The Story of a China Cat


Toot! Toot! Tootity-toot-toot!
«Goodness me! who is blowing the horn?» asked the Talking Doll, as she sat up on the shelf in the toy shop. «This isn’t Friday; and we don’t want any fish!»
«Speak for yourself, if you please,» said a large, white China Cat, who had just finished washing a few specks of dirt off her shiny coat with her red tongue. «I could enjoy a bit of fish right now.»
«I should rather have pie,» said the Talking Doll. «But who blew the horn? That is what I’d like to know. No one has a horn in this toy shop that I know anything about.»
«It wasn’t a horn-that was a trumpet,» said another voice. «I’ll blow it again!»
Then there sounded a jolly noise through the quiet toy shop, which was in darkness except for one electric light in the middle of the store.
Toot! Toot! Tootity-toot-toot! echoed the merry notes.
«What a pretty sound,» said the Jumping Jack, as he jerked his arms and legs up and down, for he had just awakened from his long day of sleep.
«Isn’t it nice,» agreed Tumbling Tom, a queer toy who never could stand up, because he was made in such a funny way that he always fell down. «I wonder if there is going to be a parade?»
«Who is blowing that horn, anyway?» asked the Talking Doll.
«I tell you it isn’t a horn-it’s a trumpet, and I am blowing it,» said a voice in the front part of the toy store. «I came in only to-day, but I thought perhaps you other toys would like a little music, so I tuned up my trumpet. But please don’t call it a horn. I am not a fish man!»
With that there came walking along the shelf, from the front part of the store, a little man wearing a blue coat, dark red trousers, and a hat with a long, sweeping plume. I say he was a little man, but I mean he was a toy, dressed up like a man such as you see in fairy stories. In his hand he carried a little golden trumpet.
As he walked along the shelf, where the other toys stood, the Trumpeter, for such he was, blew another blast on his golden instrument.