UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE WINTERGREEN
Uncle Wiggily Longears, the nice old gentleman rabbit, knocked on the door of the hollow tree in the woods where Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the two little squirrel boys, lived.
“Come in!” invited Mrs. Bushytail. So Uncle Wiggily went in.
“I thought I’d come around and see you,” he said to the squirrel lady. “I’m living in the woods this Summer and just now I am out taking a walk, as I do every day, and I hoped I might meet with an adventure. But, so far, I haven’t. Do you know where I could find an adventure, Mrs. Bushytail?”
“No, I’m sorry to say I don’t, Uncle Wiggily,” answered the squirrel lady. “But I wish you could find something to make my little boy Billie feel better.”
“Why, is he ill?” asked the bunny uncle, surprised like, and he looked across the room where Billy Bushytail was curled up in a big rocking chair, with his tail held over his head like an umbrella, though it was not raining.
“No, Billie isn’t ill,” said Mrs. Bushytail. “But he says he doesn’t know what to do to have any fun, and I am afraid he is a little peevish.”
“Oh, that isn’t right,” said Mr. Longears. “Little boys, whether they are squirrels, rabbits or real children, should try to be jolly and happy, and not peevish.”
“How can a fellow be happy when there’s no fun?” asked Billie, sort of cross-like. “My brother Johnnie got out of school early, and he and the other animal boys have gone off to play where I can’t find them. I had to stay in, because I didn’t know my nut-cracking lesson, and now I can’t have any fun. Oh, dear! I don’t care!”
Billie meant, I suppose, that he didn’t care what he said or did, and that isn’t right. But Uncle Wiggily only pinkled his twink nose. No, wait just a moment if you please. He just twinkled his pink nose behind the squirrel boy’s back, and then the bunny uncle said:
“How would you like to come for a walk in the woods with me, Billie?”
“Oh, that will be nice!” exclaimed the squirrel lady. “Do go, Billie.”
“No, I don’t want to!” chattered the boy squirrel, most impolitely.
“Oh, that isn’t at all nice,” said Mrs. Bushy-tail. “At least thank Uncle Wiggily for asking you.”
“Oh, excuse me, Uncle Wiggily,” said Billie, sorrylike. “I do thank you. But I want very much to have some fun, and there’s no fun in the woods. I know all about them. I know every tree and bush and stump. I want to go to a new place.”
“Well, new places are nice,” said the bunny uncle, “but old ones are nice, too, if you know where to look for the niceness. Now come along with me, and we’ll see if we can’t have some fun. It is lovely in the woods now.”
“I won’t have any fun there,” said Billie, crossly. “The woods are no good. Nothing good to eat grows there.”