Uncle Wiggily went along for some time, and just as he got to a place where there was a large stone, all of a sudden out popped a big fat toad. And it wasn’t a nice toad, either, but a bad toad.
“Hello, Uncle Wiggily,” said the squatty-watty toad. “I haven’t seen you in some time. I guess you must be getting pretty old. You can’t jump as good as you once could, can you?”
“Of course, I can,” exclaimed the rabbit, a bit pettish-like, for he didn’t care to have even a toad think he couldn’t jump as well as ever he could.
“I’d like to see you,” went on the toad. “See if you jump from here over on that pile of leaves,” and he pointed to them with his warty toes.
“I’ll do it,” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. So he laid aside his crutch and his valise, gave a little run and a big jump, and then he came down kerthump on the pile of leaves.
But wait. Oh! I have something sad to tell you. That toad was only playing a trick on the rabbit, and those leaves were right over a big, deep, dark well. And as soon as Uncle Wiggily landed on the leaves he fell through, for there were no boards under them to cover up the well, and down, down, down he went, and if there had been water in the well he would have been drowned. But the well was dry, I’m glad to say. Still Uncle Wiggily had a great fall—almost like the tumble of Humpty-Dumpty.
“Ah, ha!” exclaimed the mean, squatty-squirmy toad. “Now you are in the well, and I’m going off, and tell the wolves, so they can come and get you out, and eat you. Ah, ha!” Oh! but wasn’t that toad a most unpleasant one? You see, he used to work for the wolves, doing all sorts of mean things for them, and trapping all the animals he could for them.
So off the toad hopped, to call the wolves to come and get Uncle Wiggily, and the poor rabbit was left alone at the bottom of the well. He tried his best to get up, but he couldn’t.
“I guess I’ll have to stay here until the wolves come,” he thought, sadly. “But I’ll call for help, and see what happens.” So he called: “Help! Help! Help!” as loudly as he could.
And all of a sudden a voice answered and asked:
“Where are you?”
“In the well,” shouted Uncle Wiggily, and he was afraid it was the wolves coming to eat him. But it wasn’t, it was the limpy grasshopper, and he tried to pull Uncle Wiggily out of the well, but, of course, he wasn’t strong enough.
“But I’ll get Percival, the circus dog, and he’ll pull you out before the wolves come,” said the grasshopper. “Now I have a chance to do you a kindness for the one you did me.” So he hopped off, as his leg was nearly all better, and he found Percival on the left road and told him what had happened.
And, my! how that circus dog did rush back to help Uncle Wiggily. And he got him out of the well in no time, by lowering a long rope to him, and pulling the rabbit gentleman up, and then the rabbit and dog ran away, before the toad could come back with the savage wolves, who didn’t get any supper out of the well, after all, and it served them right.