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       Karen's Doll, p.4

           Ann M. Martin
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  When they left, I took my baby doll into my arms. No matter what else had happened, I was gigundoly glad to have her back.

  Friends Again

  “How are you feeling today, Karen?” Ms. Colman asked me on Friday.

  “Better. I got my doll back,” I replied. I did not want to tell Ms. Colman that Nancy and I were not friends anymore. I did not want her to feel bad.

  When I sat down at my desk, Hannie came over. “Hi, Karen. This note is for you. It’s from Nancy.”

  Here is what the note said: “To Karen, ex-Musketeer. You are not my gym partner anymore.”

  I wrote back: “Good!”

  “Please give this to Nancy,” I said to Hannie.

  “Okay,” she replied. “But I am not a messenger service. This is the last note.”

  When I finished my reading assignment, I turned around and waved to Hannie. I hoped Nancy knew I was not waving to her. (They sit next to each other.)

  “All right, class,” said Ms. Colman. “Everyone please get your things and line up for gym.”

  I was first in line. Nancy was ready, too. But she kept letting kids get in front of her so we would be as far apart as possible. She ended up all the way at the back of the line.

  I had to be gym partners with Natalie Springer. She is kind of a drip. Especially when it comes to gym.

  It was turning into a long day. Being mad at Nancy Dawes, dollnapper, was no fun.

  It turned out Nancy thought it was no fun being mad at me, either. On Saturday morning, she came over to the little house.

  “Hi, Karen,” she said. “I want to talk to you. I want to say I’m sorry. I know that everything that happened with Hyacynthia was just a big mix-up. You were being nice when you sent her to keep me company at the hospital. I guess I got embarrassed when I realized you wanted her back. I want us to be friends again.”

  “I want to be friends, too,” I replied. “I am sorry I got mad and called you stupid. I know you’re not.”

  We both felt a little uncomfortable then. We did not say anything for a minute. Then I thought of something.

  “I know you like Hyacynthia a lot. I even thought of asking you to be her godmother someday. But I have a better idea,” I said. “We could have joint custody. Sort of like my mommy and daddy. That way we could share her. She could live with you for two weeks, then with me for two weeks.”

  “Wow, Karen! That would be neat. Thanks,” said Nancy.

  “I have to ask Mommy first,” I said. “I do not want to get into trouble again. At least not so soon.”

  Mommy said it was all right. She said Nancy and I just had to try as hard as we could to be careful with Hyacynthia.

  We were on our way back to my room to tell Hyacynthia the good news when the phone rang. Mommy answered it.

  “Karen!” she called. “It’s for you. It’s Kristy.”

  Sharing Hyacynthia

  Oops. I was remembering something. Something about a letter. A mean and nasty letter to Kristy.

  “You did not sign the letter, Karen,” Kristy was saying. “But I know it was from you. I’m confused. What did I do?”

  “I better tell you the whole story,” I said. And for the fourth time, I took a deep breath and explained how Hyacynthia was only supposed to be a loaner. And that I got mad at Kristy for letting Nancy think I was giving it to her for keeps.

  “But I know it was not your fault,” I said. “I didn’t really explain things when I gave you my doll. I am sorry I sent you the hate letter. I do not hate you one bit.”

  “It’s okay,” said Kristy. “I am sorry I caused such a mess.”

  I felt a million times better. Nobody was mad at anybody anymore. I started thinking maybe I should have told the truth to begin with. It looked as though Mommy and Ms. Colman were right. The truth does work.

  Vroom! Vroom! Andrew was racing his bus through the living room.

  “Buses are not supposed to go so fast,” I told him.

  “There is a policeman on board. We have to chase a robber!” said Andrew. “After we catch the robber, do you want to give Hyacinnamon a ride on my bus?”

  “It’s Hyacynthia. And, later we would love a ride,” I replied. But just then I had a better idea.

  “Do you want to take Hyacynthia for a walk in my doll carriage?” I asked Nancy. I was happy. That seemed like a good way to celebrate.

  “Okay,” Nancy agreed.

  We went upstairs and bundled up Hyacynthia.

  “I really like her new outfit. Do you have any more beads? Maybe we could make matching necklaces for ourselves. And we could make one for Hannie, too,” I suggested.

  “Sure,” said Nancy.

  Hyacynthia was all dressed and ready to go. We decided to take the carriage downstairs first. Then we would put Hyacynthia in it. We did not want her bumping down any stairs.

  We put her gently in the carriage. Then we covered her with a blanket and pushed her carefully out the door.

  “ ’Bye, Mommy! We’re taking Hyacynthia for a walk now,” I called.

  When we reached the sidewalk, we just stood there. Who was going to push the carriage first?

  “I know what,” I said. “Let’s push the carriage together.”

  We each took a side. Then we rolled our baby doll proudly down the street.

  About the Author

  ANN M. MARTIN is the acclaimed and bestselling author of a number of novels and series, including Belle Teal, A Corner of the Universe (a Newbery Honor book), A Dog’s Life, Here Today, P.S. Longer Letter Later (written with Paula Danziger), the Family Tree series, the Doll People series (written with Laura Godwin), the Main Street series, and the generation-defining series The Baby-sitters Club. She lives in New York.

  Copyright © 1991 by Ann M. Martin

  All rights reserved. Published by Scholastic Inc., Publishers since 1920. SCHOLASTIC, BABY-SITTERS LITTLE SISTER, and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Scholastic Inc.

  The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

  All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher. For information regarding permission, write to Scholastic Inc., Attention: Permissions Department, 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  First edition, 1991

  e-ISBN 978-1-338-05605-1



  Ann M. Martin, Karen's Doll



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