Raggedy Andy, Raggedy Ann, Uncle Clem and Henny were not given medicine because, you see, they had no mouths. That is, mouths through which medicine could be poured. Their mouths were either painted on, or were sewed on with yarn.
Sometimes the medicine spoon would be touched to their faces but none of the liquid be given to them, except accidentally. But the French doll had a lovely mouth for taking medicine; it was open and showed her teeth in a dimpling smile. She also had soft brown eyes which opened and closed when she was tilted backward or forward.
The medicine which was given the dolls had great curing properties. It would cure the most stubborn case of croup, measles, whooping cough or any other ailment the dolls had wished upon them by their little Girl.
Some days all the dolls would be put in bed with “measles” but in the course of half an hour they would have every other ailment in the Doctor book. The dolls enjoyed it very much, for, you see, their little girl, Marcella, always tried the medicine first to see if it was strong enough before she gave any to the dolls.
So the dolls really did not get as much of the medicine as their little girl. The wonderful remedy was made from a very old recipe handed down from ancient times. This recipe is guaranteed to cure every ill a doll may have. The medicine was made from brown sugar and water. Perhaps you may have used it for your dollies. The medicine was also used as “tea” and “soda water,” except when the dolls were supposed to be ill.
Having nothing but painted or yarn mouths, the sicknesses that Raggedy Andy, Raggedy Ann, Uncle Clem and Henny, the Dutch doll, mostly consisted of sprained wrists, arms and legs, or perhaps a headache and a toothache.
None of them knew they had the trouble until Marcella had wrapped up the “injured” rag arm, leg or head, and had explained in detail just what was the matter.
Raggedy Andy, Raggedy Ann, Uncle Clem, or Henny were just as happy with their heads tied up for the toothache as they were without their heads tied up. Not having teeth, naturally they could not have the toothache, but if they could furnish amusement for Marcella by having her pretend they had the toothache, then that made them very happy.
So this day, the French doll was quite ill. She started out with the “croup,” and went through the “measles,” “whooping cough,” and “yellow fever” in an hour. The attack came on quite suddenly.
The French doll was sitting quietly in one of the little red chairs, smiling the prettiest of dimpling smiles at Raggedy Andy, and thinking of all the fun that the dolls would have that night after the house grew quiet, when Marcella discovered that the French doll had the “croup” and put her to bed. The French doll closed her eyes when put to bed, but the rest of her face did not change expression. She still wore her happy smile.
Marcella mixed the medicine very “strong” and poured it into the French doll’s open mouth. She was given a “dose” every minute or so. It was during the “yellow fever” stage that Marcella was called to supper and left the dolls in the nursery alone.
Marcella did not play with them again that evening; so the dolls all remained in the same position until Marcella and the rest of the folks went to bed.
Then Raggedy Andy jumped from his chair and wound up the little music box. “Let’s start with a lively dance!” he cried. When the music started tinkling he caught the French doll’s hand, and danced ‘way across the nursery floor before he discovered that her soft brown eyes remained closed as they were when she lay upon the “sick” bed.
All the dolls gathered around Raggedy Andy and the French doll. “I can’t open my eyes!” she said. Raggedy Andy tried to open the French doll’s eyes with his soft rag hands, but it was no use.
They shook her. This sometimes has the desired effect when dolls do not open their eyes. They shook her again and again. It was no use, her eyes remained closed. “It must be the sticky, sugary ‘medicine’!” said Uncle Clem.
“I really believe it must be!” the French doll replied. “The ‘medicine’ seemed to settle in the back of my head when I was lying down, and I can still feel it back there!”
“That must be it, and now it has hardened and keeps your pretty eyes from working!” said Raggedy Ann. “What shall we do?”
Raggedy Andy and Raggedy Ann walked over to a corner of the nursery and thought and thought. They pulled their foreheads down into wrinkles with their hands, so that they might think harder. Finally Raggedy Ann cried, “I’ve thought of a plan!” and went skipping from the corner out to where the other dolls sat about the French doll.
“We must stand her upon her head, then the ‘medicine’ will run up into her hair, for there is a hole in the top of her head. I remember seeing it when her hair came off one time!”
“No sooner said than done!” cried Uncle Clem, as he took the French doll by the waist and stood her upon her head.
“That should be long enough!” Raggedy Ann said, when Uncle Clem had held the French doll in this position for five minutes. But when the French doll was again placed upon her feet her eyes still remained tightly closed. All this time, Raggedy Andy had remained in the corner, thinking as hard as his rag head would think.
He thought and thought, until the yarn hair upon his head stood up in the air and wiggled. “If the ‘medicine’ did not run up into her hair when she stood upon her head,” thought Raggedy Andy, “then it is because the ‘medicine’ could not run; so, if the medicine can not run, it is because it is too sticky and thick to run out the hole in the top of her head.” He also thought a lot more.
At last he turned to the others and said out loud, “I can’t seem to think of a single way to help her open her eyes unless we take off her hair and wash the medicine from inside her china head.”
“Why didn’t I think of that?” Raggedy Ann asked. “That is just the way we shall have to do!” So Raggedy Ann caught hold of the French doll’s feet, and Raggedy Andy caught hold of the French doll’s lively curls, and they pulled and they pulled.
Then the other dolls caught hold of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy and pulled and pulled, until finally, “R-R-Rip!” the French doll’s hair came off, and the dolls who were pulling went tumbling over backwards. Laughingly they scrambled to their feet and sat the French doll up, so they might look into the hole in the top of her head.
Yes, the sticky “medicine” had grown hard and would not let the French doll’s eyes open. Raggedy Andy put his hand inside and pushed on the eyes so that they opened. This was all right, only now the eyes would not close when the French doll lay down. She tried it.
So Raggedy Andy ran down into the kitchen and brought up a small tin cup full of warm water and a tiny rag. With these he loosened the sticky “medicine” and washed the inside of the French doll’s head nice and clean.
There were lots of cookie and cracker crumbs inside her head, too. Raggedy Andy washed it all nice and clean, and then wet the glue which made the pretty curls stay on. So when her hair was placed upon her head again, the French doll was as good as new.
“Thank you all very much!” she said, as she tilted backwards and forwards, and found that her eyes worked very easily.
Raggedy Andy again wound up the little music box and, catching the French doll about the waist, started a rollicking dance which lasted until the roosters in the neighborhood began their morning crowing.
Then, knowing the folks might soon be awake, the dolls left off their playing, and all took the same positions they had been in when Marcella left them the night before.
And so Marcella found them. The French doll was in bed with her eyes closed, and her happy dimpling smile lighting up her pretty face.
And to this day, the dollies’ little girl does not know that Raggedy Andy was the doctor who cured the French doll of her only illness.