“I should say not!” laughed Johnnie, “They are only green rushes that grow all about in the woods, and we could give Uncle Wiggily all he wanted.”
“Hush, boys! Don’t talk that way,” said the bunny uncle. “The mud turtle tried to do the best he could for me, and I am sure the green rushes are very nice. I’ll take them with me. I may find use for them.”
Billie and Johnnie wanted to laugh, for they thought green rushes were of no use at all. But Uncle Wiggily said to the squirrel boys:
“Billie and Johnnie, though green rushes, which grow in the woods and swamps are very common, still they are a wonderful plant. See how smooth they are when you rub them up and down. But if you rub them sideways they are as rough as a stiff brush or a nutmeg grater.”
Well, Billie and Johnnie thought more of the rushes after that, but, as they walked on with Uncle Wiggily, when he had put them in his pocket, they could think of no way in which he could use them.
In a little while they came to where Mother Goose lived, and the dear old lady herself was out in front of her house, looking up and down the woodland path, anxious like.
“What is the matter?” asked Uncle Wiggily. “Are you looking for some of your lost ones—Little Bopeep or Tommy Tucker, who sings for his supper?”
“Well, no, not exactly,” answered Mother Goose. “I sent Simple Simon to the store to get me a scrubbing brush, so I could clean the kitchen floor. But he hasn’t come back, and I am afraid he has gone fishing in his mother’s pail, to try to catch a whale. Oh, dear! My kitchen is so dirty that it needs scrubbing right away. But I cannot do it without a scrubbing brush.”
“Ha! Say no more!” cried Uncle Wiggily in his jolly voice. “I have no scrubbing brush, but I have a lot of green rushes the mud turtle gave me for turning him right-side up. The rushes are as rough as a scrubbing brush, and will do just as nicely to clean your kitchen.”
“Oh, thank you! I’m sure they will,” said Mother Goose. So she took the green rushes from Uncle Wiggily and by using them with soap and water soon her kitchen floor was scrubbed as clean as an eggshell, for the green, rough stems scraped off all the dirt.
Then Mother Goose thanked Uncle Wiggily very much, and Billie and Johnnie sort of looked at one another with blinking eyes, for they saw that green rushes are of some use in this world after all.
And if the strawberry jam doesn’t go to the moving pictures with the bread and butter and forget to come home for supper, I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the bee tree.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE BEE TREE
“Well, you’re off again, I see!” spoke Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, one morning, as she saw Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, starting away from his hollow stump bungalow. He was limping on his red, white and blue striped barber pole rheumatism crutch, that Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy had gnawed for him out of a cornstalk. “Off again!” she cried.