“What are you doing?” asked Uncle Wiggily in surprise.
“Oh, my! How you startled me!” exclaimed the red squirrel. “But I’m glad it’s you, Uncle Wiggily. I’m going to a surprise party soon, and I was just trying to make my tail as big as Johnnie or Billie Bushytail’s, but I can’t do it,” she said sadly.
“No, and you never can,” said the rabbit. “Their tails are a different kind than yours, for they are gray squirrels and you are a red one. But yours is very nice. Be content to have yours as it is.”
“I guess I will,” said the red squirrel. “But what are you doing out so late, Uncle Wiggily?”
“Looking for the end of the moon-beam to get my fortune.”
“Ha! The moon-beam ends right here,” said the red squirrel-girl, pointing to her looking-glass, and, surely enough, there the bright shaft of light ended. “But there is no fortune here, Uncle Wiggily, I am sorry to say,” she added.
“I see there isn’t,” answered the rabbit. “Well, I must travel on again to-morrow, then. But now I will see that you get safely home, for it is getting late.”
And, just as he said that, what should happen but that a black, savage, ugly bear stuck his nose out of the bushes and made a grab for the rabbit. But what do you think the red squirrel did?
She just took her hair brush and with the hard back of it she whacked the bear on the end of his tender-ender nose, and he howled, and turned around to run away, and the squirrel girl tickled him with the comb, and he ran faster than ever, and the bear didn’t eat Uncle Wiggily that night.
Then the rabbit stayed at the red squirrel’s mamma’s house the rest of the evening, and the next day the squirrel went to the surprise party with her tail the regular size it ought to be, and not as big as the Bushytail brothers’ tails, and everybody was happy.
Now in case the granddaddy longlegs doesn’t tickle the baby with his long cow-pointing leg and make her laugh so she gets the hiccoughs, I’ll tell you in the next story about Uncle Wiggily and the brown wren.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BROWN WREN
Well, just as I expected, the granddaddy longlegs did tickle the baby, but she only smiled in her sleep, and didn’t awaken, so, as it’s nice and quiet I can tell you another story. And it’s going to be about how Uncle Wiggily, in his travels about the country, in search of his fortune, helped a little brown wren.
“Well, where are you going this morning?” asked the red squirrel’s mother as Uncle Wiggily finished his breakfast, and shook out from his long ears the oatmeal crumbs that had fallen in them.
“Oh, I suppose I will have to be traveling on,” answered the rabbit. “That fortune of mine seems to be a long distance off. I’ve tried rainbows and moon-beams and I didn’t find any money at their ends. I guess I’ll have to look under the water next, but I’ll wait until I get back home, and then I’ll have Jimmie Wibblewobble the duck boy put his head at the bottom of the pond and see if there is any gold down there.”