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|The Story of a Nodding Donkey||Laura Lee Hope|
A Wonderful Voyage
|Page 3 of 4||
Then such a bustling about as there was! And from outside the shop could be heard the jingle of bells.
"Those must be the reindeer," thought the Nodding Donkey. "Oh, what a jolly time I shall have if I ride in the sleigh with Santa Claus!"
Never was there such a busy time in the shop of Santa Claus! Jolly St. Nicholas himself hurried here and there, helping his men pick up different toys which were put in a big bag. One of the men stopped in front of the Nodding Donkey.
"Shall I put this chap in, Santa Claus?" the man inquired.
"Is the varnish dry?" asked St. Nicholas.
"Yes," answered the little man, testing it lightly with his finger.
"Then put him in," said Santa Claus. "I'll take the Nodding Donkey to Earth with me."
"Oh, joy! Now I shall have some adventures! Now I shall see what the Earth is like!" thought the Nodding Donkey.
A moment later he was picked up, wrapped in soft paper, and thrust into a bag.
"Oh, how very dark it is here," said the Donkey in a whisper.
"Hush!" whispered a Jumping Jack near him. "Don't talk! Santa Claus might hear you. He has very sharp ears. You'll be all right. It is no darker than night."
More toys, all carefully wrapped, came tumbling into the bag, and the merry jingle of bells grew louder. Then the voice of Santa Claus could be heard shouting:
"Hi there, Dasher! Stand still, Prancer! Whoa, Blitzen! What's the matter, Comet? Are you anxious to get to Earth again? Well, we'll soon start. Steady there, Cupid! Whoa!"
"He's talking to his reindeer," whispered the Jumping Jack.
Suddenly the toys in the big sack felt themselves being picked up. Santa Claus had slung them over his back to carry out to the sleigh. A moment later the Nodding Donkey felt a breath of cold air strike him, but he did not mind, as he had on a warm coat of varnish.
Up and down, and from side to side the toys in the bag felt themselves being jostled, until they were set down in the big sleigh.
"All aboard!" called Santa Claus, as he took his seat and gathered up the reins. "Come, Dasher! On, Prancer! Hi, Donner and Blitzen! Down to Earth you go with the Christmas toys!"
There was another jolly jingle of bells, and the toys felt themselves being whisked away over the snow. There was a little hole in the bag near the Nodding Donkey, and also a hole in the paper in which he was wrapped. He could look out, and on every side he saw big piles of snow. Snow was also falling from the clouds.
On and on rushed the sleigh of Santa Claus, drawn by the eight reindeer. Over the clouds and drifts of snow, and through the white flakes they rushed, the sleigh-bells playing a merry tune.
"Oh, this is a wonderful voyage!" thought the Nodding Donkey. "I wonder when I shall reach the Earth?"
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|The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope
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