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The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

A Broken Leg

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Had Mr. and Mrs. Richmond not been in the next room, the Nodding Donkey might have kicked up his heels and have jumped out of the stream of water that was running from the burst pipe of the sink across the floor. But knowing people were so close at hand, where they might catch sight of him, the Donkey dared not move.

All he could do was to float along with the stream of water, which was now getting higher and higher and larger and larger. The water felt cold on the legs of the Donkey, for this was now winter, and the water was like ice. So the Nodding Donkey shivered and shook in the cold water of the flood, and wondered what would happen.

Out in the dining room, next the kitchen, sat Joe's father and mother. They were silent and sad, thinking of their lame boy.

They were thinking so much about him, and what the doctors would have to do to him to make him well and strong, that neither of them paid any heed to the running water. If they had not been thinking so much about Joe they might have heard the hissing sound.

But suddenly Mrs. Richmond, who was looking at the floor, gave a start, and half arose from her chair.

"Look!" she cried to her husband. "There is Joe's Nodding Donkey!"

"Why!" exclaimed Mr. Richmond, "it is floating along on a stream of water! The frost has made a pipe burst in the kitchen and the water is spurting out! Quick! We must shut off the running water!"

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It did not take Joe's father long to shut off the water from the burst pipe. That was all that could be done then, as no plumber could be had. Mrs. Richmond lifted the Donkey up off the floor and out of the water, drying him on a towel. And you may well believe that the Donkey was very glad to be warm and dry again. He was afraid his varnish coat would be spoiled, but I am glad to say it was not.

"It's a lucky thing we sat here talking, and that I saw the Donkey come floating in," said Mrs. Richmond, when the water had been mopped up. "If I had not, the whole house might have been flooded by morning."

"Yes," agreed her husband. "Joe's Nodding Donkey did us a good turn. He saved a lot of damage. The water in the kitchen will not do much harm, but if it had flooded the rest of the house it would."

Then the Donkey was put away in the closet where he belonged, together with the animals from the Noah's Ark.

"How cold and shivery you are, Mr. Donkey," said the Noah's Ark Lamb, when the Donkey had been placed on the closet shelf, after the flood.

"I guess you'd be cold and shivery, too, if you had been through such an adventure as just happened to me!" answered the Donkey.

"Oh, tell us about it!" begged the Lion. "We have been quite dull here all evening, wondering where you were."

So the Donkey told his story of the burst pipe, and after that the animals went to sleep.

Joe was quite surprised when, the next morning, he was told what had happened. And when the plumber came to fix the broken pipe Joe showed the man the Nodding Donkey who had first given warning of the flood.

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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