Read STORY II - JIMMIE WIBBLEWOBBLE IN AN AUTO of Lulu‚ Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, free online book, by Howard R. Garis, on ReadCentral.com.

One day, well, it must have been about a week after Lulu Wibblewobble got caught in the mud, she and Jimmie were out swimming around the pond.

“Come on,” said Lulu, “let’s go over and see Mrs. Greenie, the frog.  She always has some candied sweet-flag root hidden away, and perhaps she will give us some.”

“I don’t believe there’s any left,” spoke Jimmie, “for Bully, the boy frog, is so fond of it that he eats all he can get.”

“Well, we’ll go, anyhow,” went on Lulu.  Just then she heard her mother calling: 

“Jimmie!  Lulu!  Where are you going?”

“We are going over to see Mrs. Greenie,” replied Jimmie.

“Wait for Alice,” called Mamma Wibblewobble.  “She will go with you.  She is just putting a clean apron on.”

“Oh, dear!” cried Lulu.  “Why does Alice always make us wait while she puts on something clean?”

“I suppose,” answered Jimmie, and he scratched his bill with his left leg, “I suppose it is because she wants to look nice.”

“Yes,” agreed Lulu, with a sort of quacking-sigh, “I suppose I ought to want to look nice, too; but, somehow I don’t — ever.  I always seem to be in such a hurry.”

“Maybe you’ll change, some day,” suggested her brother.

“Maybe,” spoke Lulu, and just then Alice came swimming along, looking just as nice and pretty as do some ducks which are in a picture.  They all went over to see Mrs. Greenie, the old lady frog, who lived down on the bottom of the pond, at the far edge, by a big willow tree.

And, honestly, though I don’t like to mention it, for fear you’ll think Bully a greedy little boy, there wasn’t a single bit of candied sweet-flag root in the house.  No, sir, not a tiny, weeny bit.  So Mrs. Greenie gave the Wibblewobble children some nice snails, which they liked very much, and then they went on swimming around.  Jimmie was looking for Bully, but the little boy frog had hopped off to see his cousin.  Now, in a few minutes Jimmie is going to have an adventure, and, if you please, I want you to listen very carefully, so as not to miss it.

Well, the three ducklings swam on, thinking how nice it was on the water, with the warm sun on their backs, when they suddenly came to the end of the pond.  And who should be standing there but the man who owned the little puddle.  And, more than that, there was another man also standing there in the road and beside him was a queer thing, with big fat wheels, fatter than the fattest duck or goose you ever saw.  It was puffing away, and some smoke and a funny smell came from it.  Of course, you’ve guessed it!  An automobile!  Now, what do you think about that?  The ducks listened to what the men were saying, for, though the Wibblewobbles couldn’t talk as the men did, they could understand our language.

“It’s too bad,” said the man who owned the pond.  “Can’t you go any farther?”

“No,” said the man who had the automobile, “I can’t.  You see my horn, that I blow to tell people to get out of the way, is broken.  I can’t sound any warning, and if I ran my machine I might hurt some one; and I wouldn’t do that for the world; no, not for two worlds, if you were to offer them to me.”

“That is very kind of you; very kind, indeed, I’m sure,” went on the man who owned the pond.  “I am glad to have met you; and I wish I could help you.”

“I’m afraid you can’t,” answered the other.  “I have to walk way down to Newark, to get a new horn for my auto, so I can blow it, to warn people out of the way.”

So he started to walk off, and then what do you think happened?  Why, Jimmie Wibblewobble got so excited that he gave a loud “Quack-Quack!” Oh, so loud and clear!  As soon as the man who owned the auto heard it he cried out, “My gracious goodness!  What’s that?”

“That,” replied the man who owned the pond, “is one of my ducks.  Doesn’t he speak very loudly?”

Then Jimmie, just to show what he could do, quacked again, harder than before.

“Oh, extemporaneousness!” cried the auto man.  “That is very fine quacking, indeed.  I never heard better.  I have the greatest idea,” he added.  “Would you be so kind as to lend me that little duck?  I will bring him safely back to you and not harm him in the least.”

“What will you do with him?” asked the man who owned the pond.

“I will take him on the seat beside me,” replied the other, “and maybe he will go ‘quack-quack’ whenever a person gets in the way of my auto.  Then they will not be run over.  Why, this little duck will be as good as an auto horn!  Will you let me take him?”

“I guess so,” answered the other man.  “But please do not frighten him, as he is very little.”

The man who owned the auto said he would be careful, and he went over to where Jimmie was, and picked him right up.

Now I should have thought that Jimmie would have been frightened, but he wasn’t a bit, no, would you believe me, not a bit.  So the man took him and put him on the seat and started off in the auto.  Jimmie knew exactly what to do.  Every time he came to a crossing he “quack-quacked” as loudly as he could, without being told, and he did the same thing whenever he saw a person in the way of the big machine.

Oh, what a fine ride he had in the auto, and how proud he was!  Not too proud, you know, but just proud enough.  Well, as true as I’m telling you, if Jimmie wasn’t as good an auto horn as one could wish.  Not a single accident happened when he was on the seat, “quack-quacking” away, and when the man went to a store and got his regular horn, with the rubber handle to it, why, he brought Jimmie right back to the pond.

Now, wasn’t that quite an adventure?  All the other ducks thought so anyhow.  To-morrow night, if you do not slam the door, you shall hear about Alice Wibblewobble’s new bonnet.