But, as I said, the rabbit gentleman was feeling rather tired, and, seeing a nice log covered with a cushion of green moss, he sat down on that to rest.
“Perhaps an adventure will happen to me here,” thought the bunny uncle as he leaned back against a pine tree to rest.
It was nice and warm in the woods, and, with the sun shining down upon him, Uncle Wiggily soon dozed off in a little sleep. But when he awakened still no adventure had happened to him.
“Well, I guess I must travel on,” he said, and he started to get up, but he could not. He could not move his back away from the pine tree against which he had leaned to rest.
“Oh, dear! what has happened,” cried the bunny uncle. “I am stuck fast! I can’t get away! Oh, dear!”
At first he thought perhaps the skillery-scalery alligator with the humps on his tail had come softly up behind him as he slept and had him in his claws. But, by sort of looking around backward, Mr. Longears could see no one—not even a fox.
“But what is it holding me?” he cried, as he tried again and again to get loose, but could not.
“I am sorry to say I am holding you!” spoke a voice up over Uncle Wiggily’s head. “I am holding you fast!”
“Who are you, if you please?” asked the rabbit gentleman.
“I am the pine tree against which you leaned your back. And on my bark was a lot of sticky pine gum. It is that which is holding you fast,” the tree answered.
“Why—why, it’s just like sticky flypaper, isn’t it?” asked Uncle Wiggily, trying again to get loose, but not doing so. “And it is just like the time you held the bear fast for me.”
“Yes, it is; and flypaper is made from my sticky pine gum,” said the tree. “I am so sorry you are stuck, but I did not see you lean back against me until it was too late. And now I can’t get you loose, for my limbs are so high over your head that I can not reach them down to you. Try to get loose yourself.”
“I will,” said Uncle Wiggily, and he did, but he could not get loose, though he almost pulled out all his fur. So he cried:
“Help! Help! Help!”
Then, all of a sudden, along through the woods came Neddie Stubtail, the little bear-boy, and Neddie had some butter, which he had just bought at the store for his mother.
“Oh!” cried the pine tree. “If you will rub some butter on my sticky gum, it will loosen and melt it, so Uncle Wiggily will not be stuck any more.”
Neddie did so, and soon the bunny uncle was free.
“Oh, I can’t tell you how sorry I am,” said the pine tree. “I am a horrid creature, of no use in this world, Uncle Wiggily! Other trees have nice fruit or nuts or flowers on them, but all I have is sticky gum, or brown, rough ugly pine cones. Oh, dear! I am of no use in the world!”
“Oh, yes you are!” said Uncle Wiggily, kindly. “As for having stuck me fast, that was my own fault. I should have looked before I leaned back. And, as for your pine cones, I dare say they are very useful.”