Little China Doll

In a shop window sat a little China Doll. She had been in the store so long she could not remember ever living in any other place.

Long, long ago there were other china dolls, but one by one some little girl had carried them away and she was left alone. China Doll had black painted hair and big, staring eyes, and her lips and cheeks were very red. Her body was filled with sawdust and her hands and arms to the elbow were china, as were her feet and legs to her knees.

By and by wax dolls came to the store; they had real hair, all curls, and eyes that would open and close, and poor China Doll was set back in the window, and after a while she was put in a box on the shelf and taken out only once a year–at Christmas-time–when she was dusted and put in the window again. She felt very lonely with so many stylish wax dolls, and as she had given up hope of ever being chosen by any little girl, she was glad when the little old lady who kept the store put her back in the box on the shelf.

At last there came a time when the children no longer came to the store, but went to the big city for their toys, and China Doll and the little old store-keeper grew old together.

China Doll sat in the window all the time now, with tape and thread and other useful things, but was the only thing little folk could want.

One day in summer a tally-ho stopped in front of the store, and a party of young people came in. They bought a number of things and filled the old store with their laughter. Suddenly the prettiest girl reached into the window and took out China Doll. “Oh, you dear, quaint little doll!” she said. “My grandmother has one just like this, girls, and I have asked her many times to give it to me to make a French pincushion, but she will not let me have it.”

Oh, how China Doll’s heart beat! Could it be true that she was going at last? Yes, the pretty girl bought her and took her away on the tally-ho.

The next day she dressed China Doll in the prettiest silk dress, such a one as she had dreamed of years ago, with an overskirt and purled sleeves. Then she made her the dearest poke-bonnet trimmed with little roses. She also made her a pair of kid boots.

When China Doll was all dressed the pretty girl put a ribbon over her arm, and on each end was a little bandbox. Then she stood China Doll on her dressing-table and used the little boxes for pincushions. And there China Doll lived a very happy life, which teaches that all things come to those who wait.

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