“Ha! I had better be careful. Perhaps that sparkling thing is a spark on a firecracker. Ah, ha!”
So he looked more carefully, and the bright object sparkled more and more, and it didn’t seem to be fire, so the old gentleman rabbit went up close, and what do you suppose it was?
Why, it was a great big dewdrop, right in the middle of a purple violet, that was growing underneath a shady fern. Oh, how beautiful it was in the sunlight, and Uncle Wiggily was glad he had looked at it. And pretty soon, as he was still looking, a big, buzzing bumble bee buzzed along and stopped to take a sip of the dewdrop.
“Ha! That is a regular violet ice cream soda for me!” said the bee to Uncle Wiggily. And just as he was taking another drink a big, ugly snake made a spring and tried to eat the bee, but Uncle Wiggily hit the snake with his crutch and the snake crawled away very much surprised.
“Thank you very much,” said the bee to the rabbit. “You saved my life, and if ever I can do you a favor I will,” and with that he buzzed away.
Well, pretty soon, not so very long, in a little while, Uncle Wiggily came to a place in the woods where there were a whole lot of packages done up in paper lying on the ground. And there was a tent near them, and it looked as if people lived in the white tent, only no one was there just then.
“I guess I’d better keep away,” thought the old gentleman rabbit, “or they may catch me.” And just then he saw something like a long, straight stick, standing up against a tree. “Ha, that will be a good stick to take along to chase the bears away with,” he thought. “I think no one wants it, so I’ll take it.”
Well, he walked up and took hold of it in his paws, but, mind you, he didn’t notice that on one end of the stick was a piece of powder string, like the string of a firecracker, sticking down, and this string was burning. No, the poor old gentleman, rabbit never noticed that at all. He started to take the stick away with him when, all of a sudden, something dreadful happened.
With a whizz and a rush and a roar that stick shot into the air, carrying Uncle Wiggily with it, just like a balloon, for he hadn’t time to let go of it.
Up and up he went, with a roar and a swoop, and just then he saw a whole lot of boys rushing out of the woods toward the white tent. And one boy cried:
“Oh, fellows, look! A rabbit has hold of our sky-cracker and it’s on fire and has gone off and taken him with it! Oh the poor rabbit! Because when the sky-cracker gets high enough in the air the firecracker part of it will go off with a bang, and he’ll be killed. Oh, how sorry I am. The hot sun must have set fire to the powder string.”
You see those boys had come out in the woods to have their Fourth of July, where the noise wouldn’t make any one’s head ache.
Well, Uncle Wiggily went on, up and up, with the sky-cracker, and he felt very much afraid for he had heard what the boys said.