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- The Story of a White Rocking Horse - 1/11 -


[Illustration: White Rocking Horse Races With the Elephant on Skates. Frontispiece]

MAKE BELIEVE STORIES

THE STORY OF A WHITE ROCKING HORSE

BY LAURA LEE HOPE

Author of "The Story of a Sawdust Doll," "The Story of a Bold Tin Soldier," "The Bobbsey Twins Series," "The Bunny Brown Series," "The Six Little Bunkers Series," Etc.

ILLUSTRATED BY HARRY L. SMITH

BOOKS BY LAURA LEE HOPE

MAKE BELIEVE STORIES

STORY OF A SAWDUST DOLL STORY OF A WHITE ROCKING HORSE STORY OF A LAMB ON WHEELS STORY OF A BOLD TIN SOLDIER STORY OF A CANDY RABBIT STORY OF A MONKEY ON A STICK STORY OF A CALICO CLOWN

THE BOBBSEY TWINS SERIES

THE BOBBSEY TWINS THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN A GREAT CITY THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON BLUEBERRY ISLAND THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN WASHINGTON THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE GREAT WEST

THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES

THE SIX LITTLE BUNKERS SERIES

THE OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I READY FOR A RACE

II THE RUDE BOY

III A NICE MAN

IV THE SURPRISE

V A NIGHT RIDE

VI THE BROKEN LEG

VII IN THE TOY HOSPITAL

VIII HOME AGAIN

IX TWO BAD MEN

X THE GRASS PARTY

CHAPTER I

READY FOR A RACE

One by one the lights went out. One by one the shoppers left the toy department of the store. One by one the clerks rode down in the elevators. At last all was still and quiet and dark--that is, all dark except for a small light, so the night-watchman could see his way around.

"Now we can have some fun!" cried a voice, and it seemed to come from a Calico Clown, lying down in a box next to a Bold Tin Soldier. "Now we can really be ourselves, and talk and move about."

"We can, if we are sure there is no one to watch us," bleated a Lamb on Wheels, who stood on the floor near a White Rocking Horse. "You know, as well as I do, Calico Clown, that we cannot do as we please if there are any eyes watching us," said the Lamb.

"No one can see us," said the Bold Tin Soldier. "I am glad the clerks and shoppers are gone. It will be some time before the watchman comes up here, and my men and I will be glad to move about. All ready there!" he called to his soldiers, for he was captain over a brave company of tin warriors. "Attention! Stand up straight and get ready to march! You have been in your box all day, and now it is time to come out!"

It was true; the Bold Tin Soldier and his men had been in a box on the toy counter all day. For, as you have been told, the playthings cannot make believe come to life nor move about when any human eyes are watching them. They must wait until they are alone, which is generally after dark. That is why you have never seen your doll or your rocking horse moving about by itself.

But now, in the toy store, from which every one had gone, some strange things happened. The Calico Clown stood up near the Candy Rabbit and looked about. Then the Calico Clown banged together the shiny brass cymbals he held in his hands.

"Clang! Bang!" went the cymbals.

"Ha! that sounds like war," cried the Bold Tin Soldier. "Come, my men! Forward--march!"

And then and there the tin soldiers, with their captain holding his shiny tin sword in his hand, marched out of their box and around the toy counter of the big department store.

Yes, I wish you could have seen them; but it isn't allowed, you know. Just the very minute the eyes of a boy or a girl, or, for that matter, a father or mother or aunt, uncle or cousin--just the very moment any one looks, the toys are as still as clothespins.

"Aren't they fine?" cried a Monkey on a Stick, as he scrambled up to the very top of his staff, so he might look over the pile of building blocks that stood near some picture books. "I wish I were a soldier!"

"Oh, no!" exclaimed a Boy Doll.

"You are funnier as a Monkey," remarked the Calico Clown.

"But I am not as funny as you are," laughed the Monkey. "Tell us a joke, that's a good fellow! Tell us something funny, Calico Clown, so we may laugh. We have had no fun all day."

"All right," agreed the Calico Clown, with a smile, as he softly banged his cymbals together. "I'll see if I can think of a joke."

The Bold Tin Soldier and his men stopped marching to listen to what the Calico Clown might say. The Candy Rabbit raised his big ears up straighter, so that he would miss nothing. The Lamb on Wheels gave herself a shake, seemingly so the kinks would come out of her woolly coat, and the Monkey on a Stick swung by his tail.

"Yes, I'll tell you a joke," said the Calico Clown. "It is a sort of riddle. Listen, and see if any of you can answer it."

"The Sawdust Doll was very clever at answering riddles," said the Bold Tin Soldier. "I wish she were here now."

"But she isn't," said the Candy Rabbit. "I liked that Sawdust Doll very much, but she has gone away."

"Yes, some lady bought her for a little girl's birthday," came from the Monkey on a Stick. "You are right, Tin Soldier, that doll was very clever at answering the riddles the Clown used to ask."

"Well, if you don't all stop talking now, how am I going to tell this joke?" asked the Calico Clown crossly. "Now, who is a--"

"I wonder if the Sawdust Doll will come back and see us once again, as she did before?" asked the Lamb on Wheels, not paying much attention to what the Calico Clown said. "Don't you remember, Tin Soldier, how she once came back to us, after she had been sold and taken away?"

"Clang! Bang!" went the cymbals of the Calico Clown.

"What's the matter?" asked the Monkey on a Stick.

"Matter? Matter enough, I should say!" replied the Clown. "Here I am asked to tell a funny joke, and none of you will listen. You keep on talking about the Sawdust Doll. I liked her as much as any one. But she is gone--she was sold away from us. To-morrow some of us may be sold, and never see the others again. Let's be gay and jolly while we can!"

"That's what I say!" exclaimed the Candy Rabbit. "Really, we are not very polite to go on talking when the Calico Clown wants to amuse us with one of his famous jokes. We should listen to him."

"You are right!" cried the Bold Tin Soldier. "Come now," he went on, as he waved his sword over his head, "I do not want to be cross with you, my toy friends, but I command silence! Silence while the Calico


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