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0100_005E The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

The China Cat

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Mr. Mugg knew all about toys, which kind were the best for boys, which the girls liked the best, and he knew which to put in his window so the children would stop and press their noses flat against the glass to look and see the playthings.

"Yes, the Nodding Donkey will be a fine toy for Christmas," said Mr. Mugg, looking over the tops of his glasses at the new arrival. "This last box of playthings I received are the best we ever had. Santa Claus and his men certainly are preparing a fine Christmas this year."

"I think I shall dust off the Donkey," said Geraldine. "He will be much shinier then, and look better."

"And I must dust the China Cat," said her sister Angelina. "She is so white that the least speck shows on her. Real white cats are very fussy about keeping themselves clean, so I do not see why a white China Cat should not be treated the same way. You dust the Nodding Donkey, Geraldine, and I'll dust the Cat."

"That China Cat seems to act as if she wanted to speak to me," thought the Donkey. "Perhaps, after the store is closed to-night, as the workshop of Santa Claus is closed, I may speak to her."

Up and down and to and fro the head of the Nodding Donkey moved as Geraldine Mugg dusted him. Then she set him back on the shelf, as her sister did the China Cat.

"Come here, Daughters, and see this set of Soldiers," called Mr. Mugg, who was unpacking more toys from the box. "They are the nicest we ever had."

"Oh, what fine red coats they wear!" said Angelina.

"And how their guns shine!" exclaimed Geraldine. "Our store will look lovely when we get all the toys placed in it."

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"I think the store looks very well as it is," thought the Nodding Donkey to himself, as he stood straight and stiff on his shelf, his coat of varnish glistening in the light. "I never saw such a wonderful place."

And, indeed, the toy store of Mr. Horatio Mugg was a place of delight for all boys and girls. I could not begin to tell you all the things that were in it. Mr. Mugg kept only toys. All the different sorts that were ever made were there gathered together, ready for the Christmas trade.

And as the Nodding Donkey, standing beside the white China Cat, looked on and listened, he saw boys and girls, with their fathers or mothers, coming in to look at the toys. Some were ordered to be put away until Christmas should come. Others were taken at once, to be mailed perhaps to some far-off city.

As the Nodding Donkey watched he saw a little boy with blue eyes and golden hair come in and point to a Jack in the Box.

"Please, Mother, will you tell Santa Claus to bring me that for Christmas?" begged the little boy.

"Yes, I will do that," his mother promised. "And now, Sister, what would you like?" the lady asked.

The Nodding Donkey looked down and saw a little girl, with dark hair and brown eyes standing beside the little boy. This girl pointed to a large doll, and, to his surprise, the Donkey saw that it was the same one he had spoken to in the packing case.

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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