In the Children's Room
Father and mother and all the brothers and sisters had gone to the theater; only little Anna and her grandfather were left at home.
"We'll put on a play, too," he said, "and it can start right away."
"But we don't have any theater!" said little Anna. "And we haven't anybody to do the acting. My old doll can't, because she looks dreadful, and my new one mustn't, because she'd rumple her new dress."
"You can always find actors if you use what you have," said Grandfather. "Now let's build the theater. We'll set up a book here, and another there, and one more over there, in a slanting row. Now three on the other side; so, now we have the side wings. The old box lying over there can be the backdrop, and we'll turn the bottom out. The stage represents a room; everyone can see that. Now we need the actors. Let's see what we can find in your toy drawer. First the characters, and then we'll prepare the play; one holds the other together. This is going to be splendid! Here's a pipe head, and there an odd glove; they'll do very well for father and daughter."
"But that's only two characters," said little Anna. "Here's my brother's old waistcoat - couldn't that play a part, too?"
"It's certainly big enough," said Grandfather. "We'll make it the lover. There's nothing in its pockets, and that's very interesting, for that's why the course of true love doesn't run smoothly! And here we have the nutcracker's boot, with spurs on it. Potz, blitz, mazurka! Look how he can dance and strut! He'll be the unwelcome suitor, whom the lady doesn't care for. Now what kind of play do you want? A tragedy? Or a domestic drama?"
"A domestic drama," said little Anna. "The others like that sort of play. Do you know one?"
"I know a hundred!" said Grandfather. "The most popular ones are from the French, but they're not good for little girls. Instead, we'll take one of the prettiest; they're all about the same inside. Now I'll shake my bag! Kukkelrum! Brand-new! And now here's the play, all brand-new!