“Yes, and my little birds are kittie-birds,” was the answer. “I’ll show you.”
So the bird went “Mew! Mew! Mew!” again, and a lot of the little birds came flying around and they all went “Mew! Mew!” too, just like kitties. Oh, I tell you cat-birds are queer things! and how they do love cherries when they are ripe! Eh?
“That is very good crying, birdies,” said Uncle Wiggily, “and I think I’ll give you something to eat, to pay for it.” So he took out from his valise some peanuts, that Percival, the circus dog, had given him, and Uncle Wiggily fed them to the cat-bird and her kittie-birds.
“You are very kind,” said the mamma bird, “and if we can ever do you a favor we will.”
And now listen, as the telephone girl says, those birds are going to do Uncle Wiggily a favor in a short time—a very short time indeed.
Well, after the birds had eaten all the peanuts they flew away, and Uncle Wiggily started off once more. He hadn’t gone very far before he came to a fountain. You know what that is. It’s a thing in a park that squirts up water, just like when you fill a rubber ball with milk or lemonade and squeeze it. Only a fountain is bigger, of course.
This fountain that Uncle Wiggily came to had no water in it, for it was being cleaned. There was a big basin, with a pipe up through the middle, and this was where the water spouted up when it was running.
“This is very strange,” said Uncle Wiggily, for he had never seen a fountain before, “perhaps I can find my fortune in here. I’ll go look.” So down he jumped into the big empty fountain basin, which was as large as seven wash tubs made into one. And it was so nice and comfortable there, and so shady, for there were trees near it, that, before he knew it, Uncle Wiggily fell fast asleep, with his head on his satchel for a pillow.
And then he had a funny dream. He dreamed that it was raining, and that his umbrella turned inside out, and got full of holes, and that he was getting all wet.
“My!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he gave a big sneeze. “This is a very real dream. I actually believe I am wet!”
Then he got real wide awake all of a sudden, and he found that he was right in the middle of a lot of wetness, for the man had turned the water on in the fountain unexpectedly, not knowing that the old gentleman rabbit was asleep there.
“I must get out of here!” cried Uncle Wiggily, as he grabbed up his valise and crutch. Then the water came up to his little short, stumpy tail. Next it rose higher, up to his knees. Then it rose still faster up to his front feet and then almost up to his chin.
“Oh, I’m afraid I’m going to drown!” he cried. “I must get out!” So he tried to swim to the edge of the fountain, but you can’t swim very well with a crutch and a valise, you know, and Uncle Wiggily didn’t want to lose either one. Then the water from the top of the fountain splashed in his eyes and he couldn’t see which way to swim.