“Well, how are you feeling this beautiful morning, Uncle Wiggily?” asked the red monkey, as he knocked on the door of a hollow stump where the rabbit had spent the night. “Are you all better?” the red monkey went on, as he took a cocoanut out of his pocket and looked inside the shell to see what time it was.
“Oh, yes, I am much better, thank you kindly for asking,” said the rabbit. “But how comes it that you are here? I thought you were off in the woods.”
“So I was,” answered the monkey, as he nibbled a little bit of the cocoanut. “But I came here to keep you company and help you look for your fortune.”
“Ha! But where is my friend the grasshopper?” asked Uncle Wiggily, sort of anxious-like.
“Oh, he had to hop away in the night to see a sick cousin of his,” spoke the red monkey, “and on his way he jumped past my house and asked me if I wouldn’t come and stay with you while he was gone. He said you might be lonesome. So I came.”
“It is very kind of you, I’m sure,” said the rabbit. “I like company. I think I am all well and strong again, for the butterfly, who pretended he was an electric fan, made me nice and cool and I am much better. I am ready to start off now and look once more for my fortune. Are you coming?”
“I am,” said the red monkey, looking at his tail to see if a pink cow had stepped on it. But no pink cow was there, so after Uncle Wiggily had put some cherry pie in his valise he and the monkey started off together.
And, on the way, the red monkey–who was red, you know, because some red ink which he made from raspberry juice splashed on him–this red monkey, as he and Uncle Wiggily walked along, tossed the cocoanut up in the air and caught it as it came down. Sometimes the monkey would catch the cocoanut in his left paw and sometimes in his right, and again in his left foot, and still again in his right foot. So altogether he had quite an exciting time, you see.
Well, Uncle Wiggily looked on all sides for his fortune, but he couldn’t seem to find it. The red monkey helped him, too, but it was of no use. On and on they went, over the hills and through the woods and across the fields, until finally they came to a place where there were a whole lot of stones made into a sort of a fireplace, as if some boys had built it to play camp, and hunt the Indians, only, of course, you know, there aren’t really any Indians to hunt any more.
“Hum suz dud!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he sat down on a log, and looked at the stone fireplace, “I wonder what this is for?”
“I don’t know,” said the monkey, as he made the cocoanut whiz about like a merry-go-round, “I don’t know what it is for, but I should say it was very lucky for us.”
“Why so!” asked Uncle Wiggily, and he wiped the dust off his red-white-and-blue-barber-pole crutch on his fuzzy ears. “Why is this lucky for us?”
“Because,” answered the monkey, “here are some potatoes growing in this field next door, and here is a place to make a fire. It is nearly dinner time, so there is nothing to stop us from having some roast potatoes for our lunch.”
“Fine!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “I don’t believe the man who owns the potatoes will mind if we take a few. I’ll dig them with my paws, and we’ll cook some.”
“And I’ll make the fire,” said the red monkey as he looked about for a puddle of water. You know, he wanted the water puddle to use as a looking-glass, in order to see if any of the red had come off him yet. But there was no water, so he didn’t bother, but instead he gathered the wood, and soon he had made a fine fire in the stone fireplace. Then along came Uncle Wiggily with some potatoes which he had dug, and they were put in to roast.
My! how the fire did blaze when the monkey kept putting sticks of wood on it. And how the potatoes roasted and crackled there in the heat! Oh, how nice they smelled, too! It makes me hungry for some, and as soon as I finish this story I’m going out and roast some just as Uncle Wiggily did.
But you children mustn’t do it unless your papa, or mamma, or big brother or sister is near, in case any sparks got on you and burned you. But the red monkey and Uncle Wiggily were very careful. To be sure some smoke got in the monkey’s eyes, and he looked as if he were crying, and some smoke got up Uncle Wiggily’s twinkling nose and made him sneeze, but they didn’t mind that.
“I guess the potatoes are cooked now,” said the monkey after a while, and he took out on a sharp-pointed stick a big potato and broke it open. “Yes, it’s done,” he went on, as he saw how mealy and flaky-white the potato was, even if the outside was burned black. Then he and Uncle Wiggily took out some more of the potatoes, and when they were cool the two friends put salt on them, and ate them all up. Then the monkey played ball with his cocoanut again.
And, all of a sudden, as he threw the cocoanut quite high up in the air, it came down in the middle of a prickly briar bush. Then, all at once, there was a terrible roaring sound and a savage voice cried out from the middle of the bushes:
“Hi, there! Who is throwing stones at me?”
Then, before Uncle Wiggily or the red monkey could move, out sprang the skillery-scalery alligator with his double-jointed tail. Right at the red monkey and poor Uncle Wiggily he rushed, and he cried:
“Who threw that stone?”
“Please, Mr. Alligator,” said the monkey, “it wasn’t a stone. It was my cocoanut, and I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“A cocoanut, eh?” roared the alligator. “So much the worse for you! I’m going to eat you both. Here I come! Get ready!”
And with that he opened his mouth as wide as a big paper bag, and fairly jumped for the red monkey.
“Oh, I’m gone, sure, this time!” cried the monkey, sadly-like.
“No, you’re not!” shouted brave Uncle Wiggily. “I’ll save you!” And what do you s’pose that rabbit gentleman did? Why, he just put on a pair of gloves, as quickly as a cat can wash her face on a rainy day, and he reached in the hot ashes, and he pulled out three hot, roast potatoes. Then, taking careful aim, he threw one hot potato right into the alligator’s open mouth, which was as wide as two paper bags now, ready to eat the red monkey.
“Oh, wow!” cried the alligator, as he felt the hot potato slipping down his throat like a roast marshmallow candy.
“Wait, I’m not done yet,” shouted the rabbit, and he threw hot potato number two down the alligator’s throat.
“Wow! Wow!” cried the skillery-scalery creature as he felt the blistering heat on his forty-‘leven sharp teeth.
“Wait! I have something more for you!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, and then with slow and careful aim, he threw hot roast potato number three down the alligator’s throat.
“Wow! Wow! Wow!” yelled the skillery-scalery creature, and then, fairly boiling inside, he turned a big backward somersault, standing up on the end of his double-jointed tail, and he ran off to find some iced water with which to cool himself.
“Ha! That’s the time you saved my life with the roast potatoes. They were just fine!” cried the red monkey. Then he and Uncle Wiggily traveled on, and the alligator didn’t bother them any more that day, being so busy drinking iced water.