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The Story of a Nodding Donkey Laura Lee Hope

The Santa Claus Shop

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The reason the Nodding Donkey said this, was because at night, when Santa Claus and his merry helpers had gone, the toys were allowed to do as they pleased. They could make believe come to life, and move about, having all sorts of adventures.

But, presto! the moment daylight came, or any one looked at them, the toys became as straight and stiff and motionless as any toys that are in your playroom. For all you know some of your toys may move about and pretend to come to life when you are asleep. But it is of no use for you to stay awake, watching to see if they will, for as long as any eyes are peeping, or ears are listening, the toys will never do anything of themselves.

The Nodding Donkey knew that when Santa Claus and the workers were gone he and the other toys could do as they pleased, and he could hardly wait for that time to come.

"But while I am waiting I will stay here on the shelf and get hard and dry," said the Nodding Donkey to himself.

Once more he looked in the glass on the doll's bureau, and he was well pleased with himself, was the Nodding Donkey.

Such a busy place was the workshop of Santa Claus at the North Pole, where the Nodding Donkey was drying in his coat of varnish!

The place was like a great big greenhouse, all made of glass, only the glass was sheets of crystal-clear ice. Santa Claus needed plenty of light in his workshop, for in the dark it is not easy to put red cheeks and blue eyes on dolls, or paint toy soldiers and wind up the springs of the toys that move.

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The workshop of Santa Claus, then, was like a big greenhouse, only no flowers grew in it because it is very cold at the North Pole. All about was snow and ice, but Santa Claus did not mind the cold, nor did his workmen, for they were dressed in fur, like the polar bears and the seals.

On each side of the big shop, with its icy glass roof, were work benches. At these benches sat the funny little men who made the toys.

Some were stuffing sawdust into dolls, others were putting the lids on the boxes where the Jacks lived, and still others were trying the Jumping Jacks to see that they jerked their legs and arms properly.

Up and down, between the rows of benches, walked Santa Claus himself. Now and then some workman would call:

"Please look here, Santa Claus! Shall I make this Tin Soldier with a sword or a gun?"

And St. Nicholas would answer:

"That Soldier needs a sword. He is going to be a Captain."

Then another little man would call, from the other side of the shop:

"Here is a Calico Clown who doesn't squeak when I press on his stomach. Something must be wrong with him, Santa Claus."

Then Santa Claus would put on his glasses, stroke his long, white beard and look at the Calico Clown.

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The Story of a Nodding Donkey
Laura Lee Hope

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