“Thank you,” spoke Uncle Wiggily, making a low bow with his tall silk hat. Then he went on to Grandpa Goosey’s where he visited with his epizootic friend and played checkers.
On his way home through the woods, Uncle Wiggily was unpleasantly surprised when, all of a sudden out from behind a stone jumped a bad bear. He wasn’t at all a good, nice bear like Beckie or Neddie Stubtail.
“Bur-r-r-r-r!” growled the bear at Uncle
Wiggily. “I guess I’ll scratch you.”
“Oh, please don’t,” begged the bunny uncle.
“Yes, I shall!” grumbled the bear. “And I’ll hug you, too!”
“Oh, no! I’d rather you wouldn’t!” said the bunny uncle. For well he knew that a bear doesn’t hug for love. It’s more of a hard, rib-cracking squeeze than a hug. If ever a bear wants to hug you, just don’t you let him. Of course if daddy or mother wants to hug, why, that’s all right.
“Yes, I’m going to scratch you and hug you,” went on the bad bear, “and after that—well, after that I guess I’ll take you off to my den.”
“Oh, please don’t!” begged Uncle Wiggily, twinkling his nose and thinking that he might make the bear laugh. For if ever you can get a bear to laugh he won’t hurt you a bit. Just remember that. Tickle him, or do anything to get him to laugh. But this bear wouldn’t even smile. He just growled again and said:
“Well, here I come, Uncle Wiggily, to hug you!”
“Oh, no you don’t!” all of a sudden cried a voice in the air.
“Ha! Who says I don’t?” grumbled the bear, impolite like.
“I do,” went on the voice. And the bear saw some trees waving their branches at him.
“Pooh! I’m not afraid of you!” growled the bear, and he made a rush for the bunny. “I’m not afraid of trees.”
“Not afraid of us, eh? Well, you’d better be!” said the mother tree. “I’m a strong horse chestnut and these are my strong little ponies. Come on, children, we won’t let the bear get Uncle Wiggily.” Then the strong horse chestnut tree and the pony trees reached down with their powerful branches and, catching hold of the bear, they tossed him up in the air, far away over in the woods, at the same time pelting him with green, prickly horse chestnuts, and the bear came down ker-bunko in a bramble brier bush.
“Oh, wow!” cried the bear, as he felt his soft and tender nose being scratched. “I’ll be good! I’ll be good!”
And he was, for a little while, anyhow. So this shows you how a horse chestnut tree saved the bunny gentleman, and if the postman doesn’t stick a stamp on our cat’s nose so it can’t eat molasses cake when it goes to the puppy dog’s party, I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the pine tree.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE PINE TREE
Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice old gentleman rabbit, put on his tall silk hat, polished his glasses with the tip of his tail, to make them shiny so he could see better through them, and then, taking his red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch down off the mantel, he started out of his hollow stump bungalow one day.