“It’s a Baby doll,” said Sara, wishing to offer consolation, but really not knowing what to say.
“Humph,” said the Brown Teddy-Bear disgustedly. “Babies are as universal as dolls.”
Sara was still trying to think of something pleasant to say to him, when she noticed that the Plynck, having finished her luncheon, had flown up to a bough of the tree just over the spring; and suddenly she heard her speak.
“Well!” she said in astonishment. “Where did you come from?”
And looking down, Sara saw the Echo of the Plynck in the water. She looked quite imperturbable again, and quite cerulean. “Oh, I have ways of doing things,” she answered, preening her feathers. And the Plynck was so mystified that she did not say another word.
Really, she didn’t have time, for Schlorge strolled back into their midst at that moment, carrying a butterfly net he had just finished. The stick was made of the willow wand Sara had seen him cut; and the bag was made of two thicknesses of spider’s web. “Now I’ll get him,” said Schlorge grimly. “Pack up now, and let’s start out again.”
So all together they started out, climbing hills, and jumping across tumbling streams, and scrambling over rocks. It was quite hard for the stretcher-bearers, but they bore up manfully; and the Kewpie never lost his arch, heroic smile.
Suddenly Schlorge, who was ahead, came stealing back to them. “Hist!” he cried, and all the Gunki hissed venomously. “I saw it light in an am-bush just to the left of that big rock. Now, I want you all to spread out and form a large circle, with the bush in the centre; then, if I miss it, everybody must try to shoo it back toward the middle. Don’t let it pass over you.”
So they all stole to the places Schlorge indicated, and then waited breathlessly while he stealthily approached the am-bush. The little laugh, feeling over-confident, must have been dozing; for it did not see him until he was within a few feet. Then it flew out wildly, with a sound like that made by the wings of a mother bird who leaves her nest at the last moment. But it was caught at last. With one skilful, triumphant swoop Schlorge had it.
And then how it did titter and twitter and giggle and struggle! It fanned its wings as furiously as a Zizz; it was as wild as a moon-moth in a net, or a bird you hold in your hand. And all the time, it was about to die with amusement.
They all gathered around to see what a darling little thing it was. Even Schlorge admired it openly; and the Snimmy’s wife said grudgingly, “It sure is pretty.” As for the Snimmy, he buried his face in his hands. “I can’t stand it!” he groaned, and the gum-drops began to squeeze through his fingers. “It makes him think of dimples,” his wife explained, in a low tone, to Sara.
“‘So near and yet so far,’ you know,” fluttered the Teacup, sympathetically.
The next thing was to decide how to get their captive home. Schlorge was quite sure it couldn’t break the net; still, he thought it best to accept the Brown Teddy-Bear’s suggestion that they put it, net and all, into the Snimmy’s wife’s basket, and tie the lid securely.