“So the boys are playing marbles, eh? Well, I’ll go out and watch them. It will make me think of the days when I was a spry young bunny chap, hopping about, spinning my kites and flying my tops.”
“I guess you are a little bit twisted; are you not?” asked Nurse Jane, politely.
“Oh, so I am,” said Uncle Wiggily. “I mean flying my kite and spinning my top.”
Then he pinkled his twink nose—Ah! you see that’s the time I was twisted—I mean he twinkled his pink nose, Uncle Wiggily did, and out he went to watch the animal boys play marbles.
Billie, Johnnie and Jimmie, as well as Sammie, wanted the bunny uncle to play also, but he said his rheumatism hurt too much to bend over. So he just watched the marble game, until it was time for the boys to go home. And then Johnnie cried:
“Oh, I forgot! I have to go to the store for a loaf of bread for supper. Come on, fellows, with me, will you?”
But neither Jimmie, nor Sammie nor Billie wanted to go with Johnnie, so he started off through the woods to the store alone, when Uncle Wiggily cried:
“Wait a minute, Johnnie, and I’ll go with you. I haven’t had my walk this day, and I have had no adventure at all. I’ll go along and see what happens.”
“Oh, that will be nice!” chattered Johnnie, who did not like to go to the store alone. So, putting his marbles in the bag in which he carried them, he ran along beside Uncle Wiggily.
They had not gone far when, all of a sudden, there came a strong puff of wind, and, before Uncle Wiggily could hold his hat down over his ears, it was blown off his head. I mean his hat was—not his ears.
Away through the trees the tall silk hat was blown.
“Oh, dear!” cried the bunny uncle. “I guess I am not going to have a nice adventure today.”
“I’ll get your hat for you, Uncle Wiggily!” said Johnnie kindly. “You hold my bag of marbles so I can run faster, and I’ll get the hat for you.”
Tossing the rabbit gentleman the marbles, away scampered Johnnie after the hat. But the wind kept on blowing it, and the squirrel boy had to run a long way.
“Well, I hope he gets it and brings it back to me,” thought Uncle Wiggily, as he sat down on a green, moss-covered stone to wait for the squirrel boy. And, while he was waiting the bunny uncle opened the bag and looked at Johnnie’s marbles. There were green ones, and blue and red and pink—very pretty, all of them.
“I wonder if I have forgotten how to play the games I used to enjoy when I was a boy rabbit?” thought the bunny gentleman. “Just now, when no one is here in tile woods to laugh at me, I think I’ll try and see how well I can shoot marbles.”
So he marked out a ring on the ground, and putting some marbles in the center began shooting at them with another marble, just the way you boys do.
“Ha! A good shot!” cried the bunny uncle, as he knocked two marbles out of the ring at once. “I am not so old as I thought I was, even if I have the rheumatism.”