Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Enchanted Playhouse

"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." ~ CS Lewis~

"It was the visit to Cousin Alice that began it, for Cousin Alice's little 'Lizbeth Ann, who was just about as big as Patty and Polly, had a playhouse - the loveliest little playhouse!

"It had a porch on the front, and a path leading to the door. There was a row of bright red geraniums at either side of the path, and 'Lizbeth Ann had even put an even row of cockleshells right in front of the red geraniums, for all the world like Mistress Mary's garden!"
"From that day Patty and Polly could think of nothing but a playhouse. They talked and talked about it.

"The tent made quite a nice playhouse, but not as nice as the Pigpen House, and neither one was half as nice as 'Lizbeth Ann's."

"While they nibbled seedcakes and drank cambric tea, they told Miss Merriweather all about 'Lizbeth Ann's playhouse and how they had tried to have one too. "I remember one I had when I was little," said Miss Merriweather. "My brothers made it for me, up in an apple tree."

"Come, come you youngsters, I've thought of something," said Cap'n Holly. "How'd you like a house under that old dory back there? It's way above high-water mark. I'll tip it over, then we can brace it up with logs on end, so you can crawl underneath." Then he told them all about Mr. Peggotty's house, made out of a boat, in a book written by a man named Charles Dickens. Patty, Polly and Alec listened eagerly and couldn't wait to have a house like Mr. Peggotty's."

"Then tomorrow came, and the wind blew, and there was an awful storm.

"Was it a hurricane Daddy?" they asked. "Yes it was." Daddy said.

"Everything was sopping wet, but Patty, Polly and Alec had to go and see it all. On they went, through the long wet grass, and there, right on their own field, stood the most enchanting little playhouse. It was tipped to one side, and its windows were broken, but it was still an enchanted playhouse. They looked in through the broken windows, and there, all piled up in one corner, and soaking wet, were little tables and chairs, and a little bureau too.

"That very day Joe started repairing the little house. He put in strong cement underpinnings; he put new glass in the windows, fresh paper on the walls, and painted inside and out. Mother made pretty flowered curtains for the windows and bought a gay new rug for the floor.

"It was such a lovely little playhouse! "It's almost too good to be true," sighed Polly happily. "Yes but it is true," said Patty. "We have a real playhouse at last!"

The Enchanted Playhouse, by Mabel Betsy Hill, First and Only Edition, 1950. Offered for sale by Chewybooks, as of July 10, 2010.

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