Read STORY IV - JIMMIE AND THE WATERFALL of Lulu‚ Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, free online book, by Howard R. Garis, on ReadCentral.com.

It was such a nice day that Mr. and Mrs. Wibblewobble decided to go visiting, as they had an invitation to call on Mrs. Greenie, the frog lady who lived at the end of the pond.  So the two ducks, after seeing that the pen was in order, and the windows nice and clean, in case any company should call on them while they were out, started off, swimming very slowly, for they had their best clothes on and did not want to splash water on them.

“Now, I hope you children will be good,” called Mamma Wibblewobble to Jimmie and Lulu and Alice.  “Don’t get into any mischief and we’ll be back at supper time.”

“We’ll be good,” promised Alice, but Jimmie and Lulu didn’t say anything, though, of course they meant to be good also.  Only, sometimes, you know how it is, just when you want to be good and make no trouble something is sure to happen; that is, most always.  Well, that’s the way it was this time.

The papa and mamma ducks hadn’t been gone more than half an hour before Jimmie thought of something to do.  Of course, he didn’t know it was mischief but it was, all the same.

It happened that at one end of the pond where the ducks lived there was a waterfall.  That is, the water ran from the pond, and fell over a high wall of stones upon some more stones down below, and made a lot of foam and a rushing, gurgling noise that was very cool in summer, making you think of ice cream and all nice things like that.  And besides this there was, near the waterfall, a big mill, with a wheel that went around and around, to grind the corn and grain.

Well, Jimmie’s papa and mamma hadn’t been gone more than half an hour before the little boy duck called to Lulu and Alice.  “Let’s see how near we can go to the waterfall,” he said.

Now this was a very dangerous thing to do, because there was a strong and swift current at the fall, and any one who went too near it might be carried over.  Mr. and Mrs. Wibblewobble knew this, and many times had told their children to keep away.  But, you see, Jimmie forgot, or else didn’t want to remember, so he called to his sisters, telling them to see how near they could go.

“I’ll not,” spoke Alice.  “And you hadn’t better either, Jimmie.  You know what mamma said.”

“Oh, well, the water’s low now,” replied Jimmie.  “I don’t believe there’s any danger.  Come on, Lulu.”

“All right,” said Lulu.  So she and Jimmie started to swim as close as they could to the waterfall.  But Alice stayed near shore, and who should come along but Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, the muskrat nurse who was out for a walk.  She told Alice about Sammie and Susie Littletail, and said the little rabbit children were well.

Now all this while Jimmie and Lulu were swimming nearer and nearer to the waterfall.  They could hear the water splashing on the rocks below, and they liked to listen to it.

“We had better stop,” called Lulu, after a while.

“No, I’m going closer,” declared Jimmie.  “There is no danger; come on!”

But just then Lulu felt something pulling her down toward where the big wheel went around and around, and she got frightened.  Then she swam just as hard as she could toward shore, and called to her brother:  “Jimmie, don’t go any closer!  Come back!”

But Jimmie was a boy duck, and wanted to be brave, so he answered:  “I’m going just a little bit closer.”

Now Lulu had a very hard time, indeed, getting to shore, as the current was so strong, but she finally managed it.  Jimmie, however, kept on swimming nearer and nearer to the falls.  Then, all at once, before you could stick a pin in a cushion, what should take place but that the little boy duck felt himself being pulled along by the rushing water, just as the soap floats along when you pull the plug out of the bathtub.  Oh, how fast the water swept him along!  Jimmie splashed and paddled with all his might, and tried to swim ashore, where Lulu was anxiously watching him, but he couldn’t seem to move.  There he was, being carried along to the edge of the falls, with the cruel, sharp stones below, and the big millwheel going around and around.  Then Jimmie knew he was in great danger, and he cried out:  “Help!  Help!  Help!” three times, as loudly as he could call.

Lulu and Alice heard him, and were much frightened.  They started to go to the aid of their brother, but Grandfather Goosey-Gander warned them not to.

“But who will save Jimmie?” they cried.

“I will try to,” answered the old gentleman duck.

So he got a rope and threw it to Jimmie, but the rope wasn’t long enough, and the poor little boy duck kept getting closer and closer to the edge of the falls, and the big millwheel.  Oh, how hard he was swimming, but the water was stronger than he was.

“Get a board!” cried Bully, the frog, who came hopping along just then.  So the ducks and the geese got a board and threw it to Jimmie, but it floated past him, and he couldn’t get upon it.  Then it surely did look as if he were going to be carried right over the falls, for he was being swept nearer and more near, and he could hear the water making a terrible roaring, splashing sound on the rocks.  You have no idea how scared Jimmie was, and he wished he had never gone near the falls.

Then the other ducks got a long stick and Grandfather Goosey-Gander held it out, so the little boy duck could grasp it in his bill, but the stick broke, and every one said it was too bad!  Then, just as Jimmie was almost to the edge of the falls, if Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy didn’t call out:  “Stand aside, everybody!  I am a good swimmer and I will save him!”

Then what do you think happened?  Why that good, kind muskrat jumped right into the water, and hurried to where Jimmie was.  She dived down, and got hold of his yellow legs in her teeth, but she took hold very gently, so as not to hurt him.  Then she was such a fine swimmer that she managed to get to shore, towing and pulling Jimmie with her, for the water could not hurt Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, no matter how hard the millwheel splashed.

So that is how Jimmie was saved from the waterfall, and when his papa and mamma came home they were very glad, of course, and why shouldn’t they be?  But, all the same Lulu and Jimmie had to be punished for disobeying, and going too near the falls when they had been told not to, and their punishment was that they could not go in swimming for three days.  And if you ever were a duck you know that was very severe punishment indeed, very severe.

But I’m not going to say that Jimmie and Lulu didn’t deserve it, no indeed I’m not; not if you were to offer me an orange and a half; and I’m very fond of oranges; very.  Well, that’s how things will sometimes happen in this world, won’t they? do the best that you can.  But now I suppose you want to know what the story will be about to-morrow night.  Well, if I see a pink grasshopper, I shall tell you about a visit the Wibblewobble children paid to poor, sick, Billie Bushytail.