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Finally, Anja had another idea. “Hey, here’s something else you might like …”

Anja picked up a little music box from her shelf. It was made of beautifully carved wood covered with gold leaf and encrusted with colorful jewels.

“What is it?” asked Ella.

“Just watch!”

Anja wound a key on the bottom of the little golden box and set it back on the shelf. Then she opened the top. A beautiful melody began to play and a tiny mechanical ballerina balanced on one toe and spun in place.

“Ooh! Hee-hee-hee!” squealed Ella, “She looks like Sniff, all in pink!”

Sniff flew over and giggled, “Hee-hee-hee! She does look like me!”

“Yes, I guess she does, a little,” agreed Anja.

Ella flew to the music box and tried to speak to the ballerina.

“Hello, I’m Ella. What’s your name?”

The ballerina just kept spinning. So, Ella stood next to her and tried to spin the same way. She fell over and dropped her buttercup parasol at the foot of the ballerina.

“Well, you’re such a lovely dancer, you should keep it,” said Ella as she flew back to Anja, “whatever your name is!”

Pucker flew over to get a better look, “Say, what’s this?” he asked. Then he landed on the music box and tried to dance with the little ballerina, but she just kept turning and turning in place, knocking him off. So, he flew up to play on a silk kite in the shape of a butterfly that was hanging from the ceiling instead. The music started to slow down and so did the ballerina. Then, they stopped.

“Why did she stop?” asked Ella.

“The spring ran out. Gotta wind her up every time,” answered Anja as she closed the music box with the buttercup still inside. Ella looked puzzled.

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ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHT © 2007 JEFFREY K. BEDRICK