With his strong paws and his sharp teeth, the rabbit gentleman began peeling the bark off the tree, showing the white wood underneath.
“What are you doing, Uncle Wiggily?” asked Jillie.
“This is a slippery elm tree, and I am making a hill so Squeaky-Eeky can slide down,” answered the bunny uncle. “Underneath the bark the trunk of the elm tree is very slippery. Dr. Possum told me so. See how my paw slips!” And indeed it did, sliding down the sloping tree almost as fast as you can eat a lollypop.
Uncle Wiggily took off a lot of bark from the elm tree, making a long, sliding, slippery place.
“Now, try that with your sled, Squeaky-Eeky,” said the bunny uncle. And the little cousin mouse did. She put her sled on the slanting tree, sat down and Jillie gave her a little push. Down the slippery elm tree went Squeaky as fast as anything, coming to a stop in a pile of soft leaves.
“Oh, what a lovely slide!” cried Squeaky. “You try it, Jillie.” And the little mouse girl did.
“Who would think,” she said, “that you could slide down a slippery elm tree? But you can.”
Then she and Squeaky took turns sliding down hill, even though there was no snow, and the slippery elm tree didn’t mind it a bit, but rather liked it.
And if the coal man doesn’t take away our gas shovel to shoot some tooth powder into the wax doll’s pop gun, I’ll tell you next about Uncle Wiggily and the sassafras.
UNCLE WIGGILY AND THE SASSAFRAS
“Uncle Wiggily! Uncle Wiggily! Get up!” called Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, the muskrat lady housekeeper, as she stood at the foot of the stairs of the hollow stump bungalow and called up to the rabbit gentleman one morning.
“Hurry down, Mr. Longears,” she went on. “This is the last day I am going to bake buckwheat cakes, and if you want some nice hot ones, with maple sugar sauce on, you’d better hurry.”
No answer came from the bunny uncle.
“Why, this is strange,” said Nurse Jane to herself. “I wonder if anything can have happened to him? Did he have an adventure in the night? Did the bad skillery-scalery alligator, with humps on its tail, carry him off?”
Then she called again:
“Uncle Wiggily! Uncle Wiggily! Aren’t you going to get up? Come down to breakfast. Aren’t you going to get up and come down?”
“No, Miss Fuzzy Wuzzy,” replied the bunny uncle, “not to give you a short answer, I am not going to get up, or come down or eat breakfast or do anything,” and Mr. Longears spoke as though his head was hidden under the bed clothes, which it was.
“Oh, Uncle Wiggily, whatever is the matter?” asked Nurse Jane, surprised like and anxious.
“I don’t feel at all well,” was the answer. “I think I have the epizootic, and I don’t want any breakfast.”