“I hope so, too,” Dr. Possum said. “But I am taking this slippery elm bark to mix with some of the bitter medicine I have to give Billie Wagtail, the goat boy. When I put some bark from the slippery elm tree in Billie’s medicine it will slip down his throat so quickly that he will never know he took it.”
“Good!” cried Uncle Wiggily, laughing. Then the bunny uncle went close to the tree, off which Dr. Possum was taking some bark, and felt of it with his paw. The tree was indeed as slippery as an icy sidewalk slide on Christmas eve.
“My!” exclaimed Mr. Longears. “If I tried to climb up that tree I’d do nothing but slip down.”
“That’s right,” said Dr. Possum. “But I must hurry on now to give Billie Wagtail his medicine.”
So Dr. Possum went on his way and Uncle Wiggily hopped along until, pretty soon, he heard a rustling in the bushes, and a voice said:
“But, Squeaky-Eeky dear, I can’t find any snow hill for you to ride down on your sled. The snow is all gone, you see. It is Spring now.”
“Oh, dear!” cried another voice. “Such a lot of trouble. Oh, dear! Oh, dear!”
“Ha! Trouble!” said Uncle Wiggily to himself. “This is where I come in. I must see if I cannot help them.”
He looked through the bushes, and there he saw Jillie Longtail, the little girl mouse, and with her was Squeaky-Eeky, the cousin mouse. And Squeaky-Eeky had a small sled with her.
“Why, what’s the matter?” asked Uncle Wiggily, for he saw that Squeaky-Eeky had been crying. “What is the matter, little mice?”
“Oh, hello. Uncle Wiggily!” cried Jillie. “I don’t know what to do with my little cousin mouse. You see she wants to slide down hill on her Christmas sled, but there isn’t any snow on any of the hills now.”
“No, that’s true, there isn’t,” said the bunny uncle. “But, Squeaky, why didn’t you slide down hill in the Winter, when there was snow?”
“Because, I had the mouse-trap fever, then,” answered Squeaky-Eeky, “and I couldn’t go out. But now I am all better and I can be out, and oh, dear! I do so much want a ride down hill on my sled. Boo, hoo!”
“Don’t cry, Squeaky, dear,” said Jillie. “If there is no snow you can’t slide down hill, you know.”
“But I want to,” said the little cousin mouse, unreasonable like.
“But you can’t; so please be nice,” begged Jillie.
“Oh, dear!” cried Squeaky. “I do so much want to slide down hill on my sled.”
“And you shall!” suddenly exclaimed Uncle Wiggily. “Come with me, Squeaky.”
“Why, Uncle Wiggily!” cried Jillie. “How can you give Squeaky a slide down hill when there is no snow? You need a slippery snow hill for sleigh-riding.”
“I am not so sure of that,” spoke Uncle Wiggily, with a smile. “Let us see.”
Off through the woods he hopped, with Jillie and Squeaky following. Pretty soon Uncle Wiggily came to a big tree that had fallen down, one end being raised up higher than the other, like a hill, slanting.