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couldn't get her, as I told you about in the story before this one, the
old gentleman rabbit walked on over the fields and through the woods,
seeking his fortune. He looked everywhere for it; down in hollow stumps,
behind big stones, and even in an old well, but you may be sure he didn't
jump down any more wells. No, I guess not!

"Ha! Here is a little brook!" exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, after a while, as
he came to a small stream of water flowing over green, mossy stones, with
a nice gurgling sound like an ice cream soda, "perhaps I may find my
fortune here."

But he looked and he looked in the water without seeing anything but a
goldfish.

"I might sell the goldfish for money," thought the fortune-hunting rabbit,
"but it wouldn't be kind to take him out of the brook, so I won't. I'll
look a little farther, on the other side."

Then, taking up his crutch and his valise, Uncle Wiggily gave a big jump,
and leaped safely across the water. Then, once more, he traveled on.
Pretty soon he came to a place where there was a tree, and on one branch
of this tree there hung a funny round ball, that looked as if it was made
of gray-colored paper. And there was a funny buzzing sound coming from it.

"Ha! Do you see that?" asked a big, fat hop-toad, as he suddenly bobbed up
out of the grass. It was the same toad who had made the rabbit jump down
in the leaf-covered well. "Do you see that?" asked the toad.

"Well, if you want to find your fortune, take a stick and hit that ball."

"Indeed I will not!" cried the old gentleman rabbit. "I know you and your
tricks! That is a hornets' nest, and if I struck it they would fly out,
and sting me. Oh, no! You can't catch me again. Now you go away, or I'll
tell a policeman dog to arrest you."

So the toad knew it was of no use to try to fool Uncle Wiggily again, and
he hopped away, scratching his warty back on a sharp stone.

Well, the old gentleman rabbit traveled on and on, and when it came night
he wondered where he was going to stay, for he hadn't yet found his
fortune and the weather looked as if it was going to rain. Then, all of a
sudden, he heard voices calling like this:

"Come on, Nannie, you've got to blind your eyes now, and I'll go hide."

"All right, Billie," was the answer. "And after that we'll get Uncle
Butter to tell us a story."

"I guess I know who those children are," thought Uncle Wiggily, though he
had not yet seen them. "That's Billie and Nannie Goat talking," and surely
enough it was, and, most unexpectedly the rabbit had come right up to the
house where they lived, on the edge of the woods.

Well, you can just imagine how glad Billie and Nannie were to see Uncle
Wiggily.

They danced all around him, and held him by the paws, and kissed him
between his long ears, and Billie carried his satchel for him.

"Oh, we're so glad you are here!" they cried. "Mamma! Papa! Uncle Butter!
Here is Uncle Wiggily!"

Well, the whole goat family was glad to see the rabbit-traveler, and after
supper he told them of his adventures, and how he was out seeking his
fortune.

And Billie and Nannie told what they had been doing, and Nannie showed how
she could cut things out of paper, like the children do in the
kindergarten class in school. She could make little houses, with smoke
coming out of the chimney, and paper lanterns, and boxes, and, oh! ever so
many things. The lanterns she made were especially fine, just like Chinese
ones.

Then it came time to go to bed, and in the night a very strange thing
happened, and I'm going to tell you all about it.

Along about 12 o'clock, when all was still and quiet, and when the little
mice were beginning to think it was time for them to creep, creep out of
their holes, and hunt for bread and cheese; about this time there sounded
a queer noise down at the front door of the goat-house.

"Ha! What is that?" asked Mrs. Goat.

"I guess it was the cats," said Mr. Goat, getting ready to go to sleep
again.

"No, I'm sure it was a burglar-fox!" said the lady goat. "Please get up
and look."

Well, of course, Mr. Goat had to do so, after his wife asked him like
that. So he poked his head out of the upstairs window, over the front
door, and he called out:

"Who is down there?"

"I'm a burglar-fox!" was the answer. "I'm coming to rob you."

"Oh, my!" cried Mrs. Goat, when she heard that. "Get a gun, and shoot him,
Mr. Goat."

And at that Billie and Nannie began to cry, for they were afraid of
burglars, and Uncle Butter got up, and began looking for a whistle, with
which to call a policeman dog, but he couldn't find it.

Then the burglar-fox started in breaking down the door, so that he could
get in, and still Mr. Goat couldn't find his gun.

"Oh, we'll all be killed!" cried Mrs. Goat. "Oh, if some one would only
help us!"

"Ha! I will help you!" cried Uncle Wiggily jumping out of bed. "I'll scare
that fox so that he'll run away."

"But I can't find my gun," said Mr. Goat.

"No matter," answered the brave rabbit. "I can scare him with a paper
lantern such as Nannie can make. Quick, Nannie, make me a big paper
lantern."

Well, the little goat girl stopped crying then, and she got her paper, and
her scissors, and the paste pot, and she began to make a paper lantern, as
big as a water pail. Uncle Wiggily and Billie helped her. And all the
while the burglar-fox was banging on the door, and crying out:

"Let me in! Let me in!"

"Quick! is the lantern ready?" Asked Uncle Wiggily, jumping around in a
circle like "Ring Around the Rosie."

"Here it is," said Nannie. So the rabbit gentleman took it, all nicely
made as it was, and inside of it he put a hot, blazing candle. And the
lantern was so big that the candle didn't burn the sides of the paper.

Then Uncle Wiggily tied the lantern to a string, and he lowered it right
down out of the window; down in front of the burglar-fox, and the hot
candle in the lantern burned the fox's nose, and he thought it was a
policeman climbing down out of a tree to catch him, and before you could
count forty-'leven the bad burglar-fox ran away, and so he didn't rob the
goats after all. And, oh! how thankful Nannie and Billie and their papa
and mamma were to Uncle Wiggily.

Now, in case the little boy next door doesn't take our clothes line, to
make a swing for his puppy dog, I'll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and the
paper house in the following story.




STORY XX

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PAPER HOUSE


Bright and early next morning Uncle Wiggily got up, and he took a careful
look around to see if there were any signs of the burglar-fox, about whom
I told you in another story.

"I guess he's far enough off by this time," said Billie Goat, as he
polished his horns with a green leaf.

"Yes, indeed," spoke Uncle Wiggily. "It is a good thing that Nannie knew
how to make a paper lantern."

"Oh, I can make lots of things out of paper," said the little goat girl.
"Our teacher in school shows us how. Why I can even make a paper house."

"Can you, indeed?" asked the old gentleman rabbit, as he washed his paws
and face for breakfast. "Now I should dearly like to know how to make a
paper house."

"Why?" asked Billie Goat, curious like.

"So that when I am traveling about, looking for my fortune, and night
comes on, and I have no place to stay, then I could make me a paper house,
and be all nice and dry in case it rained," replied the rabbit.

"Oh, but the water would soon soak through the paper," said Billie. "I
know, for once I made a paper boat, and sailed it on the pond, and soon it
was soaked through, and sank away down."

"Oh, but if I use that funny, greasy paper which comes inside cracker
boxes - the kind with wax on it - that wouldn't wet through," spoke the
rabbit as he went inside the goat-house with the children, for Mrs. Goat
had called them in to breakfast.

"That would be just fine!" exclaimed Nannie, as she passed some apple
sauce and oatmeal to Uncle Wiggily. "After breakfast I'll show you how to
make a paper house."

Well, surely enough, as soon as breakfast was over, and before she and
Billie had gone to school, Nannie showed the old gentleman rabbit how to
make a paper house. You take some paper and some scissors, and you cut out
the sides of the house and the roof, and you make windows and doors in
these sides, and then you make a chimney, and you fasten them all
together, with paste or glue, and, there you are. Isn't it easy?

And if you only make the paper house large enough, you can get inside of
it and have a play party, and perhaps you can make paper dishes and knives
and forks; but listen! If you make paper things to eat, like cake or
cookies or anything like that, please only make-believe to eat them, for
they are bad for the digestion if you _really_ chew them.

"Well, I think I'll travel along now, and once more seek my fortune," said
Uncle Wiggily, when Billie and Nannie were ready to go to school. So Mrs.
Goat packed up for the rabbit a nice lunch in his valise, and Nannie gave
him some waxed paper, that the rain wouldn't melt, and Billie gave his
uncle a pair of scissors, and off Mr. Longears started.

Well, he traveled on and on, over the fields and through the woods, and
across little brooks, and pretty soon it was coming on dark night, and the
rabbit gentleman hadn't found his fortune.

"Now I wonder where I can stay to-night?" thought Uncle Wiggily, as he
looked about him. He could see nothing but an old stump, which was not
hollow, so he couldn't get inside of it, and the only other thing that
happened to be there was a flat stone, and he couldn't get under that.

"I guess I must make me a paper house," said the old gentleman rabbit.
"Then I can sleep in it in peace and quietness, and I'll travel on again
in the morning."

So he got out the waxed paper, and he took the scissors, and, sitting down
on the green grass, he cut out the sides and roof of the paper house. Then
he made the chimney, and put it on the roof, and then he fastened the
house together, and crawled inside, with his valise and his barber-pole
crutch.

"I guess I won't make too many windows or doors," thought Uncle Wiggily,
"for a savage bear or a burglar-fox might come along in the night, and try
to get in."

So he only made one door, and one window in the house. But he made a
little fireplace out of stones, and built a little fire in it, to cook his
supper. But listen, you children must never, never make a fire, unless
some big person is near to put it out in case it happens to run away, and
chases after you, to catch you. Fires are dreadfully scary things for
little folks, so please be careful.

Well, Uncle Wiggily cooked his supper, frying some carrots in a little tin
frying pan he had with him, and then he said his prayers, and went to bed.
Soon he was fast, fast asleep.

Well, in the middle of the night, Uncle Wiggily was awakened in his paper
house by hearing a funny noise outside.

"Ha! I wonder what that can be?" he exclaimed, sitting up, and reaching
out for his crutch. The noise kept on, "pitter-patter;
pitter-patter-patter-pitter; pat-pit-pat-pit."

"Oh, that sounds like the toe nails of the burglar-fox, running around the
house!" said the rabbit. Then he listened more carefully, and suddenly he
laughed: "Ha! Ha!" Then he got up and looked out of the window. "Why, it's
only the rain drops pit-pattering on the roof," he said. "Isn't it jolly
to be in a house when it rains, and you can't get wet? After this every
night I'm going to always build a waxed-paper house," said Uncle Wiggily.

So he listened to the rain drops, and he thought how nice it was not to be
wet, and he went to sleep again. And pretty soon he woke up once more, for
he heard another noise. This time it was a sniffing, snooping, woofing
sort of a noise, and Uncle Wiggily knew that it wasn't the rain.

"I'm sure that's the burglar-fox," he said. "What shall I do? He can smash
my paper house with his teeth and claws, and then eat me. I should have
built a wooden house. But it's too late now. I know what I'll do. I'll dig
a cellar underneath my paper house, and I'll hide there, in case that fox
smashes the roof."

So Uncle Wiggily got up very softly, and right in the middle of the dirt
floor of his paper house he began to burrow down to dig a cellar. My, how
his paws made the sand and gravel fly, and soon he had dug quite a large
cellar, in which to hide.

And all this time the sniffing, snooping sound kept on, until, all of a
sudden a voice cried:

"Let me in!"

"Who are you?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"I'm the bad alligator," was the answer, "and if you don't let me in, I'll
smash down your paper house with one swoop of my scalery-ailery tail."

"You can't come in!" cried the rabbit, and then that bad alligator gave
one swoop of his tail, and smashed Uncle Wiggily's nice paper house all to
pieces!

But do you s'pose the rabbit was there? No, indeed. He just grabbed up his
crutch and valise, and ran down into his cellar as far and as fast as he
could run, just as the roof fell in. And the cellar wasn't big enough for
the alligator to get in, and so he had to stay outside, and he couldn't
get Uncle Wiggily.

And then it rained, and thundered and lightninged, and the alligator got
scared, and ran off, but the rabbit gentleman was safe down in his cellar,
and he didn't get a bit wet, and went to sleep there for the rest of the
night. Now, please go to bed, and in case my toothbrush, doesn't go out
roller skating, and fall down and get bald-headed, I'll tell you next
about Uncle Wiggily and the paper boat.




STORY XXI

UNCLE WIGGILY IN A PAPER BOAT


When the morning dawned, after he had slept all night in the cellar under
his paper house, that the alligator, with his swooping scalery-ailery
tail, had knocked down, Uncle Wiggily awakened, brushed the dirt from his
ears, and crawled out.

"My!" he exclaimed as he saw the paper house all flat on the ground, like
a pancake, "Nannie Goat would certainly be sorry to see this. But I
suppose it can't be helped. Anyhow, it's a good thing that I am not
squashed as flat as that house is. Now I'll see about my breakfast, and
then I'll travel on again."

So the old gentleman rabbit got his breakfast, eating almost the last
piece of the cherry pie, which he had left from the time when he made some
for the hedgehog, and then, taking his crutch, striped red, white and
blue, like a barber pole, off he started.

Well, pretty soon, in a little while, not so very long, Uncle Wiggily
came to a pond of water, and, looking down into it, he saw the most
beautiful goldfish that you can imagine. It was a big fish, too, and the
scales on it were as round as gold dollars.

"My!" exclaimed the rabbit. "If I had that fish, and I could take him to a
jewelry shop, and sell him, I would get so much money that my fortune
would be made, and I wouldn't have to travel any farther. But I guess the
fish would rather stay in the pond than in a jewelry shop."

"Indeed, I would," answered the fish, looking up. "And I am glad you are
so kind as to be thoughtful of my feelings. Perhaps I may be able to help
you, some day."

And with that the fish dived away down under the water, after calling
good-bye to the rabbit, and then Uncle Wiggily hopped on, and he didn't
think any more about the goldfish, until some time after that.

Well, as soon as the elephant had his trunk packed - Oh, hold on, if you
please. I wonder what's the matter with me? There's no elephant in this
story. He comes in it about five pages farther on.

Well, after traveling for several hours, Uncle Wiggily ate his dinner,
then he hopped on some more, and he looked all around for his fortune, but
he couldn't find it. Then it began to get dark, and he wondered where he
could stay that night.

"I might build a paper house," he said, "but if I do the alligator might
come along and smash it, and this time he would probably catch me. I
wonder what I'd better do?"

So he looked ahead, and there he saw a stream of water. It was quite a
wide brook, but on the other side of it he saw a nice little wooden house,
that no one lived in.

"Now, if I could only get over there I'd be safe," said the old gentleman
rabbit. "I guess I'll wade across."

Well, he started to do so, but he soon found that the water was too deep
for him to wade. It was over his head.

"I'll have to swim across," said Uncle Wiggily.

But, as soon as he got ready to do that, he found himself in more trouble.
For he couldn't carry his crutch and valise across with him if he swam,
and he didn't like to leave them on the shore, for fear the alligator
would get them.

"Oh, I certainly am in great trouble," said the rabbit. "It's getting
darker and darker, and I have no place to stay. I haven't even any paper
with which to make me a paper house, but if I could only get across to the
wooden house, I'd be safe."

And, just as he spoke, there came a little puff of wind, and lo and
behold! a nice piece of paper was blown right down out of a tree, where it
had been caught on a branch. Right at Uncle Wiggily's side it fell; that
paper did.

"Oh, joy!" the rabbit gentleman cried. "Here is paper to make me a house
with." But when he looked more closely at it, he saw that it wasn't big
enough for a house, and it wasn't the kind of paper that would keep out
the rain, either.

"That will never do," said Uncle Wiggily, sadly. "Ah! But I have an idea.
I will make me a paper boat, as Billie Goat once did, and in the boat I'll
sail across the stream, and sleep in the little wooden house."

So he folded up the paper, first like a soldier's hat, and then like a
fireman's hat, and then he pulled on the two ends, and, presto change! he
had a paper boat. Then he took his crutch, and stuck it up in the middle
of the boat, and put a piece of paper on the crutch, and he had a sail.
Then he put the boat in the water, and got in it himself. I mean he got in
the boat, not the water - with his valise.

"Here we go!" cried the old gentleman rabbit, and he shoved the boat out
from the shore. The wind caught in the little paper sail, and away Uncle
Wiggily went, as fine as fine could be.

"I'll soon be on the other shore," he said, and just then he looked down,
and he saw some water coming inside the boat. "Hum! That's bad," he cried.
"I'm afraid my boat is leaking."

The wind blew harder, and the boat went faster, but more water came in,
for you see the paper was sort of melting, and falling apart, like an ice
cream cone, for it wasn't the waxed kind of paper from the inside of
cracker boxes - the kind that water won't hurt.

Well, the boat began to sink, and the water came up to Uncle Wiggily's
knees, and then, all of a sudden there was a funny sound on shore, a
snipping snooping woofing-woofing sound, and into the water jumped the
alligator with the skiller-scalery, swooping tail.

"Now I've got you!" he cried, snapping his jaws at the poor old gentleman
rabbit. And really it did seem as if Uncle Wiggily would be eaten up. But
you never can tell what is going to happen in this world; never indeed.

All of a sudden, just as the paper boat was melting all to pieces, and
Uncle Wiggily was trying, as best he could, to swim to shore with his
crutch and valise, and just as the alligator was going to grab him, along
came the big, kind goldfish.

"Jump on my back, Uncle Wiggily!" cried the fish, and the rabbit did so,
in the twinkling of an eye. And before the alligator could grab Uncle
Wiggily, the goldfish swam to shore with him, and he was safe. And the
alligator got some soap in his eye, from washing his face too hard, and
went sloshing away as mad as could be, but it served him right. And Uncle
Wiggily slept safely in the wooden house all night, and dreamed about
finding a gold dollar.

Now in case the banana man brings me some pink oranges for the elephant's
little boy, I'll tell you in another story about Uncle Wiggily and the mud
pie.[Transcriber's Note: in the above sentence, the word "tell" was
omitted in the original text.]




STORY XXII

UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE MUD PIE


Uncle Wiggily slept very soundly that night in the little wooden house,
across on the other side of the brook, where the alligator tried to catch
him, but didn't. And when he awakened in the morning the rabbit traveler
wondered what he was going to have for breakfast. But he didn't wonder
very long.

For, as soon as he had gotten up, and had washed his paws and face, and
combed out his ears - oh, dear me - I mean his whiskers - as soon as he had
done that, he heard a knock on the door.

"Oh, my, suz dud and a bottle of milk!" exclaimed the old gentleman
rabbit. "I hope that isn't the scary-flary alligator again."

So he peeped out of the window, but to his surprise, he didn't see any
one.

"I'm sure I heard a knock," he said, "but I guess I was mistaken."

Well, he was going over to his valise to see if it had in it anything to
eat, when the knock again sounded on the door.

"No, I wasn't mistaken," said Uncle Wiggily. "I wonder who that can be?
I'll peep, and find out."

So he hid behind the window curtain, and kept a close watch, and the first
things he saw were some little stones flying through the air. And they hit
against the front door with a rattlety-bang, and it was these stones that
had made the sound that was like a knock.

"Oh! it must be some bad boys after me," thought the poor old gentleman
rabbit. "My! I do seem to be having a dreadful time seeking my fortune.
There is always some kind of trouble."

And then more stones came through the air, and banged on the door and this
time Uncle Wiggily saw that they came from the stream, and, what is more,
he saw the goldfish throwing the stones and pebbles out of the brook with
his tail. Then the rabbit knew it was all right, for the goldfish was a
friend of his, so he ran out.

"Were you throwing stones at the house?" asked Uncle Wiggily.

"Yes," replied the fish, "it was the only way in which I could knock on
your door. You see I dare not leave the water, and I wanted you to know
that I had some breakfast for you."

And with that the kind goldfish took a little basket, made of watercress,
from off his left front fin, and handed Uncle Wiggily the basket, not his
fin, for he needed that to swim with.

"You'll find some cabbage-salad with snorkery-snickery ell-grass dressing
on it, some water-lily cake, and some moss covered eggs for your
breakfast," said the fish. "And I wish you good luck on your travels
to-day."

"Thank you very much," said Uncle Wiggily, "and I am very much obliged to
you for saving me from the alligator last night."

"Pray do not mention it," spoke the fish most condescendingly. "I always
like to help my friends." And with that he swam away, and Uncle Wiggily
ate his breakfast, and then, taking his crutch and valise, he set off on
his travels again.

He hopped on for some time, and finally he came to a place where there
were some high, prickly bramble-briar bushes.

"I will rest here in their shade a bit," thought the old gentleman rabbit,
"and then I will go on."

So he sat down, and, as the sun was quite warm, he fell asleep before he
knew it. But he was suddenly awakened by a hissing sound, just like when
steam comes out of the parlor radiator on a frosty night. Then a voice
cried:

"Now I've got you!"

Uncle Wiggily looked up, and there was a big snake, just going to grab
him. But do you s'pose the rabbit waited for that snake? Not a bit of it.
Catching up his crutch and valise, he gave one tremendous and
extraordinary springery-spring, and over the prickery stickery briar and
bramble bushes he went, flying through the air, and the snake couldn't get
him.

But when Uncle Wiggily came down on the other side of the bushes! Oh, my!
that was a different story. For where do you imagine he landed? Where,
indeed, but right in the middle of a big mud pie that two little hedgehog
boys were making there. Yes, sir, right into the middle of that
squasher-squawshery mud pie fell Uncle Wiggily.

Oh! How the mud splashed up! It went all over the rabbit, and some got on
the two little hedgehog boys.

Well, they were as surprised as anything when they saw a nice old
gentleman rabbit come down in the middle of their pie, and at first they
thought he had done it on purpose.

"Let's stick him full of our stickery-stockery quills," said one hedgehog
boy.

"Yes, and then let's pull his ears," said the other hedgehog boy. But,
mind you, they didn't really mean anything bad, only, perhaps, they
thought Uncle Wiggily was a savage fox, or a little white bear.


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