“My, that’s a queer song for a good giant to sing,” thought Uncle Wiggily. “But perhaps he just sings that for fun. I’m sure I’ll find him a jolly enough fellow, when I get to know him.”
Well, he went on a little farther, and pretty soon he came to the gate of the castle where the bad giant lived. The rabbit looked about, and saw no one there, so he kept right on, until, all of a sudden, he felt as if a big balloon had swooped down out of the sky, and had lifted him up. Higher and higher he went, until he found himself away up toward the roof of the castle, and then he looked and he saw two big fingers, about as big as a trolley car, holding him just as you would hold a bug.
“Oh, who has me?” cried Uncle Wiggily, very much frightened. “Let me go, please. Who are you?”
“I am the bad giant,” was the answer, “and if I let you go now you’d fall to the ground and be killed. So I’ll hold on to you.”
“Are you the bad giant?” asked the rabbit. “Why, I thought I was coming to the good giant’s house. Oh, please let me go!”
“No, I’m going to keep you,” said the giant. “I just took the good giant’s flag to fool you. Now, let me see, I think I’ll just sprinkle sugar on you and eat you all up—no, I’ll use salt—no, I think pepper would be better; I feel like pepper to-day.”
So the bad giant started toward the cupboard to get the pepper caster, and poor Uncle Wiggily thought it was all up with him.
“Oh, I wish I’d never thought of coming to see any giant, good or bad,” the rabbit gentleman said. “Now good-by to all my friends!”
“Hum! Let me see,” spoke the bad giant, standing still. “Pepper—no, I think I’ll put some mustard on you—no, I’ll try ketchup—no, I mean horseradish. Oh, dear, I can’t seem to make up my mind what to flavor you with,” and he held Uncle Wiggily there in his fingers, away up about a hundred feet high in the air, and wondered what he’d do with the old gentleman rabbit.
And it’s a good thing he didn’t eat him right away, for that was the means of saving Uncle Wiggily’s life. Right after breakfast the good giant found out that his bad neighbor had taken his flag, so he went and told the ants all about it.
“Oh, then Uncle Wiggily must have been mixed up about the flag, and he has gone to the wrong place, and he’ll be eaten,” said the big ant. “We must save him. Come on, everybody!”
So all the ants hurried along together, and crawled to the castle of the bad giant, and they got there just as he was putting some molasses on Uncle Wiggily to eat him. And those ants crawled all over the giant, on his legs and arms, and nose and ears and toes, and they tickled him so that he squiggled and wiggled and squirreled and whirled, and finally he let Uncle Wiggily fall on a feather bed, not hurting him a bit, and the rabbit gentleman hopped safely away and the ants crawled with him far from the castle of the bad giant.