But alack, and alas-a-day! The crow knocked down the wren’s nest, and all the sticks and feathers of which it was made were scattered all about, and the eggs, with the little birdies inside, would have been all broken ker-smash, only that they happened to fall down on some soft moss.
“Oh, dear!” cried Mrs. Wren, sorrowfully. “Now see what that crow has done! My home is broken up, and my birdies will be killed.”
“Caw! Caw! Caw!” cried the crow as unkindly as he could, and it sounded just as if he laughed “Haw! Haw! Haw!”
“Oh, whatever shall I do?” asked Mrs. Wren. “My birdies will have no nest, and I haven’t time to make another and break up the little fine sticks that I need and gather the feathers that are scattered all over. Oh, what shall I do? Soon my birdies will be out of the shells.”
“Never fear!” said Uncle Wiggily, bravely. “I will help you. I’ll gather the sticks for you.”
“Oh, but you haven’t time; you must be off seeking your fortune,” answered the wren.
“Oh, I guess my fortune can wait. It has been waiting for me a long time, and it won’t hurt to wait a bit longer. I’ll get you the sticks,” said the rabbit gentleman.
So while Mrs. Wren sat over the eggs to keep them warm with her fluffy feathers, Uncle Wiggily looked for sticks with which to make a new nest. He couldn’t find any short and small enough, so what do you think he did?
Why, he took some big sticks and he jumped a jiggily dance up and down on them with his sharp paws, and broke them up as fine as toothpicks for the nest. Then he arranged them as well as he could in a sort of hollow, like a tea cup.
“Oh, if we only had some feathers now, we would be all right,” said Mrs. Wren. “It’s a very good nest for a rabbit to make.”
“Don’t say a word!” cried some small voices on the ground. “We will gather up the feathers for you.” And there came marching up a lot of the little ants that Uncle Wiggily had been kind to, and soon they had gathered up all the scattered feathers. And the nest was made on a mossy stump, and lined with the feathers, and the warm eggs were put in it by Mrs. Wren, who then hovered over them to hatch out the birdies. And she was very thankful to Uncle Wiggily for what he had done.
Now, in case the water in the lake doesn’t get inside the milk pail and make lemonade of it, I’ll tell you in the next story how the birdies were hatched out, and also about Uncle Wiggily and the sunfish.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SUNFISH
Uncle Wiggily slept that night—I mean the night after he had helped Mrs. Wren build her nest—he slept in an old under-ground house that another rabbit must have made some time before. It was nicely lined with leaves, and the fortune-hunting bunny slept very nice and warm there.
When the sun was up, shining very brightly, and most beautifully, Uncle Wiggily arose, shook his ears to get the dust out of them, and threw the dried-leaf blankets off him.