Uncle Wiggily And The Barber

Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice old rabbit gentleman, walked across the sitting-room of his hollow-stump bungalow, to where a looking-glass hung on the wall. He looked in the glass, and rubbed his paw, thoughtful like, up and down his chin.

“What is the matter?” asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper. “Did something bite you?”

“No,” answered Uncle Wiggily, “but I think I need to shave off some of my whiskers. They are getting too long. Also I need a hair cut.”

“Gracious goodness me sakes alive, and some corn-meal muffin lollypops!” exclaimed Nurse Jane. “What for? A shave! A hair cut!”

“Well, you see,” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, “Spring is nearly here now, and, though I let my hair and whiskers grow long in the cold weather, to keep me warm, I don’t need them so long now, as it is getting warmer. So I shall go to the barber’s.”

“Why don’t you shave yourself?” asked Nurse Jane.

“I could do that,” the bunny uncle said. “Only I can’t very well cut my own hair. So I might as well have both done by the barber.”

The old gentleman rabbit, taking his red, white and blue-striped barber-pole rheumatism crutch down off the bathtub, started out through the woods and across the fields for the barber’s.

Mr. Longears had not gone very far before he came to the house where Mother Goose lived. She was up bright and early, shaking out her feather beds; and, seeing the old rabbit gentleman, she asked:

“Where are you going?”

“To the monkey-doodle barber’s to get shaved,” replied Uncle Wiggily.

“Oh, would you just as soon go to my barber’s?” asked Mother Goose.

“Your barber’s? I didn’t know you had one,” said Uncle Wiggily, sort of laughing. “I didn’t know you ladies had your hair cut.”

“We don’t,” spoke Mother Goose. “But this barber is one of the friends in my story book, you know, and I’d like to give him something to do. You must have heard of him.

“‘Barber, barber, shave a pig.

How many hairs will make a wig?

Four-and-twenty, that’s enough.

Give the barber a pinch of snuff.’”

“Oh, I’ve often heard of him!” said Uncle Wiggily. “But I haven’t a pinch of snuff to give him, and besides I don’t need a wig.”

“Oh, well, you don’t have to take a wig,” said Mother Goose. “As for the snuff, tell him I’ll send little Tommie Tucker down with it later.”

“Another thing,” spoke Uncle Wiggily. “If that barber of yours is shaving a pig I don’t believe he’ll have time to shave me.”

“Oh, that will be all right,” said Mother Goose, laughing. “He doesn’t really shave a pig. I just put ‘pig’ in to make it rhyme with ‘wig.’ Hop along now, and get shaved. The barber lives down the lane, with the little boy who was given the bag of wool from Baa-Baa, the black sheep.”

“Very good,” answered Uncle Wiggily, politely. So along he hopped, to the barber shop, which he soon reached. Out in front was a red, white and blue-striped pole, like the rabbit gentleman’s rheumatism crutch, and inside the shop was the barber man, a little chap, not much larger than the bunny uncle himself.

“Shave? Hair cut? Shampoo? Massage? Manicure?” asked the barber, clicking his scissors.

“Just a shave and hair cut,” answered Uncle Wiggily, getting in the chair, while the barber tucked an apron under the bunny’s chin.

“Fine weather we’re having,” said the barber, as he began to cut Uncle Wiggily’s hairy fur.

“Very,” said Uncle Wiggily. “To-morrow is the first day of Spring, and that’s why I’m getting a hair cut, to be ready for warmer weather.”

“Good!” said the barber. Then, when he had Uncle Wiggily’s hair half cut, the barber stopped and began to mix up some soap suds lather in a cup.

“What are you doing?” asked Uncle Wiggily. “Why don’t you finish cutting my hair before you shave me?”

“Because my scissors are too dull. They would pull. I’ll send them to the scissors-to-grind man to be sharpened, and, while I’m waiting for them to come back I’ll shave you.”

So he began to shave the bunny uncle’s whiskers, talking all the while about the weather and what a hard Winter it had been, and how much carrots cost and all of that.

Then, all of a sudden, when Uncle Wiggily was half shaved, there was a whistling sound out in front of the barber shop, and a voice sang:

“Barber, barber, shave a pig,

How many hairs will make a wig?

Four-and-twenty, that’s enough.

Give the barber a pinch of snuff!”

Into the shop came little Tommie Tucker. He had a paper package in his hand, and he tossed it across the room to the barber, saying:

“Here’s your pinch of snuff. Mother Goose sent me with it. How is Uncle Wiggily’s shave and hair cut coming off?”

“It is coming off all—aker-choo! Kersnitzio! Aker-ker-foozilum-goozilum—choo-chee!” sneezed the barber, wiping some tears out his eyes.

“Oh, my!” laughed Tommie Tucker. “What kind of a shave and hair cut is a ker-choo! Oh-er—Snitzio! Whoo-ee-whoop-gizzium!” and Tommie himself was sneezing, too.

“What’s all this?” asked Uncle Wiggily. “Why don’t you finish my—ker-choo! Goo-zoo! Gizzium! Whush! Oh-ker-skee-zicks!” And he sneezed so hard that he sneezed himself right out of the barber’s chair into the middle of the room. Then they were all sneezing, the barber, Uncle Wiggily and Tommie Tucker. For you see when Tommie tossed the barber the paper of snuff Mother Goose had sent the paper burst open and the snuff scattered all about the place. All over the shop floated the sneezy stuff.

“Ker-choo!” sneezed the barber.

“A-ker-choo-choo!” sneezed Tommie.

“A-ker-choo-choo-choo! Toot-toot! All aboard!” and Uncle Wiggily sneezed like a railroad train going through a tunnel.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” said Tommie Tucker. “I should not have been so careless.” But soon all the snuff blew out of the window, the sneezes stopped, and the barber finished shaving and hair cutting Uncle Wiggily, and that’s the end of this story.