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The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

Joe Can Run

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"I'll get him for you," offered his mother, and when the toy was set on the table near Joe, it nodded its head to welcome him home.

"Oh, my dear Donkey! how I missed you while I was in the hospital," said Joe.

"And I missed you, too," thought the Donkey.

Two or three days after this, when Joe had gotten used to being at home again, there came a knock at the door. Outside happy voices were talking and laughing.

When Joe opened the door there stood Dorothy with her Sawdust Doll, Dick with his White Rocking Horse, Arnold with his Bold Tin Soldier, Mirabell with her Lamb, Madeline, who had a Candy Rabbit, Herbert, who carried a Monkey on a Stick, and Sidney with the Calico Clown.

"Surprise on Joe! Surprise on Joe!" cried the children. "We have come to make a Toy Party for you and your Nodding Donkey!"

"Oh, how glad I am!" Joe laughed. "Look at my legs!" he went on. "They are straight now, and I don't have to go on crutches. And my Nodding Donkey, who had a broken leg, is well, too! He doesn't have to go on crutches, either!"

"Hurray!" cried Dick, and all the other boys and girls said: "Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!"

Then the Toy Party began, and the children and the toys had so much fun that it would take three books just to tell about half of it. Joe and his Nodding Donkey were the guests of honor, and all the others tried to make them feel happy. And Joe was happy! One look at his smiling face told that.

As for the Nodding Donkey, you could tell by the way he moved his head that never, in all his life, had he had such a good time.

When Mrs. Richmond called the children to the dining room to eat, the toys were left by themselves in a playroom.

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"Ladies and Gentlemen," said the Calico Clown in his jolly voice, "we have all met together, after a long time of being apart. We have all had good times together, and now I hope you will all agree with me when I say that we are glad to welcome the Nodding Donkey among us."

[Illustration: The Nodding Donkey is Welcomed by the Calico Clown. _Page 118_]

"Yes, he is very welcome," said the Sawdust Doll. "We are glad he has come to live in this part of the world."

"I am glad of it myself," said the Nodding Donkey. "I never knew, while I was in the workshop of Santa Claus, that so many things could happen down here. Yes, I am very happy that I came. There is only one thing I wish."

"What is that?" asked the Monkey.

"I wish the China Cat were here," said the Donkey. "She lives in Mr. Mugg's store, and I'm sure you would all like her, she is so clean and white."

"Three cheers for the China Cat!" called the Bold Tin Soldier, waving his sword.

And the toys cheered among themselves.

"Tell me more about this China Cat," begged the Candy Rabbit to the Donkey. "Is she anything like me?"

The Nodding Donkey was just going to tell about the China Cat when Joe and the other children came trooping back into the room, having finished their lunch.

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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