“But one day a diver leaped over the side of a boat and came swimming head-first down, down to where I lay. My! How the tiny sea creatures scurried to hide from him. He took me within his hand and, giving his feet a thump upon the yellow sand, rose with me to the surface.
“He poured the water from me, and out came all the little creatures who had been hiding there!”
Raggedy Andy wiggled upon the floor, he was so interested.
“Did the tiny creatures get back into the water safely?” he asked the beautiful shell.
“Oh, yes!” the shell whispered in reply. “The man held me over the side of the boat, so the tiny creatures went safely back into the water!”
“I am so glad!” Raggedy Andy said, with a sigh of relief. “He must have been a kindly man!”
“Yes, indeed!” the beautiful shell replied. “So I was placed along with a lot of other shells in the bottom of the boat and every once in a while another shell was placed amongst us. We whispered together and wondered where we were going. We were finally sold to different people and I have been at Gran’ma’s house for a long, long time.”
“You lived there when Gran’ma was a little girl, didn’t you?” Raggedy Ann asked.
“Yes,” replied the shell, “I have lived there ever since Gran’ma was a little girl. She often used to play with me and listen to me sing.”
“Raggedy Ann can play ‘Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater’ on the piano, with one hand,” said Uncle Clem, “but none of us can sing. Will you sing for us?” he asked the shell.
“I sing all the time,” the shell replied, “for I cannot help singing, but my singing is a secret and so is very soft and low. Put your head close to the opening in my shell and listen!”
The dolls took turns doing this, and heard the shell sing softly and very sweetly.
“How strange and far away it sounds!” exclaimed the French doll. “Like fairies singing in the distance! The shell must be singing the songs of the mermaids and the water-fairies!”
“It is queer that anything so rough on the outside could be so pretty within!” said Raggedy Andy. “It must be a great pleasure to be able to sing so sweetly!”
“Indeed it is,” replied the beautiful shell, “and I get a great happiness from singing all the time.”
“And you will bring lots of pleasure to us, by being so happy!” said Raggedy Andy. “For although you may not enter into our games, we will always know that you are happily singing, and that will make us all happy!”
“I will tell you the secret of my singing,” said the shell. “When anyone puts his ear to me and listens, he hears the reflection of his own heart’s music, singing; so, you see, while I say that I am singing all the time, in reality I sing only when someone full of happiness hears his own singing as if it were mine.”
“How unselfish you are to say this!” said Raggedy Andy. “Now we are ever so much more glad to have you with us. Aren’t we?” he asked, turning to the rest of the dolls.