UNCLE WIGGILY AND JACK HORNER
“Well, I think I’ll go for a walk,” said Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, one afternoon, when he was sitting out on the front porch of his hollow-stump bungalow. He had just eaten a nice dinner that Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, had gotten ready for him.
“Go for a walk!” exclaimed Nurse Jane. “Why, Mr. Longears, excuse me for saying so, but you went walking this morning.”
“I know I did,” answered the bunny uncle, “but no adventure happened to me then. I don’t really count it a good day unless I have had an adventure. So I’ll go walking again, and perhaps I may find one. If I do, I’ll come home and tell you all about it.”
“All right,” said Nurse Jane. “You are a funny rabbit, to be sure! Going off in the woods, looking for adventures when you might sit quietly here on the bungalow front porch.”
“That’s just it!” laughed Uncle Wiggily. “I don’t like to be too quiet. Off I go!”
“I hope you have a nice adventure!” Nurse Jane called after him.
“Thank you,” answered Uncle Wiggily, politely.
Away over the fields and through the woods went the bunny uncle, looking on all sides for an adventure, when, all of a sudden he heard behind him a sound that went:
“Honk! Honk! Honkity-honk-honk!”
“Ha! That must be a wild goose!” thought the rabbit gentleman.
So he looked up in the air, over his head, where the wild geese always fly, but, instead of seeing any of the big birds, Uncle Wiggily felt something whizz past him, and again he heard the loud “Honk-honk!” noise, and then he sneezed, for a lot of dust from the road flew up his nose.
“My!” he heard some one cry. “We nearly ran over a rabbit! Did you see?”
And a big automobile, with real people in it, shot past. It was the horn of the auto that Uncle Wiggily had heard, and not a wild goose.
“Ha! That came pretty close to me,” thought Uncle Wiggily, as the auto went on down the road. “I never ride my automobile as fast as that, even when I sprinkle pepper on the bologna sausage tires. I don’t like to scare any one.”
Perhaps the people in the auto did not mean to so nearly run over Uncle Wiggily. Let us hope so.
The old gentleman rabbit hopped on down the road, that was between the woods and the fields, and, pretty soon, he saw something bright and shining in the dust, near where the auto had passed.
“Oh, maybe that’s a diamond,” he said, as he stooped over to pick it up. But it was only a shiny button-hook, and not a diamond at all. Some one in the automobile had dropped it.
“Well, I’ll put it in my pocket,” said Uncle Wiggily to himself. “It may come in useful to button Nurse Jane’s shoes, or mine.”
The bunny gentleman went on a little farther, and, pretty soon, he came to a tiny house, with a red chimney sticking up out of the roof.
“Ha! I wonder who lives there?” said Uncle Wiggily.
He stood still for a moment, looking through his glasses at the house and then, all of a sudden, he saw a little lady, with a tall, peaked hat on, run out and look up and down the road. Her hat was just like an ice cream cone turned upside down. Only don’t turn your ice cream cone upside down if it has any cream in it, for you might spill your treat.
“Help! Help! Help!” cried the lady, who had come out of the house with the red chimney.
“Ha! That sounds like trouble!” said Uncle Wiggily. “I think I had better hurry over there and see what it is all about.”
He hopped over toward the little house, and, when he reached it he saw that the little lady who was calling for help was Mother Goose herself.
“Oh, Uncle Wiggily!” exclaimed Mother Goose. “I am so glad to see you! Will you please go for help for me?”
“Why, certainly I will,” answered the bunny gentleman. “But what kind of help do you want; help for the kitchen, or a wash-lady help or——”
“Neither of those,” said Mother Goose. “I want help so Little Jack Horner can get his thumb out of the pie.”
“Get his thumb out of the pie!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “What in the world do you mean?”
“Why, you see it’s this way,” went on Mother Goose. “Jack Horner lives here. You must have heard about him. He is in my book. His verse goes like this:
“Little Jack Horner
Sat in a corner,
Eating a Christmas pie.
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said what a great boy am I.
“That’s the boy I mean,” cried Mother Goose. “But the trouble is that Jack can’t get his thumb out. He put it in the pie, to pull out the plum, but it won’t come out—neither the plum nor the thumb. They are stuck fast for some reason or other. I wish you’d go for Dr. Possum, so he can help us.”
“I will,” said Uncle Wiggily. “But is Jack Horner sitting in a corner, as it says in the book?”
“Oh, he’s doing that all right,” answered Mother Goose. “But, corner or no corner, he can’t pull out his thumb.”
“I’ll get the doctor at once,” promised the bunny uncle. He hurried over to Dr. Possum’s house, but could not find him, as Dr. Possum was, just then, called to see Jillie Longtail, who had the mouse-trap fever.
“Dr. Possum not in!” cried Mother Goose, when Uncle Wiggily had hopped back and told her. “That’s too bad! Oh, we must do something for Jack. He’s crying and going on terribly because he can’t get his thumb out.”
Uncle Wiggily thought for a minute. Then, putting his paw in his pocket, he felt the button-hook which had dropped from the automobile that nearly ran over him.
“Ha! I know what to do!” cried the bunny uncle, suddenly.
“What?” asked Mother Goose.
“I’ll pull out Jack’s thumb myself, with this button-hook,” said Mr. Longears. “I’ll make him all right without waiting for Dr. Possum.”
Into the room, where, in the corner, Jack was sitting, went the bunny gentleman. There he saw the Christmas-pie boy, with his thumb away down deep under the top crust.
“Oh, Uncle Wiggily!” cried Jack. “I’m in such trouble. Oh, dear! I can’t get my thumb out. It must be caught on the edge of the pan, or something!”
“Don’t cry,” said Uncle Wiggily, kindly. “I’ll get it out for you.”
“I wish you’d go for Dr. Possum.”
So he put the button-hook through the hole in the top pie crust, close to Jack’s thumb. Then, getting the hook on the plum, Uncle Wiggily, with his strong paws, pulled and pulled and pulled, and——
All of a sudden out came the plum and Jack Homer’s thumb, and they weren’t stuck fast any more.
“Oh, thank you, so much!” said Jack, as he got up out of his corner.
“Pray don’t mention it,” spoke Uncle Wiggily, politely. “I am glad I could help you, and it also makes an adventure for me.”
Then Jack Horner, went back to his corner and ate the plum that stuck to his thumb. And Uncle Wiggily, putting the button-hook back in his pocket, went on to his hollow-stump bungalow. He had had his adventure.
So everything came out all right, you see, and if the snow-shovel doesn’t go off by itself, sliding down hill with the ash can, when it ought to be boiling the cups and saucers for supper, I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and Mr. Pop-Goes.