MoboReader > Literature > The Story of a Plush Bear

   Chapter 5 THE FAT BOY

The Story of a Plush Bear By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 10296

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04


Horatio Mugg, owner of the toy store where the Plush Bear was now at home, hurried to the back of the shop. It was here that the noise had come from, and the sound was still keeping up as Mr. Mugg turned on an electric light.

Then the Plush Bear, who was listening as closely as were Geraldine and Angelina, heard Mr. Mugg laugh, and with that the rattling, banging and tooting noise came to a stop.

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" laughed Mr. Mugg again.

"What is it?" asked Angelina. "It isn't a burglar, evidently."

"Nor a policeman nor a fire," Geraldine added.

"None of them," answered Mr. Mugg. "One of the toy trains of cars that I wound up this evening just started off by itself. I guess some of the toys must have wanted a ride, and the Engineer of the toy train tooted his whistle to tell them to get aboard."

"Why, Father!" exclaimed Geraldine, "the toys couldn't want a ride. They can't do anything like that."

"Well, I wouldn't be so sure," said Mr. Mugg, as his two daughters entered the rear room to see what had caused all the racket. "Sometimes I feel that these toys know more than we think they do," he went on. "Take that new Plush Bear," he added, pointing to the other room where Bruin was sitting on a shelf. "See how wise he looks? He seems about to speak. And if he ever should come to life I think he would enjoy a ride in a toy train."

"Oh, but he can't come to life!" exclaimed Angelina.

"Ha! can't I, though?" whispered the Plush Bear to himself. "You just ought to see us toys after dark! No, on second thought, it is just as well you don't see us," he went on. "For if you looked at us we couldn't say a word or move about. It is best that you do not know we can pretend to be alive."

Angelina and Geraldine looked at the toy train which had caused the excitement. It was a new engine and cars that had been unpacked that evening by their father. Mr. Mugg had wound up the spring in the engine, which was very much like a real one, with a bell, whistle, and even an iron Engineer in the cab. The toy train, all wound up and ready to go, had been left on the floor in a rear room. Then, when Mr. Mugg and his daughters were unpacking the Plush Bear and other toys, the little train, in some manner, had started off by itself, had run along the floor, banging into the walls, bumping over other toys, and with the whistle going:

Toot! Toot! Toot!

"What started it?" asked Angelina, when the train had been put in a safe place.

"Oh, I think the spring began to unwind of itself," answered Mr. Mugg. "Or our walking around may have jarred the engine, and started it off. At any rate no harm is done, and now we must finish unpacking the toys."

The toy-dealer and his two daughters were soon busy over the large packing box, and the Plush Bear and his friends from the workshop of Santa Claus looked on, well pleased to be out of the box.

"This is ever so much a nicer place than the igloo of Ski, the Eskimo boy," thought the Plush Bear. "I would not want to be up in that bleak North Pole Land, unless I were with Santa Claus, and of course one cannot stay long in his workshop. I think I shall have much more fun here. There is so much light and happiness."

It was nearly midnight when Mr. Mugg and his daughters finished unpacking the toys. All about the floor wrapping paper and the covers of boxes were scattered. The toys, as they were taken out of the case, had been set on shelves about the room.

"This will be enough for to-night," said the toy-dealer after a while. "We will leave things as they are, now that we have all the toys unpacked. To-morrow I will put some in the show window, and the boys and girls will come to buy them."

"Be sure and put the Plush Bear in the window," said Angelina. "I know he'll be one of the first to go, he is so cute and he can do so many things when he is wound up. He shakes his head and moves his paws."

"He is a good toy," said Mr. Mugg. And a little later the toy shop was in darkness, except for one light that was left burning all night.

"Oh, ho!" thought the Plush Bear, when he saw Mr. Mugg and his daughters leave. "Now is our chance! Now we can come to life!"

He turned his head to one side, and spoke to the Wax Doll.

"How do you like it here?" asked the Plush Bear.

"Oh, very much," the Doll answered. "As soon as we get to know the other toys I'm sure we shall like it."

"We are glad to welcome you here," said a Jumping Jack, who had been in Mr. Mugg's store for a long time. "Make yourselves at home. After a bit we shall have some fun. You just came from North Pole Land, didn't you?"

"Yes," answered the Plush Bear. "But we like it here very much. Come, Miss Wax Doll," he went on, "allow me the pleasure of taking you for a walk through the shop."

The Wax Doll and the Plush Bear got down off the shelf where they had been put, and began to move about. Some of the other new toys did the same, while about them crowded the playthings that had been on the shelves and the counters for some days.

"Take a look through the store," suggested the older Jumping Jack to the Plush Bear, "and then com

e back and we'll have some fun."

The Plush Bear and the Wax Doll, who took hold of his paw, moved along through the different rooms of the toy store. Everywhere they went they were made welcome by the playthings that had been in stock for some time. The old toys were glad to welcome the new ones.

Suddenly the Plush Bear and the Wax Doll found themselves in a strange place. All about were shining tools, pots of glue, pieces of wood, strips of cloth, glass eyes, wooden arms and legs, odd ears, noses, tails and heads.

"Oh, what a queer place!" cried the Wax Doll. "I don't like it here! What is it?"

"I hardly know," answered the Plush Bear.

"This is the repair department," said the Jumping Jack, who had followed the two new toys. "It is here that Mr. Mugg mends the toys that get broken in the store, or toys that get broken when the boys and girls play with them. We had a fire here, not long ago, and the place is rather upset, but don't mind that. It is almost in order again, but there are always things scattered about in this repair department. If ever you lose an eye or an ear, Mr. Plush Bear, just come in here and Mr. Mugg will make you a new one," said the Jumping Jack.

"That's a comfort," answered the Plush Bear, laughing. "So you have had a fire here? I thought the place smelled rather smoky."

"It's just the way I smelled after I climbed up the string, too near the gas jet, and burned my trousers," said a voice that seemed to come from one of the shelves in the repair room.

"Who is that?" whispered the Wax Doll.

"The Calico Clown," answered the Jumping Jack. "He came here to have a new cap put on him."

"That's right," said the Clown, and he made a polite bow to the Plush Bear and the Wax Doll. "Sidney, the boy who owns me, was playing circus with me. His brother, who owns the Monkey on a Stick, was trying to make me jump over the Monkey, when my cap caught on the stick and was ripped off. So they brought me here to have Mr. Mugg make me a new one. But did you hear about how I burned my trousers?" asked the Calico Clown.

"I never did, having just arrived here," said the Plush Bear.

"Oh, you should hear that story!" cried the Clown. "It was quite funny in a way, though I did not think so at the time. In fact, there has been a book made about it, and about some of my other adventures. I must tell you of them."

"I should be delighted to hear them," said the Wax Doll, who seemed to have taken quite a liking to the Calico Clown.

"Baa! Baa!" suddenly called a voice from another shelf. "I have had adventures also. After you finish telling about how you burned your trousers, Mr. Clown, I'll tell how I was once down in a coal hole."

"Who is that?" asked the Plush Bear in a low tone of the Jumping Jack.

"That is a Lamb on Wheels," was the answer. "How comes it that you are here, Miss Lamb?" the Jack answered. "I didn't hear that you had had an accident."

"Oh, yes; but not a very bad one," bleated the Lamb. "One of my wheels came off when Mirabell, the little girl who owns me, let me fall. Her brother Arnold, who has a Bold Tin Soldier and his men, tried to fix me, but his father brought me here for Mr. Mugg to operate on. I shall be well again in a few days, and go back home. But who are the visitors?" asked the Lamb.

"Oh, excuse me," said the Jumping Jack. "Let me introduce Mr. Plush Bear and Miss Wax Doll from North Pole Land," and the Bear and Doll made polite bows, as did the Lamb on Wheels and the Calico Clown.

Then the toys talked together and had a good time among themselves until morning came, when they had to go back to their places and become quiet. As soon as the store was opened for business Mr. Mugg and his daughters began arranging the playthings. The Plush Bear was put in the show window, with the Wax Doll and some of the other new gifts. It was the first time in his life that he had been in such a place, and you may be sure the Plush Bear looked about him with eagerness.

He was gazing out into a busy street-a street where people were passing up and down all the while-a street in which there was a layer of newly-fallen snow, only not as much as at the North Pole.

"I wonder if Santa Claus is here?" thought the Plush Bear.

But he could not speak aloud because so many eyes-those of the passers-by in the street and the customers in the store-were watching. There was so much to see that the Plush Bear did not know at which to look first, but, all of a sudden, he heard a voice saying:

"Oh, I want that Plush Bear! I want that! Can he do any tricks?"

The Plush Bear felt himself being lifted out of the show window of the toy shop. The springs inside him were wound up by Mr. Mugg and when he was set down on a showcase near the window the Bear began to move his head and paws, and from his red mouth came a make-believe growl.

"Oh, I want him! I want him!" the eager voice went on, and the Plush Bear was caught up by a fat boy-the very fattest and jolliest boy that the toy had ever seen. "I want this Plush Bear for my very own!" cried the fat boy. "He's the best toy I ever saw!"

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