“Oh, help! Help!” he cried. “Will no one help me?”
“Yes, we will help you!” answered a voice, and up flew the big cat-bird, and her little kitten-birds. “Quick, children!” she cried, “we must save Uncle Wiggily, who was so kind to us! Every one of you get a stick, and we’ll make a little boat, or raft, for him!”
Well, I wish you could have seen how quickly the mamma cat-bird and her kittie-birds gathered a lot of sticks, and twigs, and laid them together crossways on the water in that fountain basin, until they had a regular little boat. Upon this Uncle Wiggily climbed, with his crutch and valise, and then the mamma cat-bird flew on ahead, and pulled the boat by a string to the edge of the fountain, where the rabbit could safely get out.
So that’s how the bunny was saved from drowning in the water, and in the next story, if a big, red ant doesn’t crawl upon our porch and carry away the hammock, I’ll tell you another adventure Uncle Wiggily had. It will be a story of the old gentleman rabbit and the bad dog.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE DOG
Uncle Wiggily’s rheumatism was quite bad after he got wet in the fountain, as I told you in the other story, and when he thanked the mamma cat-bird and her kitten-birds for saving him, he found that he could hardly walk, much less carry his heavy valise.
“Oh, we’ll help you,” said Mrs. Cat-Bird. “Here, Flitter and Flutter, you carry the satchel for Uncle Wiggily, and we’ll take him to our house.”
“But, mamma,” said Flutter, who was getting to be quite a big bird-boy, “Uncle Wiggily can’t climb up a tree to our nest.”
“No, but we can make him a nice warm bed on the ground,” said the mamma bird. “So you and Flitter carry the satchel. Put a long blade of grass through the handle, and then each of you take hold of one end of the grass in your bills, and fly away with it. Skimmer, you and Dartie go on ahead, and get something ready to eat, and I’ll show Uncle Wiggily the way.”
So Flitter and Flutter, the two boy birds, flew away with the satchel, and Skimmer and Dartie, the girl birds, flew on ahead to set the table, and put on the teakettle on the stove to boil, and Mrs. Cat-Bird flew slowly on over Uncle Wiggily, to show him the way.
Well, pretty soon, not so so very long, they came to where the birds lived. And those good children had already started to make a nest on the ground for the old gentleman rabbit. They had it almost finished, and by the time supper was ready it was all done. Then came the meal, and those birds couldn’t do enough for Uncle Wiggily, because they liked him so.
When it got dark, they covered him all up, with soft leaves in the nest on the ground, and there he slept until morning. His rheumatism wasn’t quite so bad when, after breakfast, he had sat out in the warm sun for a while, and after a bit he said: