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- Curly and Floppy Twistytail - 3/25 -
ice cream cone."
And just then Grandfather Squealer came past, and he saw Curly's little brother, with his ear hanging down, going flippity-flop, and the old gentleman said:
"Oh ho! I think I will call you Flopear, or Floppy for short. That is a good name, and it just fits you." And so after that the second little pig was always called Floppy for his ear never stood us again but always hung down like a bell clapper. But the salve soon made it well, and the storekeeper lady gave Floppy and Curly each an ice cream cone.
So that's all now, if you please, but in case the butcherman doesn't throw the loaf of bread at the candlestick and scare the lamp chimney I'll tell you in the story after this about Pinky Twistytail's rubber ball.
PINKY'S RUBBER BALL.
"Now, children," exclaimed Mrs. Twistytail, the pig lady, one morning, when she had given Curly and Floppy and Baby Pinky their breakfast of sour milk with cornmeal stirred in it, "now, children, run out and play. I have the sweeping and dusting to do, and then I am going to make an apple pie."
"Oh, goodie!" cried Curly. "Do you want us to help you, mamma?"
"No, I'm afraid you would eat more apples than you would put in the pie," said Mrs. Twistytail with a laugh. "Run along now."
"Come on Curly," said Floppy and he ran out and turned a somersault, even though it was near winter, for he felt happy, now that he had a name and didn't have to be called "Bub" or "Johnny" or something like that.
"What shall we do?" asked Curly.
"Let's build a fort and play soldier," suggested Floppy. "Pinky can be a prisoner and we'll make believe capture her, and then we'll rescue her, and shoot off make-believe guns, and--"
"No--No!" cried Baby Pinky, as she tried to stand up on the end of her twisty tail, but she couldn't, for it was too slimpsy and not stiff enough. She fell down, but her brothers picked her up, and then the curl came back in her tail.
You see, after the bear had tied Curly to the fence and made his tail all frizzy-like, all the other pigs, including Pinky and Floppy wanted their tails to curl also, and their mamma had to do it for them, twisting them around the rolling-pin. And she even curled her own, and her husband's, that that's why all pigs have curly tails now, because it's stylish, you see.
"Why don't you want to play soldier?" asked Floppy of his little sister.
"Oh, it's too scary!" she said. "And the guns make so much noise. If you won't shoot off any guns I'll play."
"Pooh!" exclaimed Curly, "all soldiers have to shoot guns! You couldn't be a soldier with a gun that didn't make any noise."
"Then I'm not going to play," said Pinky, who was just the color of the inside of a shiny sea shell. "I'll bounce my rubber ball," she went on, "and you boys can play soldier."
So she bounced her ball that Grandfather Squealer had given her, while Curly and Floppy as I'll call him for short, made a fort out of cobs from which they had gnawed all the corn, and they had a fine time. They were off playing in the woods, while Pinky stayed near the house.
She was hoping her mamma would soon have the apple pie baked and would call her in and give her a piece, when, all of a sudden, as Pinky bounced her ball, it went high in the air, but it didn't come down again right away.
"My! What can have happened?" thought little Pinky, and she looked around, and there she saw a great big fuzzy fox, standing behind her. And the fox cried out, as he rubbed his nose:
"Did you hit me with that rubber ball?"
"Yes--yes--perhaps I did," said poor Baby Pinky, trembling so that she nearly shook the curl out of her tail. "I tossed my ball up in the air, but I'm sure I didn't mean to hit you with it. Please forgive me."
"No, indeed, I will not!" exclaimed the fox. "Your rubber ball hit me right on the nose when it came down, and I caught it. And, just for that, I am going to carry you away with me and make a pork pie of you!"
"Oh, please don't!" begged Pinky, shaking more than ever, and she squealed as loudly as she could, but her mamma did not hear her, for she was beating up some eggs to make a cake, and the egg beater made so much noise that she couldn't hear her own little girl. And Curly and Floppy were shooting off their make-believe guns, and making so much noise in the woods that they couldn't hear, and there was the fox about to carry off the poor little piggie girl to his den. Oh, wasn't it terrible?
"Here we go!" cried the fox, and with that he grabbed up poor Pinky, tossing her rubber ball on the ground. Up it bounced, and, hardly knowing what she did, the little pig girl caught it in her foot, holding it tight. Then the fox slung her across his back and ran off with her, Pinky squealing all the while as hard as she could.
"Squeal away!" growled the old fuzzy fox. "You'll soon stop it when I put you in the pork pie!"
And Pinky kept on squealing. Pretty soon the fox ran through the woods where Curly and Flop were playing soldier, but the fox didn't know that. Pinky did, however, and when she got beneath the trees she squealed louder than ever, hoping her brothers would hear.
"Keep quiet!" barked the fox.
"No! No!" exclaimed Pinky, and she squealed again. Oh! she squealed like anything. Then Curly heard her. So did Flop.
"That sounds like Pinky," said Curly, blinking his eyes.
"It surely does," agreed his brother. "Something must have happened to her." They ran out of the fort they had made of corncobs piled one on the other, and they saw their little baby sister being carried off by the fox. Wow! Think of that!
"Here, you let our Pinky alone!" cried Curly bravely.
"No! No! No!" answered the bad fox.
"Then we'll shoot you!" shouted Flop. "Shoot him, Curly!"
Then those two brave pig boys shot their make-believe guns at the fox. "Bang! Bang! Bung! Bung!" But do you s'pose he stopped for that? Not a bit of it! On he ran, faster than ever, carrying away Pinky, and Curly and Flop ran after him, but what could they do? It looked as if the little pig girl would soon be made into pork pie, when she suddenly called out:
"Oh, boys! My rubber ball! Fill it with water and squirt it at the fox!" and she threw her ball to Curly.
"Don't you dare squirt rubber-ball water at me!" howled the fox, for he was very much afraid of getting his tail wet.
"Yes we will!" shouted Curly and with that he caught the ball his sister tossed to him. It only took him a second to stop at a mud puddle and fill the ball with water. Then, taking careful aim, just as a brave pig soldier boy should, he squeezed the ball, and "Zip!" out squirted the water all over the bad fox.
"Oh wow! Double wow, and pumpkin pie! That water went right into my eye!" howled the fox, and then, with his tail all wet, so that it weighed ten pounds, or more, that fox was so utterly frightened and kerslostrated that he let go of poor little Pinky and ran off to his den, and he didn't have any pork pie for a long time afterward.
"Oh, you saved me!" cried Pinky to her two brothers, when they had picked her up, and started back home with her.
"You helped save yourself," said Curly. "You and your rubber ball," and he and Flop were very glad their sister had not been carried off by the bad fox.
And on the next page, if the washtub doesn't fall out of its crib and knock a hole in the tea kettle so that all the lemonade runs out, I'll tell you how Curly helped his mamma.
HOW CURLY HELPED MOTHER
"Well, this is certainly a fine day for washing!" exclaimed Mrs. Twistytail, the pig lady, one morning as she got up from the nice, clean, straw bed where she had slept with little Pinky. "I must get right to work and hang out the sheets and pillow-cases so the sun will make them nice and white."
So she hurried through with the breakfast of sour milk with corn meal and sugar cakes, and as soon as Mr. Twistytail had gone to the factory, where he helped make sausage for buckwheat cakes, Mrs. Twistytail said:
"Now, children, do you want to help me wash?"
"Oh, yes, mamma!" they all cried at once.
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