THE DOLLS’ CHRISTMAS PARTY

It was the week before Christmas, and the dolls In the toy-shop played
together all night. The biggest one was from Paris.

One night she said, “We ought to have a party before Santa Claus
carries us away to the little girls. I can dance, and I will show you
how.”

“I can dance myself if you will pull the string,” said a “Jim Crow”
doll.

“What shall we have for supper?” piped a little boy-doll in a Jersey
suit. He was always thinking about eating.

“Oh, dear,” cried the French lady, “I don’t know what we shall do for
supper!”

“I can get the supper,” added a big rag doll. The other dolls had
never liked her very well, but they thanked her now. She had taken
lessons at a cooking-school, and knew how to make cake and candy.
She gave French names to everything she made, and this made it taste
better. Old Mother Hubbard was there, and she said the rag doll did
not know how to cook anything.

They danced in one of the great shop-windows. They opened a toy piano,
and a singing-doll played “Comin’ through the Rye,” The dolls did
not find that a good tune to dance by; but the lady did not know any
other, although she was the most costly doll in the shop. Then they
wound up a music-box, and danced by that. This did very well for some
tunes; but they had to walk around when it played “Hail Columbia,” and
wait for something else.

The “Jim Crow” doll had to dance by himself, for he could do nothing
but a “break-down.” He would not dance at all unless some one pulled
his string. A toy monkey did this; but he would not stop when the
dancer was tired.

They had supper on one of the counters. The rag doll placed some boxes
for tables. The supper was of candy, for there was nothing in the shop
to eat but sugar hearts and eggs. The dolls like candy better than
anything else, and the supper was splendid. Patsy McQuirk said he
could not eat candy. He wanted to know what kind of a supper it
was without any potatoes. He got very angry, put his hands into his
pockets, and smoked his pipe. It was very uncivil for him to do so in
company. The smoke made the little ladies sick, and they all tried to
climb into a “horn of plenty” to get out of the way.

Mother Hubbard and the two black waiters tried to sing “I love Little
Pussy;” but the tall one in a brigand hat opened his mouth wide,
that the small dollies were afraid they might fall into it. The clown
raised both arms in wonder, and Jack in the Box sprang up as high as
me could to look down into the fellow’s throat.

All the baby-dolls in caps and long dresses had been put to bed. They
woke up when the others were at supper, and began to cry. The big doll
brought them some candy, and that kept them quiet for some time.

The next morning a little girl found the toy piano open. She was sure
the dolls had been playing on it. The grown-up people thought it had
been left open the night before; but they do not understand dolls as
well as little people do.

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