“Hold on there, if you please!” called Uncle Wiggily. “What is your hurry. Are you late for school?”
“There is no school now,” said the grasshopper, as he sat on a daisy flower, “but I am hopping along to get out of danger.”
“Danger? What danger is there around here?” asked the rabbit. “Do you see a fox, or anything like that?”
“No, but don’t you hear that dreadful noise?” asked the grasshopper. “Listen, and you will hear it. It scared me so that I went away as fast as I could.”
So Uncle Wiggily listened, and sure enough he heard, away off in the woods, a voice shouting:
“Help! Help! Help! Oh, won’t some one please help me, or I’ll be killed!”
“There, did you hear it?” asked the grasshopper, as he shivered and got ready to flit away again, “he said he was going to kill us.”
“Oh, no! Nonsense!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. “That is some poor animal caught in a trap, and he’s afraid of being killed himself. I’m going to see who it is. Perhaps it is a friend of mine.”
“Oh, no! Don’t you go!” begged the grasshopper. “For it may be the alligator with the skillery-scalery-railery tail.”
“Oh, preposterous!” cried Uncle Wiggily, who sometimes used big words when he was excited. “I’m not afraid. I’m going to help whoever it is, and, perhaps, in that way I may find my fortune.”
So the grasshopper, who was very much frightened, flew on, and the rabbit hopped toward where he could hear the voice still calling for help.
And whom do you s’pose it was? Why, the second cousin to Grandfather Prickly Porcupine was caught fast in a trap, and he was calling for help as loudly as he could call.
“Oh, I’m so glad you came along,” said the porcupine to Uncle Wiggily. “Please help me to get my leg out of this trap.”
“Of course I will,” said the rabbit, and with his crutch he pried open the trap, and set free the nice little second cousin to Grandfather Prickly Porcupine.
“Oh, how thankful I am to you,” said the porcupine, as he limped away. “If ever I can do you a favor I will.” And, would you believe it? the time was soon to come when that porcupine was to save Uncle Wiggily’s life.
Well, the old gentleman rabbit hopped on, looking all over for his fortune, but he couldn’t seem to find it anywhere until, all of a sudden, as he was walking along by some big stones, he saw something shining, and picking it up, he found he had a silver twenty-five-cent piece.
“Oh, my goodness me, sakes alive and a piece of cherry pie!” cried the rabbit. “I’ve found part of my fortune! I’ll have good luck now, and perhaps I can find more.”
So the rabbit looked all about in among the stones for other money. But he didn’t find any, and pretty soon he came to a place where there was a hole down in between the big rocks.
“Perhaps there is more money down there,” said the rabbit. “I’ll take a look.” He leaned over, and looked down, and then—Oh, how sorry I am that I have to tell it, but I do, all of a sudden Uncle Wiggily fell right down that black hole.