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The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

The Lame Boy

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"And when I came to her as a Christmas present, she happened to have a little China Dog. I guess she thought the dog might bark at me. Anyhow, she sent me back to the store, only she sent me here instead of to the store where the Calico Clown and the other toys lived, and the mistake was never found out. Mr. Mugg and his daughters took me in, and I have been here ever since."

"Do you ever see your friend, the Monkey on a Stick, or hear from the Sawdust Doll?" asked the Donkey.

"Once in a while," was the answer. "Sometimes, when the grown folk buy toys for children they pick out the wrong ones, and the toys are brought back or exchanged. These toys that come back tell us of the houses where they have spent a few days.

"Once a Jumping Jack who was brought back in this way told about being in a house where the Sawdust Doll lived, and where there was also a White Rocking Horse I used to know."

"I should like to meet the White Rocking Horse," said the Nodding Donkey. "He might be a distant relation of mine."

"Perhaps," agreed the China Cat. "But now I think it is time we got back on our shelves. I see daylight beginning to peep in the window, and it would never do for Mr. Mugg or Miss Angelina or Miss Geraldine to see us moving about."

"I suppose not," said the Nodding Donkey, somewhat sadly.

"Move along, everybody! Move back to your places! Daylight is coming!" called the Policeman, as he walked past swinging his club.

And, a little later, when all the toys were back on the shelves, the sun rose, and in came Mr. Mugg to open the store for the day.

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All that day people came and went in the toy store, some coming to look, and others to buy. Some of the toys were taken away, and the Nodding Donkey wondered when it would be his turn. But, though he was often taken up, shown and admired, no one purchased him.

"I know what I will do, so that Donkey will be sold!" said Mr. Mugg in the afternoon.

"What?" asked Miss Angelina.

"I will put him in the show window," answered her father.

"Oh, let me decorate the show window!" begged Miss Geraldine. "I'll make up a scene with a Christmas tree, and put the Nodding Donkey under it."

"Very well," agreed Mr. Mugg. "I will leave the show window to you, Geraldine. Make it look as pretty as you can."

And Miss Geraldine did. She got a little Christmas tree and set it up in a box. Then she put some tiny electric lights on it, and also some toys. Other toys were put under the tree, and one of these was the Nodding Donkey.

"Oh, now I can see things!" said the Donkey to himself, as he found he could look right out into the street. It was a scene he had never observed before. All his life had been spent in the workshop of Santa Claus or in the toy store. He was most delighted to look out into the street.

It was snowing, and crowds were hurrying to and fro, doing their Christmas shopping. After the show window in the store of Mr. Horatio Mugg had been newly decorated by Miss Geraldine, many boys and girls and grown folk, too, stopped to peer in. They looked at the Nodding Donkey, at the Jumping Jacks, at the Dolls, the toy Fire Engines, at the Soldiers and at the Policeman.

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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