Little Never-upset was a roly-poly fellow, with weights in his little body so placed that no matter how he was treated or tumbled about he always bobbed up smiling. His face was a jolly little round one, with a smile that could not be rubbed off, and no matter how the other toys fussed or disputed among themselves, Little Never-upset did not take a part.
One night when the clock struck the midnight hour Miss French Doll and Miss Calico Doll began to fuss.
“You treated me very badly,” said Miss Calico Doll. “When we were in the carriage riding in the park one would have thought we did not live in the same playroom.”
“Why do you not have something to wear besides that old calico dress?” asked Miss French Doll. “I never was so disgraced as when we met Miss Marie Doll in her beautiful clothes. I am sure she wondered who you were.”
“Anyone would think you never had a broken arm and had to go to the hospital,” replied Miss Calico Doll. “You were a sorry-looking sight without your hand and part of your arm, but I did not feel ashamed of you when we sat in our chairs on the front porch.”
“That is a very different thing,” said Miss French Doll, with a toss of her head. “I could not help having an accident.”
“I cannot help wearing this calico dress,” said Miss Calico Doll. “It is painted on me just like my face.”
“My goodness!” exclaimed Jack-in-a-box, jumping up with a spring, “whatever is all the trouble? A body cannot get an extra wink for you two fussing.”
“Bow-wow-wow!” barked little Dog-on-wheels, “why don’t you scare a body right out of his skin, Jack? I was asleep right beside your box.”
Teddy Bear began to growl. “Anyone would think this was a menagerie instead of a playroom,” he said.
“Yes, they would,” said Calico Cat, with a spiteful twist of her tail. “Your growl helps me to make it real.”
Calico Cat humped her back ready to spring at Teddy if he answered, and Little Dog-on-wheels barked, ready to jump at any one who gave him the least cause.
Jack-in-a-box quivered on his spring with anger because French Doll told him he had no legs and he better keep quiet, while Miss Calico Doll tried to think of something spiteful to say to Miss French Doll.
It was this very moment that Little Never-upset, who was listening to all the fussing from the shelf where he was sitting, set a good example to the playroom toys.
“Get off my shelf!” said old Elephant, who always stood there and thought he owned it, and as he spoke he gave Little Never-upset a bang with his trunk and over he went on the floor, right on his head!
All the toys stopped fussing to watch, and quick as a flash up jumped Little Never-upset on his feet and rolled from side to side with laughter.
“You are the best-natured fellow I ever saw,” said Teddy Bear. “Don’t you feel like paying Elephant back for doing that?”
“Not a bit,” answered Little Never-upset; “life is too short to quarrel. Think of all the fun you lose taking time to wrangle.”
“You are right,” said Teddy Bear. “What was all the fuss about, anyway?”
No one could say just what began it, and in a few minutes everybody was laughing and having a good time, and all because Little Never-upset had bobbed up smiling.
Old Elephant took time, however, to lean over the shelf and call to Little Never-upset. “Say, old fellow, I am sorry I was so rude,” he said. “Come up again and stay as long as you like.”
And Little Never-upset nodded his head and said he would, smiling as if he never had been tumbled off the shelf.