The Dolls and Other Dolls
“Mamma,” little Nellie asked, “is it right to give away things that have been given to you?”
Her mamma replied that it might be quite right sometimes; and she said, “But I should feel sorry if I had made a little friend a present she did not value, and so was glad to part with it.”
“O mamma!” said Nellie, “you know how I value my dollies, every one, that my dear aunts and cousins sent me because I was sick. Now I am well again. To-morrow is New-Year’s. Some sick little girls in the hospital want dollies. Could I, if I knew which one to choose, keep only one for myself, and send the whole five of them for those poor children who haven’t any?”
Her mamma liked the plan. She gave Nellie a box, and Nellie began kissing her babies, and laying them, one after another, in the box.
There were two of nearly the same size, that were very dear to this little mother. She called them twins. They wore white frocks and blue kid boots. They had real blonde hair and their eyes would open and shut.
These lovely twins Nellie held in her arms a long time before she could decide which to part with. When she did place one in the box, to be her own no more, a tear was on the doll’s cheek. I do not think the drop came from dolly’s eye.
A few days after the dolls were given Nellie’s mamma let her invite three little girls to play with her. Each girl brought her Christmas or her New-Year’s doll; and the three dolls, with Nellie’s, looked sweetly sitting together in a row.
By and by Nellie’s mamma came to her room, which she had given to the party for its use that afternoon. She told the children she would give them a little supper of cakes and pears and grapes, and it would be ready as soon as Biddy could bring the ice-cream from down street.
The smiling child-visitors gathered around the kind lady, saying, “We thank you, and we love you ever so much.”
Nellie said softly, “Mamma dear, I wouldn’t take my dollies back if I could. I love to think they amuse the sick children. But I do wish that for just a minute we had as many at this party.”
Her mamma turned to her dressing-case. It stood low enough for the smallest child to look into the mirror at the back easily. Moving off the toilet cushions and cologne-bottles, the lady put the four dolls in front of the looking-glass. Their reflection in the glass showed four more.
“Six, seven, eight,” cried the girls, delighted. “And all are twins–four pairs of twins!”
After supper they made, the twins sit, and stand, and dance, bow and shake hands, before the looking-glass. So they played till dusk, when the other little girls’ mammas sent to take them home, after kissing Nellie good-night.