“The very thing!” cried Uncle Wiggily. So that night he dug himself a little house under the ground, and the duck gentleman flew up, and got inside the pocket of the old coat which the scarecrow figure wore, and there the duck stayed all night, sleeping very soundly.
“Well, now we’ll travel on again,” said Uncle Wiggily, the next morning after breakfast. So he and Grandfather Goosey started off. Well, pretty soon it became hotter and hotter, for the sun was just beaming down as hard as it could, and Uncle Wiggily exclaimed:
“I know what would taste good! An ice cream cone for each of us. Wait here, grandfather, and I’ll get two of them.”
“Fine!” cried the grandfather duck. “But you seem to do all the hopping around, Uncle Wiggily. Why can’t I go, while you rest?”
“Oh, I don’t in the least mind going,” replied the kind rabbit. “Besides, while I do not say it to be proud, and far be it from me to boast, I can go a little faster than you can in one hop. So I’ll go.”
And go he did, leaving his valise in charge of Grandfather Goosey, who sat down with it, under a shady tree. Pretty soon the old gentleman rabbit came to a little ice cream store, that stood beside the road, right near a little pond of water, where the ice-cream-man could wash his dishes when he had to make them clean.
“I’ll have two, nice, big, cold strawberry ice cream cones, and please put plenty of ice cream in them,” said Uncle Wiggily to the man.
“Right you are!” cried the ice-cream-man in a jolly voice, and, say, I just wish you could have seen those cones! They were piled up heaping full of ice cream. Oh, my! It just makes me hungry to write about them.
Well, Uncle Wiggily, carefully carrying the cones, started to hop back to where he had left Grandfather Goosey. He hadn’t gone far before he heard a growling voice cry out:
“Hold on there a moment, Uncle Wiggily!”
“Why?” asked the rabbit.
“Because I want to see what you’ve got,” was the answer. “Ah, I see ice cream cones!” and with that a great, big, black bear jumped out of the bushes, and stood right in front of Uncle Wiggily.
“Let me pass!” cried the rabbit, holding the ice cream cones so that the bear couldn’t get them.
“Indeed I will not!” cried the furry creature. “Ice cream cones, indeed! If there is one thing that I’m fonder of than another, ice cream cones is it! Let me taste one!”
Then before the rabbit could do anything, that bad bear took one ice cream cone right away from him. And that bear did more than that, so he did. He stuck his long, red tongue down inside the cone, and he licked out every bit of cream, with one, long lick.
“My but that’s good!” he cried, smacking his lips. “I guess I’ll try the second one,” he said, and he dropped the empty cone, not eating it, mind you, and he took the other full cone away from poor Uncle Wiggily before the rabbit gentleman could stand on his head, or even wave his short tail.