“Why?” asked Billie Goat, curious like.
“So that when I am traveling about, looking for my fortune, and night comes on, and I have no place to stay, then I could make me a paper house, and be all nice and dry in case it rained,” replied the rabbit.
“Oh, but the water would soon soak through the paper,” said Billie. “I know, for once I made a paper boat, and sailed it on the pond, and soon it was soaked through, and sank away down.”
“Oh, but if I use that funny, greasy paper which comes inside cracker boxes—the kind with wax on it—that wouldn’t wet through,” spoke the rabbit as he went inside the goat-house with the children, for Mrs. Goat had called them in to breakfast.
“That would be just fine!” exclaimed Nannie, as she passed some apple sauce and oatmeal to Uncle Wiggily. “After breakfast I’ll show you how to make a paper house.”
Well, surely enough, as soon as breakfast was over, and before she and Billie had gone to school, Nannie showed the old gentleman rabbit how to make a paper house. You take some paper and some scissors, and you cut out the sides of the house and the roof, and you make windows and doors in these sides, and then you make a chimney, and you fasten them all together, with paste or glue, and, there you are. Isn’t it easy?
And if you only make the paper house large enough, you can get inside of it and have a play party, and perhaps you can make paper dishes and knives and forks; but listen! If you make paper things to eat, like cake or cookies or anything like that, please only make-believe to eat them, for they are bad for the digestion if you really chew them.
“Well, I think I’ll travel along now, and once more seek my fortune,” said Uncle Wiggily, when Billie and Nannie were ready to go to school. So Mrs. Goat packed up for the rabbit a nice lunch in his valise, and Nannie gave him some waxed paper, that the rain wouldn’t melt, and Billie gave his uncle a pair of scissors, and off Mr. Longears started.
Well, he traveled on and on, over the fields and through the woods, and across little brooks, and pretty soon it was coming on dark night, and the rabbit gentleman hadn’t found his fortune.
“Now I wonder where I can stay to-night?” thought Uncle Wiggily, as he looked about him. He could see nothing but an old stump, which was not hollow, so he couldn’t get inside of it, and the only other thing that happened to be there was a flat stone, and he couldn’t get under that.
“I guess I must make me a paper house,” said the old gentleman rabbit. “Then I can sleep in it in peace and quietness, and I’ll travel on again in the morning.”
So he got out the waxed paper, and he took the scissors, and, sitting down on the green grass, he cut out the sides and roof of the paper house. Then he made the chimney, and put it on the roof, and then he fastened the house together, and crawled inside, with his valise and his barber-pole crutch.