Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, was hopping along through the woods one day, limping a little on his red, white and blue striped barber-pole rheumatism crutch, for he had some pain, and he was wondering if any adventures would happen to him when, all of a sudden, there came a big puff of wind, and blew off his tall silk hat.
“My goodness me sakes alive, and some rice pudding!” cried the bunny uncle, giving a hop, skip and a jump after his hat. “I had forgotten that this is the first of March, when the wind begins to blow Winter away and blow Spring in its place. No wonder my hat went off!”
He raced after his hat, which was bounding along through the woods, rolling over and over like a boy’s hoop on the sidewalk. At last Uncle Wiggily caught his hat, but, as he was putting it down hard over his ears, along came another puff of wind, and this time blew away his red, white and blue-striped crutch.
“Oh, dear!” cried the bunny uncle. “What a lot of trouble I’m having to-day! I don’t believe any one has as much trouble as I.”
Uncle Wiggily hopped after his crutch, and caught it just as it was about ready to be blown into a bramble briar bush.
“It’s a good thing it didn’t go in there,” he said, “or I’d have been all scratched up getting it out. Oh, dear! I wonder if I am going to have any more trouble! No one has as much as I.”
“Oh, yes they have,” said a little voice in the bramble briar bush. “Yes, they have! I’m in trouble right now.”
“Who are you and what is the trouble?” asked the bunny uncle.
“I am the bee lady who keeps the honey and perfume store,” was the answer. “I was on my way to take some perfume to Mrs. Wibblewobble, the duck lady, and when I tried to fly through this bramble briar bush my wings were caught, and I can’t get out. Isn’t that trouble enough?”
“It certainly is,” answered Uncle Wiggily. “I am sorry you are in trouble, for I know what it means. But I will help you out.”
So he did, very gently loosening the stickery thorns of the bramble briar bushes from the bee lady’s wings.
“Oh, thank you,” she said. “Now, I can fly on with the perfume for Mrs. Wibblewobble. If ever I can help you, or any friends of yours, I shall, Uncle Wiggily.”
“Thank you,” answered the rabbit gentleman. Then, having given the bunny uncle a smell from the little bottle of perfume she carried, the bee lady flew on.
With his tall silk hat and crutch the rabbit gentleman now again went on through the woods, until once more he came to the gold and silver palace-house, with diamond windows, and a chimney made of a red ruby stone.
“Ha! That’s where the king lives, who was in the kitchen, counting out his money,” thought Mr. Longears. “I helped him, and I wonder if there is any one else in the palace who is in need of my help?”
Just then, from one of the open parlor diamond windows, there came a voice saying sadly:
“Oh, dear! It’s all gone! There isn’t a bit left, and what I’m going to do, I don’t know. Oh, dear!”
“That sounds like trouble,” said the bunny uncle. “I’ll see what it is.”
He went closer to the window, and there, in the parlor, he saw a beautiful lady, all dressed in silk and satin and cloth-of-gold, with a diamond crown on her head. In one hand she had a plate, and in the other a knife and fork.
“What is the matter?” asked Uncle Wiggily, politely. “What is gone—the cook? And do you have to do the dishes yourself?”
“No, thank you, the cook hasn’t gone,” said the lady. “I am the queen, as you can see, and I ought to be in the parlor, eating bread and honey. I’m in the parlor right enough, as you can tell by the piano being here. And I have the bread, but there is no honey! There isn’t a bit of honey in the palace for me to eat, so I don’t see how I can make things come out right, as they do in the Mother Goose book. Oh, dear!”
“Don’t worry,” said Uncle Wiggily, kindly. “Perhaps I can mend matters for you.”
“I don’t see how you can,” said the queen. “You haven’t any honey in your pocket; have you?” she asked.
“No,” answered the bunny uncle. “I guess I would be all stuck up, like a piece of fly paper, if I carried honey in my pocket.”
“Then if you have no honey you can’t help me,” said the queen, sadly. “You see the king is in the kitchen, counting out his money. I am in here, and I ought to be eating honey. And the maid is in the garden, hanging out the clothes——”
“I know all about that, and all about her nose,” said Uncle Wiggily, with a smile. “I helped the king get back his money, I helped the maid get back her nose, and now I am going to help you get your honey.”
“Oh, how good of you!” cried the queen, who felt like hugging Uncle Wiggily, only queens do not do such things, you know. “And I really need the honey, for I am hungry. But how can you get it?” the queen asked.
“I’ll show you,” answered the rabbit gentleman. Then, going to the open window, he made a noise like a flower, and called:
“Mrs. Bee! Mrs. Bee! Will you do me a favor now? You promised you would, and now is your chance. Will you do me a favor?”
“Yes, I will,” answered a buzzing voice, and along flew the bee lady, whom Uncle Wiggily had helped out of the briar bush. “What is it you wish?” she buzzed.
“Some honey for the queen to eat in the parlor,” spoke the bunny uncle. “She hasn’t any, and she must have some to be like the story in the Mother Goose book, or things will not come out right. The queen needs honey.”
“She shall have some at once,” buzzed Mrs. Bee. Away she flew and pretty soon she came back with a lot of honey.
“Oh, thank you, and you, too, Uncle Wiggily,” cried the queen, as she sat in the parlor and ate the sweet stuff. “Now everything is all right.”