Now listen very carefully, for the fairy will soon appear, and you know what happens then. Oh, yes, indeed, something wonderful.
Well, when it came time, Uncle Wiggily started off alone to the woods to meet the red fairy. He walked on, and on, and on, and he had to go pretty slow, because his rheumatism was hurting him again. And suddenly, when he was right under a big oak tree, what should he hear but a silver trumpet blowing “Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-ra!” Just like that, honest. Then he stood still, and a sort of shivery feeling came over him, and he looked up and he looked down and he looked to one side and then to the other. And then he wiggled his ears, and he wrinkled up his nose as fast as fast could be. Then he heard some one call:
“Uncle Wiggily Longears!”
“Yes, I’m here!” he answered.
“And I am the red fairy!” cried the voice again, and when the old gentleman rabbit looked up in the tree, what do you suppose he saw? Well, you’d never guess, so I’ll tell you.
There, perched on a limb, was a beautiful little lady, all dressed in red, with a red cloak on, and a red hat on, and it had a red feather in it; in fact, she was as red as Red Riding Hood ever thought of being.
“Do you believe in fairies, Uncle Wiggily?” she asked.
“No,” replied the old rabbit, “I can’t say that I do.”
“Well,” went on the little creature, “you soon will. Watch me carefully.”
And with that, what did she do but float down from that tall tree, just as one of those red balloons you buy at the circus floats along. Yes, sir, she floated right down to where Uncle Wiggily was. Then she waved her magic wand in the air three times, and said this word: “Higgildypiggilyhobbledehoi!” It’s a very hard word for you to say, I know, but easy for a fairy. Well, she said that word, and then, all at once, what should happen but that a golden ball appeared, floating in the air.
“Catch the golden ball!” cried the red fairy.
“I can’t!” answered the old rabbit. “I haven’t played ball in years, and years, and years.”
“Well,” went on the fairy, with a laugh, “no matter. It will come to you,” and you may not believe me, but if that golden ball didn’t float right down into Uncle Wiggily’s hands. He had to drop his crutch to catch it.
“Now,” proceeded the red fairy, “do you want to see me do something magical to prove that I am wonderful, and a real fairy?’”
“Yes,” answered Uncle Wiggily, “certainly.”
“Well, what shall I do? Name something wonderful.”
“If you could cure me of my rheumatism it would be wonderful,” he answered. “It hurts me something fierce, now.”
“Ha! That is not wonderful at all,” spoke the red fairy. “That is altogether too easy. But I will do it all the same. Watch me carefully.”
Then, as true as I’m telling you, if that golden ball didn’t begin to dance up and down, and sideways, and around and around Uncle Wiggily, leaping here, and there, and everywhere, until he could hardly see it. And the silver trumpet blew: “Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-ra!” just like that, and all of a sudden Uncle Wiggily felt himself being lifted up, and whirled around, and then came a clap of thunder, and then it all got still, and quiet, and a little bird began to sing. Then the fairy’s voice asked: