“Perhaps I shall find my fortune now,” the rabbit gentleman said. And the little boy patted him on the back, and stroked his long ears.
Now, in the story after this I’ll tell you what happened to Uncle Wiggily at the little boy’s house, and in case our door key doesn’t get locked out, and have to sleep in the park, you are going to hear about Uncle Wiggily in a boat.
UNCLE WIGGILY IN A BOAT
“Poor rabbit!” exclaimed the little boy in the automobile, as he rubbed Uncle Wiggily’s ears. “I wonder if his foot is much hurt, papa?”
“I don’t know,” answered the man, as he steered the machine down the road. “I’ll have the doctor look at it.”
“Oh, indeed, it isn’t hurt much,” spoke up Uncle Wiggily. “The rubber tire was soft, you see. But my rheumatism is much worse on account of running so fast.”
“What’s this? Well, of all things! This rabbit can talk!” cried the man in surprise.
“Of course he can, papa,” said the boy. “Lots of rabbits can talk. Why, there’s Sammie and Susie Littletail; they can talk, and maybe this rabbit knows them.”
“I’m their uncle,” said the old gentleman rabbit, making a bow.
“Oh, then, you must be Uncle Wiggily Longears!” cried the little boy. “Oh, I’ve always wanted to see you, and now I can!”
“Well, it is very strange to meet you this way,” said the man. “Still, I am glad you are not hurt, Uncle Wiggily. And so you are out seeking your fortune,” for the rabbit had told them about his travels. “Perhaps you would like to rest at our house for a few days. We can give you a nice room, with a brass bed, and a bath-tub to yourself, and you can have your meals in bed, if you can’t come down stairs.”
“Oh, I am not used to that kind of a life,” said the old gentleman rabbit. “I would rather live out of doors. If you can get me some clean straw to lie on, and once in a while a carrot or a turnip, and a bit of lettuce and some cabbage leaves now and then, I’ll be all right. And as soon as my foot is well I’ll travel on.”
“Oh, what good times we’ll have!” cried the little boy. “Our house is near a lake, and I have a motor boat. And I’ll give you a ride in it.”
Well, Uncle Wiggily thought that would be nice, and he was rather glad, after all, that he had jumped into the auto. So pretty soon they came to the place where the boy lived. Oh, it was a fine, large house, with lots of grounds, lawns and gardens all around it. And there were several dogs on the place, but the little boy spoke to them all, telling them that the rabbit was his friend Uncle Wiggily, who must not be bitten or barked at on any account.
“Oh, we heard about him from Fido Flip-Flop,” said big dog Rover. “We wouldn’t hurt Uncle Wiggily for two worlds, and part of another one, and a bag of peanuts.”
So Uncle Wiggily was given a nice bed of straw in one of the empty dog-houses, and the boy got him some cabbage and lettuce, and the rabbit made himself a sandwich of them, with some bread and butter which he had in his satchel.