As I write this, I have before me on my desk, propped up against the telephone, an old rag doll. Dear old Raggedy Ann!
The same Raggedy Ann with which my mother played when a child.
There she sits, a trifle loppy and loose-jointed, looking me squarely in the face in a straightforward, honest manner, a twinkle where her shoe-button eyes reflect the electric light.
Evidently Raggedy has been to a “tea party” today, for her face is covered with chocolate.
She smiles happily and continuously.
True, she has been nibbled by mice, who have made nests out of the soft cotton with which she has been stuffed, but Raggedy smiled just as broadly when the mice nibbled at her, for her smile is painted on.
What adventures you must have had, Raggedy!
What joy and happiness you have brought into this world!
And no matter what treatment you have received, how patient you have been!
What lessons of kindness and fortitude you might teach could you but talk; you with your wisdom of fifty-nine years. No wonder Rag Dolls are the best beloved! You are so kindly, so patient, so lovable.
The more you become torn, tattered and loose-jointed, Rag Dolls, the more you are loved by children.
Who knows but that Fairyland is filled with old, lovable Rag Dolls—soft, loppy Rag Dolls who ride through all the wonders of Fairyland in the crook of dimpled arms, snuggling close to childish breasts within which beat hearts filled with eternal sunshine.
So, to the millions of children and grown-ups who have loved a Rag Doll, I dedicate these stories of Raggedy Ann.
Marcella liked to play up in the attic at Grandma’s quaint old house, ’way out in the country, for there were so many old forgotten things to find up there.
One day when Marcella was up in the attic and had played with the old spinning wheel until she had grown tired of it, she curled up on an old horse-hair sofa to rest.
“I wonder what is in that barrel, ’way back in the corner?” she thought, as she jumped from the sofa and climbed over two dusty trunks to the barrel standing back under the eaves.
It was quite dark back there, so when Marcella had pulled a large bundle of things from the barrel she took them over to the dormer window where she could see better. There was a funny little bonnet with long white ribbons. Marcella put it on.
In an old leather bag she found a number of tin-types of queer looking men and women in old-fashioned clothes. And there was one picture of a very pretty little girl with long curls tied tightly back from her forehead and wearing a long dress and queer pantaloons which reached to her shoe-tops. And then out of the heap she pulled an old rag doll with only one shoe-button eye and a painted nose and a smiling mouth. Her dress was of soft material, blue with pretty little flowers and dots all over it.