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THE MONEY-PIG

 

IN the nursery a unmber of toys lay strewn abouthigh upon the wardrobestood the Money-boxit was of clay in the shape of a little pigof course the pig had a slit in its backand this slit had been so enlarged with a knife that whole dollar-pieces could slip throughandindeedtwo such had slipped into the boxbesides a number of penceThe Money-pig was stuffed so full that it could no longer rattleand that is the highest point a Money-pig can attainThere it stood upon the cupboardhigh and loftylooking down upon everything else in the roomIt knew very well that what it had in its stomach would have bought all the toysand that's what we call having self-respect

The others thought of that tooeven if they did not exactly express itfor there were many other things to speak ofOne of the drawers was half pulled out and there lay a great handsome Dollthough she was somewhat oldand her neck had been mendedShe looked out and said

Shall we now play at men and womenfor that is al-ways something?”

And now there was a general uproarand even the framed prints on the walls turned round and showed that there was a wrong side to thembut they did not do it to protest against the proposal

It was late at nightthe moon shone through the window-frames and gave free lightNow the game was about to beginand alleven the children's Go-CartWhich certainly belonged to the coarser playthingswere invited to take part in the sport

Each one has his own peculiar value,”said the Go-Cart:“we cannot all be noblemenThere must be some who do the workas the saying is.”

The Money-pig was the only one who received a writ-ten invitationfor he was of high standingand they were afraid he would not accept a verbal message

Indeedhe did not answer to say whether he would comenor did he comeif he was to take a parthe must enjoy the sport from his own homethey were to arrange accordinglyandso they did

The little toy theatre was now put up in such a way that the Money-pig could look directly inThey wanted to begin with a comedyand afterwards there was to be a tea party and a discussion for mental improvementand with this latter part they began immediatelyThe Rocking-Horse spoke of training and racethe Go-Cart of railways and steam powerfor all this belonged to their professionand it was something they could talk aboutThe Clock talked politics-ticks-ticks-and knew what was the time of daythough it was whispered he did not go correctlythe Bamboo Cane stood therestiff and proudfor he was conceited about his brass ferrule and his silver topfor being thus bound above and belowand on the sofa lay two worked Cushionspretty and stupidAnd now the play began

All sat and looked onand it was requested that the audience should applaud and crack and stamp according as they were gratifiedBut the Riding-Whip said he never cracked for old peopleonly for young ones who were not yet married

I crack for everything,”said the Cracker

And these were the thoughts they had while the play went onThe piece was worthlessbut it was well playedall the characters turned their painted side to the audiencefor they were so made that they should only be looked at from that sideand not from the otherand all played wonderfully wellcoming out quite beyond the lampsbecause the wires were a little too longbut that only made them come out the moreThe mended Doll was so affected that she burst at the mended place in her neckand the Money-pig was so enchanted in his way that he formed the resolution to do something for one of the playersand to remember him in his will as the one who should be buried with him in the family vault when matters were so far advanced

It was true enjoymentso that they quite gave up the thoughts of teaand only carried out the idea of mental recreationThat's what they called playing at men and womenand there was no malice in itfor they were only playingand each one thought of himself and of what the Money-pig might thinkand the Money-pig thought farthest of allfor he thought of making his will and of his burialAnd when might this come to passCertainly far sooner than was expectedCrackit fell down from the cup-board-fell on the groundand was broken to piecesand the pennies hopped and dancedthe little ones turned round like topsand the bigger ones rolled awayparticularly the one great Silver Dollar who wanted to go out into the worldAnd he came out into the worldand they all succeeded in doing soThe pieces of the Money-pig were put into the dust-binbut the next day a new Money-pig was standing on the cupboardit had not yet a farthing in its stomachand therefore could not rattleand in this it was like the otherBut that was a beginning-and with that we will make an end

 


 

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