“Better take an umbrella, hadn’t you?” asked Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper. “It looks as though we might have an April shower.”
“An umbrella? Yes, I think I will take one,” spoke the bunny uncle, as he saw some dark clouds in the sky. “They look as though they might have rain in them.”
“Are you going anywhere in particular?” asked the muskrat lady, as she tied her tail in a soft knot.
“No, not special,” Uncle Wiggily answered. “May I have the pleasure of doing something for you?” he asked with a polite bow, like a little girl speaking a piece in school on Friday afternoon.
“Well,” said Nurse Jane, “I have baked some apple dumplings with oranges inside, and I thought perhaps you might like to take one to Grandfather Goosey Gander to cheer him up.”
“The very thing!” cried Uncle Wiggily, jolly-like. “I’ll do it, Nurse Jane.”
So with an apple dumpling carefully wrapped up in a napkin and put in a basket, Uncle Wiggily started off through the woods and over the fields to Grandpa Goosey’s house.
“I wonder if I shall have an adventure today?” thought the rabbit gentleman as he waved his ears to and fro like the pendulum of a clock. “I think I would like one to give me an appetite for supper. I must watch for something to happen.”
He looked all around the woods, but all he could see were some trees.
“I can’t have any adventures with them,” said the bunny uncle, “though the horse chestnut tree did help me the other day by tossing the bad bear over into the briar bush. But these trees are not like that.”
Still Uncle Wiggily was to have an adventure with one of the trees very soon. Just you wait, now, and you shall hear about it.
Uncle Wiggily walked on a little farther and he heard a funny tapping noise in the woods.
“Tap! Tap! Tap! Tappity-tap-tap!” it sounded.
“My! Some one is knocking on a door trying to get in,” thought the bunny. “I wonder who it can be?”
Just then he saw a big bird perched on the side of a pine tree, tapping with his bill.
“Tap! Tap! Tap!” went the bird.
“Excuse me,” said the bunny uncle, “but you are making a mistake. No one lives in that tree.”
“Oh, thank you, Uncle Wiggily. I know that no one lives here,” said the bird. “But you see I am a woodpecker, and I am pecking holes in the tree to get some of the sweet juice, or sap. The sap is running in the trees now, for it is Spring. Later on I will tap holes in the bark to get at bugs and worms, when there is no more sap for me to eat.”
And the woodpecker went on tapping, tapping, tapping.
“My! That is a funny way to get something to eat,” said the bunny gentleman to himself. He watched the bird until it flew away, and then Uncle Wiggily was about to hop on to Grandpa Goosey’s house when, all of a sudden, before he could run away, out popped the bad old bear once more.