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The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

A New Home

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With the Nodding Donkey safely wrapped in paper under his arm, Joe left the store of Mr. Mugg with his mother. Joe limped along on his crutches, and he had to go slowly. But he was smiling happily, and for the first day in a long time he forgot about his lameness. And when his mother saw her son smiling, she, too, smiled. But she was worried about another operation that Joe must go through. The doctor had said that one of his legs had grown so crooked that the only way to fix it was to break it, and let it grow together again, straight.

But now, with his Nodding Donkey, Joe thought nothing about operations, or his crutches, or about being lame. All his mind was on the Nodding Donkey, and he even tore a little hole in the paper so he could look through and make sure his toy was all right.

His mother saw him tearing this hole as they sat in the street car riding home, and as she looked down at him sitting beside her she smiled and asked:

"Aren't you afraid your Nodding Donkey will take cold?"

"Oh, no, Mother," Joe answered. "It is nice and warm in this car. But I'll hold my hand over the hole if you want me to, and that will keep out the wind when we walk along the street."

Soon Joe and his mother left the car, to walk toward their home, which was not far from the corner. The weather was getting colder now, and even inside the wrapping paper the Nodding Donkey could feel it, though the lame boy did hold his hand over the hole.

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"I wonder what sort of place I am coming into?" thought the Nodding Donkey, as he felt himself being carried inside a house. Wrapped up as he was, of course he could see nothing. But he could feel that the house was warm, for being out in the cold air was almost like the time he had been tossed from the sleigh of Santa Claus into the snowdrift.

"Now I'll have some fun!" cried Joe, as he took the paper off his toy. "Will you please get me my Noah's Ark, Mother? I'll take the animals and have a circus."

Joe sat down to a table and placed the Nodding Donkey in front of him. Up and down and sidewise bobbed the loose head of the toy. And, as he nodded, the Donkey had a chance to look about him. His new home was quite different from the gay toy store he had been taken from. Here was only a plain house, though it was neat and clean and pretty.

"I think I shall like it here," said the Donkey to himself. "I believe Joe will be good and kind to me. I am going to be lonesome at first, but that cannot be helped."

However, the Nodding Donkey was not lonesome now, for Joe's mother set on the table in front of the boy a rather battered old Noah's Ark. From this Joe took out an elephant, a tiger, a lion, a camel and many other animals. They were not as large or as fine as the Nodding Donkey, and they looked at him in a rather queer way, did these animals from the Noah's Ark. Of course they did not dare say or do anything as long as Joe was looking at them.

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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