“Hush, birdies, hush,
Please don’t cry;
Mamma’ll be back
By and by.
“Nestle down close
Under my fur,
I’m not your mother, but
I’m helping her.”
But this didn’t seem to satisfy the birdies and they cried “cheep-cheep” harder than ever.
“Oh, dear! I believe I must get them something to eat,” said Uncle Wiggily. So he covered them all up warmly with the feathers that lined the nest, and then he hopped down and went limping around on his crutch to find them something to eat.
Pretty soon he came to a little brook, and as he looked down into it he saw something shining, all gold and red and green and blue and yellow.
“Why, I do declare, if here isn’t the end of the rainbow!” exclaimed the old gentleman rabbit, as he saw all the pretty colors.
He rubbed his eyes with his paw, to make sure he wasn’t dreaming, but the colors were surely enough there, down under water.
“No wonder the giant couldn’t find the pot of gold, it was down in the water,” spoke the rabbit. “But I’ll get it, and then my fortune will be made. Oh, how glad I am!”
Well, Uncle Wiggily reached his paw down and made a grab for the red and green and gold and yellow thing, but to his surprise, instead of lifting up a pot of gold, he lifted up a squirming, wiggling sunfish.
“Oh, my!” exclaimed the rabbit in surprise.
“I should say yes! Two Oh mys and another one!” gasped the fish. “Oh, please put me back in the water again. The air out on land is too strong for me. I can’t breathe. Please, Uncle Wiggily, put me back.”
“I thought you were a pot of gold,” said the rabbit, sadly. “I’m always getting fooled. But never mind. I’ll put you in the water.”
“What are you doing here?” asked the fish, as he slid into the water again and sneezed three times.
“Just at present I am taking care of Mrs. Wren’s new little birdies,” said the rabbit. “She has gone to the store for something for them to eat, but they are so hungry they can’t wait.”
“Oh, that is easily fixed,” said the sunfish. “Since you were so kind to me I’ll tell you what to do. Get them a few little worms, and some small flower seeds, and feed them. Then the birdies will go to sleep.”
So Uncle Wiggily did this, and as soon as the birds had their hungry little mouths filled, sound to sleep they went. And in a little while Mrs. Wren came back from the store with her basket filled, and Mr. Wren flew home to say that he had a nice position in a feather factory, and how he did admire his birdies! He hugged and kissed them like anything.
Then the two wrens both thanked Uncle Wiggily for taking care of their children, and the rabbit said good-by and hopped on again to seek his fortune. And if the trolley car conductor gives me a red, white and blue transfer, for the pin cushion to go to sleep on, I’ll tell you in the following story about Uncle Wiggily and the yellow bird.