Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys

by Howard R. Garis

Chapter 24: “Curly and the Afraid Girl”

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: 4.2
  • Word Count: 1,454


One day, when Uncle Wiggily, the nice old gentleman rabbit, went down to the store on Raccoon Island, in Lake Hopatcong, kept by Pop Goes the Weasel, there was a letter there for Curly Tail and also one for Flop Ear.

“I wonder who can be writing to the piggie boys,” said the rabbit gentleman. “I’ll take the letters to them.”

So he stopped to play just one game of Scotch checkers with Pop Goes the Weasel, only they didn’t quit finish it because Mr. Pop’s cat jumped on the middle of the board to catch a mosquito and scattered the checkers all over.

“Scat!” cried Pop Goes the Weasel. “Why did you do that?”

“Never mind,” said Uncle Wiggily. “She didn’t mean to.”

And really the cat didn’t mean to, and the mosquito got away after all, and Pop Goes the Weasel began picking up the checkers, but the rabbit gentleman said:

“I’m afraid I can’t stay to finish the game. I must get back with the letters for Flop and Curly,” calling them thus for short.

“Very well,” said Pop, “and take them some sour milk chocolate candy with my best wishes, for the letters may be from home, telling them to come back to school.”

And really, that is just what the letters said. They were from the nice owl lady school teacher, saying that the roof was back on the school now, and that in a few days all the animal children must begin reciting their lessons again.

“Well, then, we must have all the fun we can the few remaining days that we are to be on Raccoon Island,” said Flop Ear.

“Correct,” spoke Curly Tail. “Let’s take a walk and see if we can find an adventure.”

So off they started from Uncle Wiggily’s bungalow, and when they came to a place where there were two paths through the woods, Curly Tail said:

“Now, Flop Bar, you go one way and I’ll go the other, and we will see who first meets with an adventure.”

“Very well,” agreed Flop Ear, and off he went through the woods, but, as nothing happened to him except that he fell down a well and had trouble getting out again, I shall not tell his adventure. Instead, I will relate what happened to Curly Tail.

On and on he went, and he was wondering what would happen to him, when, all at once, as he came to a little river that flowed through the island, he heard a voice saying:

“Oh, I shall never get across. I know I shan’t. I’m so afraid of water, and I know there are cat-tails and pussy willows and all sorts of things like that around here. Oh! what shall I do? I want to get across to see my grandmother, but how can I?”

“Hum! That is queer,” thought Curly Tail. “I wonder who that can be? I had better be careful, though, for it may be the fuzzy fox trying to fool me.”

So, carefully hiding himself behind a stone, he peered over the top, and once more he heard the voice saying:

“Oh! isn’t it dreadful to be afraid!”

“Why, it’s a little mousie girl,” exclaimed Curly Tail out loud.

“Of course, it is,” said the little creature beside the river. “And I’m afraid of the water, and the cat-tails and the pussy willows and all that.”

“There are no pussywillows out now, they only come in the spring,” said Curly Tail. “Though there may be some cat-tails. But they are not real cats, you know. They won’t hurt you. Are you a little afraid, mousie girl?”

“Yes, but that isn’t my name,” she said. “My name is Edna, and I’m dreadfully afraid of the water. How shall I get across?”

“I’ll get a big board and make believe it is a boat,” said Curly Tail. “Then you won’t be afraid.”

“Oh, yes, I will,” she said. “Can’t you think of some other way?”

Curly Tail shook his head, and even twisted up his ear, and then he thought real hard.

“I have it!” he cried. “You shall get on the board boat, and all the while you must keep looking up at the sky. Then you will not see the water, and you’ll think you’re flying and you won’t be afraid.”

“The very thing!” cried Edna, the little afraid mousie girl. So Curly Tail got a nice, big board for a boat, and pushed it into the water. Then he got a pole to shove himself and the mousie girl across the river, and they both got on the boat.

“Now mind!” exclaimed Curly Tail. “Keep looking up, and you won’t be afraid.”

Off they started, and Edna wasn’t much afraid. When they were about halfway across, and she felt real glad that she would soon see her grandmother, she said:

“Oh, I guess I’m brave enough to look at the water now. I think I’m not afraid with you, Curly Tail.”

“All right,” spoke the little piggie boy, and he was just going to tell the mousie girl to look down if she wanted to, when, all at once, after the boat, with his big jaws open, and his tongue going over his teeth like a nutmeg grater, came the bad skillery-scalery old alligator, with a double hump on his tail.

“Oh, my!” thought Curly Tail. “If she looks down now, and sees that alligator, she’ll surely be so afraid that she’ll faint, and maybe fall into the water, and then I’ll have to jump in to save her, and the alligator will get us both. What shall I do?”

Well, the mousie girl was just going to look down, and she would surely have seen the ‘gator, when Curly Tail cried:

“Don’t look! Don’t look! Oh, lobster salad! don’t look!”

“Why not?” asked the mousie girl.

“Because—because it’s—it’s a surprise!” was all Curly could think of to say.

“Oh, if it’s a surprise I must surely look!” said the mousie girl. “I just love surprises!”

“I guess she won’t like this kind!” thought Curly Tail, but what he said was:

“Quick! Tie your handkerchief over your eyes, and make believe you are playing blind man’s bluff. Then you can’t look until it’s time. Quick!”

So the mousie girl, whose name was Edna, did as Curly Tail told her. She blinded her eyes, and then, the piggie boy knew she would not see the ‘gator. On came the ferocious creature, ready to swallow the boat, Curly Tail and little afraid girl all at once. But Curly Tail just stuck the push pole down the alligator’s throat, and that made the ‘gator so angry that he lashed out with his tail, made a big wave, and that washed the boat and the piggie boy and the mousie girl safely up on shore. And then they were all right, for on dry land they could run faster than the ‘gator could.

“Where’s the surprise?” asked Edna, as she took off the handkerchief.

“There he goes,” said Curly Tail, showing her the alligator, who was swimming away, and Edna was glad she had not seen it when on the boat or she knew she surely would have fainted. Then she went on to her grandmother’s, after thanking Curly Tail, and the little piggie boy went back to the bungalow.

And on the next page, if the boys don’t take my cocoanut cake for a football and roll it up hill, I’ll tell you about the piggies and the dinner party.