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The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

The China Cat

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"You may put that Doll aside for my little girl for Christmas, Mr. Mugg," said the lady.

"Very well, Madam, it shall be done," replied the toy man, and he lifted the Cloth Doll down off the shelf.

"Oh, dear! she is going away, and I shall never see her again," thought the Nodding Donkey. "That is the only sad part of life for us toys. We make friends, but we never know how long we may keep them. We are so often separated."

Mr. Mugg put the doll down under the counter, where no other little girl might see her and want her. Then the toy man reached up and gently touched the head of the Donkey, so that it nodded harder than ever.

"Here is a new toy that just came in," said Mr. Mugg. "It is one of the latest. It is called a Nodding Donkey, and once you start his head going it will move for hours."

"Oh, it is nice!" said the lady. "Would you rather have that than your Jack in the Box, Robert?" she asked the little boy.

The boy stood first on one foot and then on the other. He looked first at the Jack in the Box and then at the Donkey.

"They are both nice," he said; "but I think I would rather have the Jack. I'll have the Donkey next Christmas."

The Jack in the Box was set aside with the Cloth Doll, and then the lady and the little boy and girl passed on. But all that day there were many other boys and girls who came into the store to look at the toys. Some only came to look, while others, as before, bought the things they wanted, or had them set aside for Christmas.

After a while it began to grow dark in the store, just as it had grown dark in the workshop of Santa Claus.

"Now I will soon be able to move about and talk to the other toys," thought the Nodding Donkey. But this was not to be--just yet.

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"Turn on the lights, Angelina," called Mr. Mugg to his daughter, and soon the store was glowing brightly.

"Hum! It seems they work at night here, as well as by day," thought the Nodding Donkey. "It was not so at North Pole Land. But it is very jolly, and I like it."

During the evening, when the lights were glowing, many other customers came in, but there were not so many boys and girls. The Nodding Donkey had been taken down more than once and made to do his trick of shaking his head, but, so far, no one had bought him. And though the China Cat had also been looked at and admired, no one had bought her.

At last Mr. Mugg stretched his arms, yawned as though he might be very sleepy, and said:

"Turn out the lights, Angelina! It is time to close the shop and go to bed."

Soon the toy shop was in darkness, all except one light that was kept burning all night. The place became very still and quiet, the only noise being made by a little mouse, who came out to get some crumbs dropped by Mr. Mugg, who had eaten his lunch in the store.

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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