THE TALE OF CHUCKLE AND PIP
with rain; Pip, when every one was going by in their best! What a lot of umbrellas we should sell! "
Pip sat and thought. Yes—if only it would rain! If only they could make it rain! An idea came into his head—a very naughty one. He laughed.
" Chuckle, I've got a plan! " he said. " What about me climbing that big tree by the palace gate—with two or three watering-cans full of water! "
" Are you mad, Pip? " asked Chuckle, puzzled.
" No," said Pip. " Don't you see the idea, Chuckle? As people go by in their best party-frocks I'll water them with my watering-can—and they'll think it's raining and go off in a great hurry to buy an umbrella from you! "
" Oooooh! That is a fine idea! " said naughty Chuckle, and he laughed till he cried. " Can't I be the one to sit in the tree and water people, Pip? "
" No," said Pip firmly. " It's my idea and I shall do the watering. We'll put the cans of water up the tree to-night when no one is looking."
" But how can we climb a tree with a can of water in our hand? " said Chuckle.
" We shan't," said Pip. " I shall climb up the tree, and let down a rope. You will tie the watering-can carefully to the rope and I will haul it up and put it safely on that big broad branch on the west side of the tree."
" You are clever at ideas, Pip," said Chuckle. " I'm longing for to-night! "
Well, that night the two naughty pixies carried out their plan. Pip climbed the tree and let down the rope. Chuckle tied a full watering-can on to it. Pip hauled it up and hid it safely. Then he let down the rope again. He hauled up two big watering-cans, one small one, and three hot-water cans as well, which he said he could use to fill the watering-cans with when they were empty. Naughty Pip!
They went to bed. The next day was cloudy with no sun. But the clouds were too high for rain. Pip chuckled when he thought of how he was going to make rainy weather for all the palace guests that afternoon!
Chuckle put out all his prettiest umbrellas. Pip climbed the tree at three o'clock and waited patiently for the first person to come along.
It was Dame Thump, in her very best blue silk dress with the red bows. Just as she walked beneath the tree Pip tipped up one of his watering-cans.