MAKE BELIEVE STORIES (Trademark Registered)
THE STORY OF A CANDY RABBIT
BY LAURA LEE HOPE
AUTHOR OF "THE STORY OF A SAWDUST DOLL," "THE STORY OF A BOLD TIN SOLDIER," "THE BOBBSEY TWINS SERIES," "THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES," "THE SIX LITTLE BUNKERS SERIES," ETC.
ILLUSTRATED BY HARRY L. SMITH
NEW YORK GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS
Made in the United States of America
BOOKS BY LAURA LEE HOPE
Durably bound. Illustrated.
MAKE BELIEVE STORIES
THE STORY OF A SAWDUST DOLL THE STORY OF A WHITE ROCKING HORSE THE STORY OF A LAMB ON WHEELS THE STORY OF A BOLD TIN SOLDIER THE STORY OF A CANDY RABBIT THE STORY OF A MONKEY ON A STICK THE STORY OF A CALICO CLOWN
THE BOBBSEY TWINS SERIES
THE BOBBSEY TWINS THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN A GREAT CITY THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON BLUEBERRY ISLAND THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN WASHINGTON THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE GREAT WEST
THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES
THE SIX LITTLE BUNKERS SERIES
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES
GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK
COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY GROSSET & DUNLAP
THE STORY OF A CANDY RABBIT
CHAPTER PAGE I IS HE IN FAIRYLAND? 1 II THE RABBIT'S NEW HOME 13 III THE BAD CAT 27 IV UP IN THE AIR 38 V THE ORGAN GRINDER 50 VI THE PEDDLER'S BASKET 65 VII IN THE BATHTUB 74 VIII IN A WHEELBARROW 84 IX AT THE PARTY 94 X IN A BOY'S POCKET 107
THE STORY OF A CANDY RABBIT
IS HE IN FAIRYLAND?
The Candy Rabbit sat up on his hind legs and looked around. Then he rubbed his pink glass eyes with his front paws. He rubbed his eyes once, he rubbed them twice, he rubbed them three times.
"No, I am not asleep! I am not dreaming," said the Candy Rabbit, speaking to himself in a low voice. "I am wide awake, but what strange things I see! I wonder what it all means!"
On one side of the Candy Rabbit was a large egg. It was larger than any egg the Candy Rabbit had ever seen, and there was a little glass window in one end of the egg.
"This is very strange," said the sweet chap, rubbing his eyes again. "Who ever heard of an egg with a window in it? I wonder if any one lives in that egg? It is not large enough for a house, of course; but still, some very little folk might stay in it. I'll take a look through that window."
The Candy Rabbit gave three hops and stood closer to the large egg. It glittered and sparkled in the light as newly fallen snow glitters under the moon. The Candy Rabbit looked in through the glass window, and what he saw inside the egg made him wonder more and more.
For he saw a church and some houses, a path leading over a little brook of water, and on the bank of the brook stood a little boy fishing.
"Well, I do declare!" exclaimed the Candy Rabbit. "Think of all those things inside an egg—a church, a house and a little boy! I wonder what has happened to me! Yesterday I was on the toy counter, with the Calico Clown and the Monkey on a Stick, and to-day I seem to be in Fairyland. I wonder if this really is Fairyland? I guess I'd better look around some more."
He glanced again through the little glass window in the egg, and he thought he saw the little boy on the bank of the brook smiling at him. And the Candy Rabbit smiled back. Then the Bunny turned around and he saw, near him, a big chocolate egg. It was covered with twists and curlicues of sugar and candy, and in the end of this egg, also, was a glass window.
"Well, this certainly is surprising!" exclaimed the Candy Rabbit. "I wonder what I can see through that window!"
He looked and saw a little duck and a little chicken inside the chocolate egg. The little chicken was on one end of a small seesaw, and the little duck was on the other end. And as the Candy Rabbit looked through the glass window, he saw the seesaw begin to go up and down.
The Candy Rabbit shook his head. Once more he rubbed his paws over his pink glass eyes.
"I have heard of many strange things," he said to himself. "The Sawdust Doll told some of her queer adventures, and so did the White Rocking Horse and the Bold Tin Soldier. But never, in all my life, did I ever see a chocolate egg with a glass window and a little chicken and a duck inside seesawing and teeter-tautering! I think I had better go to the doctor's, something must be the matter with me!"
"What's the matter with you?" suddenly asked a voice behind the Candy Rabbit. The sweet chap turned so quickly that he almost cracked one of his sugary ears. He saw, just back of him, a real fuzzy, furry rabbit. At least the rabbit seemed real, for his ears slowly moved backward and forward, his head turned from side to side, and, every now and then, he would rise on his hind legs and then crouch down again.
"What's the matter with you?" asked this Fuzzy Bunny of the Candy Rabbit.
"I—I really don't know what is the matter," was the answer.
"You seem to be all right," went on the other rabbit, as he slowly turned his head and bobbed up and down.
"Yes, I seem to be," said the Candy Rabbit, feeling his head and body as far as he could reach, as if to make sure no part of him was broken, or lost, or out of place. "But can you tell me this?" he asked. "A little while ago I was on the toy counter of this store with the Calico Clown and the Monkey on a Stick. And now I seem to be in Fairyland. Tell me, am I dreaming, or is this really Fairyland, where eggs have windows in them and hold little chickens and ducks who seesaw?"
The other Rabbit smiled, and kept on bobbing up and down, waving his ears and turning his head from side to side.
"Oh, please stop that and answer me if you can," begged the Candy Rabbit, in rather a sharp voice. "Why do you do that?"
"I have to," was the answer. "I have to keep on doing this until I run down."
"Run down where?" asked the Candy Rabbit.
"I mean until the clock-work inside me runs down," explained the Fuzzy Rabbit. "You see, I am wound up, and when I am wound I have to rise up and stoop down on my hind legs. I have to twist my head and wiggle my ears. I'll go on this way for half an hour more. But don't let that bother you. I can still talk, and I'm glad you're here. You're some company. These eggs never say anything," and with his ears he pointed to the chocolate one and the glittery one, each of which had glass windows.
"Ask him how he likes it here," suggested a voice on the other side of the Candy Rabbit. Turning, he saw a big chocolate chap, almost like himself, except that this Rabbit was very dark in color.
The Chocolate Rabbit waved his ears in a kind way at the Candy Bunny, and went on:
"How do you like it here?"
The Candy Rabbit gave another look around, and the more he looked the more certain he was that he was in Fairyland. Over at one end of what seemed to be a table he saw a little chicken harnessed to a tiny wagon, made from what appeared to be an egg shell, and a little doll sat in the egg-shell carriage, driving the chicken with little silk ribbon horse reins.
Turning around, so that he might not miss anything, the sweet fellow saw a large basket of flowers, and, nestled in among the blossoms, were some Candy Rabbits like himself, only smaller. Over in one corner were piled some cards, with pretty pictures on them, and near them was a small basket, filled with what seemed to be green grass, in which were hidden many small candy eggs.
"Yes, this surely must be Fairyland, and I know I shall like it here," said the Candy Rabbit, speaking half aloud. "But how did I get here, and where are the Calico Clown and the Monkey on a Stick?"
"Oh, they are not so far away," answered the Fuzzy Rabbit. "And you are not really in Fairyland, though this does seem like it, I suppose," and his eyes roved over the gay and pretty scene.
"Then where am I?" asked the Candy Rabbit again. "If this isn't Fairyland, where am I?"
The Chocolate Rabbit grinned.
"You are on the Easter Novelty Counter," was the Fuzzy Rabbit's answer.
"Where in the world is that?" asked the Candy Rabbit. "Is it anywhere near the North Pole Workshop of Santa Claus?"
The Chocolate Rabbit gave a loud laugh.
"He doesn't even know his own store," said this dark-complexioned chap. "Why, my dear fellow," he went on, "the Easter Novelty Counter is just around the corner from the toy section, where you have lived so long. The Calico Clown, the Monkey on a Stick and the other friends you speak of are there. You are not very far away from them."
"That's good," said the Candy Rabbit. "But why am I on the Easter Novelty Counter, and how did I get here?"
"You were put here because this is Easter time," answered the Chocolate Rabbit.
"But I don't remember coming here," said the Candy Rabbit.
"No," said the Fuzzy Rabbit with the clock-work inside him, which made him turn about and bow, "I dare say not. You were asleep when one of the girl clerks from your counter brought you over here. But we are glad to have you among us."
Just then it began to get light, for all this talk had taken place in the night, when only a dim light burned in the toy store. And with the coming of morning the clerks arrived, and also the customers to buy Easter novelties and other things.
The Fuzzy Rabbit stopped waving his ears and became quiet. The Candy Rabbit no longer talked to the Chocolate Bunny. A girl clerk led a lady, in a warm fur coat, over toward the counter.
"Here are some fine Easter presents," said the girl. "We have rabbits of all kinds."
"I want a large one for a little girl," said the lady. "I promised to send Madeline a nice Bunny." And then the Candy Rabbit felt himself being picked up and looked at.
"Oh, I wonder what is going to happen?" he thought.
The lady in the fur cloak turned the Candy Rabbit around and around, and even upside down, looking carefully at him.
THE RABBIT'S NEW HOME
"Goodness me!" said the sweet chap to himself, as the lady swung him to one side so she might look at his eyes better. "This is worse than being on a merry-go-round! I am feeling quite dizzy! I hope I am not going to be seasick, as the Lamb on Wheels thought she was going to be when the sailor bought her."
But the Candy Rabbit was not made ill. The lady stopped turning him around and around and said to the girl clerk:
"This Rabbit seems to be just what I want for an Easter present. I'll take him."
"Shall I send it or will you take it with you?" asked the clerk.
"Ill take it," the lady answered. "A Candy Rabbit is not very hard to carry."
She handed him back to the clerk, but something happened. Whether the clerk did not take a good hold of the Candy Rabbit, or whether the lady let go of him too soon, I don't know. But, all of a sudden, the Candy Rabbit slipped from the lady's hand and began falling. Straight toward the floor he fell!
"Oh!" he thought, "if I fall to the hard floor I shall certainly be smashed, and then I shall be of no use as an Easter present. All I'll be good for will be to be eaten, like any other piece of candy! Oh, dear, this is dreadful!"
Faster and faster, nearer and nearer to the floor fell the Candy Rabbit, and, while the customer and the clerk looked, it seemed certain that he must be broken all to bits.
The toy counter was not far away from the one where the Candy Rabbit and other Easter novelties were displayed. And on the counter were the Calico Clown and the Monkey on a Stick, besides a Jumping Jack.
Now whether one of these toys pushed it off the counter I cannot say; all I know is that a big, soft, rubber ball suddenly fell to the floor from the toy counter, rolled along and came to a stop just at the very place where the Candy Rabbit was falling.
And what did the Candy Rabbit do but fall on the soft, rubber ball! Right down on the squidgy-squdgy ball toppled the sweet chap, and it was like falling on a feather bed. The Candy Rabbit was not hurt a bit, but just bounced straight up, almost as far as he had fallen down, and the girl clerk caught him in her hands.
"Oh, I'm so glad he wasn't broken!" she exclaimed.
"So am I!" said the lady. "How remarkable! The rubber ball rolled along just in time. If every time any one or anything fell a rubber ball would happen along it would be very nice, wouldn't it?"
"Indeed it would," answered the girl clerk.
And, mind you, I'm not saying that the Calico Clown or the Monkey on a Stick pushed the rubber ball off the toy counter so that it rolled over in time for the Candy Rabbit to fall on it. I am not saying that for sure, but it might have happened.
"I'd better wrap this Rabbit up before anything else happens to him," said the clerk, with a laugh.
"Please do," begged the lady.
As for the Candy Rabbit, his little sugar heart was beating very fast because of the fright he had got when he thought he was going to be broken to bits. But of course neither the lady nor the girl knew this. They just thought he was made of sugar, and nothing else.
The girl quickly wrapped the Rabbit up in some sheets of soft tissue paper, and some padding made of curled wood, called excelsior. Some of the curled wood got in the Rabbit's ear and tickled him and made him smile.
"Well, now I am going on a journey," said the Candy Rabbit to himself, as he felt the lady carrying him out of the store. "I wish I had time to say good-bye to my new friends on the Easter counter, and to the Calico Clown and the Monkey on a Stick. But perhaps I shall see them again, and maybe I shall meet the Sawdust Doll or the Bold Tin Soldier."
Just what happened, while he was wrapped in the store bundle, of course the Candy Rabbit did not know, but he felt that he was being taken on quite a journey.
And indeed he was, for the lady who had bought him for an Easter present rode home with him in an automobile, and once, in the street, the fire engines came along and the automobile had to hurry to get out of the way. All that the Candy Rabbit could hear was a great noise, a rumble, a clang, a ringing of bells, and much shouting. Then the automobile went on again, and soon stopped.
The Candy Rabbit felt himself being lifted from the seat of the automobile, and, still in his bundle, he was carried toward a house. He did not know it at the time, but it was to be a new home for him.
Mirabell's mother, who was Madeline's Aunt Emma, was the lady who had bought the Candy Rabbit.
"Here is Madeline's Easter present that I promised her," said Mirabell's mother, handing the wrapped-up Bunny to Madeline's mother. "And there are some eggs in a basket for Herbert. Hide them away from the children until to-morrow."
"I will," said Madeline's mother, and then she carried the bundles into the house, while Mirabell's mother went on home in her automobile.
"Oh, Mother! What have you?" cried the voice of a little girl, as the lady entered the house with the bundle in which the Candy Rabbit was wrapped.
"Is it something good to eat?" asked a boy's voice.
"Now, Herbert and Madeline, you must not ask too many questions," said their mother, with a laugh. "This isn't exactly Christmas, you know, but it will soon be Easter, and——"
"Oh, I know what it is!" cried the little girl, whose name was Madeline. "It's the eggs and baskets we have to hunt for on Easter morning, Herbert! Oh, what fun!"
"Hurray!" cried Herbert. "I wish it were Easter now."
"It soon will be," said his mother, and then she put away the Candy Rabbit where the children could not find him. And the place where she put him was in a closet in her room. She took the curled wood and the paper wrappings from the Rabbit, and set him on a shelf.
At first it was so dark in the closet that the Candy Rabbit could see nothing. But he knew he would soon get used to this. Then, as his eyes began to see better and better in the dark, as all rabbits can, he smelled something he liked very much.
"It's just like the perfume counter in the store," said the Rabbit, speaking out loud, which he could do now, as there were no human eyes to see him. "It's just like perfume!"
"It is perfume!" a voice suddenly said, and the Candy Rabbit was very much surprised.
"Who are you?" he asked.
And then he saw, standing on the shelf near him, what seemed to be a little doll made of glass. On her head was a funny little cap, ending in a point, like the cap a dunce wears in school in the story books, and as the Candy Rabbit hopped nearer this Glass Doll the sweet smell of perfume became stronger.
"Where is all the nice smell?" asked the Candy Rabbit.
"I am it," answered the Glass Doll. "I am made hollow, and inside I am filled with perfume. There is a hole in the top of my head and up through my pointed cap, and whenever the lady stands me on my head and jiggles me up and down some perfume spills out on her handkerchief."
"Stands you on your head!" cried the Candy Rabbit. "I shouldn't think you would like that!"
"Oh, well, I'm used to it by this time," said the Glass Doll. "But tell me, who are you, and what are you doing here?"
"I am a Candy Rabbit, and I guess I am going to be an Easter present," was the answer. And, surely enough, he was.
Later that night Madeline's mother opened the closet door. The Candy Rabbit saw her take down the Glass Doll, tip her upside down and sprinkle a little perfume on her fingers, which she rubbed on her hair.
"And now we shall hide the Easter baskets, so Madeline and Herbert may hunt for them and find them to-morrow morning," said the lady. "I must hide this Rabbit extra well, so Madeline will have a lot of fun searching for him."
"Put him behind the piano," said a man. He was the children's father.
"I will," said Mother, and that is where the Candy Rabbit was hidden. Near him was placed a little basket filled with Easter eggs. Some of them were made of candy, and others were like those in the store—filled with pretty scenes.
"Those are the places I thought were Fairyland," said the Candy Rabbit to himself, as he looked at the basket of eggs. "I wish some Chicken or Duck were here for me to talk to. Eggs can't say very much."
And of course that was true. Not until an egg turns into a chicken can it move about and say things by cackling—or crowing, if it's a rooster instead of a hen.
"I suppose I might hop around the room and find some one to talk to," thought the Candy Rabbit to himself, when he noticed that he was left alone behind the piano with the basket of eggs. "But perhaps it would be better to wait, since I am a stranger here."
So the Candy Rabbit kept very still and quiet all night, and in the morning it was Easter Sunday.
Herbert and Madeline were up early, for it was one of the joys of their lives to hunt for Easter eggs. Eagerly they ran about the rooms, looking under chairs, on mantels, behind the phonograph and beneath the sofa.
"Oh, I've found one basket!" cried Herbert, as he saw a large one, filled with green curled wood and eggs, under the library table.
"And I've found another!" shouted Madeline, as, after rather a long search, she looked behind the piano. "I've found a basket and—and—Oh, Herbert! look what a lovely Candy Rabbit. Oh, I'm so glad!" and the little girl picked up the Candy Rabbit and fairly hugged him. The Candy Rabbit was very happy. He had now found some one to love him—some one to whom he could belong, as the Sawdust Doll belonged to the little girl Dorothy.
As Madeline took up her Easter basket and the Rabbit, Herbert, who was eating some of his candy eggs, called:
"Here come Dorothy and Dick over to show us their Easter baskets."
"And I'm going to show Dorothy my Candy Rabbit!" cried Madeline.
Running to the window, Madeline held up the Rabbit, and he, looking out of his glass eyes, saw a sight that gladdened his heart. In Dorothy's arms was the Sawdust Doll—the same Sawdust Doll who had lived in the store whence the Candy Rabbit had come.
As Dorothy and Dick came laughing into the room where Madeline and Herbert were, the children called to one another:
"Happy Easter! Happy Easter!"
THE BAD CAT
"What a pretty Candy Rabbit!" said Dorothy to Madeline. "Where did you get him?"
"He's one of my Easter presents," answered Madeline. "Herbert and I have just finished hunting for our baskets."
"Did you find them all, and all the eggs?" inquired Dick. "Dorothy and I got up early to hunt for ours."
"I think I found every one," replied Herbert. "But last year, I remember, I missed one big candy egg, and I didn't find it until a week later."
The children showed each other their holiday presents, and the Candy Rabbit was much admired. Dorothy and Dick took him up in their hands so they might see him better.
"Goodness! I hope they don't drop me," thought the Rabbit. "There isn't any rubber ball here for me to fall on, as there was in the store. I certainly hope they don't drop me!"
But Dorothy and Dick were very careful, and, after they had looked at and admired the Rabbit, he was put down on a chair not far from Dorothy's Sawdust Doll. The Candy Rabbit kept wishing that the children would go out of the room for a while, so he might talk to the Doll, whom he had not seen for a long time.
And, after a while, Madeline's mother called the children to show them an Easter present which she had received. Out of the room trooped the four children, leaving the Candy Rabbit and the Sawdust Doll together, with no one to watch what they said or did.
"Now I have a chance to talk to you!" exclaimed the Sawdust Doll. "I've just been waiting to ask how all my friends are at the toy store. And how are you? How did you get here? Do you like living in a house with children more than in the store? Tell me all about it!"
"Goodness!" laughed the Candy Rabbit. "You talk as fast as a phonograph Doll when she has been wound up tight."
"Well, we'll have to talk fast if we want to tell each other anything before those children get back," said the Sawdust Doll. "Now you tell me your adventures, and then I'll tell you mine."
The two toy friends talked for some time, the Candy Rabbit relating the latest news of the toy store, and the Sawdust Doll speaking of the nice home she had with Dorothy, and how kind Dick was to the White Rocking Horse.
Then the Rabbit wanted to know about the Lamb on Wheels and the Bold Tin Soldier, and, as the Sawdust Doll had heard from them lately, she told some of their adventures.
"I do wish I could see the Calico Clown and the Monkey on a Stick once more," sighed the Sawdust Doll. "They were certainly the jolliest toys I ever knew."
"Yes, they were," agreed the Candy Rabbit. "And I don't believe the Clown has yet found any one to answer his riddle about what makes more noise than a pig under a gate."
"Hush! Here come the children!" exclaimed the Sawdust Doll in a low voice. Madeline and Herbert, Dorothy and Dick, having seen the present Madeline's mother had received, had come back into the room again.
"What shall we do now?" asked Madeline.
"Let's play with your Rabbit and my Doll," suggested Dorothy.
Madeline thought this would be nice, but as Dick did not care much about such fun he said he and Herbert would go back home and get out his Rocking Horse.
"And I'll get Arnold and his Tin Soldiers and we'll have some fun," he added. "Come on, Herb."
"If you see Mirabell, send her over here to play with us," called Dorothy to her brother, and Dick said he would do so. "Tell her to bring her Lamb on Wheels," she added.
The two little girls had good times playing with the Sawdust Doll and the Candy Rabbit, and, after a while, Madeline's mother brought in a plate of cookies for the little girls to eat.
"We'll have a play party," said Madeline. "I'll set my Candy Rabbit up here on the goldfish stand where he can watch us, for he can't eat anything, you know."
"And I'll set my Sawdust Doll over in this chair where she can see us," said Dorothy. "My Doll can eat make-believe things when I have a play party, but we won't pretend that now. We'll just eat the cookies ourselves."
"Yes," agreed Madeline. So she put her Candy Rabbit on the goldfish stand.
This was a round table on which stood a bowl of real, live goldfish. The fish swam around in the water, and now and then they stopped swimming to look out through the glass with their big, round eyes. The top of the goldfish globe was open, and sometimes Madeline was allowed to feed the fish when her mother stood by. The fish ate tiny bits of biscuit bought for them at the fish, bird and dog store.
Dorothy's Sawdust Doll was propped up in a chair not far from the goldfish. Then the two little girls began to eat the cookies.
While this was going on a bad cat had sneaked into the room. The cat was a big fellow, and he often got into mischief. He sometimes chased birds, and, more than once, Patrick, the gardener at Dick and Dorothy's house, had driven him away from the coops where the little chickens lived with the old hen.
"Goodness, I hope that cat isn't after me!" thought the Candy Rabbit.
"Mercy! I hope the cat doesn't carry me off, the way the dog Carlo once did," thought the Sawdust Doll.
But the bad cat was paying no attention to either the Doll or the Rabbit. The cat's eyes were on the live goldfish in the glass bowl, and, when I tell you that cats are very fond of fish, you can guess what is going to happen.
With a quick, silent spring, making no noise on his soft, padded paws, the cat first jumped into the chair beside the Sawdust Doll.
"Oh, dear me, he certainly is going to carry me off!" thought the Doll. "I wish I dared scream!"
But the cat was not after the Doll. With another jump Tom landed on the table beside the bowl of goldfish.
"Goodness sakes alive! my time has come," thought the poor frightened Candy Rabbit. "The cat is going to eat me!"
But Tom was not after a Candy Rabbit. His greedy eyes were on the swimming goldfish in the open glass bowl. Dorothy and Madeline sat with their backs to the little table on which stood the bowl of fish and the Candy Rabbit. The little girls were busy talking.
All of a sudden Tom stood up on his hind legs and put his forepaws on the edge of the bowl. As he did this the fish began swimming around swiftly, very much frightened, indeed, just as you may have seen a canary bird flutter in a cage when some cat came too close.
"Oh, he isn't after me—he's after the fish!" thought the Candy Rabbit. "Oh, the poor fish! I wish I could save them!"
Tom was switching his tail to and fro, as cats always do when they are about to catch a bird, a fish or anything alive. The fish were swimming about faster and faster inside their bowl of water. They could make no noise. Some fish, such as catfish, can make a little sound out of water, and so can the fish called grunters, but I never heard of any other fish making any noise. Though of course they may be able to talk among themselves, for all I know.
Standing with his forepaws on the edge of the glass bowl, Tom dipped one paw down toward the water to get a fish. His tail kept on switching to and fro, and, all at once, it switched against the Candy Rabbit and tilted the Bunny over toward the glass bowl.
"Tinkle-tinkle! Tink!" went the hard ears of the Candy Rabbit against the glass, making a noise like the ringing of a little bell.
"What's that?" suddenly cried Madeline, turning from the table where she sat with Dorothy eating cookies.
Dorothy also turned and looked. The two little girls saw Tom up on the goldfish table.
"Oh, you bad cat, get down from there!" cried Madeline, and she looked for something to throw at Tom. "Get away from our fish!" she cried.
The cat paused a moment, and then, seeing he would be caught if he tried to get a fish, down he jumped, with a last, angry switch of his tail at the Candy Rabbit.
"That was all your fault!" hissed the cat to the Bunny in a whisper. "If you hadn't made a noise they wouldn't have seen me. I'll fix you for that, Mr. Candy Rabbit!"
UP IN THE AIR
Madeline and Dorothy were so surprised at first at seeing the bad cat in the room that they did not know what to do, except that Madeline called "Scat!" to him.
But when the cat jumped down and started to run out of the room, the little girls began to talk very fast.
"Oh, wasn't he a bold thing!" cried Madeline.
"Did he get any of your goldfish?" Dorothy asked.
She and Madeline hurried over to the bowl and counted the swimming fishes.
"No, there are five there, and that's all we had," said Madeline. "The naughty cat didn't get any."
"What do you suppose made that noise like the ringing of a bell?" asked Dorothy.
"It was the Candy Rabbit," answered Madeline. "Look! He fell over against the glass bowl, and, lots of times, when I've been feeding the fish and have struck the bowl, it has rung like a bell. The Candy Rabbit did that, and that's what made me look around."
"Wouldn't it have been funny if the Rabbit had made the bowl tinkle all by himself?" asked Dorothy, with a laugh.
"Yes. But he couldn't," said Madeline.
And, now I come to think of it, maybe the Candy Rabbit did topple over by himself, to strike against the bowl and so cause Dorothy and Madeline to turn around in time to stop the bad cat from getting the goldfish. Mind you, I am not saying for sure that this happened. The cat's tail certainly brushed against the Candy Rabbit, but the sweet chap may have tinkled against the glass globe himself. He surely wanted to save the fish from being eaten.
During the rest of Easter Sunday the children played quietly with their toys. Mirabell and Arnold, the other little boy and girl, came over to Madeline's house with their gifts and every one had a happy time.
The Candy Rabbit was looked at over and over again, but, though he liked this and was glad and happy he had come to live with Madeline, yet he could not help worrying about what the cat had said.
"I wonder if a cat can do anything to me," thought the sweet chap, over and over again. "I must be on the watch. He may try to sneak in again."
But, as the days passed and nothing happened, the Candy Rabbit did not worry so much, nor think so much about it. He saw nothing more of the cat.
Madeline took very good care of her Candy Rabbit. She got a piece of pink ribbon and tied it around her Easter toy's neck, making him look very pretty.
"Now I am as stylish as Dorothy's Sawdust Doll, who has a blue ribbon on her hair," thought the Candy Rabbit.
And because of that very same pink ribbon something dreadful happened a few days later. I will tell you about it. After Easter the weather gradually became warmer and sunnier. Doors and windows could be left open, and the flowers in the yard began to blossom.
One day the Candy Rabbit was placed by Madeline on a chair in the dining room, near the bowl of goldfish on their little round table. The Sawdust Doll was not in the room, for Dorothy had her toy out in her own yard playing. The Candy Rabbit was lonesome, for he did not know how to talk to the goldfish.
All of a sudden, in through the open window, jumped the same bad cat that had been there before. His tail was lashing to and fro, and his whiskers were wiggling up and down.
"Meow!" said the cat.
"Oh, dear, here he is again!" said the Candy Rabbit, and, being able, as all toys are, to speak and understand animal language, the Candy Rabbit went on:
"Have you come to try to catch a goldfish, Mr. Tom?"
"Not now!" was the snarling answer. "I came to pay you back, as I said I would! Only for your toppling over and making the glass globe tinkle, I would have had a goldfish before this. It's all your fault, and I'm going to pay you back!"
"It was not my fault!" said the Rabbit. "You knocked me over yourself with your switching tail. But if I could have stopped you in any other way from getting a goldfish, I would have done it."
"Ha! So that's the way you feel about it, is it?" growled the cat. "Well, I'm going to fix you!"
"How?" asked the Candy Rabbit, wondering what was going to happen. "What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to carry you off to the fields and lose you in the tall grass," was the answer. "Then the next time I want to catch a goldfish you will not give the alarm."
"Oh, please don't take me away!" begged the Candy Rabbit.
"Yes, I will!" said the cat. "I'll carry you away by that pink ribbon around your neck."
All of a sudden, before the Candy Rabbit could hop out of the way, the bad cat sprang across the room and caught in his teeth the end of the pink ribbon that was around the neck of the Candy Easter toy.
"Stop it! Stop! Please let me go!" cried the Candy Rabbit.
"I'll fix you!" was all the cat answered. Then, carrying the Candy Rabbit in his mouth by means of the ribbon, the bad cat sprang out of the window again and was soon trotting through the tall grass of the lots near the house where Madeline lived.
The grass swished and swashed against the legs and ears of the Candy Rabbit as the cat carried him along. The Rabbit was not hurt any, because the ribbon was not tied very tightly about his neck. And of course the cat's teeth did not touch him. But, for all that, the Candy Rabbit was very angry and somewhat alarmed.
"What are you going to do with me?" he asked the cat.
"You'll see!" was the answer. "I'm going to fix you for spoiling my chance of getting a goldfish dinner! I'm going to lose you, and then I'll go back and get a fish."
Carrying the Candy Rabbit a little way farther into the tall grass, the cat suddenly let go of the ribbon. The Rabbit fell down, but as the grass was soft, like a cushion, he was not hurt. He gave a little grunt as he fell down.
"Now you stay here a while and see how you like it," said the bad cat, and away he trotted, hoping to get a meal of goldfish this time. And there came to the poor Candy Rabbit from the distance the sound of the Cat's voice as he laughed, "Ha-ha," and snarled, "I've fixed you all right! Ha-ha!"
"Dear me!" thought the poor Candy Rabbit, "I wonder what will happen to me. I must try to get out of here. I can hop, as long as no human eyes see me. Maybe I can get back in time to warn the goldfish of their danger."
The Rabbit tried to hop, but, being made of candy as he was, with rather stiff legs that were not very long, he could not go very fast. And when he had made a few hops he was very tired.
"Dear me! I shall have to stay here forever, perhaps," he sighed. "And, if it rains and I get wet, I'll melt and there will be nothing left of me! Oh, what trouble I am in!"
The Candy Rabbit crouched down in the grass, and pretty soon he heard some voices talking. He knew they were the voices of boys, and, in a little while, he heard one say:
"Now, Herbert, you hold the kite and I'll run with it."
"All right, Dick," said some one else. "I hope it flies away up high in the air."
"I'll keep the tail clear of the weeds," said another boy.
"That's the way, Dick," said the first boy.
The Candy Rabbit, down in the grass, heard this.
"They must be Dick, Herbert and Arnold," he thought. "They have come here to fly their kite. I hope they find me and take me home in time to save the goldfish from the cat."
There was more talk and laughter among the boys, but the Candy Rabbit could not see what they were doing. All at once, though, one boy said.
"The tail of the kite is not heavy enough. We've got to tie something to it. And, oh, here is the very thing!" he went on. "We'll give him a ride up in the air!"
"Give who a ride?" asked Dick, for it was Herbert who had spoken.
"Give Madeline's Candy Rabbit a ride on the end of the kite tail," went on Herbert. "Here's her Rabbit down in the grass."
"How did he get here?" asked Arnold.
"I don't know. Maybe my sister carried him over the fields to show to some girl and dropped him. But we'll give the Candy Rabbit a ride in the air. He will be just heavy enough for the kite tail. I'll tie him on."
And then, before the Candy Rabbit could hop away, even if he had been allowed to do so (which he was not) Herbert began tying him on the end of the kite tail by means of the pink ribbon.
A moment later the Rabbit felt himself sailing through the air.
THE ORGAN GRINDER
Since the Candy Rabbit had left the toy store, after having been put on the Easter novelty counter, so many things had happened that he was beginning to get used to them. But sailing through the air on the tail of a kite was something he had never done before.
Up he went, higher and higher, as the wind blew the kite. The Candy Rabbit looked down toward the ground. It seemed a long way off—very far from him.
"If I should fall now, as I fell when the lady dropped me in the toy store," thought the Candy Rabbit, "I think it would be the end of me. There is no soft rubber ball here on which to land."
Dick, Arnold and Herbert, the three boys who had been flying their kite when they found the Candy Rabbit in the grass, were laughing and shouting as they saw the tail switching to and fro, with the Easter Bunny tied on the end.
"That Rabbit was just the thing needed to make our kite go up," said Dick.
"Yes," agreed Arnold. "But it's funny the Rabbit was out in the grass here, wasn't it?"
"Oh, I guess my sister must have dropped him," remarked Herbert. "When we get through flying the kite I'll take the Rabbit off the tail and carry him back to Madeline."
Up and up, and to and fro, switched the Candy Rabbit on the kite tail. Of course a bunch of grass, a wad of paper, or even a stone would have been just as well for the boys to have used as a weight. But they had happened to see the Candy Rabbit, and had taken him. Boys are sometimes like that, you know.
How long Herbert, Dick and Arnold might have let the Candy Rabbit sail about on the end of the kite tail I cannot say, but when the three chums had been having this fun for about half an hour, all of a sudden Madeline and her two friends, Mirabell and Dorothy, came running across the field.
"Oh, Herbert! what do you think?" cried Madeline, when she saw her brother. "That bad old cat came into our house again, and tried to catch one of our goldfish!"
"Did he get any?" asked Herbert.
"No, but he almost did. Dorothy came over with her Sawdust Doll just as the cat was dipping his paw down into the bowl, and what do you think Dorothy did?" asked Madeline.
"I don't know. What did she do?" asked Herbert.
"I just threw my Sawdust Doll at the cat!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I knew it couldn't hurt her, 'cause she's stuffed with sawdust."
"Did you hit him?" Dick asked.
"I almost did," answered Dorothy. "Anyhow, I scared him away, and he didn't get any goldfish."
"That's good," said Arnold.
"I wish I'd been there!" said Dick.
Just then Madeline looked up and saw something dangling on the end of the kite tail.
"Why, Herbert!" she cried, "what have you there? Oh, you have my Candy Rabbit on your kite! I was looking all over for him. Where'd you get him?"
"I found him here in the field where you dropped him," answered her brother.
"I didn't drop my Candy Rabbit here," went on Madeline. "I wouldn't do such a thing. I left him in the house, and then I couldn't find him, and I was coming to ask if you had seen him. I thought maybe Carlo had carried him off as he carried Dorothy's doll once."
"Well, if you didn't take your Candy Rabbit out and leave him here in the field, maybe Carlo did," said Herbert. "Anyhow, we didn't hurt him and you can have him back again. We can tie a bunch of weeds on the kite tail. They'll be just as good as the Rabbit."
"Oh, the idea of saying my Candy Rabbit is like a bunch of weeds!" cried Madeline. "Give him right back to me this minute, Herbert!" and she shook her finger at her brother.
"All right," Herbert answered. "Pull the kite down, fellows."
Down came the kite when the string was wound up, and slowly the Candy Rabbit floated back to earth. Madeline stood under the tail with her dress held out to catch the Bunny in it. And down he came, not being hurt a bit. Quickly Madeline loosened her Easter toy from the kite tail, and she nestled him in her arms.
"You poor little Bunny!" she murmured. "I guess he was scared half to death away up there in the air."
She and the other girls looked at the toy. He did not seem to be harmed in the least.
"But he's got a green grass stain on one ear," said Mirabell.
"That only makes him look more stylish," said Dorothy.
"And green goes well with the pink color of his ribbon," added Madeline. "Oh, I'm so glad to get my Rabbit back."
Madeline took her Candy Rabbit back to the house. There she and the girls had some fun, and the boys kept on flying the kite. They used a bunch of weeds as a weight on the tail, instead of the Rabbit, as they had done at first.
And of course neither Madeline nor any of the others knew that the cat had carried the Bunny away and had dropped him in the grassy field. They all thought Carlo had done it, but of course there was no way of finding out for sure, except by reading this book. In this the true story of the Candy Rabbit is told for the first time.
Madeline tried to get the green grass-stain off her Rabbit's ear, but it would not come out.
"Why don't you scrape it off?" asked Herbert.
"Why, I might scrape off half his ear! No, indeed!" Madeline said.
"Well, wash it off," suggested Dick, who had come over to play with Herbert. "Take him up to the bathroom and wash his ear. My mother washes my ears."
"Pooh! your ears aren't made of candy," said Madeline.
"No. And I'm glad they're not, or the fellows would be biting pieces off all the while," laughed Dick.
"Well, I guess I won't wash my Candy Rabbit—at least not just yet," said Madeline. "I'll wait until he gets a few more stains on him."
Several days passed. The bad cat did not again try to catch the goldfish. He seemed to have been frightened away when Dorothy threw the Sawdust Doll at him. And, I am glad to say, the Doll was not hurt in the least. In fact, she rather liked scaring cats.
One day Madeline took her Candy Rabbit out into the kitchen where the cook was making a cake. She had just put the cake into the oven to bake, and there were several dishes on the table—dishes in which were dabs of sweet, sugary icing and cake batter.
"Oh, may I please clean out some of the cake dishes?" asked Madeline.
"Yes," answered the cook kindly.
This was one of the pleasures Madeline and Herbert enjoyed on baking day, but Herbert was not on hand then, so Madeline had all the dishes to herself. She set her Candy Rabbit on a shelf, got a spoon, and began to clean the icing dish. Of course you know that means she scraped the dish with the spoon and ate the icing she scraped up. Yes, and I think she even licked the spoon. After she had finished the white icing dish there was a chocolate one to start on.
"Oh, I'm going to have a dandy time!" laughed the little girl.
She forgot all about her Candy Rabbit. There he sat on a shelf near the gas stove, and as the cakes in the oven began to bake, the fire grew hotter and hotter and the Candy Rabbit began to feel very strange.
"Dear me, I am afraid I am going to melt!" he said to himself, not daring to speak aloud when Madeline and the cook were there.
The kitchen grew warmer and warmer, the stove became hotter and hotter, and, on the shelf where the Candy Rabbit sat, it was like a summer day in the blazing sun.
"This is worse than anything that ever happened to me before," said the Candy Rabbit. "I think I'll just melt down into a lump of sugar! That would be dreadful!"
Of course it would, and Madeline would have been very sorry if anything like that had happened. One of the ears of the Rabbit was just getting soft and drooping over a little to one side, when the cook happened to look toward the shelf.
"Oh, Madeline, my dear!" she cried. "Your Candy Rabbit!"
"What's the matter?" asked the little girl, looking up from the dish she was scraping clean with a spoon, in order to eat the last of the chocolate inside.
"He will melt if you leave him on that shelf near the hot stove," went on the cook. "Look, one of his ears is drooping!"
"Oh, dear!" screamed Madeline, and, dropping the spoon, she caught her Easter toy from the shelf.
It was only just in time, too, for the poor Rabbit was just beginning to melt. In fact, one of his ears did soften and twist over to one side a little. But Madeline quickly took him out on the cool porch, and the Rabbit felt better. However, that queer twist, or droop, stayed in one ear—not the one with the grass-stain on, but the other.
"I don't care," Madeline said, when her toy was cool and all right again. "It makes him look different from the other Candy Rabbits to have a twisted ear. It's so funny!"
Happy days followed for the Bunny. The children played sometimes in one house and sometimes in another, taking their toys with them, and sometimes the Rabbit had a chance to talk to the Sawdust Doll, the Bold Tin Soldier, the White Rocking Horse or the Lamb on Wheels, for the children would often leave their toys together, as the boys and girls went out to play in the yards or on the verandas.
"I wonder how the Calico Clown is getting along," said the Candy Rabbit to the Sawdust Doll on one of the days when they were together. They were on the porch of Madeline's house, and Madeline, Mirabell and Dorothy were around in the back yard playing in a sand pile.
"I should like to see him, and also the Monkey on a Stick," said the Doll. "Hark! What's that?" she suddenly asked, as strains of music were heard.
"It's a hand organ, and here comes a man playing it," said the Candy Rabbit.
"Has he a monkey with him to gather pennies in his hat?" asked the Sawdust Doll.
"No. But he has a little girl with him. She has a basket. I guess she gathers pennies in that. Maybe the organ man had a monkey but it ran away," suggested the Rabbit.
"Maybe," agreed the Doll. "Oh, isn't that nice music!" she cried. "It makes me feel like dancing!"
The hand-organ man was, indeed, playing a nice tune. The girl who was with him came into the yard and up the steps, holding out her basket ready for pennies. The little girls being in the back yard, no one was near the front of the house.
"Ah, a Candy Rabbit and a Sawdust Doll!" exclaimed the organ man's girl. "Nobody seems to want them. I have a doll of my own, but I have no Candy Rabbit. I think I will take this one. I would rather have him than pennies!"
And, looking quickly here and there to see if any one was going to toss her a penny, but seeing no one, the hand-organ man's little girl picked up the Candy Rabbit, tucked it under her apron, and quickly went down the steps again.
"Well, of all things!" thought the Candy Rabbit, as he felt himself being taken away in this fashion. "Of all things! What is this hand-organ girl going to do with me?"
And that is something we must find out.
THE PEDDLER'S BASKET
Slowly down the street walked the organ grinder, turning the crank and making music. His little girl, an Italian child, after putting the Candy Rabbit under her apron, looked around the house where Madeline lived to see if any one might be coming out with pennies. But no one came.
Madeline and Dorothy and Mirabell were in the back yard where they had gone to play in the sand pile, after leaving the Sawdust Doll and the Candy Rabbit on the front veranda. Madeline's mother was not at home, and the cook was too busy in the kitchen to bother with giving pennies to organ grinders, though she might have done so if she had had time and had had plenty of pennies.
As for Madeline and Dorothy and Mirabell, they had given one look down the street when they heard the hand-organ music. Then, as they saw he had no monkey with him, Madeline said:
"Oh, a hand-organ isn't any fun unless it has a monkey. We don't want to bother waiting to see this one. Come on and play."
So, as I have told you, they were in the back yard, leaving the Doll and the Rabbit on the veranda. And then the hand-organ man's little girl had come along and taken the Rabbit.
"I'll take him home with me. Nobody wants him," she said to herself as she went down off the veranda with the candy chap under her apron. And she really thought the Rabbit had been put out because no one wanted him. She slipped the Bunny into a large pocket in the skirt of her dress and hurried on after her father, who had walked down the street grinding out his tunes.
The organ grinder's little girl did not tell her father about the Candy Rabbit until that night when they reached their home after their day's travel.
With the organ man lived his brother, who was a peddler. He had a big basket in which he carried pins, needles, pin cushions, little looking glasses, court plaster and odds and ends, called "notions." This peddler man went about from house to house selling notions to such as wanted to buy them.
He, too, had been about all day, peddling with his basket, and he reached home about the same time as did his brother, the organ grinder, and the little girl.
The family had supper, and, after that, Rosa brought out the Candy Rabbit. All the while the Bunny had been in her pocket, and the sweet chap did not like it very much.
"I want to be out where I can see things," murmured the Rabbit. "I want to see what is happening. It is dreadful to be kidnapped like this and carried away from home!"
For that is what really had happened—the Candy Rabbit had been kidnapped by Rosa, the organ girl, though, really, she did not mean to do wrong in taking him.
But when the Bunny was taken out of Rosa's pocket and set on the supper table in the light, he looked around him. It was quite a different home from Madeline's—not nearly so nice, the Candy Rabbit thought, but of course he dared say nothing.
"Ah, what a fine Rabbit! Where did you get him?" asked Rosa's father.
"He was thrown away on a veranda of a house where I got no pennies," she answered. "No one wanted him, so I took him."
"He is a fine Candy Rabbit," said Joe, the peddler, looking at the Bunny. "He is almost new. I guess he came from an Easter novelty counter. Once I sold Easter toys, but now I sell only pins and needles. Yes, he is a fine Rabbit, Rosa. Are you going to eat him? He is made of candy."
"Eat him! Oh, no! I am going to keep him, always!" said the little girl, hugging the Rabbit in her arms.
The Bunny liked to be hugged and petted, and, though he would rather have been in Madeline's house, still he was glad the little organ girl liked him.
"Nobody wanted the Rabbit, so I took him," said Rosa, and she really thought this was so.
But of course Madeline wanted her Candy Rabbit very much. And when she and Dorothy and Mirabell came back to the veranda after their play in the sand pile and found the Sawdust Doll there and the Bunny gone, poor Madeline felt very bad indeed. She cried, and she looked all over for her Easter toy, but he was not to be found.
At first Madeline thought perhaps her brother or one of the other boys had taken the Bunny to tie to the kite again, but Herbert said that he and his chums had not seen the toy.
Then Madeline thought perhaps Carlo, the little dog, had carried the Bunny away, as once he carried off the Sawdust Doll, but this could not have happened, as Carlo had been kept chained in his kennel all that day.
"Well, my Candy Rabbit is gone, and I wish I could find him, and I'm awful lonesome without him," sobbed Madeline, and she was not happy even when her mother said she or Aunt Emma would buy her another.
And all the while the organ grinder's little girl had the Candy Rabbit. And that night, when the time came for Rosa to go to bed, she looked for a safe place to put the Easter toy. The little girl saw the big basket of the peddler in a corner of the room.
"I'll put the Candy Rabbit on one of the pin cushions in Uncle Joe's basket," said Rosa to herself. "He can sleep there all night. To-morrow I will make a little nest for him."
And the Candy Rabbit was so tired after all the adventures he had met with that day that he fell asleep almost at once, and passed a very pleasant night in the basket on the pin cushion, which was stuffed with sawdust, just like Dorothy's doll.
Peddler Joe was up early the next morning. He was up before either his brother, Tony, or the little girl, Rosa. Joe cooked himself some breakfast on an old oil stove, and then, taking his basket, he went out. He did not even turn back the oilcloth cover to see that his pins, needles, cushions and other notions were all in place. He felt sure that they were. And of course he did not know the Candy Rabbit was in his basket.
But there the Candy Rabbit was, in the peddler's basket, on the cushion.
"Dear me! what is happening now?" thought the Candy Rabbit, as he was suddenly awakened by being jiggled and joggled about in the basket. "Am I at sea? Have I been taken on a ship, and am I crossing the ocean?" For that is what the motion was like—just the same as the Lamb of Wheels felt when she was on the raft.
And Joe, the peddler, not knowing the Bunny was in the basket, carried the sweet chap farther and farther away.
We must now see what happened to him.
IN THE BATHTUB
Joe, the peddler, stopped at several houses with his big basket of notions.
"Any pins? Any needles? Any court-plaster? Any pin cushions needed to-day?" he would ask, as he went to door after door. He would lift back half of the oilcloth cover of his basket to show his wares.
"No, nothing to-day! We have all the pins we need," was all the answer he received in many places.
"Well, I do not seem to be going to have very good luck to-day," thought Joe, as he tramped on. "I hope Rosa and her father do better with the hand organ. I have sold nothing yet."
And, all this while, Joe didn't know anything of the Candy Rabbit in his basket. But the Rabbit was there, just the same.
He had awakened when Peddler Joe picked up the basket. The Candy Rabbit found himself lying on the new pin cushion, where Rosa had placed him. But as the basket was lifted up and swung on Joe's shoulder by means of a strap, it was so tilted that the Candy Rabbit slipped off the cushion and fell down in among a pile of papers of pins.
"Oh, dear!" thought the sugary chap. "Now I'll be all stuck up!"
But he was not, I am glad to say. The pins were fastened on papers, which were then folded together, so that the points did not stick out, and the candy fellow was not even scratched.
Up and down the street went Joe the peddler, trying to sell his notions. Finally he came to the very house where Madeline lived, and where Rosa had taken the Candy Rabbit from the veranda the day before.
"Maybe I shall sell something here," thought Joe. He went up the steps and rang the bell. As it happened, Madeline's mother was in the hall and she opened the door. Madeline was also in the hall, just getting ready to go to see some little friends.
"Any pins? Any needles? Any notions to-day?" asked Joe, as he held his basket out for Madeline's mother to see. And this time, and for the first time that morning, Joe pulled back the oilcloth cover from the other side. That was the reason he had not yet seen the Rabbit.
But now, as the oilcloth was rolled back, the sweet chap, lying on his side among the papers of pins, was shown. Madeline's mother was just going to say she did not care for any needles or sticking-plaster when the little girl, looking into the basket, spied the Bunny.
"Oh, look!" cried Madeline! "There he is—my Candy Rabbit! How did he get in the basket? Oh, Mother, my Candy Rabbit has come home to me!"
Madeline's mother was just as astonished as was the little girl; and Peddler Joe was surprised also.
"How did my little girl's Candy Rabbit get in your basket?" asked Madeline's mother.
"I don't know," Joe answered. "I did not know he was here. He is a surprise to me. If he is yours, take him."
He handed the Candy Rabbit to Madeline, who was overjoyed to get her Easter toy back again. Eagerly she looked at him, to make sure he was not hurt or damaged.
"Are you sure he is the same Rabbit—your Candy Rabbit?" asked Mother.
"Oh, yes, very sure," answered Madeline. "Look, here is the green spot on his ear, where he fell in the grass the day the boys tied him to the kite tail. And, see! one ear is bent a little. It happened when he was too near the heat, the day I was eating chocolate from the cake dishes. He's my Candy Rabbit, all right!"
"Then I am glad you have him back, little girl," said Peddler Joe. "Rosa must have take him by mistook, you know—she pick him up when she go around with the organ."
Then he told how his little niece had found the Rabbit, and, thinking the toy belonged to no one, had brought it home.
"I buy her another Rabbit so she not be feeling bad," said Joe, with a smile. "She did not mean to take yours, little girl. And now maybe you want some needles or pins?" he said to Madeline's mother.
"Yes, I think I will buy a few, because you were so good as to bring back my little girl's Easter present that was given her by her aunt," Mother said. And Joe was glad because he had sold something from his basket.
Madeline was glad to get back her Candy Rabbit, and she stayed so long looking at him that her mother said:
"You had better run on, or your little friends will grow impatient waiting for you, my dear. Put your Rabbit away, and hurry along now."
So Madeline put her Rabbit on a shelf in the playroom, and went out to play, and her mother gave Joe money for pins, needles and some court-plaster.
"Maybe I have good luck and make a lot of money to-day, and then I buy Rosa a nice Candy Rabbit for herself," the peddler said to himself, as he went down the street.
And, while I am about it, I might as well tell you that Joe did buy Rosa a nice Rabbit for herself. He took it home to her that night, lifting it out of his basket and putting it into her hands.
When the organ grinder's little girl awakened and found that her peddler uncle had gone, taking his basket and the Rabbit she had put to sleep in it without his knowledge, Rosa felt very bad. She was sad as she gathered pennies for her father that day.
But at night, when Uncle Joe came back with a new Candy Rabbit, Rosa was happy again. And Madeline was happy with her own Easter toy.
Rosa's uncle and her father told her it was wrong to have taken another little girl's toy without asking, and she was sorry when she understood that, but she was happy with her new plaything.
In the afternoon Mirabell and Dorothy went home with Madeline.
"I want to show you my Candy Rabbit again," Madeline said to her little girl chums.
And when Mirabell and Dorothy had looked at the Rabbit, seeing the speck of green paint on one ear and the other ear that was a little bent from the heat, Madeline said:
"I'm going to wash him!"
Without saying anything to her mother about it, Madeline took her Candy Rabbit, and, with her two little friends, went up to the bathroom. She drew the tub full of water, and while she was doing this she set the Rabbit on a glass shelf near the towel rack.
"Are you going to let him swim in the bathtub?" asked Dorothy.
"Goodness me, I hope not!" thought the Candy Rabbit, who heard this question. "I can't swim! I'll surely drown if she puts me in the bathtub!"
And he was glad when he heard Madeline say:
"No, I'm not going to put him in the tub. But I want plenty of water, for I must get him nice and clean. I'm going to have a party, and I want my Candy Rabbit to look pretty. I'll dip my nail brush in the bathtub and scrub him."
"And we'll help you," said Dorothy and Mirabell.
"There, I guess I have water enough," said Madeline, as she turned off the tub faucet. There were some drops of water on her hands, and she reached for a towel to dry them.
How it happened none of the little girls knew, but the towel on the rack must have caught on the Candy Rabbit, sitting on the glass shelf. And when Madeline pulled the towel she pulled her Easter toy off the shelf and into the bathtub of water.
"Splish! Splash!" went the Candy Rabbit into the water.
"Oh, I'm going to drown! I know I'm going to drown!" thought the poor sweet chap, as the water closed over his ears.
IN A WHEELBARROW
Madeline screamed, Mirabell screamed, and Dorothy screamed. The three little girls screamed together when they saw the Candy Rabbit fall into the bathtub. And, even under water as his ears were, the Candy Rabbit heard them.
"Well, I hope they do something more than yell," thought the poor, sugary chap. "If they don't pull me out pretty soon I'll melt, as well as drown, and I dare not try to swim when they're looking at me!"
You know what the rule is in Make-Believe Toyland—none of the things dare move when human eyes look at them. And the three little girls were surely looking at the Candy Rabbit now, as he bobbed about in the bathtub.
"Oh, look what happened!" cried Dorothy, pointing to the toy.
"Your Candy Rabbit is in the bathtub!" screamed Mirabell.
"Yes, and I'm going to get him out!" exclaimed Madeline.
She quickly stooped down, grasped the Candy Rabbit by his ears, and lifted him, dripping wet, out of the bathtub of water.
"Oh, he's soaked through, poor thing!" murmured Dorothy.
"Do you s'pose he's spoiled?" asked Mirabell.
"I—I hope not," said Madeline with a catch in her voice, as if she were going to cry. "I guess I got him out in time."
"I think so, too."
Madeline's mother, hearing the screams of the little girls in the bathroom, ran to see what the matter was.
"Has anything happened, children?" she asked.
"My Candy Rabbit got caught on the towel and I pulled him into the bathtub of water," Madeline explained. "Will he come all to pieces, Mother?"
Mother looked at the Candy Rabbit carefully. He did not seem to be harmed much. Inside of him his heart was beating very fast, because of his adventure, but no one knew that.
"I think he is not much damaged, Madeline," said her mother, with a smile. "He is made of very hard sugar—is your Candy Rabbit. It would take more of a soaking than he got to melt him. What were you doing with him in the bathroom?"
"I was going to wash him, Mother, 'cause maybe he got soiled in the peddler's basket."
"Well, he has had his bath all right," said Mother, with a laugh. "And I think he is pretty clean. He does not seem to be melting any, but it would be well to let him dry. Here, I'll set him on the window sill and open the window. The breeze will dry him off better than if you wiped him with a towel. Then you will not wipe off any of his sugar."
"Oh, I'm so glad he is all right," said Madeline. "I thought he would melt and run down the drain pipe from the bathtub."
"Drain pipe!" The Rabbit shivered.
Mother set the Candy Rabbit, which was quite wet, on a clean cloth on the bathroom window sill, leaving the sash open.
"The cloth will soak up some of the water, and the gentle wind will blow the rest off and dry him," said Madeline's mother.
The three little girls looked at the Candy Rabbit sitting on the sill of the open window in the bathroom.
"Doesn't he look cute?" cried Madeline.
"Too sweet for anything!" said Dorothy.
"Of course he looks sweet!" said Mirabell. "He's made of sugar, you know!"
Then the three little girls laughed and went downstairs to play with Dorothy's Sawdust Doll and Mirabell's Lamb on Wheels.
Left to himself on the window sill, the Candy Rabbit took a long breath.
"That was a narrow escape I had," he said. "I was very nearly drowned and melted in the water. I had better keep very still and quiet until I am quite dry again, or I may come apart like the Jack in the Box who jumped off his spring. Yes, I will sit here very quietly until I am dry. I do feel so wet and sticky!"
The Candy Rabbit looked around the bathroom. There was no other toy there with whom he could play, even if he had felt like moving around just then, which he did not feel like doing.
"The Calico Clown and the Monkey on a Stick will think it quite wonderful when I tell them what has happened to me," said the Candy Rabbit to himself, as he sat there, drying. "I suppose they must have had some adventures, also, but I don't believe either of them ever fell into a bathtub of water."
Feeling rather lonesome, the Rabbit looked for some one to whom he might talk. He saw cakes of soap, towels, and wash cloths. There was also a large sponge in a wire basket hanging over the edge of the bathtub.
"I have heard that sponges are animals," said the Candy Rabbit. "I wonder if this one is alive and will speak to me. I'll try. Hello there, Mr. Sponge!" he called. "You must be quite a swimmer. Are you as good as a goldfish—one of those the bad cat tried to get?"
But the sponge said never a word. Maybe it was too dry to speak, for it had not been in the water since early morning.
The Candy Rabbit knew it was of no use to talk to a cake of soap or a wash cloth, so he became quiet and sat on the window sill, drying off.
At first the wind, which came in through the open bathroom window, drying the Candy Rabbit, was a gentle breeze. Then it began to blow harder, so hard, in fact, that Herbert, Dick and Arnold got out their kites and began flying them.
"Dear me! this wind is blowing harder and harder," said the Candy Rabbit to himself. "I hope I do not take cold here."
Stronger and stronger the wind blew. Part of the time it blew in through the bathroom window, and part of the time it blew out. And then, all of a sudden, there came a hard gust, and it toppled the Candy Rabbit right off the sill.
"Dear me, I am falling!" exclaimed the Candy Rabbit. "Oh, I am falling out of the window!"
And this was true. He had fallen out instead of falling in, and, in the end, this was a good thing for him. For if he had fallen inside the bathroom he would have toppled down on the hard, tiled floor, and have been broken to pieces. As it was, falling out of the window, he had a better chance.
Down, down, down, out of the window fell the Candy Rabbit. He fell so fast that his breath was taken away. He felt himself drying fast. The last drops of water, caused by his topple into the bathtub, were blown off by the breeze as he fell.
"Oh, when I hit the ground there is going to be a terrible smash!" thought the poor Candy Rabbit. "This, surely, is the last of me! Good-bye, everybody!"
But, as it happened, just then Patrick, the gardener, was passing along with a wheelbarrow full of freshly cut grass. He had cut the lawn in front of the house where Dorothy lived, and now Patrick was wheeling the loose grass across Madeline's yard to give to a pony in a stable in the house just beyond Madeline's.
And, all of a sudden, just as Patrick came along with the wheelbarrow full of grass, the Candy Rabbit fell out of the bathroom window. And, very, very luckily, the sweet chap, instead of hitting the ground, fell into the soft grass on the wheelbarrow.
For a moment he could not get his breath, and he was buried deep in the long, green spears and stems. And then, as he felt that he was not broken to bits, the Candy Rabbit murmured:
"I am saved!"
AT THE PARTY
Patrick, the gardener, had set his wheelbarrow down to rest just as he came under the bathroom window of Madeline's house. And Patrick had his back turned, and was looking at Carlo, the little dog, chasing his tail just when the Candy Rabbit fell into the grass. So Patrick did not see what had happened.
"But I know what has happened," said the sweet chap to himself. "Only for the soft grass I would have broken all to pieces! I wish I dared call out and tell Patrick I am here. But I dare not. I must keep still and say nothing."
"Well, I must hurry along and give this grass to the pony," said the gardener, after he had seen Calico catch his tail. "The pony must be hungry."
Over across Madeline's yard, to the yard where the pony lived in a little stable, went Patrick with the wheelbarrow full of grass and the Candy Rabbit. Only, of course, Patrick did not know he had the sugary fellow.
"Well, how are you, little pony?" cried the jolly Patrick, when he reached the stable. The pony gave a soft little whinny in answer.
"I have some nice grass for you," went on Patrick. "Nice, sweet, green grass that I, myself, cut off the lawn. You shall eat it all up."
Once again the little horse talked in the only way he could make Patrick understand, which was by whinnying. He meant that he would be glad to eat the grass.
"But I hope he doesn't eat me!" thought the Candy Rabbit. "It is lucky I can speak and understand animal talk. When I get in the pony's stall I'll call out and ask him not to chew me up with the grass."
But the Candy Rabbit did not have to do this. For when Patrick began to take from the wheelbarrow the grass he had gathered for the pony, the gardener saw something gleaming in the sunshine amid the green stems.
"Hello! what's this?" cried Patrick, leaning over to take a better look. "What's this in my grass? Can it be a glass bottle? If it is it's a good thing I didn't give it to the pony, or he might have cut himself on it."
Patrick took the shining object from the midst of the grass. In an instant he saw what it was.
"A Candy Rabbit! Madeline's Candy Rabbit!" cried the gardener. He knew it very well, just as he knew the Sawdust Doll, the Lamb on Wheels, and the Bold Tin Soldier. Madeline had often showed Patrick her Candy Rabbit.
The pony was soon fed, and then, with the Candy Rabbit in his pocket and slowly wheeling the empty barrow, Patrick made his way to Madeline's house. He knocked at the back door, and the cook, with a dab of flour on her nose, answered.
"What have you been doing to yourself, Cook?" asked the gardener, with a laugh.
"Why? Is anything wrong?" she asked, rather surprised.
"Your nose is dabbed with flour," went on Patrick.
"Oh, that!" laughed the cook. "You see, Madeline is going to have a party, and I'm so busy making cookies and cakes that it's a wonder flour isn't all over my face as well as on my nose. But what have you there?" she asked, seeing the Bunny in Patrick's hand.
"Madeline's Candy Rabbit," answered the gardener. "I don't know how it got in my barrow of grass, but I brought him back. Is Madeline in?"
"Yes, I'll call her," said the cook.
And when the little girl came running out and saw her Bunny, she was much surprised.
"Why! Why! How did you get him, Patrick?" she asked. "I left him up on the bathroom window sill to dry, after he fell into the bathtub."
"Ah, that accounts for it then!" laughed the gardener. "The wind must have blown him out of the window, and he fell into my barrow just as I set it down to rest. Well, it's lucky I had grass in the barrow instead of stones. If your rabbit had fallen on them he might have broken off his ears."
"That would have been dreadful!" exclaimed Madeline. "Oh, thank you, so much, Patrick, for bringing my Bunny back to me."
"Well, keep him safe, now you have him," advised Patrick.
Then he went off whistling and trundling his empty wheelbarrow, and once more the Candy Rabbit was back with Madeline, where he belonged, and thankful to be there.
"You are nice and dry now," said the little girl, as she looked over her Easter toy. "And you didn't get any more grass stains on you when you fell out of the window. Your ear it still a little bent, but that only makes you look more stylish.
"Now I am going to put a new pink ribbon on your neck, 'cause the one I took off when I was going to wash you is all soiled. I'll put a new ribbon on you and then you may come to the party to-morrow."
Madeline told her mother how the Rabbit had fallen out of the window. Then the little girl got a pretty pink ribbon, and, after tying it on his neck, she again showed her Easter present to Mirabell and Dorothy.
"He looks as good as new," said Mirabell.
"Yes," agreed Dorothy. "I guess falling into the bathtub and the wheelbarrow of grass did him good."
"And we'll have lots of fun at the party," said Madeline. "Now I will put my Rabbit away, and we'll get ready for a good time."
The Rabbit was set on a shelf in a dark closet.
"Well, goodness knows I am glad to be by myself for a while and keep quiet," thought the sugary chap, as he sat down on the shelf in the dark. "I have had enough of adventures for a day or two. I wonder if there is any one here to whom I can talk. I wish the Sawdust Doll or the Bold Tin Soldier or the Calico Clown were here. They would love to hear me tell of what has happened."
Madeline and her girl friends spent the rest of that day and part of the next one getting ready for the party, and at last the time came to have it. Madeline was all dressed up, and she brought her Candy Rabbit out of the closet and smoothed the ribbon on his neck.
"Tinkle! Tinkle! Tinkle!" rang the door bell.
"Oh, here come Dorothy and Dick to the party!" cried Madeline, running to meet her friends.
She carried the Candy Rabbit with her. Dorothy had her Sawdust Doll, but the White Rocking Horse was too large for Dick to bring over.
One after another more children came to the party, among them Mirabell and Arnold. Mirabell did not bring her Lamb on Wheels for the same reason that Dick left his Horse at home—the Lamb was a little too large for a house party, though she would fit very well on the lawn.
But Arnold, who was Mirabell's brother, brought something to the party. It was the Bold Tin Soldier—the Captain of the Tin Soldiers, of whom Arnold had a whole box. And while the little girls who had come to Madeline's party were smoothing out their dresses and looking at their dolls and talking to one another, Arnold walked off with Dick to a corner of the room.
"Look what I have!" whispered Arnold, showing the Bold Tin Soldier.
"Why did you bring him?" Dick wanted to know.
"So if we don't like the games the girls play we can go off in a room by ourselves and have fun with my Soldier," was the answer. "But maybe we'll have some fun, anyhow."
"Let me hold your Soldier for a while," begged Dick, and Arnold handed over the Captain.
After a while the little boys went back to where the other children were and all began to play games. Madeline set her Candy Rabbit on the table near Dorothy's Sawdust Doll, and the two toys looked at each other.
All sorts of games were played. One was "hide the thimble," and when it was Madeline's turn to hide it she put it right between the front legs of her Candy Rabbit as he sat on the table. Not one of the boys or girls thought of looking there for it, so they had to give up, and it was Madeline's turn to hide it again.
This time she put the thimble on top of the head of Dorothy's Sawdust Doll, who had on a new blue ribbon in honor of the party.
It was a gold thimble that the children were playing with, and the Sawdust Doll, catching sight of her reflection in the glass over one of the pictures in the room, noted this fact.
"That golden gleam against the blue of my ribbon is certainly very pretty and becoming," she thought. "I hope Dorothy will notice it and will get a gold ornament for my hair. I like to be a toy, but sometimes it is a great nuisance not to be able to tell your little girl and boy parents what you would like to have them do."
All this time the children were hunting for the thimble, and, though it was in plain sight, it was not until some time afterward that Mirabell saw it.
After the thimble game the children played "Blind Man's Buff," "Puss in the Corner" and "Going to Jerusalem."
Pretty soon it was time to eat ice cream and cake. That is one of the nicest times at a party, I think; and Dick, Arnold and Herbert, as well as the other boys and girls, thought the same thing, I am sure. While they were in another room, eating the good things, the Candy Rabbit and the Sawdust Doll were left to themselves.
"I have been wanting to talk to you for the longest time!" said the Sawdust Doll.
"And I have so many things to tell you," said the Candy Rabbit. "Such remarkable adventures!"
He started to hop across the table, to get nearer to the Sawdust Doll, but he did not see the thimble which the children had been playing with, and which had been left on the table. The Candy Rabbit jumped on the thimble, which rolled out from under his paws.
"Oh, look out! You're going to fall!" cried the Sawdust Doll.
And down fell the Candy Rabbit.
IN A BOY'S POCKET
"Are you hurt?" asked the Sawdust Doll anxiously, looking with sympathy at the Candy Rabbit. "Let me help you up!"
"Oh, thank you, I can get up myself," answered the sugary chap. "And I am not at all hurt. The table cloth was soft."
He was just going to get up and hop over to the Doll when, all at once, the Sawdust toy exclaimed:
"Be quiet! Here come the children back!"
And into the room trooped the boys and girls, having finished eating the ice cream and cake.
"Oh, look at my Bunny!" cried Madeline. "Somebody jiggled him over on his side."
She set him up straight again, near the Sawdust Doll, and then she helped the other children have fun in more games. After a while Dick and Arnold went off in a corner by themselves, and began playing with Arnold's Bold Tin Soldier. While they were doing this a boy named Tom saw them.
"I wonder what they are doing?" thought Tom. "I wonder what they are looking at? It's something Arnold has in his pocket. I wish I had something in my pocket to play with. Maybe I can find something!"
I am sorry to say Tom was not always a good boy. Sometimes he was cross and unpleasant. He would pull the hair of little girls, though I hardly believe he meant to hurt them. He only did it to tease them.
Tom saw Madeline's Candy Rabbit on the table, and, as the other boys and girls were just then in another room, no one saw what Tom did. Sneaking up to the table, Tom reached over, took the Candy Rabbit, and put him in his pocket.
"Now I have something to play with," whispered Tom to himself.
Tom had many other things in his pocket. There was a small rubber ball, some pieces of string, a broken knife, two or three nails, some round, shiny pieces of tin, a whistle that wouldn't whistle, a red stone, a yellow stone, and many other odds and ends. Down among these objects the Candy Rabbit was pushed and jammed.
The only ones who saw Tom hurry away with the Candy Rabbit were the little girls' dolls. The Sawdust Doll, a Celluloid Doll belonging to Mirabell, and an old snub-nosed Wooden Doll, that Madeline had brought down from the attic, were on the table when Tom took the Candy Rabbit away in his pocket.
"Oh-oo-o-oh!" exclaimed the Sawdust Doll. "Look at him!"
"Isn't he terrible!" said the Wooden Doll.
"If we could only do something to stop him!" sighed the Celluloid Doll. But they could do nothing.
Watching his chance, Tom hurried out of Madeline's house, carrying with him the Easter present. And as for the poor Candy Rabbit, he did not know what to do. He could not get out of that boy's pocket, no matter how hard he tried.
"I'll show this Candy Rabbit to Sam and Pete," said Tom to himself, as he hurried down the street. "We'll have some fun with it."
Sam and Pete were two boys with whom Tom played. Tom looked for them as he ran down the street, the Candy Rabbit jiggling around among the things in his pocket.
"I hope my ears aren't broken off," sighed the poor Bunny. "This is the most dreadful and cramped place I was ever in."
Suddenly Tom spied his two chums.
"Hi there!" he called to them. "Look what I got!"
He took the Candy Rabbit from his pocket and held him up.
"That's a dandy!" exclaimed Pete.
"Where'd you get him?" asked Sam.
"Oh, I borrowed him at a party," Tom answered.
"Let's see it closer," begged Sam, and Tom handed over the Candy Rabbit.
"Why, he's good to eat!" cried Sam, when he had the Rabbit in his hands. "He's made of sugar, and he's good to eat!"
Tom looked at Sam and then at Pete. Then all three of the boys looked at each other.
"I—I'm sort of hungry for candy," said Pete, in a low voice.
"So'm I," admitted Sam.
"And I guess I am, too," declared Tom. "I didn't know this Rabbit was good to eat. But, as long as he is, we'll divide him up and have a regular party. Come on over on my porch, fellows, and we'll eat the Candy Rabbit!"
Now, when the sweet chap heard this he was very much frightened. Of all his adventures this seemed the very worst!
Over to Tom's porch went the three boys, and they sat down.
"We'll divide this Candy Rabbit into three pieces," said Tom. He was just going to break off one of the ears when some one came out of the house and up behind the boys as they sat on the steps.
"What have you there, Tom?" asked a voice suddenly.
The three chums turned around. It was Tom's mother who had spoken.
"Oh, it's just a Candy Rabbit," Tom answered. "We're going to eat him."
"Where did you get him?" asked Tom's mother. "Let me see."
And when she saw the Candy Rabbit Tom's mother knew at once that it was no common Rabbit, such as you may buy in the five-and-ten-cent store. The Candy Rabbit was a very fancy fellow indeed!
"Why, Tom!" exclaimed his mother.
"This Rabbit belongs to Madeline. I saw it over at her house when I called there one day. Did you take Madeline's Rabbit when you were in her house at the party? Oh, Tom, what a naughty boy! I am so sorry!"
She reached over and took the Candy Rabbit just in time, for Tom had been going to break off the ears.
"Why did you take it?" asked Tom's mother.
"Oh, er—just—because," he answered, squirming around. "Dick and Arnold had something, and I wanted something in my pocket. So I took the Rabbit."
"I must take it back and tell Madeline you are sorry, and you must tell her so yourself the next time you see her," said Tom's mother.
Tom's mother took the Easter toy back to Madeline, who had just missed him, and she and all the boys and girls still left at the party were hunting for him.
"Please forgive Tom for being so naughty as to take your Candy Rabbit," begged the boy's mother, and Madeline said she would.
"Oh, I am so glad to have you back!" cried Madeline, hugging her Candy Rabbit.
"And I am glad to get back," said the Rabbit, though of course he dared not speak aloud.
Madeline smoothed out the pink ribbon on the Bunny's neck. It had been crumpled in Tom's pocket. Then the little girl put her Rabbit away on a shelf in a closet while she helped her mother and the cook clear away the things after the party.
"Dear me, I wonder what will happen next," said the Candy Rabbit, out loud, for he knew no one could hear him in there.
"Why, has anything happened to you?" asked a voice.
"I should say so!" exclaimed the Candy Rabbit. "But who are you, if I may ask?"
"Oh, I'm a match-safe Cat," was the answer, and then, his eyes having become used to the dark, the Candy Rabbit saw that he was sitting near a hollow porcelain Cat, used to hold burnt matches.
"Dear me, how strange!" murmured the Bunny.
"It is no stranger to see a Cat full of burnt matches than it is to see a Candy Rabbit with pink glass eyes," was the answer.
"I suppose not," agreed the Candy Bunny.
Then the Rabbit and the Cat became good friends and told each other stories there in the dark closet.
"My! you certainly have had some adventures," mewed the Cat, when she had heard about the Bunny's trip on the tail of a kite.
"Did nothing exciting ever happen to you?" the Rabbit wanted to know.
"Yes, once," replied the Cat. "I am hollow, as you see, and I am generally filled with burnt wooden matches.
"Well, one day, somebody put a blazing match in me by mistake, and, in an instant, all the partly burnt matches were on fire. There I was, all burning up inside."
"Oh, that must have been dreadful!" cried the Candy Rabbit.
"It was, until Madeline's mother threw a glass of water over me and put out the fire," said the Cat. "Then I was all right, except for being blackened and smoked. Of course it doesn't show in the dark, but it's there all the same."
The Candy Rabbit stayed in the closet with the Porcelain Cat all night, and the two were company for one another. The next day Madeline took her Easter toy for a ride in the doll carriage, and Dorothy had her Sawdust pet with her. The little girls talked about the party.
"Wouldn't it have been dreadful if Tom had eaten your Rabbit?" asked Dorothy.
"Terribly dreadful!" said Madeline. "I am glad it didn't happen."
"And I'm glad, too," thought the Candy Rabbit. "I hope my adventures are over now."
But they were not, though I have no room to tell you any more. I will just mention a few. Once Herbert and Dick took the Candy Rabbit and gave him a ride in Herbert's toy train of cars. But the engine went so fast that the train ran off the track. The Candy Rabbit was thrown off, and a little piece of sugar was chipped off one of his paws. But that did not hurt very much.
And, another time, the Candy Rabbit was almost run over by Dick, who was gliding around on roller skates. Only that Patrick, the gardener, caught the Bunny out of the way just in time, the sweet chap would have been crushed.
One day Herbert called to Madeline and said:
"Daddy is going to bring me a present from the store to-day."
"Is he? What kind?" asked Madeline. "Is it going to be a Jumping Jack?"
"That, or something just as funny," Herbert answered. "I want something that moves and jumps. Candy Rabbits are very nice, but I want something livelier."
"Will you let me see it when you get it?" asked his sister.
"Yes," promised Herbert. And what fun he had with his toy will be told to you in the next book, to be called: "The Story of a Monkey on a Stick."
As for the Candy Rabbit, I might add that he grew sweeter and sweeter each day, and he and Madeline lived happily forever after. Though one of his ears was bent, and a piece chipped off one paw, that did not matter. Madeline loved her Bunny very much.
THE MAKE-BELIEVE STORIES
By LAURA LEE HOPE
Author of THE BOBBSEY TWINS BOOKS, ETC.
* * * * *
Colored Wrappers and Illustrations by HARRY L. SMITH
* * * * *
In this fascinating line of books Miss Hope has the various toys come to life "when nobody is looking" and she puts them through a series of adventures as interesting as can possibly be imagined.
* * * * *
THE STORY OF A SAWDUST DOLL How the toys held a party at the Toy Counter; how the Sawdust Doll was taken to the home of a nice little girl, and what happened to her there.
THE STORY OF A WHITE ROCKING HORSE He was a bold charger and a man purchased him for his son's birthday. Once the Horse had to go to the Toy Hospital, and my! what sights he saw there.
THE STORY OF A LAMB ON WHEELS She was a dainty creature and a sailor bought her and took her to a little girl relative and she had a great time.
THE STORY OF A BOLD TIN SOLDIER He was Captain of the Company and marched up and down in the store at night. Then he went to live with a little boy and had the time of his life.
THE STORY OF A CANDY RABBIT He was continually in danger of losing his life by being eaten up. But he had plenty of fun, and often saw his many friends from the Toy Counter.
THE STORY OF A MONKEY ON A STICK He was mighty lively and could do many tricks. The boy who owned him gave a show, and many of the Monkey's friends were among the actors.
THE STORY OF A CALICO CLOWN He was a truly comical chap and all the other toys loved him greatly.
THE STORY OF A NODDING DONKEY He made happy the life of a little lame boy and did lots of other good deeds.
THE STORY OF A CHINA CAT The China Cat had many adventures, but enjoyed herself most of the time.
THE STORY OF A PLUSH BEAR This fellow came from the North Pole, stopped for a while at the toy store, and was then taken to the seashore by his little master.
THE STORY OF A STUFFED ELEPHANT He was a wise looking animal and had a great variety of adventures.
* * * * *
GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK
THE BOBBSEY TWINS BOOKS
For Little Men and Women
By LAURA LEE HOPE
Author of "The Bunny Brown Series," Etc.
* * * * *
Durably Bound. Illustrated. Uniform Style of Binding. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
* * * * *
These books for boys and girls between the ages of three and ten stands among children and their parents of this generation where the books of Louisa May Alcott stood in former days. The haps and mishaps of this inimitable pair of twins, their many adventures and experiences are a source of keen delight to imaginative children everywhere.
THE BOBBSEY TWINS THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN A GREAT CITY THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON BLUEBERRY ISLAND THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE GREAT WEST THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT CEDAR CAMP THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE COUNTY FAIR THE BOBBSEY TWINS CAMPING OUT THE BOBBSEY TWINS AND BABY MAY
* * * * *
GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK.
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Page 9, "seasaw" changed to "seesaw", "seesaw begin to go up..."