Uncle Wiggily And The Sheep

Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady, was sweeping and dusting the birch-bark bungalow, in the country woods, where she and Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, were spending a few days’ vacation.

“It is very nice here,” thought Nurse Jane, as she put some flowers in the dishpan to make the kitchen table look decorated. “I am glad we came.”

And she looked out of the window to see what Mr. Longears was doing. He was pumping some hot air into the red, white and blue circus balloons of his airship. He had mended them after the Moo-Cow’s horns had accidentally punctured holes in them, as I told you last night, if you will kindly remember.

“Well, I guess Uncle Wiggily is going for a ride,” said Nurse Jane. “I must ask him to stop at the store for a pound of sugar.”

And then the muskrat lady began singing:

Baa, baa, black sheep,

Have you any wool?

Yes, sir! Yes, sir!

Three bags full.

One for the master,

One for the man,

And one for the little boy

Who lives in the lane.

“Ha! Are you singing about me?” asked a voice near a Jack-in-the-pulpit flower which grew at the side porch of the bungalow. “Are you singing about me, Nurse Jane?”

“Why, I suppose I was, if you are Baa-Baa Black Sheep,” replied the muskrat lady, while she polished the potatoes for dinner.

“Well, I am a white sheep, but my name is Baa-Baa, just the same,” went on the voice, and around the corner came the same sheep that had accidentally frightened Nurse Jane the first night she and Uncle Wiggily had come to the bungalow.

“Oh, how do you do?” asked Nurse Jane, for she was not frightened any more, since she knew the sheep was a kind one.

“I am very well,” replied the sheep. “And I have brought you some butter, made from yellow buttercup flowers,” and with that the kind sheep took, from where it was tied to his horns, a nice package of sweet butter, wrapped in cool, green leaves. “My wife made it,” said the sheep. “She is a very good butter maker.”

“Oh, that is very kind of her, I am sure. Thank you!” exclaimed Nurse Jane. “Uncle Wiggily,” she called, “see what Mr. Baa-Baa has brought us—some lovely butter.”

“Well, I’m sure that is very nice,” spoke the rabbit gentleman, as he finished making his airship ready for a trip. “Would you like to come for a ride with me, Baa-Baa?” asked the rabbit gentleman.

“I would if I could be sure we would not fall,” said the sheep gentleman.

“Well, even if we do fall we will not get hurt,” Uncle Wiggily answered. “The Moo-Cow and I fell yesterday, but the soft sofa cushions in the clothes basket kept us from getting hurt. However, I do not believe we will fall. You see your horns are nicely rounded and curved and are not sharp like the Moo-Cow’s, though really she did not mean to poke holes in my balloons with them as she did. So, perhaps, you would like to come airshipping with me.”

“I think I would,” the sheep gentleman replied, scratching his ear with his left foot.

“Come along then,” invited the rabbit gentleman, as he led the way to his airship.

“Oh, wait!” cried Nurse Jane. “I wish you would bring home some sugar Wiggy, and also take these scissors. They are dull and need sharpening. Have the grinder man fix them.”

“I will,” promised Uncle Wiggily. Then he and the sheep got into the clothes basket of the airship, sat down on the soft sofa cushions filled with the Wibblewobble duck feathers and away they sailed above the tree tops.

“Oh, this is fine,” cried Mr. Baa-Baa, as he looked down at the earth below. “I just love this airshipping!”

“I thought you would,” Uncle Wiggily said. “But there is the sugar store just below us and also the scissor-grinder man. We will go down.”

Down they went, landing as gently as a feather, for the toy circus balloons were all right now. Uncle Wiggily bought the sugar, had Nurse Jane’s scissors sharpened, and then he and the sheep started off again, sailing above the tree-tops.

They had not gone very far before all of a sudden it began to get dark.

“My! Is it going to be night so soon?” asked Uncle Wiggily.

“No, but I think there is going to be a thunder storm,” said Mr. Baa-Baa. “See the clouds are over the sun. That is what makes it dark. Yes, we are going to have a storm!”

And, surely enough, in a little while, it began to lighten and thunder, and then it began to rain. Oh! So hard.

Then it got very cold, and it began to hail, though it was summer time. Down came the big, round, frozen hail stones, pattering on the Japanese umbrella of the airship.

“Oh, how cold I am!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “I am freezing! My paws are so cold and stiff that I cannot steer the airship. You will have to steer, Mr. Baa-Baa, for I cannot.”

“But I do not know how to steer an airship!” cried Mr. Baa-Baa.

“Then we are lost!” shouted Uncle Wiggily. “My paws are almost frozen from the hail stones. I cannot hold the steering-wheel any more. Oh, what shall we do?”

The airship was wabbling from side to side, and almost turning over, for Uncle Wiggily’s cold paws could no longer steer it properly.

“Quick!” cried the sheep. “I know what to do! Take the sharp scissors and cut off some of my warm wool. Wrap it about your paws, like mittens. That will warm them, and then you can steer us safely to the ground. Shear off my wool.”

“But won’t it hurt you?” asked poor, shivering Uncle Wiggily.

“Not a bit!” cried Mr. Baa-Baa. “Here, I will cut off some of my wool myself, as your paws are too cold and stiff.” Then, with Nurse Jane’s sharp scissors, the sheep cut off enough of his woolly fleece to make Uncle Wiggily a pair of mittens. With them on, the rabbit’s paws were soon warm enough so that he could steer his airship. And a little later they were safely down on the ground out of the cold hail storm.

“My! It is a good thing I took you along in my airship, Mr. Baa-Baa!” said Uncle Wiggily, as he gave Nurse Jane the sugar, and the muskrat lady said the same thing. So you see you should always take a pair of scissors and a woolly sheep along, when you go airshipping in a hail storm.

“Well, what are you going to do now?” asked Uncle Wiggily of the sheep gentleman, as Nurse Jane went in the hollow stump bungalow with the sugar.

“Why, I think I’ll go back to the farm where I live,” the sheep answered.

“Oh, don’t be in a hurry!” called Nurse Jane from the window. “I was just going to give you and Uncle Wiggily a treat.”

“What sort of a treat?” asked the rabbit gentleman.

“Ice cream,” answered the muskrat lady.

“Ice cream!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. “How are you going to make ice cream, if I may ask, Nurse Jane? You have no ice.”

“No, but I can use the ice-cold hail stones,” Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy replied. “Scoop up a lot of them for me, Wiggy, that’s a dear, and I’ll make the cream ready to freeze.”

So, with the sugar which Uncle Wiggily had brought from the store, Nurse Jane made the cream. Uncle Wiggily and the sheep gentleman scooped up a washtub full of the icy hail stones which had fallen during the thunder storm, and soon the ice cream was frozen.

“Ah, this is certainly a lovely treat!” exclaimed the sheep gentleman as he ate a second plate full of the ice cream.

“It is, indeed,” agreed Uncle Wiggily.

And then the sheep gentleman went back to the farm, and Uncle Wiggily went to sleep while Nurse Jane washed the dishes.

Uncle Wiggily slept for a long, long time, and he had a funny dream that he went on a funny trip in his airship. Oh, it was a very far, long trip, away off to a beautiful land in the country, where the fields were green, and all spotted with daisies and buttercups, and where a little brook sang a song as it bubbled over the mossy stones.