Uncle Wiggily’s Rain Storm

Down pelted the rain in Animal Land.

It also poured in Boy and Girl Land, which was on the other side of the forest from where Uncle Wiggily Longears lived in his hollow stump bungalow.

The bunny rabbit gentleman looked out of a window, and saw the drops fall drip, drip, dripping from trees and bushes, making little puddles amid the leaves where birds could come, later, and take a bath.

“You aren’t thinking of going out in this storm; are you?” asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady bungalow-keeper, as she saw Mr. Longears putting on his coat.

“Why, I was, yes,” slowly answered the bunny gentleman. “I am neither sugar nor salt, that I will melt in the rain. And, as it isn’t freezing, I think I’ll take a hop through the woods, and see Grandfather Goosey Gander.”

“Well, as long as you are going out, I wish you’d go to the store for me,” requested Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy.

“What do you want?” asked the bunny gentleman.

“Oh, bring a muskmelon for dinner,” said Nurse Jane.

“A watermelon would be much easier to carry through the rain,” Uncle Wiggily answered. “I think I’ll bring a watermelon. If it gets wet no harm is done.”

“All right,” agreed Nurse Jane, laughing, so away hopped the bunny rabbit uncle, over the fields and through the woods. It seemed to rain harder and harder, but Uncle Wiggily did not mind. He had an umbrella, though he did not always carry one. It was made from a toadstool, and it kept off most of the rain. Though, as Mr. Longears said, he was neither a lollypop nor an ice-cream cone that would melt in a shower.

But not everyone was as happy as Uncle Wiggily in this storm. On the other side of the forest, as I told you, was Boy and Girl Land, and in one of the houses lived a brother and a sister. They, too, stood at the window, pressing their noses against the glass as the rain beat down, and they were not happy.

“Rain, rain, go away! Come again some other day! Brother and I want to go and play!”

That is the verse the little girl recited over and over again as she watched the rain pelting down. But the storm did not stop for all that she said the verse backward and frontward.

“Will it ever stop?” crossly cried the boy. “Why doesn’t it stop?” and he drummed on the window sill, banged his feet on the floor and whistled. And his sister loudly recited over and over again:

“Rain, rain, go away!”

“Children! Children!” gently called Mother from where she was lying down in the next room. “Can’t you please be a little quiet? My head aches and I am trying to rest. The noise makes my pain worse.”

“We’re sorry, Mother,” said the girl.

“But being quiet isn’t any fun!” grumbled the boy. “Why can’t we go out and play?”

“Because you would get all wet,” answered his mother. “I’ve told you that two or three times, dear. Now please be quiet. It will stop raining sometime, and then you may go out.”

“What can we play with?” asked the boy, not very politely I’m sorry to say.

“Why, some of your toys,” replied his mother. “Surely you have enough.”

“I’m tired of ’em!” grunted the boy.

“So’m I,” echoed his sister.

Then she began once more to say the verse about the rain, as if that would do any good, and the boy rubbed his nose up and down the window, making marks.

Uncle Wiggily, on his way to see Grandpa Goosey Gander, and get a watermelon for Nurse Jane, took a short cut through a field, and passed the house where the children were kept in on account of the rain. And, as it happened, the window near which the boy and girl stood was open a little way at the top.

So, as the bunny gentleman hopped past, he not only saw the children, but he heard what they said, being able, as I have before related to you, to understand real talk.

But the children were looking up at the sky so intently, trying to see if it would stop raining, that they never noticed Uncle Wiggily. Though if they had seen him, all dressed as he was like a gentleman from the moving pictures, they would have been very much surprised.

“Too bad those children have to stay in on account of the rain,” thought Uncle Wiggily. “I wonder if I couldn’t find some way of amusing them? If they are tired of their own playthings I might toss in, through the open window, some of the things the animal boys and girls play with. I’ll do it!”

Off through the woods in the rain hopped Uncle Wiggily. He found a number of smooth, brown acorns, some of which had the cups, or caps still on. He filled one pocket with the acorns.

Next the bunny picked up some cones from the pine tree. There were large and small cones, and Nurse Jane always used one as a nutmeg grater, it was so rough, while Uncle Wiggily kept one near his bed to scratch his back at night.

“Let me see, what else would the animal children take?” said the bunny to himself. “I think they would take some green moss, and the girls would make beds with it for their dolls. The animal boys would take hollow reeds and blow little pebbles through them as real boys blow beans in their tin shooters. I’ll take some moss and reeds.”

This the bunny uncle did, also picking up some empty snail and periwinkle shells he found on the bank of a brook.

“The little girl can string these shells for beads,” thought the bunny. “And I’ll strip off some pieces of white birch bark so the boy can make a little canoe, as the Indians used to do.”

Having gathered all these things—playthings which the animal children found in the woods every day—the bunny hopped back to the house of the boy and girl. The window was open, but the boy and girl had left it. The girl was giving her mother a drink of water, and the boy was bringing up some coal for the fire.

“This is my chance!” thought Uncle Wiggily.

Standing outside, he tossed in through the open window the acorns, the pine cones, the shells, the moss and other things. Then he hopped quickly away and hid behind a bush. He could hear the children come back into the room, and soon he heard the girl cry:

“Oh, look what the wind blew in! Some acorns! I can make little cups of them, and use the tops for saucers! And I’ll set a play-party table for my doll, and decorate it with green moss. Oh, how perfectly lovely!”

“I’m going to make a boat out of this birch bark!” cried the boy. “And look! A hollow reed, like a bean blower! Now I can have some fun!”

“Look at the lovely shells I can string and make a necklace of!” went on the girl.

“And I can make wooden legs, and a wooden head and stick em on these pine cones and make believe they’re Noah’s ark animals!” laughed the boy. “Hurray!” he cried most happily.

“What is going on out there?” called Mother from where she was lying down. “Have you found something to play with?”

“Yes’m,” answered the boy. “We’ll be quiet now.”

“And we don’t care if it does rain,” said the girl. “The wind blew a lot of lovely things in the window!”

But of course we know that Uncle Wiggily tossed them in.

“I guess they’ll be all right now, no matter how much it rains,” said the bunny, as he hopped along to see Grandpa Goosey, and buy the snowmelon—excuse me, I mean the watermelon—for Nurse Jane.