"I do not wish them!" said Matilda, frowning at her sister. But Katrinka could see that Matilda did wish them.
"The presents were not for me, Katrinka!" she said.
"Oh yes they are!" Katrinka replied. "They were given to me and I give them to you! I have saved one half for myself! But you should have been to the party!" said Katrinka, "We had such a happy time!"
"I do not enjoy being with people!" Matilda scolded, "I wish to be left to myself!"
"Yes, but Matilda," her sister said, "you do not know the happiness in being kind and friendly to others!"
"Pooh!" sniffed Matilda.
"I just wish you could take my place and know the happiness that is in my heart tonight," Katrinka smiled.
"I just wish you could take my place and know the unhappiness that is in my heart tonight!" said Matilda, "You would see that a lot of children screeching about the house with all their presents could not bring me happiness!"
Katrinka thought a moment, "I have it, Matilda! We will change places! You must live in my house and pretend that you are me, and I will live in your house and pretend that I am you! And you must smile and be friendly just as I would do."
After a great deal of coaxing, Matilda finally agreed that she would change places with Katrinka and try to smile when anyone came to see her.
"But only for three days!" she said.
So Matilda went over to Katrinka's cottage and went to bed and Katrinka stayed in Matilda's cottage, but she did not go to bed.
Instead she went all over the house and tidied everything up and placed pretty white curtains at the windows. In the morning neighbors came to Katrinka's house, and Matilda, taking Katrinka's place met them with a smile, and soon in spite of herself she was laughing and enjoying herself.