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  The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

The China Cat

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The Nodding Donkey stood straight and stiff on his four legs, with his shiny, new coat of varnish--the one he had received in the workshop of Santa Claus at the North Pole. The Donkey wished he might move about and talk with some of the other toys he saw all around him, but he dared not, as the old gentleman and the two ladies were standing in front of him and looking straight at the toy. All the Donkey dared do was to nod his head, for, being made on purpose to do that, it was perfectly proper for him to do so, just as the Jumping Jack jumped, or some of the funny Clowns banged together their brass cymbals.

"Isn't he the dearest Donkey you ever saw, Angelina?" said one of the ladies to the other.

"He certainly is, Geraldine," was the answer. "But something seems to be the matter with his head. It is loose!"

"Tut! Tut! Nonsense! It is made that way, just the same as the moving head of the Fuzzy Bear," said the old gentleman, whose name was Horatio Mugg. At first the Nodding Donkey had taken this old gentleman for a relative of Santa Claus, for he had the same white hair and whiskers and wore almost the same sort of glasses. But a second look showed the Nodding Donkey that this was not any relation of St. Nicholas. Besides, this toy store was not at all like the workshop of Santa Claus.

The Nodding Donkey was at last on Earth in a toy store, and there, it was hoped, some one would see him and buy him for some boy or girl for Christmas.

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The toy store was kept by Mr. Horatio Mugg and his two daughters, one being named Angelina and the other Geraldine.

Mr. Horatio Mugg was the jolliest toy-store man you can imagine! Since his own two daughters had grown up he seemed to think he must look after all the other children in his neighborhood. He was always glad to see the boys and girls in his store. He liked to have them look at the toys, and sometimes he showed them how steam engines or flying machines worked.

Of course there were many dolls, big and little--Sawdust Dolls, Bisque Dolls, Wooden Dolls, some very handsomely dressed, with silk or satin dresses and white stockings and white kid shoes. And some had the cutest hats, and some even had gloves, think of that!

And then the animals--Lions and Tigers, and a Striped Zebra, and funny Monkeys and Goats, Dogs, Spotted Cows and many kinds of Rocking Horses. And even funny little Mice, that ran all around the floor when they were wound up.

And then the other toys--trains of cars, fire engines, building blocks, and oh! so many, many things! It was truly a wonderful place, was that store. It was a place where you could spend an hour or two and the time would fly so fast you would scarcely know where it had gone to.

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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