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The Playroom Wedding

from Sandman's Goodnight Stories





Paper Doll had been the maid of honor, but she did not at all approve
of the match. "It will never be a happy marriage," she told Teddy Bear
the night of the wedding. "Such marriages never are. How I should
feel married to a man who wore dresses."

Yes, he did look as if he wore a dress, for he was a Japanese gentleman
doll, you see, and when he came to the playroom to live everybody,
including French Doll Marie, thought he was very queer looking.

But after a while they became used to Takeo, for that was his name, and
when the little mistress announced that Marie was to marry Takeo she
did not make the least objection.

"What difference does it make?" she said to Frieda, the Dutch doll, who
lived next to her. "I suppose I shall have to marry someone, and truly
I could never live with Jumping Jack; that fellow makes me so nervous."

"He seems very quiet," said Frieda Doll, meaning Takeo, "and perhaps
you can get him to dress in men's clothes after you are married."

"Yes, he is quiet and I cannot understand a word he says, so we shall
not quarrel," said Marie Doll.

And so they were married. Jack-in-the-box was the minister, because
the little mistress thought he stood better than anyone else. She put
a black cape on him and a white collar, and Jack behaved in the most
dignified manner.

Little Paper Doll wore a dress that quite outshone the bride's dress,
only no one noticed it; but it was all lace and had tiny little pink
buds caught in the flounces, and she wore a beautiful hat with white
feathers.

The bride wore a white dress and a long white veil, and there were tiny
white flowers all around her head which held the veil in place.

But Takeo was far from looking the bridegroom, to Paper Doll's way of
thinking, though Marie Doll gave him no thought at all, for she thought
the bride was the important one, and as she told Frieda Doll, "You have
to have a bridegroom to be a bride, of course; but really he is not of
any importance that I can see."

They had been married a week, and, while Marie talked to Takeo, he, of
course, did not take the least notice of what she said. "Poor fellow,
he cannot understand," said Marie Doll. "He won't be any trouble,
though, because I shall be able to do as I like. He cannot tell me not
to."

"These foreigners, my dear," said Paper Doll, "are sometimes unpleasant
to live with. I cannot see how you came to marry him. Do make him
wear men's clothes."

"Oh, I think he looks quite out of the ordinary, and everyone stares at
him when we go out riding in the park with the little mistress," said
Marie Doll. "As I am French, you see we both are foreigners, so that
does not matter; and then, dear, Takeo is so comfortable to live with.
He is no bother at all."

But one night Marie Doll awoke to find her husband quite a different
man from what she thought, for beside her sat two little Japanese dolls.

When the clock struck twelve Marie Doll called to everyone: "Come quick
and see my baby girls!"

"Oh, dear! they look just like Takeo," said Paper Doll. "This place
will be filled with foreigners. It is too bad."

"I shall change their clothes at once," said Marie Doll.

And then it was Marie Doll and all the toys got the surprise of their
lives, for from the corner where he sat came Takeo, and when he stood
in front of his wife, he said, "Madam will not change the clothes of
our sons."

When Marie recovered from her surprise, she gasped: "Sons! They are
daughters!"

"They are sons, madam, and sons they will remain!" said Takeo, looking
at Marie very steadily.

"I thought you could not understand or speak our language," said Marie,
while all the others stood looking at Takeo in astonishment.

"I was made in this country, and so were you; but I was made to
represent a Japanese gentleman and I intend to live the life of one.
As for speaking, we Japanese never speak unless we have something to
say. I had something to say, and I said it. You heard me, madam.
Those children are our sons and you will not change their clothes."

Takeo turned around in a very sedate manner and returned to his corner
and sat down.

"I told you it would not turn out well," said Paper Doll to Teddy Bear.
"Oh, poor Marie Doll, what a life you will lead!"

But Marie Doll was still looking at her husband, and she did not hear
what Paper Doll said. She was smiling at Takeo. "Such dignity," she
whispered to herself, "and how masterful he is. I shall never dare
disobey him.

"Oh, you little darling boys! How I love you! You are just like your
handsome father." And Marie Doll hugged her children to her and began
to rock them.

"She is crazy," said Teddy Bear. "Marie would never give in if she
were in her right mind, I know."

"She is in love," said Paper Doll. "She has found a master, and some
women love to have a master."

"You women are queer creatures," said Teddy Bear. "I shall never
understand you."

"You are not supposed to understand us. You are supposed to love us,"
said Paper Doll.





Next: Morning-glory

Previous: Dame Cricket's Story



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