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Of course the reason that all the children in our town like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is because Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle likes them. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle likes children, she enjoys talking to them and best of all they do not irritate her.
When Molly O'Toole was looking at the colored pictures in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's big dictionary and just happened to be eating a candy cane at the same time and drooled candy cane juice on the colored pictures of gems and then forgot and shut the book so the pages all stuck together, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle didn't say, "Such a careless little girl can never ever look at the colored pictures in my big dictionary again." Nor did she say, "You must never look at books when you are eating." She said, "Let's see, I think we can steam those pages apart, and then we can wipe the stickiness off with a little soap and water, like this -- now see, it's just as good as new. There's nothing as cozy as a piece of candy and a book. Don't look so embarrassed, Molly, I almost drool every time I look at those gems -- which one is your favorite? -- I think mine is the Lapis Lazuli."
When Dicky Williams, who was showing off for Patsy by riding in his wagon with his eyes shut, crashed through Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's basement window and landed in the coal bin, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle laughed so much she bad to sit down on the front steps and wipe her eyes with her apron. Dicky was awfully scared and was going to sneak out the basement door and go home, but Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, still laughing, leaned through the broken window and said, "Hand me the putty knife and that can of putty off the shelf and then go get me that pane of glass leaning against thewall over there by the furnace. Thank you very much. Now watch carefully, Dicky, because putting in window glass is something that every boy should know how to do. Especially boys who ride wagons with their eyes closed."
When Marilyn Matson who was helping Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle serve tea dropped and broke her brown teapot she said, "Well, that's the luckiest thing I've ever known-you didn't get a drop of hot tea on you and you broke that nasty teapot with the leaky spout that I've hated for fifteen years. Tomorrow I'll go to town and buy a new one -- I think I'll get pink and I'm going to test the spout before I buy it." "But what about the tea?" said Marilyn, wiping her tears on her sleeve. "Make it in the coffee pot," said Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, "and we'll call it toffee."
Another nice thing about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, when a child makes her a present no matter how splotchy or crooked it might be, she uses it and keeps it where everyone can see it.
Johnny Wilfred made her a vase out of a meat sauce bottle with such a little neck that only flowers with stems like hairs would fit in it. Not only that but he painted it a sort of bilious green and the paint was too thick and ran down the sides in warty lumps. But Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle loves Johnny and she loves the warty vase because Johnny made it for her, and she keeps it on the window sill above the sink with at least one flower, gasping for breath, jammed through its little neck. Every time Johnny comes into her kitchen he points proudly to the vase and says, "Do you see that pretty vase over there on the window sill. Well, I made it for Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, didn!t I, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle?"
When Susan Gray came staggering over with a plate of the first cookies she had ever made for Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle didn't take one look at the tannish gray lumps and say, 'Wo Thanh You!" She said, "Why, Susan Gray, you smart girl. Eight years old and already making cookies! You're going to make somebody a very fine wife." "Yeah, somebody with good teeth," said Hubert Prentiss who had taken one of the gray lumps and bad found that trying to eat it was like biting on a stone. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle took the cookie away from him and said, "Oh, Hubert, these are special cookies, you dip them in hot tea and then take a bite."
She burried to the kitchen and made some tea and then she and Molly and Hubert and Susan sat at the kitchen table and drank tea and gnawed at the stony cookies, which in addition to being hard as rocks, tasted like glue because Susan bad put in gravy coloring instead of vanilla. When Molly and Hubert made gagging motions at each other Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle slipped them some ginger cookies under the table and Susan was so proud that she didn't even notice.,
Julie Ward knitted Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle a scarf that was about ten yards long and two inches wide and when Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle opened the box she didn't say, "My. Julie, you must have had a giraffe in mind when you made this scarf." Instead she said, "You know Julie, this is much too pretty to wear as a scarf and keep tucked inside my coat. I'm going to wear it as a sash." She took the long, dirty blue, wormy looking scarf and wrapped it around and around her waist and looped the ends over and it did look nice, from a distance. Julie was so proud. She said, "You know, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, when I was making that scarf I just thought to myself, 'Now I'll make this longer and then Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle can wear it as a belt.Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic. Copyright © by Betty MacDonald. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.