“Hey, Uncle Wiggily!” suddenly exclaimed Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy in the middle of the night.
“Yes, what is it?” asked the rabbit gentleman in a sleepy voice.
“Listen!” went on the muskrat lady.
So Uncle Wiggily listened, just as if a nice telephone girl had told him to do so. He and Nurse Jane were spending a few days in the country woods bungalow, as I told you in the story before this one. It was their first night, and, about twelve o’clock, the muskrat lady had all at once awakened the old gentleman rabbit by calling to him.
“Did you hear that?” asked Nurse Jane, after a bit.
Uncle Wiggily heard a sound that went something like: “Chir-r-r-r-r-p! Chir-r-r-r-r-p! Chir-r-r-r-r-p!”
“Do you hear that?” asked Nurse Jane in a whisper.
“Surely I hear it,” answered Uncle Wiggily.
“That is a bad old fox, sawing the bolt off the front door with a screw driver, so he can get in,” went on the muskrat lady.
“Nonsencicalness!” laughed Uncle Wiggily. “It is only a black cricket. They always chirp that way, to make the country more cheerful. There are many crickets in the country. Go to sleep, Nurse Jane.”
So the muskrat lady went to sleep once more, rather sorry for having awakened Uncle Wiggily. But pretty soon, when it was almost morning, she called out again:
“Uncle Wiggily, did you hear that?”
“Hear what?” asked the rabbit gentleman, in a sleepy voice.
“Some one outside the bungalow is calling about a little girl named Katy. Some one says she did do it, and some one else says she didn’t do it. I’m sure something dreadful must have happened. Listen!”
Uncle Wiggily listened. He heard: “Katy-did! Katy-did! Katy-didn’t! Katy-didn’t!”
“Hal Ha!” laughed the old rabbit gentleman. “That noise is made by a little green bug, called a ‘Katy-did.’ There are two of them; the other being called a ‘Katy-didn’t.’ And they are always disputing that way. Go to sleep, Nurse Jane. There are many Katy-dids and didn’ts in the country.”
“Then there isn’t any little girl Katy out in the woods?” asked the muskrat lady, curious like.
“No, indeed,” answered Uncle Wiggily.
So everything was all right until the sun got up out of bed again, and washed his face in the little pond near the birch bark bungalow where Uncle Wiggily and Nurse Jane were staying for a while.
All of a sudden there was a rustling in the bushes near the pond, and a voice cried:
“Moo! Moo! Moo!”
“Ha! I know what that is,” exclaimed Nurse Jane. “That is the Moo-Cow coming with milk for our breakfast.”
“Of course,” spoke the rabbit gentleman.
“Here I am!” said the cow in a cheerful voice, and after she had given Nurse Jane the morning milk, and the rabbit gentleman had had his breakfast, the Moo-Cow asked:
“Uncle Wiggily, what is that funny thing over there? It looks like a clothes basket, filled with sofa cushions, with an electric fan in back, and toy circus balloons and a Japanese umbrella on top. What is it?”
“That is my airship, if you please,” Uncle Wiggily replied, as he tied his long ears in a hard knot so they would not be in his way. “Perhaps you would like to take a ride with me, Moo-Cow.”
“I should like it, above all things!” answered the Moo-Cow.
“Come then, and I will take you—above all things!” laughed Uncle Wiggily. “We will go even up above the church steeples.”
“But don’t fall on any of them, for they are very sharp,” said Nurse Jane. “They are even sharper than the horns of the Moo-Cow.”
“We’ll be careful,” promised Uncle Wiggily.
So he and the Moo-Cow took their places in the clothes basket of the airship. Uncle Wiggily blew up the balloons with hot air, and then, starting the electric fan, that went around whizzie-izzie, off they sailed over the tree-tops.
“Ha! This is fine!” cried the Moo-Cow.
“Were you never airshipping before?” inquired Uncle Wiggily, politely.
“Never,” answered the Moo-Cow, as she carefully braided the tufted end of her tail, so it would not tickle Uncle Wiggily. “It is very kind of you to ask me for a ride,” she went on.
“Do not mention such a little thing as that,” spoke the rabbit gentleman still more politely. “I am glad you like it.”
Well, Uncle Wiggily and the Moo-Cow rode on and on in the airship, and Mr. Longears was afraid he was not going to have an adventure that day, when, all of a sudden there came a strong puff of wind. It blew the red, white and blue toy balloons down upon the sharp points of the Moo-Cow’s horns, and, all at once, there was a hiss, like that of a radiator on a cold day, and all the air rushed out of the balloons, leaving them flat like cocoanut cakes. Down went the airship; down—down!
“Oh, we are falling!” cried the Moo-Cow. “I am going to jump over the moon! That is the only way I can save myself!”
“Stop! Sit still!” cried Uncle Wiggily like a policeman life-saver dog at Asbury Park. “Do not jump over the moon, or anywhere else.”
“But we are falling down!” cried the cow. “We shall be hurt when we hit the ground. I must jump before it is too late.”
“Stay right in!” said Uncle Wiggily, as he steered the falling airship out of the way of a church steeple. “The soft sofa cushions, filled with Wibblewobble duck feathers, will not let us be hurt. We will fall on them!” cried the rabbit gentleman. “Don’t be in the least afraid. We shall fall on the cushions!”
And, surely enough they did. Down they came on the hard ground, but with the sofa cushions under them it was like falling on a feather bed, so neither the rabbit gentleman nor the Moo-Cow was hurt in the least. The cow was sorry her sharp horns had burst the balloons, but Uncle Wiggily politely said that did not in the least matter.
“I can easily mend them again,” he declared. “And maybe I shall have another adventure to-morrow.”