UNCLE WIGGILY AND TOMMIE TUCKER
“Oh, Uncle Wiggily!” called Susie Littletail, the rabbit girl, one day, as she went over to see her bunny uncle in his hollow-stump bungalow. “Oh, Uncle Wiggily! Isn’t it too bad?”
“Isn’t what too bad?” asked the old gentleman rabbit, as he scratched his nose with his left ear, and put his glasses in his pocket, for he was tired of reading the paper, and felt like going out for a walk.
“Too bad about my talking and singing doll, that I got for Christmas,” said Susie. “She won’t sing any more. Something inside her is broken.”
“Broken? That’s too bad!” said Uncle Wiggily, kindly. “Let me see. What’s her name?”
“Sallieann Peachbasket Shortcake,” answered Susie.
“What a funny name,” laughed the bunny uncle.
Uncle Wiggily took Susie’s doll, which had been given her at Christmas, and looked at it. Inside the doll was a sort of phonograph, or talking machine—a very small one, you know—and when you pushed on a little button in back of the doll’s dress she would laugh and talk. But, best of all, when she was in working order, she would sing a verse, which went something like this:
“I hope you’ll like my little song,
I will not sing it very long.
I have two shoes upon my feet,
And when I’m hungry, then I eat.”
Uncle Wiggily wound up the spring in the doll’s side, and then he pressed the button—like a shoe button—in her back. But this time Susie’s doll did not talk, she did not laugh, and, instead of singing, she only made a scratchy noise like a phonograph when it doesn’t want to play, or like Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, when he has a cold in his head.
“Oh, dear! This is quite too bad!” said Uncle Wiggily. “Quite indeed.”
“Isn’t it!” exclaimed Susie. “Do you think you can fix her, Uncle?”
Mr. Longears turned the doll upside down and shook her. Things rattled inside her, but even then she did not sing.
“Oh, dear!” cried Susie, her little pink nose going twinkle-inkle, just as did Uncle Wiggily’s. “What can we do?”
“You leave it to me, Susie,” spoke the old rabbit gentleman. “I’ll take the doll to the toy shop, where I bought Little Bo Peep’s sheep, and have her mended.”
“Oh, goodie!” cried Susie, clasping her paws. “Now I know it will be all right,” and she kissed Uncle Wiggily right between his ears.
“Well, I’m sure I hope it will be all right after that,” said the bunny uncle, laughing, and feeling sort of tickled inside.
Off hopped Uncle Wiggily to the toy shop, and there he found the same monkey-doodle gentleman who had sold him the toy woolly sheep for Little Bo Peep.
“Here is more trouble,” said Uncle Wiggily. “Can you fix Susie’s doll so she will sing, for the doll is a little girl one, just like Susie, and her name is Sallieann Peachbasket Shortcake.”
The monkey-doodle man in the toy store looked at the doll.
“I can fix her,” he said. Going in his back-room workshop, where there were rocking-horses that needed new legs, wooden soldiers who had lost their guns, and steamboats that had forgotten their whistles, the toy man soon had Susie’s doll mended again as well as ever. So that she said: “Papa! Mama! I love you! I am hungry!” And she laughed: “Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho!” and she sang:
“I am a little dollie,
’Bout one year old.
Please take me where it’s warm, for I
Am feeling rather cold.
If you’re not in a hurry,
It won’t take me very long,
To whistle or to sing for you
My pretty little song.”
“Hurray!” cried Uncle Wiggily when he heard this. “Susie’s dolly is all right again. Thank you, Mr. Monkey-Doodle, I’ll take her to Susie.” Then Uncle Wiggily paid the toy-store keeper and hurried off with Susie’s doll.
Uncle Wiggily had not gone very far before, all at once from around the corner of a snowbank he heard a sad, little voice crying:
“Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!”
“My goodness!” said the bunny uncle. “Some one else is in trouble. I wonder who it can be this time?”
He looked, and saw a little boy standing in the snow.
“Hello!” cried Uncle Wiggily, in his jolly voice. “Who are you, and what’s the matter?”
“I am Little Tommie Tucker,” was the answer. “And the matter is I’m hungry.”
“Hungry, eh?” asked Uncle Wiggily. “Well, why don’t you eat?”
“I guess you forgot about me and the Mother Goose book,” spoke the boy. “I’m in that book, and it says about me:
“‘Little Tommie Tucker,
Must sing for his supper.
What shall he eat?
Jam and bread and butter.’”
“Well?” asked Uncle Wiggily. “Why don’t you sing?”
“I—I can’t!” answered Tommie. “That’s the trouble. I have caught such a cold that I can’t sing. And if I don’t sing Mother Goose won’t know it is I, and she won’t give me any supper. Oh, dear! Oh, dear! And I am so hungry!”
“There now, there! Don’t cry,” kindly said the bunny uncle, patting Tommie Tucker on the head. “I’ll soon have you singing for your supper.”
“But how can you when I have such a cold?” asked the little boy. “Listen. I am as hoarse as a crow.”
And, truly, he could no more sing than a rusty gate, or a last year’s door-knob.
“Ah, I can soon fix that!” said Uncle Wiggily. “See, here I have Susie Littletail’s talking and singing doll, which I have just had mended. Now you take the doll in your pocket, go to Mother Goose, and when she asks you to sing for your supper, just push the button in the doll’s back. Then the doll will sing and Mother Goose will think it is you, and give you bread and jam.”
“Oh, how fine!” cried Tommie Tucker. “I’ll do it!”
“But afterward,” said Uncle Wiggily, slowly shaking his paw at Tommie, “afterward you must tell Mother Goose all about the little joke you played, or it would not be fair. Tell her the doll sang and not you.”
“I will,” said Tommie. He and Uncle Wiggily went to Mother Goose’s house, and when Tommie had to sing for his supper the doll did it for him. And when Mother Goose heard about it she said it was a fine trick, and that Uncle Wiggily was very good to think of it.
Then the bunny uncle took Susie’s mended doll to her, and the next day Tommie’s cold was all better and he could sing for his supper himself, just as the book tells about.
And if the little mouse doesn’t go to sleep in the cat’s cradle and scare the milk bottle so it rolls off the back stoop, I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and Pussy Cat Mole.