The Seventh Birthday Of The Little Cousin From Constantinople

: Boys And Girls Bookshelf


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, i
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


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


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.