So he made a jump for Uncle Wiggily, but do you s’pose the rabbit gentleman was afraid? Not a bit of it. He knew what he was going to do.
“Quick, Jennie!” called Uncle Wiggily. “Get in front of me. I’ll fix this bear all right.” So Jennie got in front, and the rabbit turned his back on the bear, and, then Uncle Wiggily began scratching in the dirt with his sharp claws. My! how he did make the dirt fly. It was just like a regular rain-shower of sand and gravel.
And the dirt flew all over that bear; in his eyes and nose and mouth and ears, it went, and he sneezed, and he couldn’t see out of his eyes, and he fairly howled. And by that time Uncle Wiggily had dug a big hole in the ground with his feet, and he and Jennie hid there until the bear ran off to get some water to wash the dirt off his face, and then the rabbit and the chipmunk girl came out safely.
Then Uncle Wiggily gave Jennie some pennies to buy two new hair ribbons, and he showed her the way home with her basket of acorns, and he himself went on with his travels. And he had another adventure the next day. Now in case a cowboy doesn’t come along, and take my little pussy cat off to the wild west show I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the paper lantern.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE LANTERN
After Uncle Wiggily had taken Jennie Chipmunk home, so that the bear couldn’t get her, as I told you about in the story before this one, the old gentleman rabbit walked on over the fields and through the woods, seeking his fortune. He looked everywhere for it; down in hollow stumps, behind big stones, and even in an old well, but you may be sure he didn’t jump down any more wells. No, I guess not!
“Ha! Here is a little brook!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, after a while, as he came to a small stream of water flowing over green, mossy stones, with a nice gurgling sound like an ice cream soda, “perhaps I may find my fortune here.”
But he looked and he looked in the water without seeing anything but a goldfish.
“I might sell the goldfish for money,” thought the fortune-hunting rabbit, “but it wouldn’t be kind to take him out of the brook, so I won’t. I’ll look a little farther, on the other side.”
Then, taking up his crutch and his valise, Uncle Wiggily gave a big jump, and leaped safely across the water. Then, once more, he traveled on. Pretty soon he came to a place where there was a tree, and on one branch of this tree there hung a funny round ball, that looked as if it was made of gray-colored paper. And there was a funny buzzing sound coming from it.
“Ha! Do you see that?” asked a big, fat hop-toad, as he suddenly bobbed up out of the grass. It was the same toad who had made the rabbit jump down in the leaf-covered well. “Do you see that?” asked the toad.
“Well, if you want to find your fortune, take a stick and hit that ball.”