“I always like music when I eat,” said the monkey as he threw a bit of orange skin over his left shoulder.
“How comes it that you are away off here,” asked the rabbit.
“Oh! I got tired of staying home,” said the monkey. “I thought I would go out and see if I could make a few pennies by playing music.” Then he played another tune called, “Don’t Sit Down When You Stand Up.”
Well, Uncle Wiggily listened to the music, which he liked very much, and he began to feel hungry. Then he thought of the cherry pie, that the cat lady had put in his valise.
“I guess I’ll eat some of that and give the monkey a bit,” he said, and he did so.
“Oh, this is most delicious and scrumptious!” cried the monkey, as he and Uncle Wiggily sat there eating the pie, and wiping off the juice with green leaves, so as not to soil their clothing.
“Indeed, it is very delectable,” said the rabbit, hungry-like. “Have another piece.”
Well, he was just cutting it off, when, all of a sudden, before you could say “Boo!” to an elephant, a terrible voice cried:
“Here! Give me that pie! I must have cherry pie!” and before the monkey or Uncle Wiggily knew what was happening, out from behind the bushes jumped the skillery-scallery-tailery alligator, gnashing his teeth.
“Give me that pie!” he cried again, opening his mouth wide enough to swallow a cake as big as a wash-tub.
“No, you cannot have it,” said Uncle Wiggily, and, as quick as a wink, he popped the pie into his valise and closed it up. “Now you can’t get it!” the rabbit said.
“Then I’ll get you and the monkey!” cried the alligator, as he made a dash for both of them.
“Not me! You can’t catch me!” exclaimed the monkey, as he skipped up into the top of a tall tree. Then, of course, as the alligator couldn’t climb a tree he couldn’t get the monkey. The skillery-scallery creature tried to eat the hand organ, and he tried to play it, but he could do neither. Then he got real angry.
“I’ll chase after Uncle Wiggily and eat him!” he cried out, for by this time the rabbit was hopping along down the road. After him went the ’gator, coming nearer and nearer.
“Stop! Stop! I want you!” cried the alligator to the rabbit.
“I know you do, but you can’t have me!” replied the rabbit. “I don’t want to be eaten up!”
So he ran on as fast as he could, but still the alligator came on after him, and the savage beast was almost up to Uncle Wiggily.
“Oh, if I only had some place to hide!” panted the poor rabbit. “Then maybe the alligator would pass me by.”
So he looked around for a place in which to hide, but just then he found himself in a field, and all that he could see were a whole lot of sunflowers growing near a fence.
“Oh, I can’t hide behind those flowers because the stems are so small around,” thought Uncle Wiggily. “And I can’t climb up them, and sit on the big flower, because I can’t climb, and besides the stems are too slender to hold me up. Oh, what shall I do?”