UNCLE WIGGILY and PUSSY CAT MOLE





UNCLE WIGGILY AND PUSSY CAT MOLE

CHAPTER IX

 “Oh, dear! I don’t believe he’s ever coming!” said Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, as she stood at the window of the hollow-stump bungalow one day, and looked down through the woods.

“For whom are you looking, Nurse Jane?” asked Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman. “If it’s for the letter-man, I think he went past some time ago.”

“No, I wasn’t looking for the letter-man,” said the muskrat lady. “I am expecting a messenger-boy cat to bring home my new dress from the dressmaker’s, but I don’t see him.”

“A new dress, eh?” asked Uncle Wiggily. “Pray, what is going on?”

“My dress is going on me, as soon as it comes home, Uncle Wiggily,” the muskrat lady answered, laughingly. “And then I am going on over to the house of Mrs. Wibblewobble, the duck lady. She and I are going to have a little tea party together, if you don’t mind.”

“Mind? Certainly not! I’m glad to have you go out and enjoy yourself,” said Uncle Wiggily, jolly like and also laughing.

“But I can’t go if my new dress doesn’t come,” went on Nurse Jane. “That is, I don’t want to.”

“Look here!” said the bunny uncle, “I’ll tell you what I’ll do, Nurse Jane, I’ll go for your dress myself and bring it home. I have nothing to do. I’ll go get your dress at the dressmaker’s.”

“Will you, really?” cried the muskrat lady. “That will be fine! Then I can curl my whiskers and tie a new pink bow for my tail. You are very good, Uncle Wiggily.”

“Oh, not at all! Not at all!” the rabbit gentleman said, modest like and shy. Then he hopped out of the hollow-stump bungalow and across the fields and through the woods to where Nurse Jane’s dressmaker made dresses.

“Oh, yes, Nurse Jane’s dress!” exclaimed Mrs. Spin-Spider, who wove silk for all the dresses worn by the lady animals of Woodland. “Yes, I have just finished it. I was about to call a messenger-boy cat and send it home, but now you are here you may take it. And here is some cloth I had left over. Nurse Jane might want it if ever she tears a hole in her dress.”

Uncle Wiggily put the extra pieces of cloth in his pocket, and then Mrs. Spin-Spider wrapped Nurse Jane’s dress up nicely for him in tissue paper, as fine as the web which she had spun for the silk, and the rabbit gentleman started back to the hollow-stump bungalow.

Mrs. Spin-Spider lived on Second Mountain, and, as Uncle Wiggily’s bungalow was on First Mountain, he had quite a way to go to get home. And when he was about half way there he passed a little house near a gray rock that looked like an eagle, and in the house he heard a voice saying:

“Oh, dear! Oh, isn’t it too bad? Now I can’t go!”

“Ha! I wonder who that can be?” thought the rabbit gentleman. “It sounds like some one in trouble. I will ask if I can do anything to help.”

The rabbit gentleman knocked on the door of the little house, and a voice said:

“Come in!”

Uncle Wiggily entered, and there in the middle of the room he saw a pussy cat lady holding up a dress with a big hole burned in it.

“I beg your pardon, but who are you and what is the matter?” politely asked the bunny uncle, making a low bow.

“My name is Pussy Cat Mole,” was the answer, “and you can see the trouble for yourself. I am Pussy Cat Mole; I jumped over a coal, and——”

“In your best petticoat burned a great hole,” finished Uncle Wiggily. “I know you, now. You are from Mother Goose’s book and I met you at a party in Belleville, where they have a bluebell flower on the school to call the animal children to their lessons.”

“That’s it!” meowed Pussy Cat Mole. “I am glad you remember me, Uncle Wiggily. It was at a party I met you, and now I am going to another. Or, rather, I was going until I jumped over a coal, and in my best petticoat burned a great hole. Now I can’t go,” and she held up the burned dress, sorrowful like and sad.

“How did you happen to jump over the coal?” asked Uncle Wiggily.

“Oh, it fell out of my stove,” said Pussy Cat Mole, “and I jumped over it in a hurry to get the fire shovel to take it up. That’s how I burned my dress. And now I can’t go to the party, for it was my best petticoat, and Mrs. Wibblewobble, the duck lady, asked me to be there early, too; and now—Oh, dear!” and Pussy Cat Mole felt very badly, indeed.

“Mrs. Wibblewobble’s!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “Why, Nurse Jane is going there to a little tea party, too! This is her new dress I am taking home.”

“Has she burned a hole in it?” asked the pussy cat lady.

“No, she has not, I am glad to say,” the bunny uncle replied. “She hasn’t had it on, yet.”

“Then she can go to the party, but I can’t,” said Pussy Cat Mole, sorrowfully. “Oh, dear!”

“Yes, you can go!” suddenly cried Uncle Wiggily. “See here! I have some extra pieces of cloth, left over when Mrs. Spin-Spider made Nurse Jane’s dress. Now you can take these pieces of cloth and mend the hole burned by the coal in your best petticoat. Then you can go to the party.”

“Oh, so I can,” meowed the pussy cat. So, with a needle and thread, and the cloth she mended her best petticoat.

All around the edges and over the top of the burned hole the pussy cat lady sewed the left-over pieces of Nurse Jane’s dress which was almost the same color. Then, when the mended place was pressed with a warm flat-iron, Uncle Wiggily cried:

“You would never know there had been a burned hole!”

“That’s fine!” meowed Pussy Cat Mole. “Thank you so much, Uncle Wiggily, for helping me!”

“Pray do not mention it,” said the rabbit gentleman, bashful like and casual. Then he hurried to the hollow-stump bungalow with Nurse Jane’s dress, and the muskrat lady said he had done just right to help mend Pussy Cat Mole’s dress with the left-over pieces. So she and Nurse Jane both went to Mrs. Wibblewobble’s little tea party, and had a good time.

And so, you see, it came out just as it did in the book: Pussy Cat Mole jumped over a coal, and in her best petticoat burned a great hole. But the hole it was mended, and my story is ended. Only never before was it known how the hole was mended. Uncle Wiggily did it.

And, if the apple doesn’t jump out of the peach dumpling and hide in the lemon pie when the knife and fork try to play tag with it, I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and Jack and Jill, and it will be a Valentine story.



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