Uncle Wiggily And The Man From Bombay

“A letter for you, Uncle Wiggily,” said Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, as she went to the door of the hollow-stump bungalow, when the bird postman gave a whistle, and a tap of his bill, to let them know that he had some mail.

“A letter for me! Thats’s nice!” said the bunny uncle. “Why, it’s an invitation to a party—for you and me,” he went on to Nurse Jane. “It’s from Jollie and Jillie Longtail, the mice children. They want us to come to their house,” and he read the invitation.

“Shall you go?” asked Nurse Jane.

“I shall,” answered Uncle Wiggily. “And before I go I must practice that new ice cream cone dance, where you stand on one ear and eat a lollypop. You’ll go, of course, Nurse Jane.”

“Well, I don’t know. I need a new dress, and——”

“Say no more about it!” cried Uncle Wiggily, with a jolly laugh. “Here is some money. Go down to the five and ten cent store and buy the finest gold and diamond silk dress you can find. I want you to look nice.”

So Nurse Jane bought the new dress, which had rows and rows of double plaited insertion with fried egg tassels down the side, and Uncle Wiggily practiced dancing for the party the Longtail mice children were to have.

At last the evening for the party came. Off started Uncle Wiggily and Nurse Jane, talking of the good times they were going to have, when, all at once, the bunny gentleman cried:

“Oh, dear! I’ve forgotten my dancing shoes! I’ll run back to the bungalow after them. You keep on, Nurse Jane, and I’ll soon catch up to you.”

Uncle Wiggily turned back, taking a shortcut to the hollow-stump bungalow, where he lived, and he was almost there when, all at once, he heard some one crying sadly:

“Oh, dear! It’s gone! Oh, what shall I do? I’d go after him if I could, but I can’t. Oh, what trouble I’m in!”

“Ha! Trouble!” cried the bunny uncle. “Some one is in trouble! That’s what I like to hear! I mean I like to hear it because I like to help people out of trouble. I must see who this is.”

He looked through the bushes and there, sitting on a stump, in the moonlight, Uncle Wiggily saw a very big man, with a turban—a white cloth, like a twisted towel—around his head. The man was sort of chocolate-colored.

“Well, what is your trouble?” asked Uncle Wiggily. “Perhaps I can help you. Who are you?”

“Surely you must have heard of me,” said the big man, puffing out his chest. “I am in Mother Goose’s book.”

“I don’t seem to remember you,” said Uncle Wiggily, sort of thoughtful like, scratching his pink, twinkling nose with his ear. “If you would kindly tell me——”

Then the troubled one sang:

“I am the fat man from Bombay,

I was smoking my pipe one fine day.

When a bird, called a snipe,

Flew away with my pipe.

Which vexed the fat man of Bombay.”

“Oh, now I remember you,” said Uncle Wiggily.

“I’m glad you do,” spoke the fat man. “So you see how it is. I’m really quite vexed, which means just a little angry, and I’m in trouble, for the snipe bird did fly away with my pipe, and I can’t smoke, and I must do that, or it won’t be the way it is in the Mother Goose book. Do you think you can help me?”

“Well, I’ll try,” said Uncle Wiggily. “You just wait here until I run to my hollow-stump bungalow for my dancing slippers, and, when I come back I’ll see what I can do.”

Uncle Wiggily hurried on through the woods, found his dancing shoes, and was hurrying back, when, all of a sudden, he slipped and fell head over heels with his slippers, and a big sliver was stuck in his paw.

“Oh, dear!” cried the bunny uncle. “That sliver hurts very much! What shall I do? Now I am in trouble, for I can’t dance and I can’t help the fat man of Bombay. Oh, dear, what can I do?”

Uncle Wiggily couldn’t hop on with that sliver in his paw, and he couldn’t pull it out, try as he did.

“Help! Help!” he called, as loudly as he could. “Will no one help me, and the fat man of Bombay?”

“Ha! Who is that calling?” asked a voice. “And who knows about the fat man of Bombay?”

“I do,” answered the bunny uncle. “I am calling, and I know the Bombay fat man. He is in trouble, too.”

Then through the bushes came flying a bird called a snipe, and in his bill he carried a pipe.

“Oh, you have it!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “Why don’t you give it back to him so he won’t be sad and vexed any more? Why don’t you give back the pipe to the fat man of Bombay?”

“I would, if I could find him,” answered the snipe. “You see, I only took his pipe in fun. He looked so funny sitting there smoking, that I thought I’d play a trick on him. So I flew away with his pipe, that’s because I’m a snipe. But I’ll give it back to him now. Is there something the matter with you?”

“Yes,” answered Uncle Wiggily, sadly, “I have run a big wooden splinter in my paw, and I can’t get it out, and I want to go to the Longtail dance and I can’t——”

“Of course you can!” cried the snipe bird, in a jolly voice. “With my sharp bill I can easily pull the splinter out of your paw. Let me get hold of it.”

Laying down the fat man’s pipe, the snipe soon pulled the splinter out of Uncle Wiggily’s paw.

“Now I can go to the dance!” cried the bunny uncle.

“And if you will show me where the fat man of Bombay is, I’ll take him back his pipe,” said the snipe.

“This way!” cried Uncle Wiggily. He showed the bird where the sad, fat man was sitting, and the snipe gave back the pipe.

“Oh, how good you are!” cried the fat man, striking a match, but only in fun, of course. “Now my troubles are over.”

“And so are mine—the sliver-trouble!” said the bunny uncle. Then the fat man of Bombay, which is in India, smoked his pipe, the snipe flew away and Uncle Wiggily and Nurse Jane went on to the dance and had a fine time.