“Don’t forget your umbrella,” went on Nurse Jane. “It looks to me very much as though there would be a storm.”
“I think you’re right,” Uncle Wiggily said. “Our April showers are not yet over. I shall take my umbrella.”
So, with his umbrella, and the rheumatism crutch which Nurse Jane had gnawed for him out of a cornstalk, off started the bunny uncle, hopping along over the fields and through the woods.
Pretty soon Uncle Wiggily met Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel boy.
“Where are you going, Johnnie?” asked the rabbit gentleman. “Are you here in the woods, looking for an adventure? That’s what I’m doing.”
“No, Uncle Wiggily,” answered the squirrel boy. “I’m not looking for an adventure. I’m looking for hazel nuts.”
“Hazel nuts?” cried the bunny uncle in surprise.
“Yes,” went on Johnnie. “You know they’re something like chestnuts, only without the prickly burrs, and they’re very good to eat. They grow on bushes, instead of trees. I’m looking for some to eat. They are nice, brown, shiny nuts.”
“Good!” cried the rabbit gentleman. “We’ll go together looking for hazel nuts, and perhaps we may also find an adventure. I’ll take the adventure and you can take the hazel nuts.”
“All right!” laughed Johnnie, and off they started.
On and over the fields and through the woods went the bunny uncle and Johnnie, until, just as they were close to the place where some extra early new kind of Spring hazel nuts grew on bushes, there was a noise behind a big black stump—and suddenly out pounced a bear!
“Oh, hello, Neddie Stubtail!” called Johnnie. And he was just going up and shake paws when Uncle Wiggily cried:
“Look out, Johnnie! Wait a minute! That isn’t your friend Neddie!”
“Isn’t it?” asked Johnnie, surprised-like, and he drew back.
“No, it’s a bad old bear—not our nice Neddie, at all! And I think he is going to chase us! Get ready to run!”
So Johnnie Bushytail and Uncle Wiggily got ready to run. And it was a good thing they did, for just then the bear gave a growl, like a lollypop when it falls off the stick, and the bear said:
“Ah, ha! And oh, ho! A rabbit and a squirrel! Fine for me! Tag—your it!” he cried, and he made a jump for Uncle Wiggily and Johnnie.
But do you s’pose the bunny uncle and the squirrel boy stayed there to be caught? Indeed, they did not!
“Over this way! Quick!” cried Johnnie. “Here is a hazel nut bush, Uncle Wiggily. We can hide under that and the bear can’t get us!”
“Good!” said the bunny uncle. And he and Johnnie quickly ran and hid under the hazel nut bush, which was nearby.
The bear looked all around as he heard Uncle Wiggily and Johnnie running away, and when he saw where they had gone he laughed until his whiskers twinkled, almost like the rabbit gentleman’s pink nose, and then the bear said: