“Why did you run away from the circus?” asked the old gentleman rabbit of the elephant. “I should think you would like it there. I know Sammie and Susie Littletail would love a circus.”
“Yes, some folks like it,” spoke the elephant slow and thoughtful-like, as he sat down on his trunk, “but I do not care for it. You see of late the children ate all the peanuts, instead of giving me my share, and I just couldn’t stand it any longer. Why, it got so, finally, that when a man would give his little boy five cents to buy a bag of peanuts for me the little boy would eat all but two or three of the nuts, and those were all he gave to me. It wasn’t enough, so I ran away.”
“I don’t in the least blame you,” said the monkey, “and I’m going to let you play some of my hand organs.”
Well, the elephant was delighted at that, and he played one organ with his trunk and another one with his tail, making some very nice music.
Uncle Wiggily stayed in the monkey’s house that night, and the elephant wanted to come in also, but of course he was far too big, so he had to sleep outside under a tree. It was an apple tree, and in the middle of the night the elephant snored so hard and heavily through his trunk that he shook the tree and all the apples fell off, and in the morning the monkey made an apple pie from some of them.
“I think I had better start off on my travels again,” said the old gentleman rabbit after breakfast. “There must be a fortune for me somewhere if I can only find it. So I’ll trot along.”
“I’ll go with you,” said the kind elephant. “Perhaps you might see your fortune in the top of a tall tree, and then you couldn’t get it. But I would pull the tree down for you.”
“That would be fine!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “I’ll be glad to have you travel with me.”
So they said good-by to the monkey, and off they started together, the rabbit and the elephant. They talked of many things, about how hot it was, and whether there would be rain soon, and about how much ice cream cones cost, and sometimes what a little bit of ice cream the man puts in the cones when he is in a hurry.
“Speaking of ice cream cones,” said the elephant, “makes me hungry for some. I wish I had one.”
“I wish I had one also,” spoke Uncle Wiggily. “You would have to have a very large one, though, Mr. Elephant, but a small one would do for me.”
“Don’t say another word,” cried the elephant as he waved his trunk in the air. “I’m going right off and get us some ice cream cones. I know where there’s a store. You hop along slowly and I’ll catch up to you.”
So the elephant went off to the ice cream cone store, and Uncle Wiggily, with his valise and the barber pole crutch, hopped on through the woods, looking about to see if his fortune was up in any of the trees, but it wasn’t there yet.
Well, pretty soon, in a little while, not so very long, all of a sudden the old gentleman rabbit heard a sniffing-sniffing noise in the woods. And then there was a rustling in the bushes.