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For the Children's Hour by  Carolyn S. Bailey


 

 

WHO ATE THE DOLLY'S DINNER?

Isabel Gordon Curtis in "Good Housekeeping."

"WHY can't dollies have a Thanksgiving dinner as well as real folks?" asked Polly Pine.

"I don't know why," said mamma, laughing; "go and dress them in their best clothes, get the doll's house swept and dusted and the table ready. Then I'll fix their dinner before we go downstairs."

"Oh, how nice!" said Polly Pine.

The doll house stood in the nursery. It was very big and very beautiful. It was painted red; it had tall chimneys, and a fine front door with R. Bliss on a brass plate. There were lace curtains at the windows, and two steps led up to the cunning little piazza. Polly Pine swept the rooms with her tiny broom and dusted them. Then she set the table in the dining-room with the very best dishes and the finest silver. She set a teeny vase in the middle of the table, with two violets in it, and she put dolly table-napkins at each place.

When the house was all nice and clean she dressed Lavinia in her pink muslin, and Dora Jane in her gray velvet, and Hannah Welch in her yellow silk; then she seated them around the table, each one in her own chair. Polly was just telling them about [226] company manners, how they must not eat with their knives, or leave their teaspoons in their cups when they drank their tea, when the door opened and in came mamma with a real doll's Thanksgiving dinner.

There was a chicken-bone to put on the platter before Hannah Welch, for Hannah always did the carving. There were cunning little dishes of mashed potato and cranberry sauce, and some celery in a tiny tumbler, and the smallest squash pie baked in a patty pan. Polly Pine just hopped up and down with delight when she saw it. She set everything on the table; then she ran away to put on her nicest muslin frock with the pink ribbons, and she went downstairs to her own dinner.

There were gentlemen there for dinner—gentlemen Polly was very fond of—and she had a nice time visiting with one of them. He could change his table-napkin into a white rabbit, and she forgot all about the dolls' Thanksgiving dinner until it was dessert-time and the nuts and raisins came in.

Then Polly remembered, and she jumped down from her chair and asked mamma if she might go upstairs and see if the dolls had eaten their dinner. When mamma told about the doll-house Thanksgiving, all the family wanted to go, too, to find out if the dolls had enjoyed their dinner.

The front door of the doll house was open, and there sat the dolls just as their little mistress had left them—only they had eaten nearly all the dinner! Everything was gone except the potato and the cranberry sauce. The chicken leg was picked bare, the bread was nibbled, and the little pie was eaten all around.

"Well, this is funny," said papa.

Just then they heard a funny, scratching noise in [237] the doll house, and a little gray mouse jumped out from under the table. He ran out the front door of the doll house, and over the piazza, and down the steps before you could say "Jack Robinson." In a minute he was gone—nobody knew where. There was another tiny mouse in the doll house under the parlor sofa, and a third one under Lavinia's bed, with a poor, frightened, gray tail sticking out. They all got away safe. Papa would not allow mamma to go for the cat. He said:

"Why can't a poor little mouse have a Thanksgiving dinner as well as we?"


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