Marcella had received a new doll. It was handmade by her great-great grandmother. Marcella lovingly placed her new doll on a shelf in her playroom, and left to go see her great-great grandmother. The new doll blinked and looked down. Different dolls and toys had gathered below the shelf, and were looking up at her. Two dolls in particular, Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy looked at the new doll, in wonder. "Can you believe it, Annie? She's another rag doll! Like us!" Andy said, smiling. Ann returned the smile. "I didn't think we'd see another rag doll here. I heard Marcella's father speaking a few minutes ago. He was saying how she's hand made." Ann replied. Ann was the first to address this new friend. "Uh, excuse me, do you need help getting down?" Ann called. The doll found her voice. It was a little hoarse at first, but became clearer the more she spoke. "Yes, please!" She called back, "How are you going to do that though? It's awfully high!" Andy laughed. "Are you kidding? We're professionals at getting others off of high places!" The doll gave him a smile. "Well, it's certainly appreciated!" She said. The toys grabbed a blanket sitting on a nearby chair, and held it like a trampoline. "Alright now jump!" Ann yelled. The doll was taken aback. "You sure?!" She cried. "As sure as we'll ever be!" Andy replied, "Don't be scared, it's perfectly safe!"
The doll shrugged, closed her eyes and jumped off the shelf, onto the make shift trampoline. The toys cheered, and gave her a warm welcome. The doll thanked everyone for helping her. "I believe my name is Clarice. At least that's what the little girl called me." "Then your name will be Clarice." Ann said, helping Clarice to her feet. "Well, you know my name, but what's your's?" Clarice asked. "My name is Raggedy Ann, and this my brother Andy."
Andy politely tipped his hat to Clarice, causing her to smile. Clarice was a nice looking doll. Her hair was similar to Ann and Andy's but was a honey brown, and hung in two twin braids. She wore a royal purple button dress, with royal purple shoes to match. Her nose was button, her smile was painted on, and she wore glasses. Ann helped Clarice to her feet, but she had trouble walking. "What's the matter? Don't you know how to walk?" Ann asked. Clarice shook her head. "I'm afraid it's a new concept!" She giggled. "That's alright! We can help you learn how!" Andy replied.
As Clarice learned how to walk, her legs wobbled here and there, but she eventually got the hang of it. It took fifteen minutes, but even then her walking wasn't perfect. Ann suddenly thought of something. "Oh my goodness! You were created today right?" She asked. Clarice nodded. "Yes. I remember waking up earlier this morning." "You know what that means don't you?" Ann replied, excitedly. Clarice was confused. "No," She said, with a puzzled look on her face, "I don't. What does it mean?"
"It means, it's your birthday!" Ann cried. Clarice's confusion grew. "Birthday? What's a birthday?" Ann thought for a second. "Well, it's a special day. It's the day that you were created on, and there's a big party, with balloons, games, cake, and presents!" Ann explained. Clarice beamed brightly. "That sounds like fun!" She replied. "Alright everybody, everybody needs to go into the closet to discuss something." Ann said, after a minute. She pulled Andy and the camel, with the not so wrinkled knees aside. "Listen," Ann whispered, "the rest of us are going to plan a surprise party for Clarice. I need you guys to distract her, and not let her hear what we're doing. Can you do that?" "You bet!" Andy replied, "Clarice won't hear a single word!" Ann hugged her brother and the camel. "You guys are the best!" Ann said, before her and the rest of the toys, ran to the closet and shut the door. Now Clarice was very confused. "What's going on?" She asked. "Oh nothing." Andy replied. "Certainly nothing, you'd be interested in." Clarice raised an eyebrow. "That so?" She inquired, with a smirk. "Sure is." The camel answered.
"Why don't Camel and I take you on a tour of the backyard?" Andy suggested. "Marcella takes us there all the time." Clarice nodded. Andy helped Clarice and the camel out the window, and into the yard. Clarice marveled how big it was. There was a pond, a slide, a swing set, a tunnel to crawl through, and a small wishing well. "Pretty isn't it?" Camel asked. Clarice nodded excitedly, "Yes very pretty!" Camel and Andy winked at one another. So far so good. Everything was going according to plan. "What's that thing?" Clarice asked, pointing at the slide. "It's the slide," Andy replied, "You climb the steps, sit, and just slide down! Marcella does it all the time."
"Have you been on it?"
"Loads of times. C'mon, I'll show ya!" They both climbed the ladder, up to the top. It took Clarice a second or two to get used to climbing. Once they both reached the top, Clarice got a much better view of the yard. "Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the fantastic view up here. You can really see the koi pond. There's neat fish in that pond. Once we slide down, I can show you!" Clarice looked down into the slide. It was a curving, spiral, enclosed slide, that looked somewhat intimidating to Clarice. "I don't know, Andy. It looks kind of scary. It's dark down there." Clarice observed. "Then we'll go down together, it'll be fun!" Andy said. Andy allowed Camel to go first. He and Clarice followed shortly after. Both sat down, Clarice behind Andy, still somewhat anxious. Andy began counting down. "3... 2..." Clarice wrapped her arms around Andy's stomach. "1!" Clarice drew in a deep breath, as Andy let go of the two bars, and the two slid down.
It wasn't as scary as Clarice thought. It was actually pretty fun. They both came out, the other end, laughing. "What did I tell ya? Fun right?" Andy asked, handing Clarice her glasses. "We'll have to do this again!" Clarice said, "I'd like to see the koi pond though." Andy led Clarice to the pond in the middle of the yard. It was a nice little pond. You could clearly see the koi swimming around, and there were a few decorations on the side. The trio remained in the yard for a few hours, until Ann was giving the camel the signal for them to come back inside. "We should go back inside now," The camel suggested, "The sun's setting, and we don't want Marcella to not be able to find us." The camel gave Andy a knowing smirk. "Yeah, we should probably get back inside." Andy agreed. The camel and Ann helped Clarice and Andy through the window. Interestingly enough to Clarice, it was dark. "Why's it so dark in here?" She inquired. "Now! Somebody get the lights!" Andy cried. The lights came on, and a sudden yell of "Surprise!" from everyone, gave Clarice a start.
Once she recovered, she meekly asked, "Is this a party? For my birthday?" Ann laughed. "You bet it is! That's why I had Andy and Camel distract you! We couldn't have you knowing!" There were balloons, a medium small cake, and a few presents, just as Ann had described. "But how...How did you do it, without Marcella knowing?" Clarice asked. "Lucky for us, Marcella and her parents went out for dinner." The camel replied. After cake, it was time to open presents, which was to Clarice's liking. She received a fancy dress from Babette, A new outfit from the friendly pin cushion woman, a spy class from Captain Contagious, a bow for her hair from Ann, and combined gift from both Ann and Andy: A paper daisy that was purple. She received a fair amount of gifts and was very happy with her new friends. Everyone had a wonderful time, playing party games and having fun. When it was over, Clarice thanked her new friends, over and over. "I cannot thank everyone enough for today. I am so grateful to have met such great friends. Thank you so much!"
Later that evening, the toys settled down for bed. Maxie had made Clarice a bed, and she slept well that night, with her paper daisy under her pillow.