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- The Story of Calico Clown - 1/11 -
MAKE BELIEVE STORIES
THE STORY OF A CALICO CLOWN
LAURA LEE HOPE
Author of "The Story of a Sawdust Doll," "The Story of a Monkey on a Stick," "The Bobbsey Twins Series," "The Bunny Brown Series," "The Six Little Bunkers Series," Etc.
I. THE GIANT'S SWING
II. A BROKEN LEG
III. THE CLOWN'S DANCE
IV. UP IN A TREE
V. TAKEN DOWN TOWN
VI. IN THE OFFICE
VII. IN THE WASH-BASKET
VIII. DOWN IN A DEEP HOLE
IX. BACK HOME
X. THE TOY PARTY
THE GIANT'S SWING
"To-night we shall have a most wonderful time," said the Elephant from the Noah's Ark to a Double Humped Camel who lived in the stall next to him.
"What kind of a time?" asked the Camel. He stood on the toy counter of a big department store, looking across the top of a drum toward a Jack in the Box who was swaying to and fro on his long spring. "What do you call a wonderful time, Mr. Elephant?"
"Oh, having fun," replied the big toy animal, slowly swinging his trunk to and fro. "And to-night the Calico Clown is going to give a special exhibition."
"Oh, is he?" suddenly asked a funny little Wooden Donkey with a head that wagged up and down. "Is he going to climb a string again and burn his red and yellow trousers as he once did?"
"Indeed I am not!" exclaimed the Calico Clown himself. The Clown was leaning against his friend Mr. Jumping Jack, who was a cousin of Jack in the Box. "I'm not going to give any special exhibition like that," went on the Clown. "I'm just going to do a few funny tricks, such as standing on my head and banging my cymbals together. And, I am not sure, but I may ask a riddle."
"Will it be that one about what makes more noise than a pig under a gate?" inquired a Celluloid Doll. "Well, yes, it will be that riddle," replied the Clown, trying to look very stern.
"That's the only riddle he knows," whispered the Elephant.
"What I should like to know," said the Camel, "is why a pig should want to get under a gate, anyhow. Why didn't he stay in his pen?"
"Oh, there's no use trying to make you understand," sighed the Clown. "I'll just have to dance around, do a few jigs, bang my cymbals together, and do things like that to amuse you."
"Well, we'll have a good time to-night, anyhow," said the Celluloid Doll. "We really haven't had much fun since the Candy Rabbit and the Monkey on a Stick went away. I wish--"
"Hush!" suddenly called the Calico Clown. "Here come the clerks. The store will soon be filled with customers."
The toys became very still and quiet. This talk among them had taken place in the early morning hours, after a night of jolly good times. But when daylight came, and when clerks and customers filled the store, the toys were no longer allowed to do as they pleased. They could not move about or talk as they could on other occasions.
The Calico Clown was a jolly chap, and he seemed to stand out among all the other toys on the counter. He wore calico trousers of which one leg was red and the other yellow. He had a calico shirt that was spotted, speckled and striped in gay colors, and on each of his hands was a round piece of brass. These pieces of brass were called "cymbals," and the Calico Clown could bang them together as the drummer bangs his cymbals in the band.
I say the Calico Clown could bang his cymbals together, and by that I mean he could do it when no boys or girls or grown folk were looking at him. This was the rule for all the toys. They could move about and talk only when no human eyes were looking. As soon as you glanced at them they became as still and as quiet as potatoes.
But any one who picked up the Calico Clown could make him bang his cymbals together by pressing on his chest. There was a little spring, and also a sort of squeaker, such as you have heard in toy bears or sheep.
Besides being able to clap his cymbals together, the Calico Clown could also move his arms and legs when you pulled certain strings, like those on some Jumping Jacks. The Calico Clown was a lively fellow, as well as being very gaily dressed.
But now all the toys were still and quiet. They sat or stood or were lying down on the counter, waiting for what would happen next. And what generally did happen was that some customers came to the store and bought them.
Already a number of the toys had been sold and taken away. There was the Sawdust Doll. She was the first to go. Then the White Rocking Horse had been bought for a boy named Dick, a brother of Dorothy, who now owned the Sawdust Doll. The Lamb on Wheels had been purchased by a jolly sailor, and when the Lamb saw him she feared she would be taken on an ocean trip and made seasick. But the sailor gave the Lamb to a little girl named Mirabell. And, in the course of time, her brother Arnold was given a Bold Tin Soldier and some soldier men.
The Candy Rabbit--about whom I have told you in a book, as I have told you of these other toys--the Candy Rabbit was given as an Easter present to a little girl named Madeline, and her brother Herbert had, later, been given the Monkey on a Stick.
The Calico Clown was looking over at the Celluloid Doll, thinking how pretty she was, and he was also thinking of the Sawdust Doll, whom he had liked very much, when, all of a sudden, it seemed as if a whirlwind had blown into the toy department.
A boy with a very loud voice and feet that tramped and stamped on the floor rushed up to the counter.
"I want a toy! I want something to play with!" cried this boy. "I want a Jumping Jack and I want a Noah's Ark! You said you'd get me something if I let the dentist pull that tooth, and now you've got to! I want a lot of toys!" he cried to the lady who was with him.
"Yes, Archibald. But please be quiet!" begged his mother. "I will get you a toy. Which one do you want?"
"I want this Elephant!" cried the boy who, I am afraid, was rather rude. He caught the Elephant up by his trunk, and twisted the poor animal around.
"Goodness me, sakes alive! I'm getting dizzy," thought the Elephant. "I hope this boy is not to be my master!"
And this, it would seem, was not going to happen. Suddenly the boy dropped the Elephant.
"I don't want this toy! He can't do anything!" the boy shouted. "I want something that jiggles and joggles and does things! Oh, I want this one!" and, as true as I'm telling you, that boy caught up the Calico Clown.
"Well, I guess this is the last of me!" thought the Calico Clown. "I will not last very long in the hands of this rude chap."
The boy had grabbed up the Calico Clown and had thrown the Elephant down so hard that the Celluloid Doll was knocked over.
"Be careful, little boy, if you please," gently said the girl clerk.
"Oh, I've got to have this Clown!" went on the rude boy. "I don't care for other toys. Does this fellow do anything?" he asked of the clerk, while his mother looked on, hardly knowing what to say. Archibald had just been to the dentist's to have a tooth pulled, so perhaps we should forgive him for being a little rough.
"The Clown plays his cymbals when you touch him here," and the clerk pointed to the spring hidden in the chest of the gay fellow, under his speckled, striped and spotted calico jacket.
"Oh, I'll touch him all right! I'll punch him!" cried the boy, and he jabbed the Calico Clown so hard in the chest that the cymbals rattled together like marbles in a boy's pocket.
"He's dandy! I want him!" cried the boy. "What else does he do?" he asked.
"He moves his arms and legs when you pull these strings," was the
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