The Curlytops at Uncle Frank's Ranch or Little Folks on Ponyback

Language: English
Published: 1 month ago
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"Say, Jan, this isn't any fun!"

"What do you want to play then, Ted?"

Janet Martin looked at her brother, who was dressed in one of his father's coats and hats while across his nose was a pair of spectacles much too large for him. Janet, wearing one of her mother's skirts, was sitting in a chair holding a doll.

"Well, I'm tired of playing doctor, Jan, and giving your make-believe sick doll bread pills. I want to do something else," and Teddy began taking off the coat, which was so long for him that it dragged on the ground.

"Oh, I know what we can do that'll be lots of fun!" cried Janet, getting up from the chair so quickly that she forgot about her doll, which fell to the floor with a crash that might have broken her head.

"Oh, my dear!" cried Janet, as she had often heard her mother call when Baby William tumbled and hurt himself. "Oh, are you hurt?" and Janet clasped the doll in her arms, and hugged it as though it were a real child.

"Is she busted?" Ted demanded, but he did not ask as a real doctor might inquire. In fact, he had stopped playing doctor.

"No, she isn't hurt, I guess," Jan answered, feeling of her doll's head. "I forgot all about her being in my lap. Oh, aren't you going to play any more, Ted?" she asked as she saw her brother toss the big coat on a chair and take off the spectacles.

"No. I want to do something else. This is no fun!"

"Well, let's make-believe you're sick and I can be a Red Cross nurse, like some of those we saw in the drugstore window down the street, making bandages for the soldiers. You could be a soldier, Ted, and I could be the nurse, and I'd make some sugar pills for you, if you don't like the rolled-up bread ones you gave my doll."

Teddy Martin thought this over for a few seconds. He seemed to like it. And then he shook his head.

"No," he answered his sister, "I couldn't be a soldier."

"Why not?"

"'Cause I haven't got a gun and there isn't any tent."

"We could make a tent with a sheet off the bed like we do lots of times. Put it over a chair, you know."

"But I haven't a gun," Teddy went on. He knew that he and Janet could make a tent, for they had often done it before.

"Couldn't you take a broom for a gun?" Janet asked. "I'll get it from the kitchen."

"Pooh! What good is a broom for a gun? I want one that shoots! Anyhow I haven't a uniform, and a soldier can't go to war without a uniform or a sword or a gun. I'm not going to play that!"

Janet did not know what to say for a few seconds. Truly a soldier would not be much of one without a gun or a uniform, even if he was in a tent. But the little girl had not given up yet.

The day was a rainy one. There was no school, for it was Saturday, and staying in the house was no great fun. Janet wanted her brother to stay and play with her and she knew she must do something to make him. For a while he had been content to play that he was Dr. Thompson, come to give medicine to Jan's sick doll. But Teddy had become tired of this after paying half a dozen visits and leaving pills made by rolling bread crumbs together....