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0100_005E The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

Joe Can Run

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"Yes," was the answer. "Joe got me only a little while before he was taken to the hospital, wherever that is. I guess I was in the hospital myself, when I had my broken leg mended."

"Oh, tell us about it!" begged the Monkey, as he climbed to the top of his stick and slid down again.

So the Donkey told how Frisky had knocked him off the shelf, breaking his leg.

"And Joe had something the matter with his legs, too, so that's why he had to go to the hospital," added the Donkey, as he finished his story. "I do hope he comes back soon, for I am lonesome without him."

The toys spent a happy half hour together, and then when Mirabell and Herbert came back into the room, having finished their bread and jam, the Donkey, the Lamb, and the Monkey had to become quiet.

"We'll come over again, when Joe gets home," said Mirabell, as she and Herbert left.

"And we'll get the other boys and girls and give him a toy party," added the owner of the Monkey.

"Oh, that will be lovely!" said Mrs. Richmond.

The Nodding Donkey was put back in the closet, where he told the Noah's Ark animals all about the visit of the Monkey and Lamb.

"I have heard of those toys," said the Elephant. "They know the Sawdust Doll, the White Rocking Horse, the Candy Rabbit, and the Bold Tin Soldier."

"My, what a lot of jolly toys there are!" said the Donkey. And then he grew silent, thinking of poor little Joe in the hospital.

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Joe did not have an easy time. He was very ill and in great pain, but the kind doctors and nurses looked well after him, and his father and mother went to see him almost every day. One afternoon, when Joe had been in the hospital for what seemed to him a whole year, his father and the doctor came into the room. There was also a nurse, and she began to put on Joe the clothes he wore in the street.

"What is going to happen?" asked the boy.

"I am going to take you home, and give your mother a joyful surprise," said his father.

"Oh, how glad I am!" cried Joe. "And then I can see my Nodding Donkey, can't I? Is he all right, Daddy?"

"As right and as fine as ever," answered Mr. Richmond.

Joe could hardly sit still during the ride home. He got out of the automobile and went through the snow up to the front door. His father opened it, and Joe saw his mother standing at the end of the hall.

For a moment Mrs. Richmond could hardly believe what she saw.

"Joe! Joe, my little boy!" she cried. "Oh, you have come home again! Are you all right? Are your legs better? Can you walk?"

"Can I walk, Mother!" cried Joe, in a happy voice. "Of course I can! I can walk without my crutches, and I can run! I can run! See!"

And with that Joe ran down the hall and into his mother's arms.

Oh, what a joyful happy time there was! Joe's legs were straight and strong again, and he did not need his crutches any more.

"And now where is my Nodding Donkey?" he asked. "I want to see him!"

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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