Pretty soon, not so very long, just as Uncle Wiggily was walking behind a big rock, as large as a house, he heard some one crying. Oh, such a loud crying voice as it was, and the old rabbit gentleman was a bit frightened.
“For it sounds like a giant crying,” he said to himself. “And if it’s a giant he may be a bad one, who would hurt me. I guess I’ll run back the other way.”
Well, he started to run, but, just as he did so, he heard the voice crying again, and this time it said:
“Oh, dear me! Oh, if some one would only help me! Oh, I am in such trouble!”
“Come, I don’t believe that is a giant after all,” thought the rabbit. “It may be Sammie Littletail, who has grown to be such a big boy that I won’t know him any more.” So he took a careful look, but instead of seeing his little rabbit nephew, he saw a big elephant, sitting on the ground, crying as hard as he could cry.
Now, you know, when an elephant cries it isn’t like when you cry once in a great while, or when baby cries every day. No, indeed! An elephant cries so very many tears that if you don’t have a water pail near you, to catch them, you may get your feet wet; that is, if you don’t have on rubbers.
Well, that’s the way it was this time. The elephant was crying big, salty tears, about the size of rubber balls, and they were rolling down from his eyes and along his trunk, which was like a fire engine hose, until there was quite a little stream of water flowing down the hill toward the rabbit.
“Oh, please don’t cry any more!” called Uncle Wiggily.
“Why not?” asked the elephant, sadly-like, and he cried harder than before.
“Because if you do,” replied the rabbit, “I will have to get a pair of rubber boots, in which to wade out to see you.”
“I’ll try to stop,” said the big animal, but, instead, he cried harder than before, boo-hooing and hoo-booing, until you would have thought it was raining, and Uncle Wiggily wished he had an umbrella.
“Why, whatever is the matter?” asked the rabbit.
“Oh, I stepped on a tack,” answered the elephant, “and it is sticking in my foot. I can’t walk, and I can’t dance and I can’t get back to the circus. Oh, dear! Oh, dear me, suz-dud and a red balloon! Oh, how miserable I am!”
“Too bad,” said Uncle Wiggily. “Was it a large tack that you stepped on?”
“Was it?” asked the elephant, sort of painful-like. “Why, it feels as big as a dishpan in my foot. Here, you look, and perhaps you can pull it out.”
He raised up one of his big feet, which were about as large as a washtub full of clothes, on Monday morning, and he held it out to Uncle Wiggily.
“Why, I can’t see anything here,” said the rabbit, looking at the big foot through his spectacles.
“Oh, dear! It’s there all right!” cried the elephant. “It feels like two wash tubs now,” and he began to cry some more.