“Where are you going, Uncle Wiggily?” called Nurse Jane Fuzzy one day, as the muskrat lady saw the bunny gentleman hopping away from his hollow stump bungalow.
“I am going to get myself a new pair of rubber boots,” said Mr. Longears. “My old ones are wearing out and they have little holes, so they leak. We have had so much rain lately, that I will need a new pair of boots if I want to go on more adventures. So I am going to the shoemaker’s.”
“But why are you taking your old boots along?” asked Nurse Jane, for Uncle Wiggily had them under his paw.
“I am taking them to the shoemaker to show him what size I want my new boots,” answered the bunny. “Also he might be able to repair these old ones so I can wear them while gardening.”
“That’s a good idea,” said Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy. “While you are out anyways, could you go to the store for me? I want some needles and thread, some balls of red yarn and some white flannel.”
“That’s a lot! Are you going to make a bedquilt?” asked the bunny gentleman.
“No,” laughed Nurse Jane. “I am going to use the white flannel to make me a new petticoat, the red yarn I am going to use to knit Sammie and Susie Littletail, the rabbit children, some mittens, and the needle and thread I will use to sew up a hole in the curtain.”
“Very well,” spoke Uncle Wiggily politely, “you shall have all three, and I’ll get myself a new pair of boots.”
It did not take the bunny rabbit gentleman long to hop to the shop of the Monkey Doodle shoemaker, where Mr. Longears bought himself a new pair of rubber boots.
“As for those old ones,” said the Monkey, “I can repair them for you, they will be perfectly fine!”
“Please do so,” said the bunny. And when his old boots were mended he carried them over his shoulder with the new ones, for he was wearing his shoes. Along he hopped to the store.
Uncle Wiggily bought the needles, thread, white flannel and red yarn for the rabbit children’s mittens, and he was hopping back to his hollow stump bungalow, when, all of a sudden, coming from behind a bush, he heard a voice saying: “Oh, dear! How sad! Now I suppose they’ll take me out of all the story books, and the children will never love me anymore!”
“Hum! This is strange,” said Uncle Wiggily to himself. “I wonder who it is that can’t be in the story books anymore? That is very sad! I wouldn’t want them to put me out of all the Bedtime Story Books in which I have my adventures.”
So the bunny gentleman looked around the corner of the bush, and there he saw a cat, dressed in a coat, trousers and cap, but without anything on his hind paws, sitting on a stump.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Cat!” politely greeted Uncle Wiggily. “You seem to be in trouble.”
“I am,” was the answer. “Only my name is Puss, and not Cat, though, of course, that’s what I really am. Puss in Boots is my right name, but there is no use trying to keep it any longer.”
“Why not?” Uncle Wiggily asked.
“Because I have lost my boots,” answered Puss. “A little while ago I met a dog who chased me. I ran across a swamp and became stuck in the mud. I managed to pull my paws out of the boots, but the boots themselves remained in the mud. Now I have no boots and I can be called Puss in Boots no longer! I shall have to keep out of all the story books!”
“Nonsense!” laughed Uncle Wiggily. “Why, I have two pairs of boots here! Take one of them, I can only wear one pair of boots at a time,” and very politely Mr. Longears gave his new boots to the cat.
“Oh, but I can’t take your new boots!” objected Puss. “The old ones will be perfect.”
“No,” kindly insisted Uncle Wiggily. “Please take the new ones. Since my old ones were mended they will fit me like a glove, and they’ll be easier on my paws.”
So Uncle Wiggily gave Puss the new boots, keeping the old mended ones for himself, and as the cat put the boots on his paws he looked just like he was supposed to—like his pictures in the story books.
“Now I can keep my place, the children will not miss me. Thank you, Uncle Wiggily,” mewed Puss.
“You’re welcome,” said the bunny. “I am glad I don’t have to carry two pairs of boots.”
So Mr. Longears hopped on a little farther, and soon he heard some tiny voices saying: “Oh, Mother dear! Look here! Look here!
Our mittens we have lost!”
“Ho! I know who they are!” said the bunny. “Those must be the three kittens!”
And, they were, as the bunny saw a moment later, when he turned around the corner of a tree. There were three little kittens, holding up their paws for their mother to see, and there wasn’t a single mitten on any one of the paws! “What, lost your mittens! You careless kittens!
Now you can’t have any pie!” said the mother cat. And when the three little kittens, who had lost their mittens, began to cry, Uncle Wiggily felt so sorry for them that he stepped up and said: “Excuse me, Mrs. Cat. But I have a lot of red yarn I bought for Nurse Jane to knit mittens for Sammie and Susie Littletail. There is more than Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy needs, I’m sure, so I will give you some to knit mittens for your kittens.”
“Oh, how kind you are!” mewed the mother cat, as Uncle Wiggily gave her three balls of red yarn, still leaving plenty for the rabbit children’s mittens. “Now you can have some pie, and I’ll give Uncle Wiggily a piece, too,” said the cat mother to her kittens.
“You are very kind,” remarked Mr. Longears. “But I must hop on with the needle and thread, and the piece of white flannel Nurse Jane is going to use to make herself a new petticoat.”
So on hopped the bunny, while the mother cat sat down to knit some new mittens for her kittens. Uncle Wiggily had not gone very far, when all of a sudden, he heard another sad mewing sound and a voice said: “Dear me! The hole goes all the way through! I will never be able to go to see Old Mother Hubbard this way! Oh, what an accident!”
“That sounds like more trouble,” thought Uncle Wiggily, and, looking over the top of a wall, he saw a cat lady sitting on a stump, sadly looking at her skirt.
“What is the matter?” asked Mr. Longears.
“Oh! How you surprised me!” mewed the cat lady. “But here is the trouble. I’m Cat Mole. I jumped over a coal, and in my best petticoat burned a great hole!” and she showed the edge of her petticoat where, surely enough, a hole was burned through.
“And I’m supposed to be at Mother Hubbard’s now, to go with her to the movies,” said Cat Mole. “But I can’t go!”
“Oh, yes, you can!” said Uncle Wiggily.
“Not with this big burned hole in my petticoat!” mewed the cat.
“Ah, but you can sew on a patch,” said the bunny. “I have here needle and thread, and some white flannel. Can’t you repair your best petticoat with all those?”
“Yes I can!,” mewed Cat Mole. “Thank you, so much!”
Uncle Wiggily gave her a needle and thread, and with her claws Miss Mole tore off a piece of white flannel, for there was more than Nurse Jane needed. She sewed the patch on neatly, and then, with her petticoat nicely mended, Cat Mole went on to Mother Hubbard’s.
“Ah, how delightful it is to be helpful,” said Uncle Wiggily, as he hopped back to his bungalow. And he was very glad he had met the three cats, one after another. For a little later that day the bad Woozie Wolf chased the bunny.
But the mother of the three kittens, after she had knit their mittens, tickled the wolf with her knitting needles. Puss with the boots, stepped on the wolf’s tail so hard that he cried “Ouch!” And Cat Mole ran at the wolf with a piece of red stone, which she pretended was a red hot coal that in her best petticoat had burned a great hole.
“I’ll burn you! I’ll burn you!” she mewed at the wolf.
“Then this is no place for me!” he howled, and away he ran, not hurting the bunny at all. And how the bunny gentleman and the three cats laughed!