“Indeed I will not!” cried the old gentleman rabbit. “I know you and your tricks! That is a hornets’ nest, and if I struck it they would fly out, and sting me. Oh, no! You can’t catch me again. Now you go away, or I’ll tell a policeman dog to arrest you.”
So the toad knew it was of no use to try to fool Uncle Wiggily again, and he hopped away, scratching his warty back on a sharp stone.
Well, the old gentleman rabbit traveled on and on, and when it came night he wondered where he was going to stay, for he hadn’t yet found his fortune and the weather looked as if it was going to rain. Then, all of a sudden, he heard voices calling like this:
“Come on, Nannie, you’ve got to blind your eyes now, and I’ll go hide.”
“All right, Billie,” was the answer. “And after that we’ll get Uncle Butter to tell us a story.”
“I guess I know who those children are,” thought Uncle Wiggily, though he had not yet seen them. “That’s Billie and Nannie Goat talking,” and surely enough it was, and, most unexpectedly the rabbit had come right up to the house where they lived, on the edge of the woods.
Well, you can just imagine how glad Billie and Nannie were to see Uncle Wiggily.
They danced all around him, and held him by the paws, and kissed him between his long ears, and Billie carried his satchel for him.
“Oh, we’re so glad you are here!” they cried. “Mamma! Papa! Uncle Butter! Here is Uncle Wiggily!”
Well, the whole goat family was glad to see the rabbit-traveler, and after supper he told them of his adventures, and how he was out seeking his fortune.
And Billie and Nannie told what they had been doing, and Nannie showed how she could cut things out of paper, like the children do in the kindergarten class in school. She could make little houses, with smoke coming out of the chimney, and paper lanterns, and boxes, and, oh! ever so many things. The lanterns she made were especially fine, just like Chinese ones.
Then it came time to go to bed, and in the night a very strange thing happened, and I’m going to tell you all about it.
Along about 12 o’clock, when all was still and quiet, and when the little mice were beginning to think it was time for them to creep, creep out of their holes, and hunt for bread and cheese; about this time there sounded a queer noise down at the front door of the goat-house.
“Ha! What is that?” asked Mrs. Goat.
“I guess it was the cats,” said Mr. Goat, getting ready to go to sleep again.
“No, I’m sure it was a burglar-fox!” said the lady goat. “Please get up and look.”
Well, of course, Mr. Goat had to do so, after his wife asked him like that. So he poked his head out of the upstairs window, over the front door, and he called out:
“Who is down there?”
“I’m a burglar-fox!” was the answer. “I’m coming to rob you.”