O nce upon a time there was a big toy duck who sat on a shelf in the toyshop, and was never sold.
He had been pushe4 behind a big box, and no one knew he was there.
He was really a fine duck. He was made of celluloid, and if only he had been put into a bath full of water then you would have seen how beautifully he could float! But ever since he had been in the shop he had sat up on the dark shelf and had never moved from there—he did not even know that he could float!
He had no legs, so he could not get up and walk about at night as the other toys did. All he could do was to poke his big orange beak out from behind the box, and watch the other toys dancing, shouting and playing together on the floor below.
So you can guess he led a very dull life and was always longing for a little excitement, which never came.
And then one day a doll with a barrow was put up on the shelf near the duck! The wheel of the barrow had broken, so the doll could not be sold. It went by clockwork and when it was wound up it walked along, holding the barrow and pushing it. It was lovely to watch it. But now that the wheel was broken, the doll was no use either.
" Hallo! " said the duck, in great surprise. " I haven't seen anyone up on this shelf for years! How did you get here? "
" I've been put up here out of the way," said the doll sadly. " I expect I shall be here for years, too, getting older and dustier each day! "
" I am dusty too," said the duck. " You would not think that my back was really a bright blue, green and red, would you? Well, it is! But there