Wherein is related the Unique Adventures of the Woggle-Bug
One day Mr. H. M. Woggle-Bug, T. E.;
becoming separated from the comrades
who had accompanied him from the
Land of Oz and finding that time hung
heavy on his hands (he had four of them),
decided to walk down the Main street of the City and
try to discover something or other of interest.
The initials "H. M." before his name meant "Highly
Magnified," for this Woggle-Bug was several thousand times
bigger than any other woggle-bug you ever saw. ,And the
initials "T. E." following his name meant "Thoroughly
Educated"-and so he was, in the Land of Oz. But his
education, being applied to a woggle-bug intellect, was note
at all remarkable in this country, where everything is quite,
different from Oz. Yet the Woggle-Bug did not suspect, this,
and being, like many other thoroughly educated persons,
proud of his mental attainments, he marched along the street
with an air of importance that made one wonder what great
thoughts were occupying his massive brain.
Being about as big, in his magnified state, as a man, the
Woggle-Bug took care to clothe himself like a man; only,
instead of choosing sober colors for his garments, he delighted
in the most gorgeous reds and yellows and blues and greens;
so that if you looked at him long the brilliance of his clothing
was liable to dazzle your eyes.
I suppose the Woggle-Bug did not realize at all what a
queer appearance he made. Being rather nervous, he seldom
looked into a mirror; and as the people he met avoided
telling him he was unusual, he had fallen into the habit of
considering himself merely an ordinary citizen of the big city
wherein he resided.
So the Woggle-Bug strutted proudly along the street,
swinging a cane in one hand, flourishing a pink handkerchief
in another, fumbling his watch-fob with another, and feeling
if his necktie was straight with another. Having four hands
to use would prove rather puzzling to you or me, I imagine;
but the Woggle-Bug was thoroughly accustomed to them.
Presently he came to a very fine store with big plate-glass
windows, and standing in the center of the biggest window
was a creature so beautiful and radiant and altogether
charming that the first glance at her nearly took his breath
away. Her complexion was lovely, for it was wax; but the
thing that really caught the Woggle-Bug's fancy was the
marvelous dress she wore. Indeed, it was the latest (last
year's) Paris model, although the Woggle-Bug did not know
that; and the designer must have had a real woggly love for
bright colors, for the gown was made of cloth covered with
big. checks which were so loud that the fashion books called
them " Wagnerian Plaids."
Never had our friend the Woggle-Bug seen such a
beautiful gown before, and it affected him so strongly that he
straightway fell in love with the entire outfit-even to the
wax-complexioned lady herself. Very politely he tipped his
hat to her; but she stared coldly back without in any way
acknowledging the courtesy.
"Never mind," he thought; '"faint heart never won
fair lady.' And I'm determined to win this kaleidoscope of
beauty or perish in the attempt!" You will notice that our
insect had a way of using big words to express himself, which
leads us to suspect that the school system in Oz is the same
they employ in Boston.
As, with swelling heart, the Woggle-Bug feasted his
eyes upon the enchanting vision, a small green tag that was
attached to a button of the waist suddenly attracted his
attention. Upon the tag was marked: "Price $7.93-GREATLY
"Ah!" murmured the Woggle-Bug; -my darling is in
greatly reduced circumstances, and $7.93 will make her mine!
Where, oh where, shall I find the seven ninety-three wherewith
to liberate this divinity and make her Mrs. Woggle-Bug?"
"Move on!" said a gruff policeman, who came along
swinging his club. And the Woggle-Bug obediently moved
on, his brain working fast and furious in the endeavor to
think of a way to procure seven dollars and ninety-three cents.
You see, in the Land of Oz they use no money at all,
so that when the Woggle-Bug arrived in America he did not
possess a single penny. And no one had presented him with
any money since.
"Yet there must be several ways to procure money in
this country," he reflected; "for otherwise everybody would
be as penniless as I am. But how, I wonder, do they man-
age to get it?"
Just then he came to a side street where a number of
men were at work digging a long and deep ditch in which to
lay a new sewer.
"Now these men," thought the Woggle-Bug, "must
get money for shoveling all that earth, else-they wouldn't do
it. Here is my chance to win the charming vision of beauty
in the shop window!"
Seeking out the foreman, he asked for work, and the
foreman agreed to hire him.
"How much do you pay these workmen?" asked the
highly magnified one.
"Two dollars a day," answered the foreman.
"Then," said the Woggle-Bug, "you must pay me four
dollars a day; for I have four arms to their two, and can do
double their work."
"If that is so, I'll pay you four dollars," agreed the man.
The Woggle-Bug was delighted.
"In two days," he told himself, as he threw off his
brilliant coat and placed his hat upon it, and rolled up his
sleeves; "in two days I can earn eight dollars-enough to
purchase my greatly reduced darling and buy her seven cents
- worth of caramels besides."
He seized two spades and began working so rapidly with
his four arms that the foreman said: "You must have been
"Why?" asked the Insect.
"Because there's a saying that to be forewarned is to
be four-armed," replied the other.
"That is nonsense," said the Woggle-Bug, digging with
all his might; "for they call you the foreman, and yet I only
r see one of you:"
"Ha, ha!" laughed the man; and he was so proud of
his new worker that he went into the corner saloon to tell
his friend the barkeeper what a treasure he had found.
It was just after noon that the Woggle-Bug hired out
as- a ditch-digger in order to win his heart's desire; so 'at
noon on the second day he quit work, and having received
eight silver dollars he put on his coat and rushed away to the
store that he might purchase his intended bride.
But, alas for the uncertainty of all our hopes! just as
the Woggle-Bug reached the door he saw a young lady
coming out of the store dressed in those identical checks with
which he had fallen in love!
At first he did not know what to do or say, for the
young lady's complexion was not wax-far from it. But a
glance into the window showed him the wax lady now dressed
m a plain black tailor-made suit, and at once he knew that
the wearer of the Wagnerian plaids was his real love, and
not that stiff creature behind the glass.
"Beg pardon!" he exclaimed, stopping the young lady;
"but you're mine. Here's the seven ninety-three, and seven
cents for candy."
But she glanced at him in a haughty manner, and
walked away with her nose slightly elevated.
He followed. He could not do otherwise with those
delightful checks shining before him like beacon-lights to
urge him on.
The young lady stepped into a car, which whirled
rapidly away. For a moment he was nearly paralyzed at his
loss; then he started after the car as fast as he could go, and
that was very fast indeed-he being a woggle-bug.
Somebody cried: "Stop, thief!" and a policeman ran
out to arrest him. But the Woggle-Bug used his four hands
to push the officer aside, and the astonished man went rolling
into the gutter so recklessly that his uniform bore marks of
the encounter for many days.
Still keeping an eye on the car, the Woggle-Bug rushed
on. He frightened two dogs, upset a fat gentleman who was
crossing the street, leaped over an automobile that shot in
front of him, and finally ran plump into the car, which had
abruptly stopped to let off a passenger. Breathing hard from
his exertions, he jumped upon the rear platform of the car,
only to see his charmer step oft' at the front and walk
mincingly up the steps of a house. Despite his fatigue, he
flew after her at once, crying out:
"Stop, my variegated dear-stop! Don't you know
But she slammed the door in his face, and he sat down
upon the steps and wiped his forehead with his pink hand-
kerchief and fanned himself with his hat and tried to think
what he should do next.
Presently a very angry man came out of the house. He
had a revolver in one hand and a carving-knife in the other.
"What do you mean by insulting my wife?" he
"Was that your wife?" asked the Woggle-Bug, in
"Of course it is my wife," answered the man.
"Oh, I didn't know," said the insect, rather humbled.
"But I'll give you seven ninety-three for her. That's all
she's worth, you know; for I saw it marked on the tag."
The man gave a roar of rage and jumped into the air
with the intention of falling on the Woggle-Bug and hurting
him with the knife and pistol. But the Woggle-Bug was
suddenly in a hurry, and didn't wait to be jumped on.
Indeed, he ran so very fast that the mark was content to let
him go, especially as the pistol wasn't loaded and the carving-
knife was as dull as such knives usually are.
But his wife had conceived a great dislike for the
Wagnerian check costume that had won for her the Woggle-
Bug's admiration. "I'll never wear it again!" she said to
her husband, when he came in and told her that the Woggle-
Bug was gone..
"Then," he replied, "you'd better give it to Bridget;
for-. she's been bothering me about her wages lately, and the
present will keep her quiet for a. month longer'
So she called Bridget and presented her with dress,
and the delighted servant decided ,to wear it that very, night
to Mickey Schwartz’s ball.
Now the Poor Woggle-Bug, finding his affections
scorned, was feeling very blue and unhappy that evening.
When he walked out, dressed (among other things) in a
purple-striped shirt, with a yellow necktie and pea-green
gloves, he looked a great deal more cheerful than he really
was. He had put on another hat, for the Woggle-Bug had
a superstition that to change his hat was to change his luck,
and luck seemed to have overlooked the fact that he was in
The hat may really have altered his fortunes, as the
Insect shortly met Ikey Swanson, who gave him a ticket to
Mickey Schwartz's ball; for Ikey's clean dickey had not come
home from the laundry, and so he could not go himself.
The Woggle-Bug, thinking to distract his mind from
his dreams of love, attended the ball, and the first thing he
saw as he entered the room was Bridget-clothed in that same
gorgeous gown of Wagnerian plaid that had so fascinated his
The dear Bridget had added to her charms by putting
seven full-blown imitation roses and three second-hand ostrich-
plumes in her red hair; so that her entire person glowed like
a sunset in June.
The Woggle-Bug was enraptured;, and, although the
divine Bridget was waltzing with Fritzie Casey, the Insect
rushed to her side and, seizing her with all his four arms at
once, cried out in his truly educated Bostonian way:
"Oh, my superlative conglomeration of beauty! I have
found you at last!"
Bridget uttered a shriek, and Fritzie Casey doubled two
fists that looked like tombstones, and advanced upon the
Still embracing the plaid costume with two arms, the
Woggle-Bug tipped Mr. Casey over with the other two. But
Bridget made a bound and landed her broad heel, which
supported 180 pounds, firmly upon the Insect's toes. He
gave a yelp of pain and promptly released the lady, and a
moment later he found himself flat upon the floor with a
dozen of the dancers piled upon him-all of whom mere
pummeling one another with much pleasure and a firm
conviction that the diversion had been planned for their
But the Woggle-Bug had the strength of many men,
and when he flopped the big wings that were concealed by
the tails of his coat, the gentlemen resting upon him were
scattered like autumn leaves in a gust of wind.
The Insect stood up, rearranged his dress, and looked
about him. Bridget had run away and gone home, and the
others were still fighting among themselves with exceeding
cheerfulness. So the Woggle-Bug selected a hat that would
fit him (his own having been crushed out of shape) and walked
sorrowfully back to his lodgings.
"Evidently that was not a lucky hat I wore to the ball,"
he reflected; "but perhaps this one I now have will bring
about a change in my fortunes."
Bridget needed money; and as she had worn her
brilliant costume once and allowed her friends to see how
becoming it was, she carried it next morning to a second-
hand dealer and sold it for three dollars in cash.
Scarcely had she left the shop when a lady of Swedish
extraction — -a widow with four small children in her train-
entered and asked to look at a gown. The dealer showed
her the one he had just bought from Bridget, and its gay
coloring so pleased the widow that she immediately purchased
it for $3.65.
"Ay tank ets good deal money, by sure," she said to
herself;' "but das leedle children mus' have new Fadder to
mak mind un tak care dere murder like, bay yimminy! An'
Ay tank no man look may way in das ole dress Ay been
She took the gown and the four children to her home,
where she lost no time in trying on the costume, which
fitted her as perfectly as a flour-sack does a peck of
"Das beau — tiful!" she exclaimed, in rapture, as she
tried to see herself in a cracked mirror. "Ay go das very
afternoon to walk in da park, for das man-folks go craze-like
ven he sees may fine frocks!"
Then she took her green parasol and a hand-bag stuffed
with papers (to make it look prosperous and aristocratic) and
sallied forth to the park, followed by all her interesting flock.
The men didn't fail to look at her, as you may guess;
but none looked with yearning until the Woggle-Bug,
sauntering gloomily along a path, happened to raise his eyes
and see before him his heart's delight-the very identical
Wagnerian plaids which had filled him with such unbounded
"Aha, my excruciatingly lovely creation!" he cried,
running up and kneeling before the widow; "I have found you
once again. Do not, I beg of you, treat me with coldness!"
For he had learned from experience not to unduly
startle his charmer at their first moment of meeting; so he
made a firm attempt to control himself, that the wearer of
the checked gown might not scorn him.
The widow had no great affection for bugs, having
wrestled with the species for many years; but this one was
such a big-bug and so handsomely dressed that she saw no
harm in encouraging him-especially as the men she had
sought to captivate were proving exceedingly shy.
"So you tank Ay ban lovely?" she asked, with a coy
glance at the Insect.
"I do! With all my heart I do!" protested the
Woggle-Bug, placing his four hands, one after another, over
that beating organ.
"Das mak plenty trouble by you. Ay don'd could be
yours!" sighed the widow, indeed regretting her admirer
was not an ordinary man.
"Why not?" asked the Woggle-Bug. "I have still the
seven-ninety-three; and as that was the original price, and
you are now slightly worn and second-handed, I do not see
why I need despair of calling you my own."
It is very queer, when we think of it, that the Woggle-
Bug could not separate the wearer of his lovely gown from
the gown itself. Indeed, he always made love directly to the
costume that had so enchanted him, without any regard
whatsoever to the person inside it; and the only way we can
explain this remarkable fact is to recollect that the Woggle-
Bug was only a woggle-bug, and nothing more could be
expected of him. The widow did not, of course, understand
his speech in the least; but she gathered the fact that the
Woggle-Bug had money, so she sighed and hinted that she
was very hungry, and that there was a good short-order
restaurant just outside the park.
The Woggle-Bug became thoughtful at this. He hated
to squander his money, which he had come to regard as a
sort of purchase price with which to secure his divinity. But
neither could he allow those darling checks to go hungry; so
he said: .
"If you will come with me to the restaurant, I will
gladly supply you with food."
The widow accepted the invitation at once, and the
Woggle-Bug walked proudly beside her, leading all of the
four children at once with his four hands.
Two such gay costumes as those worn by the widow
and the Woggle-Bug are. seldom found together, and the
restaurant man was so impressed by the sight that he
demanded his, money in advance.
The .four children; jabbering delightedly in their broken
English, clambered upon four stools, and the widow sat upon
another. And' the Woggle-Bug, who was not hungry (being
engaged in feasting, his ,eyes upon the checks), laid down a
silver dollar as a guarantee of good faith.
It was wonderful to see so much pie and cake and
bread-and-butter and pickles and dough-nuts and sandwiches
disappear into the mouths of the tour innocents and their
comparatively innocent mother. The Woggle-Bug had to
add another quarter to the vanished dollar before the score
was finally settled; and no sooner had the tribe trooped out
of the restaurant than they turned into the open portals of
an Ice-Cream Parlor, where they all attacked huge stacks
of pale ice-cream and consumed several plates of lady-lingers
Again the Woggle-Bug reluctantly abandoned a dollar;
but the end was not yet. .The dear children wanted candy
and nuts; and then they wanted pink lemonade; and then
pop-corn and chewing-gum; and always the Woggle-Bug,
after a glance at the entrancing costume, found himself
unable to resist paying for the treat.
It was nearly- evening when the widow pleaded fatigue
and asked to be taken home. For none of them was able to
eat another morsel, and the Woggle-Bug wearied her with
his protestations of boundless admiration.
"Will you permit me to call upon you this evening?"
asked the Insect, pleadingly, as he bade the wearer of the
gown good-bye on her door-step.
"Sure like!" she replied, not caring to dismiss him
harshly; and the happy Woggle-Bug went home with a light
heart, murmuring to himself:
"At last the lovely plaids are to be my own! The new
hat I found at the ball has certainly brought me luck."
I am glad our friend the Woggle-Bug had those few
happy moments, for he was destined to endure severe
disappointments in the near future.
That evening he carefully brushed his coat, put on a
green satin necktie and a purple embroidered waist-coat, and
walked briskly towards the house of the widow. But, alas!
as he drew near to the dwelling a most horrible stench
greeted his nostrils, a sense of great depression came over
him, and upon pausing before the house his body began to
tremble and his eyes rolled wildly in their sockets.
For the wily widow, wishing to escape her admirer, had
sprinkled the door-step and the front walk with insect
Exterminator, and not even the Woggle-Bug's love for the
enchanting checked gown could induce him to linger longer
in that vicinity.
Sick and discouraged, he returned home, where his first
act was to smash the luckless hat and replace it with another.
But it was some time before he recovered from the horrors
of that near approach to extermination, and he passed a very
wakeful and unhappy night, indeed.
Meantime the widow had traded with a friend of hers
(who had once been a wash-lady for General Funston) the
Wagnerian costume for a crazy quilt and a corset that was
nearly as good as new and a pair of silk stockings that were
not mates. It was a good bargain for both of them, and the
wash-lady being colored-that is, she had a deep mahogany
complexion-was delighted with her gorgeous gown and
put it on the very next morning when she went to deliver the
wash to the brick-layer's wife.
Surely it must have been Fate that directed the
Woggle-Bug's steps; for, as he walked disconsolately along,
an intuition caused him to raise his eyes, and he saw
just ahead of him his affinity-carrying a large clothes-
"Stop!" he called out, anxiously; "stop, my fair
Grenadine, I implore you!"
The colored lady cast one glance behind her and imagined
that Satan had at last arrived to claim her. For she had
never before seen the Woggle-Bug, and ,was horrified by his
sudden and unusual appearance.
"Go 'way, Mars' Debbil! Go 'way'an' lemme 'lone!"
she screeched, and the next minute dropped her empty
basket and sped up the street with a swiftness that only fear
could have lent her flat-bottomed feet.
Nevertheless, the Woggle-Bug might have overtaken
her had he not stepped into the clothes-basket and fallen
headlong, becoming so tangled up in the thing that he rolled
over and over several times before he could free himself.
Then, when he had picked up his hat, which was utterly
ruined, and found his cane, which had flown across the street,
his mahogany charmer in the Wagnerian Plaids had
disappeared from view.
With a sigh at his latest misfortune he returned home
for another hat, and the agitated wash-lady, imagining that
the devil had doubtless been lured by her beautiful gown,
made haste to sell it to a Chinaman who lived next door.
Its bright colors pleased the Chink who ripped it up
and made it over into a Chinese robe, with flowing draperies
falling to his heels. He dressed himself in his new costume
and, being proud of possessing such finery, sat down on a
bench outside his door so that everyone passing by could
see how magnificent he looked.
It was here that the wandering Woggle-Bug espied him;
and, recognizing at once the pattern and colors of his
infatuating idol, he ran up and sat beside the Chinaman,
saying in agitated but educated tones:
"Oh, my prismatic personification of gigantic gorgeous-
ness! — again I have found you!"
"Sure ding," responded the Chink with composure.
"Be mine! Only be mine!" continued the enraptured
The Chinaman did not quite understand.
"Two dlolla a day," he answered, cautiously.
"Oh, joy," exclaimed the insect in delight; "I can
then own you for a day and a half-for I have three
dollars left. May I feel of your exquisite texture, my
"No flabic. No feelee. You too flesh. I man China-
man!" returned the Oriental calmly.
"Never mind that! 'Tis your beautiful garment I love.
Every check in that entrancing dress is a joy and a delight
to my heart!"
While the Woggle-Bug thus raved, the Chinaman's
wife (who was Mattie De Forest before she married him)
overheard the conversation, and decided this love affair had
gone far enough. So she suddenly appeared with a broom-
stick, and with it began pounding the Woggle-Bug as fiercely
as possible-and Mattie was no weakling, I assure you.
The first blow knocked the Insect's hat so far over his
eyes that he was blinded; but, resolving not to be again
cheated .out of his darling, he grasped firmly hold of the
Wagnerian plaids with all four hands, and tore a goodly
portion of it from the frightened Celestial's body.
Next moment he was dashing down the street, with the
precious cloth tucked securely underneath an arm, and
Mattie, being in slight dishabille, did not think best to
The triumphant joy of the Woggle-Bug can well be
imagined. No more need he chase the fleeting vision of his
love-no more submit to countless disappointments in his
efforts to approach the object of his affection. The gorgeous
plaids were now his own (or a large part of them, anyway),
and upon reaching the quiet room wherein he lodged he
spread out the cloth and gloated long and happily over its
vivid coloring and violent contrasts of glowing hues. To
the eyes of the Woggle-Bug nothing could be more
beautiful, and he positively regretted the necessity of
ever turning his gaze from this bewitching treasure.
That he might never in the future be separated from
the checks, he folded them, with- many loving caresses, into
compact form, and wrapped them in a sheet of stout paper
tied with cotton cord that had a love-knot at the end.
Wherever he went, thereafter, he carried the parcel
underneath his left upper arm, pressed as closely- to his heart as
possible. And this sense of possession was so delightful that
our Woggle-Bug was happy as the clay was long.
In the evening his fortunes changed with cruel
He walked out to take the air, and noticing a crowd of
people standing in an open space and surrounding a huge
brown object, our Woggle-Bug stopped to learn what the
excitement was about.
Pushing his way through the crowd, and hugging his
precious parcel, he soon reached the inner circle of spectators
and found they had assembled to watch a balloon ascension.
The Professor who was to go up with the balloon had not
yet arrived; but the balloon itself was fully- inflated and
tugging hard at the rope that held it, as if anxious to escape
the blended breaths of the people that crowded around. Just
below the balloon was a small basket, attached to the netting
of the gas-bag, and the Woggle-Bug was bending over the
edge of this, to see what it contained, when a warning cry
from the crowd caused him to pause and glance over his
Great horrors and crumpled creeps! Springing toward
him, with a scowl on his face and a long knife with a zig-zag
blade in his uplifted hand, was that very Chinaman from
whose body he had torn the Wagnerian plaids!
The plundered Celestial was evidently vindictive, and
intended to push the wicked knife into the Woggle-Bug's
Our hero was a brave bug, as can be easily proved; but
he did not wait for the knife to arrive at the broad of his
back. Instead, he gave a yell (to show he was not afraid)
and leaped nimbly into the basket of the balloon. The
y descending knife, missing its intended victim, felt upon
the rope and severed it, and instantly the great balloon
arose from the crowd and soared majestically toward the
The Woggle-Bug had escaped the Chinaman, but he
didn't know whether to be glad or not.
For the balloon was carrying him into the clouds, and
he had no idea how to manage it, or to make it descend to
earth again. When he peered over the edge of the basket
he could hear the faint murmur of the crowd, and dimly see
the enraged Professor (who had come too late) pounding the
Chinaman, while the Chinaman tried to dissect the Professor
with his knife.
Then all was blotted out; clouds rolled about him;
night fell. The man in the moon laughed at him; the stars
winked at each other as if delighted at the Woggle-Bug's
plight, and a witch riding by on her broomstick yelled at him
to keep on the right side of the road, and not run her down.
But the Woggle-Bug, squatted in the bottom of the
basket and hugging his precious parcel to his bosom, paid no
attention to anything but his own thoughts.
He had often ridden through the air in the Gump; but
never had he been so high as this, and the distance to the
ground made him nervous.
When morning came he saw a strange country far
beneath him, and longed to tread the earth again.
Now all woggle-bugs are born with wings, and our
highly-magnified one had a beautiful, broad pair of floppers
concealed beneath his ample coat-tails. But long ago he
had learned that his wings were not strong enough to lift his
big body from the ground, so he had never tried to fly
Here, however, was an occasion when he might put
these wings to good use, for if he spread- them in the air and
then leaped over the side of the basket they would, act in the
same way a parachute does, and bear him gently to the
No sooner did this thought occur to him than he put it
Disentangling his wings from his coat-tails, he spread
them as wide as possible and then jumped from the car of
Down, down the Woggle-Bug sank; but so slowly that
there was no danger in the light. He began to see the earth
again, lying beneath him like a sun-kissed panorama of mud
and frog-ponds and rocks and brushwood.
There were few trees, yet it was our insect's fate to
drop directly above what trees there were, so that presently
he came ker-plunk into a mass of tangled branches-and
stuck there, with his legs dangling helplessly between two
limbs and his wings caught in the foliage at either side.
Below was a group of Arab children, who at first started
to run away. But, seeing that the queer creature which had
dropped from the skies was caught fast in the tree, they
stopped and began to throw stones and clubs at it. One of
these missiles struck the tree-Limb at the right of the Woggle-Bug and jarred him loose. The next instant he fluttered
to the ground, where his first act was to fold up his wings and
tuck them underneath his coat-tails again, and his next action
to assure himself that the beloved plaids were still safe.
Then he looked for the Arab children; but they had
scuttled away toward a group of tents, and now several men
with dark skins arid gay clothing came from the tents and ran
toward the Woggle-Bug.
"Good morning," said our hero, removing his hat with
a flourish, and bowing politely.
"Meb-la-che-bah!" shouted the biggest Arab, and at
once two others wound coils of rope around the Woggle-Bug
and tied the ends in hard knots.
His hat was knocked off and trampled into the mud by
the- Shiek (who was the big Arab), and the precious parcel
was seized and ruthlessly opened.
"Very good!" said the Shiek, eyeing the plaids with
pleasure. "My slaves shall make me a new waistcoat of
"No! oh, no!" cried the agonized Insect; "it is taken
from a person who has had small-pox and yellow-fever and
toothache and mumps-all at the same time. Do not, I beg
you, risk your valuable life by wearing that cloth!"
"Bah!" said the Shiek, scornfully; "I have had all
those diseases and many more. I am immune. But now," he
continued, "allow me to bid you good-bye. I am sorry to
be obliged to kill you, but such is our custom."
This was bad news for the Woggle-Bug; but he did
"Are you not afraid to kill me?" he asked, as if
"Why should I be afraid?" demanded the Shiek.
"Because it is a well-known fact that to kill a woggle-
bug brings bad luck to one."
The Shiek hesitated, for he was very superstitious.
"Are you a woggle-bug?" he asked.
"I am," replied the Insect, proudly. "And I may as
well tell you that the last person who killed one of my race
had three unlucky days. The first day his suspenders broke
(the Arabs shuddered), the second day he smashed a looking-
glass (the Arabs moaned) and the third day he was chewed
up by a crocodile."
Now the greatest aversion the Arabs have is to be
chewed by a crocodile, because these people usually roam
over the sands of the desert, where to meet an amphibian is
simply horrible; so at the Woggle-Bug's speech they set up
a howl of fear, and the Shiek shouted:
"Unbind him! Let not a hair of his head be injured."
At once the knots in the ropes were untied, and the
Woggle-Bug was free. All the Arabs united to show him
deference and every respectful attention, and since his own
hat had been destroyed they wound about his head a
picturesque turban of an exquisite soiled white color, having
Stripes of red and yellow in it.
Then the Woggle-Bug was escorted to the tents, where
he suddenly remembered his precious plaids, and asked that
the cloth be restored to him.
Thereupon the Shiek got up and made a long speech,
in which he described his grief at being obliged to refuse the
At the end of that time one of the women came up to
them with a lovely waistcoat which she had manufactured out
of the Wagnerian plaids; and when the Shiek saw it he
immediately ordered all the tom-toms and kettle-drums in
the camp destroyed, as they were no longer necessary. Then
he put on the gorgeous vestment, and turned a deaf ear to
the Woggle-Bug's agonized wails.
But there were some scraps of cloth left, and to show
that he was liberal and good-natured, the Shiek ordered
these manufactured by his females into a handsome necktie,
which he presented to the Woggle-Bug in another long
Our hero, realizing that the larger part of his darling
was lost to him, decided to be content with the smaller share;
so he put on the necktie, and felt really proud of its brilliant
and aggressive elegance.
Then, bidding the Arabs farewell, he strode across the
desert until he reached the borders of a more fertile and
Indeed, he found before him a cool and enticing jungle,
which at first seemed deserted. But while he stared about
him a sound fell , upon his ear, and he saw approaching
a young lady Chimpanzee. She was evidently a personage
of some importance, for her hair was neatly banged just over
her, eyes, and she wore a clean white pinafore with bows of
pink ribbon at the shoulders.
"Good morning, Mr. Beetle," said she, with merry
"Do not, I beg of you, call me a beetle," exclaimed
our hero, rather peevishly; "for I am actually a Woggle-
Bug, and Highly-Magnified at that!"
"What's in a name?" laughed the gay damsel. "Come,
let me introduce you to our jungle, where strangers of good
breeding are always welcome."
"As for breeding," said the Woggle-Bug, -my father,
although of ordinary size, was a famous Bug-Wizard in his
day, and claimed descent from the original protoplasm which
constituted the nucleus of the present planetary satellite upon
which we exist."
"That's all right," returned Miss Chim. "Tell that to
our king, and he'll decorate you with the medal of the
Omnipotent Order of Onerous Orthographers. Are you
ready to meander?"
The Woggle-Bug did not like the flippant tone in which
the maiden spoke; but he at once followed her.
Presently they came to a tall hedge surrounding the
Inner jungle, and without this hedge stood a patrol of brown
bears who wore red soldier-caps and carried gold-plated
muskets in their hands.
"We call this the bearier," said Miss Chim, pointing
to the soldiers, "because they oblige all strangers to paws."
"I should think it was a bearicade," remarked the
But when they approached the gateway the officer in
charge saluted respectfully to Miss Chim, and permitted her
to escort the Woggle-Bug into the sacred precincts of the.
Here his eyes were soon opened to their widest capacity
in genuine astonishment.
The jungle was as clean and well-regulated as any city,
of men the Insect had ever visited. just within the gate a
sleek antelope was running a pop-corn stand, and a little
further on a screech-owl stood upon a stump playing a violin,
while across her breast was a sign reading: "I am blind-at
As they walked up the street they came to a big grey
monkey turning a hand-organ, and attached to a cord was a
little nigger-boy whom the monkey sent into the crowd of
animals standing by to gather up the pennies, pulling him
back every now and then by means of the cord.
"There's a curious animal for you," said Miss Chim,
pointing to the boy. "Those horrid things they call men
whether black or white, seem to me the lowest of all
"I have seen them in a highly civilized state," replied
the Woggle-Bug, "and they're really further advanced than
you might suppose."
But Miss Chim gave a scornful laugh, and pulled him
away to where a hippopotamus sat under the shade of a big
tree, mopping his brow with a red handkerchief-for the
weather was somewhat sultry. Before the hip was a table
covered with a blue cloth, and upon the cloth was embroidered
the words: "Professor Hipmus, Fortune Teller."
"Want your fortune told?" asked Miss Chim.
"I don't mind," replied the Woggle-Bug.
"I'll read your hand," said the Professor, with a yawn
that startled the Insect. "To my ,notion palmistry is, the
best means of finding out what nobody knows or cares
He took the right upper hand of the Woggle-Bug, and
after adjusting his spectacles bent over it with an air of
"You have been in love," announced the Professor;
"but you got it in the neck."
"True!" murmured the astonished Insect, putting up
his left lower hand to feel of the beloved necktie.
"You think you have won," continued the Hip; "but
there are others who have 1, 2. You have many heart throbs
before you, during your future life. Afterward I see no heart
throbs whatever. Forty cents, please."
"Isn't he just wonderful?" asked Miss Chim, with
enthusiasm. "He's the greatest fortune teller in the jungle."
"On account of his size, I suppose," returned the
Woggle-Bug, as they walked on.
Soon they came to the Royal Palace, which was a beau-
tiful bower formed of vines upon which grew many brilliant-
hued forest flowers. The entrance was guarded by a Zebra,
who barred admission until Miss Chim whispered the pass-
word in his ear. Then he permitted them to enter, and the
Chimpanzee immediately ushered the Woggle-Bug into the
presence of King Weasel.
This monarch lay coiled upon a purple silk cushion,
half asleep and vet wakeful enough to be smoking a big cigar.
Beside him crouched two prairie-dogs who were combing his
hair very carefully, while a red squirrel perched near his head
and fanned him with her bushy tail.
" Dear me, what have we here?" exclaimed the King of
the jungle, in a querulous tone. "Is it an over-grown
pinch-bug, or is it a kissing-bug?"
"I have the honor to be a Woggle-Bug, your Majesty!"
replied our hero, proudly.
"Say, cut out that Majesty," snapped the King, with a
scowl. "If you can find anything majestic about me, I'd
like to know what it is."
"Don't treat him with any respect," whispered Miss
Chim to the Insect, "or you'll get him riled. Sneer at him,
and slap his face if you get a chance."
The Woggle-Bug took the hint.
"Really," he told the King, "I have never seen a more
despicable creature than you. The admirable, perspicacity
inherent in your tribe seems to have deteriorated in you to a
hyperbolated insousancy." Then he reached out his arms and
slapped the king four times, twice on one side of his face and
twice on the other. And it gage him much satisfaction.
"Thanks, my dear June-Bug, said the monarch; "I
now recognize you to be a person of some importance."
"Sire, I am a Woggle-Bug, highly magnified and
thoroughly educated. It is no exaggeration to say I am the
greatest Woggle-Bug on earth."
"I fully believe it, so pray do not play any more foursomes
upon my jaw. I am sufficiently humiliated at this
moment to recognize you as a Sullivanthauros, should you
claim to be of that extinct race."
Then two little weasels-a boy weasel and a girl
weasel-came into the bower and threw their school-books
at the squirrel so cleverly that one hit the King upon the
nose and smashed his cigar and the other caught him fairly
in the pit of his stomach.
At first the monarch howled a bit; then he wiped the
tears from his face and said:
"Ah, what delightful children I have! What do you
wish, my darlings?"
"I want a cent for chewing gum," said the Girl
"Get it from the Guinea-Pig; you have my assent.
And what does my dear boy want?"
"Pop," went the Weasel, "our billy-goat has swallowed
the hare you gave me to play with:"
"Dear me," sighed the Ding, "how often I find a hair
in the butter! Whenever I reign people carry umbrellas;
and my son, although quite polished, indulges only in
monkey-shines. Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown
but if one is scalped, the loss of the crown renders the head
still more uneasy."
"Couldn't they find a better king than you?" enquired
the Woggle-Bug, curiously, as the children left the bower.
"Yes; but no worse," answered the Weasel; "and here in
the jungle honors are only conferred upon the unworthy. For if
a truly great animal is honored he gets a swelled head, and that
renders him unbearable. They now regard the King of the
Jungle. with contempt, and that makes all my subjects self-
"There is wisdom in that," declared the Woggle-Bug, approvingly;
"a single glance at you makes me content with being so excellent a
"True," murmured the King, yawning. But you tire me, good
stranger. Miss Chim, will you kindly get the gasoline can? It's high
time to eradicate this insect."
"With pleasure," said Miss Chim, moving away with a smile.
But the Woggle-Bug did not linger to be eradicated. With one
wild bound he cleared the door of the palace and sprinted up the street
to the entrance of the jungle. The bear soldiers saw him dashing away,
and took careful aim and fired. But the gold-plated muskets would not
shoot straight, and now the Woggle-Bug was far distant, and still
running with all his might.
Nor did he pause until he had emerged from the forest and
crossed the plains, and reached at last the city from whence he had
escaped in the balloon. And, once again in his old lodgings, he looked
at himself in the mirror and said:
"After all, this necktie is my love-and my love is now mine forevermore! Why should I not be happy and content?"