The next morning, the Popovers get up early. They were so excited that they wink slept the night before. They were all thrilled at the idea of moving downstairs, except for Velvetina.
Velvetina sat on the floor crying, tears falling down the front of her pretty pink dress.
“I don’t want to leave Peanuts,” Velvetina cried. “I don’t want to leave Peanut here alone.”
But Peanuts will come down and see you. Isn’t it, Peanut? Mrs. Popover asked about the little mouse.
For Peanut had come out of his hole that morning as soon as he heard the popovers stir. He was as sorry as Velvetina for making his good friends go downstairs. But he winked his black eyes and twitched his mustache to keep from crying, and his little paw gently wiped Velvetina’s tears.
“I’ll come down to see you often,” he whispered. “And we’ll have rides together, you and me.”
“I thought you said yesterday, Velvetina, that you wanted a little girl to play with you,” said Mr. Popover.
‘I did,’ replied Velvetina, rubbing her eyes, ‘but I like peanuts better than a little girl. I know I do.
“Don’t talk like that, Velvetina,” said Mrs. Popover firmly. “If Eileen was anything like her Aunt Amelia, she’d make a lot of fun for us downstairs.”
Mrs. Popover did not have time to say more. There was a voice from below. whisk! and the Peanuts were out of sight, and the Popovers were still, and when the little girl Ellen and Mr. Green, whose other name was Uncle Henry, got to the top of the stairs, the attic was as quiet as the attic.
|‘Mrs. Popover, don’t you love your little house?
“I’ll take the dolls, Uncle Henry,” said Eileen, bouncing around, so happy to walk.
So Eileen carefully gathered Mrs. Popover and Velvetina and Mr. Popover and the baby, which she left thoughtfully in his cot, and with her arms full began to descend the stairs. Velvetina no longer cried. Her face wearing its usual smile, she noticed on Elaine’s shoulder the little peanut paw waving a cheery goodbye.
Uncle Henry leans in and leans the little red dollhouse at the head of the stairs. Then I bump, bump, bump, down the stairs came the little dollhouse.
“Oh, my furniture!” thought Mrs. Popover. “It will be broken into small pieces.”
ringing! ringing! ringing!
‘Oh, my dishes! Pots and pans!’ thought Mrs. Popover again. ‘They should have been carried by hand.’
If Uncle Henry had only asked Mrs. Popover, she could only have told him how to move the house. For Mrs. Popover, she was an old-fashioned housekeeper who believed that what was worth doing at all was worth doing well.
But of course Uncle Henry never thought of asking Mrs. Popover, and so the little house rocked and tumbled along until it was set against the wall in the room that had once been little Amelia’s playroom, and was now to be Eileen’s room, as long as she visited her aunt and uncle.
Mrs. Popover was almost afraid to look inside her house for fear of the damage she might see. But though everything was upside down and not a single piece of furniture was out of place, nothing was broken. And Mrs. Popover has forgotten her fears at seeing Elaine’s joy in the Little Doll House and all that it holds.
‘Here is the bedroom,’ said Eileen, speaking aloud in her pleasure, with a large golden bed for Mr. and Mrs. Popover, a little bed for Velvetina, and a cradle for the baby. Rockaby,
rockaby, Elaine sang to the Baby Popover, swaying gently to and fro.
You see, she already knows the Popover family names. Aunt Amelia told her all about them the night before.
Here is a desk, a tall mirror and a rocking chair. And a carpet on the floor too. It was a nice bedroom, said Eileen, arranging the little room as neatly as Mrs. Popover herself might have done, as Aunt Amelia’s or Mother’s at home.
“Here’s the living room,” Elaine said. Little did she know that Mrs. Popover named her salon after her. This is the piano that will be playing. Tinkle-linkle-link! And chairs, a sofa, a small lamp and a bookcase with really real books inside, as small as possible. Everything is like a real home. There are pictures on the walls too. Oh, Mrs. Popover, don’t you like your little house? I do!’
Mrs. Popover was longing to answer, “Yes, I do
Eileen quickly gives Baby Popover a bath in a trough she found in the stove oven, and she plays that the Popovers have cooked and eaten their dinner. “Maybe you’d like to go out for a walk.” asked Eileen
Aunt Amelia must have been keen on her toys when she was a little girl. For Caroline, she brought from the cellar a little wooden cart on two wheels, with a long wooden handle, that was the thing in which Popovers might ride.
They went into the garden, and sat sweetly in the carriage with a pillow at their backs and a little shawl tucked neatly at their legs. Then the journey began. Elaine ran around the garden paths as fast as she could run, with the little cart bumping into the rear.
At first, the popovers enjoyed the sun, fresh air, and spinning and spinning. But soon Velvetina fell forward and hit her nose. Mr. Popover slipped flat on his back under the shawl and was nearly suffocated for want of air. Mrs. Popover was so upset that she couldn’t breathe. But she rarely noticed her shortness of breath because she was worried about the baby. She was afraid he might get colic from having a violent trip so soon after eating. As for the kid, there was nothing left but his hat that left his head on his body.
So everyone, except Ellen, was happy when Caroline asked her to enter the house to wash her hands before eating lunch.
“I’m going to put popovers to bed,” Elaine called.
Popovers were very carefully put to bed and tenderly said goodbye to the day.
“I can’t play with you tonight,” said Eileen. “I’m going somewhere with Aunt Amelia.”
And you know, the Pop Over family was so tired that they slept all afternoon. They were not used to leading such an exciting life, you see.
That night, when the playroom was getting dark, a scratching, scratching, scratching occurred in the wall.
“Mommy,” Velvetina called out loud in a whisper, it’s a peanut! I know it is! “
It was peanuts, oh! How happy the Popovers were to see their little friend again. After all, it was quite a change from an attic to a playroom and the Popovers couldn’t help but feel a little weird.
Peanuts wanted to know everything that happened to them that day.
“Do you like downstairs?” he asked, when they had finished telling him what they had done, “Do you like it better here than you do in the attic?”
Mr. Popover was the first to answer.
“My legs got really stiff when we were riding today, but I think the change will be good for all of us,” he said, shaking his head.
“It’s a very exciting life,” said little Mrs. Popover, “and I’ll love it for a little while if I get along with the kids. But it’s a mercy that Loo-Loo wasn’t colicky on that flight this morning.”
“Do you like her, Velvetina?” Peanut asked. And he was more pleased than words could tell when Velvetina answered,
“Yeah, Peanuts, I love it here, and I love Elaine, too. But, Peanuts, I love you most of all.”
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