“But no one answered, and there wasn’t a sound except the ticking of the clock, and that made as much noise as a railroad train going over a bridge, for the clock was a big as a church steeple.
“Hum! No one is home,” said Uncle Wiggily. “I’ll just sit down and make myself comfortable.” So he sat down on the floor by the table that was away over his head, and waited for the giant to come back.
And, all of a sudden, the rabbit heard a noise like a steam engine going, and he was quite surprised, until he happened to look up, and there stood a pussy cat as big as a cow, and the cat was purring, which made the noise like a steam engine.
“My, if that’s the size of the cat, what must the giant be,” thought the rabbit. “I do hope he’s good-natured when he comes home.”
Well, pretty soon, in a little while, as Uncle Wiggily was sitting there, listening to the big cat purr, he felt sleepy, and he was just going to sleep, when he heard a gentle voice singing:
“Oh, see the blackbird,
sitting in the tree,
Hear him singing, jolly as can be.
Now he’ll whistle a pretty little tune,
Isn’t it delicious in the month of June?
“Hear the bees a-buzzing,
hour by hour,
Gathering the honey from every little flower.
The katydid is singing by his own front door,
Now I’ll have to stop this song—I don’t know any more.”
“Well, whoever that is, he’s a jolly chap,” said the rabbit, and with that who should come in but the giant himself.
“Ho! Ho! Whom have we here?” the giant asked, looking at Uncle Wiggily. “What do you want, my little furry friend with the long ears? You must be able to hear very well with them.”
“I can hear pretty well,” said the rabbit. “But I came to seek my fortune.”
“Fine,” cried the good giant, for he it was. “I’ll do all I can for you,” and he laughed so long and hard that part of the ceiling and the gas chandelier fell down, but the giant caught them in his strong hands, and not even the pussy cat was hurt. Then the giant sung another song, like the first, only different, and he fixed the broken ceiling, and said:
“Now for something to eat! Then we’ll talk about your fortune. I’ll get you some carrots.” So he went out, and pretty soon he came back, carrying ten barrels of carrots in one hand and seventeen bushels of cabbage in the other.
“Here’s a little light lunch for you,” he said to Uncle Wiggily. “Eat this, and I’ll get you some more, when we have a regular meal.”
“Oh, why this is more than I could eat in a year,” said the rabbit, “but I thank you very much,” so he nibbled at one carrot, while the good giant ate fifteen thousand seven hundred and eight loaves of bread, and two million bushels of jam. Then he felt better.
“So you want to find your fortune, eh?” the giant said to the rabbit. “Well, now I’ll help you all I can. How would you like to stay here and work for me? You have good ears, and you could listen for burglars in the night when I am asleep. Will you?”