But you see they were in the cool shadows, and the snake’s eyes were blinded by the sun, so he could not see very well, and thus the rabbit and his friend escaped.
“I tell you it is a good thing we heard the locust sing, and that we kept in the shade, or else we might have stepped right on that snake and he’d have bitten and killed us,” said the porcupine, and Uncle Wiggily said that this was true.
Well, they kept on and on, and pretty soon they sat down in the shade of a mulberry tree and ate their lunch. Then they rested a bit, and in the afternoon they traveled on farther.
And, just as they were passing by a large, gray rock, that had nice, green moss on it, all of a sudden they heard something calling like this:
“Cheep! Cheep! Chip-cheep-cheep! Oh, cheep! Peep! Peep!”
“What’s that?” asked Uncle Wiggily in a whisper.
“I don’t know. Maybe a burglar fox,” answered the porcupine also, in a whisper. “But I’m all ready for him.”
So he got out some of his sharpest stickery quills to jab into the burglar fox, and the noise still kept up:
“Cheep! Cheep! Yip! Yip! Yap! Yap! Cheep-chap!”
“That doesn’t sound like a fox,” said the rabbit, listening with his two ears.
“No, it doesn’t,” admitted the porcupine, and he stuck his quills back again like pins in a cushion. “Perhaps it is the skillery-scalery alligator, and my quills would be of no use against him,” he went on.
Then, all at once, before Uncle Wiggily could make his nose twinkle like a star of a frosty night more than two times, there was a rustling in the bushes, and out popped a poor, little white chickie—only she wasn’t so very white now, for her feathers were all wet and muddy.
“Cheep-chap! Yip-yap!” cried the little chickie.
“Why, what in the world are you doing away off here?” asked Uncle Wiggily. “You poor little dear! Where is your mother?”
“Oh, me! Oh, my!” cried the little chickie. “I only wish I knew. I’m lost! I wandered away from my mamma, and my brothers, and sisters, and I’m lost in these woods. Oh chip! Oh chap! Oh yip! Oh yap!” Then she cried real hard and the tears washed some of the dirt off her white feathers.
“Don’t cry,” said Uncle Wiggily, kindly. “We’ll help you find your mamma, won’t we, Mr. Porcupine?”
“Of course we will,” said the stickery-stockery creature. “You go one way, Uncle Wiggily, and I’ll go the other, and the chickie can stay on this big rock until one of us comes back with her mamma.”
“Yes, and here is a piece of cherry pie for you to eat while we are gone,” said the rabbit, giving the lost chickie a nice piece of the pie.
So off the rabbit and the porcupine started to find the chickie’s mamma. They looked everywhere for her, but the porcupine couldn’t find the old lady hen, so he went back to the rock to wait there with the lost chickie so she wouldn’t be lonesome. But Uncle Wiggily wouldn’t stop looking. Pretty soon he heard something going “cluck-cluck” in the bushes, and he knew that it was the mamma hen. Then he went up to her and said: