“Then they’ll drop Fido, and run away,” said the old gentleman rabbit. “Let me see, how can I scare them? I know, I’ll make believe I’m a tiger!”
So what did that brave Uncle Wiggily do? but go to a mud hole, and with his crutch dipped into the mud, he made himself all striped over like a tiger that you see in a circus. Oh, he was a most ferocious sight when he finished decorating himself! Then he hid his satchel in the bushes, and he started off on a short cut through the woods, to get ahead of the boys. Faster and faster through the woods went Uncle Wiggily, and he looked so peculiarly terrifying that all the animals who saw him were scared out of their wits, and one old blue-jay bird was so frightened that he wiggled his tail up and down, and hid his head in a hollow tree.
Well, by and by, after a while, Uncle Wiggily got to a place in the woods where he knew those boys, with Fido Flip-Flop, would soon come by. Then the rabbit hid himself in the bushes, so that his long ears wouldn’t show. For he knew that if the boys saw them, they would know right away he wasn’t a tiger, no matter if he was striped like one.
In a few minutes along came the boys, and they were talking about what they were going to do to Fido, and how they would put him in a cage, and make him do lots of tricks. All of a sudden there was a rustling in the bushes, and Uncle Wiggily just stuck out his head and part of his body, laying his ears flat back where they could not be seen. But the boys could see the mud stripes, only they didn’t know they were just mud, you understand.
“Oh! See that!” cried one boy.
“Yes, it’s a tigery-tiger!” exclaimed the other boy.
“Let’s run!” shouted both the boys together. “The tiger will eat us up!”
And just then Uncle Wiggily growled as loudly as he could, a real fierce growl, and he rattled the bushes and stuck out his striped paws, and those boys dropped Fido Flip-Flop, and ran away, as hard as they could through the woods, leaving Fido to join the rabbit.
“Thank you very much for saving me, Uncle Wiggily,” said the dog, as soon as he got over being frightened. “That was a good trick, to pretend you were a tiger. But I knew you right away, only, of course, I wasn’t going to tell those boys who you were. It served them right, for squeezing me the way they did. Now we’ll go on, and see if we can find a fortune for you.”
So they went back to where Uncle Wiggily had left his valise, and there it was safe and sound, and inside it were some nice things to eat, and the rabbit and doggie had a dinner there in the woods, after the mud stripes were washed off.
Then they went on and on, for ever so long, and nothing happened, except that a mosquito bit Fido on the end of his nose, and every time he sneezed it tickled him.
“Well, I guess we won’t have any more adventures to-day, Uncle Wiggily,” spoke the doggie, but, a moment later, they heard a rustling in the bushes and, before they could hide themselves, out jumped Arabella Chick, the sister of Charlie, the rooster boy.