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The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

A Broken Leg

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"He is a fine toy!" said the plumber.

After this Joe's Nodding Donkey had many adventures in his new home. I wish I had room to tell you all of them, but I can only mention a few.

The weather grew colder and colder, and some days many snowflakes fell. The Donkey, looking out of the window, saw them, and he thought of Santa Claus and North Pole Land.

Joe was not as lively as he had been that day he went to Mr. Mugg's store and bought the toy. There were days when Joe never took the Nodding Donkey off the shelf at all. The wooden toy just had to stay there, while Joe lay on a couch near the window and looked out.

"This is too bad!" thought the Donkey. "Joe ought to run about and play like Arnold and Sidney. They have lots of fun in the snow, and they take out the Calico Clown and the Bold Tin Soldier, too. I wish Joe would take me out. I don't mind the cold of the snow as much as I minded the cold water."

But Joe seemed to have forgotten about his Nodding Donkey. The toy stood on a shelf over the couch where the lame boy lay. Once in a while Joe would ask his mother to hand him down the Donkey, but more often the lame boy would lie with his eyes closed, doing nothing.

Then, one day, a sad accident happened. Mrs. Richmond was upstairs, getting Joe's bed ready for him. Though it was not yet night, he said he felt so tired he thought he would go to bed. On the shelf over his head was the Nodding Donkey.

Suddenly, in through a kitchen window that had been left open came Frisky, the Chattering Squirrel. Over the floor scampered the lively little chap, and he gave a sort of whistle at Joe.

"Oh, hello, Frisky!" said the lame boy, opening his eyes. "I'm glad you came in!"

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Of course Frisky could not say so in boy language, but he, too, was glad to see Joe.

"Come here, Frisky!" called Joe, and he held out his hand.

"I guess he has some nuts for me," thought the squirrel, and he was right. In one pocket Joe had some nuts, and now he held these out to his little live pet.

Frisky took a nut in his paw, which was almost like a hand, and then, as squirrels often do, he looked for a high place on which he might perch himself to eat. Frisky saw the shelf over Joe's couch, the same shelf on which stood the Nodding Donkey.

"I'll go up there to eat the nut," said Frisky to himself.

Up he scrambled, but he was such a lively little chap that in swinging his tail from side to side he brushed it against the Nodding Donkey.

With a crash that toy fell to the floor near Joe's couch!

"Oh, Frisky! Look what you did!" cried Joe. But the squirrel was so busy eating the nut that he paid no attention to the Donkey.

Joe picked up his plaything. One of the Donkey's varnished legs was dangling by a few splinters.

"Oh! Oh, dear!" cried Joe. "My Donkey's leg is broken! Now he will have to go on crutches as I do! Mother! Come quick!" cried Joe. "Something terrible has happened to my Nodding Donkey!"

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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