Howard R. Garis.

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peanut wagon, after all, and he was sorry he had run away, and scared
folks.

Then the Decoration Day parade went on, and everyone said how brave Uncle
Wiggily was. But he hadn't yet found his fortune, and so in the story
after this in case our front porch doesn't run away, and take the back
steps with it, so I have to sleep on the doormat, I'll tell you about
Uncle Wiggily in the fountain.




STORY VIII

UNCLE WIGGILY IN THE FOUNTAIN


Well, after the Decoration Day parade, and the things that happened in it,
such as the pony running away with Jimmie Wibblewobble, Uncle Wiggily
Longears thought he'd like to go off to some quiet place and rest.

"Oh, can't you come with me?" asked Percival, the old circus dog. "We'll
go to the Bow-Wows house, and have something to eat."

"No, I'm afraid I can't go," replied the old gentleman rabbit. "You see I
must travel on to seek my fortune, for I haven't found it yet, and I still
have the rheumatism."

"Why don't you try to lose that rheumatism somewhere?" asked Percival. "I
would, if it's such a bother."

"Oh, I've tried and tried and tried, but I can't seem to lose it," replied
Uncle Wiggily. "So I think I'll travel on. I'm much obliged to you for
letting me march in the parade."

Then the old gentleman rabbit got his valise, and, with his crutch, he
once more started off. He went on and on, up one hill and down another,
over the fields where the horses and cows and sheep were pulling up the
grass, and chewing it, so the man wouldn't have to cut it with the lawn
mower; on and on he went. Then Uncle Wiggily reached the woods, where the
ferns and wild flowers grow.

"This is a fine place," he said as he sat down on a flat stump. "I think I
will eat my dinner," so he opened the satchel, and took out a sandwich
made of yellow carrots and red beets, and very pretty they looked on the
white bread, let me tell you; very nice indeed!

Uncle Wiggily was eating away, and he was brushing the crumbs off his nose
by wiggling his ears, when, all of a sudden, he heard a cat crying. Oh,
such a loud cry as it was!

"Why, some poor kittie must be lost," thought the old gentleman rabbit.
"I'll see if I can find it."

Then the cry sounded again, and, in another moment, out of a tree flew a
big bird.

"Oh, maybe that bird stuck his sharp beak in the kittie and made it cry,"
thought Uncle Wiggily. "Bird, did you do that?" he asked, calling to the
bird, who was flying around in the air.

"Did I do what?" asked the bird.

"Did you stick the kittie, and make it cry?"

"Oh, no," answered the bird. "I made that cat-crying noise myself. I am a
cat-bird, you know," and surely enough that bird went "Mew! Mew! Mew!"
three times, just like that, exactly as if a cat had cried under your
window, when you were trying to go to sleep.

"Ha! That is very strange!" exclaimed the rabbit. "So you are a cat-bird."

"Yes, and my little birds are kittie-birds," was the answer. "I'll show
you."

So the bird went "Mew! Mew! Mew!" again, and a lot of the little birds
came flying around and they all went "Mew! Mew!" too, just like kitties.
Oh, I tell you cat-birds are queer things! and how they do love cherries
when they are ripe! Eh?

"That is very good crying, birdies," said Uncle Wiggily, "and I think I'll
give you something to eat, to pay for it." So he took out from his valise
some peanuts, that Percival, the circus dog, had given him, and Uncle
Wiggily fed them to the cat-bird and her kittie-birds.

"You are very kind," said the mamma bird, "and if we can ever do you a
favor we will."

And now listen, as the telephone girl says, those birds are going to do
Uncle Wiggily a favor in a short time - a very short time indeed.

Well, after the birds had eaten all the peanuts they flew away, and Uncle
Wiggily started off once more. He hadn't gone very far before he came to
a fountain. You know what that is. It's a thing in a park that squirts up
water, just like when you fill a rubber ball with milk or lemonade and
squeeze it. Only a fountain is bigger, of course.

This fountain that Uncle Wiggily came to had no water in it, for it was
being cleaned. There was a big basin, with a pipe up through the middle,
and this was where the water spouted up when it was running.

"This is very strange," said Uncle Wiggily, for he had never seen a
fountain before, "perhaps I can find my fortune in here. I'll go look." So
down he jumped into the big empty fountain basin, which was as large as
seven wash tubs made into one. And it was so nice and comfortable there,
and so shady, for there were trees near it, that, before he knew it, Uncle
Wiggily fell fast asleep, with his head on his satchel for a pillow.

And then he had a funny dream. He dreamed that it was raining, and that
his umbrella turned inside out, and got full of holes, and that he was
getting all wet.

"My!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he gave a big sneeze. "This is a very
real dream. I actually believe I _am_ wet!"

Then he got real wide awake all of a sudden, and he found that he was
right in the middle of a lot of wetness, for the man had turned the water
on in the fountain unexpectedly, not knowing that the old gentleman
rabbit was asleep there.

"I must get out of here!" cried Uncle Wiggily, as he grabbed up his valise
and crutch. Then the water came up to his little short, stumpy tail. Next
it rose higher, up to his knees. Then it rose still faster up to his front
feet and then almost up to his chin.

"Oh, I'm afraid I'm going to drown!" he cried. "I must get out!" So he
tried to swim to the edge of the fountain, but you can't swim very well
with a crutch and a valise, you know, and Uncle Wiggily didn't want to
lose either one. Then the water from the top of the fountain splashed in
his eyes and he couldn't see which way to swim.

"Oh, help! Help!" he cried. "Will no one help me?"

"Yes, we will help you!" answered a voice, and up flew the big cat-bird,
and her little kitten-birds. "Quick, children!" she cried, "we must save
Uncle Wiggily, who was so kind to us! Every one of you get a stick, and
we'll make a little boat, or raft, for him!"

Well, I wish you could have seen how quickly the mamma cat-bird and her
kittie-birds gathered a lot of sticks, and twigs, and laid them together
crossways on the water in that fountain basin, until they had a regular
little boat. Upon this Uncle Wiggily climbed, with his crutch and valise,
and then the mamma cat-bird flew on ahead, and pulled the boat by a string
to the edge of the fountain, where the rabbit could safely get out.

So that's how the bunny was saved from drowning in the water, and in the
next story, if a big, red ant doesn't crawl upon our porch and carry away
the hammock, I'll tell you another adventure Uncle Wiggily had. It will be
a story of the old gentleman rabbit and the bad dog.




STORY IX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE DOG


Uncle Wiggily's rheumatism was quite bad after he got wet in the fountain,
as I told you in the other story, and when he thanked the mamma cat-bird
and her kitten-birds for saving him, he found that he could hardly walk,
much less carry his heavy valise.

"Oh, we'll help you," said Mrs. Cat-Bird. "Here, Flitter and Flutter, you
carry the satchel for Uncle Wiggily, and we'll take him to our house."

"But, mamma," said Flutter, who was getting to be quite a big bird-boy,
"Uncle Wiggily can't climb up a tree to our nest."

"No, but we can make him a nice warm bed on the ground," said the mamma
bird. "So you and Flitter carry the satchel. Put a long blade of grass
through the handle, and then each of you take hold of one end of the grass
in your bills, and fly away with it. Skimmer, you and Dartie go on ahead,
and get something ready to eat, and I'll show Uncle Wiggily the way."

So Flitter and Flutter, the two boy birds, flew away with the satchel, and
Skimmer and Dartie, the girl birds, flew on ahead to set the table, and
put on the teakettle on the stove to boil, and Mrs. Cat-Bird flew slowly
on over Uncle Wiggily, to show him the way.

Well, pretty soon, not so so very long, they came to where the birds
lived. And those good children had already started to make a nest on the
ground for the old gentleman rabbit. They had it almost finished, and by
the time supper was ready it was all done. Then came the meal, and those
birds couldn't do enough for Uncle Wiggily, because they liked him so.

When it got dark, they covered him all up, with soft leaves in the nest on
the ground, and there he slept until morning. His rheumatism wasn't quite
so bad when, after breakfast, he had sat out in the warm sun for a while,
and after a bit he said:

"Well, I think I'll travel along now, and see if I can find my fortune
to-day. Perhaps I may, and if I do I'll come back and bring you more
peanuts."

"Oh, that'll be fine and dandy!" cried Flitter and Flutter, and Skimmer
and Dartie. So they said good-by to the old gentleman rabbit, and once
more he started off.

"My! I'm certainly getting to be a great traveler," he thought as he
walked along through the woods and over the fields. "But I don't ever
seem to get to any place. Something always happens to me. I hope
everything goes along nicely to-day."

But you just wait and see what takes place. I'm afraid something is going
to happen very shortly, but it's not my fault, and all I can do is to tell
you exactly all about it. Wait! There, it's beginning to happen now.

All of a sudden, as Uncle Wiggily was traveling along, he came to a place
in the woods where a whole lot of Gypsies had their wagons and tents. And
on one tent, in which was an old brown and wrinkled Gypsy lady, there was
a sign which read:

FORTUNES TOLD HERE.

"Ha! If they tell fortunes in that tent, perhaps the Gypsy lady can tell
me where to find mine," thought Uncle Wiggily. "I'll go up and ask her."

Well, he was just going to the tent when he happened to think that perhaps
the Gypsy woman wouldn't understand rabbit talk. So he sat there in the
bushes thinking what he had better do, when all at once, before he could
wiggle his ears more than four times, a great big, bad, ugly dog sprang at
him, barking, oh! so loudly.

"Come on, Browser!" cried this dog to another one. "Here is a fat rabbit
that we can catch for dinner. Come on, let's chase him!"

Well, you can just imagine how frightened Uncle Wiggily was. He didn't sit
there, waiting for that dog to catch him, either. No, indeed, and a bag of
popcorn besides! Up jumped Uncle Wiggily, with his crutch and his valise,
and he hopped as hard and as fast as he could run. My! How his legs did
twist in and out.

"Come on! Come!" barked the first dog to the second one.

"I'm coming! I'm coming! Woof! Woof! Bow-w-w Bow-wow!" barked the second
dog.

Poor Uncle Wiggily's heart beat faster and faster, and he didn't know
which way to run. Every way he turned the dogs were after him, and soon
more of the savage animals came to join the first two, until all the dogs
in that Gypsy camp were chasing the poor old gentleman rabbit.

"I guess I'll have to drop my satchel or my crutch," thought Uncle
Wiggily. "I can't carry them much farther. Still, I don't want to lose
them." So he held on to them a little longer, took a good breath and ran
on some more.

He thought he saw a chance to escape by running across in front of the
fortune-telling tent, and he started that way, but a Gypsy man, with a
gun, saw him and fired at him. I'm glad to say, however, that he didn't
shoot Uncle Wiggily, or else I couldn't tell any more stories about him.

Uncle Wiggily got safely past the tent, but the dogs were almost up to him
now. One of them was just going to catch him by his left hind leg, when
one of the Gypsy men cried out:

"Grab him, Biter! Grab him! We'll have rabbit potpie for dinner; that's
what we'll have!"

Wasn't that a perfectly dreadful way to talk about our Uncle Wiggily? But
just wait, if you please.

Biter, the bad dog, was just going to grab the rabbit, when all of a
sudden, Uncle Wiggily saw a big hole in the ground.

"That's what I'm looking for!" he exclaimed. "I'm going down there, and
hide away from these dogs!"

So into the hole he popped, valise, crutch and all, and oh! how glad he
was to get into the cool, quiet darkness, leaving those savage, barking
dogs outside. But wait a moment longer, if you please.

Biter and Browser stopped short at the hole.

"He's gone - gotten clean away!" exclaimed Browser. "Isn't that too bad?"

"No, we'll get him yet!" cried Biter. "Here, you watch at this hole, while
I go get a pail of water. We'll pour the water down, under the ground
where the rabbit is, and that will make him come out, and we'll eat him."

"Good!" cried Browser. So while he stood there and watched, Biter went
for the water. But, mind you, Uncle Wiggily had sharp ears and he heard
what they were saying, and what do you think he did?

Why, with his sharp claws he went right to work, and he dug, and dug, and
dug in the back part of that underground place, until he had made another
hole, far off from the first one, and he crawled out of that, with his
crutch and valise, just as Biter was pouring the water down the first
hole.

"Ah, ha! I think this will astonish those dogs!" thought Uncle Wiggily,
and he took a peep at them from behind a bush where they couldn't see him,
and then he hopped on through the woods, to look for more adventures,
leaving the dogs still pouring water.

And one happened to him shortly after that, as I shall tell you on the
next page, when, in case the rocking chair doesn't tip over backwards and
spill out the sofa cushion into the rubber plant, the story will be about
Uncle Wiggily and the monkey.




STORY X

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE MONKEY


Let me see, we left those two bad dogs pouring water down the hole, to get
Uncle Wiggily out, didn't we? And the old gentleman rabbit fooled them,
didn't he? He got out of another hole that he dug around by the back door,
you remember.

Well, I just wish you could have seen those two dogs, after they had
poured pail after pail of water down the hole, and no rabbit came floating
up.

"This hole must go all the way down to China!" said Browser, breathing
very fast.

"Yes, I'm tired of carrying water," said Biter. And just then another dog
cried out:

"Why, foolish dogs, the water's all running out the back way!" And, surely
enough, it was. Then they knew Uncle Wiggily had escaped, and they were as
angry as anything, but it served them right, I think.

"My! I wonder what will happen next?" thought the old gentleman rabbit, as
he hopped along. "That was a narrow escape."

So, having nothing else to do, Uncle Wiggily sat down on a nice, smooth
stump, and he ate some lunch out of his valise. And a red ant came up, and
very politely asked if she might not pick up the crumbs which the old
rabbit dropped.

"Of course you may," said Uncle Wiggily kindly. "And I'll give you a whole
slice of bread and butter, also."

"Oh, you are too generous," spoke the red ant. "I never could carry a
slice of bread and butter. But if you will leave it on the stump I'll get
some of my friends, and we'll bite off little crumbs, a few at a time, and
in that way carry it to our houses."

So that's what Uncle Wiggily did, and the ants had a fine feast, and they
were very thankful. Uncle Wiggily asked them if they knew where he could
find his fortune.

"Why don't you go to work, instead of traveling around so much?" asked the
biggest red ant. "The best fortune is the one you work for."

"Is it? I never thought of that," said Uncle Wiggily. "I will look for
work at once. I wonder if you ants have any for me."

"We'd like to help you," they said, "but you see you are so large that you
couldn't get into our houses to do any work. You had much better travel
along, and work for some one larger than we are."

"I will," decided the old gentleman rabbit. "I'll ask every one I meet if
they want me to work for them."

So he started off once more, and the first place he came to was a house
where a mouse lady lived.

"Have you any work I can do?" asked Uncle Wiggily politely.

"What work can you do?" asked the mouse lady.

"Well, I can peel carrots or turnips with my teeth," said Uncle Wiggily,
"and I can look after children, and tell them stories, and I can do some
funny tricks - - "

"Then you had better go join a circus," interrupted the mouse lady. "I
have no children, and I can peel my own carrots, thank you. As for
turnips, I never eat them."

"Then I must go on a little further," said Uncle Wiggily, as he picked up
his valise, and walked off on his crutch. So he went on, until he came to
another house in the woods, and he knocked on the door.

"Have you any work I can do?" inquired Uncle Wiggily politely.

"No! Get away and don't bother me!" growled a most unpleasant voice, and
the rabbit was just going down the steps, when the door opened a crack,
and a long, sharp nose and a mouth full of sharp teeth, and some long
legs with sharp claws on them, were stuck out.

"Oh, hold on!" cried the voice. "I guess I can find some work for you
after all. You can get up a dinner for me!" and then the savage creature,
who had opened the door, made a grab for the rabbit and nearly caught him.
Only Uncle Wiggily jumped away, just in time, and the wolf, for he it was
who had called out, caught his own tail in the crack of the door and
howled most frightfully.

"Come back! Come back!" cried the wolf, but, of course, Uncle Wiggily
wouldn't do such a foolish thing as that, and the wolf couldn't chase
after him, for his tail was fast in the door hinge.

"My, I must be more careful after this how I knock at doors, and ask for
work," the old gentleman rabbit thought. "I was nearly caught that time.
I'll try again, and I may have better luck."

So he walked along through the woods, and pretty soon he heard a voice
singing, and this is the song, as nearly as I can remember it:

Here I sit and wonder
What I'm going to do.
I've no one to help me,
I think it's sad; don't you?

I have to play the fiddle,
But still I'd give a cent
To any one who'd keep the boys
From crawling in the tent.

"Well, I wonder who that can be?" thought Uncle Wiggily. "He'll give a
cent, eh? to any one who keeps the boys from crawling in the tent. Now, if
that isn't a bear or a fox or a wolf maybe I can work for him, and earn
that money. I'll try."

So he peeped out of the bushes, and there he saw a nice monkey, all
dressed up in a clown's suit, spotted red, white and blue. And the monkey
was playing a tune on a fiddle. Then, all of a sudden, he laid aside the
fiddle, and began to beat the bass drum. Then he blew on a horn, next he
jumped up and down, and turned a somersault, and then, finally, he grabbed
up a whip with a whistle in the tail - I mean in the end - and that monkey
began to pretend he was chasing make-believe boys from around a real tent
that was in a little place under the trees.

"Oh, I guess that monkey won't hurt me," said Uncle Wiggily as he stepped
boldly out, and as soon as the monkey saw the rabbit, he called most
politely:

"Well, what do you want?"

"I want to earn a cent, by chasing boys from out the tent," replied Uncle
Wiggily.

"Good!" cried the monkey. "So you heard me sing? I'm tired of being the
whole show. I need some one to help me. Come over here and I'll explain
all about it. If you like it, you can go to work for me, and if you do,
your fortune is as good as made."

"That's fine!" cried Uncle Wiggily. "And I can do tricks in the show,
too."

"Fine!" exclaimed the monkey, hanging by his tail from a green apple tree.
"Now, I'll explain."

But, just as he was going to do so, out jumped a big black bear from the
bushes, making a grab for Uncle Wiggily. He might have caught him, too,
only the monkey picked up a cocoanut pie off the ground and hit the bear
so hard on the head, that the savage creature was frightened, and ran
away, sneezing, leaving the monkey and the rabbit alone by the show-tent.

"Now, we'll get ready to have some fun," said the monkey, and what he and
Uncle Wiggily did I'll tell you in the following story which will be about
the old gentleman rabbit and the boys - that is, if the molasses jug
doesn't tip over on my plate, and spoil my bread and butter peanut
sandwich.




STORY XI

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BOYS


"Well," said the monkey after the bear had run away. "I guess we can now
sit down and talk quietly together; eh, Uncle Wiggily?"

"Yes," said the old gentleman rabbit. "But what is it that you want me to
do? I heard you sing that funny little song, about the boys coming in the
tent. But I don't exactly understand."

"That's just it," replied the monkey. "You see, it's this way. I have a
little sort of a circus-show here, and the troublesome boys don't want to
pay any money to get in. So when my back is turned they crawl under the
tent, and so they see the show for nothing - just like at the circus."

"Oh, so that's how it is?" asked Uncle Wiggily. "And you want me to keep
out the boys?"

"That's it," said the monkey. "Here's a big stick, with which to tickle
the boys who crawl in under the tent without paying. Now I'll practice my
tricks."

So the monkey did a lot of tricks. He stood on his head, and he hung by
his tail, and he danced around in a circle. Then he pounded the drum, not
so hard as to hurt it, but hard enough to make a noise, and he played the
fiddle and blew on the horn, and then he ran inside the tent and jumped
over a bench, making believe it was an elephant, and he did all sorts of
funny tricks like that. He even stood on his head, and made a funny face.

"That will make a very nice show," said Uncle Wiggily after he had watched
the monkey. "Now I'll stay outside, and keep the boys from coming in
unless they pay their money. And you can be inside, doing the tricks."

"And I'll give you money for working for me," said the monkey. "Then
perhaps you can make your fortune, and, besides that, I'll give you a
cocoanut, and you can make a cocoanut pie with it."

"That will be fine!" cried Uncle Wiggily. So he and the monkey practiced
to get ready for their show. It was a nice little tent in which it was to
be given, and there were seats for the people, who would come, and a
platform, and flying rings and trapeze bars and paper hoops, and all
things like that, just the same as in a real circus. Well, finally the
time came for the show. It was the day after Uncle Wiggily got to the
place where the tent was, and he had slept that night in a hammock, put
up between two trees.

"Now we're almost ready for the show," said the monkey to the old
gentleman rabbit, after a bit, "so I hope you will be sure to keep out the
troublesome boys. They always creep under the tent, and see the show for
nothing. I can't have that going on if I'm to make any money."

"Oh, I'll stop 'em!" declared Uncle Wiggily.

"And here's the club to do it with," said the monkey, handing Uncle
Wiggily a stick.

"Oh, I don't know about that," answered the rabbit. "I never hurt boys if
I can help it. Perhaps I shan't need the club. I'll leave it here."

So Uncle Wiggily hid the club under an apple tree, but the monkey said it
would be needed, and he wanted Uncle Wiggily to keep it, and take a whip,
too. But the old rabbit shook his head.

"I'll try being kind to the boys," he said. "You let me have my way, Mr.
Monkey."

Well, pretty soon, not so very long, the show began. The monkey went
inside the tent, and he blew on the horn, and he made music on the fiddle,
and sang a funny song about a little great big pussy, who had a red
balloon. She stuck a pin inside it, and it played a go-bang! tune.

Of course, as soon as the show started the people came crowding up to the
tent, just as they do at the circus. There were men and women, and little
boys and girls, and big boys and girls, and they all wanted to get inside
to see what the monkey was doing. But, do you know, I believe all that he
was doing was playing monkey-doodle tricks - but, of course, I might be
mistaken.

Well, as it always happens, some boys didn't have any money with which to
pay their way inside the tent. And, of course, as it will sometimes
happen, one boy said to another:

"Hey! I know a way we can crawl in under the tent, and see the show, and
not have anything to pay."

"But that wouldn't be fair," spoke the other boy. "It would be cheating,
and there's nothing meaner in this world than to cheat, whether it's
playing a baseball game or going to a circus."


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