As I write this, I have before me on my desk, propped up against the telephone, an old rag doll. Dear old Raggedy Ann!
The same Raggedy Ann with which my mother played when a child.
There she sits, a trifle loppy and loose-jointed, looking me squarely in the face in a straightforward, honest manner, a twinkle where her shoe-button eyes reflect the electric light.
Evidently Raggedy has been to a “tea party” today, for her face is covered with chocolate.
She smiles happily and continuously.
True, she has been nibbled by mice, who have made nests out of the soft cotton with which she has been stuffed, but Raggedy smiled just as broadly when the mice nibbled at her, for her smile is painted on.
What adventures you must have had, Raggedy!
What joy and happiness you have brought into this world!
And no matter what treatment you have received, how patient you have been!
What lessons of kindness and fortitude you might teach could you but talk; you with your wisdom of fifty-nine years. No wonder Rag Dolls are the best beloved! You are so kindly, so patient, so lovable.
The more you become torn, tattered and loose-jointed, Rag Dolls, the more you are loved by children.
Who knows but that Fairyland is filled with old, lovable Rag Dolls — soft, loppy Rag Dolls who ride through all the wonders of Fairyland in the crook of dimpled arms, snuggling close to childish breasts within which beat hearts filled with eternal sunshine.
So, to the millions of children and grown-ups who have loved a Rag Doll, I dedicate these stories of Raggedy Ann.