Gateway to the Classics: The Way of the Gate by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
 
The Way of the Gate by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Blue and White China Dishes

They were almost as large as real blue and white china dishes. There were a great many of them, a teapot, and a sugar bowl, and a milk pitcher, and four cups, and four saucers, and four plates.

They came to Dolly's and Molly's house early in the morning of Thanksgiving Day. As soon as Dolly and Molly saw them, they jumped up and down and clapped their hands and shouted together.

"Oh, they are mine! The blue and white china dishes are mine!"

Then Dolly took the box of dishes in her arms and hugged them, and Molly took away the box of dishes from Dolly and hugged them. Then Dolly tried to take the box back. This made the dishes feel badly. They rattled about and said as well as they could

"Dishes for two, dishes for two,

Some for Molly, and some for you."

So Dolly and Molly set the blue and white china dishes on. their little round table, and Dolly began to divide them. "One blue and white plate for you, Molly, and one for me," she said. "One for a little loaf of bread for you, and one for a little loaf of frosted cake for me." Then Dolly looked at the dear little blue and white cups and saucers. There was a blue flower on each cup. On each saucer there was only a blue band.

"Two saucers for you and two cups for me," said Dolly. Then Molly reached out her arms and pulled the blue and white teapot and the sugar bowl and the milk pitcher toward her.

"Here is one cover for you, Dolly, and here is another cover for you," she said, holding the teapot and the sugar bowl fast. "Then I shall have the milk pitcher," exclaimed Dolly taking it away from Molly.

Then Dolly and Molly looked at each other's frowning faces and at the little play table with the mixed up play dishes. The little china dishes did not look as beautiful to Dolly and Molly as they had at first. The two little sisters went away from the play room. After they had gone, the wind blowing in through the play room door rattled the little. blue and white dishes. They seemed to say again

"Dishes for two, dishes for two,

Some for Molly, and some for you."

Then mother came in and heard the rattling, clattering song of the mixed up little dishes. She began straightening them out, putting each cup in its own saucer and the covers in their proper places upon the tea pot and sugar bowl. She set one plate and one cup and saucer, side by side, on opposite ends of the table. In the middle of the table she set the little blue and white tea pot and sugar bowl and milk pitcher. Upon each of the little blue and white plates she laid two' fat turkey sandwiches, and a thick slice of frosted cake.

How beautiful the table and the little blue and white china dishes looked now Then mother called Dolly and Molly. They came back, laughing with happiness, and sat down to their Thanksgiving party.

And Molly made Dolly eat one of her turkey sandwiches because it had a little more turkey inside than Dolly's. And Dolly made Molly eat her piece of cake because it had thicker frosting than Molly's. Then both little girls sang together the song of all the little blue and white china dishes:

"Thanksgiving for two, Thanksgiving for two,

Thanksgiving for me, dear, but first for you."

Not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.

—Philippians ii. 4.


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