Raggedy Ann Stories
Written & Illustrated by
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As I write this, I have before me on my desk, propped up against thetelephone, an old rag doll. Dear old Raggedy Ann!
The same Raggedy Ann with which my mother played when a child.
There she sits, a trifle loppy and loose-jointed, looking me squarely inthe face in a straightforward, honest manner, a twinkle where hershoe-button eyes reflect the electric light.
Evidently Raggedy has been to a "tea party" today, for her face iscovered with chocolate.
She smiles happily and continuously.
True, she has been nibbled by mice, who have made nests out of the softcotton with which she has been stuffed, but Raggedy smiled just asbroadly when the mice nibbled at her, for her smile is painted on.
What adventures you must have had, Raggedy!
What joy and happiness you have brought into this world!
And no matter what treatment you have received, how patient you havebeen!
What lessons of kindness and fortitude you might teach could you buttalk; you with your wisdom of fifty-nine years. No wonder Rag Dolls arethe best beloved! You are so kindly, so patient, so lovable.
The more you become torn, tattered and loose-jointed, Rag Dolls, themore you are loved by children.
Who knows but that Fairyland is filled with old, lovable RagDolls—soft, loppy Rag Dolls who ride through all the wonders ofFairyland in the crook of dimpled arms, snuggling close to childishbreasts within which beat hearts filled with eternal sunshine.
So, to the millions of children and grown-ups who have loved a Rag Doll,I dedicate these stories of Raggedy Ann.
Marcella liked to play up in the attic at Grandma's quaint old house,'way out in the country, for there were so many old forgotten things tofind up there.
One day when Marcella was up in the attic and had played with the oldspinning wheel until she had grown tired of it, she curled up on an oldhorse-hair sofa to rest.
"I wonder what is in that barrel, 'way back in the corner?" she thought,as she jumped from the sofa and climbed over two dusty trunks to thebarrel standing back under the eaves.
It was quite dark back there, so when Marcella had pulled a large bundleof things from the barrel she took them over to the dormer window whereshe could see better. There was a funny little bonnet with long whiteribbons. Marcella put it on.
In an old leather bag she found a number of tin-types of queer lookingmen and women in old-fashioned clothes. And there was one picture of avery pretty little girl with long curls tied tightly back from herforehead and wearing a long dress and queer pantaloons which reached toher shoe-tops. And then out of the heap she pulled an old rag doll withonly one shoe-button eye and a painted nose and a smiling mouth. Herdress was of soft material, blue with pretty little flowers and dots allover it.
Forgetting everything else in the happiness of her find, Marcella caughtup the rag doll and ran downstairs to show it to Grandma.
"Well! Well! Where did you find it?" Grandma cried. "It's old RaggedyAnn!" she went on as she hugged the doll [Pg 7]to her breast. "I hadforgotten her. She has been in the attic for fifty years, I guess! Well!Well! Dear old Raggedy Ann! I will sew another button on her rightaway!" and Grandma went to the machine drawer and got her needle andthread.
Marcella watched the sewing while Grandma told how she had played withRaggedy Ann when she was a little girl.
"Now!" Grandma laughed, "Raggedy Ann, you have two fine shoe-button eyesand with them you can see the changes that have taken place in the worldwhile you have been shut up so long in the attic! For, Raggedy Ann, youhave a new playmate and mistress now, and I hope you both will have asmuch happiness together as you and I used to have!"
Then Grandma gave Raggedy Ann to Marcella, saying very seriously,"Marcella, let me introduce my very dear friend, Raggedy Ann. Raggedy,this is my grand-daughter, Marcella!" And Grandma gave the doll a twitchwith her fingers in such a way that the rag doll nodded her head toMarcella.
"Oh, Grandma! Thank you ever and ever so much!" Marcella cried as shegave Grandma a hug and kiss. "Raggedy Ann and I will have just loads offun."
And this is how Raggedy Ann joined the doll family at Marcella's house,where she began the adventures of Raggedy Ann, told in the followingstories.
One day the dolls were left all to themselves.
Their little mistress had placed them all around the room and told themto be nice children while she was away.
And there they sat and never even so much as wiggled a finger, untiltheir mistress had left the room.
Then the soldier dolly turned his head and solemnly winked at RaggedyAnn.
And when the front gate clicked and the dollies knew they were alone inthe house, they all scrambled to their feet.
"Now let's have a good time!" cried the tin soldier. "Let's all go insearch of something to eat!"
"Yes! Let's all go in search of something to eat!" cried all the otherdollies.
"When Mistress had me out playing with her this morning," said RaggedyAnn, "she carried me by a door near the back of the house and I smelledsomething which smelled as if it would taste delicious!"
"Then you lead the way, Raggedy Ann!" cried the French dolly.
"I think it would be a good plan to elect Raggedy Ann as our leader onthis expedition!" said the Indian doll.
At this all the other dolls clapped their hands together and shouted,"Hurrah! Raggedy Ann will be our leader."[Pg 9]
So Raggedy Ann, very proud indeed to have the confidence and love of allthe other dollies, said that she would be very glad to be their leader.
"Follow me!" she cried as her wobbly legs carried her across the floorat a lively pace.
The other dollies followed, racing about the house until they came tothe pantry door. "This is the place!" cried Raggedy Ann, and sureenough, all the dollies smelled something which they knew must be verygood to eat.
But none of the dollies was tall enough to open the door and, althoughthey pushed and pulled with all their might, the door remained tightlyclosed.
The dollies were talking and pulling and pushing and every once in awhile one would fall over and the others would step on her in theirefforts to open the door. Finally Raggedy Ann drew away from the othersand sat down on the floor.
When the other dollies discovered Raggedy Ann sitting there, running herrag hands through her yarn hair, they knew she was thinking.
"Sh! Sh!" they said to each other and quietly went over near Raggedy Annand sat down in front of her.
"There must be a way to get inside," said Raggedy Ann.
"Raggedy says there must be a way to get inside!" cried all the dolls.
"I can't seem to think clearly to-day," said Raggedy Ann. "It feels asif my head were ripped."
At this the French doll ran to Raggedy Ann and took off her bonnet."Yes, there is a rip in your head, Raggedy!" she said and pulled a pinfrom her skirt and pinned up Raggedy's head. "It's not a very neat job,for I got some puckers in it!" she said.
"Oh that is ever so much better!" cried Raggedy Ann. "Now I can thinkquite clearly."
"Now Raggedy can think quite clearly!" cried all the dolls.
"My thoughts must have leaked out the rip before!" said Raggedy Ann.
"They must have leaked out before, dear Raggedy!" cried all the otherdolls.
"Now that I can think so clearly," said Raggedy Ann, "I think the doormust be locked and to get in we must unlock it!"
"That will be easy!" said the Dutch doll who says "Mamma" when he istipped backward and forward, "For we will have the brave tin soldiershoot the key out of the lock!"
"I can easily do that!" cried the tin soldier, as he raised his gun.
"Oh, Raggedy Ann!" cried the French dolly. "Please do not let himshoot!"
"No!" said Raggedy Ann. "We must think of a quieter way!"
After thinking quite hard for a moment, Raggedy Ann jumped up and said:"I have it!" And she caught up the Jumping Jack and held him up to thedoor; then Jack slid up his stick and unlocked the door.[Pg 12]
Then the dollies all pushed and the door swung open.
My! Such a scramble! The dolls piled over one another in their desire tobe the first at the goodies.
They swarmed upon the pantry shelves and in their eagerness spilled apitcher of cream which ran all over the French dolly's dress.
The Indian doll found some corn bread and dipping it in the molasses hesat down for a good feast.
A jar of raspberry jam was overturned and the dollies ate of this untiltheir faces were all purple.
The tin soldier fell from the shelf three times and bent one of his tinlegs, but he scrambled right back up again.
Never had the dolls had so much fun and excitement, and they had alleaten their fill when they heard the click of the front gate.
They did not take time to climb from the shelves, but all rolled orjumped off to the floor and scrambled back to their [Pg 13]room as fast asthey could run, leaving a trail of bread crumbs and jam along the way.
Just as their mistress came into the room the dolls dropped in whateverpositions they happened to be in.
"This is funny!" cried Mistress. "They were all left sitting in theirplaces around the room! I wonder if Fido has been shaking them up!" Thenshe saw Raggedy Ann's face and picked her up. "Why Raggedy Ann, you areall sticky! I do believe you are covered with jam!" and Mistress tastedRaggedy Ann's hand. "Yes! It's JAM! Shame on you, Raggedy Ann! You'vebeen in the pantry and all the others, too!" and with this the dolls'mistress dropped Raggedy Ann on the floor and left the room.
When she came back she had on an apron and her sleeves were rolled up.
She picked up all the sticky dolls and putting them in a basket shecarried them out under the apple tree in the garden.
There she had placed her little tub and wringer and she took the dollsone at a time, and scrubbed them with a scrubbing brush and soused themup and down and this way and that in the soap suds until they wereclean.
Then she hung them all out on the clothes-line in the