Recipe for a Happy Day
One morning Marjorie’s Mamma called to her several times before Marjorie answered, for her pretty brown eyes were very sleepy and would hardly stay open.
“Come, dear! Please hurry, for I want you to run to the grocery before breakfast!” Mamma called from the foot of the stairs.
“Oh dear!” exclaimed Marjorie, “I don’t want to get up!” and keeping her head on the pillow just as long as she could Marjorie crawled out of bed backwards.
Her clothes were scattered about the room and her stockings were turned inside out. Her dress would not fasten and she cried, so that Mamma had to come upstairs and dress her.
So you see Marjorie’s day began all wrong, for everything started topsy-turvy.
“Now hurry, dear!” Mamma said as she handed Marjorie the basket.
Marjorie slammed the door as she went out and she was so cross she did not notice the beautiful sunshine nor hear the pretty songs which greeted her from the tree tops.
“It’s so far to the old store!” Marjorie grumbled to herself, as she pouted her pretty lips and shuffled her feet along the path.
“Hello, Marjorie!” laughed a merry voice.
Marjorie saw a queer little elf sitting upon a stone at the side of the road. His little green suit was so near the color of the leaves Marjorie could scarcely distinguish him from the foliage. He wore a funny little pointed cap of a brilliant red, and sticking in it was a long yellow feather.
Two long hairs grew from his eyebrows and curled over his cap. He was hardly as large as Marjorie’s doll, Jane.
“Who are you, and where did you come from?” Marjorie cried, for she thought him the most comical little creature she had ever seen.
“Why, I’m Merry Chuckle from Make-Believe Land!” replied the elf. “And aren’t you very cross this lovely day?”
“I did not want to get up!” cried Marjorie, “and I just hate to go to the store! It’s too far!” She dropped her basket on the ground and sat down beside the elf on the large stone.
“Isn’t it funny?” laughed Merry Chuckle. “There are hundreds of children just like you who make hard work of getting up when they are called in the morning and who remain cross and ugly all day long!”
“I really do not mean to be cross, but I just can’t help it sometimes!” Marjorie said.
“Oh, but indeed you can help it, Marjorie!” the elf solemnly said as he shook his tiny finger at her nose. “And I am going to tell you how. First of all, when you awaken in the morning you must say to yourself, ‘Oh what a lovely, happy day this is going to be!’ then raise your arms above your head and take three long, deep breaths. Jump out of bed quickly, always remembering to put your toes on the floor first.
“For,” continued Merry Chuckle, “Old Witchy Crosspatch is always waiting for children to get out of bed backwards. And when they do, she catches them by the heels and turns everything topsy-turvy all day long; but when you get out of bed toes first, I’ll be there to start you on a pleasant day and Witchy Crosspatch will have to return to Make-Believe Land and hide her head!” “Sure enough, I did crawl out of bed backwards this morning!” Marjorie said.
“I know you did, my dear!” Merry Chuckle giggled. “And every time you do old Witchy Crosspatch makes everything seem disagreeable!”
“But I hate to run errands, Mister Chuckle!” cried Marjorie. “The old road is so dreadfully long and tiresome!”
“But the longer the road the more happiness you can find along the way, my dear!” Merry Chuckle replied, quick as a wink, his little eyes twinkling brightly. “If you look up at the blue sky and the beautiful sunshine and sing with the birds as you run along you’ll find the road seems too short and you’ll be back before you notice it. Just try it and see.”
So Marjorie looked up the road with a smile and, sure enough, it did not seem so far to the store, and when she turned around, she was sitting upon the stone alone. The little elf had suddenly disappeared. Marjorie picked up her basket and skipped down the road singing at the top of her voice and before she had time to think about how far it was she was back home telling Mamma all about the queer little elf from Make-Believe Land.
“You haven’t been away long enough to stop and talk with anyone on the road!” laughed Mamma. “Are you sure you have not been dreaming?” Marjorie wondered if it really had only been a dream, but the next morning when the golden sunshine peeped through her bedroom curtains, Marjorie did as Merry Chuckle had told her the day before. First of all she woke up and cried, “Oh what a lovely day this is going to be!” Then she took three long, deep breaths and then she jumped out of bed quickly, right on her toes. And, sure enough, old Witchy Crosspatch had to go back to Make-Believe Land and hide her head, so Marjorie spent a lovely, happy day with Merry Chuckle.
“I hope all children will hear of my recipe for a joyous day,” said Merry Chuckle, “so that each day for them can be filled with sunshine and happiness!”
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