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The Seventh Birthday Of The Little Cousin From Constantinople

from Boys And Girls Bookshelf - STORIES _for_ LITTLE GIRLS





BY EMMA C. DOWD

The Little Cousin from Constantinople was to have been given a party on
her seventh birthday; but, just before the invitations were written,
Mumps came uninvited, and, of course, there could be no other guests
while Mumps stayed.



The Little Cousin could not help feeling just a little tearful on her
birthday morning, for Mumps, as nearly everybody knows, is a painful,
disagreeable visitor. She did not cry when anybody was near--oh, no,
indeed! She even tried to smile; but she found smiling very difficult
with a poultice on each side of her face, and she had to give it up. The
Merry Mother understood, however, and told her she was a dear, brave
little girl, and strove to comfort her just as the dear absent Mother in
Constantinople would have comforted her if she had been there.

Before the Merry Mother left her the Little Cousin felt almost happy,
sitting up among her soft pillows, and wearing her new, pink, birthday
sacque, with its pretty ribbons.

"I am sorry I must be away all the morning," the Merry Mother said; "but
I hope your pleasant company will keep you from missing me. I am going
to shut your door for a minute, and when it opens you can pull in your
visitors as fast as you please." She laughed to see the Little Cousin's
astonished face, for the doctor had said that the children must not come
in to see her as long as Mumps stayed. Then the door closed.

There was a slight commotion outside. The Little Cousin listened
eagerly. What could it mean? Hushed voices, bits of laughter, the
sliding of something over the polished floor, scurrying footsteps here
and there--the Little Cousin heard it all, and waited breathlessly.

At last the feet retreated, the door opened, and the Merry Mother's face
appeared. Something attached to a string came flying toward the bed.

"Catch it!" she called.

The Little Cousin grabbed it--only a small block of wood, on which was
printed, "PULL."

Eagerly the little hands obeyed, when in through the doorway slid an
oblong package. Across the rug and up on the bed the Little Cousin drew
it, till her excited fingers clasped the package tight--what could it
be?

Fastened to the further end of the bundle was another block of wood, and
attached to it was another string which led outside the door. On this
block was printed. "When you are ready, PULL again!"

"I'll open this first," said the Little Cousin to herself, untying the
block, and laying it aside with its dangling cord. Eagerly she tore off
the wrappings--it was, it was a doll, such a darling of a doll! It had
brown eyes and fluffy yellow curls, and--this seemed very strange--the
only thing in the way of clothing that it possessed was a little blanket
that was wrapped around it.

Never mind! she was learning to sew, and she would make it a dress as
soon as she was well again. She cuddled Dolly down against the pillows.
She would not be lonely any more, even if Mumps should stay for a longer
visit than was expected. Her dolls had all been left for the Little
Sister in Constantinople, and it was so nice to have a dolly of her own
again!

Then her eyes fell on the block of wood, with its inscription, and she
began to pull in the string.

A square package appeared in the doorway, and she drew it toward her.
Attached to it was a third block. This she untied as before, and removed
the paper from her gift. It was a small trunk. She lifted the cover, and
there were Dolly's missing garments! A blue dress, a pink dress, a white
dress, dainty underwear, sash ribbons, a coat and hat, and even a tiny
comb and brush, were found in that wonderful trunk. Of course, Dolly had
to come out from her nook in the pillows, and be dressed. It took some
time, because Little Cousin must stop to admire every separate garment.
At last, however, the third present was pulled in, and it was a chair
for Dolly to sit in.

The fourth package was big and rather heavier than the others. The
Little Cousin wondered what it could be, and she found out just as soon
as she could get it open. It was a dining-table for Dolly, with a real
little table-cloth, and napkins, and a set of pretty china dishes.

"Oh, oh!" gasped the Little Cousin, in sheer delight. It is a pity there
was no one there to see the shining of her eyes. She rested awhile among
her pillows; but not long, for Dolly must have her table set for
luncheon--she might be hungry.

Ready for the make-believe repast, string number five was pulled, and
when the box was opened the Little Cousin fairly squealed, for there was
a real luncheon for Dolly and herself, all in twos! There were two tiny
buttered biscuits, two very small apple turnovers, and two little
frosted cakes. There were, also, two small bottles containing a brownish
liquid. It was chocolate! Oh, how glad the Little Cousin was that she
had passed the stage where she could not eat! It would have been hard,
indeed, to have left all those goodies for Dolly. As it was she had to
take food in very small bits, but that only made it last the longer; and
if it did hurt a little once in a while she did not mind, it tasted so
good. So on the whole, the luncheon was a very happy affair.

When the sixth present was pulled upon the bed the Little Cousin said,
"Oh!" to the accompaniment of very bright eyes, for the shape of it told
her that must be a carriage--a carriage for Dolly, and it proved to be
one of the very prettiest that ever a small doll rode in. She was put on
the seat in a twinkling, and had only one tumble--which did not even
muss her dress, and the next time she was strapped in so that she could
not fall.

The seventh gift was a little white bedstead, with mattress and sheets,
a dear little puffy comfortable, and a dainty coverlet and two pillows.
Of course, Dolly was tired enough after her ride to be undressed and go
to bed, and very sweet she looked as she was tucked snugly in.

"Now shut your eyes and go right to sleep!" Dolly was bidden, and she
obeyed at once.

"What a perfectly lovely birthday!" murmured Little Cousin, drawing her
darling--bed and all--close to her pillow. Then she shut her own eyes,
to keep Dolly company.

When the Merry Mother peeped in, the Little Cousin from Constantinople
lay quite still among her treasures--fast asleep.





Next: Little Red Riding-hood

Previous: The Jingle Of The Little Jap



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