And Uncle Wiggily got out just as the bear opened the closet door to grab him, and put him in the pot, and when the savage black creature saw his fine rabbit dinner getting away he was as angry as anything, really he was.
“Here! Come back here!” cried the bear, but of course Uncle Wiggily knew better than to come back. He slid down the rope to the ground, and then he cut off as much of the rope as he could, and put it in his pocket, for he didn’t know when he might need it again. Then, catching up his valise, he ran on and on, before the bear could get to him.
It was still quite a dark place in which Uncle Wiggily was, for you see he was underground, down by the roots of the stump. But he looked ahead and he saw a little glimmer of light, and then he knew he could get out.
Limping on his crutch, and carrying his valise, he went on and on, and pretty soon he came out of a dark cave and found himself on the bank of a nice little brook, that was running over mossy, green stones.
“Ha! This is better than being in a bear’s den!” exclaimed the old gentleman rabbit. “My, I was so frightened that I forgot about my rheumatism hurting me. That was an adventure all right, and Sammie was a good boy to think of that strong cord. Now what shall I do next?”
Well, Uncle Wiggily sat down on the bank of the brook, and he looked in the water. Then he happened to see a fish jump up to catch a bug, so he said to himself:
“I guess I will go fishing, just for fun. But if I do happen to catch any fish I’ll put them right back in the water again. For I don’t need any fish, as I have some lettuce and cabbage sandwiches, and some peanut-butter cakes, that Susie’s mamma put up in a cracker-box for me.”
Well, Uncle Wiggily looked in his valise, to make sure his lunch was safe, and then, taking a bent pin from under his vest, he fastened it to a part of the string Sammie had given him. Then he fastened the string to a pole, and he was ready to fish, but he needed something to make the fishes bite—that is, bite the pinhook, not bite him, you know.
“Oh, I guess they’ll like a bit of sweet cracker,” Uncle Wiggily thought; so he put some on the end of the pin-hook, and threw it toward the water.
It fell in with a splash, and made a lot of little circles, like ring-around the rosies, and the rabbit sat there looking at them, sort of nodding, and half asleep and wondering what adventure would happen to him next, and where he would stay that night. All of a sudden he felt something tugging at the hook and line.
“Oh, I’ve got a fish! I’ve got a fish!” he cried, as he lifted up the pole. Up out of the water with a sizzling rush flew the string and the sweet cracker bait, and the next minute out leaped the big, savage alligator that had escaped from a circus.
“Oh, ho! So you tried to catch me, eh?” the alligator shouted at Uncle Wiggily.