“No—no, if you please,” said the rabbit. “I was after fish.”
“And I’m after you!” cried the alligator, and, scrambling up the bank, he made a jump for Uncle Wiggily, and with one sweep of his kinky, scaly tail he flopped and he threw the old gentleman rabbit and his crutch and valise right up into a big tree that grew near the brook.
“There you’ll stay until I get ready to eat you!” exclaimed the alligator, as he stood up on the end of his tail under the tree, and opened his mouth as wide as he could so that if Uncle Wiggily fell down he’d fall into it, just like down a funnel, you know.
Well, the poor gentleman rabbit clung to the topmost tree branch, wondering how in the world he was going to escape from the alligator. Oh, it was a dreadful position to be in!
But please don’t worry or stay awake over it, for I’ll find a way to get him down safely. And in the story after this, if the milkman doesn’t leave us sour cream for our lemonade, I’ll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and the black crow.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BLACK CROW
Let me see, where did I leave off in the last story? Oh! I remember. It was about Uncle Wiggily Longears being up in the top of the tall tree, and the alligator keeping guard down below, ready to eat him.
Well, the old gentleman rabbit was wondering how he could ever escape, and he felt quite badly about it.
“I guess this is the end of my adventures,” he said to himself. “It would have been much better had I stayed at home with Sammie and Susie.” And as he thought of the two rabbit children he felt still sadder, and very lonely.
“I wonder if Susie could have put anything in my satchel with which to scare an alligator,” thought Uncle Wiggily. “I guess I’ll look.” So he looked, and what should he find but a bottle of toothache drops. Yes, there it was, and wrapped ground it was a little note Susie had written.
“Dear Uncle Wiggily,” she said in the note, “if you ever get the toothache on your travels, this will stop it.”
“Ha! That is very kind of Susie, I’m sure,” said the rabbit, “but I don’t see how that is going to make the alligator go away. And, even if he does go, I wonder how I’m to get down out of this tall tree, with my crutch, my valise and my rheumatism?”
Well, just then the alligator got tired of standing on the end of his tail, with his mouth open, and he began crawling around. Then he thought of what a good supper he was going to have of Uncle Wiggily, and that alligator said:
“I guess I’ll sharpen my teeth so I can eat him better,” and with that the savage and unpleasant creature began to gnaw on a stone, to sharpen his teeth. Then he stood up on the end of his tail once more, under the tree, and opened his mouth as wide as he could.
“Come on now!” he called to Uncle Wiggily. “Jump down and have it over with.”