Uncle Wiggily And Peetie

Katy, the little white cat, felt quite happy the next day, after she and Uncle Wiggily and the grasshopper had slept in the hollow stump, as I told you last.

“No matter if some of the green insects do say I did throw those nuts,” she said, “others of them will say I didn’t do it, so it will be all right.” And from then on, even up to the present time, you can hear the did and the didn’t insects calling to each other in the cool night:

“Katy did!” “Katy didn’t!” That’s how they dispute, and they never seem to settle it.

“Where are you going?” asked the old gentleman rabbit as he saw the cat starting off by herself in the woods, when breakfast was over.

“Oh, I am going back home,” she said. “I have been away too long already, and my mamma will be worried about me. But I am very glad to have met you and the grasshopper, and I hope you will soon find your fortune, Uncle Wiggily.”

“I hope so too,” spoke the rabbit, and then he and the grasshopper started off together through the woods, looking on all sides for any signs of gold or diamonds.

They traveled on for many miles, but I’m sorry to say they didn’t find any fortune at all–not even so much as a five-cent piece with a hole in it. When noon came they sat down by a little spring of water and built a fire. Then the rabbit roasted some carrots and the grasshopper ate a small piece of cherry pie, and some bread and jam, for he was very fond of sweet things.

“Well, we’ll travel on again,” said the rabbit, as he scattered the crumbs for the ants to eat.

“Why don’t you stay here and look for your fortune?” asked the grasshopper, wiggling his ears.

“Oh, it would be of no use,” said Uncle Wiggily. “Haven’t we looked all over in these woods? And we didn’t even find a diamond ring. No, we must travel on.”

“Why don’t you dig a hole here by this old stump?” asked the grasshopper. “Perhaps there is a gold mine here. It is nice and shady, and you can dig deep and keep cool. I will sit on the stump and watch you, and also sing a song now and then.”

“Perhaps that will be a good plan,” agreed Uncle Wiggily, after thinking it over. “I believe I will dig here. It can do no harm and it may be of some use.” So, laying aside his crutch and his valise, he began to dig in the earth with his sharp feet.

“My! I’m making a regular mine!” thought Uncle Wiggily, after a while. “But there doesn’t seem to be any gold here. However, I’ll go down a little deeper.”

And then, all of a sudden he heard the grasshopper cry:

“Look out, Uncle Wiggily! Look out! The alligator is coming!”

“Oh, me! Oh, my!” shouted the rabbit, as he tried to jump up out of the hole he had dug. But it was too deep and he only fell back to the bottom. He heard the whirr of the grasshopper’s wings as that hopping chap flew away, and as the grasshopper skipped over the daisies he cried out:

“I’ll go get help, Uncle Wiggily!” for he knew he couldn’t fight the alligator all alone.

“Oh, whatever shall I do?” thought the rabbit. “I must get out.” So he gave another jump, but it was of no use, and then before Uncle Wiggily could twinkle his nose twice, over the edge of the hole leaned the skillery-scalery alligator.

“Ah, ho! So there you are!” cried the scaly creature, smiling such a big smile that it is a wonder the top of his head didn’t fly off. “So you are in a hole? Well, that suits me, for you can’t get away, and I can take you whenever I please. I guess I’ll wait until I am a little more hungry. Meanwhile I’ll sit here and look at you.”

And the alligator did this, perched on the edge of the hole, with his mouth grinning from ear to ear and his tail slowly switching to and fro, to keep off the flies from his scaly hide.

“Are you really going to bite me?” asked the rabbit, sad-like.

“I am,” replied the alligator, in a nutmeg-grater voice.

“Would you let me go if I gave you my barber-pole crutch and my valise filled with cherry pie?” asked Uncle Wiggily, sorrowful-like.

“Not for worlds!” cried the alligator, smacking his jaws. “I’m going to bite you now.” And with that he started to crawl down into the hole to get the rabbit.

But don’t worry. Some one is on the way to save Uncle Wiggily. All of a sudden, just as the alligator was almost down to Uncle Wiggily, and only the tip of his tail was sticking out over the edge, there was a movement on the other side of the hole, and, looking up, the rabbit saw a curious sight.

There was some sort of an animal peering down at him. But such an animal! His tail was all stuck up with stickery burrs, and it had a lump of mud on the end. On one ear was stuck a big green leaf, and on the other ear was a piece of red paper from a Chinese lantern. And on his back were chestnut burrs and bits of briar bushes; and this animal grinned and showed his teeth and shook himself so that mud was scattered all over. Then this animal cried:

“Here, you bad alligator! Get away and let that rabbit alone!”

“What for; do you want to bite him yourself?” asked the skillery-scalery alligator creature, grinning from ear to ear.

“No, I don’t,” answered the dreadful looking animal. “But you get away from here or I’ll eat you!” And, my! you should have heard that muddy creature growl. No, perhaps it’s just as well you didn’t hear him, or you might have bad dreams. Anyhow, that new, queer animal growled so that even the alligator was frightened, and Uncle Wiggily said to himself:

“Oh, worse and worse! If the alligator doesn’t get me this terrible creature will!”

Then the terrible creature growled some more and showed his teeth and the alligator crawled out of the hole and scurried away, taking his scaly tail with him.

“Ha! Ha! That’s the time I fooled you!” cried the terrible looking animal, and then he burst out laughing and took the paper and leaf from his ears, shook out the burrs from his tail, and whom do you s’pose it was? Why none other than Peetie Bow Wow, the nice puppy dog.

“Oh, you saved my life!” cried Uncle Wiggily, thankfully.

“Yes, he certainly did,” said the grasshopper, perching himself on the edge of the hole. “I met Peetie in the woods and told him about you, and he rolled in the mud and water and stuck himself all up with burrs, so as to make himself look as terrible as possible and scare the alligator. It was a good trick; wasn’t it?”

“It was, indeed!” cried the rabbit, as the grasshopper and the puppy dog helped him out of the hole; “even if I didn’t find my fortune.”

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