“Certainly not,” spoke Uncle Wiggily. “What do you wish?”
“A loaf of bread,” replied Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy, “also a box of matches and some sugar and crackers. But don’t forget the matches whatever you do.”
“I won’t,” promised the bunny uncle, and soon he was hopping along through the woods wondering what sort of an adventure he would have this day.
As he was going along keeping a sharp look-out for the bad fox, or the skillery-scalery alligator with the double jointed tail. Uncle Wiggily heard a voice saying:
“Oh, dear! I’ll never be able to get out from under the stone and grow tall as I ought. I’ve pushed and pushed on it, but I can’t raise it. Oh, dear; what a heavy stone!”
“Ha! Some one under a stone!” said Uncle Wiggily to himself. “That certainly is bad trouble. I wonder if I cannot help?”
The bunny uncle looked all around and down on the ground he saw a flat stone. Underneath it something green and brown was peeping out.
“Was that you who called?” asked Mr. Longears.
“It was,” came the answer. “I am a Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant, you see, and I started to grow up, as all plants and flowers do when summer comes. But when I had raised my head out of the earth I found a big stone over me, and now I can grow no more. I’ve pushed and pushed until my back aches, and I can’t lift the stone.”
“I’ll do it for you,” said Uncle Wiggily kindly, and he did, taking it off the Pulpit-Jack.
Then the Jack began growing up, and he had been held down so long that he grew quite quickly, so that even while Uncle Wiggily was watching, the Jack and his pulpit were almost regular size.
A Jack-in-the-Pulpit, you know, is a queer flower that grows in our woods. Sometimes it is called an Indian turnip, but don’t eat it, for it is very biting. The Jack is a tall green chap, who stands in the middle of his pulpit, which is like a little pitcher, with a curved top to it. A pulpit, you know, is where some one preaches on Sunday.
“Thank you very much for lifting the stone off me so I could grow,” said the Jack to Uncle Wiggily. “If ever I can do you a favor I will.”
“Oh, pray don’t mention it,” replied the rabbit gentleman, with a low bow. “It was a mere pleasure, I assure you.”
Then the rabbit gentleman hopped on to the store, to get the matches, the crackers, the bread and other things for Nurse Jane.
“And I must be sure not to forget the matches,” Uncle Wiggily said to himself. “If I did Nurse Jane could not make a fire to cook supper.”
There was an April shower while Uncle Wiggily was in the store, and he waited for the rain to stop falling before he started back to his hollow stump bungalow. Then the sun came out very hot and strong and shone down through the wet leaves of the trees in the woods.
Along hopped the bunny uncle, and he was wondering what he would have for supper that night.