JANE FUZZY-WUZZY GIVES A LESSON
Uncle Wiggily Longears was a very wise old rabbit. He had lived so long, and had escaped so many dogs and hunters, year after year, that he knew about all a rabbit can know. Of course, that may not be so very much, but it was a good deal for Uncle Wiggily Longears. So the day after Sammie came home from having fallen in the brook the old rabbit got ready to give Sammie and Susie Littletail their swimming lesson.
“You will want to know how to get out of the water when you fall in,” he said. “You come with me, and I will show you. It is not very cold out, and I will give you a short lesson.”
“Be careful not to let them drown,” cautioned Mamma Littletail.
“I will,” promised Uncle Wiggily Longears, and he started from the burrow, followed by the two bunny children. But, just as their uncle got out of the front door he was seized with a sharp spasm of rheumatism.
“Oh! oh! oh, dear!” he cried three times, just like that.
“What is the matter?” asked Sammie.
“Rheumatism,” answered Uncle Wiggily Longears, and he put his left front paw on his left hind leg. “I have it very bad. I don’t believe I would dare go in the water with you children to-day. We will have to wait. Yet I don’t like to, as you ought to learn to swim. I wonder if you could learn if I stood on the bank and told you what to do?”
“I think it would be much better if you could come into the water and show us,” said Susie.
“Yes, of course it would,” admitted Uncle Wiggily Longears. “Of course it would, my dear, only you see—ouch! Oh, me! Oh, my!” and poor Uncle Wiggily Longears wrinkled his nose and made it twinkle like a star on a frosty night, and he wiggled his ears to and fro. “Oh, that was a terrible sharp pain,” he said. “I don’t believe I’d better go, children. I’m awfully sorry——”
“Let me take the children and show them how to swim,” said Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, who had just finished peeling the potatoes for dinner. She could peel them very nicely with her long, sharp front teeth, which were just like a chisel that a carpenter uses.
“Yes, I guess you could teach them,” said Uncle Wiggily, as he rubbed his leg softly. “You are a much better swimmer than I am; but can you spare the time from the housework?”
You see, Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had to do all the housework for the Littletail family, but, as she was a very good muskrat, she was able to do it, and she often had time to spare, so she answered:
“Yes, I can just as well go as not, for I have the dinner on the stove, and Mr. Littletail will not be home to lunch. I will give the children a swimming lesson. It will not take long.”
“Well,” spoke Uncle Wiggily Longears, “I wish you would. I must go and get something for my rheumatism.”
“You had better try a hot cabbage leaf,” said Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. “I have heard that is good.”