UNCLE WIGGILY AND JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT
Uncle Wiggily was slowly hopping along through the woods, sometimes leaning on his crutch, when his rheumatism pained him, and again skipping along when he got out into the warm sunshine. It was the day after the picnic, and the old gentleman rabbit felt a bit lonesome as all his friends had gone back to their homes.
“I do declare!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, as he walked slowly along by a little lake, where an August rabbit was running his motor boat, “if I don’t find my fortune pretty soon I won’t have any vacation this year. I must look carefully to-day, and see if I can’t find a pot full of gold.”
Well, he looked as carefully as he could, but my land sakes and a pair of white gloves! he couldn’t seem to find a smitch of gold and not so much as a crumb of diamonds.
“Hum!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily, “at this rate I guess I’ll have to keep on traveling for several years before I find my fortune. But never mind, I’m having a good time, anyhow. I’ll keep on searching.”
So he kept on, and all of a sudden when he was walking past a prickly briar bush, he heard a voice calling:
“Hey, Uncle Wiggily, come on in here.”
“Ha! Who are you, and why do you want me to come in there?” asked the old gentleman rabbit.
“Oh, I am a friend of yours,” was the answer, “and I will give you a lot of money if you come in here.”
“Let me see your face,” asked the rabbit, “I want to know who you are.”
“Oh! I have a dreadful toothache,” said the creature hiding in the bushes. “I don’t want to stick my face out in the cold. But if you will take my word for it I am a good friend of yours. I would like very much for you to come in here.”
“Well, perhaps I had better,” said the old gentleman rabbit, “for I certainly need money.”
And he was just going to crawl in under the prickly briar bush when all of a sudden he happened to look, and he saw the skillery-scallery tail of the alligator accidentally sticking out. Yes, it was the alligator trying to fool dear old Uncle Wiggily.
“Oh, ho!” cried the wise old rabbit. “I guess I won’t go in there after all,” so he hopped to one side and the alligator kept waiting for him to come in so he could eat him, but when the rabbit didn’t come in the savage creature with the skillery-scallery tail cried:
“Well, aren’t you coming in?”
“No, thank you,” said the rabbit. “I have to go on to seek my fortune,” and away he hopped. Well, that alligator was so angry that he gnashed his teeth and nearly broke them, and he crawled after Uncle Wiggily, but of course, he couldn’t catch him.
Uncle Wiggily was pretty careful after that, and whenever he came near a prickly briar bush he listened with both his long ears stuck up straight to see if he could hear any sounds like an alligator. But he didn’t, and so he kept on.