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The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

A Lonesome Donkey

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In the morning he was almost himself again. Mr. Mugg came, and, finding the glue hard and dry, took off the bandages. Then with his knife he scraped away little hard pieces of glue that had dried on the outside, and the toy man also cut away some splinters of new wood that stuck out.

"Now to paint your leg, and you will be finished," said Mr. Mugg.

The smell of the paint and varnish, as it was put on him, made the Nodding Donkey think of when he had first come to life in the workshop of Santa Claus. He was feeling quite young and happy again.

"There you are!" cried Mr. Mugg, as he once more set the Donkey on the shelf for the paint and varnish to dry. And this time the Donkey was allowed to be among the other toys, though he was not for sale.

That night in the store, when all was quiet and still, the Nodding Donkey shook his head and spoke to the China Cat, who was not far away.

"Well, you see I am back here again," said the Nodding Donkey.

"Have you come to stay?" asked the China Cat. "You can't imagine how surprised I was when I saw you brought in! But what has happened?"

Then the Donkey told of his accident, and how he had been mended.

"Your leg looks all right now," said the China Cat, glancing at it in the light of the one lamp Mr. Mugg left burning when he closed his store.

"Yes, I am feeling quite myself again," said the Donkey. "But I am not here to stay. I must go back to Joe, the lame boy."

"At least we shall have a chance to talk over old times for a little while," said the China Cat. "I came near being sold yesterday. A lady was going to buy me for her baby to cut his teeth on. Just fancy!"

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"I don't believe you would have liked that," said the Donkey.

"No, indeed!" mewed the China Cat. Then she and the Donkey and the other toys talked for some hours, and told stories. On account of his paint not being dry the Donkey did not walk around, jump or kick as he had used to do.

In the morning the toys had to stop their fun-making, for Mr. Mugg and his daughters came to open the store for the day. And in the afternoon Mr. Richmond called to get the mended toy.

And you can imagine how glad Joe was to get his Donkey back again.

"I'll never let Frisky break any more of your legs," said Joe, as he hugged the Donkey to him. "I'll take you to bed with me to-night."

But though Joe was allowed to take his Donkey to bed with him, it was thought best not to send the toy to the hospital with the little boy, when he went early the next week.

"Good-by, Nodding Donkey!" called Joe to his toy, as he was driven away; and when Mrs. Richmond put the mended Donkey away on the closet shelf, there were tears in her eyes.

The Nodding Donkey knew that something was wrong, but he did not understand all that was happening. He had seen Joe taken away, and he saw himself put in the closet with the Noah's Ark animals.

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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