Title: Bully and Bawly No-Tail (the Jumping Frogs)
Author: Howard Roger Garis
Illustrator: Louis Wisa
Release date: June 16, 2006 [eBook #18599]
Most recently updated: June 12, 2020
Credits: Produced by Roger Frank and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
Bully and Bawly No-Tail
(THE JUMPING FROGS)
HOWARD R. GARIS
Author of “Sammie and Susie Littletail,”
“Uncle Wiggily’s Automobile,” “Daddy Takes Us Camp-
ing,” “The Smith Boys,” “The Island
ILLUSTRATED BY LOUIS WISA
A. L. BURT COMPANY
PUBLISHERS - - NEW YORK
Copyright, 1915, by
R. F. FENNO & COMPANY
BULLY AND BAWLY NO-TAIL
The stories herein contained appeared originally in the Evening News, of Newark, N. J., where (so many children and their parents were kind enough to say) they gave pleasure to a number of little folks and grown-ups also. Permission to issue the stories in book form was kindly granted by the publisher and editor of the News, to whom the author extends his thanks.
|STORY I||BULLY AND BAWLY GO SWIMMING||9|
|STORY II||BULLY MAKES A WATER WHEEL||15|
|STORY III||BAWLY AND UNCLE WIGGILY||21|
|STORY IV||BULLY’S AND BAWLY’S BIG JUMP||26|
|STORY V||GRANDPA CROAKER DIGS A WELL||34|
|STORY VI||PAPA NO-TAIL IN TROUBLE||40|
|STORY VII||BULLY NO-TAIL PLAYS MARBLES||46|
|STORY VIII||BAWLY AND THE SOLDIER HAT||52|
|STORY IX||GRANDPA CROAKER AND THE UMBRELLA||58|
|STORY X||BAWLY NO-TAIL AND JOLLIE LONGTAIL||65|
|STORY XI||BULLY AND THE WATER BOTTLE||71|
|STORY XII||BAWLY NO-TAIL GOES HUNTING||77|
|STORY XIII||PAPA NO-TAIL AND THE GIANT||83|
|STORY XIV||BAWLY AND THE CHURCH STEEPLE||90|
|STORY XV||BULLY AND THE BASKET OF CHIPS||97|
|STORY XVI||BAWLY AND HIS WHISTLES||104|
|STORY XVII||GRANDPA CROAKER AND UNCLE WIGGILY||110|
|STORY XVIII||MRS. NO-TAIL AND MRS. LONGTAIL||117|
|STORY XIX||BAWLY AND ARABELLA CHICK.||123|
|STORY XX||BAWLY AND ARABELLA CHICK.||128|
|STORY XXI||GRANDPA AND BRIGHTEYES PIGG||135|
|STORY XXII||PAPA NO-TAIL AND NANNIE GOAT||141|
|STORY XXIII||MRS. NO-TAIL AND NELLIE CHIP-CHIP||148|
|STORY XXIV||BULLY AND ALICE WIBBLEWOBBLE||154|
|STORY XXV||BAWLY AND LULU WIBBLEWOBBLE||161|
|STORY XXVI||BULLY NO-TAIL AND KITTIE KAT||168|
|STORY XXVII||HOW BAWLY HELPED HIS TEACHER||174|
|STORY XXVIII||BULLY AND SAMMIE LITTLETAIL||180|
|STORY XXIX||BULLY AND BAWLY AT THE CIRCUS||186|
|STORY XXX||BULLY AND BAWLY PLAY INDIAN||194|
|STORY XXXI||THE FROGS’ FAREWELL HOP||200|
Once upon a time, not so very many years ago, there were two little frog boys who lived in a little pond near a nice big farm. It wasn’t very far from where Peetie and Jackie Bow-Wow, the puppy dogs, had their home, and the frogs’ house was right next door to the pen where Lulu and Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble the ducks lived.
There was Bully No-Tail, and his brother Bawly No-Tail, and the reason Bawly had such a funny name was because when he was a little baby he used to cry a good bit. And once he cried so much that he made a lot more water in the pond than should have been there, and it ran over, just like when you put too much milk in your glass, and made the ground all wet.
The last name of the frogs was “No-Tail,” because, being frogs, you see, they had no tails.
But now Bawly was larger, and he didn’t cry[Pg 10] so much, I’m glad to say. And with the frog boys lived their papa and mamma, and also a nice, big, green and yellow spotted frog who was named Grandpa Croaker. Oh, he was one of the nicest frogs I have ever known, and I have met quite a number.
One day when Bully and Bawly were hopping along on the ground, close to the edge of the pond, Bully suddenly said:
“Bawly, I think I can beat you in a swimming race.”
“I don’t believe you can,” spoke Bawly, as he thoughtfully scratched his left front leg on a piece of hickory bark.
“Well, we’ll try,” said Bully. “We’ll see who can first swim to the other side of the pond, and whoever does it will get a stick of peppermint candy.”
“Where can we get the candy?” asked Bawly. “Have you got it? For if you have I wish you’d give me a bite before we jump in the water, Bully.”
“No, I haven’t it,” replied his brother. “But I know Grandpa Croaker will give it to us after the race. Come on, let’s jump in.”
So the next minute into the pond jumped those two frog boys, and they didn’t take off their shoes or their stockings, nor even their coats or[Pg 11] waists, nor yet their neckties. For you see they wore the kind of clothes which water couldn’t hurt, as they were made of rubber, like a raincoat. Their mamma had to make them that kind, because they went in the water so often.
Into the pond the frogs jumped, and they began swimming as fast as they could. First Bully was a little distance ahead, and then Bawly would kick out his front legs and his hind legs, and he would be in the lead.
“I’m going to win! I’ll get the peppermint candy!” Bawly called to his brother, winking his two eyes right in the water, as easily as you can put your doll to sleep, or play a game of marbles.
“No. I’ll beat!” declared Bully. “But if I get the candy I’ll give you some.”
So they swam on, faster and faster, making the water splash up all around them like a steamboat going to a picnic.
Well, the frogs were almost half way across the pond, when Lulu and Alice Wibblewobble, the duck girls, came out of their pen. They had just washed their faces and their yellow bills, and had put on their new hair ribbons, so they looked very nice, and proper.
“Oh, see Bully and Bawly having a swimming race!” exclaimed Lulu. “I think Bully will win!”[Pg 12]
“I think Bawly will!” cried Alice. “See, he is ahead!”
“No, Bully is ahead now,” called Lulu, and surely enough so Bully was, having made a sudden jump in the water.
And then, all of a sudden, before you could take all the seeds out of an apple or an orange, if you had one with seeds in, Bawly disappeared from sight down under the water. He vanished just as the milk goes out of baby’s bottle when she drinks it all up.
“Oh, look!” cried Lulu. “Bawly is going to swim under water!”
“That’s so he can win the race easier, I guess,” spoke Alice.
“What’s that?” asked Bully, wiggling his two eyes.
“Your brother has gone down under the water!” cried the two duck girls together.
“So he has!” exclaimed Bully, glancing around. And then, when he had looked down, he cried out: “Oh, a great big fish has hold of Bawly’s toes, and he’s going to eat him, I guess! I must save my brother!”
Bully didn’t think anything more about the race after that. No, indeed, and some tomato ketchup, too! Down under water he dived, and he swam close up to the fish who was pulling poor[Pg 13] Bawly away to his den in among a lot of stones.
“Oh, let my brother go, if you please!” called Bully to the fish.
“No, I’ll not,” was the answer, and then the big fish flopped his tail like a fan and made such a wave that poor Bully was upset, turning a somersault in the water. But that didn’t scare him, and when he had turned over right side up again he swam to the fish once more and said:
“If you don’t let my brother go I’ll call a policeman!”
“No policeman can catch me!” declared the fish, boldly, and in a saucy manner.
“Oh, do something to save me!” cried poor Bawly, trying to pull his toes away from the fish’s teeth, but he couldn’t.
“I’ll save you!” shouted Bully, and then he took a stick, and tried to put it in the fish’s mouth to make him open his jaws and let loose of Bawly. But the stick broke, and the fish was swimming away faster than ever. Then Bully popped his head out of the water and cried to the two duck girls:
“Oh, run and tell Grandpa Croaker! Tell him to come and save Bawly!”
Well, Alice and Lulu wibbled and wobbled as fast as they could go to the frog house, and told Grandpa Croaker, and the old gentleman gave[Pg 14] one great big leap, and landed in the water right down close to where the fish had Bawly by the toes.
“Boom! Boom! Croak-croak-croaker-croak!” cried Grandpa in his deepest bass voice. “You let Bawly go!” And, would you believe it, his voice sounded like a cannon, or a big gun, and that fish was so frightened, thinking he was going to be shot, that he opened his mouth and let Bawly go. The frog boy’s toes were scratched a little by the teeth of the fish, but he could still swim, and he and his brother and Grandpa were soon safe on shore.
“Well, I guess we won’t race any more to-day,” said Bawly. “Thank you very much for saving me, Grandpa.”
“Oh, that’s all right,” said Mr. Croaker kindly. “Here is a penny for each of you,” and he gave Bully and Bawly and Lulu and Alice each a penny, and they bought peppermint candy, so Bully and Bawly had something good to eat, even if they didn’t finish the race, and the bad fish had nothing. Now, in case I see a green rose in bloom on the pink lilac bush, I’ll tell you next about Bully making a water wheel.
Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, was sitting out in the yard in front of his house, with his knife and a lot of sticks. He was whittling the sticks, and making almost as many chips and shavings as a carpenter, and as he whittled away he whistled a funny little tune, about a yellow monkey-doodle with a pink nose colored blue, who wore a slipper on one foot, because he had no shoe.
Pretty soon, along came Dickie Chip-Chip, the sparrow boy, and he perched on the fence in front of Bully, put his head on one side—not on one side of the fence, you know, but on one side of his own little feathered neck—and Dickie looked out of his bright little eyes at Bully, and inquired:
“What are you making?”
“I am making a water-wheel,” answered the frog boy.
“What! making a wheel out of water?” asked the birdie in great surprise. “I never heard of such a thing.”[Pg 16]
“Oh, no indeed!” exclaimed Bully with a laugh. “I’m making a wheel out of wood, so that it will go ‘round and ‘round in the water, and make a nice splashing noise. You see it’s something like the paddle-wheel of a steamboat, or a mill wheel, that I’m making.”
“And where are you going to get the water to make it go ‘round?” asked Dickie.
“Down by the pond,” answered Bully. “I know a little place where the water falls down over the rocks, and I’m going to fasten a wooden wheel there, and it will whizz around very fast!”
“Does the water hurt itself when it falls down over the rocks?” asked Dickie Chip-Chip. “Once I fell down over a little stone, and I hurt myself quite badly.”
“Oh, no, water can’t hurt itself,” spoke Bully, as he made a lot more shavings. “There, the wheel is almost done. Don’t you want to see it go ‘round, Dickie?”
The little sparrow boy said that he did, so he and the frog started off together for the pond. Dickie hopping along on the ground, and Bully flying through the air.
What’s that? I’m wrong? Oh, yes, excuse me. I see where I made the mistake. Of course, Dickie flew through the air, and Bully hopped along on the ground. Now we’re all straight.[Pg 17]
Well, pretty soon they came to the pond and to the little place where the water fell over the rocks and didn’t hurt itself, and there Bully fastened his water-wheel, which was nearly as large as he was, and quite heavy. He fixed it so that the water would drop on the wooden paddles that stuck out like the spokes of the baby carriage wheels, and in a short while it was going around as fast as an automobile, splashing the drops of water up in the sunlight, and making them look like the diamonds which pretty ladies wear on their fingers.
“That’s a fine wheel!” cried Dickie. “I wonder if we could ride on it?”
“I guess we could,” spoke Bully. “It’s like a merry-go-round, only it’s turned up the wrong way. I’ll see if I can ride on it, and if it goes all right with me you can try it.”
So Bully hopped on the moving water-wheel, and, surely enough, he had a fine ride, only, of course, he got all splashed up, but he didn’t care.
“Do you mind getting your feathers wet?” he asked of Dickie as he hopped off, “because if you don’t mind the wet, you can ride.”
“Oh, I don’t mind the wet a bit,” said the sparrow boy. “In fact, I take a bath every morning and I wet my feathers then. So I’ll ride on the wheel and get wet now.”[Pg 18]
Well, he got on, and around the wheel went, splashing in the water, and then Bully got on, and they both had a fine ride, just as if they were in a rainstorm with the sun shining all the while.
But listen. Something is going to happen, I think. Wait a minute—yes, it’s going to happen right now. What’s that animal sneaking along through the woods, closer and closer up to where Bully and Dickie are playing? What is it, eh? A cat! I knew it. A bad cat, too! I could just feel that something was going to happen.
You see that cat was hungry, and she hoped to catch the sparrow and the frog boy and eat them. Up she sneaked, walking as softly as a baby can creep, and just then Dickie and Bully got off the wheel, and sat down on the bank to eat a cookie, which Bully found in his water-proof pocket.
“Now’s my chance!” thought the cat. “I’ll grab ’em both, and eat ’em!” So she made a spring, but she didn’t jump quite far enough and she missed both Bully and Dickie. Dickie flew up into a tree, and so he was safe, but Bully couldn’t fly, though he hopped away.
After him jumped the cat, and she cried:
“I’ll get you yet!”
Bully hopped some more, but the cat raced toward him, and nearly had the froggie. Then began quite a chase. The cat was very quick,[Pg 19] and she kept after Bully so closely that she was making him very tired. Pretty soon his jumps weren’t as long as they had been at first. And the cat was keeping him away from the pond, too, for she knew if he jumped into that he would get away, for cats don’t like water, or rain.
But finally Bully managed to head himself back toward the pond, and the cat was still after him. Oh, how savage she looked with her sharp teeth, and her glaring eyes! Poor Bully was much frightened.
All of a sudden, as he hopped nearer and nearer to the pond, he thought of a trick to play on that cat. He pretended that he could hardly hop any more, and only took little steps. Nearer and nearer sneaked the cat, lashing her tail. At last she thought she could give one big spring, and land on Bully with her sharp claws.
She did spring, but Dickie, up in the tree, saw her do it, and he called to his friend Bully to look out. Then Bully gave a great big hop and landed on the water-wheel, and the cat was so surprised that she jumped, too, and before she knew it she had leaped on the wheel also. Around and around it went, with Bully and the cat on it, and water splashed all over, and the cat was so wet and miserable that she forgot all[Pg 20] about eating Bully. But Bully only liked the water, and didn’t mind it a bit.
Then the frog boy hopped off the wheel to the shore and hurried away, with Dickie flying overhead, and the cat, who was now as wet as a sponge, and very dizzy from the wheel going around so fast, managed to jump ashore a little while afterward. But her fur was so wet and plastered down that she couldn’t chase after Bully any more, and he got safely home; and the cat had to stay in the sun all day to dry out. But it served her right, I think.
Now in case the little boy next door doesn’t take our baby carriage and make an automobile of it, I’ll tell you next about Bawly and Uncle Wiggily.
Bawly No-Tail, the frog boy, was hopping along through the woods one fine day, whistling a merry tune, and wondering if he would meet any of his friends, with whom he might have a game of ball. He had a baseball with him, and he was very fond of playing. I just wish you could have seen him stand up on his hind legs and catch balls in his mouth. It was as good as going to the best kind of a moving picture show. Perhaps some day you may see Bawly.
Well, as I said, he was hopping along, tossing the ball up into the air and catching it, sometimes in his paw and sometimes in his mouth, when, all of a sudden he heard a funny pounding noise, that seemed to be in the bushes.
“Gracious, I wonder what that can be!” exclaimed Bawly, looking around for a good place to hide.
He was just going to crawl under a hollow stump, for he thought perhaps the noise might be made by a bad wolf, or a savage fox, sharpening[Pg 22] his teeth on a hard log, when Bawly heard some one say:
“There, I’ve dropped my hammer! Oh, dear! Now I’ll have to climb all the way down and get it, I s’pose.”
“Well, that doesn’t sound like a wolf or a fox,” thought Bawly. “I guess it’s safe to go on.”
So he didn’t hide under the stump, but hopped along, and in a little while he came to a place in the woods where there were no trees, and, bless you! if there wasn’t the cutest little house you’ve ever seen! It wasn’t quite finished, and, in fact, up on the roof was Uncle Wiggily Longears, the old gentleman rabbit, putting on the shingles to keep out the rain if it came.
“Oh, hello, Uncle Wiggily!” called Bawly, joyfully.
“Hello,” answered the rabbit carpenter. “You are just in time, Bawly. Would you mind handing me my hammer? It slipped and fell to the ground.”
“Of course I’ll throw it up to you,” said Bawly, kindly. “But you had better get behind the chimney, Uncle Wiggily, for I might hit you with the hammer, though, of course, I wouldn’t mean to. You see I am a very good thrower from having played ball so much.”[Pg 23]
“I see,” answered Uncle Wiggily. “Well, I’ll get behind the chimney.”
So Bawly picked up the hammer and he threw it carefully toward the roof, but, would you believe me, he threw it so hard that it went right over the house, chimney and all, and fell down on the other side.
“My! You are too strong!” exclaimed Uncle Wiggily laughing so that his fur shook. “Try again, Bully, if you please.”
“Oh, I’m Bawly, not Bully,” said the frog boy.
“Excuse me, that was my mistake,” spoke the old gentleman rabbit. “I’ll get it right next time, Peetie—I mean Bawly.”
Well, Bawly threw the hammer again, and this time it landed right on the roof close to the chimney, and Uncle Wiggily picked it up and began nailing on more shingles.
“If you please,” asked Bawly, when he had watched the rabbit carpenter put in about forty-’leven nails, “who is this house for?”
“It is for Sammie and Susie Littletail,” answered Uncle Wiggily. “They are going to have rabbit play-parties in it, and I hope you and Bully will come sometimes.”
“We’ll be glad to,” spoke Bawly. Then Uncle[Pg 24] Wiggily drove in another nail, and the house was almost done.
“How do you get up and down off the roof?” asked Bawly, who didn’t see any ladder.
“Oh, I slide up and down a rope,” answered Uncle Wiggily. “I have a strong cord fastened to the chimney, and I crawl up it, just like a monkey-doodle, and when I want to come down, I slide down. It’s better than a ladder, and I can climb a rope very well, for I used to be a sailor on a ship. See, here is the rope.”
Well, he took hold of it, near where it was fastened to the chimney, to show the frog boy how it was done, but, alas, and also alack-a-day! All of a sudden that rope became untied, it slipped out of Uncle Wiggily’s paw and fell to the ground! Now, what do you think about that?
“Oh, my! Now I have gone and done it!” exclaimed the elderly rabbit, as he leaned over the edge of the roof and looked down. “Now I am in a pickle!—if you will kindly excuse the expression. How am I ever going to get down? Oh, dear me, suz dud and a piece of sticking-plaster likewise. Oh, me! Oh, my!”
“Can’t you jump, Uncle Wiggily?” asked Bawly.
“Oh, my, no! I might be killed. It’s too far! I could never jump off the roof of a house.”[Pg 25]
“Perhaps you can climb down from one window shutter to the other, and so get to the ground,” suggested Bawly.
“No,” said Uncle Wiggily, looking over the edge of the house again. “There are no window shutters on as yet. So I can’t climb on ’em.”
Well, it did seem as if poor Uncle Wiggily would have to stay up there on the roof for a long, long time, for there was no way of getting down.
“If there was a load of hay here, you could jump on that, and you wouldn’t be hurt,” said Bawly, scratching his nose.
“But there is no hay here,” said the rabbit carpenter, sadly.
“Well, if there was a fireman here with a long ladder, then you could get down,” said Bawly, wiggling his toes.
“But there is no fireman here,” objected Uncle Wiggily. “Ah, I have it, Bawly! You are a good jumper, perhaps you can jump up here to the roof with the rope and I can fasten it to the chimney again and slide down as I did before.”
“I’ll try,” said Bawly, and he did; but bless you! He couldn’t jump as high as the house, no matter how many times he tried it. And the dinner bell rang and Uncle Wiggily was very hungry and very anxious to get off the roof and eat something.
“Oh, I know how to do it!” cried Bawly at length, when he had jumped forty-sixteen times. “I’ll tie a string to my baseball, and I’ll throw the ball up to you. Then you catch it, untie the string, which I’ll keep hold of on this end, and I’ll tie the rope to the cord. Then you can haul up the rope, fasten it to the chimney, and slide down.”
“Good!” cried Uncle Wiggily, clapping his front paws together in delight.
Well, if you’ll believe me, Bawly did tie the string to his baseball and with one big throw he threw it right up to Uncle Wiggily, who caught it just as if he were on first base in a game. And then with the little cord, which reached down to the ground, he pulled up the big rope, knotted it around the chimney, and down he slid, just in time for dinner, and he took Bawly home with him and gave him a penny.
Now if it should happen that I don’t lose my watch down the inkwell so I can see when it’s time for my pussy cat to have his warm soup, I’ll tell you in the story after this about Bully’s and Bawly’s big jump.
[Pg 27]One day Mrs. No-Tail, the frog lady, looked in the pantry to see what there was to eat for dinner and there wasn’t a single thing. No, just like Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, the pantry was bare, though there was a bone in it that was being saved for some time when Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, the puppie-dog boys, might come on a visit.
“Oh, some one will have to go to the store to get something for supper,” said Mrs. No-Tail. “Do you feel able to go, Grandpa Croaker?”
“Well, I could go,” said the old frog gentleman, in his deepest bass voice, which sounded like the rumble of thunder over the hills and far away, “but I promised I would go over and play a game of checkers with Uncle Wiggily Longears. He has just finished the playhouse for Sammie and Susie, and he wants to show me that. So I don’t see how I can go to the store very well.”[Pg 28]
“If Bully and Bawly were here they’d go,” said their mamma. “I wish they’d come. Oh, here they are now,” she went on, as she looked out of the window and saw the two frog boys coming home from school. “Hurry!” she called to them. “I want you to go to the store.”
“All right,” they both answered, and they were so polite about it that Mrs. No-Tail gave them each a penny, though, of course, they would have gone without that, for they always liked to help their mamma.
“I want some sugar, and molasses, and bread, and butter, and some corn meal, and bacon and watercress salad,” said the mother frog, and Bully and Bawly each took a basket in which to carry the things. Then they hopped on toward the store.
“I’m going to buy marbles with my penny,” said Bully.
“And I’m going to buy a whistle with mine,” said Bawly.
Well, they got to the grocery, all right, and the cow lady who kept it gave them the things their mamma wanted. Then they went to the toy store and Bully got his marbles, and Bawly his whistle, which made a very loud noise.
Now I’m very sorry to be obliged to tell it, but something is going to happen to Bully and Bawly[Pg 29] very soon. In fact, I think it is going to take place at once. Just excuse me a moment, will you, until I look out of the window and see if the alligator is coming. Yes, there he is. He just got off the trolley car. The conductor put him off because he had the wrong transfer.
So, all at once, as Bully and Bawly were hopping along through the woods, this alligator that I was telling you about jumped out at them from under a prickly briar bush. Right at them he jumped, and he was a very savage alligator, for he had gotten loose out of the circus, where he belonged, and he had been tramping around without anything to eat for a long time, so he was very hungry.
“Now, I see where I’m going to have a nice dinner,” the alligator said to himself, as he jumped out at Bully and Bawly.
But those two frog boys were smart little fellows, and they were always looking around for danger. So, as soon as the alligator made a jump at them, they also leaped to one side, and the unpleasant creature didn’t get them.
“Oh, you just wait! I’ll have you in a minute!” the alligator cried, and he opened his mouth so wide that it went all the way back to his ears, and the top of his head nearly flew off.
“We haven’t time to wait,” said Bully with a[Pg 30] laugh, as he hopped on with his basket of groceries.
“No, we must get back home in time for supper,” spoke Bawly. “So we’ll have to leave you,” and on he hipped and skipped and hopped with his basket.
Those frog boys didn’t really think that that alligator could reach them, for he was so big and clumsy-looking that it didn’t seem as if he could run very fast. But he could, and the first thing Bully and Bawly knew, that most unprepossessing creature, with a smile that went away around to his ears, was close behind them and gnashing his teeth at them.
“Oh, hop, Bully, hop!” cried Bawly in great fright.
“Sure, I’ll hop!” answered his brother. “You hop, too!”
Well, they both hopped as fast as they could, but on account of the baskets of groceries which they had they couldn’t hop as fast as usual. The alligator saw this, and after them he crawled, and several times he nearly had them by their tails. Oh, no, excuse me, if you please, frogs don’t have tails. I was thinking of tadpoles.
“Oh, just wait until I catch you!” cried the alligator, snapping his teeth together.
But Bully and Bawly didn’t wait. On they[Pg 31] hopped, as fast as they could, hoping to get away. And would you ever believe that an alligator could be so mean as this one was? For he chased Bully and Bawly right up a steep hill. You know it’s hard to walk up hill, and harder still to hop, so Bully and Bawly were soon tired. But do you s’pose that alligator cared? Not a bit of it!
Right after them he kept crawling, faster and faster.
Bully and Bawly hopped as swiftly as they could, but the alligator kept getting nearer and nearer to them, for he was big and strong, and didn’t mind the hill. They could hear his savage jaws gnashing together, and they trembled so that Bully almost spilled the molasses out of his basket and Bawly nearly dropped the granulated sugar.
Well, finally the two frog boys were at the top of the hill, and they were very thankful, thinking that they could now get away from the alligator, when they suddenly saw that the hill came to an end, and fell over the edge of a great precipice just like the Niagara waterfall, only there wasn’t any water there, of course.
“Oh, we can’t go any farther,” cried Bully, coming to a stop.
“No,” said his brother, “we can’t jump down[Pg 32] that awful gully. But look, Bully, there is another hill over there,” and he pointed across the big, open space. “If we could jump across from this hill to that hill, the alligator couldn’t get us.”
“Oh, but it’s a terrible big jump,” said Bully, and indeed it was; about as wide as a big river. “But we’ve got to do it!” cried Bully, “for here comes the terrible beast!”
The alligator was almost upon them. He opened his mouth to grab them with his teeth, when Bully, spreading out his legs, and taking a firm hold of his grocery basket, gave a great, big jump. Through the air he sailed, over the deep valley, and he landed safely on the other hill. Then Bawly did the same, and with one most tremendous, extemporaneous and extraordinary jump, he landed close beside his brother, and the alligator couldn’t get either of them because he couldn’t jump across the chasm.
Oh, but he was an angry alligator though! He gnashed his teeth and wiggled his tail and even cried big round tears. Nearly all alligators cry little square tears, but even round ones didn’t do a bit of good. Then Bully threw a marble at the savage creature, and hit him on the nose, and Bawly blew his whistle so loud, that the alligator thought a policeman, or postman, was coming, and he turned around and ran away, and the frog[Pg 33] boys went on safely home with their baskets of groceries and had a good supper.
Now in case that alligator doesn’t chase after me, and chew up my typewriter to make mincemeat of it for the wax doll, I’ll tell you in the next story about Grandpa Croaker digging a well.
It happened, once upon a time when Mrs. No-Tail, the frog lady, went to the pump to get some water for supper, that a little fish jumped out of the pump spout and nearly bit her on the nose.
“Ha! That is very odd,” she said. “There must be fish in our well, and in that case I think we had better have a new one.”
So that night, when Mr. No-Tail came home from the wallpaper factory, where he stepped into ink and then hopped all over white paper to make funny patterns on it—that night, I say, Mrs. No-Tail said to her husband:
“I think we will have to get a new well.” Then she told him about the fish from the pump nearly biting her, and Mr. No-Tail remarked:
“Yes, I think we had better have a new place to get our water, for the fish in the old well may drink it all up.”
“Well, well!” exclaimed Grandpa Croaker in such a deep bass voice that he made the dishpan[Pg 35] on the gas stove rattle as loudly as if Bully or Bawly were drumming on it with a wishbone from the Thanksgiving turkey. “Let me dig the well,” went on the old gentleman frog. “I just love to shovel the dirt, and I can dig a well so deep that no fish will ever get into it.”
“Very well,” said Mr. No-Tail. “You may start in the morning, and Bully and Bawly can help you, as it will be Saturday and there is no school.”
Well, the next morning Grandpa Croaker started in. He marked a nice round circle on the ground in the back yard, because he wanted a round well, and not a square one, you see; and then he began to dig. At first there was nothing for Bully and Bawly to do, as when he was near the top of the well their Grandpa could easily throw the dirt out himself. But when he had dug down quite a distance it was harder work, to toss up the dirt, so Grandpa Croaker told the boys to get a rope, and a hook and some pails.
The hook was fastened to one end of the rope, and then a pail was put on the hook. Then the pail was lowered into the well, down to where Grandpa Croaker was working. He filled the pail with dirt, and Bully and Bawly hauled it up and emptied it.
“Oh, this is lots of fun!” exclaimed Bully, as[Pg 36] he and his brother pulled on the rope. “It’s as much fun as playing baseball.”
“I think so, too,” agreed Bawly. Then Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, came along, and so did Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, the puppy dogs. They wanted to help pull up the dirt, so Bully and Bawly let them after Sammie had given the frog brothers a nice marble, and Peetie and Jackie each a stick of chewing gum.
Grandpa Croaker kept on digging the well, and the frog boys and their friends pulled up the dirt, and pretty soon the hole in the ground was so deep and dark that, by looking up straight, from down at the bottom of it, the old gentleman frog could see the stars, and part of the moon, in the sky, even if it was daylight.
Then he dug some more, and, all of a sudden, his shovel went down into some water, and then Grandpa Croaker knew that the well was almost finished. He dug out a little more earth, in came more water, wetting his feet, and then the frog well-digger cried:
“I’ve struck water! I’ve struck water!”
“Hurrah!” shouted Bawly.
“Hurray! Hurray!” exclaimed Bully, and they were so happy that they danced up and down. Then Sammie Little-Tail and Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow grew so excited and delighted[Pg 37] that they ran off to tell all their friends about Grandpa Croaker digging a well. That left Bully and Bawly all alone up at the edge of the big hole in the ground, at the bottom of which was their grandpa.
“Let’s have another little dance!” suggested Bully.
“No,” replied Bawly, “let’s jump down the well and have a drink of the new water that hasn’t any fishes in it.”
So, without thinking what they were doing, down they leaped into the well, almost failing on Grandpa Croaker’s bald head, and carrying down with them the rope, by which they had been pulling up the pails of dirt. Into the water they popped, and each one took a big drink.
“Well, now you’ve done it!” cried Grandpa Croaker, as he leaned on his shovel and looked at his two grandsons.
“Why, what is the matter?” asked Bully, splashing some water on Bawly’s nose.
“Yes. All we did was to jump down here,” added Bawly. “What’s wrong?”
“Why that leaves no one above on the ground to help me get up,” said the old gentleman frog. “I was depending on you to haul me up by the rope, and here you jump down, and pull the rope with you. It’s as bad as when Uncle Wiggily[Pg 38] was on the roof, only he was up and couldn’t get down, and we’re down and can’t get up.”
“Oh, I think I can jump to the top of the well and take the rope with me. If I can’t take this rope I’ll get another and pull you both up,” said Bully. So he hopped and he hopped, but he couldn’t hop to the top of the well. Every time he tried it, he fell back into the water, ker-slash!
“Let me try,” said his brother. But it was just the same with Bawly. Back he sploshed-splashed into the well-water, getting all wet.
“Now we’ll never get out of here,” said Grandpa Croaker sadly. “I wish you boys would think a little more, and not do things so quickly.”
“We will—next time,” promised Bawly as he gave another big jump, but he came nowhere near the top of the well.
Then it began to look as if they would have to stay down there forever, for no one came to pull them out.
“Let’s call for help,” suggested Bully. So he and Bawly called as loud as they could, and so did Grandpa Croaker. But the well was so deep, and their voices sounded so loud and rumbling, coming out of the hole in the ground, that every one thought it was thunder. And the animal people feared it would rain, so they all ran home, and no[Pg 39] one thought of grandpa and the two frog boys in the deep well.
But at last along came Alice Wibblewobble, and, being a duck, she didn’t mind a thunder storm. So she didn’t run away, and she heard Grandpa Croaker and Bully and Bawly calling for help at the bottom of the well. She asked what was the trouble, and Bully told her what had happened.
“Oh, you silly boys, to jump down a well!” exclaimed Alice. “But never fear, I’ll help you up.” So they never feared, and Alice got a rope and lowered it down to them, and then, with the help of her brother Jimmie and her sister Lulu, she pulled all three frogs up from the well, and they lived happy for ever after, and drank the water that had no fishes in it.
Now if the faucet in the kitchen sink doesn’t turn upside down, and squirt the water on the ceiling and into the cat’s eye, I’ll tell you next about Papa No-Tail in trouble.
Papa No-tail, the frog gentleman, was working away in the wallpaper factory one day, when something quite strange happened to him, and if you all sit right nice and quiet, as my dear old grandmother used to say, I’ll tell you all about it, from the beginning to the end, and I’ll even tell you the middle part, which some people leave out, when they tell stories.
Papa No-Tail would dip his four feet, which were something like hands, in the different colored inks at the factory. There was red ink, and blue ink, and white ink, and black ink, and sky-purple-green ink, and also that newest shade, skilligimink color, which Sammie Littletail once dyed his Easter eggs. After he had his feet nicely covered with the ink, Papa No-Tail would hop all over pieces of white paper to make funny patterns on them. Then they would be ready to paper a room, and make it look pretty.
“I think that is very well done,” said the old[Pg 41] gentleman frog to himself as he looked at one roll of paper on which he had made a picture of a mouse chasing a big lion. “Now I think I will make a pattern of a doggie standing on his left ear.” And he did so, and very fine it was, too.
“Now, while I’m waiting for the ink to dry,” said Mr. No-Tail, “I’ll lie down and take a nap.” So he went fast, fast asleep on a long piece of the wall paper that was stretched out on the floor, and this was the beginning of his trouble.
For, all at once, a puff of wind—not a cream puff, you understand, but a wind puff—came in the window, and rolled up the wallpaper in a tight little roll, and the worst of it was that Papa No-Tail was asleep inside. Yes, fast, fast asleep, and he never knew that he was wrapped up, just like a stick of chewing gum; only you mustn’t ever chew gum in school, you know.
Well, time went on, and the clock ticked, and Papa No-Tail still slept. Then a man looked in the window of the wallpaper factory and, seeing no one there, he thought he would take a roll of paper home with him, to paste on his little boy’s bedroom.
“The next time I come past here, perhaps some one will be in the office,” the man said, “and then I can pay them for the paper,” for he wanted to be very honest, you see. “I’ll get[Pg 42] Uncle Butter, the goat, to paste the paper on the wall for me,” said the man. Then he reached inside the room, and what do you think? Why he picked up the very piece of wallpaper that was wrapped around Papa Chip-Chip—Oh, no, excuse me! I mean Papa No-Tail. Yes, the man picked up that roll, with Bully’s and Bawly’s papa inside, and away he went with it, and the old gentleman frog was still sound asleep.
Now this is about the middle of his trouble, just as I said I’d tell you, but we haven’t gotten to the end yet, though we will in a little while.
Home that man went, as fast as he could go, and on his way he stopped at Uncle Butter’s office.
“I have a little wallpapering I want done at my house,” the man said to the old gentleman goat, “and I wish you’d come right along with me and do it. I have the paper here.”
“To be sure I will,” said Uncle Butter. So he got his pail of paste, and gave Billie and Nannie Goat a little bit on some brown paper, just like jam, and they liked it very much. The goat paper-hanger took his shears, and his brushes, and his stepladders, tying them on his horns, and away he went with the man.
Pretty soon they came to the house where the man lived, and his little boy was there, and very[Pg 43] delighted he was when he heard that he was to have some new paper on his room.
“May I watch you put it on?” he asked Uncle Butter.
“Yes,” answered the old gentleman goat, “if you don’t step in the paste, and spoil the carpet.”
The little boy promised that he wouldn’t, and Uncle Butter went to work. First he got his sticky stuff all ready, and then he made a little table on which to lay out and paste the paper.
“Now, we’ll cut the roll into strips and fasten it on the wall good and tight, so that it won’t fall off in the middle of the night and scare you,” said Uncle Butter. Then he reached for the roll of paper, and, mind you, Papa No-Tail was still asleep inside of it. But all at once, just as the paper-hanger goat was about to pick up the roll, Mr. No-Tail awakened and was quite surprised to discover where he was.
“My, I never would have believed it,” he said, and he wiggled his legs and arms and made a great rustling sound inside the roll of paper like a fly in a sugar bag.
“Hello! What’s that?” cried Uncle Butter, jumping back so quickly that he upset his paste-pot.
“What’s the matter?” asked the little boy in glad surprise.[Pg 44]
“Why, there’s something inside that paper!” cried the goat. “See, it’s moving! There must be a fairy inside!”
Surely enough, the paper was rolling and twisting around on the floor in a most remarkable manner, for Papa No-Tail inside was wriggling and twisting, and trying his best to get out. But the paper was wound around him too tightly, and he couldn’t get loose.
“Oh, do you think it’s a fairy?” asked the little boy eagerly, for he loved the dear creatures, and wanted to see one.
“Let me out! Oh, please let me out!” suddenly cried Papa No-Tail just then.
“Of course it’s a fairy, my boy!” exclaimed Uncle Butter. “Didn’t you hear it call? Oh, I’m going right away from here! I’ve pasted all kinds of paper, but never before have I handled fairy paper, and I’m afraid to begin now.”
He started to run out of the room but his foot slipped in the paste, and down he fell, and his little table fell on top of him, and the stepladder was twisted in his horns. And Papa No-Tail was trying harder than ever to get loose, and the roll of wallpaper rolled right toward Uncle Butter.
“Don’t catch me! Please, don’t catch me!”[Pg 45] the goat called to the fairy he supposed was inside. “I never did anything to you!”
Faster and faster rolled the paper, for Mr. No-Tail was wiggling quite hard now, and he was crying to be let out. Then, all of a sudden, the paper with the frog in, rolled close to the little boy. The boy was brave, and he loved fairies, so he opened the roll, and out hopped Mr. No-Tail, being very glad indeed to get loose, for it was quite warm inside there.
“Oh my! Was that you in the paper?” asked Uncle Butter, solemnly, sitting in the middle of the floor, on a lot of paste.
“It was,” said Papa No-Tail, as he helped the goat to get up.
“Well, I never heard tell of such a thing in all my life! Never!” exclaimed the goat, when the frog gentleman told him all about it. Then Uncle Butter pasted the paper on the wall, and Papa No-Tail hopped home, and that’s the end of the story, just as I promised it would be.
Now in case the pussy cat doesn’t wash the puppy dog’s face with the cork from the ink bottle and make his nose black, I’ll tell you on the next page about Bully playing marbles.
It happened one day that, as Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, was walking along with his bag of marbles going clank-clank in his pocket, he met Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the squirrels.
“Hello, Bully!” called the two brothers. “Do you want to have a game of marbles?”
“Of course I do,” answered Bully. “I just bought some new ones. ‘First shot agates!’”
“First shot!” yelled Billie, right after Bully.
“First shot!” also cried Johnnie, almost at the same time.
“Well, I guess we’re about even,” spoke Bully, as he opened his marble bag to look inside. “Now, how are we going to tell who will shoot first?”
“I’ll tell you,” proposed Billie. “We’ll each throw a marble up into the air, and the one whose comes down first will shoot first.”
Well, the other two animal boys thought that was fair, so they tossed their marble shooters up into the air. Billie only sent his up a little way,[Pg 47] for then he knew it would come down first, but Johnnie and Bully didn’t think of this, and they threw their shooters up as high as they could. And, of course, their marbles were so much longer coming down to the ground again.
“Oh, ho! Here’s mine!” cried Billie. “I’m to shoot first.”
“And here’s mine,” added Johnnie, a little later, as his marble came down.
“Yes, but where’s mine?” asked Bully, and they all listened carefully to tell when Bully’s shooter would fall down. But the funny part of it was that it didn’t come.
“Say, did you throw it up to the sky?” asked Billie surprised like.
“Because, if you did, it won’t come down until Fourth of July,” added Johnnie.
“No, I didn’t throw it as high as that,” replied the frog boy. “But perhaps Dickie Chip-Chip, the sparrow boy, is flying around up there, and he may have taken it in his bill for a joke.”
So they looked up toward the clouds as far as they could, but no little sparrow boy did they see.
“Well, we’ll have a game of marbles, anyhow,” said Bully at length. “I have another shooter.”
So he and Billie and Johnnie made a ring in the dirt, and put some marbles in the centre.[Pg 48]
Then they began to play, and Billie shot first, then Johnnie, and last of all Bully. And all the while the frog boy was wondering what had happened to his first marble. Now, a very queer thing had happened to it, and you’ll soon hear all about it.
Billie and Johnnie had each missed hitting any marbles, and when it came Bully’s turn he took careful aim, with his second-best shooter, a red and blue one.
“Whack-bang!” That’s the way Bully’s shooter hit the marbles in the ring, scattering them all over, and rolling several outside.
“Say, are you going to knock ’em all out?” asked Billie.
“That’s right! Leave some for us,” begged Johnnie.
“Wait until I have one more trial,” went on Bully, for you see he had two shots on account of being lucky with his first one and knocking some marbles from the ring.
Then he went to look for his second-best shooter, for it had rolled away, but he couldn’t find it. It had completely, teetotally, mysteriously and extraordinarily disappeared.
“I’m sure it rolled over here,” said Bully as he poked around in the grass near a big bush. “Please help me look for it, fellows.”[Pg 49]
So Billie and Johnnie helped Bully look, but they couldn’t find the second shooter that the frog boy had lost.
“You two go on playing and I’ll hunt for the marble,” said Bully after a while, so he searched along in the grass, and, as he did so, he dropped a nice glass agate out of his bag. He stooped to pick it up, but before he could get his toes on it something that looked like a big chicken’s bill darted out of the prickly briar bush and gobbled up the marble.
“Oh!” cried Bully in fright, jumping back, “I wonder if that was a snake?”
“No, I’m not a snake,” was the answer. “I’m a bird,” and then out from behind the bush came a great, big Pelican bird.
“Did—did you take my marble?” asked Bully timidly.
“I did!” cried the Pelican bird, snapping his bill together just like a big pair of scissors. “I ate the first one after it fell to the ground near me, and I ate the second one that you shot over here. They’re good—marbles are! I like ’em. Give me some more!”
The bird snapped his beak again, and Bully jumped back. As he did so the marbles in his pocket rattled, and the Pelican heard them.
“Ha! You have more!” he cried: “Hand[Pg 50] ’em over. I’ll eat ’em all up. I just love marbles!”
“No, you can’t have mine!” exclaimed Bully, backing away. “I want to play some more games with Billie and Johnnie with these,” and he looked to see where his two friends were. They were quite some distance off, shooting marbles as hard as they could.
Then, all of a sudden, that Pelican bird made a swoop for poor Bully, and before the frog boy could get out of the way the bird had gobbled him up in his big bill. There Bully was, not exactly swallowed by the bird, you understand, but held a prisoner in the big pouch, or skin laundry-bag that hung down below the bird’s lower beak.
“Oh, let me out of here!” cried Bully, hopping about inside the big bag on the bird’s big bill. “Let me out! Let me out!”
“No, I’ll not,” said the big bird, speaking through his nose because his mouth was shut. “I’ll keep you there until you give me all your marbles, or until I decide whether or not I’ll eat you for my supper.”
Well, poor Bully was very much frightened, and I guess you’d be, too. He tried to get out but he couldn’t, and the bird began walking off to his nest, taking the frog boy with him. Then Bully thought of his bag of marbles, and, inside[Pg 51] the big bill, he rattled them as loudly as he could.
“Billie and Johnnie Bushytail may hear me, and help me,” he thought.
And, surely enough the squirrel boys did. They heard the rattle of Bully’s marbles inside the Pelican’s beak, and they saw the big bird, and they guessed at once where Bully was. Then they ran up to the Pelican, and began hitting him with their marbles, which they threw at him as hard as they could. In the eyes and on his ears and on his wiggily toes and on his big beak they hit him with marbles, until that Pelican bird was glad enough to open his bill and let Bully go, marbles and all. Then the bird flew away to its nest, and Bully and his friends could play their game once more.
The Pelican didn’t come back to bother them, but he had Bully’s two shooters, that he had swallowed. So Johnnie, the squirrel, lent the boy frog another shooter, and it was all right. And, in case the rain doesn’t come down the chimney and put the fire out, so I can’t cook some pink eggs with chocolate on for my birthday, I’ll tell you in the following story about Bawly and the soldier hat.
Susie Littletail and Jennie Chipmunk were having a play party in the woods. They had their lunch in little birch-bark baskets, and they used a nice, big, flat stump for a table. They took an old napkin for a tablecloth, and they had pieces of carrots boiled in molasses and chocolate, and cabbage with pink frosting on, and nuts all covered with candy, and some sugared popcorn, and all nice things like that, to eat.
“Oh, isn’t this lovely!” exclaimed Susie. “Please pass me the fried lolly-pops, Jennie, aren’t they lovely?”
“Yes, they’re perfectly grand!” spoke Jennie as she passed over some bits of turnip, which they made believe were fried lolly-pops. “I’ll have some sour ginger snaps, Susie.”
So Susie passed the plate full of acorns, which were make-believe sour ginger snaps, you know, and the little animal girls were having a very fine time, indeed. Oh, my, yes, and a bottle of horseradish also![Pg 53]
Now, don’t worry, if you please. I know I did promise to tell about Bawly and the soldier hat, and I’m going to do it. But Susie’s and Jennie’s play party has something to do with the hat, so I had to start off with them.
While they were playing in the woods, having a fine time, Bawly No-Tail, the frog boy, was at home in his house, making a big soldier hat out of paper. I suppose you children have often made them, and also have played at having a parade with wooden swords and guns. If you haven’t done so, please get your papa to make you a soldier hat.
Well, finally Bawly’s hat was finished, and he put a feather in it, just as Yankee Doodle did, only Bawly didn’t look like macaroni.
“Now, I’ll go out and see if I can find the boys and we’ll pretend there’s a war, and a battle, and shooting and all that,” went on the frog chap, who loved to do exciting things. So Bawly hopped out, and Grandpa Croaker, who was asleep in the rocking chair didn’t hear him go. Anyhow, I don’t believe the old gentleman frog would have cared, for Bawly’s papa was at work in the wallpaper factory and his mamma had gone to the five and ten cent store to buy a new dishpan that didn’t have a hole in it. As for the other frog boy, Bawly’s brother Bully, he had[Pg 54] gone after an ice cream cone, I think, or maybe a chocolate candy.
On Bawly hopped, but he didn’t meet any of his friends. He had on his big, paper soldier hat, with the feather sticking out of the top, and Bawly also had a wooden gun, painted black, to make it look real, and he had a sword made out of a stick, all silvered over with paint to make it look like steel.
Oh, Bawly was a very fine soldier boy! And as he marched along he whistled a little tune that went like this:
“Soldier boy, soldier boy,
Brave and true,
I’m sure every one is
Frightened at you.
Salute the flag and
Fire the gun,
Now wave your sword and
Foes will run.
Your feathered cap gives
Lots of joy,
Oh! you’re a darling
Well, Bawly felt finer than ever after that, and though he still didn’t meet any of his friends,[Pg 55] with whom he might play, he was hoping he might see a savage fox or wolf, that he might do battle with the unpleasant creature. But perhaps you had better wait and see what happens.
All this while, as Bawly was marching along through the woods with his soldier cap on, Susie and Jennie were playing party at the old stump. They had just eaten the last of the sweet-sour cookies, and drank the last thimbleful of the orange-lemonade when, all at once, what should happen but that a great big alligator crawled out of the bushes and made a jump for them! Dear me! Would you ever expect such a thing?
“Oh, look at that!” cried Susie as she saw the alligator.
“Yes. Let’s run home!” shouted Jennie in fright.
But before either of them could stir a step the savage alligator, who had escaped from the circus again, grabbed them, one in each claw, and then, holding them so that they couldn’t get away, he sat up on the end of his big tail, and looked first at Susie and then at Jennie.
“Oh, please let us go!” cried Susie, with tears in her eyes.
“Oh, yes, do; and I’ll give you this half of a cookie I have left,” spoke Jennie kindly.
“I don’t want your cookie, I want you,” sang[Pg 56] the alligator, as if he were reciting a song. “I’m going to eat you both!”
Then he held them still tighter in his claws, and fairly glared at them from out of his big eyes.
“I’m going to eat you all up!” he growled, “but the trouble is I don’t know which one to eat first. I guess I’ll eat you,” and he made a motion toward Susie. She screamed, and then the alligator changed his mind. “No, I guess I’ll eat you,” and he opened his mouth for Jennie. Then he changed his mind again, and he didn’t know what to do. But, of course, this made Jennie and Susie feel very nervous and also a big word called apprehensive, which is the same thing.
“Oh, help! Help! Will no one help us?” cried Susie at last.
“No, I guess no one will,” spoke the alligator, real mean and saucy like.
But he was mistaken. At that moment, hopping through the woods was Bawly No-Tail, wearing his paper soldier hat. He heard Susie call, and up he marched, like the brave soldier frog boy that he was. Through the holes in the bushes he could see the big alligator, and he saw Susie and Jennie held fast in his claws.
“Oh, I can never fight that savage creature[Pg 57] all alone,” thought Bawly. “I must make him believe that a whole army of soldiers is coming at him.”
So Bawly hid behind a tree, where the alligator couldn’t find him, and the frog boy beat on a hollow log with a stick as if it were a drum. Then he blew out his cheeks, whistling, and made a noise like a fife. Then he aimed his wooden gun and cried: “Bang! Bang! Bung! Bung!” just as if the wooden gun had powder in it. Next Bawly waved his cap with the feather in it, and the alligator heard all this, and he saw the waving soldier cap, and he, surely enough, thought a whole big army was coming after him.
“I forgot something,” the alligator suddenly cried, as he let go of Susie and Jennie. “I have to go to the dentist’s to get a tooth filled,” and away that alligator scrambled through the woods as fast as he could go, taking his tail with him. So that’s how Bawly saved Susie and Jennie, and very thankful they were to him, and if they had had any cookies left they would have given him two or sixteen, I guess.
Now if our gas stove doesn’t go out and dance in the middle of the back yard and scare the cook, so she can’t bake a rice-pudding pie-cake, I’ll tell you next about Grandpa Croaker and the umbrella.
One day, as Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, was coming home from school he thought of a very hard word he had had to spell in class that afternoon. It began with a “C,” and the next letter was “A” and the next one was “T”—CAT—and what do you think? Why Bully said it spelled “Kitten,” and just for that he had to write the word on his slate forty-’leven times, so he’d remember it next day.
“I guess I won’t forget it again in a hurry,” thought Bully as he hopped along with his books in a strap over his shoulder. “C-a-t spells—” And just then he heard a funny noise in the bushes, and he stopped short, as Grandfather Goosey Gander’s clock did, when Jimmy Wibblewobble poured molasses in it. Bully looked all around to see what the noise was. “For it might be that alligator, or the Pelican bird,” he whispered to himself.
[Pg 59]Just then he heard a jolly laugh, and his brother Bawly hopped out from under a cabbage leaf.
“Did I scare you, Bully?” asked Bawly, as he scratched his right ear with his left foot.
“A little,” said Bully, turning a somersault to get over being frightened.
“Well, I didn’t mean to, and I won’t do it again. But now that you are out of school, come on, let’s go have a game of ball. It’ll be lots of fun,” went on Bawly.
So the two brothers hopped off, and found Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrels, and Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, and some other animal friends, and they had a fine game, and Bawly made a home run.
Now, about this same time, Grandpa Croaker, the nice old gentleman frog, was hopping along through the cool, shady woods, and he was wondering what Mrs. No-Tail would have good for supper.
“I hope she has scrambled watercress with sugar on top,” thought Grandpa, and just then he felt a drop of rain on his back. The sun had suddenly gone under a cloud, and the water was coming down as fast as it could, for April showers bring May flowers, you know. Grandpa Croaker looked up, and, as he did so a drop of rain fell right in his eye! But bless you! He[Pg 60] didn’t mind that a bit. He just hopped out where he could get all wet, for he had on his rubber clothes, and he felt as happy as your dollie does when she has on her new dress and goes for a ride in the park. Frogs love water.
The rain came down harder and harder and the water was running about, all over in the woods, playing tag, and jumping rope, and everything like that, when, all at once, Grandpa Croaker heard a little voice crying:
“Oh, dear! I’ll never get home in all this rain without wetting my new dress and bonnet! Oh, what shall I do?”
“Ha, I wonder if that can be a fairy?” said Grandpa.
“No, I’m not a fairy,” went on the voice. “I’m Nellie Chip-Chip, the sparrow girl, and I haven’t any umbrella.”
“Oh, ho!” exclaimed Grandpa Croaker as he saw Nellie huddled up under a big leaf, “why do you come out without an umbrella when it may rain at any moment? Why do you do it?”
“Oh, I came out to-day to gather some nice wild flowers for my teacher,” said Nellie. “See, I found some lovely white ones, like stars,” and she held them out so Grandpa could smell them. But he couldn’t without hopping over closer to where the little sparrow girl was.[Pg 61]
“I was so interested in the flowers that I forgot all about bringing an umbrella,” went on Nellie, and then she began to cry, for she had on a new blue hat and dress, and didn’t want them to get spoiled by the rain that was splashing all over.
“Oh, don’t cry!” begged Grandpa.
“But I can’t get home without an umbrella,” wailed Nellie.
“Oh, I can soon fix that,” said the old gentleman goat—I mean frog. “See, over there is a nice big toadstool. That will make the finest umbrella in the world. I’ll break it off and bring it to you, and then you can fly home, holding it over your head, in your wing, and then your hat and dress won’t get wet.”
Nellie thanked Grandpa Croaker very kindly and thought what a fine frog gentleman he was. Off he hopped through the rain, never minding it the least bit, and just as he got to the toadstool what do you s’pose he saw? Why, a big, ugly snake was twined around it, just as a grapevine twines around the clothes-post.
“Hello, there!” cried Grandpa. “You don’t need that toadstool at all, Mr. Snake, for water won’t hurt you. I want it for Nellie Chip-Chip, so kindly unwind yourself from it.”[Pg 62]
“Indeed, I will not,” spoke the snake, saucily, hissing like a steam radiator on a hot day.
“I demand that you immediately get off that toadstool!” cried Grandpa Croaker in his hoarsest voice, so that it sounded like distant thunder. He wanted to scare the snake.
“I certainly will not get off!” said the snake, firmly, “and what’s more I’m going to catch you, too!” And with that he reached out like lightning and grabbed Grandpa, and wound himself around him and the toadstool also, and there the poor gentleman frog was, tight fast!
“Oh! Oh! You’re squeezing the life out of me!” cried Grandpa Croaker.
“That’s what I intend to do,” spoke the snake, savagely.
“Oh, dear! Oh, dear! What shall I do?” asked Nellie. “Shall I bite his tail, Mr. Frog?”
“No, stay there. Don’t come near him, or he’ll grab you,” called Grandpa Croaker in a choking voice. “Besides you’ll get all wet, for it’s still raining. I’ll get away somehow.” But no matter how hard he struggled Grandpa couldn’t get away from the snake, who was pressing him tighter and tighter against the toadstool.
Poor Grandpa thought he was surely going to be killed, and Nellie was crying, but she didn’t dare go near the snake, and the snake was laughing[Pg 63] and snickering as loud as he could. Oh, he was very impolite! Then, all of a sudden, along hopped Bully and Bawly, the frog boys. The ball game had been stopped on account of the rain, you know.
“Oh, look!” cried Bully. “We must save Grandpa from that snake!”
“That’s what we must!” shouted Bawly. “Here, we’ll make him unwind himself from Grandpa and the toadstool and then hit him with our baseball bats.”
So those brave frog boys went quite close to the snake, and that wiggily creature thought he could catch them, and so put out his head to do it. Then Bully and Bawly hopped around the toadstool in a circle, and the snake, keeping his beady, black eyes on them, followed them with his head, around and around, still hoping to catch them, until he finally unwound himself, just like a corkscrew out of a bottle.
Then Bully and Bawly hit him with their baseball bats, and the snake ran away, taking his tail with him, and Grandpa Croaker was free. Then, taking a long breath, for good measure, the old gentleman frog broke off the toadstool and gave it to Nellie Chip-Chip for an umbrella, and the sparrow girl could go home in the rain without getting wet. And Grandpa thanked Bully and[Pg 64] Bawly and hopped on home with them. So that’s the end of this story.
But in case the little dog next door doesn’t take our doormat and eat it for supper with his bread and butter I’ll tell you in the story after this one about Bawly and Jollie Longtail.
For a few days after Grandpa Croaker, the old frog gentleman, had been wound around the toadstool by the snake, as I told you in the story before this one, he was so sore and stiff from the squeezing he had received, that he had to sit in an easy chair, and eat hot mush with sugar on. And, in order that he would not be lonesome, Bawly and Bully No-Tail, the frog boys, sat near him, and read him funny things from their school books, or the paper, and Grandpa Croaker was very thankful to them.
The frog boys wanted very much to go away and play ball with their friends, for, it being the Easter vacation, there was no school, but, instead, they remained at home nearly all the while, so Grandpa wouldn’t feel lonesome.
But at last one day the old gentleman frog said:
“Now, boys, I’m sure you must be very tired of staying with me so much. You need a little[Pg 66] vacation. I am almost well now, so I’ll hop over and see Uncle Wiggily Longears. Then you may go and play ball, and here is a penny for each of you.”
Well, of course Bully and Bawly thanked their Grandpa, though they really hadn’t expected anything like that, and off they hopped to the store to spend the money. For they had saved all the pennies for a long time, and they were now allowed to buy something.
Bully bought a picture post card to send to Aunt Lettie, the nice old lady goat, and Bawly bought a bean shooter. That is a long piece of tin, with a hole through it like a pipe, and you put in a bean at one end, blow on the other end, and out pops the bean like a cork out of a soda water bottle.
“What are you going to do with that bean shooter?” asked Bully of his brother.
“Oh, I’m going to carry it instead of a gun,” said Bawly, “and if I see that bad alligator, or snake, again I’ll shoot ’em with beans.”
“Beans, won’t hurt ’em much,” spoke Bully.
“No, but maybe the beans will tickle ’em so they’ll laugh and run away,” replied his brother. Then they hopped on through the woods, and pretty soon they met Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, the puppy dogs.[Pg 67]
“Let’s have a ball game,” suggested Peetie, as he wiggled his left ear.
“Oh, yes!” cried Jackie, as he dug a hole in the ground to see if he could find a juicy bone, but he couldn’t I’m sorry to say.
Well, they started the ball game, and Bawly was so fond of his bean shooter that he kept it with him all the while, and several times, when the balls were high in the air, he tried to hit them by blowing beans at them. But he couldn’t, though the beans popped out very nicely.
But finally the other players didn’t like Bawly to do that, for the beans came down all around them, and tickled them so that they had to laugh, and they couldn’t play ball.
Then Bawly said he’d lay his shooter down in the grass, but before he could do so his brother Bully knocked such a high flying ball that you could hardly see it.
“Oh, grab it, Bawly! Grab it!” cried Peetie and Jackie, dancing about on the ends of their tails, for Bawly was supposed to chase after the balls. Away he went with his bean shooter, almost as fast as an automobile.
Farther and farther went the ball, and Bawly was chasing after it. All of a sudden he found himself in the back yard of a house where the ball had bounced over the fence, and of course, being[Pg 68] a good ball player, Bawly kept right on after it. But he never expected to find himself in the yard, and he certainly never expected to see what he did see.
For there was a great, big, ugly, cruel boy, and he had something in his hand. At first Bawly couldn’t tell what it was, and then, to his surprise, he saw that the boy had caught Jollie Longtail, the nice little mousie boy, about whom I once told you.
“Ah ha! Now I have you!” cried the boy to the mouse. “You went in the feed box in my father’s barn, and I have caught you.”
“Oh, but I only took the least bit of corn,” said Jollie Longtail. But the boy didn’t understand the mouse language, though Bawly did.
“I’m going to tie your tail in a knot, hang you over the clothes line and then throw stones at you!” went on the cruel boy. “That will teach you to keep away from our place. We don’t like mice.”
Well, poor Jollie Longtail shivered and shook, and tried to get away from that boy, but he couldn’t, and then the boy began tying a knot in the mousie’s tail, so he could fasten Jollie to the clothes line in the yard.
“Oh, this is terrible!” cried Bawly, and he forgot all about the ball that was lying in the[Pg 69] grass close beside him. “How sorry I am for poor Jollie,” thought Bawly.
“There’s one knot!” cried the boy as he made it. “Now for another!”
Poor Jollie squirmed and wiggled, but he couldn’t get away.
“Now for the last knot, and then I’ll tie you on the clothes line,” spoke the boy, twisting Jollie’s tail very hard.
“Oh, if he ever gets tied on the clothes line that will be the last of him!” thought Bawly. “I wonder how I can save him?”
Bawly thought, and thought, and thought, and finally he thought of his bean shooter, and the beans he still had with him.
“That’s the very thing!” he whispered. Then he hid down in the grass, where the boy couldn’t see him, and just as that boy was about to tie Jollie to the line, Bawly put a bean in the shooter, put the shooter in his mouth, puffed out his cheeks and “bango!” a bean hit the boy on the nose!
“Ha!” cried the boy. “Who did that?” He looked all around and he thought, maybe, it was a hailstone, but there weren’t any storm clouds in the sky. Then the boy once more started to tie Jollie to the line.
“Bungo!” went a bean on his left ear, hitting him quite hard.[Pg 70]
“Stop that!” the boy cried, winking his eyes very fast.
“Cracko!” went a bean on his right ear, for Bawly was blowing them very fast now.
“Oh, wait until I get hold of you, whoever you are!” shouted the boy, looking all around, but he could see no one, for Bawly was hiding in the grass.
“Smacko!” went a bean on the boy’s nose again, and then he danced up and down, and was so excited that he dropped poor Jollie in the soft grass, and away the mousie scampered to where he saw Bawly hiding.
Then Bawly kindly loosened the knots in the mousie’s tail, picked up the ball, and away they both scampered back to the game, and told their friends what had happened. And maybe Jollie wasn’t thankful to Bawly! Well, I just guess he was! And that boy was so kerslastrated, about not being able to find out who blew the beans at him, that he stood right up on his head and wiggled his feet in the air, and then ran into the house.
Now, if it should happen that our pussy cat doesn’t go roller skating and fall down and hurt its little nose so he can’t lap up his milk, I’ll tell you next about Bully and the water bottle.
Well, just as I expected, my little cat did go roller skating, and skated over a banana skin, and fell down and rubbed some of the fur off his ear. But anyhow I’ll tell you a story just the same, and it’s going to be about what happened to Bully No-Tail, the frog, when he had a water bottle.
Do you know what a water bottle is? Now don’t be too sure. You might think it was a bottle made out of water, but instead it’s a bottle that holds water. Any kind of a bottle will do, and you can even take a milk bottle and put water in it if the milkman lets you.
Well, one day, when Bully didn’t know what to do to have some fun, and when Bawly, his brother, had gone off to play ball, Bully thought about making a water bottle, as Johnnie Bushytail had told him how to do it.
Bully took a bottle that once had held ink, and he cleaned it all out. Then he got a cork, and, taking one of his mamma’s long hatpins, he[Pg 72] made, with the sharp point, a number of holes through the cork, just as if it were a sieve, or a coffee strainer. Then Bully filled the bottle with water, put in the cork, and there he had a sprinkling-water-bottle, just as nice as you could buy in a store.
“Now I’ll have some fun!” exclaimed Bully, as he jiggled the bottle up and down quite fast, with the cork end held down. The water squirted out from it just like from the watering can, when your mamma waters the flowers.
“I guess I’ll go water the garden first,” thought Bully. So he hopped over to where there were some seeds planted and the little green sprouts were just peeping up from the ground. Bully sprinkled water on the dry earth and made it soft so the flowers could come through more easily.
“Oh, this is great!” cried the frog boy, as he held the water bottle high in the air and let some drops sprinkle down all around on his own head and clothes.
But please don’t any of you try that part of the trick unless you have on your bathing suit, for your mamma might not like it. As for Bully, it didn’t matter how wet he got, for frogs just like water, and they have on clothes that water doesn’t harm.[Pg 73]
So Bully watered all the flowers, and then he sprinkled the dust on the sidewalk and got a broom, and swept it nice and clean.
“Ha! That’s a good boy!” said Grandpa Croaker, in his deepest voice, as he hopped out of the yard to go over and play checkers with Uncle Wiggily Longears. “A very good boy, indeed. Here is a penny for you,” and he gave Bully a bright, new one.
“I’m going to buy some marbles, as I lost all mine,” said Bully, as he thanked his Grandpa very kindly and hopped off to the store.
But before Bully had hopped very far he happened to think that his water bottle was empty, so he stopped at a nice cold spring that he knew of, beside the road, and filled it—that is, he filled his water bottle, you know, not the spring.
“For,” said Bully to himself, “I might happen to meet a bad dog, and if he came at me to bite me I could squirt water in his eyes, almost as well as if I had a water pistol, and the dog would howl and run away.”
Well, the frog boy hopped along, and pretty soon he came to a store where the marbles were. He bought a penny’s worth of brown and blue ones, and then the monkey-doodle, who kept the store, gave him a piece of candy.
“Now I’ll find some of the boys, and have a[Pg 74] game of marbles,” thought Bully, as he took three big hops and two little ones. Then he hopped into the woods to look for his friends.
Well, Bully hadn’t gone on very far before, just as he was hopping past a big stump, he heard a voice calling:
“Now I have you!”
Well, you should have seen that frog boy jump, for he thought it was a savage wolf or fox about to grab him. But, instead he saw Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrel, and right in front of Johnnie was a great big horned owl, with large and staring eyes.
“Now I have you!” cried the owl again, and this time Bully knew the bad bird was speaking to poor Johnnie Bushytail and not to him. And at that the owl put out one claw, and, before the squirrel could run away the savage creature had grabbed him. “Didn’t I tell you I had you?” the bird asked, sarcastic like.
“Yes, I guess I did,” answered Johnnie, trembling so that his tail looked like a dusting brush. “But please let me go, Mr. Owl. I never did anything to you.”
“Didn’t you climb up a tree just now?” asked the owl, real saucy like.
“Yes. I guess I did,” answered Johnnie.[Pg 75] “I’m always climbing trees, you know. But that doesn’t hurt you; does it?”
“Yes, it does, for you knocked down a piece of bark, and it hit me on the beak. And for that I’m going to take you home and cook you for dinner,” the owl hooted.
“Oh, please, please don’t!” begged poor Johnnie, but the owl said he would, just the same, and he began to get ready to fly off to his nest with the squirrel.
“Ha, I must stop that, if it’s possible,” thought Bully, the frog, who was still hiding behind the stump. “I mustn’t let the owl carry Johnnie away. But how can I stop him?” Bully peeked around the edge of the stump and saw the owl squeezing poor Johnnie tighter and tighter in his claws.
“Ah, I have it!” cried Bully. “My water bottle and my marbles!” And with that he hopped softly up on top of the stump, and leaning over the edge he saw below him the owl holding Johnnie. Then Bully took the water bottle, turned it upside down, and he sprinkled the water out as hard as he could on that savage owl’s back. Down it fell in a regular shower.
“My goodness me!” cried the owl. “It’s raining and I have no umbrella! I’ll get all wet!”[Pg 76]
Then Bully squirted out more water, shaking it from the bottle as hard as he could, and he rattled his bag of marbles until they sounded like thunder and hailstones, and the owl looked up, but couldn’t see Bully on the stump for the water was in his eyes. Then, being very much afraid of rain and thunder storms, that bad owl bird suddenly flew away, leaving Johnnie Bushytail on the ground, scared but safe.
“Ha! That’s the time the water bottle did a good trick!” cried Bully, as he went to see if Johnnie was hurt. But the squirrel wasn’t, very much, and he could soon scramble home, after thanking Bully very kindly.
And that owl was so wet that he caught cold and had the epizootic for a week, and it served him right. Now in case the baby’s rattle box doesn’t bounce into the pudding dish and scare the chocolate cake, I’ll tell you next about Bawly going hunting.
“Oh, Grandpa, will you please tell us a story?” begged Bully and Bawly No-Tail one evening after supper, when they sat beside the old gentleman frog, who was reading a newspaper. “Do tell us a story about a giant.”
“Ha! Hum!” exclaimed Grandpa Croaker. “I’m afraid I don’t know any giant stories, but I’ll tell you one about how I once went hunting and was nearly caught myself.”
“Oh, that will be fine!” cried the two frog boys, so their Grandpa took one of them up on each knee, and in his deepest, bass, rumbling, stumbling, bumbling voice he told them the story.
It was a very good story, and some day perhaps I may tell it to you. It was about how, when Grandpa was a young frog, he started out to hunt blackberries, and got caught in a briar bush and couldn’t get loose for ever so long, and the mosquitoes bit him very hard, all over.[Pg 78]
“And after that I never went hunting blackberries without taking a mosquito netting along,” said the old frog gentleman, as he finished his story.
“My but that was an adventure!” cried Bully.
“That’s what!” agreed his brother. “You were very brave, Grandpa, to go off hunting blackberries all alone.”
“Yes, I was considered quite brave and handsome when I was young,” admitted the old gentleman frog, in his bass voice. “But now, boys, run off to bed, and I’ll finish reading the paper.”
The next morning when Bully got up he saw Bawly at the side of the bed, putting some beans in a bag, and taking his bean shooter out from the bureau drawer where he kept it.
“What are you going to do, Bawly?” asked Bully.
“I’m going hunting, as Grandpa did,” said his brother.
“But blackberries aren’t ripe yet. They’re not ripe until June or July,” objected Bully.
“I know it, but I’m going to hunt mosquitoes, not blackberries. I’m going to kill all I can with my bean shooter, and then there won’t be so many to bite the dear little babies this summer. Don’t you want to come along?” asked Bawly.[Pg 79]
“I would if I had a bean shooter,” answered Bully. “Perhaps I’ll go some other time. To-day I promised Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow I’d come over and play ball with them.”
So Bully went to play ball, with the puppy dogs, and Bawly went hunting, after his mamma had said that he might, and had told him to be careful.
“I’ll put up a little lunch for you,” she said, “so you won’t get hungry hunting mosquitoes in the woods.”
Off Bawly hopped, with his lunch in a little basket on one leg and carrying his bean shooter, and plenty of beans. He knew a deep, dark, dismal stretch of woodland where there were so many mosquitoes that they wouldn’t have been afraid to bite even an elephant, if one had happened along. You see there were so many of the mosquitoes that they were bold and savage, like bears or lions.
“But just wait until I get at them with my bean shooter,” said Bawly bravely. “Then they’ll be so frightened that they’ll fly away, and never come back to bother people any more.”
On and on he hopped and pretty soon he could hear a funny buzzing noise.
“Those are the mosquitoes,” said the frog boy. “I am almost at the deep, dark, dismal woods.[Pg 80] Now I must be brave, as my Grandpa was when he hunted blackberries; and, so that I may be very strong, to kill all the mosquitoes, I’ll eat part of my lunch now.”
So Bawly sat down under a toadstool, for it was very hot, and he ate part of his lunch. He could hear the mosquitoes buzzing louder and louder, and he knew there must be many of them; thousands and thousands.
“Well, here I go!” exclaimed the frog boy at length, as he wrapped up in a paper what was left of his lunch, and got his bean shooter all ready. “Now for the battle. Charge! Forward, March! Bang-bang! Bung-bung!” and he made a noise like a fife and drum going up hill.
“Well, I wonder what that can be coming into our woods?” asked one mosquito of another as he stopped buzzing his wings a moment.
“It looks like a frog boy,” was the reply of a lady mosquito.
“It is,” spoke a third mosquito, sharpening his biting bill on a stone. “Let’s sting him so he’ll never come here again.”
“Yes, let’s do it!” they all agreed.
So they all got ready with their stingers, and Bawly hopped nearer and nearer. They were just going to pounce on him and bite him to[Pg 81] pieces when he suddenly shot a lot of beans at them, hitting quite a number of mosquitoes and killing a few.
“My! What’s this? What’s this?” cried the mosquitoes that weren’t killed. “What is happening?” and they were very much surprised, not to say startled.
“This must be a war!” said some others. “This frog boy is fighting us!”
“That’s just what I’m doing!” cried Bawly bravely. “I’m punishing you for what you did to Grandfather Croaker! Bang-bang! Bung-bung! Shoot! Fire! Aim! Forward, March!” and with that he shot some more beans at the mosquitoes, killing hundreds of them so they could never more bite little babies or boys and girls, to say nothing of papas and mammas and aunts and uncles.
Oh, how brave Bawly was with his bean shooter! He made those mosquitoes dance around like humming birds, and they were very much frightened. Then Bawly took a rest and ate some more of his lunch, laying his bean shooter down on top of a stump.
“Now the battle will go on again!” he cried, when he had eaten the last crumb and felt very strong. But, would you believe me, while he was eating, those mosquitoes had sneaked up and taken away his bean shooter.
“Oh, this is terrible!” cried Bawly, as he saw that his tin shooter was gone. “Now I can’t fight them any more.”
Then the mosquitoes knew that the frog boy didn’t have his bean-gun with him, for they had hid it, and they stung him, so much that maybe, they would have stung him to death if it hadn’t happened that Dickie and Nellie Chip-Chip, the sparrows, flew along just then. Into the swarm of mosquitoes the birds flew, and they caught hundreds of them in their bills and killed them, and the rest were so frightened that they flew away, and in that manner Bawly was saved.
[Pg 82]So that’s how he went hunting all alone, and when he got home his Grandpa Croaker and all the folks thought him very brave. Now, in case I see a red poodle dog, with yellow legs, standing on his nose while he wags his tail at the pussy cat, I’ll tell you next about Papa No-Tail and the giant.
Did you ever hear the story of the giant with two heads, who chased a whale, and caught him by the tail, and tickled the terrible monster with a big, crooked hickory fence rail?
Well, I’m not going to tell you a story about that giant, but about another, who had only one head, though it was a very large one, and this giant nearly scared Papa No-Tail, the frog gentleman, into a conniption fit, which is almost as bad as the epizootic.
It happened one day that there wasn’t any work for Mr. No-Tail to do at the wallpaper factory, where he dipped his feet in ink and hopped around to make funny black, and red, and green, and purple splotches, so they would turn out to be wallpaper patterns. The reason there was no work was because the Pelican bird drank up all the ink in his big bill, so they couldn’t print any paper.
“I have a holiday,” said Papa No-Tail, as he[Pg 84] hopped about, “and I am going to have a good time.”
“What are you going to do?” asked Grandpa Croaker as he started off across the pond to play checkers with Uncle Wiggily Longears.
“I think I will take Bully and Bawly and go for a swim, and then we’ll take a hop through the woods and perhaps we may find an adventure,” answered Mr. No-Tail.
So he went up to the house, where Bully and Bawly, the two boy frogs, were just getting ready to go out roller skating, and Mr. No-Tail asked them if they didn’t want to come with him instead.
“Indeed we do!” cried Bully, as he winked both eyes at his brother, for he knew that when his papa took them out hopping, he used often to stop in a store and buy them peanuts or candy.
Well, pretty soon, not so very long, in a little while, Papa No-Tail and the two boys got to the edge of the pond, and into the water they hopped to have a swim. My! I just wish you could have seen them. Papa No-Tail swam in ever so many different ways, and Bully and Bawly did as well as they could. And, would you believe me? just as Bully was getting out of the water, up on the bank, ready to go hopping[Pg 85] off with Bawly and his papa through the woods, a big fish nearly grabbed the little frog boy by his left hind leg.
“Oh my!” he cried, and his papa hopped over quickly to where Bully was, and threw a stick at the bad fish to scare him away.
“Ha! hum!” exclaimed Mr. No-Tail, “that was nearly an adventure, Bully, but I don’t like that kind. Come on into the woods, boys, and we’ll see what else we can find.”
So into the woods they went, where there were tall trees, and little trees, and bushes, and old stumps where owls lived. And the green leaves were just coming out nicely on the branches, and there were a few early May flowers peeping up from under the leaves and moss, just as baby peeps up at you, out from under the bedclothes in the morning when the sun awakens her.
“Oh, isn’t it just lovely here in the woods!” cried Bully.
“It is certainly very fine,” agreed Bawly, and he looked up in the treetops, where Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the squirrels, were frisking about, and then down on the ground, where Sammie and Susie Littletail, the rabbits, were sitting beside an old stump, in which there were no bad owls to scare them.
“Now I think we’ll sit down here and eat our[Pg 86] lunch,” said Papa No-Tail after a while, as they came to a nice little open place in the woods, where there was a large flat stump, which they could use as a table. So they opened the baskets of lunch that Mamma No-Tail had put up for them, and they were eating their watercress sandwiches, and talking of what they would do next, when, all of a sudden, they heard a most startling, tremendous and extraordinary noise in the bushes.
It was just as if an elephant were tramping along, and at first Papa No-Tail thought it might be one of those big beasts, or perhaps an alligator.
“Keep quiet, boys,” he whispered, “and perhaps he won’t see us.” So they kept very quiet, and hid down behind the stump.
But the noise came nearer and nearer, and it sounded louder and louder, and, before you could spell “cat” or “rat,” out from under a big, tall tree stepped a big, tall giant. Oh, he was a fearful looking fellow! His head was as big as a washtub full of clothes on a Monday morning, and his legs were so long that I guess he could have hopped, skipped and jumped across the street in about three steps.
“Oh, look!” whispered Bully.
“Oh, isn’t he terrible!” said Bawly, softly.[Pg 87]
“Hush!” cautioned their papa. “Please keep quiet and maybe he won’t see us.”
So they kept as quiet as they could, hoping the giant would pass by, but instead he came right over to the stump, and the first any one knew he had sat down on the top of it. I tell you it’s a good thing Bully and Bawly and their papa had hopped off or they would have been crushed flat. But they weren’t, I’m glad to say, for they were hiding down behind the stump, and they didn’t dare hop away for fear the giant would see, or hear them.
The big man sat on the stump, and he looked all about, and he saw some bread and watercress crumbs where Bully and Bawly and their papa had been eating their lunch.
“My!” exclaimed the giant. “Some one has been having dinner here. Oh, how hungry I am! I wish I had some dinner. I believe I could eat the hind legs of a dozen frogs if I had them!”
Well, you should have seen poor Bully and Bawly tremble when they heard that.
“This must be a terrible giant,” said Mr. No-Tail. “Now I tell you what I am going to do. Bully, I will hide you and Bawly in this hollow stump, and then I’ll hop out where the giant can see me. He’ll chase after me, but I’ll hop away as fast as I can, and perhaps I can get to some[Pg 88] water and hide before he catches me. Then he’ll be so far away from the stump that it will be safe for you boys to come out.”
Well, Bully and Bawly didn’t want their papa to do that, fearing he would be hurt, but he said it was best, so they hid inside the stump, and out Mr. No-Tail hopped to where the giant could see him. Papa No-Tail expected the big man would chase after him, but instead the giant never moved and only looked at the frog and then he laughed and said:
“Hello, Mr. Frog! Let’s see you hop!” And then, what do you think that giant did? Why he took off his head, which wasn’t real, being hollow and made of paper, like a false face, so that his own head went inside of it. And there he was only a nice, ordinary man after all.
“What! Aren’t you a giant?” cried Papa No-Tail, who was so surprised that he hadn’t hopped a single hop.
“No,” said the man; “I am only a clown giant in a circus, but I ran away to-day so I could see the flowers in the woods. I was tired of being in the circus so much and doing funny tricks.”
“But—but—what makes you so tall?” asked Mr. No-Tail.
“Oh, those are wooden stilts on my legs,” said[Pg 89] the giant. “They make me as tall as a clothes post, these stilts do.”
And, surely enough, they did, being like wooden legs, and the man wasn’t a real giant at all, but very nice, like Mr. No-Tail, only different: and he left off his big hollow paper head, and Bully and Bawly came out of the stump, and the circus clown-giant, just like those you have seen, told the frog boys lots of funny stories. Then they gave him some of their lunch and showed him where flowers grew. Afterward the make-believe giant went back to the circus, much happier than he had been at first.
So that’s all now, if you please, but if the rose bush in our back yard doesn’t come into the house and scratch the frosting off the chocolate cake I’ll tell you next about Bawly and the church steeple.
After Bully and Bawly No-Tail, the frogs, and their papa, reached home from the woods, where they met the make-believe giant, as I told you in the story before this one, they talked about it for ever so long, and agreed that it was quite an adventure.
“I wish I’d have another adventure to-morrow,” said Bawly, as he went to bed that night.
“Perhaps you may,” said his papa. “Only I can’t be with you to-morrow, as I have to go to work in my wallpaper factory. We made the Pelican bird give back the ink, so the printing presses can run again.”
Well, the next day the frog boys’ mamma said to them:
“Bully and Bawly, I wish you would go to the store for me. I want a dozen lemons and some sugar, for I am going to make lemonade, in case company comes to-night.”[Pg 91]
“All right, we’ll go,” said Bully very politely. “I’ll get the sugar and Bawly can get the lemons.”
So they went to the store and got the things, and when they were hopping out, the storekeeper, who was a very kind elephant gentleman, gave them each a handful of peanuts, which they put in the pockets of their clothes, that water couldn’t hurt.
Well, when Bully and Bawly were almost home, they came to a place where there were two paths. One went through the woods and the other across the pond.
“I’ll tell you what let’s do,” suggested Bully. “You go by the woodland path, Bawly, and I’ll go by way of the pond and we’ll see who will get home first.”
“All right,” said Bawly, so on he hopped through the woods, going as fast as he could, for he wanted to beat. And Bully swam as fast as he could in the water, carrying the sugar, for it was in a rubber bag, so it wouldn’t get wet. But now I’m going to tell you what happened to Bawly.
He was hopping along, carrying the lemons, when all at once he heard some one calling to him:
“Hello, little frog, are you a good jumper?”[Pg 92]
Bawly looked all around, and there right by a great, big stone he saw a savage, ugly fox. At first Bawly was going to throw a lemon at the bad animal, to scare him away, and then he happened to think that the lemons were soft and wouldn’t hurt the fox very much.
“Don’t be afraid,” said the fox, “I won’t bite you. I wouldn’t hurt you for the world, little frog,” and then the fox came slowly from behind the stone, and Bawly saw that both the sly creature’s front feet were lame from the rheumatism, like Uncle Wiggily’s, so the fox couldn’t run at all. Bawly knew he could easily hop away from him, as the sly animal couldn’t go any faster than a snail.
“Oh, I guess the reason you won’t hurt me, is because you can’t catch me,” said Bawly, slow and careful-like.
“Oh, I wouldn’t hurt you, anyhow,” went on the fox, trying not to show how hungry he was, for really, you know, he wanted to eat Bawly, but he knew he couldn’t catch him, with his sore feet, so he was trying to think of another way to get hold of him. “I just love frogs,” said the fox.
“I guess you do,” thought Bawly. “You like them too much. I’ll keep well away from you.”
“But what I want to know,” continued the fox, “is whether you are a good jumper, Bawly.”[Pg 93]
“Yes, I am—pretty good,” said the frog boy.
“Could you jump over this stone?” asked the fox, slyly, pointing to a little one.
“Easily,” said Bawly, and he did it, lemons and all.
“Could you jump over that stump?” asked the fox, pointing to a big one.
“Easily,” answered Bawly, and he did it, lemons and all.
“Ha! Here is a hard one,” said the fox. “Could you jump over my head?”
“Easily,” replied Bawly, and he did it, lemons and all.
“Well, you certainly are a good jumper,” spoke the fox, wagging his bushy tail with a puzzled air. “I know something you can’t do, though.”
“What is it?” inquired Bawly.
“You can’t jump over the church steeple.”
“I believe I can!” exclaimed Bawly, before he thought. You see he didn’t like the fox to think he couldn’t do it, for Bawly was proud, and that’s not exactly right, and it got him into trouble, as you shall soon see.
You know that fox was very sly, and the reason he wanted Bawly to try to jump over the church steeple was so the frog boy would fall down from a great height and be hurt, and then[Pg 94] the fox could eat him without any trouble, sore feet or none. I tell you it’s best to look out when a fox asks you to do anything.
“Yes, I can jump over the church steeple,” declared Bawly, and he hopped ahead until he came to the church, the fox limping slowly along, and thinking what a fine meal he’d have when poor Bawly fell, for the fox knew what a terrible jump it was, and how anyone who made it would be hurt, but the frog boy didn’t.
Bawly tucked the bag of lemons under his leg, and he took a long breath, and he gave a jump, but he didn’t go very far up in the air as his foot slipped.
“Ha! I knew you couldn’t do it!” sneered the fox.
“Watch me!” cried Bawly, and this time he gave a most tremendous and extraordinary jump, and right up to the church steeple he went, but he didn’t go over it, and it’s a good thing, too, or he’d have been all broken to pieces when he landed on the ground again. But instead he hit right on top of the church steeple and stayed there, where there was a nice, round, golden ball to sit on.
“Jump down! Jump down!” cried the fox, for he wanted to eat Bawly.
“No, I’m going to stay here,” answered[Pg 95] the frog boy, for now he saw how far it was to the ground, and he knew he’d be killed if he leaped off the steeple.
Well, the fox tried to get him to jump down, but Bawly wouldn’t. And then the frog boy began to wonder how he’d ever get home, for the steeple was very high.
Then what do you think Bawly did? Why, he took a lemon and threw it at the church bell, hoping to ring it so the janitor would come and help him down. But the lemon was too soft to ring the bell loudly enough for any to hear.
Then Bawly thought of his peanuts, and he threw a handful of them at the church bell in the steeple, making it ring like an alarm clock, and the janitor, who was sweeping out the church for Sunday, heard the bell, and he looked up and saw the frog on the steeple. Then the janitor, being a kind man, got a ladder and helped Bawly down, and the fox, very much disappointed, limped away, and didn’t eat the frog boy after all.
“But you must never try to jump over a steeple again,” said Bawly’s mamma when he told her about it, after he got home with the lemons, and found Bully there ahead of him with the sugar.
So Bawly promised that he wouldn’t, and he[Pg 96] never did. And now, if the postman brings me a pink letter with a green stamp on from the playful elephant in the circus, I’ll tell you next about Bully and the basket of chips.
One nice warm day, as Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, was hopping along through the woods, he felt so very happy that he whistled a little tune on a whistle he made from a willow stick. And the tune he whistled went like this, when you sing it:
“I am a little froggie boy,
Without a bit of tail.
In fact I’m like a guinea pig,
Who eats out of a pail.
”I swim, I hop, I flip, I flop,
I also sing a tune,
And some day I am going to try
To hop up to the moon.
“Because you see the man up there
Must very lonesome be,
Without a little froggie boy,
Like Bawly or like me.”
“Oh, ho! I wouldn’t try that if I were you,” suddenly exclaimed a voice.
“Try what?” asked Bully, before he thought.
“Try to jump up to the moon,” went on the voice. “Don’t you remember what happened to your brother Bawly when he tried to jump over the church steeple? Don’t do it, I beg of you.”
“Oh, I wasn’t really going to jump to the moon,” went on Bully. “I only put that in the song to make it sound nice. But who are you, if you please?” for the frog boy looked all around and he couldn’t see any one.
“Here I am, over here,” the voice said, and then out from behind a clump of tall, waving cat-tail plants, that grew in a pond of water, there stepped a long-legged bird, with a long, sharp bill like a pencil or a penholder.
“Oh ho! So it’s you, is it?” asked Bully, making ready to hop away, for as soon as he saw that long-legged and sharp-billed bird, he knew right away that he was in danger. For the bird was a heron, which is something like a stork that lives on chimneys in a country called Holland. And the heron bird eats frogs and mice and little animals like that.
“Yes, it is I,” said the heron. “Won’t you please sing that song on your whistle again, Bully? I am very fond of music.” And, as he[Pg 99] said that, the heron slyly took another step nearer to the frog boy, intending to grab him up in his sharp beak.
“I—I don’t believe I have time to sing another verse,” answered Bully. “And anyhow, there aren’t any more verses. So I’ll be going,” and he hopped along, and hid under a stone where the big, big savage bird couldn’t get him.
Oh, my! how angry the heron was when he saw that he couldn’t fool Bully. He stamped his long legs on the ground and said all sorts of mean things, just because Bully didn’t want to be eaten up.
“Now I wonder how I’m going to get away from here without that bird biting me?” thought poor Bully, after a while.
Well, it did seem a hard thing to do, for the heron was there waiting for Bully to come out, when he would jab his bill right through the frog boy. Then Bully thought and thought, which you must always do when you are in trouble, or have hard examples at school, and finally Bully thought of a plan.
“I’ll hop along and go from one stone to another,” he said to himself, “and by hiding under the different rocks the heron can’t get me.”
So he tried that plan, hopping very quickly, and he got along all right, for every time the[Pg 100] heron tried to stick the frog boy with his sharp bill, the bird would pick at a stone, under which Bully was hidden, and that would make him more angry than ever. I mean it would make the heron angry, not Bully.
Well, the frog boy was almost home, and he knew that pretty soon the heron would have to turn back and run away, for the bird wouldn’t dare go right up to Bully’s house. Then, all of a sudden, Bully saw a poor old mouse lady going along through the woods, with a basket of chips on her arm. She had picked them up where some men were cutting wood, and the mouse lady intended to put the chips in her kitchen stove, and boil the teakettle with them.
She walked along, when, all of a sudden, she stumbled on an acorn, and fell down, basket and all, and she hurt her paw on a thorn, so she couldn’t carry the basket any more.
“Oh, that’s too bad!” exclaimed Bully. “I must help the poor mouse lady.” So, forgetting all about the savage, long-billed bird, waiting to grab him, out from under a stone hopped Bully, and he picked up the basket of chips for the poor mouse lady.
“Oh, thank you kindly, little frog boy,” she said, and then the heron made a rush for Bully[Pg 101] and the mouse lady and tried to stick them both with his sharp beak.
“Oh, quick! Quick! Hop in here with me!” exclaimed the mouse lady, as she pointed to a hole in a hollow stump, and into it she and Bully went, basket of chips and all, just in time to escape the bad heron bird.
“Oh, I’ll get you yet! I’ll get you yet!” screeched the bird, hopping along, first on one leg and then on the other, and dancing about in front of the stump. “I’ll eat you both, that’s what I will!” Then he tried to reach in with his bill and pull the frog boy and the mouse lady out of the hollow stump, but he couldn’t, and then he stood on one leg and hid the other one up under his feathers to keep it warm.
“I’ll wait here until you come out, if I have to wait all night,” said the bird. “Then I’ll get you.”
“I guess he will, too,” said Bully, peeping out of a crack. “We are safe here, but how am I going to get home, and how are you going to get home, Mrs. Mouse?”
“I will show you,” she answered. “We’ll play a trick on that heron. See, I have some green paint, that I was going to put on my kitchen cupboard. Now we’ll take some of it, and we’ll paint a few of the chips green, and[Pg 102] they’ll look something like a frog. Then we’ll throw them out to the heron, one at a time, and he’ll be so hungry that he’ll grab them without looking at them. When he eats enough green chips he’ll have indigestion, and be so heavy, like a stone, that he can’t chase after us when we go out.”
“Good!” cried Bully. So they painted some chips green, just the color of Bully, and they tossed one out of the stump toward the bird.
“Now I have you!” cried the heron, and, thinking it was the frog boy, he grabbed up that green chip as quick as anything. And, before he knew what it was, he had swallowed it, and then Mrs. Mouse and Bully threw out more green chips, and the bad bird didn’t know they were only wood, but he thought they were a whole lot of green frogs hopping out, and he gobbled them up, one after another, as fast as he could.
And, in a little while, the sharp chips stuck out all over inside of him, like potatoes in a sack, and the heron had indigestion, and was so heavy that he couldn’t run. Then Bully and Mrs. Mouse came out of the stump, and went away, leaving the bad bird there, unable to move, and as angry as a fox without a tail. Bully helped Mrs. Mouse carry the rest of the chips home, and then he hopped home himself.[Pg 103]
Now that’s the end of this story, but I know another, and if the little boy across the street doesn’t throw his baseball at my pussy cat and make her tail so big I can’t get her inside the house, I’ll tell you about Bawly and his whistles.
Did you ever make a willow whistle—that is, out of a piece of wood off a willow tree?
No? Well, it’s lots of fun, and when I was a boy I used to make lots of them. Big ones and little ones, and the kind that would almost make as much noise as some factory whistles. If you can’t make one yourself, ask your big brother, or your papa, or some man, to make you one.
Maybe your big sister can, for some girls, like Lulu Wibblewobble, the duck, can use a knife almost as good as a boy.
Well, if I’m going to tell you about Bawly No-Tail, the frog, and his whistles I guess I’d better start, hadn’t I? and not talk so much about big brothers and sisters.
One afternoon Bawly was hopping along in the woods. It was a nice, warm day, and the wind was blowing in the treetops, and the flowers were blooming down in the moss, and Bawly was very happy.[Pg 105]
He came to a willow tree, and he said to himself:
“I guess I’ll make a whistle.” So he cut off a little branch, about eight inches long, and with his knife he cut one end slanting, just like the part of a whistle that goes in your mouth. Then he made a hole for the wind to come out of.
Then he pounded the bark on the stick gently with his knife handle, and pretty soon the bark slipped off, just as mamma takes off her gloves after she’s been down to the five-and-ten-cent store. Then Bully cut away some of the white wood, slipped on the bark again, and he had a whistle.
“My! That’s fine!” he cried, as he blew a loud blast on it. “I think I’ll make another.”
So he made a second one, and then he went on through the woods, blowing first one whistle and then the other, like the steam piano in the circus parade.
“Hello!” suddenly cried a voice in the woods, “who is making all that noise?”
“I am,” answered Bawly. “Who are you?”
“I am Sammie Littletail,” was the reply, and out popped the rabbit boy from under a bush. “Oh, what fine whistles!” he cried when he saw those Bawly had made. “I wish I had one.”
“You may have, Sammie,” answered Bawly[Pg 106] kindly, and he gave his little rabbit friend the biggest and loudest whistle. Then the two boy animals went on through the woods, and pretty soon they came to a place where there was a pond of water.
“Excuse me for a minute,” said Bawly. “I think I’ll have a little swim. Will you join me, Sammie?” he asked, politely.
“No,” answered the rabbit, “I’m not a good swimmer, but I’ll wait here on the bank for you.”
“Then you may hold my whistle as well as your own,” said Bawly, “for I might lose it under water.” Then into the pond Bawly hopped, and was soon swimming about like a fish.
But something is going to happen, just as I expected it would, and I’ll tell you all about it, as I promised.
All of a sudden, as Bawly was swimming about, that bad old skillery, scalery alligator, who had escaped from a circus, reared his ugly head up from the pond, where he had been sleeping, and grabbed poor Bawly in his claws.
“Oh, let me go!” cried the boy frog. “Please let me go!”
“No, I’ll not!” answered the alligator savagely. “I had you and your brother once before, and you got away, but you shan’t get loose this time. I’m going to take you to my deep, dark, dismal den, and then we’ll have supper together.”
[Pg 107]Well, Bawly begged and pleaded, but it was of no use. That alligator simply would not let him go, but held him tightly in his claws, and made ugly faces at him, just like the masks on Hallowe’en night.
All this while Sammie Littletail sat on the bank of the pond, too frightened, at the sight of the alligator, to hop away. He was afraid the savage creature might, at any moment, spring out and grab him also, and the rabbit boy just sat there, not knowing what to do.
“I wish I could save Bawly,” thought Sammie, “but how can I? I can’t fight a big alligator, and if I throw stones at him it will only make him more angry. Oh, if only there was a fireman or a policeman in the woods, I’d tell him, and he’d hit the alligator, and make him go away. But there isn’t a policeman or a fireman here!”
Then the alligator started to swim away with poor Bawly, to take him off to his deep, dark, dismal den, when, all of a sudden, Sammie happened to think of the two willow whistles he had—his own and Bawly’s.
“I wonder if I could scare the alligator with them, and make him let Bawly go?” Sammie[Pg 108] thought. Then he made up a plan. He crept softly to one side, and he hid behind a stump. Then he took the two whistles and he put them into his mouth.
Next, the rabbit boy gathered up a whole lot of little stones in a pile. And the next thing he did was to build a little fire out of dry sticks. Then he hunted up an old tin can that had once held baked beans, but which now didn’t have anything in it.
“Oh, I’ll make that alligator wish he’d never caught Bawly!” exclaimed Sammie, working very quickly, for the savage reptile was fast swimming away with the frog boy.
Sammie put the stones in the tin can, together with some water, and he set the can on the fire to boil, and he knew the stones would get hot, too, as well as the water. And, surely enough, soon the water in the can was bubbling and the stones were very hot.
Then Sammie took a long breath and he blew on those whistles, both at the same time as hard as ever he could. Then he took some wet moss and wrapped it around the hot can, so it wouldn’t burn his paws, and he tossed everything—hot water, hot stones, hot can and all—over into the pond, close to where the alligator was. Then Sammie blew on the whistles some more. “Toot! Toot! Toot! Toot!”[Pg 109]
“Splash!” Into the water went the hot stones, hissing like snakes.
“Buzz! Bubble! Fizz!” went the hot water all over the alligator.
“Toot! Toot!” went the whistles which Sammie was blowing.
“Skizz! Skizz!” went the hot fire-ashes that also fell into the pond.
“Oh, it’s a fire engine after me! It’s a terrible fire engine after me! It’s spouting hot water and sparks on me!” cried the alligator, real frightened like, and then he was so scared that he let go of Bawly, and sank away down to the bottom of the pond to get out of the way of the hot stones and the hot water and the hot sparks, and where he couldn’t hear the screechy whistles which he thought came from fire engines. And Bawly swam safely to shore, and he thanked Sammie Littletail very kindly for saving his life, and they went on a little farther and had a nice game of tag together until supper time.
So that’s how the whistles that Bawly made did him a good service, and next, if it stops raining long enough so the moon can come out without getting wet, and go to the moving pictures, I’ll tell you about Grandpa Croaker and Uncle Wiggily Longears.
After the trick which Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, played on the alligator, making him believe a fire engine was after him, it was some time before Bully or Bawly No-Tail, the frogs, went near that pond again, where the savage creature with the long tail lived, after he had escaped from the circus.
“Because it isn’t safe to go near that water,” said Bawly.
“No, indeed,” agreed his brother. “Some day we’ll get a pump and pump all the water out of the pond, and that will make the alligator go away.”
Well, it was about a week after this that Grandpa Croaker, the old gentleman frog, put on his best dress. Oh, dear me! Just listen to that, would you! I mean he put on his best suit and started out, taking his gold-headed cane with him.[Pg 111]
“Where are you going?” asked Mrs. No-Tail.
“Oh! I think I’ll go over and play a game of checkers with Uncle Wiggily Longears,” replied the old gentleman frog. “The last game we played he won, but I think I can win this time.”
“Well, whatever you do, Grandpa,” spoke Bully, “please don’t go past the pond where the bad alligator is.”
“No, indeed, for he might bite you,” said Bawly, and their Grandpa promised that he would be careful.
Well, he went along through the woods, Grandpa Croaker did, and pretty soon, after a while, not so very long, he came to where Uncle Wiggily lived, with Sammie and Susie Littletail, and their papa and mamma and Miss Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, the muskrat nurse. But to-day only Uncle Wiggily was home alone, for every one else had gone to the circus.
So the old gentleman goat—I mean frog—and the old gentleman rabbit sat down and played a game of checkers. And after they had played one game they played another, and another still, for Uncle Wiggily won the first game, and Grandpa Croaker won the second, and they wanted to see who would win the third.[Pg 112]
Well, they were playing away, moving the red and black round checkers back and forth on the red and black checker board, and they were talking about the weather, and whether there’d be any more rain, and all things like that, when, all of a sudden Uncle Wiggily heard a noise at the window.
“Hello! What’s that?” he cried, looking up.
“It sounded like some one breaking the glass,” answered Grandpa Croaker. “I hope it wasn’t Bawly and Bully playing ball.”
Then he looked up, and he saw the same thing that Uncle Wiggily saw, and the funny part of it was that Uncle Wiggily saw the same thing Grandpa Croaker saw. And what do you think this was?
Why it was that savage skillery, scalery alligator chap who had poked his ugly nose right in through the window, breaking the glass!
“Ha! What do you want here?” cried Uncle Wiggily, as he made his ears wave back and forth like palm leaf fans, and twinkled his nose like two stars on a frosty night.
“Yes, get right away from here, if you please!” said Grandpa Croaker in his deepest, hoarsest, rumbling, grumbling, thunder-voice. “Get away, we want to play checkers.”
But he couldn’t scare the alligator that way,[Pg 113] and the first thing he and Uncle Wiggily knew, that savage creature poked his nose still farther into the room.
“Oh, ho!” the alligator cried. “Checkers; eh? Now, do you know I am very fond of checkers?” And with that, what did he do but put out his long tongue, and with one sweep he licked up the red checkers and the black checkers and the red and black squared checker board at one swallow, and down his throat it went, like a sled going down hill.
“Ah, ha!” exclaimed the alligator. “Those were very fine checkers. I think I won that game!” he said, smiling a very big smile.
“Yes, I guess you did,” said Uncle Wiggily, sadly, as he looked for his cornstalk crutch. When he had it he was just going to hop away, and Grandpa Croaker was going with him, for they were afraid to stay there any more, when the alligator suddenly cried:
“Where are you going?”
“Away,” said Uncle Wiggily.
“Far, far away,” said Grandpa Croaker, for it made him sad to think of all the nice red and black checkers, and the board also, being eaten up.
“Oh, no! I think you are going to stay right[Pg 114] here,” snapped the alligator. “You’ll stay here, and as soon as I feel hungry again I’ll eat you.”
And with that the savage creature with the double-jointed tail put out his claws, and in one claw he grabbed Uncle Wiggily and in the other he caught Grandpa Croaker, and there he had them both.
Now, it so happened that a little while before this, Bully and Bawly No-Tail, the frog boys, had started out for a walk in the woods.
“Dear me,” said Bully, after a while, “do you know I am afraid that something has happened to Grandpa Croaker.”
“What makes you think so?” asked his brother.
“Because I think he went past the pond where the alligator was, and that the bad creature got him.”
“Oh, I hope not,” replied Bawly. “But let’s walk along and see.” So they walked past the pond, and they saw that it was all calm and peaceful, and they knew the alligator wasn’t in it.
So they kept on to Uncle Wiggily’s house, thinking they would walk home with Grandpa Croaker, and when they came to where the old gentleman rabbit lived, they saw the alligator standing on his tail outside with his head in through the window.[Pg 115]
“I knew it!” cried Bully. “I knew that alligator would be up to some tricks! Perhaps he has already eaten Grandpa Croaker and Uncle Wiggily.”
Just then they heard both the old animal gentlemen squealing inside the house, for the alligator was squeezing them.
“They’re alive! They’re still alive!” cried Bawly. “We must save them!”
“How?” asked Bully.
“Let’s build a fire under the alligator’s tail,” suggested Bawly. “He can’t see us, for his head is inside the room.”
So what did those two brave frog boys do but make a fire of leaves under the alligator’s long tail. And he was so surprised at feeling the heat, that he turned suddenly around, dropped Uncle Wiggily and Grandpa Croaker on the table cloth, and then, pulling his head out of the window, he turned it over toward the fire, and he cried great big alligator tears on the flames and put them out. Oh, what a lot of big tears he cried.
Then he tried to catch Bully and Bawly, but the frog boys hopped away, and the alligator ran after them. Just then the man from the circus came, with a long rope and caught the savage beast and put him back in the cage and made[Pg 116] him go to sleep, after he put some vaseline on his burns.
So that’s how Bully and Bawly saved Uncle Wiggily and Grandpa Croaker, by building a fire under the alligator’s long tail.
And in case some one sends me a nice ring for my finger, or thumb, with a big orange in it instead of a diamond, I’ll tell you next about Mrs. No-Tail and Mrs. Longtail.
“Now, boys,” said Mrs. No-Tail, the frog lady, to Bully and Bawly one day, as she put on her best bonnet and shawl and started out, “I hope you will be good while I am away.”
“Where are you going, mamma?” asked Bully.
“I am going over to call on Mrs. Longtail, the mouse,” replied Mrs. No-Tail. “She is the mother of the mice children, Jollie and Jillie Longtail, you know, and she has been ill with mouse-trap fever. So I am taking her some custard pie, and a bit of toasted cheese.”
“Oh, of course we’ll be good,” promised Bawly. “But if you don’t come home in time for supper, mamma, what shall we eat?”
“I have made up a cold supper for you and your papa and Grandpa Croaker,” said Mrs. No-tail. “You will find it in the oven of the stove. You may eat at 5 o’clock, but I think I’ll be back before then.”[Pg 118]
Poor Mrs. No-Tail didn’t know what was going to happen to her, nor how near she was to never coming home at all again. But there, wait, if you please, I’ll tell you all about it.
Away hopped Mrs. No-Tail through the woods, carrying the custard pie and the toasted cheese for Mrs. Longtail in a little basket. And when she got there, I mean to the mouse house, she found the mouse lady home all alone, for Jollie and Jillie and Squeaky-Eaky, the little cousin mouse, had gone to a surprise party, given by Nellie Chip-Chip, the sparrow girl.
“Oh, I’m so glad to see you,” said Mrs. Longtail. “Come right in, if you please, Mrs. No-Tail. I’ll make you a cup of tea.”
“Oh, are you able to be about?” asked Bully’s mamma.
“Yes,” replied Jollie’s mamma. “I am much better, thank you. I am so glad you brought me a custard pie. But now sit right down by the window, where you can smell the flowers in the garden, and I’ll make tea.”
Well in a little while, about forty-’leven seconds, Mrs. Longtail had the tea made, and she and Mrs. No-Tail sat in the dining-room eating it—I mean sipping it—for it was quite hot. And they were talking about spring housecleaning, and about moths getting in the closets, and eating[Pg 119] up the blankets and the piano, and about whether there would be many mosquitoes this year, after Bawly had killed such numbers of them with his bean shooter. They talked of many other things, and finally Mrs. Longtail said:
“Let me get you another cup of tea, Mrs. No-Tail.”
So the lady mouse went out in the kitchen to get the tea off the stove, and when she got there, what do you think she saw? Why, a great, big, ugly, savage cat had, somehow or other, gotten into the room and there he sat in front of the fire, washing his face, which was very dirty.
“Oh, ho!” exclaimed the cat, blinking his yellow eyes, “I was wondering whether anybody was at home here.”
“Yes, I am at home!” exclaimed the mouse lady, “and I want you to get right out of my house, Mr. Cat.”
“Well,” replied the cat, licking his whiskers with his red tongue, “I’m not going! That’s all there is to it. I am glad I found you at home, but you are not going to be at home long.”
“Why not?” asked Mrs. Longtail, suspicious like.
“Because,” answered that bad cat, “I am going to eat you up, and I think I’ll start right in!”[Pg 120]
“Oh, don’t!” begged Mrs. Longtail, as she tried to run back into the dining-room, where Mrs. No-Tail was sitting. But the savage cat was too quick for her, and in an instant he had her in his paws, and was glaring at her with his yellowish-green eyes.
“I don’t know whether to eat you head first or tail first,” said the cat, as he looked at the poor mouse lady. “I must make up my mind before I begin.”
Now while he was making up his mind Mrs. No-Tail sat in the other room, wondering what kept Mrs. Longtail such a long time away, getting the second cup of tea.
“Perhaps I had better go and see what’s keeping her,” Mrs. No-Tail thought. “She may have burned herself on the hot stove, or teapot.” So she went toward the kitchen, and there she saw a dreadful sight, for there was that bad cat, holding poor Mrs. Longtail in his claws and opening his mouth to eat her.
“Oh, let me go! Please let me go!” the mouse lady begged.
“No, I’ll not,” answered the cat, and once more he licked his whiskers with his red tongue.
“Oh, I must do something to that cat!” thought Mrs. No-Tail. “I must make him let Mrs. Longtail go.”[Pg 121]
So she thought and thought, and finally the frog lady saw a sprinkling can hanging on a nail in the dining-room, where Mrs. Longtail kept it to water the flowers with.
“I think that will do,” said Mrs. No-Tail. So she very quietly and carefully took it off the nail, and then she went softly out of the front door, and around to the side of the house to the rain-water barrel, where she filled the watering can. Then she came back with it into the house.
“Now,” she thought, “if I can only get up behind the cat and pour the water on him, he’ll think it’s raining, and as cats don’t like rain he may run away, and let Mrs. Longtail go.”
So Mrs. No-Tail tip-toed out into the kitchen as quietly as she could, for she didn’t want the cat to see her. But the savage animal, who had made his tail as big as a skyrocket, was getting ready to eat Mrs. Longtail, and he was going to begin head first. So he didn’t notice Mrs. No-Tail.
Up she went behind him, on her tippiest tiptoes, and she held the watering can above his head. Then she tilted it up, and suddenly out came the water—drip! drip! drip! splash! splash!
Upon the cat’s furry back it fell, and my, you should have seen how surprised that cat was!
“Why, it’s raining in the house,” he cried.[Pg 122] “The roof must leak. The water is coming in! Get a plumber! Get a plumber!”
Then he gave a big jump, and bumped his head on the mantelpiece, and this so startled him that he dropped Mrs. Longtail, and she scampered off down in a deep, dark hole and hid safely away. Then the cat saw Mrs. No-Tail pouring water from the can, and he knew he had been fooled.
“Oh, I’ll get you!” he cried, and he jumped at her, but the frog lady threw the sprinkling can at the cat, and it went right over his head like a bonnet, and frightened him so that he jumped out of the window and ran away. And he didn’t come back for a week or more. So that’s how Mrs. No-Tail saved Mrs. Longtail.
Now in case the baker man doesn’t take the front door bell away to put it on the rag doll’s carriage, I’ll tell you next about Bawly and Arabella Chick.
Bawly No-Tail, the frog boy, had been kept in after school one day for whispering. It was something he very seldom did in class, and I’m quite surprised that he did it this time.
You see, he was very anxious to play in a ball game, and when teacher went to the blackboard to draw a picture of a cat, so the pupils could spell the word better, Bawly leaned over and asked Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, in a whisper:
“Say, Sammie, will you have a game of ball after school?”
Sammie shook his head “yes,” but he didn’t talk. And the lady mouse teacher heard Bawly whispering, and she made him stay in. But he was sorry for it, and promised not to do it again, and so he wasn’t kept in very late.
Well, after a while the nice mouse teacher said Bawly could go, and soon he was on his way home, and he was wondering if he would meet Sammie or any of his friends, but he didn’t, as[Pg 124] they had hurried down to the vacant lots, where the circus tents were being put up for a show.
“Oh, my, how lonesome it is!” exclaimed Bawly. “I wish I had some one to play with. I wonder where all the boys are?”
“I don’t know where they are,” suddenly answered a voice, “but if you like, Bawly, I will play house with you. I have my doll, and we can have lots of fun.”
Bawly looked around, to make sure it wasn’t a wolf or a bad owl trying to fool him, and there he saw Arabella Chick, the little chicken girl, standing by a big pie-plant. It wasn’t a plant that pies grow on, you understand, but the kind of plant that mamma makes pies from.
“Don’t you want to play house?” asked Arabella, kindly, of Bawly.
“No—no thank you, I—I guess not,” answered Bawly, bashfully standing first on one leg, and then on the other. “I—er—that is—well, you know, only girls play house,” the frog boy said, for, though he liked Arabella very much, he was afraid that if he played house with her some of his friends might come along and laugh at him.
“Some boys play house,” answered the little chicken girl. “But no matter. Perhaps you would like to come to the store with me.”[Pg 125]
“What are you going to get?” asked Bawly, curious like.
“Some kernels of corn for supper,” answered Arabella, “and I also have a penny to spend for myself. I am going to get some watercress candy, and—”
“Oh, I’ll gladly come to the store with you,” cried Bawly, real excited like. “I’ll go right along. I don’t care very much about playing ball with the boys. I’d rather go with you.”
“I’ll give you some of my candy if you come,” went on Arabella, who didn’t like to go alone.
“I thought—that is, I hoped you would,” spoke Bawly, shyly-like. Well, the frog boy and the chicken girl went on to the store, and Arabella got the corn, and also a penny’s worth of nice candy flavored with watercress, which is almost as good as spearmint gum.
The two friends were walking along toward home, each one taking a bite of candy now and then, and Bawly was carrying the basket of corn. He was taking a nice bite off the stick of candy that Arabella held out to him, and he was thinking how kind she was, when, all of a sudden the frog boy stumbled and fell, and before he knew it the basket of corn slipped from his paw, and into a pond of water it fell—ker-splash!
“Oh dear!” cried Arabella.[Pg 126]
“Oh dear!” also cried Bawly. “Now I have gone and done it; haven’t I?”
“But—but I guess you didn’t mean to,” spoke Arabella, kindly.
“No,” replied Bawly, “I certainly did not. But perhaps I can get the corn up for you. I’ll reach down and try.”
So he stretched out on the bank of the pond, and reached his front leg down into the water as far as it would go, but he couldn’t touch the corn, for it was scattered out of the basket, all over the floor, or bottom, of the pond.
“That will never do!” cried Bawly. “I guess I’ll have to dive down for that corn.”
“Dive down!” exclaimed Arabella. “Oh, if you dive down under water you’ll get all wet. Wait, and perhaps the water will all run out of the pond and we can then get the corn.”
“Oh I don’t mind the wet,” replied the frog boy. “My clothes are made purposely for that. I’m so sorry I spilled the corn.” So into the water Bawly popped, clothes and all, just as when you fall out of a boat, and down to the bottom he went. But when he tried to pick up the corn he had trouble. For the kernels were all wet and slippery and Bawly couldn’t very well hold his paw full of corn, and swim at the same time. So he had to let go of the corn, and up he popped.[Pg 127]
“Oh!” cried Arabella, when she saw he didn’t have any corn. “I’m so sorry! What shall we do? We need the corn for supper.”
“I’ll try again,” promised Bawly, and he did, again and again, but still he couldn’t get any of the corn up from under the water. And he felt badly, and so did Arabella, and even eating what they had left of the candy didn’t make them feel any better.
“I tell you what it is!” cried Bawly, after he had tried forty-’leven times to dive down after the corn, “what I need is something like an ash sieve. Then I could scoop up the corn and water, and the water would run out, and leave the corn there.”
“But you haven’t any sieve,” said Arabella, “and so you can never get the corn, and we won’t have any supper, and—— Oh, dear! Boo-hoo! Hoo-boo!”
“Oh, please don’t cry,” begged Bawly, who felt badly enough himself. “Here, wait, I’ll see if I can’t drink all the water out of the pond, and that will leave the ground dry so we can get the corn.”
Well, he tried, but, bless you, he couldn’t begin to drink all the water in the pond. And he didn’t know what to do, until, all of a sudden, he saw, coming along the road, Aunt Lettie, the nice old lady goat. And what do you think she had? Why, a coffee strainer, that she had bought at the five-and-ten-cent store. As soon as Bawly saw that strainer he asked Aunt Lettie if he could take it.
She said he could, and pretty soon down he dived under the water again, and with the coffee strainer it was very easy to scoop up the corn from the bottom of the pond, and soon Bawly got it all back again, and the water hadn’t hurt it a bit, only making it more tender and juicy for cooking.
And just as Bawly got up the last of the corn in the coffee strainer, down swooped a big owl, and he tried to grab Bawly and Arabella and the corn and sieve and Aunt Lettie, all at the same time. But the old lady goat drove him away with her sharp horns, and then Bawly and Arabella thanked her very kindly and went home, the frog boy carrying the corn he had gotten up from the pond, and taking care not to spill it again. And so every one was happy but the owl.
Now in case the fish man doesn’t paint the glass of the parlor windows sky-blue pink, so I can’t see Uncle Wiggily Longears when he rings the door bell, I’ll tell you next about Bully and Dottie Trot.
[Pg 129]One day Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, was hopping along through the woods, and he felt so very fine, and it was such a nice day, that, when he came to a place where some flowers grew up near an old stump, nodding their pretty heads in the wind, the frog boy sang a little song.
“I love to skip and jump and hop,
I love to hear firecrackers pop,
I love to play
The whole long day,
I love to spin my humming top.”
That’s what Bully sang, and if there had been a second, or a third, or a forty-’leventh verse he would have sung that too, as he felt so good. Well, after he had sung the one verse he hopped on some more, and pretty soon he came to the place where the mouse lady lived, whose basket of chips Bully had once picked up, when she hurt[Pg 130] her foot on a thorn. I guess you remember about that story.
“Ah, how to you do, Bully?” asked the mouse lady, as the frog boy hopped along.
“Thank you, I am very well,” he answered politely. “I hope you are feeling pretty good.”
“Well,” she made answer, “I might feel better. I have a little touch of cat-and-mouse-trap fever, but I think if I stay in my hole and take plenty of toasted cheese, I’ll be better. But here is a nice sugar cookie for you,” and with that the nice mouse lady went to the cupboard, got a cookie, and gave it to the frog boy.
Bully ate it without getting a single crumb on the floor, which was very good of him, and then, saving a piece of the cookie for his brother Bawly, he hopped on, after bidding the mouse lady good-by and hoping that she would soon be better.
Along and along hopped Bully, and all of a sudden the big giant jumped out of the bushes—Oh, excuse me, if you please! there is no giant in this story. The giant went back to the circus, but I’ll tell you a story about him as soon as I may. As Bully was hopping along, all of a sudden out from behind a bush there jumped a savage, ugly wolf, and he had gotten out of his circus cage again, and was looking around for something to eat.[Pg 131]
“Ah, ha! At last I have found something!” cried the wolf, as he made a spring for Bully, and he caught the frog boy under his paws and held him down to the earth, just like a cat catches a mouse.
“Oh, let me go! Please let me go! You are squeezing the breath out of me!” cried poor Bully.
“Indeed I will not let you go!” replied the wolf, real unpleasant-like. “I have been looking for something to eat all day and now that I’ve found it I’m not going to let you go. No, indeed, and some horseradish in a bottle besides.”
“Are you really going to eat me?” asked Bully, sorrowfully.
“I certainly am,” replied the wolf. “You just watch me. Oh, no, I forgot. You can’t see me eat you, but you can feel me, which is much the same thing.”
Then the wolf sharpened his teeth on a sharpening stone, and he got ready to eat up the frog boy. Now Bully didn’t want to be eaten, and I don’t blame him a bit; do you? He wanted to go play ball, and have a lot of fun with his friends, and he was thinking what a queer world this is, where you can be happy and singing a song, and eating a sugar cookie one minute, and the next[Pg 132] minute be caught by a wolf. But that’s the way it generally is.
Then, as Bully thought of how good the sugar cookie was he asked the wolf:
“Will you let me go for a piece of cookie, Mr. Wolf?”
“Let me see the cookie,” spoke the savage creature.
So Bully reached in his pocket, and took out the piece of cookie that he was saving for Bawly. He knew Bawly would only be too glad to have the wolf take it, if he let his brother Bully go.
But, would you ever believe it? That unpleasant and most extraordinary wolf animal snatched the cookie from Bully’s paw, ate it up with one mouthful, and only smiled.
“Well, now, are you going to let me go?” asked Bully.
“No,” said the wolf. “That cookie only made me more hungry. I guess I’ll eat you now, and then go look for your brother and eat him, too.”
“Oh, will no one save me?” cried Bully in despair, and just then he heard a rustling in the bushes. He looked up and there he saw Dottie Trot, the little pony girl. She waved her hoof at Bully, and then the frog boy knew she would save him if she could. So he thought of a plan, while Dottie, with her new red hair ribbon tied[Pg 133] in a pink bow, hid in the bushes, where the wolf couldn’t see her, and waited.
“Well, if you are going to eat me, Mr. Wolf,” said Bully, most politely, after a while, “will you grant me one favor before you do so?”
“What is it?” asked the wolf, still sharpening his teeth.
“Let me take one last hop before I die?” asked Bully.
“Very well,” answered the wolf. “One hop and only one, remember. And don’t think you can get away, for I can run faster than you can hop.”
Bully knew that, but he was thinking of Dottie Trot. So the wolf took his paws off Bully, and the frog boy got ready to take a last big hop. He looked over through the bushes, and saw the pony girl, and then he gave a great, big, most tremendous and extraordinarily strenuous jump, and landed right on Dottie’s back!
“Here we go!” cried the pony girl. “Here is where I save Bully No-Tail! Good-by bad Mr. Wolf.” And away she trotted as fast as the wind.
“Here, come back with my supper! Come back with my supper!” cried the disappointed wolf, and off he ran after Dottie, who had Bully safely on her back.[Pg 134]
Faster and faster ran the wolf, but faster and faster ran Dottie, and no wolf could ever catch her, no matter how fast he ran. And Dottie galloped and trotted and cantered, and went on and on, and on, and the wolf came after her, but he kept on being left farther and farther behind, and at last Dottie was out of the woods, and she and Bully were safe, for the wolf didn’t dare go any nearer, for fear the circus men would catch him.
“Oh, thank you so much, Dottie, for saving me,” said Bully. “I’ll give you this other piece of cookie I was saving for Bawly. He won’t mind.”
So he gave it to Dottie, and she liked it very much indeed, and that wolf was so angry and disappointed about not having any supper that he bit his claw nails almost off, and went back into the woods, and growled, and growled, and growled all night, worse than a buzzing mosquito.
But Bully and Dottie didn’t care a bit and they went on home and they met Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, who bought them an ice cream soda flavored with carrots.
Now in case my little bunny rabbit doesn’t bite a hole in the back steps so the milkman drops a bottle down it when he comes in the morning, I’ll tell you in the following story about Grandpa Croaker and Brighteyes Pigg.
One nice warm day, right after he had eaten a breakfast of watercress oatmeal, with sweet-flag-root-sugar and milk on it, Grandpa Croaker, the nice old gentleman frog, started out for a hop around the woods near the pond. And he took with him his cane with the crook on the handle, hanging it over his paw.
“Where are you going, Grandpa?” asked Bully No-Tail, as he and his brother Bawly started for school.
“Oh, I hardly know,” said the old frog gentleman in his hoarsest, deepest, thundering, croaking voice. “Perhaps I may meet with a fairy or a big giant, or even the alligator bird.”
“The alligator isn’t a bird, Grandpa,” spoke Bawly.
“Oh no, to be sure,” agreed the old gentleman rabbit—I mean frog—“no more it is. I was thinking of the Pelican. Well, anyhow I am going out for a walk, and if you didn’t have to go[Pg 136] to school you could come with me. But I’ll take you next time, and we may go to the Wild West show together.”
“Oh fine!” cried Bully, as he hopped away with his school books under his front leg.
“Oh fine and dandy!” exclaimed Bawly, as he looked in his spelling book to see how to spell “cow.”
Well, the frog boys hopped on to school, and Grandpa Croaker hopped off to the woods. He went on and on, and he was wondering what sort of an adventure he would have, when he heard a little noise up in the trees. He looked up through his glasses, and he saw Jennie Chipmunk there.
She was a little late for school, but she was hurrying all she could. She called “good morning” to Grandpa Croaker, and he tossed her up a sugar cookie that he happened to have in his pocket. Wasn’t he the nice old Grandpa, though? Well, I just guess he was!
So he went on a little farther, and pretty soon he came to the place where Buddy and Brighteyes Pigg lived. Only Buddy wasn’t at home, being at school. But Brighteyes, the little guinea pig girl, was there in the house, and she was suffering from the toothache, I’m sorry to say.
Oh! the poor little guinea pig girl was in great pain, and that’s why she couldn’t go to school.[Pg 137] Her face was all tied up in a towel with a bag of hot salt on it, but even that didn’t seem to do any good.
“Oh, I’m so sorry for you, Brighteyes!” exclaimed Grandpa. “Have you had Dr. Possum? Where is your mamma?”
“Mamma has gone to the doctor’s now to get me something to stop the pain,” answered Brighteyes, “and to-morrow I am going to have the tooth pulled. We tried mustard and cloves and all things like that but nothing would stop the pain.”
“Perhaps if I tell you a little story it will make you forget it until mamma comes with the doctor’s medicine,” suggested Grandpa, and then and there he told Brighteyes a funny story about a little white rabbit that lived in a garden and had carrots to eat, and it ate so many that its white hair turned red and it looked too cute for anything, and then it went to the circus.
Well, the story made Brighteyes forget the pain for a time, but the story couldn’t last forever, and soon the pain came back. Then Grandpa thought of something else.
“Why are all the ladders, and boards, and cans, and brushes piled outside your house?” he asked Brighteyes, for he had noticed them as he came in.[Pg 138]
“Oh! we are having the house painted,” said Brighteyes.
“But where is the painter monkey?” asked Grandpa. “I didn’t see him.”
“Oh! he forgot to bring some red paint to make the blinds green or blue or some color like that,” answered the little guinea pig girl, “so he went home to get it. He’ll be back soon.”
“Suppose you come outside and show me how he paints the house,” suggested Grandpa, thinking perhaps that might make Brighteyes forget her pain.
“Of course I will, Grandpa Croaker,” said the little creature. “I know just how he paints, for I watched him just before you came, and when I saw him put on the bright colors it made me forget my toothache. Come, I’ll show you how he does it.”
So Brighteyes took Grandpa’s paw, and led him outside where there were ladders and scaffolds and pots of paint and lumps of putty, and spots of bright colors all over, and lots of brushes, little and big, and more putty and paint, and oh! I don’t know what all.
“Now this is how the painter monkey does it,” said Brighteyes. “He takes a brush, and he dips it in the paint pot, and then he lets some of the loose paint fall off, and then he wiggles the brush[Pg 139] up and down and sideways and across the middle on the boards of the house, and—it’s painted.”
“I see,” said Grandpa, and then, before he could stop her, Brighteyes took one of the painter monkey’s brushes, and dipped it into a pot of the pink paint. And she leaned over too far, and the first thing you know she fell right into that pink paint pot, clothes, toothache and all! What do you think of that?
“Oh! Oh! Oh!” she cried, as soon as she could get her breath. “This is awful—terrible!”
“It certainly is!” said Grandpa Croaker. “But never mind, Brighteyes. I’ll help you out. Don’t cry.” So he fished her out with his cane, and he took some rags, and some turpentine, and he cleaned off the pink paint as best he could, and then he took Brighteyes into the house, and the little guinea pig girl put on clean clothes, and then she looked as good as ever, except that there were some spots of pink paint on her nose.
“Never mind,” said Grandpa, as he gave her a sugar cookie, and just then Mrs. Pigg came back with the doctor’s medicine.
“Why—why!” exclaimed Brighteyes as she kissed her mother, “my toothache has all stopped!” and, surely enough it had. I guess it[Pg 140] got scared because of the pink paint and went away.
Anyhow the tooth didn’t ache any more, and the next day Brighteyes went to the dentist’s and had it pulled. And the painter monkey didn’t mind about the paint that was spilled, and Mrs. Pigg didn’t mind about Brighteyes’s dress being spoiled, and they all thought Grandpa Croaker was as kind as he could be, and he didn’t mind because his cane was colored pink, where he fished out the little guinea pig girl with it. So everybody was happy.
Now in case our cat doesn’t fall into the red paint pot and then go to sleep on my typewriter paper and make it look blue, I’ll tell you next about Papa No-Tail and Nannie Goat.
One morning, bright and early, Papa No-Tail, the frog gentleman, started for the wallpaper factory where he worked at making patterns on the paper by dipping his feet in the different colored inks and jumping up and down. And when he got there he saw, standing outside the factory, the man who made the engines go, and this man said:
“There is no work to-day for you, Mr. No-Tail.”
“Ah ha! What is the matter?” asked Bully’s papa.
“That bad Pelican bird came again in the night and chewed up all the ink,” said the engine man. “So you may have a vacation until we get some more ink.”
“This is very unexpected—very,” spoke Papa No-Tail. “But I will enjoy myself. I’ll go take a nice long hop, and perhaps I will see something I can bring home to Bully and Bawly.”[Pg 142] So off he started, and he had no more idea what was going to happen to him than you have what you’re going to get for next Christmas.
Papa No-Tail was hopping along, thinking what a fine day it was when, all of a sudden, he came to a place in the woods where there were some nice flowers.
“Ha! I will take these home to my wife,” thought Mr. No-Tail, as he picked the pretty blossoms. Then he hopped on some more, and he came to a place where there were some nice round stones, as white as milk.
“Ah! I will take these home for Bully and Bawly to play marbles with,” said the frog papa. Then he hopped on a little farther and he came to a place in the woods where was growing a nice big stick with a crooked handle.
“Ho! I will take that home to Grandpa Croaker for a cane that he can use when he gets tired of carrying the one with the pink paint on it,” spoke Mr. No-Tail, and he pulled up the cane-stick, and went on with that and the flowers and the round white stones, as white as molasses—Oh, there I go again! I mean milk, of course.
Well, it was still quite early, and as he hopped along through the woods Papa No-Tail heard the school bell ring to call the boy and girl animals to their classes.[Pg 143]
“I hope Bully and Bawly are not late,” thought their father. “When one goes to school one must be on time, and always try to have one’s lessons.” Still he felt pretty sure that his two little boys were on time, for they were usually very good.
On hopped Mr. No-Tail, wishing he could see the bad Pelican bird, and make him give up the wallpaper-printing ink, when all of a sudden, as quickly as you can tie your shoe lace, or your hair ribbon, Papa No-Tail heard a great crashing in the bushes, and then he heard a growling and then presto-changeo! out popped Nannie Goat, and after her came running a black, savage bear! Oh, he was a most unpleasant fellow, that bear was, with a long, red tongue, and long, sharp, white teeth, and long claws, bigger than a cat’s claws, and he had shaggy fur like an automobile coat.
“Oh! Oh! Oh! Stop! Stop! Stop! Don’t catch me! Don’t catch me! Don’t catch me!” cried Nannie, the goat girl, running on and crashing through the bushes. But the bear never minded. On he came, right after Nannie, for he wanted to catch and eat her. You see he used to be in a cage in a big animal park, but he got loose and he was now very hungry, for no one had fed him in some time.[Pg 144]
Well, Papa No-Tail was so surprised that, for a moment, he didn’t know what to do. He just sat still under a big cabbage leaf, and looked at the bear chasing after Nannie.
“Oh, will no one save me?” cried the poor little goat girl. “Will no one save me from this savage bear?”
“No; no one will save you,” answered the shaggy creature, as he cleaned his white teeth with his red tongue for a brush. “I am going to eat you up.”
“No, you are not!” cried Papa No-Tail, boldly.
“Ha! Who says I am not going to eat her?” asked the bear, surly-like.
“I do!” went on Papa No-Tail, hopping a bit nearer. “You shall never eat her as long as I am alive!”
“And who are you, if I may be so bold as to ask,” went on the bear, stopping so he could laugh.
“I am the brave Mr. No-Tail, who works in the wallpaper factory, but I can’t work to-day as the bad Pelican bird took the ink,” replied Bully’s and Bawly’s papa.
“Oh, fiddlesticks!” cried the bear, real impolite-like. “Now, just for that I will eat you both!” He made a rush for Nannie, but with a[Pg 145] scream she gave a big jump, and then something terrible happened. For she jumped right into a sand bank, which she didn’t notice, and there she stuck fast by her horns, which jabbed right into the hard sand and dirt. There she was held fast, and the bear, seeing her, called out:
“Now I can get you without any trouble. You can’t get away from me, so I’ll just eat this frog gentleman first.”
Oh, but that bear was savage, and hungry, and several other kinds of unpleasant things. He made a big jump for the frog, but what do you think Bully’s papa did? Why he took the bunch of flowers, and he tickled that bear so tickily-ickly under the chin, that the bear first sneezed, and then he laughed and as Papa No-Tail kept on tickling him, that bear just had to sit down and laugh and sneeze at the same time, and he couldn’t chase even a snail.
“Now for the next act!” bravely cried Mr. No-Tail, and with that he took the stick he intended for Grandpa Croaker’s cane, and put it under the bear’s legs, and he twisted the stick, Papa No-Tail did, and the first thing that bear knew he had been tripped up and turned over just like a pancake, and he fell on his nose and bumped it real hard.
Then, before he could get up, Papa No-Tail[Pg 146] pelted him with the round stones as white as milk, and the bear thought it was snowing and hailing, and he was as frightened as anything, and as soon as he could get up, away he ran through the woods, crying big, salty bear tears.
“Oh, I’m so glad you drove that bear away! You are very brave, Mr. No-Tail,” said Nannie Goat. “But how am I to get loose in time to get to school without being late?” For she was still fast by her horns in the sand bank.
“Never fear, leave it to me,” said Papa No-Tail. So Nannie never feared, and Papa No-Tail tried to pull her horns out of the sand bank, but he couldn’t, because the ground was too hard. So what did he do but go to the pond, and get some water in his hat, and he threw the water on the sand, and made it soft, like mud pies, and then Nannie could pull out her own horns.
After thanking Mr. No-Tail she ran on to school, and got there just as the last bell rang, and wasn’t late. And the teacher and all the pupils were very much surprised when Nannie told them what had happened. Bully and Bawly were afraid the bear might come back and hurt their papa, but nothing like that happened I’m glad to say.
Now in case the tea kettle doesn’t sing a funny[Pg 147] song and waken the white rabbit with the pink eyes that’s in a cage out in our yard, I’ll tell you to-morrow night about Mamma No-Tail and Nellie Chip-Chip.
Nellie Chip-Chip, the little sparrow girl, flew along over the trees after school was out, with a box of chocolate under her wing. And under her other wing was a purse, with some money in it that rattled like sleigh bells.
“What are you going to do with that chocolate?” asked Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, as he and his brother, who were hopping to a ball game, happened to see Nellie.
“Oh, I guess she’s going to eat it,” said Bawly. “If you want us to help you, we will, won’t we, Bully?” he added.
“Sure,” said Bully, hungry like.
“Oh, indeed, that’s very kind of you boys,” replied Nellie, politely, “but you see I’m not eating this chocolate. I am selling it for our school. We want to get some nice pictures to put in the rooms, and so I’m trying to help get the money to buy them by selling cakes of chocolate.”[Pg 149]
“Ha! That’s a good idea,” said Bully. “Say, Nellie, if you go to our house maybe our mamma will buy some chocolate.”
“I’ll fly right over there,” declared the little sparrow girl, “for I want very much to sell my chocolate, and, so far, very few persons have bought any of me.”
“I guess our mamma will,” said Bawly, and, then when Nellie had flown on with her chocolate, Bawly winked both his eyes and spoke thusly: “Say, Bully, if mamma buys the chocolate from Nellie I guess she’ll give us some.”
“I hope so,” replied his brother, and then they went on to the ball game and had a good time. Well, as I was telling you, Nellie flew over to Mrs. No-Tail’s house, and knocked at the door with her little bill.
“Don’t you want to buy some chocolate so I can make money to get pictures for our school?” the sparrow girl politely asked.
“Indeed I do,” replied Mrs. No-Tail. “I just need some chocolate for a cake I’m baking. And if you would like to come in, and help me make the cake, and put the chocolate on, I’ll give you some, and you can take a piece home to Dickie.”
“Indeed, I’ll be very glad to help,” said Nellie, so she went in the house, and Mrs. No-Tail[Pg 150] paid her for some of the chocolate, and then Nellie took off her hat, and put on an apron, and she helped make the cake.
Oh, it was a most delicious one! with about forty-’leven layers, and chocolate between each one, and then on top! Oh, it just makes me hungry even to typewrite about it! Why the chocolate on top of that cake was as thick as a board, and then on top of the chocolate was sprinkled cocoanut until you would have thought there had been a snow storm! Talk about a delicious cake! Oh, dear me! Well, I just don’t dare write any more about it, for it makes me so impatient.
“Now,” said Mrs. No-Tail, after the baking was over, “we’ll just set the cake on the table by the open window to cool, Nellie, and we’ll wash up the dishes.”
So they were working away, talking of different things, and Nellie was a great help to Mrs. No-Tail. Every once in a while, however, Nellie would look over to the cake, because it was so nice she just couldn’t keep her eyes away from it. She was just wishing it was time for her to have some to take home, but it wasn’t, quite yet.
Well, all of a sudden, when Nellie looked over for about the twenty-two-thirteenth time, she saw that all the chocolate was gone from the[Pg 151] top of the cake. All the chocolate and the cocoanut was missing.
“Oh! Oh!” cried the little sparrow girl.
“What’s the matter?” asked Mrs. No-Tail quickly.
“Look!” exclaimed Nellie, pointing to the cake.
“Well, of all things!” cried Mrs. No-Tail. “That chocolate must have disappeared. It must have gone up like a balloon. I will have to buy some more of you, and put that on.” Then she went over and looked at the cake, and she wondered at the queer scratches in the top, just as if a cat had clawed off the chocolate. But there were no cats around.
So Mrs. No-Tail and Nellie put more chocolate and cocoanut on the cake, and they went on washing up the dishes, and pretty soon, not so very long, in a little while Nellie looked at the cake again. And, would you believe me, the chocolate was all off once more.
“This is very strange,” said Mrs. No-Tail. “That must be queer chocolate to disappear that way. Perhaps a fairy is taking it.”
“Maybe Bully and Bawly are doing it for a joke,” said Nellie. So she and Mrs. No-Tail looked from the window but they could see no one, not even a fairy, and, anyhow, Mrs. No-Tail[Pg 152] knew the boys wouldn’t be so impolite as to do such a thing.
“It is very strange,” said the frog boys’ mamma. “But we will put the chocolate and cocoanut on once more, and then we’ll watch to see who takes it.”
So they did, making the cake even better than before. Oh, with such thick chocolate and cocoanut on! and then they hid down behind the stove, and watched the window.
Pretty soon a big, shaggy paw, with long, sharp claws on it, was put in the open window, and the paw went right on top of the cake, and scraped off some of the chocolate and cocoanut.
“Ah! Yum-yum! That is most delicious!” exclaimed a grumbling, rumbling voice, and the paw, all covered with the cake chocolate, just as a lollypop stick is covered with candy, went out of the window, and the paw was all cleaned off somehow, when it came back again. More chocolate was then scraped off the cake by those sharp claws.
“Oh, ho! This is simply scrumptious!” went on the voice, as the paw was pulled back. Then a third time it came, and scraped off what was left of the chocolate and cocoanut.
“Oh, how perfectly delightful and proper this[Pg 153] sweet stuff is!” cried the voice. “I wish there was more!”
Then a great, big, shaggy, ugly bear, the same one that once chased Nannie Goat, stuck his head in the window.
“Oh, did you scrape the chocolate off my cake?” asked Mrs. No-Tail.
“I did,” the bear said, “have you any more?”
“No, indeed,” she answered. “But you are a bold, bad creature, and if you don’t get away from here I’ll have you arrested.”
“I am not a bit afraid,” answered the bear impolitely, “and as there is no more chocolate I’ll take the cake.”
Well, he was just reaching for it with his sharp clawy-paws, and Mrs. No-Tail and Nellie were very much frightened, fearing the beast would get them. But just then a man’s voice cried out:
“Ah, ha! You bad animal! So I’ve caught you, have I? And you are up to your tricks as usual! Now you come with me!” And who should appear but the man from the animal park where the bear once lived. And he had a whip and a rope, and he tied the rope around the bear’s neck and whipped him for being so bad, and took him back to his cage. And Mrs. No-Tail and Nellie were very glad. And I guess you’d be also. Eh?
There was some chocolate left, and some cocoanut, and soon the cake was even better than before, and Nellie had sold all her chocolate to Mrs. No-Tail, and she could buy lots of pictures for the school. And Nellie took home a big piece of the cake for Dickie, her brother, and of course some for herself. So it all came out right after all, and that bear was very sorry for what he did.
Now, in the story after this one, if the fish we’re going to have for supper doesn’t swim away with my new soft hat and get it all wet, I’ll tell you about Bully No-Tail and Alice Wibblewobble.
[Pg 155]“Bully,” said the frog boy’s mamma to him one Saturday morning, when there wasn’t any school, “I wish you would go on an errand for me.”
“Of course I will, mother,” he said. “Do you want me to go to the store for some lemons, or some sugar?”
“Neither one, Bully. I wish you would go to Mrs. Wibblewobble’s house and tell the nice duck lady I can’t come over to-day to help her sew carpet rags, and piece-out the bedquilt. I have to put away the winter flannels so the moths won’t get in them, and then, too, it is so rainy and foggy that we couldn’t see to sew carpet rags very well. Tell her I’ll be over the first pleasant day.”
“Very well,” answered Bully, “and may I stay a while and play with Jimmie Wibblewobble?”
“You may,” said his mother, and off Bully[Pg 156] hopped all alone, for his brother Bawly had gone fishing.
It was a very unpleasant day for any one except ducks or frogs. For sometimes it rained, and when it wasn’t rainy it was misty, and moisty, and foggy. And it was wet all over. The water dripped down off the trees and bushes, and even the ponds and little brooks were wetter than usual, for the rain rained into them, and splished and splashed.
But Bully didn’t mind, not in the least. Away he hopped in his rubber suit, that water couldn’t hurt, and he felt very fine. Soon he was at Mrs. Wibblewobble’s house, and he delivered the message his mother had given him.
“And now I’ll go play with Jimmie,” said Bully. “Where is he, and where are Lulu and Alice, Mrs. Wibblewobble?”
“Oh! the girls went over to see Grandfather Goosey Gander,” replied their mamma. “As for Jimmie, you’ll find him out somewhere on the pond. But be careful you don’t get lost, for the fog is very thick to-day.”
“I should think it was,” replied Bully as he hopped away, “it’s almost as thick as molasses.” Well, pretty soon he came to the edge of the pond, and in he plumped, and began swimming about.[Pg 157]
“Jimmie! Hey, Jimmie! Where are you, Jimmie?” he called.
“Over here, making a water wheel,” answered the boy duck, and though the frog chap couldn’t see him, he could tell, by Jimmie’s voice, where he was, and soon he had hopped to the right place.
Well, Bully and Jimmie had a fine time, making the water wheel, that went splash-splash around in the water. And when they became tired of playing that, they played water-tag with the water-spiders, and then they played hop-skip-and-jump, at which game Bully was very good.
“Now let’s go up to the house,” proposed Jimmie, “and I’m sure mother will give us some cornmeal sandwiches with jam and bread and butter on.”
Off they went through the fog, and it was now so thick that they couldn’t see their way, and by mistake they went to the barn instead of the house. I don’t know what they would have done, only just then along came Old Percival, the circus dog, and he could smell his way through the misty fog up to the house. Maybe he could smell the sandwiches, with jam and bread and butter on. I don’t know, but anyhow Mrs. Wibblewobble gave him one when she made some for Bully and Jimmie.[Pg 158]
Well, now I’m coming to the Alice part of the story. As Jimmie and Bully were eating their sandwiches on the back porch, not minding the rain in the least, all at once Lulu Wibblewobble came waddling along. As soon as she got to the steps she called out:
“Oh, is Alice home yet?”
“Alice home?” exclaimed Mrs. Wibblewobble. “Why, didn’t she come from Grandfather Goosey Gander’s house with you?”
“No, she started on ahead, some time ago,” said Lulu. “She said she wanted to put on her new hair ribbon for dinner. She ought to have been here some time ago. Are you sure she isn’t here?”
“No, she isn’t,” answered Jimmie. “She must be lost in the fog!”
“Oh, dear! That’s exactly what has happened!” cried the mamma duck. “Oh, this dreadful fog! What shall I do?”
“Don’t worry, Mrs. Wibblewobble,” spoke Bully. “Jimmie and I will go and hunt her. We can find her in the fog.”
“Oh, you may get lost yourselves!” said the duck lady. “It’s bad enough as it is, but that would be dreadful. Oh, what shall I do?”
“I’ll tell you,” said Lulu. “We’ll all hunt for her, and so that we will not become lost in the[Pg 159] fog, we’ll tie several strings to our house, and then each of us will keep hold of one string, and when we go off in the fog we can follow the string back again, and we won’t get lost.”
“That’s a good idea!” cried Bully, and they all thought it was. So they each tied a long string to the front porch rail, and, keeping hold of the other end, started off in the fog, Mrs. Wibblewobble, Jimmie, Bully and Lulu. Off into the fog they went, and the white mist was now thicker than ever; thicker than molasses, I guess.
Mrs. Wibblewobble looked one way, and Jimmie another, and Lulu another, and Bully still another. And for a long time neither one of them could find Alice.
“I’m going to call out loud, and perhaps she’ll hear me,” said Bully. “She probably wandered off on the wrong path coming from Grandfather Goosey Gander’s house.” So he cried as loudly as he could: “Alice! Alice! Where are you, Alice?”
“Oh, here I am!” the duck girl suddenly cried, though Bully couldn’t see her on account of the fog. “Oh, I’m so glad you came to find me, for I’ve been lost a long time.”
“Walk right over this way!” called Bully, “and I’ll take you home by the string. Come over here!”[Pg 160]
“Yes, come over here!” called another voice, and Bully looked and what should he see but a savage alligator, hiding in the fog, with his mouth wide open. The alligator hoped Alice would, by mistake, walk right into his mouth so he could eat her. And he kept calling right after Bully, and poor Alice got so confused with the two of them shouting that she didn’t know what to do.
Bully was afraid the alligator would get her, so what did he do but take up a big stone, and, hiding in the fog, he threw the rock into the alligator’s mouth.
“There! Chew on that!” called Bully, and the alligator was so angry that he crawled right away, taking his scaly, double-jointed tail with him.
Then Bully called again, and this time Alice found where he was in the fog, and she waddled up to him, and she wasn’t lost any more, and Bully took her home by following the string. Then the fog blew away and they were all happy, and had some more jam sandwiches.
Now, in case it doesn’t rain and wet my new umbrella so that the pussy cat can go to school, and learn how to make a mouse trap, I’ll tell you next about Bawly No-Tail and Lulu Wibblewobble.
Bawly No-Tail, the frog boy, was hopping along one day whistling a little tune about a yellow-spotted doggie, who found a juicy bone, and sold it to a ragman for a penny ice cream cone. After the little frog boy had finished his song he hopped into a pond of water and swam about, standing on his head and wiggling his toes in the air, just as when the boys go in bathing.
Well, would you ever believe it? When Bawly bounced up out of the water to catch his breath, which nearly ran away from him down to the five-and-ten-cent-store—when Bawly bounced up, I say, who should he see but Lulu Wibblewobble, the duck girl, swimming around on the pond.
“Hello, Lulu!” called Bawly.
“Hello!” answered Lulu. “Come on, Bawly, let’s see who can throw a stone the farthest; you or I.”
“Oh, pooh!” cried the frog boy. “I can, of course. You’re only a girl.”[Pg 162]
Well, would you ever believe it? When Bawly and Lulu were out on the shore of the pond and had thrown their stones, Lulu’s went ever so much farther than did Bawly’s. Oh! she was a good thrower, Lulu was!
“Well, anyhow, I can beat you jumping!” cried Bawly. “Now, let’s try that game.”
So they tried that, and, of course, Bawly won, being a very good jumper. He jumped over two stones, three sticks, a little black ant and also a big one, a hump of dirt, two flies and a grain of sand. And, as for Lulu, she only jumped over a brown leaf, a bit of straw, part of a stone and a little fuzzy bug.
“Now we’re even,” said Bawly, who felt good-natured again. “Let’s go for a walk in the woods and we’ll get some wild flowers and maybe something will happen. Who knows?”
“Who knows?” agreed Lulu. So off they started together, talking about the weather and ice cream cones and Fourth of July and all things like that. For it was Saturday, you see, and there was no school.
Well, pretty soon, in a little while, not so very long, as Bawly was hopping, and Lulu was wobbling along, they heard a noise in the bushes. Now, of course, when you’re in the woods there is always likely to be a noise in the bushes. Sometimes[Pg 163] it’s made by a fairy, and sometimes by a giant and sometimes by a squirrel or a rabbit, or a doggie, or a kittie, and sometimes only by the wind blowing in the treetops. And you can never tell what makes the noise until you look. So Bawly and Lulu looked to see what made the noise in the bushes.
“Maybe it’s a giant!” exclaimed Lulu.
“Maybe it’s a fairy,” said Bawly, and they looked and looked and pretty soon, in a jiffy, out came a man—just a plain, ordinary man.
“Oh, me!” cried Bawly.
“Oh, my!” exclaimed Lulu.
Then they both started to run away, for they were afraid they might be hurt. But the man saw them going off, and he called after them.
“Oh, pray don’t be frightened, little ones. I wouldn’t hurt you for the world. I was just looking for a frog and a duck, and here you are.”
“Are—are you going to eat us?” asked Bawly, blinking his eyes.
“No, indeed,” replied the man, kindly.
“Are you going to carry us away in a bag?” asked Lulu, wiggling her feet.
“Oh, never, never, never!” cried the man, quickly. “I will put you in my pockets if you will let me, and I will do a funny trick with you.”[Pg 164]
“A trick?” asked Bawly, for he was very fond of them. “What kind?”
“A good trick,” replied the man. “You see, I am a magician in a show—that is I do all sorts of funny tricks, such as making a rabbit come out of a hat, or shutting a pig up in a box and changing it to a bird, and making a boy or girl disappear.
“I also do tricks with ducks and frogs, but the other day the pet frog and duck which I have got sick, and I can’t do any more tricks with them until they are better. But if you would come with me, I could do some tricks with you in the show, and I wouldn’t hurt you a bit, and I’d give you each ten cents, and you could have a nice time. Will you come with me? I took a walk out in the woods specially to-day, hoping I could find a new duck or frog to use in my tricks.”
Well, Lulu and Bawly thought about it, and as the man looked very kind they decided to go with him. So he put Lulu in one of his big pockets and Bawly in the other, and off he started through the woods.
And pretty soon he came to the place where he did the tricks. It was a big building, and there was a whole crowd of people there waiting for[Pg 165] the magician—men and women and boys and girls.
“Now, don’t be afraid, Bawly and Lulu,” said the man kindly, for he could talk duck and frog language. “No one will hurt you.”
So he put Bawly and Lulu down on a soft table, where the people couldn’t see them, and then that man did the most surprising and extraordinary tricks. He made fire come out of a pail of water, and he opened a box, and there was nothing in it, and he opened it again, and there was a rabbit in it. Then he took a man’s hat, and he said:
“Now, there is nothing in his hat but in a moment I am going to make a little frog come in it. Watch me closely.”
Well, of course, the people hardly believed him, but what do you think that man did? Why, he took the hat and turned around, and when nobody was looking he slipped Bawly off from the table and put him inside it—inside the hat, I mean, and then the magician said:
“Presto-changeo! Froggie! Froggie! Come into the hat!”
Then he put his hand in, and lifted out Bawly, who made a polite little bow, and the frog wasn’t a bit afraid. And, my! How those people did clap their hands and stamp their feet![Pg 166]
“Now if some lady will lend me her handbag, I’ll make a duck come in it,” said the magician. So a lady in the audience gave him her handbag, and after the magician had taken out ten handkerchiefs, and a purse with no money in it, and a looking-glass, and some feathers all done up in a puff ball, and some peppermint candies, and two postage stamps and some chewing gum and five keys, why he went back on the stage. And as quick as a wink, when no one was looking, with his back to the people, he slipped Lulu Wibblewobble into the empty handbag, and she kept very quiet for she didn’t want to spoil the trick.
And then the magician turned to the audience, and he said:
“Behold! Behold!” and he lifted out the duck girl. Oh my! how those people did clap; and the lady that owned the handbag was as surprised as anything. Then the man did lots more tricks, and he called a boy, and told him to take Lulu and Bawly back home, after he had given them each ten cents. For his regular trick duck and frog were all well again, and he could do magic with them. So that’s how Lulu and Bawly were in a magical show, and they told all their friends about it and everyone was so surprised that they said: “Oh! Oh! Oh!” more than forty-’leven times.[Pg 167]
And next, if our new kitten, whose name is Peter, doesn’t fall into a basket of soap bubbles and wet his tail so he can’t go to the moving picture show, I’ll tell you about Bully No-Tail and Kittie Kat.
“Bully, what are you doing?” the frog boy’s mother called to him one day, as she heard him making a funny noise.
“Oh, mother, I am just counting to see how many marbles I have,” he answered.
“Well, would you mind going to the store for me?” asked Mrs. No-Tail. “I was going to make a cake, but I find I have no cocoanut to put on top.”
“Oh, indeed, I’ll go for you, mother, right away!” cried Bully, quickly, for he was very fond of cocoanut cake. But I guess he would have gone to the store anyhow, even if his mamma had only wanted vinegar, or lemons, or a yeast cake.
So off he started, whistling a little tune about a fuzzy-wuzzy pussy cat, who drank a lot of milk and had a crinkly Sunday dress, made out of yellow silk.
“Well, I feel better after that!” exclaimed[Pg 169] Bully, as he hopped along, sailing high in the air, above the clouds. Oh, there I go again! I was thinking of Dickie Chip-Chip, the sparrow. No, Bully hopped along on the ground, and pretty soon he came to the store and bought the cocoanut for the cake.
He was hopping home, hoping his mamma would give him and his brother Bawly some of the cake when it was baked, when, just as he came near a pond of water he heard some one crying. Oh, such a sad, pitiful cry as it was, and at first Bully thought it might be some bad wolf, or fox, or owl, crying because it hadn’t any dinner, and didn’t see anything to catch to eat for supper.
“I must look out that they don’t catch me,” thought Bully, and he took tight hold of the cocoanut, and peeked through the bushes. And what did he see but poor Kittie Kat—you remember her, I dare say; she was a sister to Joie and Tommie Kat—there was Kittie Kat, crying as if her heart would break, and right in front of her was a savage fox, wiggling his bushy tail to and fro, and snapping his cruel jaws and sharp teeth.
“Now I’ve caught you!” cried the fox. “I’ve been waiting a good while, but I have you now.”
“Yes, I—I guess you have,” said poor Kittie,[Pg 170] for the fox had hold of the handle of a little basket that Kittie was carrying, and wouldn’t let go. In the basket was a nice cornmeal pie that Kittie was taking to Grandfather Goosey Gander, when the fox caught her. “Will you please let me go?” begged poor Kittie Kat.
“No,” replied the bad fox. “I’m going to eat you up—all up!”
Well, Kittie cried harder than ever at that, but she still kept hold of the basket with the cornmeal pie in it, and the fox also had hold of it. And Bully was hiding behind the bushes where neither of them could see him—hiding and waiting.
“Oh, I must save Kittie from that fox!” he thought. “How can I do it?”
So Bully thought and thought, and thought of a plan. Then he leaned forward and whispered in Kittie’s ear, so low that the fox couldn’t hear him:
“Let go of the basket, Kittie,” he told her, “and then give a big jump and run up a tree.”
Well, Kittie was quite surprised to hear Bully whispering out of the bushes to her, for she didn’t know that he was around, but she did as he told her to. She suddenly let go of the basket handle, and the fox was so surprised that he nearly fell over sideways. And before he could[Pg 171] straighten himself up Kittie Kat jumped back, and up a tree she scrambled before you could shake a stick at her, even if you wanted to. You see, she never thought of going up a tree until Bully told her to.
“Here! You come back!” cried the fox, real surprised like.
“Tell him you are not going to,” whispered Bully, and that’s what Kittie called to the fox from up in the tree, for, you see, he couldn’t climb up to her, and he still had hold of her basket.
“If you don’t come down I’ll throw this basket of yours in the water!” threatened the bad fox, gnashing his teeth.
“Oh, I don’t want him to do that!” said Kittie.
“Never mind, perhaps he won’t,” suggested Bully. “Wait and see.”
“Are you coming down and let me eat you?” asked the fox of the little kitten girl, for the savage animal did not yet know that Bully was hiding there. “Are you coming down, I ask you?”
“No, indeed!” exclaimed Kittie.
“Then here goes the basket!” cried the fox, and, just to be mean he threw the nice basket, containing the cornmeal pudding—I mean pie—into the pond of water.
“Oh! Oh! Oh dear!” cried Kittie Kat.[Pg 172] “What will Grandfather Goosey Gander do now?”
“Never mind, I’ll get it for you, as I don’t mind water in the least,” spoke Bully, bravely.
So he started to hop out, to jump into the water to save the kittie girl’s basket, for he knew the fox wouldn’t dare go in the pond after him, as the fox doesn’t like to wet his feet and catch cold.
Well, Bully was just about to hop into the pond, when he happened to think of the package of cocoanut his mamma had sent him to get at the store.
“Oh, dear! I never can get that wet in the water or it will be spoiled!” he thought. “What can I do? If I leave it on the shore here while I go after Kittie’s basket the fox will eat it, and we’ll have no cake. I guess I’m in trouble, all right, for I must get the basket.”
Well, he didn’t know what to do, and the fox was just sneaking up to eat him when Kittie Kat cried out:
“Oh, be careful, Bully. Jump! Jump into the water so the fox can’t get you!”
“What about the cocoanut?” asked Bully.
“Here, give it to me, and I’ll hold it,” said Kittie, and she reached down with her sharp claws, and hooked them into the pink string[Pg 173] around the package of cocoanut and pulled it up on the tree branch where she sat, and then the fox couldn’t get it. And oh! how disappointed he was and how he did gnash his teeth.
And then, before he could grab Bully and eat him up, the frog boy leaped into the pond and swam out and got Kittie’s basket and the cornmeal pie before it sank. And then Bully swam to a floating log, and crawled out on it with the basket, which wasn’t harmed in the least, nor was the pie, either.
And the fox sat upon the shore of the pond, and first he looked at Bully, and wished he could eat him, and then he looked at Kittie, and he wished he could eat her, and then he looked at the cocoanut, which Kittie held in her claws, and he couldn’t eat that, and he couldn’t eat the cornmeal pie—in fact, he had nothing to eat.
Then, all of a sudden, along came Percival, the kind old circus dog, and he barked at that fox, and nipped his tail and the fox ran away, and Kittie and Bully were then safe. Bully came off the log, and Kittie came down out of the tree and they both went on home after thanking Percival most kindly.
Now, in case my little girl’s tricycle doesn’t roll down hill and bunk into the peanut man and make him spill his ice cream, I’ll tell you next about Bawly helping his teacher.
It was quite warm in the schoolroom one day, and the teacher of the animal children, who was a nice young lady robin, had all the windows open. But even then it was still warm, and the pupils, including Bully and Bawly No-Tail, the frog boys, and Lulu and Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, the ducks, weren’t doing much studying.
Every now and then they would look out of the window toward the green fields, and the cool, pleasant woods, where the yellow and purple violets were growing, and they wished they were out there instead of in school.
“My, it’s hot!” whispered Bully to Bawly, and of course it was wrong to whisper in school, but perhaps he didn’t think.
“Yes, I wish we could go swimming,” answered Bawly, and the teacher heard the frog brothers talking together.
“Oh, Bully and Bawly,” she said, as she turned around from the blackboard, where she[Pg 175] was drawing a picture of a house, so the children could better learn how to spell it, “I am sorry to hear you whispering. You will both have to stay in after school.”
Well, of course Bully and Bawly didn’t like that, but when you do wrong you have to suffer for it, and when the other animal boys and girls ran out after school, to play marbles and baseball, and skip rope, and jump hop-scotch and other games, the frog boys had to stay in.
They sat in the quiet schoolroom, and the robin teacher did some writing in her books. And Bawly looked out of the window over at the baseball game. And Bully looked out of the window over toward the swimming pond. And the teacher looked out of the window at the cool woods, where those queer flowered Jack-in-the-pulpits grew, and she too, wished she was out there instead of in the schoolroom.
“Well, if you two boys are sorry you whispered, and promise that you won’t do it again, you may go,” said the teacher after a while, when she had looked out of the window once more. “You know it isn’t really wicked to whisper in school, only it makes you forget to study, and sometimes it makes other children forget to study, and that’s where the wrong part comes in.”[Pg 176]
“I’m sorry, teacher,” said Bully.
“You may go,” said the young robin lady with a smile. “How about you, Bawly?”
“I’m not!” he exclaimed, real cross-like, “and I’ll whisper again,” for all the while Bawly had been thinking how mean the teacher was to keep him in when he wanted to go out and play ball.
The robin lady teacher looked very much surprised at the frog boy, but she only said, “Very well, Bawly. Then you can’t go.”
So Bully hurried out, and Bawly and the teacher stayed there.
Bawly kept feeling worse and worse, and he began to wish that he had said he was sorry. He looked at the teacher, and he saw that she was gazing out of the window again, toward the woods, where there were little white flowers, like stars, growing by the cool, green ferns. And Bawly noticed how tired the teacher looked, and as he watched he was sure he saw a tear in each of her bright eyes. And finally she turned to him and said:
“It is so nice out of doors, Bawly, that I can’t keep you here any longer, no matter whether you are sorry or not. But I hope you’ll be sorry to-morrow, and won’t whisper again. For it helps me when boys and girls don’t whisper. Run out now, and have a good time. I wish I could go,[Pg 177] but I have some work to do,” and then with her wing she patted Bawly on his little green head, and opened the door for him.
Bawly felt rather queer as he hopped out, and he didn’t feel like playing ball, after all. Instead he hopped off to the woods, and sat down under a big Jack-in-the-pulpit to think. And he thought of how his teacher couldn’t live in the nice green country as he did, for she had to stay in a boarding-house in the city, to be near her school, and she couldn’t see the flowers growing in the woods as often as could Bawly, for she nearly always had to stay in after school to write in the report-books.
“I—I wish I hadn’t whispered,” Bawly said to himself. “I—I’m going to help teacher after this. I’ll tell her I’m sorry, and—and I guess I’ll bring her some flowers for her desk.”
Every one wondered what made Bawly so quiet that evening at home. He studied his lessons, and he didn’t want to go out and play ball with Bully.
“I hope he isn’t going to be sick,” said his mamma, anxious-like.
“Oh! I guess maybe he’s got a touch of water-lily fever,” said Grandpa Croaker. “A few days of swimming will make him all right again.”[Pg 178]
Bawly got up very early the next morning, and without telling any one where he was going he hopped over to the woods, and gathered a lot of flowers.
Oh, such a quantity as he picked! There were purple violets, and yellow ones, and white ones, and some wild, purple asters, and some blue fringed gentian, and some lovely light-purple wild geraniums, and several Jacks-in-the-pulpit, and many other kinds of flowers. And he made them into a nice bouquet with some ferns on the outside.
Then, just as he was hopping to school, what should happen but that a great big alligator jumped out of the bushes at him.
“Ha! What are you doing in my woods,” asked the alligator, crossly.
“If—if you please, I’m getting some flowers for my teacher, because I whispered,” said Bawly.
“Oh, in that case it’s all right,” said the alligator, smacking his jaws. “I like school teachers. Give her my regards,” and would you believe it? the savage creature crawled off, taking his double-jointed tail with him, and didn’t hurt Bawly a bit. The flowers made the alligator feel kind and happy.
Well, Bawly got to school all right, before any of the other children did, and he put the flowers[Pg 179] on teacher’s desk, and he wrote a little note, saying:
“Dear teacher, I’m sorry I whispered, but I’m going to help you to-day, and not talk.”
And Bawly didn’t. It was quite hard in school that day, but at last it was over. And, just when the children were going home, the robin lady teacher said:
“Boys and girls, you have all helped me very much to-day by being good, and I thank you. And something else helped me. It was these flowers that Bawly brought me, for they remind me of the woods where I used to play when I was a little girl,” and then she smelled of the flowers, and Bawly saw something like two drops of water fall from the teacher’s eyes right into one of the Jacks-in-the-pulpit. I wonder if it was water?
And then school was over and all the children ran out to play and Bawly thought he never had had so much fun in all his life as when he and Bully and some of the others had a ball game, and Bawly knocked a fine home run.
Now, in case the cuckoo clock doesn’t fall down off the wall and spatter the rice pudding all over the parlor carpet, I’ll tell you in the story after this one about Bully and Sammie Littletail.
One day when the nice young lady robin school teacher, about whom I told you last night, called the roll of her class, to see if all the animal children were there, Samuel Littletail, the rabbit boy, didn’t answer.
“Why, I wonder where Sammie can be?” asked the teacher. “Has anyone seen him this morning?”
They all shook their heads, and Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, answered:
“If you please, teacher, perhaps his sister, Susie, knows.”
“Oh, of course! Why didn’t I think to ask her?” said the teacher. So she looked over on the girls’ side of the room, but, would you believe it? Susie, the rabbit girl, wasn’t there either.
“That is very odd,” said the teacher, “both Sammie and Susie out! I hope they haven’t the epizootic, or the mumps, or carrot fever, or anything[Pg 181] like that. Well, we’ll go on with our lessons, and perhaps they will come in later.”
So the first thing the pupils did was to sing a little song, and though I can’t make up very nice ones, I’ll do the best I can to give you an idea of it. This is how it went, to the tune, “Tum-Tum-Tum, Tiddle De-um!”
Good morning! How are you?
We hope you’re quite well.
We’re feeling most jolly,
So hark to us spell.
C-A and a T, with
A dot on the eye.
Makes cat, dog or rat,
Or a bird in the sky.
Take two and two more.
What have you? ’Tis five!
What? Four? Oh, of course,
See the B in the hive.
Now sing the last verse,
Ah, isn’t it pretty?
We’re glad that you like
Our dear little kittie.
Well, after the children had sung that they all looked around to see if Sammie or Susie had come in, but they hadn’t, and then the lessons began, and everyone got a perfect mark. Still the rabbit children didn’t come, and after school Bully No-Tail said:
“I think I’ll stop at Sammie’s house and see what is the matter.”
“I wish you would,” spoke the teacher, “and then you can tell us to-morrow. I hope he is not ill.”
But Sammie was worse than ill, as Bully very soon found out when he got to the house. He found Mr. and Mrs. Littletail very much excited. Mrs. Littletail was crying, and so was Susie, and as for Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, the muskrat lady, she was washing up the dishes so fast that she broke a cup and saucer and dropped a knife and spoon. And Uncle Wiggily Longears was limping around on his crutch, striped red, white and blue like a barber pole, and saying: “Oh dear! Oh dear me! Oh hum suz dud.”
“Why, whatever has happened?” asked Bully. “Is Sammie dead?”
“Worse than that,” said Susie, wiping her eyes on her apron.
“Much worse,” chimed in Uncle Wiggily. “Just think, Bully, when Sammie was starting[Pg 183] off for school this morning, he went off in the woods a little way to see if he could find a wild carrot, when a big boy rushed up, grabbed him, and put him in a bag before any of us could save him! And now he’s gone! Completely gone!”
“So that’s why he didn’t come to school to-day,” said Nurse Jane sadly.
“And I didn’t feel like coming either,” spoke Susie, crying some more. “I tried to find Sammie, but I couldn’t. Oh dear! Boo hoo!”
“We all tried to find him,” said Mr. Littletail sadly.
“But we can’t,” added Mrs. Littletail still more sadly. “Our Sammie is gone! The bad boy has him!”
“Oh, that is awful!” cried Bully. “But I’ll see if I can’t find him for you.”
So Bully hopped off through the woods, hoping he could find where the boy lived who had taken Sammie away with him.
“And if I find him I’ll help Sammie to get away,” thought Bully. So he went on and on, but for a long time he couldn’t find Sammie. For, listen, the boy who had caught the little rabbit had taken Sammie home, and had made a cage for him.
“I’m going to keep you forever,” said the boy, looking in through the wire cage at Sammie.[Pg 184] “I’ve always wanted a rabbit and now I have one.” Well, poor Sammie asked the boy to let him go, but the boy didn’t understand rabbit language, and maybe he wouldn’t have let the bunny go, anyhow.
Well, it was getting dark, and Sammie was very much frightened in his cage, and he was wondering whether any of his friends would find him, and help him escape.
“I’ll call out loud, so they’ll know where to look for me,” he said, and he grunted as loudly as he could and whistled through his twinkling nose.
Well, it happened that just then Bully was hopping up a little hill, and he heard Sammie calling.
“That’s Sammie!” exclaimed Bully. “Now, if I can only rescue him!”
So the frog boy hopped on farther, and pretty soon he came to the yard of the house where the boy lived. And Bully peeped in through a knothole in the fence, and he saw Sammie in the cage.
“I’m here, Sammie!” cried Bully through the hole. “Don’t be afraid, I’ll get you out of there.”
“Oh, I’m so glad!” cried Sammie, clapping his paws.
But, after he had said it, Bully saw that it wasn’t going to be very easy to get Sammie out,[Pg 185] for the cage was very strong. The boy was in the house cutting up some cabbage for the rabbit, and the little frog knew he would have to work very quickly if he was to rescue Sammie.
So Bully hunted until he found a place where he could crawl under the fence, and he went close up to the cage, and what did he do but hop inside, thinking he could unlock the door for Sammie. For Bully was little enough to hop through between the holes in the wire, but Sammie was too big to get out that way.
But Bully couldn’t open the door because the lock was too strong, and the frog boy couldn’t break the wire.
“Oh, if Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy were only here!” he exclaimed, “she could get us out of this trap very soon. But she isn’t.”
“Let’s both together try to break it,” proposed Sammie, but they couldn’t do it. I don’t know what they would have done, and perhaps Sammie would have had to stay there forever, but at that moment along came the old alligator. He looked through the knothole in the fence, and he saw Sammie and Bully in the cage.
“Ah, here is where I get a good dinner!” thought the alligator, so with one savage and swooping sweep of his big, scaly tail, he smashed down the fence and broke the cage all to pieces, but he didn’t hurt Bully or Sammie, very luckily, for they were in a far corner.
“Now’s our chance!” cried the frog. “Run, Sammie, run!” And they both scudded away as fast as they could before the alligator could catch them, or even before the boy could run out to see what the noise was. And when the alligator saw the boy the savage creature flurried and scurried away, taking his scalery-ailery tail with him, and the boy was very much surprised when he saw that the rabbit was gone.
But Sammie and Bully got safely home, and the next day Sammie went to school as usual, just as if nothing had happened, and every one said Bully was very brave to help him.
So that’s all for to-night, if you please, and in case the housecleaning man gets all the ice cream up from under the sitting-room matting, and makes a snowball of it for the poll parrot to play horse with, I’ll tell you next about Bully and Bawly going to the circus.
[Pg 187]“Oh, mamma, may we go?” exclaimed Bawly No-Tail one day as he came home from school, and hopped into the house with such a big hop, that he hopped right up into the frog lady’s lap.
“Go where?” asked Bawly’s mother, wondering if the alligator were after her son.
“Oh, do please let us go!” cried Bully, hopping in after his brother. Bully tried to stand on his head, but his foot slipped and he nearly fell into the ink bottle. “Please let us go, mother?”
“Where? Where?” she asked again, as Bawly hopped out of her lap.
“To the circus!” cried Bully.
“It’s coming!” exclaimed Bawly.
“Down in the vacant lots,” went on Bully.
“Oh, you ought to see the posters! Lions and tigers and elephants, and men jumping in the air, and horses and—and—”
Bawly had to stop for breath then, and so he[Pg 188] couldn’t say any more. Neither could Bully. Oh, but they were excited, let me tell you.
“May we go?” they both cried out again.
“Well, I’ll see,” began their mother slowly. “I don’t know—”
“Oh, I guess you’d better let them go,” spoke up Grandpa Croaker in his deepest, rumbling voice. “I—I think I can spare the time to look after them. I don’t really want to go, you know, as I was going to play a game of checkers with Uncle Wiggily Longears, but I guess I can take the boys to the circus. Ahem!”
“Oh, goody!” cried Bawly, jumping up and down.
“Where are you going?” asked their papa, just then coming in from the wallpaper factory.
“To the circus,” said Bawly. “Grandpa Croaker will take us.”
“Ha! Hum!” exclaimed Papa No-Tail. “I am very busy, but I guess I can spare the time to take you. We won’t bother Grandpa.”
“Oh, it’s no bother—none at all, I assure you,” quickly spoke the grandpa frog, in a thundering, rumbling voice. “We can both take them.”
“Well, I never heard of such a thing!” exclaimed Mamma No-Tail. “Any one would think you two old men frogs wanted to go as[Pg 189] much as the boys do. But I guess it will be all right.”
So Bully and Bawly and their papa and their grandpa went to the circus next day. And what do you think? Just as they were buying their tickets if they didn’t meet Uncle Wiggily Longears! And he had Sammie and Susie, the rabbits, with him, and there was Aunt Lettie, the old lady goat, with the three Wibblewobble children, and many other little friends of Bully and Bawly.
Well, that was a fine circus! There were lots of tents with flags on, and outside were men selling pink lemonade and peanuts for the elephant, and toy balloons, only those weren’t for the elephant, you know, and there were men shouting, and lots of excitement, and there was a side show, with pictures outside the tent of a man swallowing swords by the dozen, and also knives and forks, and another picture of a lady wrapping a fat snake around her neck, because she was cold, I guess, and then you could hear the lions roaring and the elephants trumpeting, and the band was playing, and the peanut wagons were whistling like teakettles, and—and—Oh! why, if I write any more about that circus I’ll want to take my typewriter, and put it away in a dark closet, and go to the show myself![Pg 190]
But anyhow it was very fine, and pretty soon Bully and Bawly and their papa and grandpa were in the tent looking at the animals. They fed the elephant peanuts until they had none for themselves, and they looked at the camel with two humps, and at the one with only one hump, because I s’pose he didn’t have money enough to buy two, and then they went in the tent where the real show was.
Well it went off very fine. The big parade was over, and the men were doing acts on the trapeze, and the trained seals were playing ball with their noses, and the clowns were cutting up funny capers. And all at once a man, with a shiny hat on, came out in the middle of the ring, and said:
“Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to call your attention to our jumping dog, Nero. He is the greatest jumping dog in the world, and he will jump over an elephant’s back!”
Well, the people clapped like anything after that, and a clown came out, leading a dog. Everybody was all excited, especially when another clown led out a big elephant. Then it was the turn of the dog to jump over the elephant. Well, he tried it, but he didn’t go over. The clown petted him, and gave him a sweet cracker, and the dog tried it again, but he[Pg 191] couldn’t do it. Then he tried once more and he fell right down under the elephant, and the elephant lifted Nero up in his trunk, and set him gently down on some straw.
Then the clown took off his funny, pointed hat and said:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am very sorry, but my poor dog is sick and he can’t jump to-day, and I have nothing else that can jump over the elephant’s back.”
Every one felt quite disappointed at that, but still they were sorry for the poor dog. The clown led him away, and the other clown was leading the elephant off, when Bully said to Bawly:
“Don’t you think we could do that jump? We once did a big jump to get away from the alligator, you know.”
“Let’s try it,” said Bawly. “Then the people won’t be disappointed. Come on.” So they slipped from their seats, when their papa and grandpa were talking to Uncle Wiggily about the trained seals, and those two frog boys just hopped right into the middle of the circus ring. At first a monkey policeman was going to put them out, but they made motions that they wanted to jump over the elephant, for they couldn’t speak policeman talk, you know.
“Ah ha! I see what they want,” said the kind[Pg 192] clown. “Well, I don’t believe they can do it, but let them try. It may amuse the people.” So he made the elephant go back to his place, and every one became interested in what Bully and Bawly were going to do.
“Are you already?” asked Bully of his brother.
“Yes,” answered Bawly.
“Then take a long breath, and jump as hard as you can,” said Bully. So they both took long breaths, crouched down on their hind legs, and then both together, simultaneously and most extraordinarily, they jumped. My, what a jump it was! Bigger than the time when they got away from the alligator. Right over the elephant’s back they jumped, and they landed on a pile of soft straw so they weren’t hurt a bit. My! You should have heard the people cheer and clap!
“Good!” cried the clown. “That was a great jump! Will you stay in the circus with me? I will pay you as much as I pay my dog.”
“Oh, no! They must go home,” said their papa, as Bully and Bawly went back to their seats. “That is, after the circus is over,” said Mr. No-Tail.
So the frog boys saw the rest of the show, and afterward all their friends told them how brave it was to do what they had done.[Pg 193]
And for a long time after that whenever any one mentioned what good jumpers Bully and Bawly were, Sammie Littletail would say:
“Ah, but you should have seen them in the circus one day.”
And on the next page, if the lilac bush in our back yard doesn’t reach in through the window, and take off my typewriter ribbon to wear to Sunday school, I’ll tell you about Bully and Bawly playing Indian.
It happened, once upon a time, after the circus had gone away from the place where Bully and Bawly No-Tail, the frogs, lived that a Wild West show came along.
And my goodness! There were cowboys and cowgirls, and buffaloes and steers and men with lassos, and Mexicans and Cossacks, and Indians! Real Indians, mind you, that used to be wild, and scalp people, which was very impolite to do, but they didn’t know any better; the Indians didn’t I mean. Then they got tame and didn’t scalp people any more. Yes, sir, they were real Indians, and they had real feathers on them!
Of course the feathers didn’t belong to the Indians, the same as a chicken’s feathers, or a turkey’s feathers belong to them. That is, the feathers didn’t grow on the Indians, even if they did seem to. No, the Indians put them on for ornaments, just as ladies put plumes on their hats with long hatpins.
Well, of course, Bully and Bawly and the[Pg 195] other boys all went to the Wild West show, and when they got home about all they did for several days was to play cowboys or Indians. Indians mostly, for they liked them the best. And the boys gave regular warwhoop cries.
“We’ll have a new game,” said Bully to Bawly one day. “We’ll dress up like the Indians did, and we’ll go off in the woods, and we’ll see if we can capture white people.”
“Real?” asked Bawly.
“No, only make-believe ones. And we’ll build a camp fire, and take our lunch, and sleep in the woods.”
“After dark?” asked Bawly.
“Sure. Why not? Don’t Indians sleep in the woods after dark?”
“Oh, but they have real guns and knives to kill the bears with,” objected Bawly, “and our guns and knives will only be wooden.”
“Well, maybe it will be better to only pretend it’s night in the woods,” agreed Bully. “We can go in a dark place under the trees, and make believe it’s night, and that will do just as well.”
So they agreed to do that way, and for the next few days the frog boys were busy making themselves up to look like Indians. Their mother let them take some old blankets, and they got some red and green chalk to put on their faces[Pg 196] for war paint, and they found a lot of feathers over at the homes of Charlie and Arabella Chick, and the three Wibblewobble duck children. These feathers they put around their heads, and down their backs, as the Indians in the Wild West show did.
“Now I guess we’re ready to start off and hunt make-believe white people,” said Bawly one Saturday morning when there wasn’t any school.
“Have you the lunch? We mustn’t forget that,” spoke Bully.
“Yes, I have it,” his brother replied. “Take your bow and arrow, and I’ll carry the wooden gun.”
Off they started as brave as an elephant when he has a bag of peanuts in his trunk. They hurried to the woods, so none of their friends would see them, for Bully and Bawly wanted to have it all a surprise. And pretty soon they were under the trees where it was quite dark. Bawly gave a big hop, and landed up front beside his brother.
“You mustn’t walk here,” said Bully. “Indians always go in single file, one behind the other. Get behind me.”
“I—I’m afraid,” said Bawly.
“Of what?” asked his brother. “Indians are never afraid.”[Pg 197]
“I—I’m afraid I might scare somebody,” said Bawly. “I—I look so fierce you know. I just saw myself reflected back there in a pond of water that was like a looking-glass and I’m enough to scare anybody.”
“So much the better,” said his brother. “You can scare the make-believe white people whom we are going to capture and scalp. Get in behind me.”
“Wouldn’t it be just as well if I pretended to walk behind you, and still stayed up front here, beside you?” asked Bawly, looking behind him.
“Oh, I guess so,” answered his brother. So the two frog boys, who looked just like Indians, went on side by side though the woods. They looked all around them for something to capture, but all that they saw was an old lady hoptoad, going home from market.
“Shall we capture her?” asked Bawly, getting his bow and arrow ready.
“No,” replied his brother. “She might tell mamma, and, anyhow, we wouldn’t want to hurt any of mamma’s friends. We’ll capture some of the fellows.” But Bully and Bawly couldn’t seem to find any one, not even a make-believe white person, and they were just going to sit down and eat their lunch, anyhow, when they heard some one shouting:[Pg 198]
“Help! Help! Oh, some one please help me!” called a voice.
“Some one’s in trouble!” cried Bully. “Let’s help them!”
So he and his brother bravely hurried on through the woods, and soon they came to a place where they could hear the voice more plainly. Then they looked between the bushes, and what should they see but poor Arabella Chick, and a big hand-organ monkey had hold of her, and the monkey was slowly pulling all the feathers from Arabella’s tail.
“Oh, don’t, please!” begged the little chicken girl. “Leave my feathers alone.”
“No, I shan’t!” answered the monkey. “I want the feathers to make a feather duster, to dust off my master’s hand-organ,” and with that he yanked out another handful.
“Oh, will no one help me?” cried poor Arabella, trying to get away. “I’ll lose all my feathers!”
“We must help her,” said Bawly to Bully.
“We surely must,” agreed Bully. “Get all ready, and we’ll shoot our arrows at that monkey, and then we’ll go out with our make-believe guns, and shoot bang-bang-pretend-bullets at him, and then we’ll holler like the wild Indians, and the monkey will be so frightened that he’ll run away.”
[Pg 199]Well, they did that. Zip-whizz! went two make-believe arrows at the monkey. One hit him on the nose, and one on the leg, and the pain was real, not make-believe. Then out from the bushes jumped Bully and Bawly, firing their make-believe guns as fast as they could.
Then they yelled like real Indians and when the monkey saw the red and green and yellow and purple and pink and red feathers on the frog Indians and saw their colored-chalk faces he was so frightened that he wiggled his tail, blinked his eyes, clattered his teeth together, and, dropping Arabella Chick, off he scrambled up a tree after a make-believe cocoanut.
“Now, you’re safe!” cried Bully to the chicken girl.
“Yes,” said Bawly, “being Indians was some good after all, even if we didn’t capture any make-believe white people to scalp.”
So they sat down under the trees, and Arabella very kindly helped them to eat the lunch, and she said she thought Indians were just fine, and as brave as soldiers.
So now we’ve reached the end of this story, and as you’re sleepy you’d better go to bed, and in case the piano key doesn’t open the front door, and go out to play hop-scotch on the sidewalk, I’ll tell you next about the Frogs’ farewell hop.
One night Papa No-Tail, the frog gentleman, came home from his work in the wallpaper factory with a bundle of something under his left front leg.
“What have you there, papa?” asked Bawly, as he scratched his nose on a rough stone; “is it ice cream cones for us?”
“No,” said Mr. No-Tail, “it is not anything like that; but, anyhow, the weather is almost warm enough for ice cream.”
“Is it some new kind of wallpaper that you hopped on to-day after you dipped your feet in red and green ink?” asked Bully.
“No,” replied his papa. “I have here some wire to tack over the windows, to keep out the flies and mosquitoes, for it is getting to be summer now, and those insects will soon be flying and buzzing around.”
So after supper Mr. No-Tail, and his two boys, Bully and Bawly, tacked the wire mosquito netting on the windows, and when they were all[Pg 201] done Mr. No-Tail went down to the corner drug store and he bought a quart of ice cream, the kind all striped like a sofa cushion, and he and his wife and Bully and Bawly sat out on the porch eating it with spoons out of a dish, just as real as anything.
“Oh dear me! There’s a mosquito buzzing around!” suddenly exclaimed Mamma No-Tail, as she ate the last of her cream. “They are on hand early this year. I’m going in the house.”
“I’ll go get my bean shooter, and see if I can kill that mosquito!” exclaimed Bawly, who once went hunting after the buzzers, and shot quite a number. But land sakes! it was so dark on the porch that he couldn’t see the buzzing mosquitoes though he blew a number of beans about, and one hit Uncle Wiggily Longears on the nose, just as the old gentleman rabbit was hopping over to play checkers with Grandpa Croaker. But Uncle Wiggily forgave Bawly, as it was an accident, and as there was a little ice cream left, the old gentleman rabbit and Grandpa Croaker ate it up.
Well, something happened that night when they had all gone to bed. Along about 12 o’clock, when it was all still and quiet, and when the little mice were just coming out to play hide and seek and look for some crackers and cheese,[Pg 202] Bawly No-Tail felt some one pulling him out of bed.
“Here! Hold on! Don’t do that, Bully!” he cried.
“What’s the matter?” asked his brother. “Are you dreaming or talking in your sleep? I’m not doing anything.”
“Aren’t you pulling me out of bed?” asked Bawly, and he had to grab hold of the bedpost to prevent himself falling to the floor.
“Why, no, I’m in my own bed,” answered Bully. “Oh, dear me! Oh, suz dud! Some one’s pulling me, too!” And he let out such a yell that Mamma No-Tail came running in with a light. And what do you think she saw?
Why two, great, big buzzing mosquitoes flew out of the window through a hole in the wire netting, and it was those mosquitoes who had been trying to pull Bully and Bawly out of bed, so they could fly away with them to eat them up.
“Oh, my! How bold those mosquitoes are this year!” exclaimed the mamma frog. “They actually bit a hole in the wire screen.”
“They did, eh?” cried Papa No-Tail. “Well, I’ll fix that!” So he got a hammer and some more wire, and he mended the hole which the mosquitoes had made. Then Bully and Bawly went to sleep again. They were afraid the mosquitoes[Pg 203] would come in once more, but though the savage insects buzzed around outside for quite a while, the screen was too strong for them this time, and they didn’t get in the house.
“If this keeps on,” said Papa No-Tail, as he hopped off to work next morning, “we’ll have to go to a place where there are no mosquitoes.”
Well, that night the same thing happened. Along about 1 o’clock Bully felt some one pulling him out of bed, and he cried, and his mamma came with a light, and there was another mosquito, twice as big as before, with a long sharp bill, and long, dingly-dangly legs, and buzzy-uzzy wings, just skeddadling out of the window.
“There! They’ve bitten another hole in the screen!” cried Mrs. No-Tail. “Oh, this is getting terrible!”
“I’ll put double screens on to-morrow,” said Papa No-Tail, and he did. But would you believe it? Those mosquitoes still came. The big ones couldn’t make their way through the two nets, but lots of the little ones came in. One would manage to get his head through the wire, and then all his friends would push and pull on him until he was inside, then another would wiggle in, and that’s how they did it. Then they went and hid down cellar, until they grew big enough to bite.[Pg 204]
And, though these mosquitoes couldn’t pull Bully and Bawly out of bed, for the pestiferous insects weren’t strong enough, they nipped the frog boys all over, until their legs and arms and faces and noses and ears smarted and burned terribly, and their mamma had to put witch hazel and talcum powder on the bites.
“I can see that we’ll soon have to get away from here,” said Papa No-Tail, one morning, when the mosquitoes had been very bad and troublesome in the night. “They come right through the screens,” he said. “Now we’ll hop off to the mountains or seashore, where there are no mosquitoes.”
“Don’t you s’pose Bully and I could sit up some night and kill them with our bean shooters?” said Bawly.
“You may try,” said his papa. So the two frog boys tried it that night. They sat up real late, and they shot at several mosquitoes that came in, and they hit some. And then Bully and Bawly fell asleep, and the first thing you know the mosquitoes buzzing outside heard them snoring, and they bit a big hole right through the double screen this time, and were just pulling Bully and Bawly out of bed, when the frog boys’ mamma heard them crying, and came with the lamp, scaring the savage insects away.[Pg 205]
“There is no use talking!” said Papa No-Tail. “We will hop off in the morning. We’ll say good-by to this place.”
So the next morning the frogs packed up, and they sent word to all their friends that they were going to take their farewell hop to the mountains, where there were no more mosquitoes.
Oh such a crowd as gathered to see them hop away! There was Sammie and Susie Littletail, and Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, and Lulu and Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, and Munchie and Dottie Trot, and Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, and Uncle Wiggily Longears and Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy and Buddy Pigg and all the other animal friends.
Away hopped Papa No-Tail, and away hopped Mamma No-Tail, and then Grandpa Croaker and Bully and Bawly hopped after them, calling good-bys to all their friends. Every one waved his handkerchief and Susie Littletail and Jennie Chipmunk cried a little bit, for they liked Bully and Bawly very much, and didn’t like to see them hop away.
And what do you think? Some of the mosquitoes were so mean that they flew out of the woods and tried to bite the frogs as they were hopping away. But Bully and Bawly had their bean shooters and they shot a number of the[Pg 206] creatures, so the rest soon flew off and hid in a hollow tree.
“I’m coming to see you some time!” called Uncle Wiggily Longears to Bully and Bawly. “Be good boys!”
“Yes, we’ll be good!” promised Bully.
“As good as we can,” added his brother Bawly, as he tickled Grandpa Croaker with the bean shooter.
Then the No-Tail family of frogs hopped on and on, until they came to a nice place in the woods, where there was a little pond, covered with duck weed, in which they could swim.
“Here is where we will make our new home,” said Papa No-Tail.
“Oh, how lovely it is,” said Mrs. No-Tail, as she sat down to rest under a toadstool umbrella, for the sun was shining.
“Ger-umph! Ger-umph!” said Grandpa Croaker, in his deep, bass voice. “Very nice indeed.”
“Fine!” cried Bully.
“Dandy!” said Bawly. “Come on in for a swim,” and into the pond jumped the two frog boys. And they lived happily there in the woods for ever after.
So now we have come to the end of this book. But, if you would like to hear them, I have more[Pg 207] stories to tell you. And I think I will make the next book about some goat children. Nannie and Billie Wagtail were their names, and the book will be called after them—“Nannie and Billie Wagtail.” The goat children wagged their little, short tails, and did the funniest things; eating pictures off tin cans, and nibbling bill-board circus posters of elephants and lions and tigers. And there was Uncle Butter, the goat gentleman, who pasted wallpaper, and Aunt Lettie, the old lady goat, and——
But there, I will let you read the book yourself and find out all that happened to Nannie and Billie Wagtail. And until you do read that, I will just say good-bye, for a little while.
1. Punctuation has been normalized to contemporary standards.
2. Typographic errors corrected in original:
p. 50 though to thought (“Bully thought of his bag”)
p. 62 “out out” to “out” (“life out of me”)
p. 204 think to thing (“first thing you know”)