Late one night, Felicity and Elizabeth were playing with the Noah’s Ark when Nan stepped in.
“Ooh, can I play too?” she asked.
“You can play for a little while, but then we have to go to bed,” said Felicity as she hoisted Nan on her lap.
“The animals went in two by two hurrah, hurrah,” sang Nan, “The elephant and the kangaroo hurrah, hurrah.”
Elizabeth watched Nan play and then leaned over and whispered to Felicity, “I heard a rumor that there is a giant Noah’s Ark downstairs in the living room.”
“A giant one?”
“Yes, even bigger than us!”
“I kind of want to see it,” Elizabeth said.
“I’ll come with you,” Felicity started to get up.
“Not tonight, silly. It’s too late and I’m too tired. We’ll go first thing tomorrow. Meet me at the top of the stairs.”
Bitty Betty who had been playing nearby heard Nan’s singing and came to see what was going on. No one noticed her until she had climbed up onto the chair and leaned heavily on the table.
“I wanna play too!” she said.
“Betty, no!” Elizabeth grabbed her just in time before she fell on top of the ark.
“But I wanna play too!” Betty repeated with a scowl to Elizabeth.
“It’s past your bedtime Betty and we have a big day tomorrow. We’re all getting dressed in our Christmas gowns for Christmas. I’m sure there will be time to play with Noah’s ark tomorrow.”
Betty screwed up her face, about to pout when Felicity threatened, “If you cry now, the Noah’s ark will disappear and you won’t be able to play with it at all. Come on, let’s all go to bed.”
Elizabeth and Felicity shared a wink and went off to bed.
The next morning after the girls got dressed in their Christmas finery, Felicity and Elizabeth met at the top of the stairs.
“We’re not really allowed to go down. Are you sure we should do this?” Felicity asked, “And anyway, how did you hear about this giant Noah’s Ark?”
Elizabeth looked at Felicity, “Don’t you remember? You’re the one who saw it. When you traveled back to Williamsburg you saw Heather making Project No. 3 which was Noah’s Ark.”
“Oh, that’s what it was? I couldn’t even tell. It looked like weird globs of cloth to me.”
“Yes, you, who according to your mother ‘can’t sit still enough to sew a seem properly’, would never be able to recognize what someone is knitting,” Elizabeth teased.
“Hey, be nice! I’m getting so much better,” Felicity scolded, “Now that we have the chance to go to the Governor’s ball and maybe even go to New York if we prove ourselves accomplished young ladies, I have something to really work for, and I’m really trying.”
Elizabeth smiled, “I know, I am too. Anyway, I heard Heather tell someone her project is finished which is why I want to see it.”
“Hm. Project number 3. What were her other two?”
“Oh, those blankets that took her years to finish. Remember the first one? Her aunt gave her that book of cable stitches and she wanted to do all the patterns so she made a cable quilt:
“That took her six YEARS to make! And then she still wasn’t warm enough in her room so she chose her very favorite pattern from the book and made another blanket. At least that only took her four and a half years to complete.”
“And now she’s done with Project Number 3 so let’s go and see.”
But just as Elizabeth bent to climb down the first stair, Nan and Betty appeared. Betty cried out, “We wanna go too!” while at the same time Nan said, “You can’t go!”
Nan knew more words than Betty so she kept talking, “This is against the rules! You’re not allowed to go downstairs or even leave the doll room! I’m going to tell Mother.”
Felicity sighed at prim and proper follow-the-rules Nan, “But we really want to see this Nan. It won’t take very long,” then she had an idea, “If we let you come with, will you promise not to tell Mother?”
“You’d let me come with?” Nan asked suddenly unsure of what to do. She prided herself in being a young little lady but she also admired Felicity and loved when her sister gave her attention and let her in on the activities she did.
“Well, I guess so…”Nan said.
Elizabeth and Felicity had been distracted by Nan so they hadn’t realized that Betty had decided to go downstairs herself until Elizabeth saw a movement out of the corner of her eye.
But it was too late, Betty had already tumbled down eight stairs before she caught herself.
“I’m okay!” she said.
Felicity sighed, “I guess we’re all going to see Noah’s Ark. So much for secrecy.”
It took a long time to get down the stairs. Betty didn’t want to fall again so she went very slowly. Nan tried very hard to go down the stairs looking like a proper Colonial lady but it was very hard to do with her short legs. Even the older girls, who had more experience going down stairs found it difficult in their stays, pocket hoops, and long ball gowns.
“You’re right,” Elizabeth told Felicity as she scooted down a step heavily, “we should have gone last night. Then, we would have just been in our nightgowns and we wouldn’t have had company.”
But at last they reached the bottom, and there right in front of the couch was the giant Ark.
They stood there in silence trying to comprehend how enormous it really was.
“It’s so big,” Nan whispered.
“Do you think anyone lives in it?” Felicity asked.
“I guess we could knock on the door and find out,” Elizabeth answered.
“Knock, knock, knock,” said Betty.
Elizabeth tentatively reached up and knocked softly on the cabin door.
“Nobody’s home. Let’s go back,” said Nan.
But then with a lurch the entire cabin was lifted up….
and out of the top of the ark came….
a pair of snakes.
“AAAAAAH! Snakes!” Nan shrieked and ran into her sister’s arms.
Felicity chuckled, “What did you expect, Nan? God told Noah to build the ark to save the animals, himself and his family from the evil God planned to destroy. So of course there are going to be animals in the ark. Even snakes.”
And sure enough, animals came out of the ark, two by two:
There were polar bears,
and even two lady bugs on a leaf that Nan delightedly caught as it fluttered out of the ark.
“Lanie would love this,” she said.
The raven and the dove even appeared.
Finally, after all the animals had come out, two dolls popped out of the cabin and leaned against the ark wall.
“Ahoy, there! We are travelling to proclaim the great news of our Lord! He has saved us from the great flood, and has kept His promises! And now he has saved us from something even worse!”
“What could be worse than a flood that covers the whole earth?” Nan asked.
“Our sin,” he answered, “The Lord God has saved us from our sin by sending his own son to the earth. I believe that is why you are all in your fancy outfits, correct?”
“Yes, indeed,” Felicity said, “We celebrate Christmas because we want to remember that God sacrificed his own Son that he loved to be crucified for our sins.
“I’ve always been amazed that God would do such a thing. It makes me feel awestruck that God loves us so much he would make such a drastic sacrifice. But that is the only sacrifice that could save us.”
“Absolutely!” Mrs. Noah agreed, “and that is why we travel around proclaiming the Great News and singing hymns of joy for what Jesus has done for us!”
And suddenly all the animals and Noah and his wife broke out in song:
Joy to the World!
The Lord is Come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart, prepare Him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing!
Yes, everything Elizabeth said about my projects is true! This one took me just three and a half years to make! (Obviously I don’t knit every day, I’d rather play with dolls instead!) For those of you reading this who are knitters, I used two books: Noah’s Knits’ by Fiona Goble, and another book that is out of print to create the ark.