So back they went, stopping on the way to look at a big apple tree, to see if there were any ripe apples on it. But there was none, so they didn’t eat any. And I hope you children do the same this summer. Never eat green apples, never, never, never! Wait until they are ripe.
Well, by and by, after a while, not so very long, Uncle Wiggily, who was hopping along on his crutch, suddenly exclaimed:
“Oh, I’ve lost my valise! What shall I do? I can’t go on without it, for it has our lunch in it.”
“I think you left it under the green-apple tree,” said the duck. “You had better go back for it, and I will wait here in the shade,” for Grandpa Goosey knew the rabbit could hop faster than he could waddle.
Back Uncle Wiggily started, and, surely enough, he found his valise under the apple tree, where he had forgotten it. He picked it up, and was walking along with it back to where Grandfather Goosey Gander was waiting for him when, all of a sudden, out from behind a stump came Jennie Chipmunk, with a basket of popcorn balls.
“Oh, Uncle Wiggily!” she exclaimed. “Don’t you want to buy some popcorn balls? Our church is having a little fair, and we are all trying to earn some money. I am selling popcorn, to help the little heathen children buy red-colored handkerchiefs.”
“Of course, I’ll take some,” said the old gentleman rabbit, “popcorn balls, I mean—not children, or hankerchiefs,” he said quickly. So he bought a pink one, and a white one, and a chocolate colored one, popcorn balls you know—not children—and put them in his valise.
Then Uncle Wiggily sent his love to Sammie and Susie Littletail, by Jennie Chipmunk, and off he started to go back to where Grandfather Goosey Gander was waiting for him.
Well, something terrible was happening to the poor old gentleman duck, and I’ll tell you all about it. No sooner had the rabbit gotten near the shady tree under which the grandfather gentleman was resting, than he heard a cry:
“Help! Help! Help!” called the duck. “Oh, help me quickly, somebody!”
“What is the matter?” asked Uncle Wiggily, limping along as fast as he could.
“Oh, a bad snake has caught me!” cried the duck. “He has wound himself around my legs, and I can’t walk, and he is going to eat me up! He jumped on me out of the bushes. He will eat me!”
“He shall never do that!” cried the rabbit, bravely. “I will save you.” So he ran up to that snake, but the snake stuck out his tongue, like a fork, at the rabbit, and Uncle Wiggily was frightened. Then he tried to hit the snake with a stick, but the crawly creature hid down behind Grandfather Goosey, and so got out of the way.