Sara Beth always got her way.
If she wanted to stay up late, her mother let her.
If she wanted to eat nothing but ice cream, her mother let her.
All Sara Beth had to say was, "I want it."
And any toy was hers.
One day Sara Beth and her mother passed a store.
In the window was a mama doll and a baby doll.
The baby doll had yellow hair and a pretty smile.
"I want her," said Sara Beth.
She pulled her mother into the store.
"How much is the baby doll?" Sara Beth asked.
The lady smiled.
"The mama doll and the baby doll are a set.
They cost $50."
Sara Beth stamped her foot.
"I don't want the mama.
I only want the baby!"
Sara Beth's mother paid the lady.
"Here is all the money.
But we will just take the baby doll."
Sara Beth took her new doll home.
She took it out of the box.
Did her doll look different somehow?
No. Sara Beth's eyes were playing tricks on her.
Then Sara Beth put the doll beside her bed.
That night Sara Beth woke up.
"MAMA!" someone was shouting.
It was her new doll!
The lady had not said it was a talking doll.
Did the doll look mad?
Or was it in Sara Beth's mind?
Sara Beth was scared.
Sara Beth shouted for her mother and dived under the covers.
"What's wrong, dear?" her mother asked.
"My doll! She was shouting at me.
And she looks mad," Sara Beth cried.
"She looks the same to me," said Sara Beth's mother.
Sara Beth took another look.
The doll was smiling.
Sara Beth shook it.
But the doll did not say "Mama."
It did not say anything at all.
"You must have been having a bad dream," said her mother.
"Go back to sleep. Your doll is fine."
So Sara Beth went back to sleep.
But soon she woke up again.
Something was poking her.
It was the doll!
It was in Sara Beth's bed.
How did it get there?
"MAMA! I WANT MY MAMA!" the doll shouted.
"TAKE ME BACK!" Sara Beth nodded.
She was too scared to say a word.
The very next day Sara Beth took the doll back to the store.
The lady put the doll in the window.
It was next to the mama doll again.
Sara Beth looked back just once.
The doll was smiling again.