“My, how strong and brave you are,” cried the little red ant. “Won’t you let me get you a glass of water?”
“I would like it,” said the rabbit, “for it is quite warm to-day.”
Well, that ant got Uncle Wiggily a glass of water, but you know how it is—an ant’s glass is so very small that it only holds as much water as you could put on the point of a pin, and really, I’m not exaggerating a bit, when I say that Uncle Wiggily drank seventeen thousand four hundred and twenty-six and a half ant-glasses of water before he had enough. It took all the ants for a mile around to bring the water to him, but they didn’t mind, because they liked him.
Then the old gentleman rabbit traveled on again, and when it came night he slept under a haystack.
“I am sure I’ll find my fortune to-day,” thought Uncle Wiggily as he got up and brushed the hay seed out of his ears the next morning.
It was a bright, beautiful day, and he hadn’t gone very far before he heard some fine music.
“My, there must be a hand-organ around here,” he said to himself. “And perhaps there is another monkey. I’ll watch out.”
So he stood on his hind legs, Uncle Wiggily did, and the music played louder, and all of a sudden the rabbit looked down the road, and there was a nice circus, with the white tents, all covered with flags, and bands playing, and elephants squirting water through their long noses over their backs to wash the dust off. And lions and tigers were roaring, and the horses were running, and the fat lady was drinking pink lemonade, and Oh! it was fine!
“I’ve got fifty cents, and I guess I’ll go to the circus,” thought Uncle Wiggily, and he was just entering the big tent when he happened to see a man with a lot of red and green and yellow and pink balloons. Now, you would have thought that man would have been happy, having so many balloons, but he wasn’t. He looked very sad, that man did, and he was almost crying.
“Poor man!” thought Uncle Wiggily. “Perhaps he has no money to go in the circus. I’ll give him mine. Here is fifty cents, Mr. Man,” said the old gentleman rabbit, kindly. “Take it and go see the elephant eat peanuts.”
“Oh, that is very good of you,” spoke the balloon man, “but I don’t want to go to the circus. I want to sell my balloons, but no one will buy them.”
“Why not?” asked the rabbit.
“Oh, because there are so many other things to buy,” said the man, “red peanuts and lemonade in shells—oh, I’ve got that wrong, it is red lemonade, isn’t it? And peanuts in shells. But no matter. What I need,” said the man, “is to get the people to listen to me—I need to make them look at me, and when they see what fine balloons I have they’ll buy some. But there are so many other things to look at that they never look toward me at all.”
“Ha! I know the very thing!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “You ought to have some one go up in a balloon. That would surprise the people like anything. They’d be sure to look at that, and they’d all run over here and buy all your balloons.”