Uncle Wiggily and his Woodland Friends





STORY XXV

UNCLE WIGGILY AND WASP

"What would you like for breakfast this morning?" asked Mrs. Hen, as Uncle Wiggily and the porcupine got up out of their bed in the clean straw by the chickens' coop. This was the day after the rabbit found the little white chickie.

"Ha, hum! Let me see," exclaimed the rabbit, as he waved his whiskers around in the air to get all the straw seeds out of them: "what would I like? Why, I think some fried oranges with carrot gravy on them would be nice, don't you, Mr. Porcupine?"

"No," said the stickery-stockery creature. "I think I would like to have some bread with banana butter on and a glass of milk with vanilla flavoring."

"You may both have what you like, because you were so kind to my little lost Clarabella," said Mrs. Hen. Then she spoke to her children.

"Scurry around now, little ones, and get Uncle Wiggily and his friend the nice things for breakfast. Hurry now, for they will be wanting to travel on before the sun gets too hot," the mamma hen said.

So one little chickie got the oranges, and another chickie got the bananas, and still another chickery-chicken, with a spotted tail, got the carrots, and then Clarabella went to where Mrs. Cow lived, and got the milk for the prickly porcupine. Then Mrs. Hen cooked the breakfast, and very good it was, too, if I may be allowed to say so.

"Well, I guess we'll be getting along now," said Uncle Wiggily. "Are you still going to travel with me, Mr. Porcupine?"

"Oh, yes, I'll come with you for a couple days more, and then if you don't find your fortune I'll start out by myself, and perhaps I can find it for you."

So the two friends went on together. They traveled over hills and down dales, and once they met a lame rabbit, who had the epizootic very bad. Uncle Wiggily showed him how to make a crutch out of a cornstalk, just as Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, the muskrat, had done, and the lame rabbit made himself one and was much obliged.

Then, a little later they met a duck with only one good leg, and the other one was made of wood, and this duck wanted to get over a fence but she couldn't, on account of her wooden leg.

"Pray, how did you lose your leg?" asked Uncle Wiggily, as he and the porcupine kindly helped her over the rails.

"Oh, a bad rat bit it off," said the duck. "I was asleep in the pond one morning and before I knew it a rat swam up under water, and nipped off my leg."

"Oh, I'm so sorry," said the rabbit. "I'll tell Alice and Lulu and Jimmie Wibblewobble, my duck friends, to be careful of bad rats in their pond."

"That's a good idea," spoke the duck with the wooden leg, and then she said good-by and waddled away.

After that Uncle Wiggily and the porcupine traveled on some more, and, as it got to be very warm they thought they would lie down in a shady place and take a little sleep.

Well, they picked out a nice place under a clump of ferns, that leaned over a little babbling brook, and touched the tips of their green leaves into the cool water. And, before he knew it, dear old Uncle Wiggily was fast, fast asleep, and he snored the least little bit, but please don't tell any one about it.

Then pretty soon the porcupine was asleep too, only he didn't snore any, though I'm not allowed to tell you why just now. I may later, however.

Well, in a little while, something is going to happen. In fact, it's now time for it to begin. Yes, here comes the stingery wasp. Listen, and you can hear him buzz.

"Buzz! Buzz! Bizzy-buzzy-buzzy!" went the stingery wasp, as he flew over the place where the rabbit and porcupine were sleeping. And the wasp flitted and flapped his bluish wings and lifted up the sharp end of his body where be carries his stingery-sting.

"Ah, ha! I see something to sting!" thought the wasp. "Now, I wonder which one I shall sting first? I think I will try the porcupine, and then I will sting the rabbit." Oh, but he was a bad wasp, though; wasn't he, eh?

Well, he was all ready to sting the porcupine, when suddenly the wasp heard a voice calling to him from the bushes.

"Don't sting the porcupine, Mr. Wasp, sting the rabbit," said the rasping voice.

"Why should I do that?" asked the wasp, as he looked to see if his sting needed sharpening.

"Oh, because if you sting the porcupine you might get stuck with his stickery-stockery quills," said the voice. "But the rabbit can't hurt you. Besides, if you sting him for me I will give you a popcorn ball."

"Why are you so anxious for me to sting the rabbit?" asked the wasp, as he flittered his steely-blue wings.

"Oh, if you do that it will scare him so that he won't know which way to run, and then, when he is all puzzled up, I can jump out on him and eat him up!" said the voice. "I have been wanting a rabbit dinner this long time," and with that out from the bushes crawled the bad fox.

"Very well," said the wasp, "I'll sting the rabbit on the end of his twinkling nose for you, and then you must give me a popcorn ball," for you know wasps like sweet things.

So the wasp got ready to sting poor Uncle Wiggily, and all this while the rabbit and the porcupine were peacefully sleeping there under the ferns, and they didn't know what was going to happen.

"Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!" went the wasp, as he flew closer to Uncle Wiggily. He was all ready to sting him, when a piece of bark happened to fall off a tree and hit the porcupine on his left ear, waking him up. He opened his eyes very quickly, thinking that a fairy was throwing snowballs at him, and then the porcupine heard the wasp buzzing, and he saw the wasp flying straight toward Uncle Wiggily to sting him, and next the porcupine saw the bad fox.

"Ha! So that is how things are, eh?" cried the porcupine, as he jumped up. "Well, I'll soon put a stop to that!"

So, before you could fan yourself with a feather, the porcupine took out one of his stickers, and he stuck the wasp with it so hard that the bad wasp was glad enough to fly away, taking his stinger with him.

"Now, it's your turn!" cried the porcupine to the fox, and with that he threw a whole lot of his sharp quills at the fox, and that bad creature ran away howling. And then Uncle Wiggily woke up and wanted to know what it was all about, and what made the buzzing and howling noises.

"You had a narrow escape," said the porcupine as he told the rabbit about the wasp and the fox.

"I guess I did," admitted Uncle Wiggily. "I'm much obliged to you. Now let's have supper."

So they ate their supper, and that's all I can tell you for the present, if you please. But, in case I see a little pig with a pink ribbon tied in his curly tail, I'll make the next bedtime story, about Uncle Wiggily and the bluebell.



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