Once upon a time there lived in a small house built underneath the ground two curious little folk, with their father, their mother, their uncle and Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy was the nurse, hired girl and cook, all in one, and the reason she had such a funny name was because she was a funny cook. She had long hair, a sharp nose, a very long tail and the brightest eyes you ever saw. She could stay under water a long time, and was a fine swimmer. In fact, Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy was a big muskrat, and the family she worked for was almost as strange as she was.
There was Papa Littletail, Mamma Littletail, Sammie Littletail, Susie Littletail and Uncle Wiggily Longears. The whole family had very long ears and short tails; their eyes were rather pink and their noses used to twinkle, just like the stars on a frosty night. Now you have guessed it. This was a family of bunny rabbits, and they lived in a nice hole, which was called a burrow, and which they had dug under ground in a big park on the top of a mountain, back of Orange. Not the kind of oranges you eat, you know, but the name of a place, and a very nice place, too.
In spite of her strange name, and the fact that she was a muskrat, Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy was a very good cook and quite kind to the children bunnies, Sammie and Susie. Besides looking after them, Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy used to sweep the burrow, make up the beds of leaves and grass, and go to market to get bits of carrots, turnips or cabbage, which last Sammie and Susie liked better than ice cream.
Uncle Wiggily Longears was an elderly rabbit, who had the rheumatism, and he could not do much. Sometimes when Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy was very busy he would go after the cabbage or turnips for her. Uncle Wiggily Longears was a wise rabbit, and as he had no other home, Papa Littletail let him stay in a warm corner of the burrow. To pay for his board the little bunnies’ uncle would give them lessons in how to behave. One day, after he had told them how needful it was to always have two holes, or doors, to your burrow, so that if a dog chased you in one, you could go out of the other, Uncle Wiggily said:
“Now, children, I think that is enough for one day, so you may go out and have some fun in the snow.”
But first Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy looked out of the back door, and then she looked out of the front door, to see that there were no dogs or hunters about. Then Sammie and Susie crept out. They had lots of fun, and pretty soon, when they were quite a ways from home, they saw a hole in the ground. In front of it was a nice, juicy cabbage stalk.
“Look!” cried Sammie. “Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy must have lost that cabbage on her way home from the store!”
“That isn’t the door to our house,” said Susie.
“Yes it is,” insisted Sammie, “and I am going to eat the cabbage. I didn’t have much breakfast, and I’m hungry.”