UNCLE WIGGILY IN A WELL
Well, I didn't get the pumpkin Jack o' Lantern with the pink ribbon on, but some one mailed me an ice cream cone, so it's just as well. That is, I suppose it was an ice cream cone when it started on its journey, but when I got it there was only the cone part left. Maybe the postman took out the ice cream, with which to stick a stamp on the letter.
But there, I must tell you what happened to Uncle Wiggily after he and Percival did those tricks, and made the wolves laugh so hard. The rabbit and the circus dog stayed in the woods all that night, and nothing bothered them.
"Now, Percival, you make the coffee, and I'll spread the bread and butter for breakfast," said Uncle Wiggily the next morning.
"Where are you going to get the bread and butter?" asked the dog.
"Oh, I have it in my satchel," spoke the old rabbit, and, surely enough, he did have several large, fine slices. So he and Percival ate their breakfast, and then they started off again.
They hadn't gone very far before they met a grasshopper, who was limping along on top of a fence rail, and looking quite sad—I mean the grasshopper was looking sad, not the fence rail.
"What is the matter?" asked Uncle Wiggily, kindly. "Are you sad and lonesome because you can't have some cherry pie, or some bread and butter; or because you can't see any funny tricks? If you are, don't worry, Mr. Grasshopper, for Percival and I can give you something to eat, and also do some tricks to make you laugh."
"No, I am not sad about any of those things," replied the grasshopper, "but you see I gave a big jump over a large stone a little while ago, and I sprained my left hind leg. Now I can't jump any more, and here it is Summer, and, of course, we grasshoppers have to hop, or we don't make any money."
"Oh, don't let a little thing like that worry you," spoke Uncle Wiggily. "I have some very nice salve, that a gentleman and his boy gave me when their automobile ran over me, and it cured my sore toe, so I think it will cure your left hind leg."
Then he put some salve on the grasshopper's leg, and in a little while it was much better.
"Now we must travel on again, to seek our fortune," said Uncle Wiggily. "Come, Percival."
"I will just do one little trick, to make the grasshopper feel better before we leave," said the circus dog, so he stood up on the end of his tail, and went around and around, and winked first one eye and then the other, it was too funny for anything, really it was.
Well, the alligator laughed at that—oh there I go again—I mean the grasshopper laughed, and then Uncle Wiggily and Percival went off together, very glad indeed that they had had a chance to do a kindness, even to a grasshopper.
Pretty soon they came to a place where there were two roads branching off, one to the right hand and the other to the left, like the letter "Y."
"I'll tell you what we'll do," said Percival, "you go to the right, Uncle Wiggily, and I'll go to the left, and, later on, we'll meet by the mill pond, and perhaps each of us may have found his fortune by that time."
"Good!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "We'll do it!"
So he went off one way, and the circus dog took the other path through the woods, and now I must tell you what happened to the old gentleman rabbit.
Uncle Wiggily went along for some time, and just as he got to a place where there was a large stone, all of a sudden out popped a big fat toad. And it wasn't a nice toad, either, but a bad toad.
"Hello, Uncle Wiggily," said the squatty-watty toad. "I haven't seen you in some time. I guess you must be getting pretty old. You can't jump as good as you once could, can you?"
"Of course, I can," exclaimed the rabbit, a bit pettish-like, for he didn't care to have even a toad think he couldn't jump as well as ever he could.
"I'd like to see you," went on the toad. "See if you jump from here over on that pile of leaves," and he pointed to them with his warty toes.
"I'll do it," exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. So he laid aside his crutch and his valise, gave a little run and a big jump, and then he came down kerthump on the pile of leaves.
But wait. Oh! I have something sad to tell you. That toad was only playing a trick on the rabbit, and those leaves were right over a big, deep, dark well. And as soon as Uncle Wiggily landed on the leaves he fell through, for there were no boards under them to cover up the well, and down, down, down he went, and if there had been water in the well he would have been drowned. But the well was dry, I'm glad to say. Still Uncle Wiggily had a great fall—almost like the tumble of Humpty-Dumpty.
"Ah, ha!" exclaimed the mean, squatty-squirmy toad. "Now you are in the well, and I'm going off, and tell the wolves, so they can come and get you out, and eat you. Ah, ha!" Oh! but wasn't that toad a most unpleasant one? You see, he used to work for the wolves, doing all sorts of mean things for them, and trapping all the animals he could for them.
So off the toad hopped, to call the wolves to come and get Uncle Wiggily, and the poor rabbit was left alone at the bottom of the well. He tried his best to get up, but he couldn't.
"I guess I'll have to stay here until the wolves come," he thought, sadly. "But I'll call for help, and see what happens." So he called: "Help! Help! Help!" as loudly as he could.
And all of a sudden a voice answered and asked:
"Where are you?"
"In the well," shouted Uncle Wiggily, and he was afraid it was the wolves coming to eat him. But it wasn't, it was the limpy grasshopper, and he tried to pull Uncle Wiggily out of the well, but, of course, he wasn't strong enough.
"But I'll get Percival, the circus dog, and he'll pull you out before the wolves come," said the grasshopper. "Now I have a chance to do you a kindness for the one you did me." So he hopped off, as his leg was nearly all better, and he found Percival on the left road and told him what had happened.
And, my! how that circus dog did rush back to help Uncle Wiggily. And he got him out of the well in no time, by lowering a long rope to him, and pulling the rabbit gentleman up, and then the rabbit and dog ran away, before the toad could come back with the savage wolves, who didn't get any supper out of the well, after all, and it served them right.
So that's all of this story, but I have some more, about the adventures of Uncle Wiggily, and next, in case the load of hay doesn't fall on my puppy-dog, and break off his curly tail, I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and Jennie Chipmunk.