Read STORY XXI - LULU AND AUNT LETTIE of Lulu‚ Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble, free online book, by Howard R. Garis, on ReadCentral.com.

Lulu Wibblewobble was walking in the deep, dark woods, and, what is more, she was all alone.  Yes, and she wasn’t afraid.  You see, Jimmie had gone off with the boys in the lots back of the duck pond to play ball, and Alice had gone shopping with her mamma.  Lulu could have gone, too, only felt she would rather go walking in the woods, so she went.

At first it was very pleasant with the birds singing in the trees, and the wind blowing through the leaves, and making music, and Lulu liked it very much.  She found some fine eel grass in a little brook, and she was eating the green stems, and thinking how nice it was, when all at once she heard a funny noise.  It was just like when a great, big door swings on rusty hinges.

Lulu stopped eating eel grass at once, and she called right out loud: 

“My goodness!  What’s that?”

Then it was all still, and quiet; as quiet, you know, as when a little mouse walks along, and doesn’t want any one to hear him, going after the crackers and cheese, and maybe the jam tarts, too; who knows?  Well, it was just as still and quiet as it could be, when all of a sudden the noise came again.

“Oh, dear!” cried Lulu.  “I believe I’m going to be frightened.  I wish Jimmie was here!”

But Jimmie, the brave boy duck, was a long way off, playing ball with Bully, the frog, and his other friends, though he would have come at once to help his sister if he had known what a dreadful thing was almost going to happen to her.

Well, as I said, the noise sounded again, and then, when Lulu looked right at a tree, what should she see but something big and bushy, waving in the wind.

“Oh, maybe it’s Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, and perhaps Sister Sallie is with them!” she said, aloud, and she didn’t feel quite so frightened.  Then that terrible noise came again, and the bushy thing got bigger, and Lulu saw that it was the tail of a great, big black dog.  Oh, such a big black dog as it was!  And he was growling, and that’s what made the sound like a big door creaking on big, rusty hinges.

The dog came out from behind the tree, and he stared right in the face of Lulu, as bold as bold could be.

“Who are you?” growled the dog.

“If — if you please, kind sir, I’m Lulu,” she answered.

“Bur-r-r-r!” growled the dog.  “I’m not a kind Sir at all.  I’m a bad dog!  Bur-r-r-r!  Bur-r-r-r!  What’s your last name?  Bur-r-r-r!”

“My last name is Wibblewobble, Bad Dog,” she replied.

“Bur-r-r-r!  What are you calling me names for?” he asked, and he showed his teeth something frightful, yes, indeed!  Now cuddle up close to me if you want to, and you won’t be a bit afraid, because, in a few minutes Lulu is going to be saved in a wonderful way.  Just you wait and see.

“Why do you call me names?” asked the dog again.

“I — I — If you please,” said Lulu, “I thought you said your name was Bad Dog, sir.”

“Bur-r-r-r!” cried the dog.  “I didn’t at all.  No matter what my name is.  I am a bad dog, however, and I’m proud of it!” Oh, wasn’t he the bold, ugly dog, though?  Then he looked at Lulu some more, and growled even louder, and he asked her: 

“What are you, a chicken or a turkey?”

“Neither,” replied Lulu, “I’m a duck, if you please.”

“Ha!” exclaimed the bad dog.  “A duck!  The very idea!  Of all things I love ducks!  I just dote on ’em!  I love ’em just like you love jam tarts, I expect.  But why aren’t you larger, Lulu?  I like big ducks.”

“Oh!” cried the little duck girl, “are you going to eat me up?”

“Yes,” replied the dog, “I am.”

“Then,” went on Lulu, very bravely, for she was trying to think of a way to get out of the deep, dark woods, “if you will wait a year or two, I will be larger.”

“No,” said the dog.  “I can’t wait.  I’m in a hurry.  I must have you now.”

Then he growled some more, and rushed right at Lulu, and I suppose he would have eaten her up, feathers and all, only for what happened.

Now, what do you suppose prevented him?  Why, just as he was about to grab the little duck girl there was a crashing and a smashing in the bushes and who should appear but dear Aunt Lettie, the old lady goat!  As soon as she laid eyes on that dog she knew what he was going to do, and without speaking a word, she rushed right at him and lowered her horns.

Now, it’s a good thing for that dog that the sharp ends of Aunt Lettie’s horns had been sawed off.  So, you see, when she stuck them in that dog’s ribs, they only tickled him and he had to laugh, instead of sticking right through him.  Oh, how hard he laughed!  But he didn’t want to, not a bit.

Then Aunt Lettie just lowered her head, and then she raised it up, and over her back that bad dog went, right up in the air, and he was tossed in some briars and brambles that scratched him well.

But he wasn’t satisfied yet, and he rushed back at Lulu, but Aunt Lettie tickled him in the ribs again, and he laughed:  “Ha!  Ho!” though he didn’t want to at all, and over into the briars and brambles he was tossed once more.

Then he had had enough, and he ran off, howling instead of laughing, and that’s the way it was that Aunt Lettie saved Lulu.  You see the old lady goat happened to be walking in the woods, when she heard the dog growl and she ran up just in time.  Then she went home with Lulu, and Jimmie said if he ever saw that dog he would throw a stone at him, and I wouldn’t blame him, would you?

Now to-morrow night I think the story is going to be about how Alice cut her foot, and what happened after it.  But I can’t tell it unless I happen to see a grasshopper standing on his head and eating jam tarts.