“Then I wonder where I am going to get Nurse Jane’s peppermint?” asked Uncle Wiggily of himself. “I’d better go see if Dr. Possum has any.”
But while Uncle Wiggily was going on through the woods once more, he gave a sniff and a whiff, and, all of a sudden, he smelled a peppermint smell.
The rabbit gentleman stood still, looking around and making his pink nose twinkle like a pair of roller skates. While he was doing this along came a cow lady chewing some grass for her complexion.
“What are you doing here, Uncle Wiggily?” asked the cow lady.
Uncle Wiggily told her how he had gone to the drug store for peppermint for Nurse Jane, and how he had found the store closed, so he could not get any.
“But I smell peppermint here in the woods,” went on the bunny uncle. “Can it be that the drug store monkey doodle has left some here for me?”
“No, what you smell is—that,” said the cow lady, pointing her horns toward some green plants growing near a little babbling brook of water. The plants had dark red stems that were square instead of round.
“It does smell like peppermint,” said Uncle Wiggily, going closer and sniffing and snuffing.
“It is peppermint,” said the cow lady. “That is the peppermint plant you see.”
“Oh, now I remember,” Uncle Wiggily exclaimed. “They squeeze the juice out of the leaves, and that’s peppermint flavor for candy or for indigestion.”
“Exactly,” spoke the cow lady, “and I’ll help you squeeze out some of this juice in the bottle for Nurse Jane.”
Then Uncle Wiggily and the cow lady pulled up some of the peppermint plants and squeezed out the juice between two clean, flat stones, the cow lady stepping on them while Uncle Wiggily caught the juice in the empty bottle as it ran out.
“My! But that is strong!” cried the bunny uncle, as he smelled of the bottle of peppermint. It was so sharp that it made tears come into his eyes. “I should think that would cure indigestion and everything else,” he said to the cow lady.
“Tell Nurse Jane to take only a little of it in sweet water,” said the cow lady. “It is very strong. So be careful of it.”
“I will,” promised Uncle Wiggily. “And thank you for getting the peppermint for me. I don’t know what I would have done without you, as the drug store was closed.”
Then he hopped on through the woods to the hollow stump bungalow. He had not quite reached it when, all of a sudden, there was a rustling in the hushes, and out from behind a bramble bush jumped a big black bear. Not a nice good bear, like Neddie or Beckie Stubtail, but a bear who cried:
“Ah, ha! Oh, ho! Here is some one whom I can bite and scratch! A nice tender rabbit chap! Ah, ha! Oh, ho!”
“Are—are you going to scratch and bite me?” asked Uncle Wiggily.
“I am,” said the bear, snappish like. “Get ready. Here I come!” and he started toward Uncle Wiggily, who was so frightened that he could not hop away.