Uncle Wiggily and his Woodland Friends





STORY XXXI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND TAILOR BIRD

After Uncle Wiggily and the pussy had helped the robin get the cowbird's eggs out of her nest, as I told you in the story before this, the rabbit and the kittie stayed in the woods a little while talking to the mamma bird.

"I should like to see the little robins hatch out of the eggs," said the pussy, as she frisked her tail about and smoothed out her fur.

"So should I," added Uncle Wiggily.

"I will gladly let you see my little birdies hatch," spoke the robin, "but it will take nearly a week yet, and you will have to wait."

"Oh, I can't wait as long as that," went on the rabbit. "I must be off to seek my fortune."

"Yes, and I must go and find my clothespin house," said the pussy.

So they said good-by to the mamma robin, and away the pussy and Uncle Wiggily went, over the hills and down the dales through the woods and over little brooks.

Pretty soon they came to a place in the woods where there were a whole lot of flowers nodding their heads in the wind, and it was such a pretty place that Uncle Wiggily and the pussy stayed there a little while. And in about a minute they heard something flying through the bushes and out flew that same cowbird, and she laughed just as hard as she could laugh, as she passed along.

"Somebody is going to be surprised!" cried the cowbird and she fluttered her wings at the rabbit and the kittie, and then she hid herself off in the woods.

"I wonder what she means?" asked the pussy.

"I'm sure I don't know," replied the rabbit. "But did you notice that she didn't have her eggs with her?"

"Sure enough!" exclaimed the pussy. "She must have left them in some other bird's nest."

"Well, we had better keep on, for it is getting late," spoke Uncle Wiggily, "and I want to find your clothespin house for you."

On they hurried through the trees, and pretty soon—Oh, I guess about as long as it takes you to eat a stick of peppermint candy—they suddenly came to the pussy's clothespin house.

"Oh, here's where I live!" she cried. "How glad I am to get back home!" She hurried in through the front door and no sooner was she inside than she cried out:

"Come here! Come here, quickly, Uncle Wiggily! Did you ever see such a sight in all your born days?"

"What is it?" asked the rabbit, as he hopped in, and he was half afraid that there might be a burglar fox hiding in the pussy's house.

But it wasn't anything like that. Instead the rabbit saw the pussy pointing to her bed, and there, right in the middle of the feather pillows, were some eggs.

"The cowbird's eggs!" cried the kittie. "That's what she meant when she said some one was going to be surprised. Indeed, I am the one who is surprised. She brought her eggs here, thinking I would hatch them out for her, but I'll not do it!"

So the pussy threw the eggs out of the window, on some soft straw, where they wouldn't be broken, and pretty soon that cowbird came back, as angry as a lion without any tail. And she grabbed up her eggs, and this time she took them to the monkey, who played five hand-organs at once. And the monkey was a good-natured sort of a chap, so he hatched out the cowbird's eggs for her, and soon he had a lot of little calfbirds, and when they grew up they gave him no end of trouble.

"Well, now you are safe home," said Uncle Wiggily to the pussy, "I will travel on."

"First, let me fill your valise with something to eat," said the kittie cat, and she did so, and then the rabbit hopped on. He looked all over for his fortune, but he couldn't find it, and pretty soon it got dark night and he went to sleep in a hollow stump.

"Surely, I will find my fortune to-day," thought Uncle Wiggily, as he arose the next morning, and combed out his whiskers. It was a bright, beautiful sunshiny morning, and everything was cheerful, and the birds were singing. But, in spite of all that, something happened to the rabbit.

He was just going past a berry bush, and he was reaching up to pick off some of the red raspberries, when all at once a sharp claw was thrust out from the bush and a grab was made for the rabbit.

"Now, I've got you!" cried a savage voice.

"No, you haven't!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, and he jumped back just as a savage wolf sprang out at him.

"Oh, don't worry, I'll get you yet!" went on the wolf and he made another spring. But the rabbit was ready for him and ran down the hill and the wolf ran after him, howling at the top of his grillery-growlery voice, for he was very hungry.

My! how Uncle Wiggily did run. And the wolf ran also, and he was catching up to the rabbit, and probably would have eaten him all up, but just then a kind bumble bee who knew Uncle Wiggily flew off a tree branch and stung that wolf on the end of his nose.

That wolf gave a howl, and made one more grab for Uncle Wiggily, but he only managed to catch hold of his coat tails in his teeth, and there the wolf held on.

"Let go of Uncle Wiggily!" buzzed the bee.

"No I won't!" cried the wolf, most impolite-like.

"Then I'll sting you again!" cried the bee, and she did so, and the rabbit gave a great pull, and he managed to pull himself away from the wolf. But, alas! Uncle Wiggily's nice red coat was all tattered and torn.

"Oh, whatever shall I do?" cried Uncle Wiggily as the wolf ran away down the hill and the rabbit looked at the torn and ripped coat. "I never can go on seeking my fortune with a torn coat."

"I am sorry," said the bee, "but I can not help you. But if you see the tailor bird she may mend your coat for you."

So the bee buzzed away and Uncle Wiggily went on looking for the tailor bird. This is a bird that makes a nest by sewing leaves together with grass for thread. And would you believe me, in a little while Uncle Wiggily saw the very bird he wanted.

She was making a nest with her bill for a needle and some dried grass for thread, and she was sewing the leaves together.

"Will you kindly mend my coat for me where the wolf tore it?" asked the rabbit politely.

"Indeed I will," said the tailor bird. So she took some long, strong pieces of grass for thread. Then she made her sharp bill go back and forth in the cloth of Uncle Wiggily's coat and soon it was all mended again as good as new. Then the rabbit thanked the bird and started off again to seek his fortune and you could hardly see where his coat was torn.

Then Uncle Wiggily was very thankful to the tailor bird, and he stayed at her house for some time, helping her sweep the sidewalk mornings, and bringing up coal, and all manner of other helpful things.

So now we will say good-by to Uncle Wiggily for a time, but quite soon you shall here more about Uncle Wiggily’s never-ending adventures.  But for now, good-by, best wishes and good luck to all of you.

 

THE END



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