UNCLE WIGGILY and THE 2nd KITTEN
“Well, where are you going now, Uncle Wiggily?” asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, of the rabbit gentleman, one day as she saw him starting out of his hollow-stump bungalow, after he had found the first of the little kittens who had soiled their mittens.
“I am going to look for the second little lost kitten,” replied the bunny uncle, “though where she may be I don’t know. Her name is Muzzo.”
“Why, her name is almost like mine, isn’t it?” asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy.
“A little like it,” said Uncle Wiggily. “Poor little Muzzo! She and the other two kittens ran off after they had soiled their mittens, eating cherry pie when their mother, Mrs. Purr, was not at home.”
“It is very good of you to go looking for them,” said Nurse Jane.
“Oh, I just love to do things like that,” spoke the rabbit gentleman. “Well, good-by. I’ll see if I can’t find the second kitten now.”
Away started the rabbit gentleman, over the fields and through the woods, looking on all sides for the second lost kitten, whose name was Muzzo.
“Where are you, kittie?” called Uncle Wiggily. “Where are you, Muzzo? Come to me! Never mind if your mittens are soiled by cherry-pie-juice. I’ll find a way to clean them.”
But no Muzzo answered. Uncle Wiggily looked everywhere, under bushes and in the tree tops; for sometimes kitty cats climb trees, you know; but no Muzzo could he find. Then Uncle Wiggily walked a little farther, and he saw Billie Wagtail, the goat boy, butting his head in a snow-bank.
“What are you doing, Billie?” asked the rabbit gentleman.
“Oh, just having some fun,” answered Billie, standing up on his hind legs.
“You haven’t seen a little lost kitten, with cherry-pie-juice on her new mittens, have you?” asked the rabbit gentleman.
“No, I am sorry to say I have not,” said Billie, politely. “Did you lose one?”
“No, she lost herself,” said Uncle Wiggily, and he told about Muzzo.
“I’ll help you look for her,” offered the goat boy, so he and Uncle Wiggily started off together to try to find poor little lost Muzzo, and bring her home to her mother, Mrs. Purr.
Pretty soon, as the rabbit gentleman and the goat boy were walking along they heard a little mewing cry behind a pile of snow, and Uncle Wiggily said:
“That sounds like Muzzo now.”
“Perhaps it is. Let’s look,” said Billie Wagtail.
He and the bunny uncle looked over the pile of snow, and there, surely enough, they saw a little white pussy cat sitting on a stone, looking at her mittens, which were all covered with red pie-juice.
“Oh, dear!” the little pussy was saying. “I don’t know how to get them clean! What shall I do? I can’t go home with my mittens all soiled, or my mamma will whip me.”
Of course, Mrs. Purr, the cat lady, would not do anything like that, but Muzzo thought she would.
“What are you trying to do to clean your mittens, Muzzo?” asked Uncle Wiggily.
“Oh, how you surprised me!” exclaimed the second little lost kitten. “I did not know you were here.”
“Billie Wagtail and I came to look for you,” said Uncle Wiggily. “But what about your mittens?”
“Oh, I have been dipping them in snow, trying to clean them,” said Muzzo. “Only the pie-juice will not come out.”
“Of course not,” spoke Uncle Wiggily, with a laugh. “It needs hot soap-suds and water to clean them. You come home to my bungalow and we will get some.”
“Oh, I am so cold and tired I can’t go another step,” said the second little kitten, who had run away from home after she soiled her mittens. “I just can’t.”
“Well, then, I don’t know how you are going to get your mittens washed, out here in the cold and snow,” said the rabbit gentleman.
“Ha! I know a way!” said Billie Wagtail, the goat boy.
“How?” asked Uncle Wiggily.
“I’ll get an empty tomato can,” spoke Billie. “I know where there is one, for I was eating the paper off it, to get the paste, just before you came along.”
Goats like to eat paper off tomato cans, you know, because the paper is stuck on with sweet paste, and that is as good to goat children as candy is to you.
“I’ll go get the tomato can,” said Billie, “and you can make a fire, Uncle Wiggily.”
“And then what?” asked the rabbit gentleman.
“Then we will melt some snow, and make some hot water,” went on Billie. “I have a cake of soap in my pocket, that I just bought at the store for my mother.
“With the hot water in the can, and the soap, we can make a suds, and wash Muzzo’s mittens out here as well as at your bungalow.”
“So we can, Billie!” cried the bunny uncle. “You go get the empty tomato tin and I’ll make the fire. You needn’t try to wash your soiled mittens in the snow any more, Muzzo,” he said to the second lost kittie. “We will do it for you, in soapy water, which is better.”
Soon Uncle Wiggily made a fire. Back came Billie Wagtail with the tomato can. Some snow was put in it, and it was set over the blaze. Soon the snow melted into water, and then when the water was hot Uncle Wiggily made a soapy suds as Nurse Jane had done.
“Now I can wash my mittens!” cried Muzzo, and she did. And when they were nice and clean she went home with them, and oh! how glad her mother was to see her!
“Never run away again, Muzzo,” said the cat lady.
“I won’t,” promised the kitten. “But where is Wuzzo?”
“She is still lost,” said Mrs. Purr.
“But I will go find her, too,” said Uncle Wiggily.
And if the apple pie doesn’t go out snowballing with the piece of cheese, and forget to come back to dinner, I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the third little kitten.