The Surprise Box

The Surprise Box was sent to a little girl who was getting well from the measles. She had only one more day to stay in bed, and everybody in the house was glad.

Before her father went to his office, he put his head in the door to tell her that he would take her on his back in great style to breakfast next morning.

Brother Ben wrote a letter from the dog and cat saying that they would be waiting at the foot of the stairs for her.

When Mother came in, she brought a pink flower and a message from Grandmother. “The big armchair by the window is all ready to hold a little girl,” the message said.

The only trouble was that all the messages and promises made Peggy want to get up that very minute. The last day in bed would have been the hardest of all if the Surprise Box had not come.

In the middle of the morning, somebody tapped at the door, and when Nurse went to see who it was, there stood a maid with a box in her hand and a note that had Peggy’s name on it.

Nurse read the note aloud:


“You must be sure to open this box yourself for there is a surprise in it.

“With love and a kiss and a hug from


“Oh, what do you suppose it is?” asked Peggy, but Nurse would not guess. She only laughed and said:

“Something nice and funny, I’m sure, and the sooner you open it, the sooner you’ll know.”

The Surprise Box was fastened with a little hook that was not so easy to open as you might think, and Peggy’s fingers were very small, but of course, she couldn’t let Nurse help her.

“Father said I must open it myself,” she said, and she worked away until, just when she was not expecting it, the hook slipped out, the lid flew open, and squeak! squeak! up jumped a little man dressed all in yellow.

Peggy jumped, too, and so did Nurse.

“Why it’s Jack-in-the-Box who has come to see us,” she said. “Yes, and I’m going to shut him up again so I can surprise somebody else with him,” said Peggy.

Mother, Father, Grandmother, Brother Ben, and even the doctor had to open the Surprise Box, and how many times Peggy opened and shut it herself, nobody knows.

But no matter when the lid flew up, out jumped jolly Jack as lively and funny as ever.

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