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The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

The Jolly Store

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"Dear me," thought the Nodding Donkey to himself, as he felt the cold, chilly snow all about him, "this is most dreadful! I hope Santa Claus has not become angry with me and sent me back to the North Pole. I did so much want to go down to Earth and be in a big store for Christmas. I hope I'm not back at the North Pole."

The Nodding Donkey said this aloud, and, as he spoke, he wobbled his head from side to side and tried to turn over so he could stand on his feet.

"Here! Don't do that!" suddenly whispered a voice in one of the Donkey's large ears. "Don't you know it isn't allowed for you to move when any one is looking at you?"

"I didn't know any one was looking at me," the Nodding Donkey answered. "I thought Santa Claus had tossed me back to the North Pole."

"Hush! No! Nothing like that has happened," the voice went on, and, by turning his loose head to one side, the Nodding Donkey saw that a large Jumping Jack was whispering to him.

"There has been an accident," went on the Jumping Jack. "The sleigh of Santa Claus banged into a hard, frozen snow cloud, and we were thrown out into a snowdrift. I am not hurt, and I hope you are not. But we must not talk or move much more, for I see Santa Claus coming this way, and even he is not allowed to see us pretend to be alive, so that we move and talk. He is coming to pick us up, I guess."

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And then both toys had to keep quiet, for Santa Claus came stalking along in his big leather boots. St. Nicholas was wiping some snowflakes out of his eyes, his breath made clouds of steam in the frosty air and his cheeks were as red as the reddest apple you ever saw.

"Oh, ho! Here are some of my toys!" cried the jolly old gentleman as he saw the Nodding Donkey and the Jumping Jack. "I was afraid I had lost you. We nearly had a bad accident," he went on, speaking to himself, but loudly enough for the Nodding Donkey to hear. "My reindeer got off the road and ran into a snow cloud and the sleigh was upset."

"It's just as the Jumping Jack told me," thought the Nodding Donkey.

"Steady there, Comet! Keep quiet, Prancer!" called St. Nicholas to his animals, who, stamping their legs, made the bells jingle. "We shall soon be on our way again. Nothing is broken."

Santa Claus picked up the Donkey and the Jumping Jack and carried them back to the sleigh. There the two toys could see their friends, some lying on the seat of the sleigh and others resting in the big bag, through the hole of which the Nodding Donkey had slipped out, falling into the snow.

"Ha! I must fix that hole in the bag," cried Santa Claus, as he noticed it.

St. Nicholas tied some string around the hole in the sack, and then, having again wrapped the tissue paper around the Donkey, the Jumping Jack, and the other toys that had fallen out, the red-cheeked old gentleman put them in the bag and fastened it shut.

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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