Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys

by Howard R. Garis

Chapter 27: “Flop and the Skate Wagon”

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1918
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Garis, H. R. (1918). Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys. New York, NY: A. L. Burt Co.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 4.4
  • Word Count: 1,280


One morning Flop Ear, the little piggie boy, awakened in his bed of straw, and said:

“I don’t feel very well today.”

“I wish I didn’t, too,” spoke Curly Tail.

“Why?” asked his brother in surprise. “I’m not fooling. Honestly, I don’t feel well. Do you want to be sick, too?”

“Just a little bit,” answered Curly Tail. “Just sick enough so as not to have to go to school.”

“Oh, that’s so!” exclaimed Flop Ear. “There is school today. I thought it was Saturday, and I was sorry I didn’t feel well, but now—”

Well, as it happened it was Friday, instead of Saturday, and, of course, there was school. But when Mrs. Twistytail heard that Flop Ear did not feel well, she said:

“Perhaps you had better not go today. Just lie abed and maybe you will be better by afternoon.”

So Curly Tail had to go to school alone, and he felt rather lonesome, and Flop Ear stayed at home, just like the little pig in the story.

But pretty soon, oh, I guess about 10 o’clock, when it was too late to go to school, Flop Ear got out of bed and said:

“I don’t feel quite so badly now, mother. Maybe if I go out in the air, I’ll be all well.”

“All right,” she said, and there was a funny little twinkle in her eyes. “But first you must take some castor oil, and then I will be sure you will be better,” she added.

Then Flop Ear wished he had gone to school, whether he felt well or not, but there was no help for it; he had to take the castor oil. After it was down—and it wasn’t much fun swallowing it, let me tell you—after it was down, Flop Ear walked out in the street sort of slow and thoughtful-like, and wished he had someone to play with, or something to do.

“It isn’t so much fun staying home as I thought it would be,” he said. Just then, in an ash barrel, he saw one roller skate. It was pretty well battered and worn, but the four wheels of it were good yet, and Flop Ear, as he took it out and knocked the ashes from it, said:

“Ha! One roller skate. Now if I had two I might have some fun, and forget about the castor oil.”

“You can have fun with one roller skate,” said a voice behind the little piggie boy, and turning, Flop Ear saw Uncle Butter, the goat gentleman, just coming back from having delivered all his milk.

“How can you have fun with one roller skate?” asked Flop Ear.

“By making a skate wagon,” said the goat gentleman. “I saw some boy animals up in Roseville playing on them yesterday, and I’ll tell you how to make one. First, you have to have a box, a long, narrow board, a stick and some nails and string.”

“I can get all those!” exclaimed Flop Ear, and he did. Then Uncle Butter took the roller skate apart at the place where it slid together to be made smaller or larger. Right apart he took it, and there were two wheels on one part and two on the other.

The goat gentleman used the string to fasten two wheels on one end of the long narrow board and two wheels on the other end. Then he nailed the box on the front end of the board, right over the front wheels, and on top of the box he nailed the stick for a handle, just as on a bicycle, only this handle was straight and not curved.

“There is your skate wagon,” he said to Flop Ear. “You take it to some street that runs down hill and you start at the top. Stand up on the board, near the box, and lean against it so you won’t fall off. Take hold of the handles, and then push yourself off. Down the hilly street you will roll on the skate wheels, just like a coaster wagon.”

“Fine!” cried Flop Ear, as he thanked Uncle Butter. Then he ran to the top of a hilly, smooth street to try his skate wagon.

He stood up in the middle of the long narrow board, took hold of the handles on top of the box, and steadied himself. Then, with one foot he gave himself a good push, and down the hill he went as fast as anything, making a noise just like a real roller skater boy only louder.

“Oh, this is great!” he cried as he reached the bottom of the hill, and ran back for another coast down it. Then Flop Ear forgot all about being sick, and he had lots of fun riding on his skate wagon, so you see that even one roller skate may be good for something.

Well Flop Ear was just going to coast down the hill for about the forty-’leventh time when, all of a sudden, he heard a voice calling:

“Save me! Save me! Oh, help me!”

He looked around and there he saw a poor old lady cat being chased by a bad dog that had once caught Uncle Butter to pull out his horns. The lady cat was running as fast as she could with her tail all swelled up like a bologna sausage.

“Save me from the bad dog!” she cried.

“Bow-wow! Woof! Woof! Bur-r-rr!” barked the dog. “I’ll get you!”

“No you won’t!” cried Flop Ear. “Get on my skate wagon!” he called to the old lady cat, and with one jump she landed in the box. Flop Ear gave a good push, jumped on the wagon himself, and down the hill he went faster and faster, with the dog coming after him.

“Oh, he’ll get us!” cried the lady cat.

“No he won’t!” shouted Flop Ear. Faster and faster went the skate wagon down the hill, and the bad dog tried so hard to catch up to it that, all of a sudden, his legs got tied up in a hard knot—yes, sir, just as hard a knot as if a sailor had made it. And, of course, that dog turned a somersault, and went head over heels and he couldn’t run any more until one of his friends untied the knots in his legs.

But by that time Flop Ear and the lady cat were safe at the bottom of the hill on the skate wagon, and the dog could not get them. Then the cat lady thanked the piggie boy very much, and gave him a penny, and Flop Ear went to school that afternoon, and was all better, and later he and Curly Tail had lots of fun on the strange wagon Uncle Butter had told how to make.

And so in case the rose bush doesn’t scratch the lilac leaves off the pie plant and make the clothes line catch cold, I’ll tell you next about Baby Pinky and the lemon.