While Debbie and Tori chatted about their outfits, Anais motioned to Wren to follow her.
Wren knew she was up to something, and sure enough, Anais was looking at the next doll to rescue.
On the other end of the table, Debbie and Tori were sitll conversing about their outfits. “Are you sure you want to leave your hairnet on?” Debbie asked. “It doesn’t look very comfortable.”
“Well, I think I had better, for the time being,” Tori replied. “You see, I have some very stylish curls that I’d like to preserve.”
Debbie still didn’t think it was comfortable, but she changed the subject, and they began talking about the Victorian collection instead.
“Hmm,” said Anais, looking thoughtfully at the box. “In this box is Catarina, the Celtic Dancer… she looks like she’s still asleep, so we’d better leave her be until she’s ready to come out of her box.”
“How can you tell when a doll is awake?” asked Wren, who had never seen her fellow dolls asleep.
“It’s easy to tell,” Anais replied. “They usually have a smile on their face… like Catarina here. She looks so peaceful… how about we tackle a different column of boxes, instead?”
Wren didn’t mind, so they moved over to focus on the next column.
“I have a feeling I know who this is,” said Anais. “I’ve only met her briefly, but she’s quite the character. She’s a portrayal of Raggedy Anne, but in her opinion, the name Anne was too common, so she calls herself Annette. It is more stylized, though I’d say her personality is far more outgoing for such a soft-spoken name.”
“How do you mean?” asked Wren.
“Well, she loves to talk and help out, and she’s very bright and chipper. You’ll understand when you meet her.”
Wren wasn’t sure whether to be excited or nervous at the thought of someone so outgoing, but she thought it would be a welcome change to Debbie and the rest of the dolls being so serious all the time.
Slowly and steadily, Anais tilted the box for Wren to catch down below.
“I’m not sure if we have this box upside down….”
“Even if we do,” said Wren, “it’ll only be for a few moments. I think this Annette fellow will be happy to be out anyway.”
When the box was safely down on the tabletop, Wren lifted the lid, while Anais watched in anticipation.
“Hi, Annette,” said Wren, to the doll who looked half asleep. Annette didn’t reply. Wren began to worry whether Anais was right, and if carrying the box upside down had jarred the poor doll’s head. “Um, hi!” Wren said, a little louder.
Anais, who understood Wren’s concern, suggested, “Why don’t we tilt the box upright, so her eyes will stay open?”
Wren had forgotten that Madame Alexander dolls had sleep eyes. With a sigh of relief, she and Anais tilted the box up. Once Annette’s box was upright, the redhead opened her eyes, and looked around sleepily.
“Where am I…?” she asked.
“You’re in our new home,” said Anais, from above. “Quite a few of us came here, so you’ll see a bunch of familiar faces. Do you feel awake enough to get out of your box?”
“I can try,” said Annette. She peeked at Wren, who quickly introduced herself.
By the time Annette was up and out of her box, Debbie and Tori had turned to see what all the commotion was about.
Annette, who was now wide awake, exclaimed, “Tori! You’re here too! I’m so happy to see you!”
“I’m so happy to see you too, dear friend,” said Tori, as Annette hurried over to hug her best friend.
“I thought we’d be going to different homes,” said Tori, “but I’m so glad we’re both here!”
“This worked out perfectly, then,” said Annette, delightedly.
Up on the boxes, Anais said to Wren, “This is going to be a very crowded table very soon, with so many of us coming out of our boxes!”
Wren concurred. “Shall we see who to bring out next?”
To be continued….