Cherry Jam | The Doll Coloring Book

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Aunt Amelia was going to town, shopping, and Ellen with Caroline, was going to stay home.
Elaine didn’t mind, she had a busy day ahead of her. She was making a summer home for the Popovers under the apple tree. She had collected a few stones and pebbles wherever she could find them. She had a full bucket, a Red Sea beach pail full to the brim. She intended to isolate a bedroom, living room, and kitchen for the Popover family that very morning.
“The popover needs a rustic air, and this is the best air, under the apple tree,” Elaine said.
Aunt Amelia and Elaine stood on the porch steps to say goodbye.
“Do as Caroline tells you,” said Aunt Amelia, “and perhaps there will be something in my bag for a good girl when I get home tonight.”
Ellen put her arms around Aunt Amelia’s neck and hugged her.
“Do you think,” whispered Eileen, “that I might have jam for lunch, so I wouldn’t miss you so much? All the jam we had yesterday is gone. Caroline told me so.”
Aunt Amelia nodded with a smile.
‘Sure you might have jam for your lunch,’ said she, ‘and you might get it from the preserve cupboard yourself, if you like. Do you know what kind you want?
“Cherry” Elaine replied immediately. It’s my favourite. And I’ll know it on the shelf because I can see the cherry through the jar.
Eileen waved until Aunt Amelia turned the corner. Then, she packed the popover into a little brown basket, and carried it under the apple tree.
She sat them comfortably on the root of the tree and for a long time the Popovers watched Elaine as she worked hard, building her summer house.
She sorted the big pebbles from the small ones. I put them in long lines, straight like a string. She turned the turns gently, with the greatest care. And when Ellen built her bedroom, living room, and kitchen, she got warm, tired, and ready to stop.
“I guess I’ll go to the reserve locker now after my jam,” Elaine told Popovers. And you must come with me, for I am afraid to leave you here. Blinky might get you.
So in the little brown basket the Popovers went and went down into the cellar, Elaine walked him in, for there was a wardrobe, as Elaine knew well.
“Do you hear Caroline?” Elaine of Popovers asked as she slowly climbed down the cellar stairs.
Yes, the Popovers heard rustling and rustling and rustling from above, though they made Ellen not answer, but stared at her with unwilling eyes.
“This is a gripping Caroline,” said Elaine. She was upstairs in Aunt Amelia’s room. I can say. She’s busy, so you shouldn’t be bothered about her jam. Now you sit on the floor outside the cupboard, and when I come out you have to guess what kind of jam I have.
The Popovers were climbing in single file along the closet wall, and with a parting smile, Elaine opened the door and walked inside.
A keeping cupboard is built across one end of the vault. It was lined with shelves, and on these shelves lay pots of all sizes, full of all sorts of goodies.
There were jars of jelly, currants, crabs, apples, and grapes. There were pickled peaches, pickled pears, watermelon peel and pickled water. There was marmalade and peach jam, and big pots of blackberry and raspberry preserves too. There was a quince reserve and a plum reserve. There was jar after jar full of pickles, too.
But best of all, Ellen loved the shelf with strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, peach, and Ellen’s favourite, wonderful tall marmalades of rich red cherry jam.
Elaine went straight to this corner and, after studying the jars for a moment, picked up the tallest jar of cherry jam she could find.
Then she sat down on the chair that Caroline had kept in the cupboard for her to stand on and lifted the jar up to the light. Although Aunt Amelia called this cherry jam the cherry jam, the cherries in it were left round and whole and Ellen could clearly see them when the light from the window shone through the jar. The color was a deep ruby-red, and the cherry looked plump and sweet, and Elaine was so pleased that she hugged the jar, in its neat paper lid, close to her arms while she sat farther back in the comfortable old chair. She thought of a sanctuary as a nice place to rest for a moment, and so it was.
First of all, the room was as clean as a pin, not a speck of dust anywhere. Caroline wouldn’t have it otherwise. Then, too, it was cool and shady. Yet it was not at all lonely, for in the open window, closely examined, nodding to the ivy covering the side of the house, the pink flowers of a bush of Rose of Sharon fluttering sociably on the lawn, and a plump brown robin past the window, seemed important. So much so that Eileen laughed to see him pass by.
Outside the closet door in the quiet of the cellar, Popover felt sleepy. Inside the closet in her comfortable chair, Elaine also felt sleepy.
She curled around the chair, raised her arm for a pillow, and with cherry jam on her lap, Elaine fell asleep.
Upstairs, Caroline finished her sweeping. She cleaned and arranged the rooms. She made her way down the stairs, made her way through the hall, and when she entered the kitchen, Caroline looked at the clock and saw that it was past lunchtime.
“Eileen will faint with hunger,” thought Caroline, “and she will play nicely under the trees, too.”
She hastened to prepare lunch, and now went out under the apple tree to call Elaine.
Of course there was no Elaine, not even a Popover to smile at Caroline. Blinky was there, sprawled asleep in Popover’s dining room, but he didn’t know where Ellen was, even if he could tell.
Then Caroline calls Ellen again and again, and Ellen, asleep in the reserve’s closet, hears no sound.
Caroline hurried home. I looked around downstairs, upstairs, and even in the attic. And she saw no sign of Elaine no matter where she looked.
Then Caroline got scared. She stood on the sidewalk, looking up and down the street. Oh, how she longed to see the figure of a little girl with yellow curls and a blue dress running towards her! Oh, how she wished Aunt Amelia had not gone! Oh, how she wished Uncle Henry was home to help! What do you do next? Where should you look for Eileen?
As Caroline stood there, her gentle face contorted into hundreds of worrying wrinkles, across the road was a tall policeman swinging a mighty stick.
Caroline knew him well. His wife was Cousin Caroline’s aunt. So Caroline impatiently asked Mr. James to come over and told him in less than two minutes how Ellen had disappeared.
“I don’t think she ever went out into the street,” said Caroline, shaking her head. She’s a good kid. You will not run away.
“Let us go through the house again,” said Mr. James. “I think we’ll find her there.”
So Caroline and Mr. James passed the house, and Mr. James peered into places Caroline wouldn’t think to look, behind chests, in cupboards, even under beds.
Finally the cellar is reached and Elaine is not found until the Popovers are seen leaning against a wall near the cellar closet door. Mr. James, Caroline and a very sleepy Eileen are soon reunited inside the cellar where pots of jam, pickles and jelly for the winter are piled up.
Caroline hugged Elaine because she wasn’t lost. The Popovers were then put in their basket and each one went upstairs, Elaine holding on to her bowl of cherry jam.
Mr. James had to go, even though Caroline and Elaine invited him to stay for lunch. And Caroline drank four cups of tea, she was very upset, and Eileen ate all the cherry jam she wanted.
But the Popovers were the happiest of all, for when they were alone and could speak loudly, Mr. Popover said:
“Had it not been for us, sitting there by the cupboard door, Mr. James and Caroline might never have found Eileen.”
And so all the Popovers believe to this day.

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