Read STORY XX - HOW JIMMIE STOOD ON HIS HEAD of Lulu‚ Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, free online book, by Howard R. Garis, on

Jimmie Wibblewobble was quite a hero after he had found out about the rats taking the eggs, and every time he walked in the chicken yard the old rooster would crow and say: 

“There goes Jimmie, the boy who scared the rats.”

But do you s’pose Jimmie was proud?  Not a bit of it.  He was just as nice as ever, and Lulu and Alice thought a lot of him, let me tell you.

Well, one day, Bully, the frog, came over to play with Jimmie.  They tossed a baseball around, Bully catching it in his mouth.  All of a sudden the frog boy cried out: 

“Oh, my, I’m so warm, I think I’ll jump in the pond and cool off.”  So he jumped into the pond just as easily as butter melts on a hot stove, and when he came up he felt better.  Then he said to Jimmie: 

“Why don’t you dive down under the water the way I do?  It’s lots of fun.”

“I would,” answered Jimmie, “only I can’t stay under water as you do.  I have to float on top.  I can put my head under, to dig in the mud for snails and sweet, spicy weeds, but I can’t get my whole body under.”

“I know how you could do it,” went on Bully.

“How?” asked Jimmie, and he wobbled his tail so fast you could hardly see it move.

“Tie a stone around your neck,” went on Bully.  That will make you sink under water, and you can then dive as good as I can.  Come on, we’ll have some fun.”

“Oh, don’t you do it, Jimmie!” cried Lulu, who came along just then with Alice.  “Maybe you can’t get the stone loose, and you’ll be drowned!”

“Oh, I guess not,” answered Jimmie.  “I can stay under water a long time.  I want to see how it feels to dive in — ker plunk! — like a frog.”

“I’m going to tell mamma,” cried Alice.

“Tattle-tale!  Tattle-tale!” called Jimmie.  “I never tell on you!”

“Well, then, I won’t tell,” said Alice, “but Lulu and I will stay close by, so if you can’t get the stone off we can help you.”

“Well, that’s kind of you,” spoke her brother, “but I’ll be all right.  You will see me stand on my head, just like Bully does, and dive under the water.”

So he got a stone and a piece of long grass for a string, and Bully tied the stone around Jimmie’s neck.  Now, this was a very risky thing to do, but, you see, Jimmie didn’t know any better.  Neither did Bully.  But you just wait and see what happens.  I’m coming to it very shortly now.

Pretty soon the stone was tied on good and tight, and then Jimmie and Bully stood on the edge of the pond.

“Are you all ready?” asked Bully.

“Yep,” replied Jimmie, and he stretched out his neck, for it felt funny to have a stone tied around it.  Oh, how foolish some ducks are; now, aren’t they, honestly?

“All ready,” went on Bully.  “One for the money, two for a show, three to make ready and four to go!” and he yelled the “Four” real loudly.

Then they jumped in, Jimmie and Bully, ker-splash, ker-splosh, ker-splish, ker-thump!  Oh what a lot of water they scattered about, wetting Lulu and Alice, but the girl ducks didn’t mind it.  Of course, Bully went right to the bottom, and so did Jimmie, too.  His head went right down in the mud, the way Lulu’s did that terrible day I told you about once.  And poor Jimmie’s yellow feet were right up in the air, and that’s where a duck’s feet ought never to be.  Oh my, no! and some shingle nails besides.

Well, Jimmie tried to swim along under water, as he saw Bully doing, but he couldn’t.  No, sir, not the least bit.  You see the stone was too heavy, and it held him down.  Besides, his feet were out of the water, and as a duck has to have his feet in water to swim with, of course, Jimmie couldn’t move along at all.

There he was, held down under water, and all the while his breath was getting shorter and shorter, and he kept feeling worse and worse, and he wished he had taken Lulu’s advice and not tried to stand on his head and dive.

Well, naturally, when Jimmie didn’t come up in some time, Lulu and Alice got worried.  Bully popped up, after swimming across the pond under water and out of sight, and they asked him what had become of Jimmie.

“I’ll go look,” he said, and when he dived down, and came back, he was pale green instead of dark green as he usually was.  You see he turned pale green because he was so frightened.

“Oh, dear!” cried Bully.  “Jimmie is held fast down there by the stone on his neck, and can’t get up.”

“Can’t you bite the stone loose?” asked Alice.  Then Bully tried, but he couldn’t, and Lulu and Alice tried, but they couldn’t.  And there wasn’t any one else around to help, and it began to look pretty bad for poor Jimmie.

And then, just as he surely thought he would never see his papa, and mamma, and sisters, and Aunt Lettie again, who should come walking along the bottom of the pond but the mud turtle fairy prince.  He saw right away what the matter was, and it didn’t take him a second, with his sharp jaws, to bite through the grass that held, the stone around Jimmie’s neck, and up popped the little boy duck!

His life had been saved just in time, let me tell you!  And oh, how thankful Alice and Lulu were, to say nothing of Jimmie; and how they thanked the fairy prince.

“Maybe you will believe that I am a fairy now,” said the mud turtle to Jimmie, and Jimmie said he would.  He also said he would never stand on his head again, with a stone tied around his neck, and I’m glad to say he never did.  Now, in case I should see a sky-blue-pink-green rose in blossom to-morrow I’ll tell you a story about Lulu, and how Aunt Lettie did her a great favor.