Uncle Wiggily And The Smoky Chimney

Once upon a time there was a Flump, who lived in animal land, not far from where Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, had his hollow stump bungalow with nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady. This Flump lived in a house all by herhimself, and heshe was not a very pleasant sort of an animal.

You see, a Flump is sometimes a he and sometimes a she, so I have to mix up the words. And another thing—a Flump is always sad and cross and unhappy, and tries to make others unhappy, too. So, whatever you are, please, please, please never be a Flump.

A Flump can never see anything good in anything or anybody. Gracious, if there were many Flumps in this world it would be a dreadful place in which to live.

For instance, a Flump doesn’t like to see children playing tag and running about, and a Flump doesn’t like to hear children laugh and shout. If the Flumps had their way it would always be dark and bedtime, and everybody would go in their houses and shut themselves up and be gloomy and sad. There never would be any Christmas or Fourth of July, and school would always be in, with no recess, and there wouldn’t be any ice cream cones, or merry-go-rounds, or peanuts, or toy balloons, or circus-lemonade, or anything like that.

However, thank goodness, there aren’t many Flumps in the world. But, I am sorry to say, one lived near Uncle Wiggily. And one day when the old gentleman rabbit was sailing around in his airship he happened to land on the ground close by the house of this Flump.

Some of the wind came out of the toy circus balloons that Uncle Wiggily had fastened on his clothes basket airship, and the rabbit gentleman came down to blow more air in them.

The Flump saw him, and coming out of herhis house, with a sad, gloomy face, the Flump said, most dolefully and sorrowfully:

“Oh, why do you waste your time riding around in your airship, Mr. Longears? Why do you waste your time?”

“I do not waste my time,” said the rabbit gentleman cheerfully. “I ride about, it is true, but whenever I see any one in trouble I help them if I can.”

“Ah, yes, but how much better,” said the Flump, “how much better it would be if you would sell your airship and put the money away where you would always have it. Then you could stay in the house all day and be sad, as I am. Oh, I love to be sad.”

“Yes,” said Uncle Wiggily, “I guess you do! You look it! But I do not like to be sad. I like to be happy and make others happy if I can.”

“Happy!” cried the Flump. “There is no such thing as happiness! All is sad and gloom! See, it is getting dark. It will soon be night, and I’ll be glad, for then every one will have to go to bed.”

“No, it is not getting night,” said Uncle Wiggily; “that is only the sun going under a cloud. It will soon come out shining again.” And, surely enough it did, but the Flump was not happy.

“I am going in the house and take some bitter medicine,” said the Flump, sadly like.

“Well, I hope it will do you good,” spoke Uncle Wiggily, cheerfully and politely.

So the Flump went in herhis gloomy house, to take hisher bitter sour medicine, and Uncle Wiggily fixed his airship. Pretty soon, just as he was about to sail up toward the blue sky, where the sun was shining, and the birds were singing, the Flump came running out, crying:

“Oh, woe is me! Oh, unhappiness! I knew something would happen! My house is on fire!”

Uncle Wiggily looked, and, surely enough, a lot of smoke was pouring out of the doors and windows of the Flump animal’s house. Thicker and thicker grew the smoke.

“Yes, there must be a fire!” cried the rabbit gentleman. “But don’t worry! I’ll call out the water bug fire department, and we’ll soon make everything right. Don’t worry!”

“Oh, but I just love to worry!” cried the Flump. “I am glad I have something about which to worry! Oh, unhappiness!”

But Uncle Wiggily had no time to worry. Into his airship he jumped, and off he flew to get the fire department.

He brought back the brave water bugs with their buckets of water, but when they had rushed in the Flump’s house they came out, saying, as they wiped the smoke out of their eyes:

“There is no fire there!”

“No fire?” cried Uncle Wiggily. “But look at the smoke.”

“The chimney is stopped up,” said the head water bug. “There is something in the chimney, and when the Flump built a fire all the smoke came out into the room, instead of going up the flue.”

“Oh, I knew something was the matter,” sobbed the Flump. “And I am glad of it. Now I can be more unhappy than ever.”

“Oh, fie!” cried Uncle Wiggily, twinkling his nose. “It is wrong to be sad and unhappy! Besides, I can soon make you happy.”

“How can I be glad when my chimney smokes?” asked the Flump. “It is all stopped up.”

“Well, perhaps we can unstop it,” said the rabbit gentleman. “We will try.”

The water bugs tried to get whatever it was out of the chimney, but they could not. Neither could a policeman dog, who came in, and barked up the fireplace as hard as he could bark. Then Uncle Wiggily said:

“I will now use my airship. I’ll go up above the chimney and poke a long pole down the chimney hole.” He did this, and a loose brick that had fallen down the flue, stopping it up, was poked out by the rabbit gentleman, and then the chimney did not smoke any more. A fire could now be built in the stove.

“Be happy now, Flump!” cried Uncle Wiggily, cheerfully. And all the water bugs cried:

“Yes, be happy!”

And then, all of a sudden, when the Flump saw how kind every one was to himher, and how anxious every one was for herhim to be glad, the Flump just turned up the corners of hisher mouth—instead of turning them down—and heshe took off the dark spectacles shehe wore, and put on a pair with beautiful rose-colored glasses, so that all the world looked cheerful, and the Flump said:

“Yes, I will be glad! I’m sorry I was ever sad!”

“Oh, don’t even be sorry that you were once sad,” cried Uncle Wiggily, joyfully; “just be glad you are glad, and don’t ever remember you were sad!”

“I’ll always be glad now,” went on the Flump, who turned out to be a nice old lady Grandmother, after all her troubles were over. Then she made up a fire in the stove, the chimney didn’t smoke any more and the Flump made a big chocolate cake and gave every one some. And ever after that the Flump was named Scrump, instead of Flump. For Scrump is short for scrumptious, which means just lovely, you know. And Uncle Wiggily took Scrump for a ride in the airship, and they picked flowers up in cloudland.

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