A Lesson For Velvetina | The Doll Coloring Book

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Elaine had a new playmate and the Popovers didn’t like him at all.
He was a white kitten, soft and furry and full of fun. His name was Blinky, and he did little all day but play.
Caroline’s friend Sarah, who lived in a house with a buxom mother cat, gave it to Caroline to give to Elaine. And Aunt Amelia, who was not fond of cats, said that Pinky might stay, at least until Elaine came home.
Ellen would have loved to do nothing better than to hold Blinky in her lap and stroke his soft fur and let his pink, rough tongue lick her hand. You never get tired of seeing Blinky chasing a bobbin attached to a piece of string. She loved watching clean little Blinky wash his face and paws. She loved watching hungry little Blinky drink his bowl of milk. She loved watching sleepy little Blinky curl up in his crate on a little warm blanket and close his vibrant blue eyes to fall asleep.
But the Popovers didn’t care for Blinky in the least.
“He’s very tough in his play.” Mr. Popover said.
And he sure should have known, because Blinky was happy to roll and toss Mr. Popover as if he were just a clothespin and not the father of a family and the head of the Little Red Dollhouse.
“I don’t like anyone, not even Peanut, coming into my house without ringing the doorbell,” said Mrs. Popover.
You must agree that Mrs. Popover was right about this. You wouldn’t want a big furry animal, at least four times your size, walking uninvited into your house when you’re washing a baby’s face, making a pie, or even scrubbing the kitchen floor.
Blinky’s claws are long and very sharp. Velvetina said.
Sure enough, her fat little arms were covered in scratches; While Mrs. Popover could not count the number of times a child was awakened from a sound sleep by the tickling of Blinky’s mustache.
But the Popovers had a bigger reason to dislike Blinky. It was because Peanut was now afraid to come and see them.
The little gray mouse would crawl quietly in the dead of night when Blinky was sure he was asleep, and would jump and start at every noise so the Popovers would grow like him. Peanut did not come to see them now in the day. He never showed up unexpectedly for a little lunch or afternoon tea. And the Popovers missed his little friendly visits more than words can tell.
It was a warm afternoon, and Elaine went to visit one of the five little girls who had attended her party. Blinky was downstairs sleeping on the shaded porch. So the Popovers overheard Caroline telling Elaine when Caroline asked where Blinky was.
As for the Popovers, they were having a great time at home. At least it was Mrs. Popover. She sat rocking Loo-Loo’s cradle and fixing one of Velvetina’s little socks. And Mr. Popover, asleep on the bed, with a handkerchief on his face, was enjoying his afternoon, too.
But Velvetina was worried. She wandered from room to room throughout the house. She wasn’t sitting and looking at a picture book like her mother told her to. It made the floor creak in the bedroom and almost woke her father from his nap. She made fun of playing the piano until her mother got tired of saying “no”.
“Can’t I have a cookie?” Velvetina begged, standing on the rocking chair in her mother’s chair and giving her a sudden shake.
“Yes, one,” answered Mrs. Popover, unwilling to scold Velvetina, but feeling very upset. “You may have one cookie and not more.”
But I am sorry to say that when Velvetina opened the little cake-box which was kept on the kitchen shelf, instead of taking one biscuit, she helped herself to two.
Velvetina certainly wasn’t behaving well on this warm afternoon.
Appearing in the living room again, as soon as she ate her cookies, ‘Mom’ said ‘Mom, I want to go and look at the peanut slit in the floor.’ He was probably waiting there and I can tell him Blinky is sleeping downstairs. Then he can come out and see us all.
“Stay right where you are, Velvetina Popover.” Mrs. Popover answered in her strongest voice. Peanut knows how best to take care of himself. And I don’t want you to get away from me now. Suppose Blinky will come and catch you. What then?’
Velvetina had nothing to say, and Mrs. Popover continued to fix it.
But, oh naughty Velvetina! What do you think I did?
I ran out of the house and crept into the peanut crack in the floor. Looking at her, she would never have dreamed that she would be such a disobedient child.
Velvetina even cracked down. How she longed to see a pair of bright black eyes gleaming across her face! But there was no one there. The crack was empty.
‘Peanuts!’ She is called Velvetina, and she puts her face close to the slit. “Peanut, are you there?”
There was no answer.
Velvetina waited. Then he bent over the crack again.
‘Peanuts!’ I started.
But she didn’t say more. For two White Paws caught Velvetina, again and again over the playroom floor, was rolling around and cornered by Blinky, who after her nap felt refreshed and ready to play.
Back and forth, Velvetina rolled back and forth. Now Blinky threw it at him only for it to fall on her and trip her up again. He gritted her with his teeth, tossed her into the air, and hugged her close to his white paws.
And all this while Mr. Popover was lying on his bed of gold, and Mrs. Popover was quietly rocking and stitching.
But now Mrs. Popover missed Velvetina and soon spied her, in her pretty pink velvet dress, playing by Blinky like a mouse on the playroom floor.
In less than a moment, Mr. and Mrs. Popover rushed to Velvetina’s aid. But what can three young Popovers do against a strong and powerful white kitten?
Blinky thought three games were much better than one. He was tossing them from one end of the playroom to the other. Not satisfied with this, he jumped into the doll house. He landed screaming little Loo-Loo out of his cradle on the floor. Lu-Lu suffered a bump on his head from this fall that didn’t go down for days. Blinky knocked on chairs and tables. Velvetina’s repaired sock chewed well.
Then he came out of the dollhouse to pounce again on the Popovers, and at this moment Elaine entered the playroom and saw the mischief that naughty Blinky had done.
The first thing Elaine did was grab Blinky and hold him tightly in her arms.
“If Aunt Amelia knew how you got on with the Popovers,” said Eileen, “she’d send you away tonight. I’d lock you on the back porch to stay!”
And so did Eileen.
Then she ran back into the playroom and tenderly and with great care put the Popovers to bed.
“There are scratch marks all over Velvetina’s dress,” she said to poor Popovers, “but I think I can get them out with my fingernails.” This is the worst. You are not broken anywhere. But if you don’t feel well tomorrow, after a good night’s rest, I’ll take you all out into the country, under the apple tree.
When Elaine was gone, no one in the Red Doll’s House spoke for a long time. They were so exhausted from a painful afternoon.
But at length Mrs. Popover lifted her head from her pillow.
“Velvetina,” she said solemnly, “do you see now what happens when little girls disobey their mothers?”
“Yes, madam,” replied Velvetina, snuggling under the covers as hard as she could.
“Let this be a lesson to you,” said Mrs. Popover, sinking into her pillow again.
And let’s hope it was.

The previous chapter and the follow-up…

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