Once there was a doll maker, his name was Nathaniel.
All over town he was famous; his work was known everywhere.
One day he decided to make a special doll,
“A masterpiece,” he said “and the crowd I will enthrall.”
So he started to carve the doll’s face,
Painted its cheeks and clothed it with lace.
Its body was made of soft pulp of wool,
And pieces of cloth from his old sewing tool.
He colored her lips the shade of pink rose,
Then made his hands move to make a small, pointed nose.
He made her eyes dark as well as her hair,
While her skin was like peaches, milky and fair.
When he finished, he gave the doll a long gaze,
His lips broke into a smile and he felt amazed.
“I will name you Vida,” he said, as he stared at the doll’s eyes
“Because you brought life to the dollhouse, you are my greatest prize.”
“What a gorgeous doll, Sir Nathaniel!” said a boy who just went in,
He ran to Nathaniel’s chair and gently touched the doll’s chin.
“She seems to be alive,” the boy said in a whisper
He grabbed a pouch from his pocket as he gets a piece of paper.
There he put coins of gold and silver,
And some copper coins that he got from the river.
“I will give you all my money, sir,” the little boy said,
Just give her to me and I promise she won’t lose a single thread.”
Nathaniel was surprised by the little boy’s intent,
But he thought maybe that’s not what the boy meant.
“Do you play dolls, son? Why do you like to have Vida?
“Don’t you run with the boys who gather around the Villa?”
“I will not play with her, Sir,” the boy answered smiling,
“I just want to have her, in my home, while I’m sleeping.
When everyone’s not at home, maybe she’ll watch over me
You made her eyes beautiful, it’s like she can really see.”
“I’m sorry, son,” he said sadly and the boy can tell,
You can have any doll in my house, but Vida, I won’t sell…”
The boy bowed his head, frustrated he sighed,
“That’s too bad Sir,’ suddenly he looked tired.
I wish I can have her, but I understand.
She really is priceless, a special work of your hand…
I’ll be back someday Sir; I will go home now,
I’ll be leaving town, but I’ll return anyhow…”
Nathaniel bid goodbye but remembered him at heart
His Shoppe grew and grew as days and nights apart.
Every day, he deals with guests who insist
To have Vida as their doll but he was eager to resist.
One morning there came a little girl and her dad
He heard the girl crying and she looked really sad.
Then she saw Vida, quickly she stopped to weep
“I want that doll, daddy,” she said as she smiled so sweet.
‘I am sorry, my dear. But that doll’s not for sale’,
Said Sir Nathaniel, then the girl began to wail.
‘Please good sir, I’ll pay any price,’ her father appealed
‘She is sickly and weary; I don’t know when she’ll be healed.’
It will help her cheer up, sir, so please give it to my daughter
I only want what’s best for her; I want to see her laughter.’
Nathaniel sat down and got into deep thinking,
Giving up his Vida, he felt his heart weakening.
‘Very well,’ he said, to the little girl he smiled,
She looked up to him with bright eyes, ones which once were tired.
“I want you to promise just a single thing,
Take good care of Vida, and joy to you, she will bring.”
The man and his daughter gladly left the store
While Sir Nathaniel sobbed, feeling his heart’s sore.
‘I hope she’ll take care of Vida,’ he whispered to himself
He began creating other dolls and put them on the shelf.
One day Sir Nathaniel went out to have a walk
He saw a familiar face and with her he had a talk.
“How do you do, Sir?” It’s the girl who had Vida
“I am well, my dear,” he answered young Stella.
He noticed she holds another doll, so he asked quickly,
‘How’s the doll Vida, the one you had from me?’
‘I don’t have her anymore, Sir; I have a new one.
Isn’t she pretty? Having her is much more fun.’
Having heard this, Nathaniel turned away
‘My poor Vida,’ he cried, ‘I led her astray.’
He went home sad, weary he lied down
If it is possible, he’ll search for Vida all over town.
He searched for days, for nights and weeks
But he couldn’t find the doll he seeks.
One morning there came a familiar face,
He went straight to Nathaniel with a smile and in haste.
‘A lovely day, good sir! I’m back from my vacation!
How have you been doing, and why the sad expression?’
‘I am fine, son. Just a little tired.’ Nathaniel replied.
I see you’ve grown taller, you’ve become a man!’ He smiled.
‘Thank you, sir. I came here to give you something
I found this in our backyard, one day while I was cleaning.’
As he drew a doll from his bag, Nathaniel got anxious
It is Vida with torn clothes, dirty and hideous.
‘Our rich neighbor’s daughter tried to get rid of her,
But my mother asked her to have Vida for my sister.
She really liked her and played with her day and night
But when Vida got worn out, she wanted her out of her sight.’
‘That’s too bad, son.’ at last Nathaniel said a word.
He held Vida with trembling hands, his tears he tried to hold.
‘I’m returning her to you, sir; I want to see her like before.
Like the first time I saw her, the most beautiful doll in your store.’
The boy never knew how thankful Nathaniel was
So he didn’t let another daylight pass.
He bathed Vida and made her a new dress
More stunning than before that she looked like a goddess.
He made her hair shine as dark as the moonlit night
And created her face radiant, bringing a different kind of light.
‘My Vida’s back!’ Sir Nathaniel cried
He stared at the rag doll, his masterpiece and pride.
He thought he’ll put Vida at the glass window of his Shoppe
So everyone can see her and at his store they’ll stop.
‘But no,’ he said, as a thought occurred his mind
‘To her rightful owner she will be the rarest kind…’
Morning came and so Nathaniel got ready
‘I know he will be back’, he said with certainty.
He put Vida in a gift box and waited for the boy
‘I’m sure he will be thrilled.’ He said with pure joy.
But morning passed and sunset came about
‘He should be back’, he said with no doubt.
As the sky darkens so the door flew open
The boy showed up looking poorly and stricken.
‘Good gracious son, what happened to you?
Let me cure your wounds before you turn blue.’
‘Thank you, sir. I went out for a fight
So I can earn money, I fought with all my might.
‘But why?’ Sir Nathaniel asked with a frown
You should have found another job in this town.’
‘You don’t have to worry, sir. I’ll be okay.
Besides I won the fight, and that’s why I’m here today…’
‘I wanted to have money so I have something to give you
In exchange for Vida, I can’t imagine what else I’ll do.
So here, good sir, you can have all my money
I don’t mind losing them all, just give Vida to me.’
Sir Nathaniel was overwhelmed that he wanted to weep
He can’t believe that this boy can give a love so deep.
‘My dear son,’ he said. ‘You can keep your money,
What you said and did is more than enough for me.’
He handed him the gift box, to the boy’s surprise,
Inside he saw Vida, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
‘She is yours, my son,’ Nathaniel’s smile was wide
‘Now keep your money and go home, you might not catch a ride.’
‘But sir…’ the boy muttered as he stared at the old man
Astonished and overwhelmed, he tried to talk all he can.
‘Why don’t you let me pay for her, sir?’ he asked finally.
‘I know she is priceless, but you deserve to have my money.’
‘Like you said, she is priceless,’ Nathaniel’s smile was true.
‘Bringing her back to me was a noble thing to do.
She is my masterpiece; there will never be a doll like Vida
And you deserve to have her than anyone here in Alta Vera.’
‘Thank you so much, sir,’ the boy embraced him tightly
Now my wounds don’t hurt anymore, I have never been so happy.’
I will take care of her; I’ll keep her safe always.
Even when the years pass and if ever again we part ways.”
‘You truly deserve her,’ Nathaniel answered with a smile.
‘I’ll be proud to see her yours than those people who are vile.
With you is her rightful place, I have proven that so well;
Now you got to run, my son, before your wounds start to swell.’
Injured but with a pleasant smile, the boy left his store
But Nathaniel asked something that made the boy stay at the door.
‘What can I call you son, do you have many names?
The boy answered, ‘I only have one sir, and that name is James.’