The Dolls' House
by Rosie, 9, London, UK
It was a normal day in the Kocks' house. The two girls Chloe and Evie had woken up normally in their white bedroom and were now eating their favourite breakfast cereal: 'Weetos', their younger brother Luke was crying. Mummy and Daddy were drinking Coffee in the kitchen. All was well.
In fact, it would have been a normal Saturday if it hadn't been for a note that somebody had pushed through the letterbox. It read:
Attic Bring and Buy sale today!
Bring all the old junk in your attic
To Milton Avenue at
And swap or sell it!
"That would be a brilliant thing to do today, Wouldn't it kids?" said Daddy enthusiastically.
Chloe glumly nodded.
"Good, now who's going to help me rummage in the attic?" Chloe promptly cheered up. She loved going into the attic!
The attic was lovely today. Thin shafts of morning light seeped into the dust covered room. Cobwebs covered the forgotten roof timbers. Moreover, the room was covered in boxes and bags.
As Chloe took all this in, her Daddy started searching among the dust covered ancient boxes. When he had found the things he wanted, he and Chloe went downstairs.
They brought the things into the kitchen to clean the dust off them. Chloe enjoyed this because when she finished each vase, pot or jar she could see her face in each one. As you can imagine, Chloe was finished in no time!
Milton Avenue was just around the corner so they decided to walk there.
When they got there, there was a crowd of people so Chloe had to stay with her parents.
" Now Chloe" her mummy told her:" You've got some birthday money left so if you see anything you like just tell me".
Chloe looked around; she wondered why they called it an attic sale when it wasn't even in an attic!
They looked round many stalls: the clothes stall, the bookstall, the white elephant stall and even the painting stall! But alas no matter how hard she looked, she couldn't find any thing interesting. Then suddenly she found the toy stall.
"Now this is more like it," thought Chloe!
There were many wonderful things on this stall. A beautiful teddy with a tartan bow, an old china doll with blue eyes and a silk dress, a wooden pencil box with painted kittens. A piece of tapestry showing the ABC and what Chloe noticed last of all a tall, painted, fully furnished ornate dolls house partially hidden at the side of the stall. Chloe didn't do anything; she just stood there gazing down at this wonderful item.
Daddy watched her gaze.
"Right kids, you can have one thing from this stall each," said Daddy. Evie chose the doll, Mummy chose the teddy and tapestry for Luke and can you guess what Chloe chose?
When they got home, Chloe played for the whole afternoon with her new plaything. She was enchanted. Unfortunately, like the attic, it was covered in cobwebs and dust.
The house was a type with a hinged front, which revealed four floors and nine rooms. The rooms were all elegantly decorated with real wallpaper and paint. The floors were covered with velvet carpets. The furniture in each room was immaculate and all to the right size and proportion. Everything was so perfect that it never occurred to Chloe that it ever belonged to another little girl. But of course, it did. Although it was obvious, the first owner was a child a very long time ago.
Chloe discovered a broken brass plate at the bottom of the house. It read:
Chloe puzzled over the inscription wondering about the missing words. Later that evening she decided to show her parents.
"Mummy, Daddy I've got something very important to show you,"
Out of her pocket, she revealed the broken brass plate she had and placed it on the dining room table. After this, there was complete silence for a few minutes. After the long period of silence, Chloe sensibly said goodnight and went upstairs to her bedroom.
Chloe's bedroom was just above the dining room and she could hear some of what they were saying. Soon Chloe got tired because they were talking about antiques or something. Chloe had no idea what they were talking about so she fell asleep.
The next day Chloe and Evie were woken up early by Daddy: "Wake up kids, today we're going to Windsor Castle!"
"What's that Daddy?" asked Chloe.
"It's a place with a great big dolls houses that belonged to the Royal Family!" interrupted Mummy from the doorway. "We thought that seeing as Chloe is so enjoying her new dolls house we should go and see some famous ones."
"This is the best day of my life," said Evie cutely.
In less than two hours they were ready to go, they each had a packed lunch in their rucksacks. They climbed into the car and Daddy started the engine. Although Chloe didn't know, something else had come with them. The Brass plate.
When they got there, Chloe, Evie, Luke and Daddy went to the see Queen Mary's dolls house and Mummy strangely disappeared but Chloe was having to much of a good time to look to much into it.
The dollhouses were wonderful some had 30 or more rooms some of them! They were even more nicely furnished and decorated than Chloe's. In fact, they were not dollhouses, they were dollpalaces!
When they had finished looking at them, they found a nice park near the palace to have their packed lunches, Chloe ate: Jam sandwiches, crisps, apple juice, a penguin biscuit and a nice shiny red apple!
When mummy joined them, she looked very pleased with herself! Finally, Chloe asked: "Mummy, why are you so happy?"
So mummy and daddy told the whole story of how when Chloe gave them the brass plate last night how they talked about it and decided to ask an expert about it, this explained mummy's sudden absence. The expert told her that they had been looking for this half for years and years. They had the missing piece within their records. The dollhouse went into storage for safety during the Second World War but had gone missing after war damage to the house. They were prepared also to pay lots of money for it! Of course, Chloe was very happy about it but then something occurred to her.
"But if they want to buy it, what are they going to do with it?" asked Chloe.
"They would like to put it in a museum with the other half" said mummy excitedly.
"So" began Chloe sadly "are they going to take my dollhouse away?"
"That's up to you," Mummy told her. Chloe thought about this for a second.
"I, I, I want everyone to share my wonderful dollhouse. So can we give it to the museum?" asked Chloe.
"Yes," nodded mummy "Yes we can!"
A few months later…
"Wake up Chloe" said daddy one Saturday morning. "We're going to the doll house exhibition at the V & A today!" Chloe got up and got dressed into her new dress, today was a very important day. Chloe was opening the exhibition!
The opening went very well and lots of people took lots of pictures. But what made her most proud was when she saw the label next to her dolls house in the cabinet. It said:
Edwardian Dolls House
Given to Clara, Charlotte and Chloe Coombe
By Sergeant Charles Coombe in November 1914
Given to the museum by:
Miss Chloe Kock (age 5)
And the Kock family
The museum manager gave Chloe a lifetime free pass so that she can go and see the dollhouse as often as she liked.
That night Chloe slept soundly dreaming only of the three C's and the dollhouse.
Copyright 1998, 1999 Kids on the Net and the authors
Kids on the Net Editor: Helen Whitehead at this address
Comments to Kids on the Net
Last revised: 18th April 1999