UNCLE WIGGILY and
THE CLOCK-MOUSE





UNCLE WIGGILY AND

THE CLOCK-MOUSE

CHAPTER XXI

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice old rabbit gentleman, sat in an easy chair in his hollow-stump bungalow. He had just eaten a nice lunch, which Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, had put on the table for him, and he was feeling a bit sleepy.

“Are you going out this afternoon?” asked Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy, as she cleared away the dishes.

“Hum! Ho! Well, I hardly know,” Uncle Wiggily answered, in a sleepy voice. “I may, after I have a little nap.”

“Your new red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch is ready for you,” went on Nurse Jane. “I gnawed it for you out of a fine large corn-stalk.”

Uncle Wiggily had broken his other crutch, if you will kindly remember, when he slipped as he was coming back from the store, where he went for Mrs. Wagtail, the goat lady. And it was so slippery that the rabbit gentleman never would have gotten home, only he rode on a Jack horse with the lady, who had rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, as I told you in the story before this one.

“Thank you for making me a new crutch, Nurse Jane,” spoke the bunny uncle. “If I go out I’ll take it.”

Then he went to sleep in his easy chair, but he was suddenly awakened by hearing the bungalow clock strike one. Then, as he sat up and rubbed his eyes with his paws, Uncle Wiggily heard a thumping noise on the hall floor and a little voice squeaked out:

“Ouch! I’ve hurt my leg! Oh, dear!”

“My! I wonder what that can be? It seemed to come out of my clock,” spoke Mr. Longears.

“I did come out of your clock,” said some one.

“You did? Who are you, if you please?” asked the bunny uncle, looking all around. “I can’t see you.”

“That’s because I’m so small,” was the answer. “But here I am, right by the table. I can’t walk as my leg is hurt.”

Uncle Wiggily looked, and saw a little mouse, who was holding his left hind leg in his right front paw.

“Who are you?” asked the bunny uncle.

“I am Hickory Dickory Dock, the mouse,” was the answer. “And I am a clock-mouse.”

“A clock-mouse!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, in surprise. “I never heard of such a thing.”

“Oh, don’t you remember me? I’m in Mother Goose’s book. This is how it goes:

“‘Hickory Dickory Dock,

The mouse ran up the clock.

The clock struck one,

And down he come,

Hickory Dickory Dock!’”

“Oh, now I remember you,” said Uncle Wiggily. “And so you are a clock-mouse.”

“Yes, I ran up your clock, and then when the clock struck one, down I had to come. But I ran down so fast that I tripped over the pendulum. The clock reached down its hands and tried to catch me, but it had no eyes in its face to see me, so I slipped, anyhow, and I hurt my leg.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” said Uncle Wiggily. “Perhaps I can fix it for you. Nurse Jane, bring me some salve for Hickory Dickory Dock, the clock-mouse,” he called.

The muskrat lady brought some salve, and, with a rag, Uncle Wiggily bound up the leg of the clock-mouse so it did not hurt so much.

“And I’ll lend you a piece of my old crutch, so you can hobble along on it,” said Uncle Wiggily.

“Thank you,” spoke Hickory Dickory Dock, the clock-mouse. “You have been very kind to me, and some day, I hope, I may do you a favor. If I can I will.”

“Thank you,” Uncle Wiggily said. Then Hickory Dickory Dock limped away, but in a few days he was better, and he could run up more clocks, and run down when they struck one.

It was about a week after this that Uncle Wiggily went walking through the woods on his way to see Grandfather Goosey Gander. And just before he reached his friend’s house he met Mother Goose.

“Oh, Uncle Wiggily,” she said, swinging her cobweb broom up and down, “I want to thank you for being so kind to Hickory Dickory Dock, the clock-mouse.”

“It was a pleasure to be kind to him,” said Uncle Wiggily. “Is he all better now?”

“Yes, he is all well again,” replied Mother Goose. “He is coming to run up and down your clock again soon.”

“I’ll be glad to see him,” said Uncle Wiggily. Then he went to call on Grandpa Goosey, and he told about Hickory Dickory Dock, falling down from out the clock.

On his way back to his hollow-stump bungalow, Uncle Wiggily took a short cut through the woods. And, as he was passing along, his paw slipped and he became all tangled up in a wild grape vine, which was like a lot of ropes, all twisted together into hard knots.

“Oh, dear!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “I’m caught!” The more he tried to untangle himself the tighter he was held fast, until it seemed he would never get out.

“Oh!” cried the rabbit gentleman. “This is terrible. Will no one come to get me out? Help! Help! Will some one please help me?”

“Yes, I will help you, Uncle Wiggily,” answered a kind, little squeaking voice.

“Who are you?” asked the rabbit gentleman, moving a piece of the grape vine away from his nose, so he could speak plainly.

“I am Hickory Dickory Dock, the clock-mouse,” was the answer, “and with my sharp teeth I will gnaw the grape vine in many pieces so you will be free.”

“That will be very kind of you,” said Uncle Wiggily, who was quite tired out with his struggles to get loose.

So Hickory Dickory Dock, with his sharp teeth, gnawed the grape vine, and, in a little while, Uncle Wiggily was loose and all right again.

“Thank you,” said the bunny uncle to the clock-mouse, as he hopped off, and Hickory Dickory Dock went with him, for his leg was all better now. “Thank you very much, nice little clock-mouse.”

“You did me a favor,” said Hickory Dickory Dock, “and now I have done you one, so we are even.” And that’s a good way to be in this world. So, if the ink bottle doesn’t turn pale when it sees the fountain pen jump in the goldfish bowl and swim I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the late scholar.



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