“But who are you?” asked the rabbit, for he could see no one. “You may be the alligator for all I know.”
“Oh, I’m not the alligator,” was the answer. “I am a friend of yours, and I like you very much,” and the unseen one smacked his lips. “But I can’t come out and let you see me, for I dare not go out in the sun as I am afraid of getting too hot,” the voice answered, “so I will just creep along through the bushes and I will wiggle my tail, and you can see it moving in the grass, and you can follow that without seeing me, and I will lead you to the pile of yellow stones.”
“Very well,” answered the rabbit, “though I would much rather see you. But go ahead and I’ll follow, for I must find my fortune.”
So the old gentleman rabbit saw the grass wiggling and he followed that, and he kept thinking of how rich he would soon be, and how many nice things he would buy for Sammie and Susie Littletail.
But if the rabbit had only known who it was he was following he wouldn’t have been so happy, for it was a crawly snake, and that snake was only fooling Uncle Wiggily, and trying to get him off to his den so he could eat him. And that’s why he didn’t show himself. On and on the snake wiggled through the grass, shaking his tail, and the poor rabbit followed after him.
“Are we nearly to the gold?” asked Uncle Wiggily after a bit.
“Almost,” answered the snake, making his voice soft and gentle.
The snake was nearly at his den now, and he was just going to turn around and squeeze the rabbit to death, when all at once a yellow bumblebee that was flying overhead looked down and saw the crawly creature, and the bee knew what the snake was going to do.
“Run away, Uncle Wiggily! Run!” called the bee, “the snake is fooling you!”
Well, Uncle Wiggily didn’t wait a second. He jumped right over a briar bush and away he hopped as fast as he could hop, and the snake didn’t get him, and, oh, how mad that snake was!
Uncle Wiggily hopped around and around in the woods and the first thing he knew he couldn’t find the path, he was so excited. And the more he tried to find it the more he couldn’t, until he sat down on a stump and said:
“I’m lost. I know I am! Lost in the dark, deep, dismal woods, and night coming on! Oh, what shall I do?”
Well, he was feeling very badly, and was quite frightened, and he didn’t know what to do when, all at once he heard a bell ringing. Oh, such a sweet-toned silvery bell. “Ding-dong! Ding-dong!” it went, sounding very clearly through the woods. Then the bell seemed to say:
“Come this way, Uncle Wiggily, come this way. Ding-dong!”
“Oh, that’s the bluebell flower!” cried the rabbit. “How glad I am. Now I can follow the ringing sound and get to a nice place to stay for the night.”
So he listened carefully, and the blue flower rang her tinkling bell louder than ever, and the rabbit could tell by the sound of it just which way to go, and pretty soon he was out of the woods and right beside the flower that was swinging to and fro in the wind, just like a bell in a church steeple.