HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS
feather in it. But it isn't a wishing-hat any more, because I was
naughty and used the wishes badly. So Santa Claus said my wishes
mustn't come true. Mary (taking hat and looking at it in excitement): What! Was it once really a
wishing-hat! How marvellous! If only its magic was still in it—we
could all wish wishes! Imp (snatching hat away from her): Now don't you start wishing anything, for
goodness sake! What I wish won't come true—but the magic is still
there for other people to use. Anne: What, really! Do you mean that if one of us put that hat on, and
wished, the wish would come true? Imp: Yes, it would. You could have one wish each. But you're not going
to! People wish such silly things—they want sacks of gold and things
like that. As if they would bring anyone real happiness. John (trying to take hat): Oh, let me put it on and wish. Do let me! Imp (holding it firmly): Certainly NOT. (Suddenly sees the balloons.) I say!
What lovely balloons! Do let me hold one on its string! (Puts hat
down, and picks up balloon, and plays with it.) Mary (in loud whisper to John): Get the hat and put it on, quick! Anne: And wish. Go on, John! The imp isn't looking!
(John snatches up wishing-hat, and crams it on his head, excited.) John: What shall I wish? Quick, tell me! Mary: Wish for Santa Claus to come here! Do, do! I've always wanted
to see him, all real and alive! (Imp turns round and sees John with his wishing-hat on his head. Runs to grab it, crying, " No, no, don't wish.") John (fending him off): I WISH SANTA CLAUS WOULD COME HERE
AND SEE US! Imp (sinking down in chair, covering face with hands, and beginning to cry): Oh!
You've wished a wish—and now Santa Claus will come—and he'll see
me here—and know I borrowed one of his reindeer! You mean
horrid boy! Anne (excited): But will he really come, Imp? I can't believe it! Imp: Just stay quiet a minute, and listen. You'll soon hear him. He'll
come in his reindeer sleigh. (All stay quiet, hold their breath, and listen.)