So Uncle Wiggily looked on the floor, but there was no tack there, only some crumbs from a sugar cookie that Susie Littletail had been eating the night before, when her uncle had told her a go-to-sleep story.
“Oh, I know what it was; it must have been my rheumatism that gave me the pain!” said the old gentleman rabbit as he looked for his red, white and blue crutch, striped like a barber pole. He found it under the bed, and then he managed to limp to the window. Surely enough, the sun was shining.
“I’ll certainly have to do something about this rheumatism,” said Uncle Wiggily as he carefully shaved himself by looking in the glass. “I guess I’ll see Dr. Possum.”
So after breakfast, when Sammie and Susie had gone to school, Dr. Possum was telephoned for, and he called to see Uncle Wiggily.
“Ha! Hum!” exclaimed the doctor, looking very wise. “You have the rheumatism very bad, Mr. Longears.”
“Why, I knew that before you came,” said the old gentleman rabbit, blinking his eyes. “What I want is something to cure it.”
“Ha! Hum!” said Dr. Possum, again looking very wise. “I think you need a change of air. You must travel about. Go on a journey, get out and see strange birds, and pick the pretty flowers. You don’t get exercise enough.”
“Exercise enough!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “Why, my goodness me sakes alive and a bunch of lilacs! Don’t I play checkers almost every night with Grandfather Goosey Gander?”
“That is not enough,” said the doctor, “you must travel here and there, and see things.”
“Very well,” said Uncle Wiggily, “then I will travel. I’ll pack my valise at once, and I’ll go off and seek my fortune, and maybe, on the way, I can lose this rheumatism.”
So the next day Uncle Wiggily started out with his crutch, and his valise packed full of clean clothes, and something in it to eat.
“Oh, we are very sorry to have you go, dear uncle,” said Susie Littletail, “but we hope you’ll come back good and strong.”
“Thank you,” said Uncle Wiggily, as he kissed the two rabbit children and their mamma, and shook hands with Papa Littletail. Then off the old gentleman bunny hopped with his crutch.
Well, he went along for quite a distance, over the hills, and down the road, and through the woods, and, as the sun got higher and warmer, his rheumatism felt better.
“I do believe Dr. Possum was right!” said Uncle Wiggily. “Traveling is just the thing for me,” and he felt so very jolly that he whistled a little tune about a peanut wagon, which roasted lemonade, and boiled and frizzled Easter eggs that Mrs. Cluk-Cluk laid.
“Ha! Where are you going?” suddenly asked a voice, as Uncle Wiggily finished the tune.
“I’m going to seek my fortune,” replied Uncle Wiggily. “Who are you, pray?”
“Oh, I’m a friend of yours,” said the voice, and Uncle Wiggily looked all around, but he couldn’t discover any one.