“Oh, yes, thank you kindly,” spoke the rabbit, “but I was just wondering how I could get out of here to go on and seek my fortune without being scratched all to pieces.”
“Can’t you jump out just as you jumped in?” asked the bush, waving her prickly arms, but taking care not to so much as even tickle Uncle Wiggily.
“No, there isn’t room enough for me to get started to jump out,” replied the rabbit. “I’m afraid I’ll have to stay here a long time, and I really ought to be going on.”
“Oh, I have a plan!” suddenly cried the bush. “You are a very good digger, so why can’t you dig a tunnel right under me? Start it inside here and curve it up so that it comes outside of my prickly branches, and then you won’t be scratched.”
“I’ll do it!” cried Uncle Wiggily, so with his strong front feet he dug a tunnel, just as you sometimes make in the sand, and soon he was safely outside the berry bush.
“Take some of my berries with you,” said the bush, “so you won’t get hungry.”
“I will,” answered the rabbit, and he filled his valise with nice, big blackberries. He felt a little sad about the nice lunch the wushky-woshky had eaten, but there was no help for it—that lunch was gone completely.
So Uncle Wiggily said good-by to the kind berry bush, and traveled on once more to seek his fortune.
“Watch out for the wushky-woshky,” called the bush to the rabbit, as she waved her friendly stickery branches at him.
“I will,” he said, and then he passed up over the hill and out of sight.
The first place he came to was an old hollow stump, where an old owl had once lived. The rabbit looked down inside the stump, but there was no fortune there.
The second place he came to was a curious little house built of bark, where an old dog, who was a friend to Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, used to live, but the old dog was away on his vacation at Ocean Grove, so he wasn’t at home.
“Perhaps there is a fortune in here,” thought the rabbit, but there wasn’t any and he went on.
Now the third place he came to was a little house, made out of clothespins, where a pussy cat lived, and the pussy wasn’t home, for she had just gone to the store to get some milk.
But the rabbit didn’t know this, so he went inside the house to see if there was any fortune there. And the first thing he saw on the mantelpiece was a tin bank, and when he shook it something inside of it rattled, and when he peeped in Uncle Wiggily saw a whole lot of pennies in the tin bank.
“Oh fine!” he cried, “now I have my fortune at last. Some one has gone away and left all this money, so I might as well take it.”
Well, he was just putting the bank full of pennies into his valise, when the pussy came back with the bottle of milk.
“Oh! are you going to take my bank away from me?” she cried, very sadly. “I have been saving up my pennies for a long time, and now you have them.”