“I will pay you good wages to stay with me, and go up in a balloon every day,” said the man to the rabbit. “You would help me do lots of business.”
“No,” said Uncle Wiggily. “I must travel on and seek my fortune. I didn’t find it up in the air.”
But before the old gentleman rabbit traveled on, he went into the circus with Dickie and Nellie. For they had an extra ticket that Bully the frog was going to use, only Bully went in swimming and caught cold, and had to stay home. So Uncle Wiggily enjoyed the show very much in his place.
“Give my love to Sammie and Susie Littletail and to all my friends,” said the rabbit, as he took his crutch and valise, after the circus was over, and started to travel on, looking for his fortune.
Well, the first place he came to that day was an old hollow stump, and on the door was a card which read:
“Ha! Come in; eh?” said Uncle Wiggily. “I guess not much! You can’t fool me again. There is a bad bear, or a savage owl inside that stump, and they want to eat me. I’ll just stay outside.”
He was just hurrying past, when the door of the stump-house opened, and an old grandfather fox stuck out his head. This fox was almost blind, and he had no teeth, and he had no claws, and his tail was just like a last year’s dusting brush, that the moths have eaten most up, and altogether that fox was so old and feeble that he couldn’t have hurt a mosquito. So Uncle Wiggily wasn’t a bit afraid of him.
“I say, is there anything good to eat out there?” asked the fox, looking over the tops of his spectacles at the rabbit. “Anything nice and juicy to eat?”
“Yes, I am good to eat,” said Uncle Wiggily, “but you are not going to eat me. Good-by!”
“Hold on!” cried the old fox, “don’t be afraid. I can only eat soup, for I have no teeth to chew with, so unless you are soup you are of no use to me.”
“Well, I’m not soup, but I know how to make some,” replied the rabbit, for he felt sorry for the grandfather fox.
So what do you think our Uncle Wiggily did? Why, he went into the fox’s stump-house and made a big pot full of the finest kind of soup, and the rabbit and the fox ate it all up, and, because the fox had no teeth or claws, he couldn’t hurt his visitor.
“I wish you would stay with me forever,” said the old fox, as he blinked his eyes at Uncle Wiggily. “I have a young and strong grandson coming home soon, and you might show him how to make soup.”
“No, thank you,” replied the rabbit. “I’m afraid that young and strong grandson of yours would want to eat me instead of the soup, I guess I’ll travel on.” So the old gentleman rabbit took his crutch and valise and traveled on.
Well, pretty soon, it began to get dark, and Uncle Wiggily knew night was coming on. And he wondered where he could stay, for he didn’t see any haystacks to sleep under. He was thinking that he’d have to dig a burrow in the ground for himself, and he was looking for a soft place to begin, when, all at once, he heard a loud “Honk-Honk!” back of him in the road.