Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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148              What Shall We Do Now?
Dolls are, of course, perfectly at home in bed when you are ill, but there is even more interest in a menagerie. On this subject it would be difficult to do better than quote from a letter from E. M. R., who has 590 china animals, mostly in families and all named. She began this magnificent collection with a family of monkeys.
The mother was called Sally, her eldest son Mungo, the next Pin-ceri, another, eating a nut, Jock, and the youngest, a sweet little girl monkey, Ness. I was soon given a family of three foxes, Reynard, Brushtail, and Whitepad, and from that time to the present my collection has been growing. I soon had enough to fill a shelf in a cabinet, and I turned my doll's-house into a boarding-school for the little animals with a big pig as headmaster. But when my collection rose to 400 animals, I had too many children to be all boarders at the school, so some had to be day-scholars, and the headmaster was changed to a green frog who swam beautifully, and who was assisted by two swans, a duck, a fish, two crocodiles, and a seal, who all swam. Another frog taught the children swimming by tying a piece of string round their bodies, and dangling them in the water from the edge of a basin.
The animals' abode was now changed, and they were put into a large cabinet containing six small shelves and one big one.
I called the big shelf a town, and the rest villages. The town was called Weybridge ; the village where the birds lived, Airsbury ; and that where the dogs were, Canistown. The rest had various other names. At this time an important addition was made to the collection, for a big lion was given me, which I immediately created king; then came a queen and four princesses, and shortly after a crown prince, another prince, and three more little princesses.
The royal family was allowed a village all to itself, which was called Kingston, and was given five servants, two nurses, a footman, a housemaid, and a cook.
As I had now two families of several of the kinds of animals, I determined that they should be married, so, nominating Sally's husband rector, I had several weddings. I built a church with some bricks I had, and formed a procession up the aisle, to the Wedding March, played on an American organ.
First came the bride and bridegroom, then the best man and the brides­maids, and last the children of the animals who were to be married, two and two. When the ceremony was over, I marched them all back to their places on the shelf.
I now made eight laws, and copied them out in an exercise-book, together with the names of all the animals, the number of men, women, boys, and girls, and the number of married and single families.
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