“Ah, ha! We meet again, I see,” growled the bear. “I was not looking for you, Mr. Longears, but all the same I am glad to meet you, for I want to eat you.”
“Well,” said Uncle Wiggily, sort of scratching his pink, twinkling nose with his ear, surprised like. “I can’t exactly say I’m glad to see you, good Mr. Bear.”
“No, I s’pose not,” agreed the fuzzy creature. “But you are mistaken. I am the Bad Mr. Bear, not the Good.”
“Oh, excuse me,” said Uncle Wiggily. All the while he knew the bear was bad, but he hoped by calling him good, to make him so.
“I’m very bad!” growled the bear, “and I’m going to take you off to my den with me. Come along!”
“Oh, I don’t want to,” said the bunny uncle, shivering his tail.
“But you must!” growled the bear. “Come on, now!”
“Oh, dear!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “Will you let me go if I give you what’s in my basket?” he asked, and he held up the basket with the nice orange apple turnover in it. “Let me go if I give you this,” begged the bunny uncle.
“Maybe I will, and maybe I won’t,” said the bear, cunning like. “Let me see what it is.”
He took the basket from Uncle Wiggily, and looking in, said:
“Ah, ha! An apple turnover-dumpling with oranges in it! I just love them! Ah, ha!”
“Oh,” thought Uncle Wiggily. “I hope he eats it, for then maybe I can get away when he doesn’t notice me. I hope he eats it!”
And the bear, leaning his back against the pine tree in which the woodpecker had been boring holes, began to take bites out of the apple dumpling which Nurse Jane had baked for Grandpa Goosey.
“Now’s my chance to get away!” thought the bunny gentleman. But when he tried to hop softly off, as the bear was eating the sweet stuff, the bad creature saw him and cried:
“Ah, ha! No you don’t! Come hack here!” and with his claws he pulled Uncle Wiggily close to him again.
Then the bunny uncle noticed that some sweet, sticky juice or gum, like that on fly paper, was running down the trunk of the tree from the holes the woodpecker had drilled in it.
“Oh, if the bear only leans back hard enough and long enough against that sticky pine tree,” thought Mr. Longears, “he’ll be stuck fast by his furry hair and he can’t get me. I hope he sticks!”
And that is just what happened. The bear enjoyed eating the apple dumpling so much that he leaned back harder and harder against the sticky tree. His fur stuck fast in the gum that ran out. Finally the bear ate the last crumb of the dumpling.
“And now I’ll get you!” he cried to the bunny uncle; “I’ll get you!”
But did the bear get Uncle Wiggily? He did not. The bear tried to jump toward the rabbit, but could not. He was stuck fast to the sticky pine tree and Uncle Wiggily could now run safely back to his hollow stump bungalow to get another dumpling for Grandpa Goosey.