“Now, I wonder where I will go to-day?” said Uncle Wiggily, the old gentleman rabbit to himself, as he went along, in his automobile, turning around the corner by an old black stump-house, where lived a nice owl school teacher lady. “I wonder where I had better go? I have it! I’ll call on Grandfather Goosey Gander and play a game of Scotch checkers!” and off he went.
It was generally that way with Uncle Wiggily. He would start off pretending he had no place in particular to go, but he would generally end up at Grandpa Goosey’s house.
There the old rabbit gentleman and the old duck gentleman would sit and play Scotch checkers and eat molasses cookies with cabbage seeds on top, and they would talk of the days when they were young, and could play ball and go skating, and do all of those things.
But this time Uncle Wiggily never got to Grandfather Goosey’s house. As he was going along in the woods, all of a sudden he came to a little house that stood under a Christmas tree, and on this house was a sign reading:
DR. MONKEY DOODLE. SICK DOLLS MADE WELL.
“Ha! That is rather strange!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. “I never knew there was a doll doctor here. He must have moved in only lately. I must look into this!”
So the rabbit gentleman went up to the little house, and, as he came nearer he heard some one inside exclaiming:
“Oh, I’ll never get through to-day, I know I won’t! Oh, the trouble I’m in! Oh, if I only had some one to help me!”
“My! What is that!” cried Uncle Wiggily, stopping short. “Perhaps I am making a mistake. That may be a trap! No, it doesn’t look like a trap,” he went on, as he peered all about the little house and saw nothing dangerous.
Then the voice cried again:
“Oh, I am in such trouble! Will no one help me?”
Now Uncle Wiggily was always on the lookout to help his animal friends, but he did not know who this one could be.
“Still,” said the rabbit gentleman to himself, “he is in trouble. Maybe a mosquito has bitten him. I’m going to see.”
So Uncle Wiggily marched bravely up to the little house under the Christmas tree, and knocked on the door.
“Come in!” cried a voice. “But if you’re a little animal girl, with a sick doll, or one that needs mending, you might as well go away and come back again. I’m head-over heels in work, and I’ll never get through. In fact I can’t work at all. Oh, such trouble as I am in!”
“Well, maybe I can help you,” said Uncle Wiggily. “At any rate I have no doll that needs mending.”
So into the little house he went, and what a queer sight he saw! There was Dr. Monkey Doodle, sitting on the floor of his shop, and scattered all about him were dolls—dolls—dolls!
All sorts of dolls—but not a good, whole, well doll in the lot. Some dolls had lost their wigs, some had swallowed their eyes, others had lost a leg, or both arms, or a foot.
One poor doll had lost all her sawdust, and she was as flat as a pancake. Another had dropped one of her shoe button eyes, and a new eye needed to be sewed in. One doll had stiff joints, which needed oiling, while another, who used to talk in a little phonograph voice, had caught such a cold that she could not speak or even whisper.
“My, what sort of a place is this?” asked Uncle Wiggily, in surprise.
“It is the doll hospital,” said Dr. Monkey Doodle. “Think of it! All these dolls to fix before night, and I can’t touch a one of them!”
“Why must all the dolls be fixed to-night?” the rabbit gentleman wanted to know.
“Because they are going to a party,” explained Dr. Monkey Doodle. “Susie Littletail, the rabbit is giving a party for all the little animal girls, and every one is going to bring her doll. But all the dolls were ill, or else were broken, and the animal children brought them all to me at once, so that I am fairly overwhelmed with work, if you will kindly permit me to say so,” remarked the monkey doctor.
“Of course, I’ll let you say so,” said Uncle Wiggily. “But, if you will kindly pardon me, why don’t you get up and work, instead of sitting in the middle of the floor, feeling sorry for yourself?”
“True! Why do I not?” asked the monkey doctor. “Well, to be perfectly plain, I am stuck here so fast that I can’t move. One of the dolls, I think it was Cora Ann Multiplicationtable, upset the pot of glue on the floor. I came in hurriedly, and, not seeing the puddle of glue, I slipped in it. I fell down, I sat right in the glue, and now I am stuck so fast that I can’t get up.
“So you see that’s why I can’t work on the broken dolls. I can’t move! And oh, what a time there’ll be when all those animal girls come for their dolls and find they’re not done. Oh, what a time I’ll have!”
And the monkey doctor tried to pull himself up from the glue on the floor, but he could not—he was stuck fast.
“Oh, dear!” he cried.
“Now don’t worry!” spoke Uncle Wiggily kindly. “I think I can help you.”
“Oh, can you!” cried Dr. Monkey Doodle. “And will you?”
“I certainly will,” said Uncle Wiggily, tying his ears in a bowknot so they would not get tangled in the glue.
“But how can you help me?” asked the monkey doctor.
“In the first place,” went on the rabbit gentleman. “I will pour some warm water all around you on the glue. That will soften it, and by-and-by you can get up. And while we are waiting for that you shall tell me how to cure the sick dolls and how to mend the broken ones and I’ll do the best I can.”
“Fine!” cried Dr. Monkey Doodle, feeling happier now.
So Uncle Wiggily poured some warm water on the glue that held the poor monkey fast, taking care not to have the water too hot. Then Uncle Wiggily said:
“Now, we’ll begin on the sick dolls. Who’s first?”
“Take Sallie Jane Ticklefeather,” said the monkey. “She needs some mucilage pills to keep her hair from sticking up so straight. She belongs to a little girl named Rosalind.”
So Uncle Wiggily gave Sallie Jane Ticklefeather some mucilage pills. Then he gave another doll some sawdust tea and a third one some shoe-button pudding—this was the doll who only had one eye—and soon she was all cured and had two eyes.
And then such a busy time as Uncle Wiggily had! He hopped about that little hospital, sewing arms and legs and feet on the dolls that had lost theirs. He oiled up all the stiff joints with olive oil, and one doll, whose eyes had fallen back in her head, Uncle Wiggily fixed as nicely as you please. Only by mistake he got in one brown eye and one blue one, but that didn’t matter much. In fact, it made the doll all the more stylish.
“Oh, but there are a lot more dolls to fix!” cried the monkey doctor.
“Never mind,” said Uncle Wiggily. “You will soon be loose from the glue, and you can help me!”
“Oh, I wish I were loose now!” cried the monkey.
He gave himself a tremendous tug and a pull, Uncle Wiggily helping him, and up he came. Then how he flew about that hospital, fixing the dolls ready for the party.
“Hark!” suddenly called Uncle Wiggily.
“It’s the girl animals coming for their dolls,” said the monkey. “Oh, work fast! Work fast!”
Outside the doll hospital Susie Littletail, the rabbit girl, and Alice and Lulu Wibblewobble, the duck girls, and all their friends were calling:
“Are our dolls mended? Are they ready for us?”
“Not yet, but soon,” answered Uncle Wiggily, and then he and the monkey worked so fast! Dolls that had lost their heads had new ones put on. The doll that had spilled all her sawdust was filled up again, plump and fat. One boy soldier doll, who had lost his gun was given a new one, and a sword also. And the phonograph doll was fixed so that she could sing as well as talk.
“But it is almost time for the party!” cried Susie Littletail.
“Just a minute!” called Uncle Wiggily.
“There is one more doll to fix.” Then he quickly painted some red cheeks on a poor little pale doll, who had had the measles, and in a moment she was as bright and rosy again as a red apple. Then all the dolls were fixed, and the girl animals took them to a party and had a fine time.
“Hurray for Uncle Wiggily!” cried Susie Littletail, and all the others said the same thing.
“He certainly was kind to me,” spoke Dr. Monkey Doodle, as he cleaned the glue up off the floor.