“Oh, ha! Oh, hum! I smell fresh rabbit. Now, I will have a good supper!”
“That must be a savage bear or a fox!” cried the rabbit. “I guess this is the last of me!”
Then he saw two round circles shining in the darkness, two flashing, bright, shining things, and he was more frightened than ever.
“Oh, those are the glaring eyes of the fox or bear!” thought Uncle Wiggily. “I’m done for, sure!”
Then something made a jump for him, out of the bushes, but the rabbit crouched down, and the beast jumped over him. Then, would you ever believe it? those two shining things flew nearer, and instead of being the eyes of a fox or bear they were two, good, kind, lightning bugs, who were flitting about.
“Oh, you’ll be a lantern for me, won’t you?” cried the rabbit, anxiously. “Will you please light me out of these woods, and keep the savage beasts away?”
“Of course, we will!” cried the two lightning bugs. And they flew closer to the rabbit. Then the savage fox, for he it was who had made a jump for Uncle Wiggily, was so afraid of the sparkling lights, that he ran away and hid in the bushes, fearing he would be burned. Then the two bugs called for all of their friends to come and make the woods light so the old gentleman rabbit could see.
And pretty soon seventeen thousand, four hundred and eighty-three big lightning bugs, and a little baby one besides, came flying along, and the woods were almost as light as day, and Uncle Wiggily could see to hop on. The bugs flew ahead, shining themselves like fairy lanterns, and pretty soon the rabbit came to a nice hollow stump, where he remained all night. And some of the bugs stayed with him to keep the bears and foxes away.
Then, in the morning, after thanking the bugs, the rabbit traveled on again, and he had another adventure. What it was I’ll tell you on the next page, when, in case my pussy cat goes in swimming and doesn’t get her fur wet, the story will be about Uncle Wiggily and the Phoebe birds.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PHOEBE BIRDS
“Well, I don’t seem to be finding my fortune very fast,” said Uncle Wiggily to himself the next day, as he traveled on, after the lightning bugs had shown him the way out of the woods. “Here I’ve been tramping around the country for a considerable while, and all I’ve found was one cent, and that belonged to the chipmunk.
“I wish I could find a little money. Then I would buy some peanuts and sell them, and make more money, and pretty soon I would be rich, and I could go back home and see Sammie and Susie Littletail.”
So he walked along, looking very carefully on the ground for money. All he found for some time were only old acorns, and, as he couldn’t eat them, they were of no use to him.
“If Johnnie or Billie Bushytail were here now I would give them some,” he said. But the squirrels were far away frisking about in the tops.