“Hello, Uncle Wiggily,” answered the chattery squirrel chap. Then he came up and sat down on the porch, but he seemed so quiet and thoughtful that Uncle Wiggily asked:
“Is anything the matter, Billie?”
“No—well—that is, nothing much,” said the squirrel boy slowly, “but I’d like to ask you what you’d buy if you had five cents, Uncle Wiggily.”
“What would I buy if I had five cents, Billie? Well now, let me see. I think I’d buy two postage stamps and a funny postcard and write some letters to my friends. What would you buy, Billie?”
“I’d buy a spinning top, Uncle Wiggily,” said the little squirrel boy, very quickly. “Only, you see, I haven’t any five cents. You have, though, haven’t you Uncle Wiggily? Eh?”
“Why, yes, Billie, I think so,” and the old gentleman rabbit put his paw in his pocket to make sure.
“This is a funny world,” said Billie with a long, sorrowful sigh. “Here you are with five cents and you don’t want a top, and here I am without five cents and I do want a spinning top. Oh, dear!”
“Ha! Ha! Ha!” laughed Uncle Wiggily in his most jolly fashion. “I see what you mean, Billie. Now you just come along with me,” and Uncle Wiggily picked up off the porch his red, white and blue striped barber-pole rheumatism crutch that Nurse Jane had gnawed for him out of a cornstalk.
“Where are we going?” asked Billie, sort of hopeful-like and expectant.
“I’m going to the top store to buy a spinning top,” answered bunny uncle. “If you think I ought to have one, why I’ll get it.”
“Oh, all right,” said Billie, sort of funny-like. “Do you know how to spin a top, Uncle Wiggily?”
“Well, I used to when I was a young rabbit, and I guess I can remember a little about it. Come along and help me pick out a nice one.”
So the bunny uncle and the squirrel boy went on and on through the woods to the top store kept by Mrs. Spin Spider, who had a little toy shop in which she worked when she was not spinning silk for the animal ladies’ dresses.
“One of your best tops for myself, if you please,” said Uncle Wiggily, as he and Billie went into the toy store. Mrs. Spin Spider put a number of tops on the counter.
“That’s the kind you want!” cried Billie, as he saw a big red one, and pointed his paw at it.
“Try it and see how it spins,” said the bunny man.
Billie wound the string on the top, and then, giving it a throw, while he kept hold of one end of the cord, he made the top spin as fast as anything on the floor of the store. Around and around whizzed the red top, like the electric fan on Uncle Wiggily’s airship.
“Is that a good top for me, Billie?” asked Mr. Longears.
“A very good top,” said the squirrel boy. “Fine!”
“Then I’ll take it,” said Uncle Wiggily, and he paid for it and walked out, Billie following.