The School Children’s Doll Exchange

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Native Alaskan doll, hand-carved.

Several years ago, a friend filled a box with pretty things he thought Alaskan kids would love. He sent her to a missionary school there. The children were filled with joy when the surprise box came.

The teacher told the children that she thought they should write a thank you note to their new friend.

“Wouldn’t you like to do that?” she asked.

Children nodded. One friend, the youngest of all, kept nodding his head up and down, up and down, like a mechanical donkey. He wanted his teacher to know that he wanted to do what she wanted to do. He continued this gesture for so long that the children noticed it and laughed.

“Look how he keeps his head going,” said one of the older children. “It’s ridiculous, because he can’t write.”

The boy said stubbornly: “I don’t want to write. I will send a gift box.”

Children exclaimed at this remark.

The teacher raised her hand for silence.

“That’s a nice idea,” she said. “We’ll send a gift box. We’ll put fur bedroom slippers and a few little totem poles that the older boys have carved. And a doll. The cutest doll we’ve got.” At that time, all heads began to nod again. And so it was decided.

And this is the Eskimo that was put in the box. He is a very cool doll, made by hand and his clothes are sewn from the fur worn by the people he represents.

His outer garment is called a tunic. The stitches in it are small enough for a professional sleep tailor to make.

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