“Ha, ha! and Ho, ho! So you thought you could get away from me that way, did you? Well, you can’t. I can see you hiding under that bush almost as plainly as I can see the sun shining. Here I come after you.”
“Oh, dear!” cried Uncle Wiggily. “What shall we do, Johnnie? I don’t want the bear to get you or me.”
“And I don’t either,” spoke the little squirrel boy.
“I wonder if I could scare him away with my umbrella, Johnnie?” went on Uncle Wiggily. “I might if I could make believe it was a gun. Have you any talcum powder to shoot?”
“No,” said Johnnie, sadly, “I have not, I am sorry to say.”
“Have you any bullets?” asked the bunny uncle.
“No bullets, either,” answered Johnnie, more sadly.
“Then I don’t see anything for us to do but let the bear get us,” sorrowfully said Mr. Longears. “Here he comes, Johnnie.”
“But he sha’n’t get us!” quickly cried the squirrel boy, as the bear made a jump for the bush under which the bunny and Johnnie were hiding. “He sha’n’t get us!”
“Why not?” asked Uncle Wiggily.
“Because,” said Johnnie, “I have just thought of something. You asked me for bullets a while ago. I have none, but the hazel nut bush has. Come, good Mr. Hazel Bush, will you save us from the bear?” asked Johnnie.
“Right gladly will I do that,” the kind bush said.
“Then, when he comes for us!” cried Johnnie, “just rattle down, all over on him, all the hard nuts you can let fall. They will hit him on his ears, and on his soft and tender nose, and that will make him run away and leave us alone.”
“Good!” whispered the hazel nut bush, rustling its leaves. “But what about you and Uncle Wiggily? If I rattle the nuts on the bear they will also fall on you two, as long as you are hiding under me.”
“Have no fear of that!” said the bunny uncle. “I have my umbrella, and I will raise that and keep off the falling nuts.”
Then the bear, with a growl, made a dash to get Uncle Wiggily and Johnnie. But the hazel bush shivered and shook himself and “Rattle-te-bang! Bung-bung! Bang!” down came the hazel nuts all over the bear.
“Oh, wow!” he cried, as they hit him on his soft and tender nose. “Oh, wow! I guess I’d better run away. It’s hailing!”
And he did run. And because of Uncle Wiggily’s umbrella held over his head, the nuts did not hurt him or Johnnie at all. And when the bear had run far away the squirrel boy gathered all the nuts he wanted, and he and Uncle Wiggily went safely home. And the bear’s nose was sore for a week.
So if the hickory nut cake doesn’t try to sit in the same seat with the apple pie and get all squeezed like a lemon pudding, I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and Susie’s dress.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND SUSIE’S DRESS