UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BITTER MEDICINE
"How is Jackie this morning, Mrs. Bow Wow?" asked Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, one day, as he stopped at the kennel where the dog lady lived with her two little boys, Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the puppies. "How is Jackie?"
"Jackie is not so well, I'm sorry to say," answered Mrs. Bow Wow, as she looked carefully along the back fence to see if there were any bad cats there who might meaouw, and try to scratch the puppies.
"Not so well? I am sorry to hear that," spoke the bunny uncle. "What's seems to be the matter?"
"Oh, you know Jackie and Peetie both had the measles," went on Mrs. Bow Wow. "They seemed to get over them nicely, at least Peetie did, but then Jackie caught the epizootic, and he has to stay in bed a week longer, and take bitter medicine."
"Bitter medicine, eh?" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. "I am sorry to hear that, for I don't like bitter medicine myself."
"Neither does Jackie," continued Mrs. Bow Wow. "In fact, he really doesn't know whether he likes this bitter medicine or not."
"Why, not?" asked the rabbit gentleman.
"Because we can't get him to take a drop," said the puppy dog boy's mother. "Not a drop will he take, though I have fixed it up for him with orange juice and sugar and even put it in a lollypop. But he won't take it, and Dr. Possum says he won't get well unless he takes the bitter medicine."
"Well, Dr. Possum ought to know," said Uncle Wiggily. "But why don't you ask him a good way to give the medicine to Jackie?"
"That's what I'm waiting out here for now," said Mrs. Bow Wow. "I want to catch Dr. Possum when he comes past, and ask him to come in and give Jackie the medicine. The poor boy really needs it to make him well."
"Of course he does," agreed Uncle Wiggily. "And while you are waiting for Dr. Possum I'll see what I can do."
"What are you going to do?" asked Mrs. Bow Wow, as the bunny uncle started for the dog kennel.
"I'm going to try to make Jackie take his bitter medicine. You just stay out here a little while."
"Well, I hope you do it, but I'm afraid you won't," spoke Mrs. Bow Wow with a sigh. "I've tried all the ways I know. I was just going, as you came along, to get a toy balloon, blow it up, and put the medicine inside. Then I was going to let Jackie burst it by sticking a pin in it. And I thought when the balloon exploded the medicine might be blown down his throat."
"Oh, well, I think I have a better way than that," said Uncle Wiggily with a laugh. He went in where Jackie, who had the measles-epizootic, was in bed. "Good morning, Jackie," said the bunny uncle. "How are you?"
"Not very well," answered Jackie, the puppy dog boy. "But I'm glad to see you. I'm not going to take the bitter medicine even for you, though, Uncle Wiggily."
"Ho! Ho! Ho! Just you wait until you're asked!" cried Mr. Longears in his most jolly voice. "Now let me have a look at that bitter medicine which is making so much trouble. Where is it?"
"In that cup on the chair," and Jackie pointed to it near his bed.
"I see," said Uncle Wiggily, looking at it. "Now, Jackie, I'm a good friend of yours, and you wouldn't mind just holding this cup of bitter medicine in your paw, would you, to please me?"
"Oh, I'll do that for you, Uncle Wiggily, but I'll not take it," Jackie said.
"Never mind about that," laughed the bunny uncle. "Just hold the medicine in your paw, so," and Jackie did as he was told. "Now, would you mind holding it up to your lips, as if you were going to make believe take it?" asked Uncle Wiggily. "Mind you, don't you dare take a drop of it. Just hold the cup to your lips, but don't swallow any."
"Why do you want me to do that?" asked Jackie, as he did what Uncle Wiggily asked.
"Because I want to draw a picture of you making believe take bitter medicine," said the bunny, as he took out pencil and paper. "I'll show it to any other of my little animal friends, who may not like their medicine, and I'll say to them: 'See how brave Jackie is to take his bitter medicine.' Of course, I won't tell them you really were afraid to take it," and without saying any more Uncle Wiggily began to draw the puppy dog boy's picture on the paper.
"Hold the cup a little nearer to your lips, and tip it up a bit, Jackie," said the bunny man. "But, mind you, don't swallow a drop. That's it, higher up! Tip it more. I want the picture to look natural."
Jackie tipped the cup higher, holding it close to his mouth, and threw back his head, and then Uncle Wiggily suddenly cried: "Ouch!" And Jackie was so surprised that he opened his mouth and before he knew it he had swallowed the bitter medicine!
"Oh, why I took it!" he cried. "It went down my throat! And it wasn't so bad, after all."
"I thought it wouldn't be," spoke Uncle Wiggily, as he finished the picture of Jackie, and now he could really say it showed the doggie boy actually taking the medicine, for Jackie did take it.
So Dr. Possum didn't have to come in to see Jackie after all to make him swallow the bitter stuff, and the little chap was soon all well again. And if the clothesline doesn't try to jump rope with the Jack in the Box, and upset the washtub, I'll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the pine cones.