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Little Madame’s corner cupboard is full of bits and pieces for tea time.

A small blue willow painting lived in the corner cabinet. Other things lived in the corner cupboard, too. Oh honey, yes! There were quite unorthodox things. There was the red tea pot that raised its little nose with an air like that. There was a silver mug – not an ordinary silver mug, mind you. And there was the Crystal-Rose-Bowl. They were all rainbow and beautiful in the light of the fire. A bottle of cologne was there too with its pretty golden cap, to say nothing of Pink-China-Clock! Never mind if she was singing at the volume of the clock when it meant bedtime. It was an unusual clock – former or daily flower clock – China, you should know.

Little blue willow painting.

And then, of course, there was a small plate of blue willow. Others thought it was a common thing. He had strange blue things on him. He had little blue houses with high roofs. He also had little blue trees with blue apples that looked like balloons on a stem. Then there were little blue bridges over little blue rivers and I announce – little blue men galloping across them. And over the little blue bridges and the houses and the trees were two blue beaks close together.

“Honey! This is a common creature!” Red tea cut pot.
“What a crazy creature!” Silver mug.
“What an ugly creature!” Thinking of her beauty, Crystal-Rose-Bowl announced.
“This is a strange creature!” I cried a bottle of cologne. While Pink-China-Clock just made an ugly face and clasped her hands, which looked just like she said, “This common thing is out of place. We are all fine and cute. Its place is in the kitchen among the pots and pans!”
One day, the people of the corner of the treasury were chatting among themselves. A blue willow platter listens quietly in its place against the shelf.
The red teapot began, “I am both useful and beautiful. No other teapot can replace me. The little lady can’t do without me!” The teapot flushed red with foolish pride.
Not to be outdone, said the silver cup, in the kindest manner, “I am of silver. Solid silver, I tell you! The lips of little princesses have touched me. Read my inscription! Behold my regalia!”
“Ah,” murmured the Crystal-Rose-Bowl, “I shouldn’t want a royal insignia. I’ve carried roses from a hundred summers. Just see how you give fire to my colors as they dance. They are the spirits of all those withered roses.”
“Nonsense!” Colin Bottle, who had held out long enough, exclaimed. “I have perfumed the ladies’ gowns. One drop of me equals all of you. I carry the scent of a garden of violets. Generous! Why don’t you understand?”
“Fay to you all!” Pink China clock scolded. “It was made in Switzerland. Who can say that? Kings looked up at me back then. Ah me! I think I came to live in a goblet corner plate!”
Then because the red teapot, silver mug, crystal rose pot, cologne bottle, and rose-china watch had seen better days, every one of them said, “Ah-me! Ah-me! Ah-me!”
Now Little Blue Willow Plate has been listening all this time. He felt sorry from the bottom of his little blue heart. Because if he had a heart, I’m sure it must have been blue.
And he said: “Poor, dear, poor, dear!”
At the time, Red-Tea-Pot, Silver-Mug, Crystal-Rose-Bowl, Cologne-Bottle, and Pink-China-Clock sat stiff and upright. They almost forgot the little blue willow plate. Almost, but not quite!
And then—if you believe me—Red-Tea-Pot said, “Toot, toot! Who are you but a common serving platter? Crockery! Toot! Toot! Toot!” And if you’ll believe me – the others said in the same unkind way, “Kitchen crockery! Toot! Toot! Toot!”
Next, the glass door of the corner cabinet was opened. The little lady was coming out – Blue Willow Painting! Two little voices cried, “Oh, what a sweet little dish! Tell us about it, my little lady!” The two little voices belong to two little girls.
The little lady held the Blue Willow Painting very carefully. How bright and round they were in the light of the fire! Then she told a wondrous story – all about that blue willow painting. I told them all about those houses and the little blue bridges and the trees and the birds and the little men who crossed the bridge. Oh yeah, and I told them all about the cutest little princess!
It was such a wondrous story that little girls said “oh” and “has” with very round mouths.
“Now,” finished the little lady, “we shall fill the Blue Willow Plate with cake and have a tea party.” And you know how little girls love tea parties!
I suppose you think the blue willow painting was put back in the corner of the cupboard? Well, it wasn’t. Forever after that lived that little painting of blue willow on the friendly mantelpiece. And everyone who came to the little stove said: “What a dear little dish!”

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