“Uncle Wiggily! Oh, Uncle Wiggily!” called a voice after the rabbit gentleman, as he was hopping away from his hollow stump bungalow one morning.
“What’s the matter now?” inquired the bunny, turning around so quickly that his tall silk hat nearly slipped down over his pink, twinkling nose. “Does the Woozie Wolf or the Fuzzy Fox wish to nibble my ears?”
“I hope not!” exclaimed Nurse Jane, the muskrat lady housekeeper, for she it was who had called. “But will you please take my scissors with you, Uncle Wiggily?”
“Take your scissors? What for?” asked Mr. Longears.
“To have them sharpened,” answered Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy. “They are so dull I can hardly cut anything, and I want to cut some linen up into new sheets and pillow cases. Take my scissors along with you, Wiggy dear, and have them made good and sharp.”
“I will,” promised the bunny rabbit gentleman. Then, wrapping the dull scissors in a grape-vine leaf, Uncle Wiggily put them in the top of his tall silk hat, and set the hat on his head.
“Why do you put them there?” asked Nurse Jane.
“So I’ll remember them,” the rabbit gentleman answered. “If I put them in my pocket I’d forget them. But now, if I meet Mrs. Twistytail, the pig lady, or Mrs. Wibblewobble, the duck lady, and bow to them, I’ll take off my hat. Out will slide the scissors, and then I’ll remember that I am to get them sharpened.”
“That’s a good idea,” said Nurse Jane. “Now don’t forget to bring them back to me good and sharp. If you don’t I can’t cut up into sheets and pillow cases the new linen I have bought.”
“I’ll not forget,” promised the bunny gentleman.
He hopped on and on through the woods, and he had not gone very far before, all of a sudden, he heard a growling, rumbling-umbling noise, a little like far-off thunder.
“I wonder if that can be the lion again?” thought Uncle Wiggily. “Perhaps he couldn’t find the circus and he has come back to dust more furniture for Nurse Jane with the end of his tail stuck through a window in the bungalow.”
Uncle Wiggily looked through the forest, but he saw no tawny lion. Instead he saw, limping toward him, a beast almost as big as the lion, but with a beautiful black and yellow striped coat.
“Oh, ho! Mr. Tiger—the one I saw when I went to the circus with Baby Bunty!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. “This is a tiger!”
“Yes, I am the striped tiger,” answered the other animal. “And, oh, what trouble I am in!”
“What is the matter?” kindly asked the rabbit gentleman, for he could see that the tiger was limping and in pain.
“I ran a thorn in my foot,” went on the black and yellow fellow, “and my eyes are so poor I can’t see to pull it out.”
“Perhaps I can,” Uncle Wiggily said. “I have strong glasses.”
So the bunny gentleman looked through his spectacles, and soon saw the thorn that was in the tiger’s foot. It did not take Uncle Wiggily long to pull it out.
“Oh, thank you, so much!” growled the tiger, though not in a cross voice. “It serves me right, I suppose, for having run away from the circus.”
“Did you run away, too, as the lion did?” asked Uncle Wiggily.
“Yes,” answered the striped beast, “we ran away together—the lion, some other animals and myself. But now I’d be glad to run back again.”
“The lion was,” said Uncle Wiggily. “He was very glad to go back.”
“Don’t tell me you have met him!” exclaimed the tiger. “Where is he?”
“He started back yesterday, after stopping at my bungalow and helping Nurse Jane dust the furniture with his tail through the windows,” the bunny answered.
“Then I’m going back, too!” declared the tiger. “It isn’t as much fun roaming by yourself through the woods as I thought it would be. I’m going back!”
“Before you start,” kindly suggested Uncle Wiggily, “please come to my bungalow with me.”
“Does more furniture need dusting?” asked the tiger, laughing. “I have no fluffy tuft on the end of my tail, as has the lion.”
“It isn’t that,” the bunny answered. “But I would like to have Nurse Jane put some salve on the place where the thorn ran in your paw, and also wrap it up in a rag.”
“That would be very nice,” spoke the tiger. “Right gladly will I come with you.”
So he limped through the forest with the bunny gentleman, and soon they came to the hollow stump bungalow.
“More company for you, Nurse Jane!” called the jolly rabbit uncle.
“That’s nice,” answered Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy. “Oh, you’re a tiger, aren’t you?” she went on, as she saw the striped beast.
“And he has a sore paw,” spoke Uncle Wiggily. “Will you put salve on it for him, Nurse Jane?”
“Of course,” answered the muskrat lady. And when the tiger’s sore paw was nicely wrapped in a clean rag, he started off through the woods to find the circus.
“Good-bye, and come again,” invited Uncle Wiggily, making a low and polite bow with his tall silk hat.
“I will,” promised the tiger. And then the bunny suddenly exclaimed:
“Oh, your scissors, Nurse Jane! I forgot all about getting them sharpened,” and he picked them up from where they had fallen when he took off his hat.
“Oh, dear! That’s too bad!” said the muskrat lady. “And I wanted to cut the linen in strips to make sheets and pillow cases. Now it is so late I’m afraid the sharpening place will be closed.”
“Perhaps I can help,” said the tiger, turning back.
“Can you sharpen scissors?” asked Uncle Wiggily.
“No,” was the answer, “but my claws are sharper than any scissors you ever saw. If you and Nurse Jane will hold the cloth, I will cut it into strips for you with my sharp claws. I don’t need to use my sore paw. I’ll take my other one.”
“Oh, that will be very kind of you,” said Nurse Jane. “I forgot that tigers have sharp claws.”
So the muskrat lady and the rabbit gentleman held the linen cloth in front of the tiger, and with his claws he cut and slashed it into just the shapes Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy needed for making sheets and pillow cases.
“I am very glad I could do you this favor,” the tiger said, when all the linen was cut.
“So am I,” spoke Uncle Wiggily, “for if you hadn’t been here to use your claws, Nurse Jane would not have forgiven me for not remembering to get the scissors sharpened. Good-bye!”
“Good-bye!” echoed the tiger, as he walked on to find the circus. And that night he slept in his cage again.