“I will walk along a short distance with you, and in case any bad animals try to hurt you I’ll drive them away.”
“Oh, I don’t believe any one will harm me,” spoke the rabbit, but nevertheless something did happen to him. As he and the boy giant were walking along, all of a sudden there was a noise from behind a big, black stump, and out jumped a big, black bear. He rushed right at the rabbit, and called out:
“Ha! Now I have you! I’ve been waiting a long while for you, and I thought you’d never come. But, better late than never. Now for my dinner! I’ve had the fire made for some time to cook you, and the kettle is boiling for tea.” He was just going to grab our Uncle Wiggily, when the giant’s little boy called out:
“Here, you let that rabbit alone! He’s a friend of mine!” But, listen to this, the bear never thought a thing about a boy giant being with Uncle Wiggily, and he never even looked up at him. Only when the bear heard the giant’s boy speaking he thought it was distant thunder, and he said:
“Oh, I must hurry home with that rabbit before it rains. I don’t like to get wet!”
“Yes, I guess you will hurry home!” cried the giant’s boy, and with that he reached over, and he grabbed that black, ugly bear by his short, stumpy tail and he flung him away over the tree tops, like a skyrocket, and it was some time before that bear came down. And when he did, he didn’t feel like bothering Uncle Wiggily any more.
“Now I guess you’ll be all right for a while on your travels,” said the boy giant as he called good-by to the old gentleman rabbit. “Send me a souvenir postal when you find your fortune, and if any bad animals bother you, just telephone for me, and I’ll come and serve them as I did the bear.”
Then the old gentleman rabbit thanked the boy giant, and started off again. He traveled on and on, over hills and down in little valleys, and across brooks that flowed over green mossy stones in the meadow, and pretty soon Uncle Wiggily came to a big gray stone in the middle of a field. And, as he looked at the stone, the old gentleman rabbit saw something red fluttering behind it, and he heard a noise like some one crying.
“Ha! Here is where I must be careful!” exclaimed the rabbit to himself. “Perhaps that is a red fox behind the stone, and he is making believe cry, so as to bring me up close, and then he’ll jump out and grab me. No indeed, I’m going to run back.”
Well, Uncle Wiggily was just going to run back, when he happened to look again, and there, instead of a fox behind the stone, it was a little boy, with red trousers on, and he was crying as hard as he could cry, that boy was.
“What is the matter, my little chap?” asked the rabbit kindly. “Are you crying because you have on red trousers instead of blue? I think red is a lovely color myself. I wish I had red ears, as well as red eyes.”
“Oh, I am not crying for that,” said the little boy, wiping away his tears on a big green leaf, “but you see I am like Bo-peep, only I have lost my cows, instead of my sheep, and I don’t know where to find them.”