One of the painters, a young fellow, seeing the dolls, reached up and took Raggedy Ann down from the shelf.
“Look at this rag doll, Jim,” he said to one of the other painters, “She’s a daisy,” and he took Raggedy Ann by the hands and danced with her while he whistled a lively tune. Raggedy Ann’s heels hit the floor thumpity-thump and she enjoyed it immensely.
The other dolls sat upon the shelf and looked straight before them, for it would never do to let grown-up men know that dolls were really alive.
“Better put her back upon the shelf,” said one of the other men. “You’ll have the little girl after you! The chances are that she likes that old rag doll better than any of the others!”
But the young painter twisted Raggedy Ann into funny attitudes and laughed and laughed as she looped about. Finally he got to tossing her up in the air and catching her. This was great fun for Raggedy and as she sailed up by the shelf the dolls all smiled at her, for it pleased them whenever Raggedy Ann was happy.
But the young fellow threw Raggedy Ann up into the air once too often and when she came down he failed to catch her and she came down splash, head first into a bucket of oily paint.
“I told you!” said the older painter, “and now you are in for it!”
“My goodness! I didn’t mean to do it!” said the young fellow, “What had I better do with her?”
“Better put her back on the shelf!” replied the other.
So Raggedy was placed back upon the shelf and the paint ran from her head and trickled down upon her dress.
After breakfast, Mistress came into the nursery and saw Raggedy all covered with paint and she began crying.
The young painter felt sorry and told her how it had happened.
“If you will let me,” he said, “I will take her home with me and will clean her up tonight and will bring her back day after tomorrow.”
So Raggedy was wrapped in a newspaper that evening and carried away.
All the dolls felt sad that night without Raggedy Ann near them.
“Poor Raggedy! I could have cried when I saw her all covered with paint!” said the French doll.
“She didn’t look like our dear old Raggedy Ann at all!” said the tin soldier, who wiped the tears from his eyes so that they would not run down on his arms and rust them.
“The paint covered her lovely smile and nose and you could not see the laughter in her shoe-button eyes!” said the Indian doll.
And so the dolls talked that night and the next. But in the daytime when the painters were there, they kept very quiet.
The second day Raggedy was brought home and the dolls were all anxious for night to come so that they could see and talk with Raggedy Ann.
At last the painters left and the house was quiet, for Mistress had been in and placed Raggedy on the shelf with the other dolls.