So the flower stayed wide awake the rest of the night, and the rabbit slept on the soft moss, and in the morning he awakened and ate his breakfast out of his valise, and then, saying good-by to the flower and thanking her, he set off once more to seek his fortune.
Uncle Wiggily traveled on and on, looking in all the places he could think of for some gold, but he couldn’t seem to find any. And then, just when he got on top of a little hill, and started down the other side he heard some one crying—no, I’m just a bit wrong, he heard three some ones crying—three separate and distinct cries.
“Oh, dear, I’ve got a sliver in my foot!” blubbered one voice.
“And I’ve stepped on a stone and there’s a big bruise on my foot!” sniffled another voice.
“Oh! none of you is as badly off as I am,” quivered a third voice, “for I’ve cut my two feet on a piece of glass! Oh, whatever shall we do?”
“My, I wonder who they can be?” thought the rabbit, for he could see no one as yet. “Maybe those are the little children of the burglar fox, and if they are, then the burglar fox must be somewhere around here, and I had better be careful of myself.”
Well, the rabbit was about to turn, and run back down the hill, up which he had just come, when he saw something white fluttering like a piece of paper.
“A fox isn’t white,” Uncle Wiggily said to himself, “at least not the foxes around here. That must be something else.” So he took another careful look, and he saw three nice little duck children—I guess you remember their names—Lulu and Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble. And as soon as they saw the old gentleman rabbit, those three duck children exclaimed:
“Oh, joy! Oh, happiness!” and they didn’t think about the slivers and the bruises and the cuts in their feet any more.
“My goodness me sakes alive and a potato pancake!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “What are you children doing so far away from home? You must be lost.”
“We are lost,” said Jimmie Wibblewobble, “all three of us.”
“Yes,” went on Lulu, “we are certainly lost, and it’s Jimmie’s fault, for he asked us to come.”
“Oh! it’s not all Jimmie’s fault,” said Alice gently, as she looked at her brother. “You see, Uncle Wiggily, we are visiting our Aunt Lettie, the old lady goat, who lives in the country near here. We are at her house for our vacation, and to-day we started to go to the woods to have a good time, but we took the wrong path and we are lost, and I have a big sliver in my foot.”
“Yes, and I stepped on a stone, and have a big bruise,” whimpered Jimmie.
“And I’ve cut both feet on a piece of glass,” cried Lulu Wibblewobble, “and Oh, we are all so miserable!”
“Well, well!” exclaimed the rabbit in a jolly voice, “this is too bad. I must see what I can do for you. First we will take the sliver out of Alice’s foot,” and he did so with a sharp needle. It hurt a little, but Alice never cried.