Well, you will hardly believe me, but it’s true, no sooner had Uncle Wiggily and the pussy put up the lunch, wrapping some for each visitor in nice, green grape leaves, than the first ones of the picnic party began to arrive. They were Dickie and Nellie Chip-Chip, the sparrows, for they could fly through the air very quickly, and so they came on ahead.
“We got your invitation that the July bug left us, Uncle Wiggily, and we came at once,” said Dickie.
“Where are the others?” asked the old gentleman rabbit.
“They are coming,” answered Nellie, as she tied her tail ribbon over again, for the bow knot had become undone as she was flying through the air.
Well, in a little while along came hopping, Sammie and Susie Littletail, the rabbit children, and Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel brothers, and Bully and Bawly the frogs, and Dottie and Munchie Trot, the ponies, and Lulu and Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, the duck twins, and Buddy and Brighteyes Pigg, and oh, all the boy and girl animals I have ever told you about.
And oh! how glad they were to see Uncle Wiggily. He had to tell them all about his travels after his fortune before they would go off in the woods to the picnic. But at last they went, each one with a little leaf-package of lunch. The July bug came along, too, and he had a very little package of good things, because he was so small, you see, but it was enough.
They all sat down on the ground with flat stones for plates, and sticks for knives and forks, and they ate their picnic lunch there. Oh, they had the finest time, and it didn’t matter if some ants did get in the sugar. Uncle Wiggily said they could have all they wanted of the sweet stuff.
And, when the picnic was almost over, there was a sudden noise in the bushes, and two bad foxes sprang out. One tried to grab Uncle Wiggily, and another made a dash for Lulu Wibblewobble.
“Oh dear!” cried Dottie Trot, without looking to see if her hair ribbon was on straight. “We shall all be eaten up!”
“No, you won’t!” cried the brave July bug. “I’ll fix those foxes!”
So that brave July bug just buzzed his wings as hard as he could, and straight at those foxes he flew, bumping and banging them on their noses and in the eyes, so that they gave two separate and distinct howls, and ran away, taking their big tails with them.
So that is how the July bug saved everybody from being eaten up, and then the picnic was over and every one said it was lovely.
“Well, I’ll start on my travels again to-morrow,” said Uncle Wiggily, as his friends told him good-by.
Now what happened to him the next day I’ll tell you very soon, for, in case I see a chipmunk with a blue tail and a red nose climbing up the clothes pole, the story will be about Uncle Wiggily and Jack-in-the-pulpit.