When those two savage ducks—oh, I mean foxes—when those two savage foxes jumped out of the bushes at Uncle Wiggily Longears and Fido Flip-Flop, as I told you in the other story, the rabbit and the poodle doggie didn’t know what in the world to do.
“Run this way!” called Fido, starting off to the left.
“No, hop this way!” said Uncle Wiggily, hopping to the right.
“Stand right where you are!” ordered the two foxes together. And with that one made a grab for Uncle Wiggily. But what did that brave rabbit gentleman do but stick his red-white-and-blue crutch out in front of him, and the fox bit on that instead of on Uncle Wiggily. Right into the crutch the fox’s teeth sank, and for a moment Uncle Wiggily was safe. But not for long.
“Ah, you fooled me that time, but now I’ll get you!” cried the fox, and, letting go of the crutch, he made another grab for the rabbit.
But at that instant Fido Flip-Flop, who had been jumping about, keeping out of the way of the fox that was after him, cried out quite loudly:
“Look here, everybody but Uncle Wiggily, and, as for you, shut both your eyes tight.”
Now the old gentleman rabbit couldn’t imagine why he was to shut his eyes tight, but he did so, and then what do you s’pose Fido Flip-Flop did? Why, he began turning somersaults so fast that he looked just like a pinwheel going around, or an automobile tire whizzing along. Faster and faster did Fido Flip-Flop turn around, and then, all of a sudden, he began chasing his tail, making motions just like a merry-go-round in a circus, until those two foxes were fairly dizzy from watching him.
“Stop! Stop!” cried one fox.
“Yes do stop! We’re so dizzy that we can’t stand up!” cried the other fox, staggering about. “Stop!”
“No, I’ll not!” answered Fido Flip-Flop, and he went around faster that ever, faster and faster and faster, until those two bad foxes got so dizzy-izzy that they fell right over on their backs, with their legs sticking straight up in the air like clothes posts, and their tails were wiggling back and forth in the dirt, like dusting brushes. Oh, but they were the dizzy foxes, though.
“Now’s your chance! Run! Run! Uncle Wiggily! Run!” called Fido Flip-Flop “Open your eyes and run!”
So the old gentleman rabbit opened his eyes, took up his valise which he had dropped, and, hopping on his crutch, he and the poodle doggie ran on through the woods, leaving the two surprised and disappointed foxes still lying on their backs, wiggling their tails in the dust, and too dizzy, from having watched Fido Flip-Flop do somersaults, and chase his tail, to be able to get up.
“Why did you want me to shut my eyes?” asked Uncle Wiggily, when they were so far away from the foxes that there was no more danger.
“That was so you wouldn’t get dizzy from watching me do the flip-flops,” answered the doggie. “My, but that was a narrow escape, though. Have you had many adventures like that since you started out to seek your fortune?”
“Yes, several,” answered the rabbit. “But turning flip-flops is a very good thing to know how to do. I wonder if you could teach me, so that when any more foxes or alligators chase me I can make them dizzy by turning around? Can you teach me?”
“I’m sure I can,” said Fido. “Here, this is the way to begin,” and he did some flip-flops slow and easy-like. Then Uncle Wiggily tried them, and, though he couldn’t do them very well at first, he practised until he was quite good at it. Then Fido showed him how to stand on one ear, and wiggle the other, and how to blink his eyes while standing on the end of his little tail, and then Uncle Wiggily thought of a new trick, all by himself.
“I’ll stick my crutch in the ground, like a clothes pole,” he said to Fido, “and then I’ll hop up on it and sing a song,” which he did, singing a song that went like this:
“Did you ever see a rabbit
Do a flipper-flopper-flap?
If not just kindly watch me,
As I wear my baseball cap.
“It’s very strange, some folks may say,
And also rather funny,
To see a kinky poodle dog
Play with a flip-flop bunny.
“But we are on our travels,
Adventures for to seek,
We may find one, or two, or three,
‘Most any day next week.”
And then Uncle Wiggily hopped down, and waved both ears backward and forward, and made a low bow to a make-believe crowd of people, only, of course, there were none there.
“Fine! Fine!” cried Fido Flip-Flop. “That’s better than I did when I was in the circus. Now I’ll tell you what let’s do.”
“What?” asked Uncle Wiggily.
“Let’s go around and give little shows and entertainments, for little folks to see,” went on the poodle doggie. “I can turn flip-flops, and you can stand on your head on your crutch, and sing a song, and then we’ll take up a collection. I’ll pass my hat, and perhaps we may make our fortune—who knows?”
“Who, indeed?” said Uncle Wiggily. “We’ll do it.”
So off they started together to give a little show, and make some money, and, as they went on through the woods, they practised doing the tricks Uncle Wiggily had learned.
Well, in a little while, not so very long, they came to a nice place in the forest—an open place where no trees grew.
“Here is a good spot for our show,” said Uncle Wiggily.
“But there is no one to see us do the tricks,” objected Fido.
“Oh, yes, there are some ants, and an angle worm, and a black bug and a grasshopper,” said Uncle Wiggily. “They will do to start on, and after they see us do the tricks they’ll tell other folks, and we’ll have quite a crowd.”
So they started in to do their tricks. Fido turned a lot of flip-flops, and Uncle Wiggily did a dance on the end of his crutch, and sang a song about a monkey-doodle, which the angle worm said was just fine, being quite cute, and the grasshopper made believe play a fiddle with his two hind legs, scratching one on the other, and making lovely music.
But, all of a sudden, just as Uncle Wiggily was standing on his left ear, and wiggling his feet in the air, which is a very hard trick for a rabbit, what should happen but that out of the woods sprang two boys.
“There’s the dog! Grab him!” cried one boy. “Never mind about the rabbit! Get the trick dog!” And the boys rushed right up, knocking Uncle Wiggily down, and grabbing Fido Flip-Flop. And they started off through the woods with him, while Uncle Wiggily cried out for them to come back. But they wouldn’t.
Now please don’t feel badly, for I’m going to tell you in the next story how Uncle Wiggily saved Fido, and also how the rabbit went to Arabella Chick’s surprise party—that is I will if our automobile doesn’t turn upside down, and break my ice cream cone.