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The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

The Jolly Store

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"Now we're off again!" cried Santa Claus, as he took his seat in the sleigh. "Trot along, Comet! Fly away, Prancer! Lively there, Donner and Blitzen! We must get down to Earth with these toys, and then back again to North Pole Land for another load! Trot along, my speedy reindeer!"

The reindeer shook their heads, which made the bells jingle more merrily than before, they stamped their feet on the hard, frozen road that led from the North Pole to Earth, and then away they darted. Santa Claus drove them carefully, steering away from snow clouds, and soon the motion was so swift and smooth that the Nodding Donkey went to sleep, and so did most of the other toys in the big sack.

And what a funny dream the Nodding Donkey had! He imagined that he was tumbling around a feather bed and that a Blue Dog was chasing him with a yellow feather duster.

"Don't tickle me with that feather duster!" he thought he cried.

"I won't if you'll sing a song through your ears," said the Blue Dog.

"I can't sing through my ears," wailed the Nodding Donkey, and then of a sudden he seemed to roll over and the dog and the feather bed came down on top of him. Then he seemed to give a sneeze and that blew the dog away and sent the feathers of the bed out into one big snowstorm!

It was dark when the Nodding Donkey awoke. He did not hear the jingle of the bells, nor could he feel the sleigh being drawn along by the reindeer. He could see nothing, either, for it was very black and dark. But he heard some voices talking, and one he knew was that of Santa Claus.

"Now I have brought you a whole sleighful of toys," said St. Nicholas.

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"Yes, and I am glad to get them," another voice answered. "The stores are almost empty and it is near Christmas time. I shall send a lot of the toys to the stores the first thing in the morning."

Santa Claus had arrived, in the night, at a large warehouse, where boxes, bales and bags of toys were kept until they could be sent around to the different stores. The Nodding Donkey, the Jumping Jack and the others felt themselves being lifted out of the bag and placed on the floor or on shelves. But they could see nothing, for Santa Claus always comes to Earth in the darkness, so no one sees him. And it was the Earth that the toys had now reached.

"Dear me, this isn't much fun!" complained the Nodding Donkey, as he stood on a shelf in the darkness. Faint and far off he could hear the bells of Santa Claus' reindeer jingling as jolly St. Nicholas drove back to North Pole Land. "I thought the Earth was such a wonderful place," went on the Nodding Donkey. "But I don't like it here at all."

"Hush!" begged the Jumping Jack. "It is night. You have seen nothing yet. Wait until morning."

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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