“I’ll not,” promised the rabbit. “I’ll wait right here for you.”
Off the elephant started to get the ice cream cones and pretty soon he came to the store where the man sold them.
“I want two of your very coldest cones,” said the elephant to the man, for sometimes, in stories, you know, elephants can talk to people. “I want a big strawberry cone for myself,” the elephant went on, “and a smaller one for my friend, Uncle Wiggily, the rabbit.”
“Very well,” said the man, “but you will have to wait until I make a large cone for you.”
So that man took seventeen thousand, six hundred and eighty-seven little cones and made them into one big one for the elephant. Then he took eighteen thousand, two hundred and ninety-one quarts of strawberry ice cream, and an extra pint, and put it into the big cone. Then he made a rabbit-sized ice cream cone for Uncle Wiggily and gave them both to the elephant, who carried them in his trunk so they wouldn’t melt.
But I must tell you what was happening to Uncle Wiggily all this while. As he sat there in the shade of the apple tree, thinking, about his fortune and whether he would ever find it, all of a sudden he saw something round and squirming sticking itself toward him through the bushes.
“Ha! the elephant has come back so quietly that I didn’t hear him,” thought the rabbit. “That is his trunk he is sticking out at me. I guess he thinks I don’t see him, and he is going to tickle me. I hope he has those ice cream cones.”
Well, the crawly, squirming, round thing, which was like the small end of an elephant’s trunk, kept coming closer and closer to the rabbit.
“Now, I’ll play a trick on that elephant—I’ll tickle his trunk for him, and he’ll think it’s a mosquito!” said Uncle Wiggily to himself.
He was just about to do this, when suddenly the crawly thing made a sort of jump toward him, and before the rabbit could move he found himself grasped by a big, ugly snake, who wrapped himself around the rabbit just as ladies wrap their fur around their necks in the winter. It wasn’t the elephant’s trunk at all, but a bad snake.
“Now, I have you!” hissed the snake like a steam radiator in Uncle Wiggily’s left ear. “I’m going to squeeze you to death and then eat you,” and he began to squeeze that poor rabbit just like the wash-lady squeezes clothes in the wringer.
“Oh, my breath! You are crushing all the breath out of me!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “Please let go of me!”
“No!” hissed the snake, and he squeezed harder than ever.
“Oh, this is the end of me!” gasped the rabbit, when all of a sudden he heard a great crashing in the bushes. Then a voice cried:
“Here, you bad snake, let go of Uncle Wiggily.”
And bless my hat! If the elephant didn’t rush up, just in time, and he grabbed hold of that snake’s tail in his trunk, and unwound the snake from around the rabbit, and then the elephant with a long swing of his trunk threw the snake so high up in the air that I guess he hasn’t yet come down.