Raggedy Andy’s Smile
Raggedy Andy’s smile was gone.
Not entirely, but enough so that it made his face seem onesided.
If one viewed Raggedy Andy from the left side, one could see his smile.
But if one looked at Raggedy Andy from the right side, one could not see his smile. So Raggedy Andy’s smile was gone.
It really was not Raggedy Andy’s fault.
He felt just as happy and sunny as ever.
And perhaps would not have known the difference had not the other dolls told him he had only one half of his cheery smile left.
Nor was it Marcella’s fault. How was she to know that Dickie would feed Raggedy Andy orange juice and take off most of his smile?
And besides taking off one half of Raggedy Andy’s smile, the orange juice left a great brown stain upon his face.
Marcella was very sorry when she saw what Dickie had done.
Dickie would have been sorry, too, if he had been more than two years old, but when one is only two years old, he has very few sorrows.
Dickie’s only sorrow was that Raggedy Andy was taken from him, and he could not feed Raggedy Andy more orange juice.
Marcella kissed Raggedy Andy more than she did the rest of the dolls that night, when she put them to bed, and this made all the dolls very happy.
It always gave them great pleasure when any of their number was hugged and kissed, for there was not a selfish doll among them.
Marcella hung up a tiny stocking for each of the dollies, and placed a tiny little china dish for each of the penny dolls beside their little spool box bed.
For, as you probably have guessed, it was Christmas eve, and Marcella was in hopes Santa Claus would see the tiny stockings and place something in them for each dollie.
Then when the house was very quiet, the French doll told Raggedy Andy that most of his smile was gone.
“Indeed!” said Raggedy Andy. “I can still feel it! It must be there!”
“Oh, but it really is gone!” Uncle Clem said. “It was the orange juice!”
“Well, I still feel just as happy,” said Raggedy Andy, “so let’s have a jolly game of some sort! What shall it be?”
“Perhaps we had best try to wash your face!” said practical Raggedy Ann. She always acted as a mother to the other dolls when they were alone.
“It will not do a bit of good!” the French doll told Raggedy Ann, “for I remember I had orange juice spilled upon a nice white frock I had one time, and the stain would never come out!”
“That is too bad!” Henny, the Dutch doll, said. “We shall miss Raggedy Andy’s cheery smile when he is looking straight at us!”
“You will have to stand on my right side, when you wish to see my smile!” said Raggedy Andy, with a cheery little chuckle ‘way down in his soft cotton inside.
“But I wish everyone to understand,” he went on, “that I am smiling just the same, whether you can see it or not!”
And with this, Raggedy Andy caught hold of Uncle Clem and Henny, and made a dash for the nursery door, followed by all the other dolls.
Raggedy Andy intended jumping down the stairs, head over heels, for he knew that neither he, Uncle Clem nor Henny would break anything by jumping down stairs.
But just as they got almost to the door, they dropped to the floor in a heap, for there, standing watching the whole performance, was a man.
All the dolls fell in different attitudes, for it would never do for them to let a real person see that they could act and talk just like real people.
Raggedy Andy, Uncle Clem and Henny stopped so suddenly they fell over each other and Raggedy Andy, being in the lead and pulling the other two, slid right through the door and stopped at the feet of the man.
A cheery laugh greeted this and a chubby hand reached down and picked up Raggedy Andy and turned him over.
Raggedy Andy looked up into a cheery little round face, with a little red nose and red cheeks, and all framed in white whiskers which looked just like snow.
Then the little round man walked into the nursery and picked up all the dolls and looked at them. He made no noise when he walked, and this was why he had taken the dolls by surprise at the head of the stairs.
The little man with the snow-white whiskers placed all the dolls in a row and from a little case in his pocket he took a tiny bottle and a little brush. He dipped the little brush in the tiny bottle and touched all the dolls’ faces with it.
He had purposely saved Raggedy Andy’s face until the last. Then, as all the dolls watched, the cheery little white-whiskered man touched Raggedy Andy’s face with the magic liquid, and the orange juice stain disappeared, and in its place came Raggedy Andy’s rosy cheeks and cheery smile.
And, turning Raggedy Andy so that he could face all the other dolls, the cheery little man showed him that all the other dolls had new rosy cheeks and newly-painted faces. They all looked just like new dollies. Even Susan’s cracked head had been made whole.
Henny, the Dutch doll, was so surprised he fell over backwards and said, “Squeek!”
When the cheery little man with the white whiskers heard this, he picked Henny up and touched him with the paintbrush in the centre of the back, just above the place where Henny had the little mechanism which made him say “Mama” when he was new. And when the little man touched Henny and tipped him forward and backwards, Henny was just as good as new and said “Mama” very prettily.
Then the little man put something in each of the tiny doll stockings, and something in each of the little china plates for the two penny dolls.
Then, as quietly as he had entered, he left, merely turning at the door and shaking his finger at the dolls in a cheery, mischievous manner.
Raggedy Andy heard him chuckling to himself as he went down the stairs.
Raggedy Andy tiptoed to the door and over to the head of the stairs.
Then he motioned for the other dolls to come.
There, from the head of the stairs, they watched the cheery little white-whiskered man take pretty things from a large sack and place them about the chimney place.
“He does not know that we are watching him,” the dolls all thought, but when the little man had finished his task, he turned quickly and laughed right up at the dolls, for he had known that they were watching him all the time.
Then, again shaking his finger at them in his cheery manner, the little white-whiskered man swung the sack to his shoulder, and with a whistle such as the wind makes
when it plays through the chinks of a window, he was gone—up the chimney.
The dolls were very quiet as they walked back into the nursery and sat down to think it all over, and as they sat there thinking, they heard out in the night the “tinkle, tinkle, tinkle” of tiny sleigh bells, growing fainter and fainter as they disappeared in the distance.
Without a word, but filled with a happy wonder, the dolls climbed into their beds, just as Marcella had left them, and pulled the covers up to their chins.
And Raggedy Andy lay there, his little shoe button eyes looking straight towards the ceiling and smiling a joyful smile—not a “half-smile” this time, but a “full-size smile.”- Total nr. of readings: 511 Copyright © The author  All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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