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Raggedy Ann And The Painter

from Raggedy Ann Stories





When housecleaning time came around, Mistress' mamma decided that she
would have the nursery repainted and new paper put upon the walls. That
was why all the dolls happened to be laid helter-skelter upon one of the
high shelves.

Mistress had been in to look at them and wished to put them to bed, but
as the painters were coming again in the early morning, Mamma thought it
best that their beds be piled in the closet.

So the dolls' beds were piled into the closet, one on top of another and
the dolls were placed upon the high shelf.

When all was quiet that night, Raggedy Ann who was on the bottom of the
pile of dolls spoke softly and asked the others if they would mind
moving along the shelf.

"The cotton in my body is getting mashed as flat as a pancake!" said
Raggedy Ann. And although the tin soldier was piled so that his foot was
pressed into Raggedy's face, she still wore her customary smile.

So the dolls began moving off to one side until Raggedy Ann was free to
sit up.

"Ah, that's a great deal better!" she said, stretching her arms and legs
to get the kinks out of them, and patting her dress into shape.

"Well, I'll be glad when morning comes!" she said finally, "for I know
Mistress will take us out in the yard and play with us under the trees."

So the dolls sat and talked until daylight, when the painters came to
work.

One of the painters, a young fellow, seeing the dolls, reached up and
took Raggedy Ann down from the shelf.

"Look at this rag doll, Jim," he said to one of the other painters,
"She's a daisy," and he took Raggedy Ann by the hands and danced with
her while he whistled a lively tune. Raggedy Ann's heels hit the floor
thumpity-thump and she enjoyed it immensely.

The other dolls sat upon the shelf and looked straight before them, for
it would never do to let grown-up men know that dolls were really alive.

"Better put her back upon the shelf," said one of the other men. "You'll
have the little girl after you! The chances are that she likes that old
rag doll better than any of the others!"

But the young painter twisted Raggedy Ann into funny attitudes and
laughed and laughed as she looped about. Finally he got to tossing her
up in the air and catching her. This was great fun for Raggedy and as
she sailed up by the shelf the dolls all smiled at her, for it pleased
them whenever Raggedy Ann was happy.

But the young fellow threw Raggedy Ann up into the air once too often
and when she came down he failed to catch her and she came down
splash, head first into a bucket of oily paint.

"I told you!" said the older painter, "and now you are in for it!"

"My goodness! I didn't mean to do it!" said the young fellow, "What had
I better do with her?"

"Better put her back on the shelf!" replied the other.

So Raggedy was placed back upon the shelf and the paint ran from her
head and trickled down upon her dress.




After breakfast, Mistress came into the nursery and saw Raggedy all
covered with paint and she began crying.

The young painter felt sorry and told her how it had happened.

"If you will let me," he said, "I will take her home with me and will
clean her up tonight and will bring her back day after tomorrow."

So Raggedy was wrapped in a newspaper that evening and carried away.

All the dolls felt sad that night without Raggedy Ann near them.

"Poor Raggedy! I could have cried when I saw her all covered with
paint!" said the French doll.

"She didn't look like our dear old Raggedy Ann at all!" said the tin
soldier, who wiped the tears from his eyes so that they would not run
down on his arms and rust them.

"The paint covered her lovely smile and nose and you could not see the
laughter in her shoe-button eyes!" said the Indian doll.

And so the dolls talked that night and the next. But in the daytime
when the painters were there, they kept very quiet.

The second day Raggedy was brought home and the dolls were all anxious
for night to come so that they could see and talk with Raggedy Ann.

At last the painters left and the house was quiet, for Mistress had been
in and placed Raggedy on the shelf with the other dolls.

"Tell us all about it, Raggedy dear!" the dolls cried.

"Oh I am so glad I fell in the paint!" cried Raggedy, after she had
hugged all the dolls, "For I have had the happiest time. The painter
took me home and told his Mamma how I happened to be covered with paint
and she was very sorry. She took a rag and wiped off my shoe-button eyes
and then I saw that she was a very pretty, sweet-faced lady and she got
some cleaner and wiped off most of the paint on my face.



"But you know," Raggedy continued, "the paint had soaked through my rag
head and had made the cotton inside all sticky and soggy and I could not
think clearly. And my yarn hair was all matted with paint.

"So the kind lady took off my yarn hair and cut the stitches out of my
head, and took out all the painty cotton.

"It was a great relief, although it felt queer at first and my thoughts
seemed scattered.

"She left me in her work-basket that night and hung me out upon the
clothes-line the next morning when she had washed the last of the paint
off.

"And while I hung out on the clothes-line, what do you think?"

"We could never guess!" all the dolls cried.

"Why a dear little Jenny Wren came and picked enough cotton out of me to
make a cute little cuddly nest in the grape arbor!"

"Wasn't that sweet!" cried all the dolls.

"Yes indeed it was!" replied Raggedy Ann, "It made me very happy. Then
when the lady took me in the house again she stuffed me with lovely nice
new cotton, all the way from my knees up and sewed me up and put new
yarn on my head for hair and--and--and it's a secret!" said Raggedy Ann.

"Oh tell us the secret!" cried all the dolls, as they pressed closer to
Raggedy. "Well, I know you will not tell anyone who would not be glad to
know about it, so I will tell you the secret and why I am wearing my
smile a trifle broader!" said Raggedy Ann.

The dolls all said that Raggedy Ann's smile was indeed a quarter of an
inch wider on each side.



"When the dear lady put the new white cotton in my body," said Raggedy
Ann "she went to the cupboard and came back with a paper bag. And she
took from the bag ten or fifteen little candy hearts with mottos on them
and she hunted through the candy hearts until she found a beautiful
red one which she sewed up in me with the cotton! So that is the
secret, and that is why I am so happy! Feel here," said Raggedy Ann. All
the dolls could feel Raggedy Ann's beautiful new candy heart and they
were very happy for her.

After all had hugged each other good night and had cuddled up for the
night, the tin soldier asked, "Did you have a chance to see what the
motto on your new candy heart was, Raggedy Ann?"

"Oh yes," replied Raggedy Ann, "I was so happy I forgot to tell you. It
had printed upon it in nice blue letters, 'I LOVE YOU.'"





Next: Raggedy Ann's Trip On The River

Previous: Raggedy Ann Rescues Fido



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