“Oh, Uncle Wiggily!” cried Susie, the little rabbit girl, one afternoon, as she came over to Mr. Longears’ hollow stump bungalow. “I wonder if you can guess what came to our burrow in the night?”
“Let me see,” said Uncle Wiggily, slow and thoughtful like; “was it a mouse?”
“Nope!” cried Susie, laughing and clapping her paws.
“Was it a thunder storm?” asked the rabbit gentleman, sort of puzzled like.
“Nope! I’ll give you one more guess, and then I’ll tell you,” spoke Susie, laughing more than ever.
“Was it—er—let me see—you didn’t have a party come to your house last night, did you, Susie?”
“No! Oh, I knew you couldn’t guess! It was a baby rabbit. Sammie and I have a little baby brother. He came last night.”
“Oh, how fine!” cried Uncle Wiggily, tying his ears up in a hard knot and then untying them again. “I must go right over and see it. Come on, Susie, we’ll go in my airship.”
“Don’t let Susie fall out!” cried Nurse Jane, the muskrat lady housekeeper, as the old gentleman rabbit, followed by Susie, went out to the henhouse, where he kept his clothes basket airship.
“I won’t!” promised Uncle Wiggily, and then he and Susie sailed off, up near the clouds, over the fields and woods, to the burrow where Mrs. Littletail, Susie’s mamma, lived.
“Where is that baby rabbit?” cried Uncle Wiggily, as he lowered his airship to the ground. “I must see him.”
“Here he is,” said Mrs. Littletail, proudly, bringing out the new little baby rabbit. “But be careful not to squeeze him too hard, as he is very soft and tender.”
“Oh, I’ll be careful!” said Uncle Wiggily with a laugh.
Then he took the baby rabbit and toddled him up and down on his knee, and said “Ootsie-Cootsie!” and “Tummy-tummy!” and “petsie-etsie!” You know the way old gentleman always talk to babies, whether they are animals or not.
“Isn’t he just too sweet!” cried Susie, as she stood peeping lovingly at her new baby brother. “And doesn’t he look just like Sammie?”
“Hu! Do I look like that?” asked Sammie, standing off to one side, with his paws in his pockets.
“You did when you were little,” said his mamma, smiling.
“Ha! Well, I don’t now,” spoke Sammie sort of thankful like. “Come on, Susie, I’m going to school—the last bell has almost rung.”
“Wait until I give baby a kiss,” said Susie, and, when she had done so, she hurried to school with Sammie.
Uncle Wiggily stayed with Mrs. Littletail for some time, and he jiggled and joggled the baby rabbit up and down on his knee, and talked baby talk to it, and had just a lovely time as all old gentleman rabbits do at such times.
After a while Mrs. Littletail said:
“Oh, Uncle Wiggily, I have to go to the store to get a rattle box for baby rabbit, to amuse him when he cries! I wonder if you would stay here and take care of him until I come back!”
“Of course I would, and I’d be glad to—real proud and happy to do so!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “Won’t I, baby rabbit? Ootsie-cootsie ’unnin’-cunnin’!”
“Goo!” said the baby rabbit. I guess that meant “yes” in baby rabbit talk.
So Mrs. Littletail went to the store for a rattle box for her new bunny baby, and then Uncle Wiggily jiggled and joggled the little chap up and down on his knee some more.
“Goo-goo!” said baby rabbit, as cute as anything.
“Oh, you’re just too lovely!” cried Uncle Wiggily, exactly as Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy might have done.
But, all of a sudden, baby rabbit began to cry.
“Oh, my!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily sort of disappointed like. “Hold on if you please! Don’t do that! Stop it!”
But the more he talked the more the baby rabbit sobbed.
“Wah! Wah! Wah!” cried the small chap. “Wah-h-h-h-h-h-h!”
“Oh, my!” shouted Uncle Wiggily. “I guess I must walk up and down with you!” and he did, as fast as anything, but the baby rabbit only cried the harder.
“Ha! Maybe you want me to stand on my head for you!” said Uncle Wiggily. So he put the baby in its crib and stood on his head, in a corner, wiggling his feet in the air. But the baby rabbit still cried:
“Wah! Wah! Wah!”
“Oh, come now, be nice!” begged Uncle Wiggily, looking around for something with which to amuse the rabbit baby. “I guess you want your rattle box. I wish Mrs. Littletail would hurry back.”
“Wah! Wah! Wah!” cried baby rabbit.
“I know what I’ll do!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. “I’ll take you in my airship to Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy. She’ll know what to do.”
So, bundling the baby rabbit up in its warm blankets, the old gentleman rabbit hurried out to his airship, which he had left standing in the yard. It had been all fixed since the mosquitoes had bitten holes in the balloons, and was better than ever.
“Now we’re all right!” Uncle Wiggily cried, as he started off through the air. “Nurse Jane will soon fix you, little fellow!”
“Why, you shouldn’t have brought a new, little baby rabbit out in your airship,” said the muskrat lady, when she saw what Uncle Wiggily had done. “It might take cold.”
“Wah! Wah! Wah!” howled the baby rabbit.
“Listen to that! I couldn’t make it stop crying,” said Uncle Wiggily. “I did everything, even to making funny faces at it. What do you do in a case like this?”
“Silly old Uncle Wiggily!” laughed Nurse Jane. “I guess this little fellow is hungry!” And, surely enough, when she gave baby rabbit some warm milk and sugar from a bottle, the little chap stopped crying at once and went to sleep.
“Well, I do declare!” cried Uncle Wiggily, in surprise. “It is so easy when you know how!” And then, while the baby rabbit slept, Uncle Wiggily took it home in his airship, and just in time, too, for Mrs. Littletail had come back with the rattle box, and she was wondering where in the world her baby was. Then she thanked Uncle Wiggily, and put the baby rabbit in its crib, and that is the end of this story.