Carl Sandburg





The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle and Who Was in It


    The Rag Doll had many friends. The Whisk Broom, 
the Furnace Shovel, the Coffee Pot, they all liked 
the Rag Doll very much.
    But when the Rag Doll married, it was the Broom 
Handle she picked because the Broom Handle fixed her 
eyes.
    A proud child, proud but careless, banged the head 
of the Rag Doll against a door one day and knocked off 
both the glass eyes sewed on long ago. It was then the 
Broom Handle found two black California prunes, and 
fastened the two California prunes just where the eyes 
belonged. So then the Rag Doll had two fine black eyes 
brand new. She was even nicknamed Black Eyes by some 
people.
    There was a wedding when the Rag Doll married the 
Broom Handle. It was a grand wedding with one of the 
grandest processions ever seen at a rag doll wedding. 
And we are sure no broom handle ever had a grander 
wedding procession when he got married.
    Who marched in the procession? Well, first came 
the Spoon Lickers. Every one of them had a tea spoon, 
or a soup spoon, though most of them had a big table 
spoon. On the spoons, what did they have? Oh, some had 
butter scotch, some had gravy, some had marshmallow 
fudge. Every one had something slickery sweet or fat 
to eat on the spoon. And as they marched in the wedding 
procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle, they 
licked their spoons and looked around and licked their 
spoons again.
    Next came the Tin Pan Bangers. Some had dishpans, 
some had frying pans, some had potato peeling pans. 
All the pans were tin with tight tin bottoms. And the 
Tin Pan Bangers banged with knives and forks and iron 
and wooden bangers on the bottoms of the tin pans. And 
as they marched in the wedding procession of the Rag 
Doll and the Broom Handle they banged their pans and 
looked around and banged again.
    Then came the Chocolate Chins. They were all eating 
chocolates. And the chocolate was slippery and slickered 
all over their chins. Some of them spattered the ends 
of their noses with black chocolate. Some of them spread 
the brown chocolate nearly up to their ears. And then 
as they marched in the wedding procession of the Rag Doll 
and the Broom Handle they stuck their chins in the air 
and looked around and stuck their chins in the air again.
    Then came the Dirty Bibs. They wore plain white bibs, 
checker bibs, stripe bibs, blue bibs and bibs with butterflies. 
But all the bibs were dirty. The plain white bibs were 
dirty, the checker bibs were dirty, the stripe bibs, the 
blue bibs and the bibs with butterflies on them, they 
were all dirty. And so in the wedding procession of the 
Rag Doll and the Broom Handle, the Dirty Bibs marched with 
their dirty fingers on the bibs and they looked around and 
laughed and looked around and laughed again.
    Next came the Clean Ears. They were proud. How they 
got into the procession nobody knows. Their ears were all 
clean. They were clean not only on the outside but they 
were clean on the inside. There was not a speck of dirt or 
dust or muss or mess on the inside nor the outside of their 
ears. And so in the wedding procession of the Rag Doll and 
the Broom Handle, they wiggled their ears and looked around 
and wiggled their ears again.
    The Easy Ticklers were next in the procession. Their 
faces were shining. Their cheeks were like bars of new soap. 
Their ribs were strong and the meat and the fat was thick on 
their ribs. It was plain to see they were saying, “Don’t 
tickle me because I tickle so easy.” And as they marched in 
the wedding procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle, 
they tickled themselves and laughed and looked around and 
tickled themselves again.
    The music was furnished mostly by the Musical Soup Eaters. 
They marched with big bowls of soup in front of them and big 
spoons for eating the soup. They whistled and chuzzled and 
snozzled the soup and the noise they made could be heard far 
up at the head of the procession where the Spoon Lickers were 
marching. So they dipped their soup and looked around and dipped 
their soup again.
The Chubby Chubs were next. They were roly poly, round faced 
smackers and snoozers. They were not fat babies—oh no, oh 
no—not fat but just chubby and easy to squeeze. They marched 
on their chubby legs and chubby feet and chubbed their chubbs 
and looked around and chubbed their chubbs again.
    The last of all in the wedding procession of the Rag Doll 
and the Broom Handle were the Sleepyheads. They were smiling 
and glad to be marching but their heads were slimpsing down 
and their smiles were half fading away and their eyes were 
half shut or a little more than half shut. They staggered just 
a little as though their feet were not sure where they were 
going. They were the Sleepyheads, the last of all, in the 
wedding procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle and 
the Sleepyheads they never looked around at all.
    It was a grand procession, don’t you think so?