be nice!" chattered Johnnie, who did not like to go to
the store alone.  So, putting his marbles in the bag in which he
carried them, he ran along beside Uncle Wiggily.

They had not gone far when, all of a sudden, there came a strong puff
of wind, and, before Uncle Wiggily could hold his hat down over his
ears, it was blown off his head.  I mean his hat was--not his ears.

Away through the trees the tall silk hat was blown.

"Oh, dear!" cried the bunny uncle.  "I guess I am not going to have a
nice adventure today."

"I'll get your hat for you, Uncle Wiggily!" said Johnnie kindly.  "You
hold my bag of marbles so I can run faster, and I'll get the hat for
you."

Tossing the rabbit gentleman the marbles, away scampered Johnnie after
the hat.  But the wind kept on blowing it, and the squirrel boy had to
run a long way.

"Well, I hope he gets it and brings it back to me," thought Uncle
Wiggily, as he sat down on a green, moss-covered stone to wait for the
squirrel boy.  And, while he was waiting the bunny uncle opened the bag
and looked at Johnnie's marbles.  There were green ones, and blue and
red and pink--very pretty, all of them.

"I wonder if I have forgotten how to play the games I used to enjoy
when I was a boy rabbit?" thought the bunny gentleman.  "Just now, when
no one is here in tile woods to laugh at me, I think I'll try and see
how well I can shoot marbles."

So he marked out a ring on the ground, and putting some marbles in the
center began shooting at them with another marble, just the way you
boys do.

"Ha!  A good shot!" cried the bunny uncle, as he knocked two marbles
out of the ring at once.  "I am not so old as I thought I was, even if
I have the rheumatism."

He was just going to shoot again when a growling voice over behind a
bush said:

"Well, you will not have it much longer."

"Have what much longer?" asked Uncle Wiggily, and glancing up, there he
saw a big bear, not at all polite looking.

"You won't have the rheumatism much longer," the bear said.

"Why not?" Uncle Wiggily wanted to know.

"Because," answered the bear, "I am going to eat you up and the
rheumatism, too.  Here I come!" and he made a jump for the bunny uncle.
But did he catch him?

That bear did not, for he stepped on one of the round marbles, which
rolled under his paw and he fell down ker-punko! on his nose-o!

Uncle Wiggily started to run away, but he did not like to go and leave
Johnnie's marbles on the ground, so he stayed to pick them up, and by
then the bear stood up on his hind legs again, and grabbed the bunny
uncle in his sharp claws.

"Ah ha!  Now I have you!" said the bear, grillery and growlery like.

"Yes, I see you have," sadly spoke Uncle Wiggily.  "But before you take
me off to your den, which I suppose you will do, will you grant me one
favor?"

"Yes, and only one," growled the bear.  "Be quick about it!  What is
it?"

"Will you let me have one more shot?" asked the bunny uncle.  "I want
to see if I can knock the other marbles out of the ring."

"Well, I see no harm in that," slowly grumbled the bear.  "Go ahead.
Shoot!"

Uncle Wiggily picked out the biggest shooter in Johnnie's bag.  Then he
took careful aim, but, instead of aiming at the marbles in the ring he
aimed at the soft and tender nose of the bear.

"Bing!" went the marble which Uncle Wiggily shot, right on the bear's
nose.  "Bing!" And the bear was so surprised and kerslostrated that he
cried:

"Wow!  Ouch!  Oh, lollypops!  Oh, sweet spirits of nitre!"  And away he
ran through the woods to hold his nose in a soft bank of mud, for he
thought a bee had stung him.  And so he didn't bite Uncle Wiggily after
all.

"Well, I guess I can play marbles nearly as well as I used to," laughed
the bunny uncle when Johnnie came back with the tall silk hat.

And when Mr. Longears told the boy squirrel about shooting the bear on
the nose, Johnnie laughed and said he could have done no better himself.

So everything came out all right, you see, and if the butterfly doesn't
try to stand on its head and tickle the June bug under the chin, I'll
tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and Billie's top.




STORY XXII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND BILLIE'S TOP

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice rabbit gentleman, was sitting on the
front porch of his hollow stump bungalow one day, when along came
Billie Bushytail, the little squirrel boy.

"Hello, Billie!" called the bunny gentleman, cheerful-like and happy,
for his rheumatism did not hurt him much that day.  "Hello, Billie."

"Hello, Uncle Wiggily," answered the chattery squirrel chap.  Then he
came up and sat down on the porch, but he seemed so quiet and
thoughtful that Uncle Wiggily asked:

"Is anything the matter, Billie?"

"No--well--that is, nothing much," said the squirrel boy slowly, "but
I'd like to ask you what you'd buy if you had five cents, Uncle
Wiggily."

"What would I buy if I had five cents, Billie?  Well now, let me see.
I think I'd buy two postage stamps and a funny postcard and write some
letters to my friends.  What would you buy, Billie?"

"I'd buy a spinning top, Uncle Wiggily," said the little squirrel boy,
very quickly.  "Only, you see, I haven't any five cents.  You have,
though, haven't you Uncle Wiggily?  Eh?"

"Why, yes, Billie, I think so," and the old gentleman rabbit put his
paw in his pocket to make sure.

"This is a funny world," said Billie with a long, sorrowful sigh.
"Here you are with five cents and you don't want a top, and here I am
without five cents and I do want a spinning top.  Oh, dear!"

"Ha!  Ha!  Ha!" laughed Uncle Wiggily in his most jolly fashion.  "I
see what you mean, Billie.  Now you just come along with me," and Uncle
Wiggily picked up off the porch his red, white and blue striped
barber-pole rheumatism crutch that Nurse Jane had gnawed for him out of
a cornstalk.

"Where are we going?" asked Billie, sort of hopeful-like and expectant.

"I'm going to the top store to buy a spinning top," answered bunny
uncle.  "If you think I ought to have one, why I'll get it."

"Oh, all right," said Billie, sort of funny-like.  "Do you know how to
spin a top, Uncle Wiggily?"

"Well, I used to when I was a young rabbit, and I guess I can remember
a little about it.  Come along and help me pick out a nice one."

So the bunny uncle and the squirrel boy went on and on through the
woods to the top store kept by Mrs. Spin Spider, who had a little toy
shop in which she worked when she was not spinning silk for the animal
ladies' dresses.

"One of your best tops for myself, if you please," said Uncle Wiggily,
as he and Billie went into the toy store.  Mrs. Spin Spider put a
number of tops on the counter.

"That's the kind you want!" cried Billie, as he saw a big red one, and
pointed his paw at it.

"Try it and see how it spins," said the bunny man.

Billie wound the string on the top, and then, giving it a throw, while
he kept hold of one end of the cord, he made the top spin as fast as
anything on the floor of the store.  Around and around whizzed the red
top, like the electric fan on Uncle Wiggily's airship.

"Is that a good top for me, Billie?" asked Mr. Longears.

"A very good top," said the squirrel boy.  "Fine!"

"Then I'll take it," said Uncle Wiggily, and he paid for it and walked
out, Billie following.

If the little chattery squirrel chap was disappointed at not getting a
top for himself, he said nothing about it, which was very brave and
good, I think.  He just walked along until they came to a nice,
smooth-dirt place in the woods, and then Uncle Wiggily said:

"Let me see you spin my top, Billie.  I want to watch you and see how
it's done--how you wind the string on, how you throw it down to the
ground and all that.  You just give me some lessons in top-spinning,
please."

"I will," said Billie.  So he wound the string on the top again and
soon it was spinning as fast as anything on the hard ground in the
woods.

"Do you want me to show you how to pick up a top, and let it spin on
your paw?" asked Billie, of Uncle Wiggily.

"Yes, show me all the tricks there are," said the bunny gentleman.

So, while the top was spinning very fast, Billie picked it up, and,
holding it on his paw, quickly put it over on Uncle Wiggily's paw.

"Ouch!  It tickles!" cried the bunny uncle, sort of giggling like.

"Yes, a little," laughed Billie, "but I don't mind that.  Now I'll show
you how to pick it up."

Once more he spun the top, and he was just going to pick it up when,
all of a sudden, a growling voice cried:

"Ah, ha!  Again I am in luck!  A rabbit and a squirrel!  Let me see;
which shall I take first?"  And out from behind a stump popped a big
bear.  It was the same one that Uncle Wiggily had hit on the nose with
Johnnie's marble, about a week before.

"Oh, my!" said the bunny man.

"Oh, dear!" chattered Billie.

"Surprised to see me, aren't you?" asked the bear sticking out his
tongue.

"A little," answered Uncle Wiggily, "but I guess we'd better be getting
along Billie.  Pick up my top and come along."

"Oh, oh!  Not so fast!" growled the bear.  "I shall want you to stay
with me.  You'll be going off with me to my den, pretty soon.  Don't be
in a hurry," and, putting out his claws, he grabbed hold of Uncle
Wiggily and Billie.  They tried to get away, but could not, and the
bear was just going to carry them off, when he saw the spinning top
whizzing on the ground.

"What's that red thing?" he asked.

"A top Billie just picked out for me," said Uncle Wiggily.

"Would you like to have it spin on your paw?" asked Billie, blinking
his eyes at Uncle Wiggily, funny-like.

"Oh, I might as well, before I carry you off to my den," said the bear,
sort of careless-like and indifferent.  "Spin the top on my paw."

So Billie picked up the spinning top and put it on the bear's broad,
flat paw.  And, no sooner was it there, whizzing around, than the bear
cried:

"Ouch!  Oh, dear!  How it tickles.  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  It
makes me laugh.  It makes me laugh.  It makes me giggle!  Ouch!  Oh,
dear!"

And then he laughed so hard that he dropped the top and turned a
somersault, and away he ran through the woods, leaving Billie and Uncle
Wiggily safe there alone.

"We came out of that very well," said the bunny uncle as the bear ran
far away.

"Yes, indeed, and here is your top," spoke Billie, picking it up off
the ground where the bear had dropped it.

"My top?  No that's yours," said the bunny gentleman.  "I meant it for
you all the while."

"Oh, did you?  Thank you so much!" cried happy Billie, and then he ran
off to spin his red top, while Mr. Longears went back to his bungalow.

And if the sofa pillow doesn't leak its feathers all over, and make the
room look like a bird's nest at a moving picture picnic, I'll tell you
in the next story about Uncle Wiggily and the sunbeam.




STORY XXIII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SUNBEAM

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice rabbit gentleman, was walking along in
the woods one day, sort of hopping and leaning on his red, white and
blue striped rheumatism crutch, and he was wondering whether or not he
would have an adventure, when, all at once, he heard a little voice
crying:

"Oh, dear!  I never can get up!  I never can get up!  Oh, dear!"

"Ha! that sounds like some one who can't get out of bed," exclaimed the
bunny uncle.  "I wonder who it can be?  Perhaps I can help them."

So he looked carefully around, but he saw no one, and he was just about
to hop along, thinking perhaps he had made a mistake, and had not heard
anything after all, when, suddenly, the voice sounded again, and called
out:

"Oh, I can't get up!  I can't get up!  Can't you shine on me this way?"

"No, I am sorry to say I cannot," answered another voice.  "But try to
push your way through, and then I can shine on you, and make you grow."

There was silence for a minute, and then the first voice said again:

"Oh, it's no use!  I can't push the stone from over my head.  Oh, such
trouble as I have!"

"Trouble, eh?" cried Uncle Wiggily.  "Here is where I come in.  Who are
you, and what is the trouble?" he asked, looking all around, and seeing
nothing but the shining sun.

"Here I am, down in the ground near your left hind leg," was the
answer.  "I am a woodland flower and I have just started to grow.  But
when I tried to put my head up out of the ground, to get air, and drink
the rain water, I find I cannot do it.  A big stone is in the way,
right over my head, and I cannot push it aside to get up.  Oh, dear!"
sighed the Woodland flower.

"Oh, don't worry about that!" cried Uncle Wiggily, in his jolly voice.
"I'll lift the stone off your head for you," and he did, just as he
once had helped a Jack-in-the-pulpit flower to grow up, as I have told
you in another story.  Under the stone were two little pale green
leaves on a stem that was just cracking its way up through the brown
earth.

"There you are!" cried the bunny uncle.  "But you don't look much like
a flower."

"Oh!  I have only just begun to grow," was the answer.  "And I never
would have been a flower if you had not taken the stone from me.  You
see, when I was a baby flower, or seed, I was covered up in my warm bed
of earth.  Then came the cold winter, and I went to sleep.  When spring
came I awakened and began to grow, but in the meanwhile this stone was
put over me.  I don't know by whom.  But it held me down.

"But now I am free, and my pale green leaves will turn to dark green,
and soon I will blossom out into a flower."

"How will all that happen?" Uncle Wiggily asked.

"When the sunbeam shines on me," answered the blossom.  "That is why I
wanted to get above the stone--so the sunbeam could shine on me and
warm me."

"And I will begin to do it right now!" exclaimed the sunbeam, who had
been playing about on the leaves of the trees, waiting for a chance to
shine on the green plant and turn it into a beautiful flower.  "Thank
you, Uncle Wiggily, for taking the stone off the leaves so I could
shine on them," went on the sunbeam, who had known Uncle Wiggily for
some time.  "Though I am strong I am not strong enough to lift stones,
nor was the flower.  But now I can do my work.  I thank you, and I hope
I may do you a favor some time."

"Thank you," Uncle Wiggily said, with a low bow, raising his tall silk
hat.  "I suppose you sunbeams are kept very busy shining on, and
warming, all the plants and trees in the woods?"

"Yes, indeed!" answered the yellow sunbeam, who was a long, straight
chap.  "We have lots of work to do, but we are never too busy to shine
for our friends."

Then the sunbeam played about the little green plant, turning the pale
leaves a darker color and swelling out the tiny buds.  Uncle Wiggily
walked on through the woods, glad that he had had even this little
adventure.

It was a day or so after this that the bunny uncle went to the store
for Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady, who kept his hollow stump
bungalow so nice and tidy.

"I want a loaf of bread, a yeast cake and three pounds of sugar," said
Nurse Jane.

"It will give me great pleasure to get them for you," answered the
rabbit gentleman politely.  On his way home from the store with the
sugar, bread and yeast cake, Uncle Wiggily thought he would hop past
the place where he had lifted the stone off the head of the plant, to
see how it was growing.  And, as he stood there, looking at the flower,
which was much taller than when the bunny uncle had last seen it, all
of a sudden there was a rustling in the bushes, and out jumped a bad
old fox.

"Ah, ha!" barked the fox, like a dog.  "You are just the one I want to
see!"

"You want to see me?" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily.  "I think you must be
mistaken," he went on politely.

"Oh, no, not at all!" barked the fox.  "You have there some sugar, some
bread and a yeast cake; have you not?"

"I have," answered Uncle Wiggily.

"Well, then, you may give me the bread and sugar and after I eat them I
will start in on you.  I will take you off to my den, to my dear little
foxes.  Eight, Nine and Ten.  They have numbers instead of names, you
see."

"But I don't want to give you Nurse Jane's sugar and bread, and go with
you to your den," said the rabbit gentleman.  "I don't want to!  I
don't like it!"

"You can't always do as you like," barked the fox.  "Quick now--the
sugar and bread!"

"What about the yeast cake?" asked Uncle Wiggily, as he held it out,
all wrapped in shiny tinfoil, like a looking-glass.  "What about the
yeast cake?"

"Oh, throw it away!" growled the fox.

"No, don't you do it!" whispered a voice in Uncle Wiggily's ear, and
there was the sunbeam he had met the other day.  "Hold out the yeast
cake and I will shine on it very brightly, and then I'll slant, or
bounce off from it, into the eyes of the fox," said the sunbeam.  "And
when I shine in his eyes I'll tickle him, and he'll sneeze, and you can
run away."

So Uncle Wiggily held out the bright yeast cake.  Quick as a flash the
sunbeam glittered on it, and then reflected itself into the eyes of the
fox.

"Ker-chool!" he sneezed.  "Ker-chooaker-choo!" and tears came into the
fox's eyes, so he could not see Uncle Wiggily, who, after thanking the
sunbeam, hurried safely back to his bungalow with the things for Nurse
Jane.

So the fox got nothing at all but a sneeze, you see, and when he had
cleared the tears out of his eyes Uncle Wiggily was gone.  So the
sunbeam did the bunny gentleman a favor after all, and if the coal man
doesn't put oranges in our cellar, in mistake for apples when he brings
a barrel of wood, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the puff
ball.




STORY XXIV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PUFF BALL

"Are you going for a walk to-day, as you nearly always do, Uncle
Wiggily?" asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, of the
rabbit gentleman, as he got up from the breakfast table in the hollow
stump bungalow one morning.

"Why, yes, Janie, I am going for a walk in the woods very soon,"
answered Uncle Wiggily.  "Is there anything I can do for you?"

"There is," said the muskrat lady.  "Something for yourself, also."

"What is it?" Uncle Wiggily wanted to know, sort of making his pink
nose turn orange color by looking up at the sun and sneezing.  "What is
it that I can do for myself as well as for you, Janie?"

"Cream puffs," answered Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy.

"Cream puffs?" cried the bunny uncle, hardly knowing whether his
housekeeper was fooling or in earnest.

"Yes, I want some cream puffs for supper, and if you stop at the
baker's and get them you will be doing yourself a favor as well as me,
for we will both eat them."

"Right gladly will I do it," Uncle Wiggily made answer.  "Cream puffs I
shall bring from the baker's," and then, whistling a funny little tune,
away he hopped to the woods.

It did not take him long to get to the place where the baker had his
shop.  And in a few minutes Uncle Wiggily was on his way back with some
delicious cream puffs in a basket.

"I'll take them home to Nurse Jane for supper," thought the bunny
uncle, "and then I can keep on with my walk, looking for an adventure."

You know what cream puffs are, I dare say.  They are little, round,
puffy balls made of something like piecrust, and they are hollow.  The
inside is filled with something like corn-starch pudding, only nicer.

Uncle Wiggily was going along with the cream puffs in his basket when,
coming to a nice place in the woods, where the sun shone on a green,
mossy log, the bunny uncle said:

"I will sit down here a minute and rest."

So he did, but he rested longer than he meant to, for, before he knew
it, he fell asleep.  And while he slept, along came a bad old weasel,
who is as sly as a fox.  And the weasel, smelling the cream puffs in
the basket, slyly lifted the cover and took every one out, eating them
one after the other.

"Now to play a trick on Uncle Wiggily," said the weasel in a whisper,
for the bunny uncle was still sleeping.  So the bad creature found a
lot of puff balls in the woods, and put them in the basket in place of
the cream puffs.

Puff balls grow on little plants.  They are brown and round and hollow,
and, so far, they are like cream puffs, except that inside they have a
brown, fluffy powder that flies all over when you break the puff ball.
And, if you are not careful, it gets in your eyes and nose and makes
you sneeze.

"I should like to see what Uncle Wiggily and Nurse Jane do when they
open the basket, and find puff balls instead of cream puffs," snickered
the weasel as he went off, licking his chops, where the cornstarch
pudding stuff was stuck on his whiskers.  "It will be a great joke on
them!"

But let us see what happens.

Uncle Wiggily awakened from his sleep in the woods, and started off
toward his hollow stump bungalow.

"I declare!" he cried.  "That sleep made me hungry.  I shall be glad to
eat some of the cream puffs I have in my basket."

"What's that?" asked a sharp voice in the bushes.  "What did you say
you had in the basket?"

"Cream puffs," answered Uncle Wiggily, without thinking, and then, all
of a sudden, out jumped the bad old skillery-scalery alligator with the
humps on his tail.

"Ha!  Cream puffs!" cried the 'gator, as I call him for short, though
he was rather long.  "Cream puffs!  If there is one thing I like more
than another it is cream puffs!  It is lucky you brought them with you,
or I would have nothing for dessert when I have you for supper."

"Are you--are you going to have me for supper?" asked Uncle Wiggily,
sort of anxious like.

"I am!" cried the alligator, positively.  "But I will eat the dessert
first.  Give me those cream puffs!" he cried and he made a grab for the
bunny's basket, and, reaching in, scooped out the puff balls, thinking
they were cream puffs.  The 'gator, without looking, took one bite and
a chew and then----

"Oh, my!  Ker-sneezio!  Ker-snitzio!  Ker-choo!" he sneezed as the
powder from the puff balls went up his nose and into his eyes.  "Oh,
what funny cream puffs!  Wow!"  And, not stopping to so much as nibble
at Uncle Wiggily, away ran the alligator to get a drink of lemonade.

[Illustration: "Ker-sneezio!  Ker-snitzio!  Ker-choo!" he sneezed as
the powder from the puff balls went up his nose and into his eyes.]

So you see, after all, the weasel's trick saved Uncle Wiggily, who soon
went back to the store for more cream puffs--real ones this time, and
he got safely home with them.

And nothing else happened that day.  But if the trolley car stops
running down the street to play with the jitney bus, so the pussy cat
can have a ride when it wants to go shopping in the three and four-cent
store, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the May flowers.




STORY XXV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE MAY FLOWERS

"Rat-a-tat!" came a knock on the door of the hollow stump bungalow,
where Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, lived in the woods
with Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, his muskrat lady housekeeper.

"My!  Some one is calling early to-day!" said the bunny uncle.

"Sit still and eat your breakfast," spoke Nurse Jane.  "I'll see who it
is."

When she opened the door there stood Jimmie Wibblewobble, the boy duck.

"Why where are you going so early this morning, Jimmie?" asked Uncle
Wiggily.

"I'm going to school," answered the Wibblewobble chap, who was named
that because his tail did wibble and wobble from side to side when he
walked.

"Aren't you a bit early?" asked Mr. Longears.

"I came early to get you," said Jimmie.  "Will you come for a walk with
me, Uncle Wiggily?  We can walk toward the hollow stump school, where
the lady mouse teaches us our lessons."

"Why, it's so very early," Uncle Wiggily went on.  "I have hardly had
my breakfast.  Why so early, Jimmie?"

The duck boy whispered in Uncle Wiggily's ear:

"I want to go early so I can gather some May flowers for the teacher.
This is the first day of May, you know, and the flowers that have been
wet by the April showers ought to be blossoming now."

"So they had!" cried Uncle Wiggily.  "I'll hurry with my breakfast,
Jimmie, and we'll go gathering May flowers in the woods."

Soon the bunny uncle and the boy duck were walking along where the
green trees grew up out of the carpet of soft green moss.

"Oh, here are some yellow violets!" cried Jimmie, as he saw some near
an old stump.

"Yes, and I see some white ones!" cried the bunny uncle, as he picked
them, while Jimmie plucked the yellow violets with his strong bill,
which was also yellow in color.

Then they went on a little farther and saw some bluebells growing, and
the bluebell flowers were tinkling a pretty little tinkle tune.

The bluebells even kept on tinkling after Jimmie had picked them for
his bouquet.  The boy duck waddled on a little farther and all of a
sudden, he cried:

"Oh, what a funny flower this is, Uncle Wiggily.  It's just like the
little ice cream cones that come on Christmas trees, only it's covered
with a flap, like a leaf, and under the flap is a little green thing,
standing up.  What is it?"

"That is a Jack-in-the-pulpit," answered the bunny uncle, "and the Jack
is the funny green thing.  Jack preaches sermons to the other flowers,
telling them how to be beautiful and make sweet perfume."

"I'm going to put a Jack in the bouquet for the lady mouse teacher,"
said Jimmie, and he did.

Then he and Uncle Wiggily went farther and farther on in the woods,
picking May flowers, and they were almost at the hollow stump school
when, all at once, from behind a big stone popped the bad
ear-scratching cat.

"Ah, ha!" howled the cat.  "I am just in time I see.  I haven't
scratched any ears in ever and ever so long.  And you have such nice,
big ears, Uncle Wiggily, that it is a real pleasure to scratch them!"

"Do you mean it is a pleasure for me, or for you?" asked the bunny
uncle, softly like.

"For me, of course!" meaouwed the cat.  "Get ready now for the
ear-scratching!  Here I come!"

"Oh, please don't scratch my ears!" begged Uncle Wiggily.  "Please
don't!"

"Yes, I shall!" said the bad cat, stretching out his claws.

"Would you mind scratching my ears, instead of Uncle Wiggily's?" asked
Jimmie.  "I'll let you scratch mine all you want to."

"I don't want to," spoke the cat.  "Your ears are so small that it is
no pleasure for me to scratch them--none at all."

"It was very kind of you to offer your ears in place of mine," said
Uncle Wiggily to the duck boy.  "But I can't let you do that.  Go on,
bad cat, if you are going to scratch my ears, please do it and have it
over with."

"All right!" snarled the cat.  "I'll scratch your ears!"  She was just
going to do it, when Jimmie suddenly picked up a new flower, and
holding it toward the cat cried:

"No, you can't scratch Uncle Wiggily's ears!  This is a dog-tooth
violet I have just picked, and if you harm Uncle Wiggily I'll make the
dog-tooth violet bite you!"

And then the big violet went: "Bow!  Wow!  Wow!" just like a dog, and
the cat thinking a dog was after him, meaouwed:

"Oh, my!  Oh, dear!  This is no place for me!" and away he ran, not
scratching Uncle Wiggily at all.

Then Jimmie put the dog-tooth violet (which did not bark any more) in
his bouquet and the lady mouse teacher liked the May flowers very much.
Uncle Wiggily took his flowers to Nurse Jane.

And if the umbrella doesn't turn inside out, so its ribs get all wet
and sneeze the handle off, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and
the beech tree.




STORY XXVI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BEECH TREE

"Will you go to the store for me, Uncle Wiggily?" asked Nurse Jane
Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, of the rabbit gentleman one
day, as he sat out on the porch of his hollow stump bungalow in the
woods.

"Indeed I will, Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy," said Mr. Longears, most politely.
"What is it you want?"

"A loaf of bread and a pound of sugar," she answered, and Uncle Wiggily
started off.

"Better take your umbrella," Nurse Jane called after him.  "All the
April showers are not yet over, even if it is May."

So the rabbit gentleman took his umbrella.

On his way to the store through the woods, the bunny uncle came to a
big beech tree, which had nice, shiny white bark on it, and, to his
surprise the rabbit gentleman saw a big black bear, standing up on his
hind legs and scratching at the tree bark as hard as he could.

"Ha!  That is not the right thing to do," said Uncle Wiggily to
himself.  "If that bear scratches too much of the bark from the tree
the tree will die, for the bark of a tree is just like my skin is to
me.  I must drive the bear away."

The bear, scratching the bark with his sharp claws, stood with his back
to Uncle Wiggily, and the rabbit gentleman thought he could scare the
big creature away.

So Uncle Wiggily picked up a stone, and throwing it at the bear, hit
him on the back, where the skin was so thick it hurt hardly at all.

And as soon as he had thrown the stone Uncle Wiggily in his loudest
voice shouted:

"Bang!  Bang!  Bungity-bang-bung!"

"Oh, my goodness!" cried the bear, not turning around.  "The hunter man
with his gun must be after me.  He has shot me once, but the bullet did
not hurt.  I had better run away before he shoots me again!"

And the bear ran away, never once looking around, for he thought the
stone Mr. Longears threw was a bullet from a gun, you see, and he
thought when Uncle Wiggily said "Bang!" that it was a gun going off.
So the bunny gentleman scared the bear away.

"Thank you, Uncle Wiggily," said the beech tree.  "You saved my life by
not letting the bear scratch off all my bark."

"I am glad I did," spoke the rabbit, making a polite bow with his tall
silk hat, for Mr. Longears was polite, even to a tree.

"The bear would not stop scratching my bark when I asked him to," went
on the beech tree, "so I am glad you came along, and scared him.  You
did me a great favor and I will do you one if I ever can."

"Thank you," spoke Uncle Wiggily, and then he hopped on to the store to
get the loaf of bread and the pound of sugar for Nurse Jane.

It was on the way back from the store that an adventure happened to
Uncle Wiggily.  He came to the place where his friend the beech tree
was standing up in the woods, and a balsam tree, next door to it, was
putting some salve, or balsam, on the places where the bear had
scratched off the bark, to make the cuts heal.

Then, all of a sudden, out from behind a bush jumped the same bad bear
that had done the scratching.

"Ah, ha!" growled the bear, as soon as he saw Uncle Wiggily, "you can't
fool me again, making believe a stone is a bullet, and that your
'Bang!' is a gun!  You can't fool me!  I know all about the trick you
played on me.  A little bird, sitting up in a tree, saw it and told me!"

"Well," said Uncle Wiggily slowly, "I'm sorry I had to fool you, but it
was all for the best.  I wanted to save the beech tree."

"Oh, I don't care!" cried the bear, saucy like and impolitely.  "I'm
going to scratch as much as I like!"

"My goodness!  You're almost as bad as the ear-scratching cat!" said
Uncle Wiggily.  "I guess I'd better run home to my hollow stump
bungalow."

"No, you don't!" cried the bear, and, reaching out his claws, he caught
hold of Uncle Wiggily, who, with his umbrella, and the bread and sugar,
was standing under the beech tree.  "You can't get away from me like
that," and the bear held tightly to the bunny uncle.

"Oh, dear!  What are you going to do to me?" asked the rabbit gentleman.

"First, I'll bite you," said the bear.  "No, I guess I'll first scratch
you.  No, I won't either.  I'll scrite you; that's what I'll do.  I'll
scrite you!"

"What's scrite?" asked Uncle Wiggily, curious like.

"It's a scratch and a bite made into one," said the bear, "and now I'm
going to do it."

"Oh, ho!  No, you aren't!" suddenly cried the beech tree, who had been
thinking of a way to save Uncle Wiggily.  "No, you don't scrite my
friend!"  And with that the brave tree gave itself a shiver and shake,
and shook down on the bear a lot of sharp, three-cornered beech nuts.
They fell on the bear's soft and tender nose and the sharp edges hurt
him so that he cried:

"Wow!  Ouch!  I guess I made a mistake!  I must run away!"

And away he ran from the shower of sharp beech nuts which didn't hurt
Uncle Wiggily at all because he raised his umbrella and kept them off.
Then he thanked the tree for having saved him from the bear and went
safely home.  And if the cow bell doesn't moo in its sleep, and wake up
the milkman before it's time to bring the molasses for breakfast, I'll
tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the bitter medicine.




STORY XXVII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BITTER MEDICINE

"How is Jackie this morning, Mrs. Bow Wow?" asked Uncle Wiggily
Longears, the rabbit gentleman, one day, as he stopped at the kennel
where the dog lady lived with her two little boys, Jackie and Peetie
Bow Wow, the puppies.  "How is Jackie?"

"Jackie is not so well, I'm sorry to say," answered Mrs. Bow Wow, as
she looked carefully along the back fence to see if there were any bad
cats there who might meaouw, and try to scratch the puppies.

"Not so well?  I am sorry to hear that," spoke the bunny uncle.
"What's seems to be the matter?"

"Oh, you know Jackie and Peetie both had the measles," went on Mrs. Bow
Wow.  "They seemed to get over them nicely, at least Peetie did, but
then Jackie caught the epizootic, and he has to stay in bed a week
longer, and take bitter medicine."

"Bitter medicine, eh?" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily.  "I am sorry to hear
that, for I don't like bitter medicine myself."

"Neither does Jackie," continued Mrs. Bow Wow.  "In fact, he really
doesn't know whether he likes this bitter medicine or not."

"Why, not?" asked the rabbit gentleman.

"Because we can't get him to take a drop," said the puppy dog boy's
mother.  "Not a drop will he take, though I have fixed it up for him
with orange juice and sugar and even put it in a lollypop.  But he
won't take it, and Dr. Possum says he won't get well unless he takes
the bitter medicine."

"Well, Dr. Possum ought to know," said Uncle Wiggily.  "But why don't
you ask him a good way to give the medicine to Jackie?"

"That's what I'm waiting out here for now," said Mrs. Bow Wow.  "I want
to catch Dr. Possum when he comes past, and ask him to come in and give
Jackie the medicine.  The poor boy really needs it to make him well."

"Of course he does," agreed Uncle Wiggily.  "And while you are waiting
for Dr. Possum I'll see what I can do."

"What are you going to do?" asked Mrs. Bow Wow, as the bunny uncle
started for the dog kennel.

"I'm going to try to make Jackie take his bitter medicine.  You just
stay out here a little while."

"Well, I hope you do it, but I'm afraid you won't," spoke Mrs. Bow Wow
with a sigh.  "I've tried all the ways I know.  I was just going, as
you came along, to get a toy balloon, blow it up, and put the medicine
inside.  Then I was going to let Jackie burst it by sticking a pin in
it.  And I thought when the balloon exploded the medicine might be
blown down his throat."

"Oh, well, I think I have a better way than that," said Uncle Wiggily
with a laugh.  He went in where Jackie, who had the measles-epizootic,
was in bed.  "Good morning, Jackie," said the bunny uncle.  "How are
you?"

"Not very well," answered Jackie, the puppy dog boy.  "But I'm glad to
see you.  I'm not going to take the bitter medicine even for you,
though, Uncle Wiggily."

"Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  Just you wait until you're asked!" cried Mr. Longears
in his most jolly voice.  "Now let me have a look at that bitter
medicine which is making so much trouble.  Where is it?"

"In that cup on the chair," and Jackie pointed to it near his bed.

"I see," said Uncle Wiggily, looking at it.  "Now, Jackie, I'm a good
friend of yours, and you wouldn't mind just holding this cup of bitter
medicine in your paw, would you, to please me?"

"Oh, I'll do that for you, Uncle Wiggily, but I'll not take it," Jackie
said.

"Never mind about that," laughed the bunny uncle.  "Just hold the
medicine in your paw, so," and Jackie did as he was told.  "Now, would
you mind holding it up to your lips, as if you were going to make
believe take it?" asked Uncle Wiggily.  "Mind you, don't you dare take
a drop of it.  Just hold the cup to your lips, but don't swallow any."

"Why do you want me to do that?" asked Jackie, as he did what Uncle
Wiggily asked.

"Because I want to draw a picture of you making believe take bitter
medicine," said the bunny, as he took out pencil and paper.  "I'll show
it to any other of my little animal friends, who may not like their
medicine, and I'll say to them: 'See how brave Jackie is to take his
bitter medicine.'  Of course, I won't tell them you really were afraid
to take it," and without saying any more Uncle Wiggily began to draw
the puppy dog boy's picture on the paper.

"Hold the cup a little nearer to your lips, and tip it up a bit,
Jackie," said the bunny man.  "But, mind you, don't swallow a drop.
That's it, higher up!  Tip it more.  I want the picture to look
natural."

Jackie tipped the cup higher, holding it close to his mouth, and threw
back his head, and then Uncle Wiggily suddenly cried: "Ouch!"  And
Jackie was so surprised that he opened his mouth and before he knew it
he had swallowed the bitter medicine!

[Illustration: Jackie was so surprised that he opened his mouth.]

"Oh, why I took it!" he cried.  "It went down my throat!  And it wasn't
so bad, after all."

"I thought it wouldn't be," spoke Uncle Wiggily, as he finished the
picture of Jackie, and now he could really say it showed the doggie boy
actually taking the medicine, for Jackie did take it.

So Dr. Possum didn't have to come in to see Jackie after all to make
him swallow the bitter stuff, and the little chap was soon all well
again.  And if the clothesline doesn't try to jump rope with the Jack
in the Box, and upset the washtub, I'll tell you next about Uncle
Wiggily and the pine cones.




STORY XXVIII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PINE CONES

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice rabbit gentleman, was out walking in
the woods one day when he felt rather tired.  He had been looking all
around for an adventure, which was something he liked to have happen to
him, but he had seen nothing like one so far.

"And I don't want to go back to my hollow stump bungalow without having
had an adventure to tell Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy about," said Mr.
Longears.

But, as I said, the rabbit gentleman was feeling rather tired, and,
seeing a nice log covered with a cushion of green moss, he sat down on
that to rest.

"Perhaps an adventure will happen to me here," thought the bunny uncle
as he leaned back against a pine tree to rest.

It was nice and warm in the woods, and, with the sun shining down upon
him, Uncle Wiggily soon dozed off in a little sleep.  But when he
awakened still no adventure had happened to him.

"Well, I guess I must travel on," he said, and he started to get up,
but he could not.  He could not move his back away from the pine tree
against which he had leaned to rest.

"Oh, dear! what has happened," cried the bunny uncle.  "I am stuck
fast!  I can't get away!  Oh, dear!"

At first he thought perhaps the skillery-scalery alligator with the
humps on his tail had come softly up behind him as he slept and had him
in his claws.  But, by sort of looking around backward, Mr. Longears
could see no one--not even a fox.

"But what is it holding me?" he cried, as he tried again and again to
get loose, but could not.

"I am sorry to say I am holding you!" spoke a voice up over Uncle
Wiggily's head.  "I am holding you fast!"

"Who are you, if you please?" asked the rabbit gentleman.

"I am the pine tree against which you leaned your back.  And on my bark
was a lot of sticky pine gum.  It is that which is holding you fast,"
the tree answered.

"Why--why, it's just like sticky flypaper, isn't it?" asked Uncle
Wiggily, trying again to get loose, but not doing so.  "And it is just
like the time you held the bear fast for me."

"Yes, it is; and flypaper is made from my sticky pine gum," said the
tree.  "I am so sorry you are stuck, but I did not see you lean back
against me until it was too late.  And now I can't get you loose, for
my limbs are so high over your head that I can not reach them down to
you.  Try to get loose yourself."

"I will," said Uncle Wiggily, and he did, but he could not get loose,
though he almost pulled out all his fur.  So he cried:

"Help!  Help!  Help!"

Then, all of a sudden, along through the woods came Neddie Stubtail,
the little bear-boy, and Neddie had some butter, which he had just
bought at the store for his mother.

"Oh!" cried the pine tree.  "If you will rub some butter on my sticky
gum, it will loosen and melt it, so Uncle Wiggily will not be stuck any
more."

Neddie did so, and soon the bunny uncle was free.

"Oh, I can't tell you how sorry I am," said the pine tree.  "I am a
horrid creature, of no use in this world, Uncle Wiggily!  Other trees
have nice fruit or nuts or flowers on them, but all I have is sticky
gum, or brown, rough ugly pine cones.  Oh, dear!  I am of no use in the
world!"

"Oh, yes you are!" said Uncle Wiggily, kindly.  "As for having stuck me
fast, that was my own fault.  I should have looked before I leaned
back.  And, as for your pine cones, I dare say they are very useful."

"No, they are not!" said the tree sadly.  "If they were only ice cream
cones they might be some good.  Oh, I wish I were a peach tree, or a
rose bush!"

"Never mind," spoke Uncle Wiggily, "I like your pine cones, and I am
going to take some home with me, and, when I next see you, I shall tell
you how useful they were.  Don't feel so badly."

So Uncle Wiggily gathered a number of the pine cones, which are really
the big, dried seeds of the pine tree, and the bunny uncle took them to
his bungalow with him.

A few days later he was in the woods again and stopped near the pine
tree, which was sighing and wishing it were an umbrella plant or a gold
fish.

"Hush!" cried Uncle Wiggily.  "You must try to do the best you can for
what you are!  And I have come to tell you how useful your pine cones
were."

"Really?" asked the tree, in great surprise.  "Really?"

"Really and truly," answered Uncle Wiggily.  "With some of your cones
Nurse Jane started her kitchen fire when all the wood was wet.  With
others I built a little play house, and amused Lulu Wibblewobble, the
duck girl, when she had the toothache.  And other cones I threw at a
big bear that was chasing me.  I hit him on the nose with them, and he
was glad enough to run away.  So you see how useful you are, pine tree!"

"Oh, I am so glad," said the tree.  "I guess it is better to be just
what you are, and do the best you can," and Uncle Wiggily said it was.

And, if the roof of our house doesn't come down stairs to play with the
kitchen floor and let the rain in on the gold fish, I'll tell you next
about Uncle Wiggily and his torn coat.




STORY XXIX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND HIS TORN COAT

"Do you think I look all right?" asked Uncle Wiggily Longears, the
rabbit gentleman, of Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, his muskrat lady
housekeeper.  He was standing in front of her, turning slowly about,
and he had on a new coat.  For now that Summer was near the bunny uncle
had laid aside his heavy fur coat and was wearing a lighter one.

"Yes, you do look very nice," Nurse Jane said, tying her tail in a knot
so Uncle Wiggily would not step on it as he turned around.

"Nice enough to go to Grandfather Goosey Gander's party?" asked the
rabbit gentleman.

"Oh, yes, indeed!" exclaimed Nurse Jane.  "I didn't know Grandpa Goosey
was to give a party, but, if he is, you certainly look well enough to
go with your new coat.  Of course, it might be better if it had some
lace insertion around the button holes, or a bit of ruching, with
oyster shell trimming sewed down the back, but--"

"Oh, no, indeed!" laughed the bunny uncle.  "If it had those things on
it would be a coat for a lady.  I like mine plainer."

"Well, take care of yourself," called Nurse Jane after him as he hopped
off over the fields and through the woods to the house where
Grandfather Goosey Gander lived.

"Now, I must be very careful not to get my new coat dirty, or I won't
look nice at the party," the old rabbit gentleman was saying to himself
as he hopped along.  "I must be very careful indeed."

He went along as carefully as he could, but, just as he was going down
a little hill, under the trees, he came to a place which was so
slippery that, before he knew it, all of a sudden Uncle Wiggily fell
down and slid to the bottom of the hill.

"My goodness!" he cried, as he stood up after his slide.  "I did not
know there was snow or ice on that hill."

And when he looked there was not, but it was covered with long, thin
pine needles, which are almost as slippery as glass.  It was on these
that the rabbit gentleman had slipped down hill.

"Well, there is no great harm done," said Uncle Wiggily to himself, as
he found no bones broken.  "I had a little slide, that's all.  I must
bring Sammie and Susie Littletail here some day, and let them slide on
pine needle hill.  Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the two squirrels,
would also like it, and so would Nannie and Billie Wagtail, my two goat
friends."

Uncle Wiggily was about to go on to the party when, as he looked at his
new coat he saw that it was all torn.  In sliding down the slippery
pine needle hill the coat had caught on sticks and stones and it had
many holes torn in it, and it was also ripped here and there.

"Oh, dear me!" cried Uncle Wiggily.  "Oh, sorrow!  Oh, unhappiness!
Now I'll have to go back to my hollow stump bungalow and put on my old
coat that isn't torn.  For I never can wear my new one to the party.
That would never do!  But the trouble is, if I go back home I'll be
late!  Oh, dear, what trouble I am in!"

Now was the time for some of Uncle Wiggily's friends to help him in his
trouble, as he had often helped them.  But, as he looked through the
woods, he could not see even a little mouse, or so much as a
grasshopper.

"The tailor bird would be just the one I'd like to see now," said the
rabbit uncle.  "She could mend my torn coat nicely."  For tailor birds,
yon know, can take a piece of grass, with their bill for a needle, and
sew leaves together to make a nest, almost as well as your mother can
mend a hole in your stocking.

But there was no tailor bird in the woods, and Uncle Wiggily did not
know what to do.

"I certainly do not want to be late to Grandpa Goosey's party," said
the bunny uncle, "nor do I want to go to it in a torn coat.  Oh, dear!"

Just then he heard down on the ground near him, a little voice saying:

"Perhaps we could mend your coat for you, Uncle Wiggily."

"You.  Who are you, and how can you mend my torn coat?" the bunny
gentleman wanted to know.

"We are some little black ants," was the answer, "and with the pine
needles lying on the ground--some of the same needles on which you
slipped--we can sew up your coat, with long grass for thread."

"Oh, that will be fine, if you can do it," spoke the bunny uncle.  "Can
you?"

"We'll try," the ants said.  Then, about fourteen thousand six hundred
and twenty-two black ants took each a long, sharp pine needle, and
threading it with grass, they began to sew up the rips and tears in
Uncle Wiggily's coat.  And in places where they could not easily sew
they stuck the cloth together with sticky gum from the pine tree.  So,
though the pine tree was to blame, in a way, for Uncle Wiggily's fall,
it also helped in the mending of his coat.

Soon the coat was almost as good as new and you could hardly tell where
it was torn.  And Uncle Wiggily, kindly thanking the ants, went on to
Grandpa Goosey's party and had a fine time and also some ice cream.

And if the egg beater doesn't take all the raisins out of the rice
pudding, so it looks like a cup of custard going to the moving
pictures, the next story will be about Uncle Wiggily and the sycamore
tree.




STORY XXX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SYCAMORE TREE

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily, I'm going to a party!  I'm going to a party!" cried
Nannie Wagtail, the little goat girl, as she pranced up in front of the
hollow stump bungalow where Mr. Longears, the rabbit gentleman, lived
with Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper.

"Going to a party?  Say, that's just fine!" said the bunny gentleman.
"I wish I were going to one."

"Why, you can come, too!" cried Nannie.  "Jillie Longtail, the little
mouse girl, is giving the party, and I know she will be glad to have
you."

"Well, perhaps, I may stop in for a little while," said Mr. Longears,
with a smile that made his pink nose twinkle like the frosting on a
sponge cake.  "But when is the party going to take place, Nannie?"

"Right away--I'm going there now; but I just stopped at your bungalow
to show you my new shoes that Uncle Butter, the circus poster goat,
bought for me.  Aren't they nice?"  And she stuck out her feet.

"Indeed, they are!" cried Uncle Wiggily, as he looked at the shiny
black shoes which went on over Nannie's hoofs.  "So the party is
to-day, is it?",

"Right now," said Nannie.  "Come on, Uncle Wiggily.  Walk along with me
and go in!  They'll all be glad to see you!"

"Oh, but my dear child!" cried the bunny gentleman.  "I haven't shaved
my whiskers, my ears need brushing, and I would have to do lots of
things to make myself look nice and ready for a party!"

"Oh, dear!" bleated Nannie Wagtail.  "I did so want you to come with
me!"

"Well, I'll walk as far as the Longtail mouse home,"' said the bunny
uncle, "but I won't go in.

"Oh, maybe you will when you get there!" And Nannie laughed, for she
knew Uncle Wiggily always did whatever the animal children wanted him
to do.

So the bunny uncle and Nannie started off through the woods together,
Nannie looking down at her new shoes every now and then.

"I'm going to dance at the party, Uncle Wiggily!" she said.

"I should think you would, Nannie, with those nice new shoes," spoke
Mr. Longears.  "What dance are you going to do?"

"Oh, the four-step and the fish hornpipe, I guess," answered Nannie,
and then she suddenly cried:

"Oh, dear!"

"What's the matter now?" asked Uncle Wiggily.  "Did you lose one of
your new shoes?"

"No, but I splashed some mud on it," the little goat girl said.  "I
stepped in a mud puddle."

"Never mind, I'll wipe it off with a bit of soft green moss," answered
Uncle Wiggily; and he did.  So Nannie's shoes were all clean again.

On and on went the rabbit gentleman and the little goat girl, and they
talked of what games the animal children would play at the Longtail
mouse party, and what good things they would eat, and all like that.

All of a sudden, as Nannie was jumping over another little puddle of
water, she cried out again:

"Oh, dear!"

"What's the matter now?" asked Uncle Wiggily.  "Did some more mud
splash on your new shoes, Nannie?"

"No, Uncle Wiggily, but a lot of the buttons came off.  I guess they
don't fasten buttons on new shoes very tight."

"I guess they don't," Uncle Wiggily said.  "But still you have enough
buttons left to keep the shoes on your feet.  I guess you will be all
right."

So Nannie walked on a little farther, with Uncle Wiggily resting his
rheumatism, now and then, on the red, white and blue striped barber
pole crutch that Nurse Jane had gnawed for him out of a cornstalk.

All of a sudden Nannie cried out again:

"Oh, dear!  Oh, this is too bad!"

"What is?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"Now all the buttons have come off my shoes!" said the little goat
girl, sadly.  "I don't see how I can go on to the party and dance, with
no buttons on my shoes.  They'll be slipping off all the while."

"So they will," spoke Uncle Wiggily.  "Shoes without buttons are like
lollypops without sticks, you can't do anything with them."

"But what am I going to do?" asked Nannie, while tears came into her
eyes and splashed up on her horns.  "I do want so much to go to that
party."

"And I want you to," said Uncle Wiggily.  "Let me think a minute."

So he thought and thought, and then he looked off through the woods and
he saw a queer tree not far away.  It was a sycamore tree, with broad
white patches on the smooth bark, and hanging down from the branches
were lots of round balls, just like shoe buttons, only they were a sort
of brown instead of black.  The balls were the seeds of the tree.

"Ha!  The very thing!" cried the bunny uncle.

"What is?" asked Nannie.

"That sycamore, or button-ball tree," answered the rabbit gentleman.
"I can get you some new shoe buttons off that, Nannie, and sew them on
your shoes."

"Oh, if you can, that will be just fine!" cried the little goat girl.
"For when the buttons came off my new shoes they flew every which
way--I mean the buttons did--and I couldn't find a single one."

"Never mind," Uncle Wiggily kindly said.  "I'll sew on some of the
buttons from the sycamore tree, and everything will be all right."

With a thorn for a needle, and some long grasses for thread, Uncle
Wiggily soon sewed the buttons from the sycamore, or button-ball, tree
on Nannie's new shoes, using the very smallest ones, of course.  Then
Nannie put on her shoes again, having rested her feet on a velvet
carpet of moss, while Uncle Wiggily was sewing, and together they went
on to the Longtail mouse party.

"Oh, what nice shoes you have, Nannie!" cried Susie Littletail, the
rabbit girl.

"And what lovely stylish buttons!" exclaimed Lulu Wibblewobble, the
duck.

"Yes, Uncle Wiggily sewed them on for me," said Nannie.

"Oh, is Uncle Wiggily outside!" cried the little mousie girl.   "He
must come in to our party!"

"Of course!" cried all the other animal children.  And so Uncle
Wiggily, who had walked on past the house after leaving Nannie, had to
come in anyhow, without his whiskers being trimmed, or his ears curled.
And he was so jolly that every one had a good time and lots of ice
cream cheese to eat, and they all thought Nannie's shoes, and the
button-ball buttons, were just fine.

And if the ham sandwich doesn't tickle the cream puff under the chin
and make it laugh so all the chocolate drops off the cocoanut pudding,
I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the red spots.




STORY XXXI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE RED SPOTS

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, was hopping along through
the woods one fine day when he heard a little voice calling to him:

"Oh, Uncle Wiggily!  Will you have a game of tag with me?"

At first the bunny uncle thought the voice might belong to a bad fox or
a harum-scarum bear, but when he had peeked through the bushes he saw
that it was Lulu Wibblewobble, the duck girl, who had called to him.

"Have a game of tag with you?  Why, of course, I will!" laughed Uncle
Wiggily.  "That is, if you will kindly excuse my rheumatism, and the
red, white and blue crutch which Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, my muskrat
lady housekeeper, gnawed for me out of a cornstalk."

"Of course, I'll excuse it, Uncle Wiggily," said Lulu.  "Only please
don't tag me with the end of your crutch, for it tickles me, and when
I'm tickled I have to laugh, and when I laugh I can't play tag."

"I won't tag you with my crutch," spoke Uncle Wiggily with a laugh.
"Now we're ready to begin."

So the little duck girl and the rabbit gentleman played tag there in
the woods, jumping and springing about on the soft mossy green carpet
under the trees.

Sometimes Lulu was "it" and sometimes Uncle Wiggily would be tagged by
the foot or wing of the duck girl, who was a sister to Alice and Jimmie
Wibblewobble.

"Now for a last tag!" cried Uncle Wiggily when it was getting dark in
the woods.  "I'll tag you this time, Lulu, and then we must go home."

"All right," agreed Lulu, and she ran and flew so fast that Uncle
Wiggily could hardly catch her to make her "it."  And finally when
Uncle Wiggily almost had his paw on the duck girl she flew right over a
bush, and, before Uncle Wiggily could stop himself he had run into the
bush until he was half way through it.

[Illustration: Before Uncle Wiggily could stop himself he had run into
the bush.]

But, very luckily, it was not a scratchy briar bush, so no great harm
was done, except that Uncle Wiggily's fur was a bit ruffled up, and he
was tickled.

"I guess I can't tag you this time, Lulu!" laughed the bunny uncle.
"We'll give up the game now, and I'll be 'it' next time when we play."

"Ail right, Uncle Wiggily," said Lulu.  "I'll meet you here in the
woods at this time tomorrow night, and I'll bring Alice and Jimmie with
me, and we'll have lots of fun.  We'll have a grand game of tag!"

"Fine!" cried the bunny uncle, as he squirmed his way out of the bush.

Then he went on to his hollow stump bungalow, and Lulu went on to her
duck pen house to have her supper of corn meal sauce with watercress
salad sprinkled over the sides.

As Uncle Wiggily was sitting down to his supper of carrot ice cream
with lettuce sandwiches all puckered around the edges, Nurse Jane Fuzzy
Wuzzy looked at him across the table, and exclaimed:

"Why, Wiggy!  What's the matter with you?"

"Matter with me?  Nothing, Janie!  I feel just fine!" he said.  "I'm
hungry, that's all!"

"Why, you're all covered with red spots!" went on the muskrat lady.
"You are breaking out with the measles.  I must send for Dr. Possum at
once."

"Measles?  Nonsense!"  exclaimed Uncle Wiggily.  "I can't have 'em
again.  I've had 'em once."

"Well, maybe these are the French or German mustard measles," said the
muskrat lady.  "You are certainly all covered with red spots, and red
spots are always measles."

"Well, what are you going to do about it?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"You must go to bed at once," said Nurse Jane, "and when Dr. Possum
comes he'll tell you what else to do.  Oh, my!  Look at the red spots!"

Uncle Wiggily was certainly as red-spotted as a polka-dot shirt waist.
He looked at himself in a glass to make sure.

"Well, I guess I have the measles all right," he said.  "But I don't
see how I can have them twice.  This must be a different style, like
the new dances."

It was dark when Dr. Possum came, and when he saw the red spots on
Uncle Wiggily, he said:

"Yes, I guess they're the measles all right.  Lots of the animal
children are down with them.  But don't worry.  Keep nice and warm and
quiet, and you'll be all right in a few days."

So Uncle Wiggily went to bed, red spots and all, and Nurse Jane made
him hot carrot and sassafras tea, with whipped cream and chocolate in
it.  The cream was not whipped because it was bad, you know, but only
just in fun, to make it stand up straight.

All the next day the bunny uncle stayed in bed with his red spots,
though he wanted very much to go out in the woods looking for an
adventure.  And when evening came and Nurse Jane was sitting out on the
front porch of the hollow stump bungalow, she suddenly heard a quacking
sound, and along came Lulu, Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, the duck
children.

"Where is Uncle Wiggily?" asked Lulu.

"He is in bed," answered Nurse Jane.

"Why is he in bed?" asked Jimmie.  "Was he bad?"

"No, indeed," laughed Nurse Jane.  "But your Uncle Wiggily is in bed
because he has the red-spotted measles.  What did you want of him?"

"He promised to meet us in the woods, where the green moss grows,"
answered Lulu, "and play tag with us.  We waited and waited, and played
tag all by ourselves tonight, even jumping in the bush, as Uncle
Wiggily accidentally did when he was chasing me, but he did not come
along.  So we came here to see what is the matter."

The three duck children came up on the porch, where the bright light
shone on them from inside the bungalow.

"Oh, my goodness me sakes alive and some paregoric lollypops!" cried
Nurse Jane, as she looked at the three.  "You ducks are all covered
with red spots, too!  You all have the measles!  Oh, my!"

"Measles!" cried Jimmie, the boy duck.

"Measles?  These aren't measles, Nurse Jane!  These are sticky, red
berries from the bushes we jumped in as Uncle Wiggily did.  The red
berries are sticky, like burdock burrs, and they stuck to us."

"Oh, my goodness!" cried Nurse Jane.  "Wait a minute, children!"  Then
she ran to where Uncle Wiggily was lying in bed.  She leaned over and
picked off some of the red spots from his fur.

"Why!" cried the muskrat lady.  "You haven't the measles at all, Wiggy!
It's just sticky, red berries in your fur, just as they are in the
ducks' feathers.  You're all right!  Get up and have a good time!"

And Uncle Wiggily did, after Nurse Jane had combed the red, sticky
burr-berries out of his fur.  He didn't have the measles at all, for
which he was very glad, because he could now be up and play tag.

"My goodness!  That certainly was a funny mistake for all of us," said
Dr. Possum next day.  "But the red spots surely did look like the
measles."  Which shows us that things are not always what they seem.

And if the--Oh, excuse me, if you please.  There is not going to be a
next story in this book.  It is already as full as it can be, so the
story after this will have to be put in the following book, which also
means next.

Let me see, now.  Oh, I know.  Next I'm going to tell you some stories
about the old gentleman growing cabbages, lettuce and things like that
out of the ground, and the book will be called "Uncle Wiggily on The
Farm."  It will be ready for you by Christmas, I think, and I hope you
will like it.

And now I will say good-bye for a little while, and if the lollypop
doesn't take its sharp stick to make the baby carriage roll down the
hill and into the trolley car, I'll soon begin to make the new book.



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