“Now, I’ve got you!” cried the owl. “I was just wishing some one would come along, and you did. Some of my friends are coming to tea this afternoon, and you’ll do very nicely made up into sandwiches.”
Wasn’t that a perfectly dreadful way to talk about our Uncle Wiggily? Well, I guess yes!
“Now you’re here, make yourself at home,” went on the owl, sarcastic-like, as he locked the front door and put the key in his pocket. “Did you see the sign?”
“Yes,” said Uncle Wiggily, “I did. But I don’t call it fair. I thought I would find my fortune in here.”
“The sign says you’ll be surprised, and I guess you are surprised, aren’t you?” asked the owl.
“Yes,” answered the rabbit, “very much so. But I’d rather have a nice surprise party, with peanuts and lemonade, than this.”
“No matter,” said the owl, snapping his beak like a pair of shears, “here you are and here you’ll stay! My friends will soon arrive. I’ll now put the kettle on, to boil for tea.”
Well, poor Uncle Wiggily didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t look in his valise to see if there was anything in it by which he might escape, for he had dropped the satchel outside when the owl grabbed him, and he only had his barber-pole crutch.
“Oh, this is worse and worse!” thought the poor old rabbit.
But listen, Johnnie Bushytail is outside the owl’s house, and he’s going to do a wonderful trick.
As soon as he saw the door shut on Uncle Wiggily, that brave squirrel boy began to plan how he could save him, and the first thing he did was to gather up a lot of acorns.
Then he perched himself in a tree, right in front of the owl’s door, and Johnnie began throwing acorns at it. “Rat-a-tat-tat!” went the acorns on the wooden panels.
“Ha! Those must be my friends!” exclaimed the bad owl, opening the door a little crack so he could peek out, but taking care to stand in front of it, so that Uncle Wiggily couldn’t slip out. But, of course, the owl saw no one. “It must have been the wind,” he said as he shut the door.
Then Johnnie Bushytail threw some more acorns at the door. “Pitter-patter-patter-pit!” they went, like hailstones in an ice cream can.
“Ah, there are my friends, sure, this time!” thought the owl, and once more he peered out, but no one was there. “It must have been a tree branch hitting against the door,” said the owl, as he sharpened a big knife with which to make the sandwiches. Then Johnnie threw some more acorns, and the owl now thought positively his friends were there, and when he opened it and saw no one he was real mad.
“Some one is playing tricks on me!” exclaimed the savage bird. “I’ll catch them next time!”
Now this was just what Johnnie Bushytail wanted, so he threw a whole double handful of acorns at the door, and when the owl heard them pattering against the wood he rushed out.