"Well, you look just as if you were going somewhere, Uncle Wiggily," said Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, as the rabbit gentleman whizzed around the corner of his hollow stump bungalow in his automobile, with the bologna sausage tires, one morning.
"I am going somewhere," he answered, and really he was, for the wheels were whizzing around like anything.
"And going where, may I ask?" politely inquired the muskrat lady.
"I am going to give Alice a ride," answered Uncle Wiggily. "Alice from Wonderland, I mean. She never has ridden in an automobile."
"She never has?" cried Nurse Jane, in surprise.
"Never! You see, when she was put in that nice book, which tells so much about her, there weren't any autos, and, of course, she never could have had a ride in one.
"But she had ever so many other nice adventures, such as going down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass. However, I promised her a ride in my auto, and here I go to give it to her," and with that Uncle Wiggily sprinkled some pepper and salt on the sausage tires of his auto's wheels to make them go faster.
The rabbit gentleman found Alice, the little book girl, in the White Queen's garden having a make-believe tea party with the Mock Turtle, who soon would have to go into the 5 o'clock soup.
"Oh, how kind of you to come for me, Uncle Wiggily!" cried Alice, and she jumped up so quickly that she overturned the multiplication table, at which she and the Mock Turtle had been sitting, and ran to jump in the auto.
"Well, I don't call that very nice," said the Mock Turtle. "Here she's gone and mixed up the seven times table with the three times six, and goodness knows when I'll ever get them straightened out again."
"I'm sorry!" called Alice, waving her hand as she rode off with Uncle Wiggily. "I'll help you when I come back."
"And I'll help too," promised the bunny uncle.
Mr. Longears and Wonderland Alice rode over the fields and through the woods, and they were having a fine time when, all of a sudden, as the automobile came near a place where some oak trees grew in a thick cluster Alice cried:
"Hark! They're fighting!"
"Who?" asked Uncle Wiggily. "Please don't tell me it is the mosquito enemy coming after me to bite me."
"No, it's the Lion and the Unicorn," Alice answered. "Don't you remember how it goes in my book:
"'The Lion and the Unicorn were
fighting for the Crown,
The Lion beat the Unicorn all around the town.
Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown,
And then the funny Unicorn jumped right up and down.'
"That last line isn't just right," explained Alice to the bunny uncle, "but I couldn't properly think of it, I'm so frightened!"
"Frightened? At what" asked Uncle Wiggily.
"At the Unicorn," answered Alice. "Here he comes," and, as she said that, Uncle Wiggily saw a funny animal, like a horse, with a big long horn sticking out of the middle of his head, straight in front of him, galloping out of the clump of trees.
"Hurray! I beat him!" cried the Unicorn. "Come on now, quick, I must get away from here before they catch me!"
"You beat him? Do you mean beat the Lion?" asked Uncle Wiggily for he was not frightened as was Alice.
"Sure I beat him," answered the Unicorn, as he jumped into the back seat of the automobile. "Drive on!" he ordered just as if the bunny uncle gentleman were the coachman.
"Did you hurt him?" asked Alice, putting out her head from behind Uncle Wiggily's tall silk hat where she had hidden herself.
"Hurt him? Ha! Ha! I should say not!" laughed the Unicorn. "We're too jolly good friends for that," and he spoke like an English chap. "I beat him playing hop-Scotch and Jack-straws. I was two hops and three straws ahead of him when I stopped and ran away because they were after me."
"Who were after you?" asked Alice. "The lion's friends?"
"No, the straws that show which way the wind blows. When the wind blows the straws against me they tickle, and I can't bear to be tickled. I'm worse than a soap bubble that way. So I ran to get in the auto. I hope you don't mind," and the Unicorn leaned back on the seat cushions.
"Mind? Not in the least!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "I'm glad to give you a ride with Alice," and he made the auto go very fast. On and on they went, over the fields and through the woods and then, all of a sudden, out from behind a tree jumped the big skillery-scalery alligator walking on his hind legs and the end of his double-jointed tail.
"Halt!" he cried, like a sentry soldier, and Uncle Wiggily stopped the auto. "At last I have caught you," said the alligator in a nutmeg grater sort of a voice. "I want you, Uncle Wiggily, and that Alice girl also. As for your friend in the back seat, he may go—"
"Oh, may I? Thank you!" cried the Unicorn, and with that he leaned forward. And, as he did so the long sharp horn in his head reached over Uncle Wiggily's shoulder, and began to tickle the alligator right under his soft ribs.
"Oh, stop! Stop it, I tell you!" giggled the 'gator. "Stop tickling me!" and he laughed and wiggled and squirmed like an angle worm going fishing.
"Stop! Stop!" he begged.
"I will when you let my friends, Uncle Wiggily and Alice, alone," said the Unicorn, still tickling away.
"Yes! Yes! I'll let them alone," promised the alligator, and he laughed until the tears ran down his tail. And then he had to run off by himself through the woods, and so he didn't get the bunny uncle nor Wonderland Alice either. And he never could have gotten the Unicorn, because of his long, ticklish horn.
So it is sometimes a good thing to take one of these stickery chaps along when you go for an automobile ride.
And if the skyrocket doesn't fall down and stub its nose when it tries to jump over the moon with the cow, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and Humpty Dumpty.