Toy Dance Party

Toy Dance Party by Emily Jenkins Read Free Book Online

Book: Toy Dance Party by Emily Jenkins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Emily Jenkins
to meet them as they reenter Honey’s bedroom.
    The shark coughs once and then asks, “You a floater?”
    “Why, yes, I am!” says Plastic, pleased.
    “All right then,” the shark says, gruffly. “Any floater is a friend of mine.”
    “I’m sorry, too,” says Lumphy. “It was a bad mistake.”
    “What are you, bison or buffalo?” asks the shark.
    “Buffalo,” Lumphy answers.
    “What’s the difference?”
    Lumphy shrugs. He doesn’t actually know. He has never heard of a bison.
    “Ha! Just kidding you. There’s no difference. Bison, buffalo. It’s the same thing!” The shark laughs and turns its eyes to StingRay. “Yes?”
    StingRay looks away. “I um …”
    “What? Cat got your tongue?”
    StingRay squirms. “I like the way you swim,” she finally says.
    “Yah, well. It comes natural when you’re a fish,” says the shark.
    StingRay is mortified.
She
is a fish. But swimming doesn’t come naturally to her, because she’s made of plush, not rubber.
    “Are you gonna say sorry?” asks the shark. “Or not? Because I think I am owed an apology here, and to be honest, I’ve had a rotten day.”
    The word sticks in StingRay’s throat, but she chokes it out. “Sorry.”
    And once it has been said, she is surprised to find that she feels a whole lot better. Like she has been holding her breath—if she had breath—and has now, after a long time, exhaled.
    “Apology accepted,” says the shark. “Now, can anyone recommend a piece of wood or an old bit of junk no one cares about in this place? Because I could really use something to chew.”

CHAPTER FOUR
 
 Concerning That Plump Mouse Bonkers, the Vacuum Cleaner, and a Friendship Between Fish
    H oney’s parents are on a cleaning spree. They are taking it very seriously. StingRay and Lumphy are in Honey’s armchair, watching the people as they bustle from room to room. Plastic has been shoved into the toy box.
    The adults wipe mildew from the ceiling of the bathroom and pull the books off the shelves to get the dust in the back. The mom takes bag after bag of outgrown clothes to a charity shop, and the dad finds the leftover sack of garbage under the high bed.
    “Honey?” the dad calls.
    “What?” Honey is downstairs in the kitchen.
    “Why do you have garbage under your bed?”
    “I don’t.”
    “Yes, you do.”
    “Oh. I thought I smelled something,” says Honey, coming into the room.
    Honey knows her toys play when she’s not around. After all, they are never exactly where she left them when she returns from school, and last week when she got home from Shay’s, the garbage-eating shark was lounging on the carpet with the bubble wrap packaging chewed to bits. But her toys have never done anything like hide trash under the bed.
    Lumphy examines her face. Honey is wondering.
    “Sorry,” she tells her dad as he holds out the bag.
    “But why is it in here?” he persists.
    She shrugs.
    “I can’t believe we left the garbage there,” whispers Lumphy to StingRay. “It’s been a lot of days!”
    “I thought you took care of it,” StingRay whispers back.
    “I thought
you
took care of it,” says Lumphy.
    The dad clucks his tongue. “There’s a ton of junk under here. Will you go get the vacuum cleaner?”
    Honey bends and looks under the bed. Several necklaces, crumpled strings of toilet paper, some sky blue ribbon, a plastic tiara, some white lace, and a lacy royal blue sock—StingRay’s stash of DaisySparkle costumes is down there. She pulls everything out and spreads it over the patchwork quilt.
    Honey sorts through the sparkly things for a minute. Then she picks up—not StingRay, but the shark. The new shark she didn’t even look at when it first arrived; the new shark she’s hardly even played with. Honey takes that shark and wraps her in lace and sky blue ribbon.
    StingRay’s
lace and sky blue ribbon.
    Honey winds a silver necklace four times around the bit of the shark that is most like a

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