Uncle Wiggily Goes To School

It was a beautiful day in animal land. Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, who was cleaning the mud off his airship (for he had fallen into a puddle the day before) looked up at the blue sky and said:

“Ah, it is such a beautiful day that traveling around in my airship will be a delight. I will sail off and perhaps something may happen to me. That will be an adventure.”

He kept on cleaning the mud off the clothes basket of his airship, and then he softly fluffed up the sofa cushions that kept him from getting hurt when he fell from the clouds.

“Now I am ready to start,” Uncle Wiggily said, as he put a piece of cherry pie in his vest pocket, to have it ready to eat in case he became hungry. I mean he was going to eat the cherry pie, not his vest pocket, you understand.

“Where are you going?” asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady, coming to the door of the hollow stump bungalow, which she kept in order for Uncle Wiggily. “Where are you going?” asked Nurse Jane as she washed and wiped the face of a breakfast plate.

“Oh just to take a little trip, and perhaps have an adventure,” Uncle Wiggily said.

“Well, please bring home some pickled bananas for breakfast,” went on Nurse Jane, and Uncle Wiggily promised he would.

Then he started off in his airship, but he had not gone very far before he saw, down on the ground below him, something red, white and blue, fluttering in the wind.

“Ha! I wonder if that can be my red, white and blue striped barber pole rheumatism crutch?” said the rabbit gentleman. “It must have fallen out of my airship.”

Then he looked among the sofa cushions and went on:

“No, my crutch is here safe and sound. But I wonder what that red, white and blue is down there? I’m going to see.”

He steered his airship downward, and when he reached the ground Uncle Wiggily found that what he had seen was a fluttering flag, with red and white stripes, and white stars on a blue square. And the flag was on a pole in front of an animal school house.

“Ha! Of course! I might have known!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “Well, since I am so near school, I will go in and see the nice lady mouse teacher and the animal children.”

Then he tied his airship to a mulberry bush, so it could not run away, and where it would also have something to eat, and into the school went the rabbit gentleman.

“Good morning, children,” said Uncle Wiggily.

“Good morning, Uncle Wiggily,” replied the pupils, most politely.

“What is going on here?” asked Uncle Wiggily of the lady mouse school teacher, for all the animal children were standing up in a row before her desk. “Have the children not been good?” the rabbit gentleman wanted to know, looking at Charlie Chick and at Johnnie and Billie Bushytail.

“Oh, no, indeed! The children are as good as pie!” said the teacher with a laugh.

“Ha! Speaking of pie, reminds me that I have some,” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he took the cherry piece out of his vest pocket. “If you will kindly allow me I will pass it around,” he went on.

“Yes, you may do so,” spoke the teacher. And the piece of cherry pie Uncle Wiggily had brought with him was so large that there was enough for each animal pupil to have some as well as Uncle Wiggily himself, and also the lady mouse school teacher.

“But, tell me why are your pupils standing in a line this way?” asked the rabbit gentleman, when the pie was all eaten.

“We are having an examination,” the teacher replied. “It is nearing the time to close the school for the summer, and I am trying to find out how much my pupils know, so that if they are smart enough they can go to a higher class. We are having an examination, you see.”

“An examination in what?” asked Uncle Wiggily.

“In spelling,” answered the lady mouse. “Would you like to ask them to spell some words?”

“I should be delighted,” went on the rabbit gentleman. Then, looking straight at Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, Uncle Wiggily said:

“Spell me the word carrot!”

“C-a-r-r-o-t,” spelled Sammie. He knew that word very well, you see, because he ate carrots every day.

“Good!” cried Uncle Wiggily. Then he looked at Billie Bushytail, the squirrel, and said:

“Spell me the word peanut!”

“P-e-a-n-u-t,” spelled Billie the first time.

“Good!” cried Uncle Wiggily. Then he looked at Charlie, the chicken boy, and said:

“Spell me the word corn!”

But before Charlie had a chance to do this, all of a sudden into the school jumped a bad old Flippity-flop. A Flippity-flop is an animal, something like a mouse-trap, only it walks on its head instead of on its toes, and it has no tail.

“Wow!” cried the bad Flippity-flop. “Here’s where I have some fun!” And that unpleasant creature began to throw pieces of chalk and the blackboard erasers around the room, and he upset the ink bottle on the floor and tickled the lady mouse teacher with a lead pencil point. Oh, the Flippity-flop was very bad, and for no reason at all, except just because he wanted to be so. Flippity-flops are always like that.

“Oh, what shall we do?” cried the lady mouse, for the children were all excited. “Call a policeman dog for me, Uncle Wiggily, to take away the bad Flippity-flop!”

“Ha! I will make the Flippity-flop go away myself!” cried Uncle Wiggily very bravely.

“No you cannot!” shouted the Flippity-flop, as he made a face at the rabbit gentleman. “You cannot make me go away!”

“Yes, I can!” said Uncle Wiggily in a very loud voice. “You spell me the word cheese! quick now! Spell me cheese!”

“Oh, wow!” cried the Flippity-flop, and then, as quick as a wink, he turned a somersault and hopped out the window, and ran off to the woods to hide. For if there is one thing more than another that a Flippity-flop is afraid of it is cheese, especially rabbit cheese.

And he could no more spell the word than he could fly, and that’s why he ran away, and every one was glad. And I guess you are, too.

“Thank you, very much, Uncle Wiggily,” said the lady mouse teacher “for driving away the bad Flippity-flop!” Then the examination went on, and all the animal children passed, and Uncle Wiggily bought some pickled bananas and went on home to Nurse Jane.