“The very thing!” cried pussy. “We will get some lunch, and go off in the woods and eat it. Only we ought to have a lot more people. Two are hardly enough for a picnic.”
“I would like some of my friends to come to it,” spoke Uncle Wiggily, “but I am afraid they are too far off.”
“Couldn’t you send them word by telephone?” inquired the pussy. “I’m sure I would like to meet them, for I have heard so much about Sammie and Susie Littletail, and Johnnie and Billie Bushytail.”
“There is no telephone in these woods,” replied Uncle Wiggily, “and we haven’t time to send them postcards. I wish I could get word to them, however, but I don’t s’pose I can.”
“Yes, you can!” suddenly cried a voice down in the grass. “I’ll tell all your friends to come to the picnic if you like.”
“Indeed, I would like it,” said the rabbit, “but who are you, if I may be so bold as to ask? I can’t see you.”
“There he is—it’s a big June bug!” exclaimed the pussy.
“I beg your pardon,” spoke the bug quickly, as he crawled out from under a leaf and sat on a toadstool. “But I am not a June bug, if you please.”
“You look like one,” said Uncle Wiggily politely.
“I am a July bug,” went on the funny little creature. “I was intended for a June bug, but there was some mistake made, and I didn’t come out of my shell until July. So you see I’m a July bug, and at first I thought it would be jolly fun, to hear all the firecrackers and skyrockets go off.”
“It isn’t so much fun as you imagine,” said Uncle Wiggily, as he thought of the time he went sailing into the air on the sky-cracker. “But don’t you like being a July bug?”
“Not very much. You see I’m the only one there is, and all the others are June bugs. The June bugs won’t speak to me, nor let me play with them, so I’m very lonesome. I heard you talking about a picnic you were going to have, and so I offered to call all your friends to it. I thought perhaps if I did that you would let me come to it also.”
“To be sure!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. “You may gladly come, but how are you going to send word to all of my friends?”
“I will fly through the air and tell them to come,” was the answer. “I am a very swift flyer. Watch me,” and then and there the July bug buzzed around so fast that Uncle Wiggily and the pussy couldn’t see his wings go flip-flop-flap.
Well, they decided it would be a good plan to have the July bug act as a postman, so Uncle Wiggily wrote out the invitations on little pieces of white birch bark, and gave them to the bug. Off he flew into the air waving one leg at Uncle Wiggily and the pussy.
“Well, now we must get ready for the picnic—get the things to eat—for that bug flies so fast that soon all my friends will be here,” said the rabbit, so he and the pussy began to get the lunch ready.
Uncle Wiggily had some food in his valise, but they got more good things from a kind old monkey who lived in the woods. He used to work on a hand organ, but when he got old he bought him a nest in the woods with the pennies he had saved up, and he lived in peace and quietness, and played a mouth organ on Sundays.