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The Dunce Takes a Tumble — Adventures of the Teenie Weenies by William Donahey

Crickety!” exclaimed the Dunce as he dropped into a chair before the Teenie Weenie fireplace. “Since the Scotchman left it’s as dull around here as a lady’s pocket knife,” and the little fellow blinked mournfully into the fire.

“What’s wrong, Dunce?” asked the Lady of Fashion, looking up from her sewing.

“Ah, I want to take a walk or somethin’ and everybody is busy or somethin’.”

“Why don’t you get Gogo to go along? He always likes to take a walk,” smiled the little lady.

“Ah, he an’ the Cowboy an’ the Turk are buildin’ a fly trap over at the tool house. The Sailor and the Indian are helpin’ the Cook get a spoiled potato out of the cellar. Paddy Pinn, the Doctor, the General and the Old Soldier are havin’ a meetin’ at the hospital and the Clown and the Poet are out in the back yard talkin’ nonsense with a sparrow,” growled the Dunce.

“I’d love to take a walk today, but I promised to mend this dress for Mrs. Lover and it has to be finished by four o’clock, as she and Mr. Lover and the Twins are invited over to the squirrel’s house for dinner. Why don’t you go over to the laundry and try Chuck and Zip? Maybe one of them would like to take a walk.”

“Chink!” shouted the Dunce, “I never thought about the Chinaman and Zip,” and jumping up he hurried over to the old tea pot, where he found Zip toasting his shins before the fire.

The Chinaman had just gone over to the hospital to deliver some shirts to the Doctor, but Zip was ready for a walk, and in a few minutes he slipped on his sweater and the two Teenie Weenies set off together.

There was one place the Teenie Weenies loved to visit best of all and that was any big house where big people lived, for there were always so many big and wonderful things to see.

The two little fellows made their way straight to the nearest big house, and crawling under the door they began to investigate the place.

“Let’s crawl up on that,” said the Dunce, pointing to a shelf high above their heads, “and maybe we can find somethin’ good to eat.”

After a hard climb the two Teenie Weenies landed on the shelf, but they found nothing but glass fruit jars, which towered above their heads.

“S-S-S-Say, Zip!” said the Dunce as he nodded his head in the direction of one of the jars, “that jar hasn’t got any top on it and there are pickled peaches in it. I’ve just been thinkin’ that we could get up on the shelf above and you could hold a string while I slid down into the jar and got some of the fruit.”

After a long hunt the two Teenie Weenies found a piece of string, and climbing up to the shelf the Dunce started to slide down into the jar. He got nearly half way down when the string snapped and the little chap dropped with a loud splash into the juice.

Poor Zip was scared half out of his wits and ran off for help as fast as his legs would carry him. He found three of the Teenie Weenies in the tool house, and grabbing up a piece of rope they followed the little fellow at top speed.

When they climbed up onto the shelf they all burst out with laughter, for the Dunce was a funny sight, standing on a pickled peach with the juice dripping off the end of his nose.

The Cowboy threw a rope to the Dunce and the rest of the Teenie Weenies soon pulled him to safety.

“S-S-S-Say,” gasped the Dunce, rubbing the juice out of his eyes, “don’t t-t-t-tell the General. He’d give me an awful scolding for getting into this mess.”

“Well, you know that it’s not right to go meddling into things,” said the Cowboy, “but if you promise not to try anything like this again, we’ll not tell on you.”

“I’ll promise,” answered the Dunce, “bu-bu-bu-but look at my clothes, they are spoiled.”

“Me fix that all right,” cried Zip. “Me take you to laundry and wash clothes for you.”

Taking a roundabout way so they would not be seen, the Dunce and Zip soon reached the laundry, where the Dunce stripped to the skin and crawled into the Chinaman’s bed, while Zip washed and dried the soiled clothes.

“They still smell a little of the pickled peaches,” said the Dunce, as he put on his clothes.

“Your clothes not smell much like peach,” said Zip, sniffing at the Dunce. “Nobody notice him.”

As it was nearly supper time, the Dunce hurried over to the shoe house, and when he drew his chair up to the tiny dinner table the Lady of Fashion looked suspiciously at him.

“Something smells funny,” remarked the little lady.

“Smells sort of like pickled peaches,” chuckled the Cowboy, winking at the Turk.

The poor Dunce turned as red as a cranberry and he was most uncomfortable for a few minutes, but fortunately the talk turned to other matters and he felt very much relieved.

While he ate his supper the Dunce made up his mind that he would never enter another pickle jar and to his credit let it be said that he has strictly kept his word.

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