Well, the alligator was coming nearer and nearer, and the rabbit could hear the gnashing of his teeth, when, all at once one of the sunflowers called out.
“Gnaw through my stem, and cut me down, Uncle Wiggily. Then you can hold my big blossom up in front of you and the alligator can’t see you.”
“But won’t it hurt you to cut you down?” asked the rabbit.
“No, for I will grow up again next year,” said the big sunflower. “Hurry and cut me down, and hide behind me, and I’ll shine in the eyes of the alligator and blind him.”
So Uncle Wiggily quickly gnawed through the sunflower stalk with his sharp teeth, and down the flower came. Then the rabbit held the blossom up in front of himself, and hid behind it, and the yellow flower, which is round, just like the sun, shone so brightly into the alligator’s face that he couldn’t look out of his eyes, and so he was partly blinded, and he couldn’t see to catch Uncle Wiggily, and he had to crawl away without eating the rabbit.
Then Uncle Wiggily thanked the sunflower, and laid it gently down, and hopped on his way again to seek his fortune.
And the story after this, in case the washbowl and pitcher don’t do a funny dance in the middle of the night and wake up my puppy dog, I’ll tell you about Uncle Wiggily and the lightning bugs.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE LIGHTNING BUG
It was a very warm day, and as Uncle Wiggily walked along, carrying his satchel, and sort of leaning on his crutch, for his rheumatism hurt him a bit, he said:
“It is very hard to have to look for your fortune on a hot day, I wish it was nice and cool, and then I would feel better.”
“I can tell you where there is a cool place,” said a little yellow bird, as she flew along in the air over the head of the old gentleman rabbit.
“Do you mean in an icehouse?” asked the traveling rabbit as he took off his hat to see if the sun had burned it any.
“No, but of course that is a cold place,” said the bird, as she sang a funny little song about a curly-headed dog who hadn’t any nose and every time he walked along he stepped upon his toes. “But I don’t mean an icehouse,” went on the bird, as she turned her head to one side. “However, I know a nice cool place in the woods where you can lie down and have a little sleep. By that time the hot sun will go down behind the clouds, and then you can travel on in comfort.”
“I believe that will be a good plan,” spoke the rabbit. “I’ll do it. Please show me the way to the cool place.”
So the bird flew on ahead, and Uncle Wiggily hopped on behind, and pretty soon he came to a place in the woods where there was a little babbling brook, flowing over mossy green stones, and telling them secrets about the fishes that swam in the cool water. Then there were long, green ferns leaning over, and nodding their heads as they dipped down to take a drink out of the brook. There was also a nice little cave, made of stones, and that was almost as cool as an icehouse.