SEVERAL days after the watermelon feast the Dunce failed to put in an appearance at the noonday meal. This was rather unusual, for he was always hungry and he generally was the first Teenie Weenie to draw his chair up to the tiny table.
“Where’s the Dunce?” asked the General, as he carved a slice from a big strawberry and dropped it onto the Cowboy’s waiting plate.
“I haven’t seen him for a couple of hours,” answered the Policeman.
“Last me see him,” grunted the Indian, “him go down garden path to big house.”
“Well, I think something must have happened to him, for he is always the first to the dinner table,” said the General, anxiously.
“I think so, too,” put in the Lady of Fashion, “for he knew we were going to have a strawberry for dinner, and that would bring him, if nothing else did.”
“Just as soon as we have finished dinner I think some of us had better go out and look for him,” said the General.
So, as soon as the meal was over, the Teenie Weenies started out to search for the Dunce.
The Indian pointed out the house near which he had last seen the Dunce, and crawling under the door the Teenie Weenies began to look all about the place.
“Listen,” cried the Cook, as he stepped over a safety pin, “I thought I heard him call.”
“Help—h-e-l-p!” came a voice faintly from the next room.
“That’s him—that’s the Dunce’s voice,” cried the Sailor, and running through the doorway, they saw the tip of the Dunce’s cap bobbing up and down over the top of a sideboard.
Climbing up, the Teenie Weenies found the Dunce standing up to his knees in a plate of sticky taffy!
“I—I—I’m stuck,” sobbed the Dunce.
“Yes, we can see you are,” said the General, with a smile, as he walked up to the side of the plate.
After a great deal of work the Cowboy and the Turk pulled the Dunce out.
“What were you doing in that taffy?” asked the General, as he led the Dunce up the garden towards the Teenie Weenie house.
“I saw the plate,” answered the Dunce, “and I—I—I just went up to get a taste and—and—”
“You got stuck fast,” said the General.
“Yes—I did,” and the Dunce looked sad and sorry.
“Look here,” said the General, “you’ve got to stop this running away, or I’ll send you off to the little girl who wrote us a letter and said that if the Dunce would come and live with her, she would reform him, and make a good boy out of him. I think you need reforming.”
“Y-yes,” said the Dunce, uncertainly.
“What do you think would have happened to you if we hadn’t found you and pulled you out of that taffy?” demanded the General.
The Dunce looked frightened. “Why—why,” he answered, “I spec’ I would have been et!”