“I guess I won’t make too many windows or doors,” thought Uncle Wiggily, “for a savage bear or a burglar-fox might come along in the night, and try to get in.”
So he only made one door, and one window in the house. But he made a little fireplace out of stones, and built a little fire in it, to cook his supper. But listen, you children must never, never make a fire, unless some big person is near to put it out in case it happens to run away, and chases after you, to catch you. Fires are dreadfully scary things for little folks, so please be careful.
Well, Uncle Wiggily cooked his supper, frying some carrots in a little tin frying pan he had with him, and then he said his prayers, and went to bed. Soon he was fast, fast asleep.
Well, in the middle of the night, Uncle Wiggily was awakened in his paper house by hearing a funny noise outside.
“Ha! I wonder what that can be?” he exclaimed, sitting up, and reaching out for his crutch. The noise kept on, “pitter-patter; pitter-patter-patter-pitter; pat-pit-pat-pit.”
“Oh, that sounds like the toe nails of the burglar-fox, running around the house!” said the rabbit. Then he listened more carefully, and suddenly he laughed: “Ha! Ha!” Then he got up and looked out of the window. “Why, it’s only the rain drops pit-pattering on the roof,” he said. “Isn’t it jolly to be in a house when it rains, and you can’t get wet? After this every night I’m going to always build a waxed-paper house,” said Uncle Wiggily.
So he listened to the rain drops, and he thought how nice it was not to be wet, and he went to sleep again. And pretty soon he woke up once more, for he heard another noise. This time it was a sniffing, snooping, woofing sort of a noise, and Uncle Wiggily knew that it wasn’t the rain.
“I’m sure that’s the burglar-fox,” he said. “What shall I do? He can smash my paper house with his teeth and claws, and then eat me. I should have built a wooden house. But it’s too late now. I know what I’ll do. I’ll dig a cellar underneath my paper house, and I’ll hide there, in case that fox smashes the roof.”
So Uncle Wiggily got up very softly, and right in the middle of the dirt floor of his paper house he began to burrow down to dig a cellar. My, how his paws made the sand and gravel fly, and soon he had dug quite a large cellar, in which to hide.
And all this time the sniffing, snooping sound kept on, until, all of a sudden a voice cried:
“Let me in!”
“Who are you?” asked Uncle Wiggily.
“I’m the bad alligator,” was the answer, “and if you don’t let me in, I’ll smash down your paper house with one swoop of my scalery-ailery tail.”
“You can’t come in!” cried the rabbit, and then that bad alligator gave one swoop of his tail, and smashed Uncle Wiggily’s nice paper house all to pieces!
But do you s’pose the rabbit was there? No, indeed. He just grabbed up his crutch and valise, and ran down into his cellar as far and as fast as he could run, just as the roof fell in. And the cellar wasn’t big enough for the alligator to get in, and so he had to stay outside, and he couldn’t get Uncle Wiggily.