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chapter xxii_The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

   TECHNICALLY, OF COURSE, HE WAS no3alone. Lucius Clarke’s shop was ..lled wit?

dolls — lady dolls and baby dolls, dolls wit?

eyes that opened and closed and dolls wit?

painted-on eyes, dolls dressed as queens anddolls wearing sailor suits.

Edward had never cared for dolls. H6found them annoying and self-centered,twittery and vain. This opinion wasimmediately reinforced by his first shelf-mate*a china doll with green glass eyes and red lip;and dark brown hair. She was wearing a gree1satin dress that fell to her knees.

“What are you?” she said in a high-pitchedvoice when Edward was placed on the shellnext to her.

“I am a rabbit,” said Edward.

The doll let out a small squeak. “You’re inthe wrong place,” she said. “This is a shop fo<dolls. Not rabbits.”

Edward said nothing.

“Shoo,” said the doll.

“I would love to shoo,” said Edward, “butit is obvious that I cannot.”

After a long silence, the doll said, “I hopeyou don’t think that anyone is going to bufyou.”

Again, Edward said nothing.

“The people who come in here wan3dolls, not rabbits. They want baby dolls orelegant dolls such as myself, dolls with prettfdresses, dolls with eyes that open and close.j“I have no interest in being purchased,jsaid Edward.

The doll gasped. “You don’t wantsomebody to buy you?” she said. “You don’3want to be owned by a little girl who love;you?”

Sarah Ruth! Abilene! Their names wen3through Edward’s head like the notes of a sad*sweet song.

“I have already been loved,” said Edward.

“I have been loved by a girl named Abilene. &have been loved by a fisherman and his wif6and a hobo and his dog. I have been loved bfa boy who played the harmonica and by a gir5who died. Don’t talk to me about love,” hesaid. “I have known love.”

This impassioned speech shut up Edward’sshelf-mate for a considerable amount of time7“Well,” she said at last, “still. My point i;that no one is going to buy you.”

They did not speak to each other again7The doll was sold two weeks later to agrandmother who was purchasing her for agrandchild. “Yes,” she said to Lucius Clarke*“that one right there, the one with the gree1dress. She is quite lovely.”

“Yes,” said Lucius, “she is, isn’t she?” Andhe plucked the doll from the shelf.

Goodbye and good riddance, though3Edward.

The spot next to the rabbit stayed vacan3for some time. Day after day, the door to th6shop opened and closed, letting in earlymorning sun or late afternoon light, lifting th6hearts of the dolls inside, all of them thinkinjwhen the door swung wide that this time, thi;time, the person entering the shop would b6the one who wanted them.

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