Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice old gentleman rabbit, came out of the underground burrow house of the Littletail family, where he was visiting a while with the bunny children, Sammie and Susie, because his own hollow-stump bungalow had burned down.
“Where are you going, Uncle Wiggily?” asked Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, as he strapped his cabbage leaf books together, ready to go to school.
“Oh, I am just going for a little walk,” answered Uncle Wiggily. “Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, asked me to get her some court plaster from the five and six cent store, and on my way there I may have an adventure. Who knows?”
“We are going to school,” said Susie. “Will you walk part of the way with us, Uncle Wiggily?”
“To be sure I will!” crowed the old gentleman rabbit, making believe he was Mr. Cock A. Doodle, the rooster.
So Uncle Wiggily, with Sammie and Susie, started off across the snow-covered fields and through the woods. Pretty soon they came to the path the rabbit children must take to go to the hollow-stump school, where the lady mouse teacher would hear their carrot and turnip gnawing lessons.
“Good-by, Uncle Wiggily!” called Sammie and Susie. “We hope you have a nice adventure,”
“Good-by. Thank you, I hope I do,” he answered.
Then the rabbit gentleman walked on, while Sammie and Susie hurried to school, and pretty soon Mr. Longears heard a queer grunting noise behind some bushes near him.
“Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!” came the sound.
“Hello! Who is there?” asked Uncle Wiggily.
“Why, if you please, I am here, and I am the first little pig,” came the answer, and out from behind the bush stepped a cute little piggie boy, with a bundle of straw under his paw.
“So you are the first little pig, eh?” asked Uncle Wiggily. “How many of you are there altogether?”
“Three, if you please,” grunted the first little pig. “I have two brothers, and they are the second and third little pigs. Don’t you remember reading about us in the Mother Goose book?”
“Oh, of course I do!” cried Uncle Wiggily, twinkling his nose. “And so you are the first little pig. But what are you going to do with that bundle of straw?”
“I’m going to build me a house, Uncle Wiggily, of course,” grunted the piggie boy. “Don’t you remember what it says in the book? ‘Once upon a time there were three little pigs, named Grunter, Squeaker and Twisty-Tail.’ Well, I’m Grunter, and I met a man with a load of straw, and I asked him for a bundle to make me a house. He very kindly gave it to me, and now, I’m off to build it.”
“May I come?” asked Uncle Wiggily. “I’ll help you put up your house.”
“Of course you may come—glad to have you,” answered the first little pig. “Only you know what happens to me; don’t you?”
“No! What?” asked the rabbit gentleman. “I guess I have forgotten the story.”
“Well, after I build my house of straw, just as it says in the Mother Goose story book, along comes a bad old wolf, and he blows it down,” said the first little pig.
“Oh, how dreadful!” cried Uncle Wiggily, “but maybe he won’t come to-day.”
“Oh, yes, he will,” said the first little pig. “It’s that way in the book, and the wolf has to come.”
“Well, if he does,” said Uncle Wiggily, “maybe I can save you from him.”
“Oh, I hope you can!” grunted Grunter. “It is no fun to be chased by a wolf.”
So the rabbit gentleman and the piggie boy went on and on, until they came to the place where Grunter was to build his house of straw. Uncle Wiggily helped, and soon it was finished.
“Why, it is real nice and cozy in here,” said Uncle Wiggily, when he had made a big pile of snow back of the straw house to keep off the north wind, and had gone in with the little piggie boy.
“Yes, it is cozy enough,” spoke Grunter, “but wait until the bad wolf comes. Oh, dear!”
“Maybe he won’t come,” said the rabbit, hopeful like.
“Yes, he will!” cried Grunter. “Here he comes now.”
And, surely enough, looking out of the window, the piggie boy and Uncle Wiggily saw a bad wolf running over the snow toward them. The wolf knocked on the door of the straw house and cried:
“Little pig! Little pig! Let me come in.”
“No! No! By the hair of my chinny-chin-chin. I will not let you in!” answered Grunter, just like in the book.
“Then I’ll puff and I’ll blow, and I’ll blow your house in!” howled the wolf. Then he puffed and he blew, and, all of a sudden, over went the straw house. But, just as it was falling down, Uncle Wiggily cried:
“Quick, Grunter, come with me! I’ll dig a hole for us in the pile of snow that I made back of your house and in there we’ll hide where the wolf can’t find us!” Then the rabbit gentleman, with his strong paws, just made for digging, burrowed a hole in the snow-bank, and as the straw house toppled down, into this hole he crawled with Grunter.
“Now I’ve got you!” cried the wolf, as he blew down the first little pig’s straw house. But when the wolf looked he couldn’t see Grunter or Uncle Wiggily at all, because they were hiding in the snow-bank.
“Well, well!” howled the wolf. “This isn’t like the book at all! Where is that little pig?”
But the wolf could not find Grunter, and soon the bad creature went away, fearing to catch cold in his eyes. Then Uncle Wiggily and Grunter came out of the snow-bank and were safe, and Uncle Wiggily took Grunter home to the rabbit house to stay until Mother Goose came, some time afterward, to get the first little pig boy.
“Thank you very much, Uncle Wiggily,” said Mother Goose, “for being kind to one of my friends.”
“Pray don’t mention it. I had a fine adventure, besides saving a little pig,” said the rabbit gentleman. “I wonder what will happen to me to-morrow?”
And we shall soon see for, if the snowball doesn’t wrap itself up in the parlor rug to hide away from the jam tart, when it comes home from the moving pictures, I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the second little pig.