THE TOP AND THE BALL
Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen by Miss C. W. Mingins. Copyright 1905, by the Home Kindergarten School, Detroit, Mich.
 A TOP and a Ball lay together in a drawer with some
other toys. The Top said to the Ball: "Why should we
not be the very best of friends, and play together, as
we are lying here in the same drawer?"
But the Ball, who was covered with Morocco leather, and
thought she was very fine, would not reply.
The next day the little boy to whom the Top belonged
painted it in red and yellow, and drove a brass nail
into the head. This looked really beautiful when the
Top spun around.
"Just look at me," he said to the Ball. "Am I not
pretty, too? Let us be companions. We should be very
happy, for you jump and I dance, and there would be no
happier playmates than we two."
"Do you think so?" said the Ball. "Perhaps you do not
know that I am made of Morocco, and have a cork in my
"Yes; but I am made of mahogany," said the Top. "The
Mayor himself turned me, for he has a turning-lathe of
his own. He enjoys making tops to please the
"Is that really so?" asked the Ball.
"Just as true as that I can spin," said the Top.
The Ball looked at the pleasant, happy little Top and
said: "But I want to be the swallow's playmate.
Whenever I fly up into the air, he calls from the
tree-top: 'Will you, will you?' and I have said 'Yes,'
but I will always remember you, Top."
"Oh, very well," said the Top, "but you can't play with
the swallow, and you can come with me; still, do as you
 The next day the Ball was taken out of the drawer,
and the Top saw her flying high up in the air—she
seemed almost like a bird. Whenever she returned to
the earth, she gave a little jump just as she touched
the ground. Perhaps that was because she wanted to fly
again, or because she had a cork in her body.
But one time, when she was sent flying in the air, she
did not come back; and, although the little boy hunted
and hunted, she could not be found—she was lost.
"I know where she is," thought the Top. "She has gone
to the swallow's nest; she has gone to stay with the
The Top was very lonely. He thought and thought about
the Ball, and, although he spun around and hummed his
pretty song, he was always wanting her. Many days and
weeks passed by, and the Top was growing old. His red
and yellow paint had worn off, and the little boy did
not play with him as much as he used to. One day the
Top was gilded all over. He looked like a gold top.
The little boy thought him more beautiful than ever
before. The Top spun and hummed and jumped about, but
all at once he went too high, and was lost. They
searched everywhere, but no one could find the gold
Top. Where had he gone?
He had jumped into the dust bin, where all sorts of
dust and rubbish had fallen from the roof.
"Well, well," said the Top; "this is a queer place!
All my gilding will be spoiled, and I cannot even spin
down here in the dark. And the little boy will be
Just then he saw something round and dirty, like a
withered apple—but the round thing began to talk!
 "Oh, dear," it said; "I have been lying here in
this dirty place for weeks, with no one good enough for
me to play with. I wanted to live with the swallow,
but I fell in here, and I am very beautiful, for I am
made of Morocco and I have a cork in my body."
Then the Top knew it was the Ball, lost so long ago.
Just then came a maid to clear out the dust bin. The
first thing she saw was the Top. She took it to the
little boy again, and both the Top and the little boy
were happy. But the Ball was thrown away. The Top
never spoke of the Ball. He thought her a silly little
Ball, after all—for it is better always to think of
others, and not of yourself.