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 another.
“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 boy 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 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.