Uncle Wiggily Longears sat in the burrow, or house under the ground, where he and Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady, lived with the Littletail family of rabbits since the hollow-stump bungalow had burned.
“Oh, dear!” sounded a grunting, woofing sort of voice over near one window.
“Oh, dear!” squealed another voice from under the table.
“Well, well! What is the matter with you two piggie boys?” asked Uncle Wiggily, as he took down from the sideboard his red, white and blue barber-pole striped rheumatism crutch that Nurse Jane had gnawed for him out of a cornstalk.
“What’s the trouble, Grunter and Squeaker?” asked the rabbit gentleman.
“We are lonesome for our brother,” said the two little piggie boys No. 1 and No. 2. “We want to see Twisty-Tail.”
For the first and second little pigs, after having been saved by Uncle Wiggily, and taken home to Mother Goose, had come back to pay a visit to the bunny gentleman.
“Well, perhaps I may meet Twisty-Tail when I go walking to-day,” spoke Uncle Wiggily. “If I do I’ll bring him home with me.”
“Oh, goodie!” cried Grunter and Squeaker. For they were the first and second little pigs, you see. Uncle Wiggily had saved Grunter from the bad wolf when the growling creature blew down Grunter’s straw house. And, in almost the same way, the bunny uncle had saved Squeaker, when his wooden house was blown over by the wolf. But Twisty-Tail, the third little pig, Uncle Wiggily had not yet helped.
“I’ll look for Twisty-Tail to-day,” said the rabbit gentleman as he started off for his adventure walk, which he took every afternoon and morning.
On and on went Uncle Wiggily Longears over the snow-covered fields and through the wood, until just as he was turning around the corner near an old red stump, the rabbit gentleman heard a clinkity-clankity sort of a noise, and the sound of whistling.
“Ha! Some one is happy!” thought the bunny uncle. “That’s a good sign—whistling. I wonder who it is?”
He looked around the stump corner and he saw a little animal chap, with blue rompers on, and a fur cap stuck back of his left ear, and this little animal chap was whistling away as merrily as a butterfly eating butterscotch candy.
“Why, that must be the third little pig!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. “Hello!” called the rabbit gentleman. “Are you Twisty-Tail?”
“That’s my name,” answered the little pig, “and, as you see, I am building my house of bricks, just as it tells about in the Mother Goose book.”
And, surely enough, Twisty-Tail was building a little house of red bricks, and it was the tap-tap-tapping of his trowel, or mortar-shovel, that made the clinkity-clankity noise.
“Do you know me, Uncle Wiggily?” asked the piggie boy. “You see I am in a book. ‘Once upon a time there were three little pigs, and——’”
“I know all about you,” interrupted Uncle Wiggily. “I have met Mother Goose, and also your two brothers.”
“They didn’t know how to build the right kind of houses, and so the wolf got them,” said Twisty-Tail. “I am sorry, but it had to happen that way, just as it is in the book.”
Uncle Wiggily smiled, but said nothing.
“I met a man with a load of bricks, and I begged some of them to build my house,” said Twisty-Tail. “No wolf can get me. No, sir-ee! I’ll build my house very strong, not weak like my brothers’. No, indeed!”
“I’ll help you build your house,” offered Uncle Wiggily, kindly, and just as he and Twisty-Tail finished the brick house and put on the roof it began to rain and freeze.
“We are through just in time,” said Twisty-Tail, as he and the rabbit gentleman hurried inside. “I don’t believe the wolf will come out in such weather.”
But just as he said that and looked from the window, the little piggie boy gave a cry, and said:
“Oh, here comes the bad animal now! But he can’t get in my house, or blow it over, ’cause the book says he didn’t.”
The wolf came up through the freezing rain and knocking on the third piggie boy’s brick house, said:
“Little pig! Little pig! Let me come in!”
“No! No! By the hair of my chinny-chin-chin, I will not let you in!” grunted Twisty-Tail.
“Then I’ll puff and I’ll blow, and I’ll blow your house in!” howled the wolf.
“You can’t! The book says so!” laughed the little pig. “My house is a strong, brick one. You can’t get me!”
“Just you wait!” growled the wolf. So he puffed out his cheeks, and he blew and he blew, but he could not blow down the brick house, because it was so strong.
“Well, I’m in no hurry,” the wolf said. “I’ll sit down and wait for you to come out.”
So the wolf sat down on his tail to wait outside the brick house. After a while Twisty-Tail began to get hungry.
“Did you bring anything to eat, Uncle Wiggily?” he asked.
“No, I didn’t,” answered the rabbit gentleman. “But if the old wolf would go away I’d take you where your two brothers are visiting with me in the Littletail family rabbit house and you could have all you want to eat.”
Rut the wolf would not go away, even when Uncle Wiggily asked him to, most politely, making a bow and twinkling his nose.
“I’m going to stay here all night,” the wolf growled. “I am not going away. I am going to get that third little pig!”
“Are you? Well, we’ll see about that!” cried the rabbit gentleman. Then he took a rib out of his umbrella, and with a piece of his shoe lace (that he didn’t need) for a string he made a bow like the Indians used to have.
“If I only had an arrow now I could shoot it from my umbrella-bow, hit the wolf on the nose and make him go away,” said Uncle Wiggily. Then he looked out of the window and saw where the rain, dripping from the roof, had frozen into long, sharp icicles.
“Ha!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “An icicle will make the best kind of an arrow! Now I’ll shoot the wolf, not hard enough to hurt him, but just hard enough to make him run away.”
Reaching out the window Uncle Wiggily broke off a sharp icicle. He put this ice arrow in his bow and, pulling back the shoe string, “twang!” he shot the wolf on the nose.
“Oh, wow! Oh, double-wow! Oh, custard cake!” howled the wolf. “This isn’t in the Mother Goose book at all. Not a single pig did I get! Oh, my nose! Ouch!”
Then he ran away, and Uncle Wiggily and Twisty-Tail could come safely out of the brick house, which they did, hurrying home to the bunny house where Grunter and Squeaker were, to get something to eat. So everything came out right, you see, and Uncle Wiggily saved the three little pigs, one after the other.
And if the canary bird doesn’t go swimming in the rice pudding, and eat out all the raisin seeds, so none is left for the parrot, I’ll tell you next of Uncle Wiggily and Little Boy Blue.