The flamingos were a huge handful, but Dulcie was determined to please Santa. They tugged at her doll's dresses, and nibbled on their shoes.

            Dulcie remained positive, though, and she began by giving the flamingos names. "Let's see, you are Pinky." She pointed to the bird with the deepest pink feathers. "And you are Slinky," she said to the most graceful flamingo. "Binky," she said to the only male in the bunch. "Hmmm, and you're Buff."

            Buff flapped her wings. She was the palest in color.

            Although the birds didn't seem to care that they had names, Dulcie was quite pleased. "Pinky, Slinky, Binky, and Buff. It almost sings, doesn't it?"

            The birds ran around the doll shop, pecking here and there, and not paying any attention to Dulcie.

            It wasn't long before Ted E. Bear showed up, to offer some assistance. "Whew, you have your hands full." He swatted at a bird as it plucked at his bow tie.

            Dulcie guided Binky away from Ted. "I've named them."

            "Really now." Ted brushed at another one of the birds. "Go on, now, get away from me."

            Pinky playfully plucked at Ted E.'s paw.

            "Confound it! Go on now."

            Dulcie laughed.  "I'll have them trained soon, I promise."

            "Well, I'm supposed to help you, but these blasted birds are too aggravating. I gotta go, but if you really need me, I'm right next door." Batting at Buff, Ted backed out of the door.

            "Tisk Tisk," Dulcie chided. "You must learn better behavior, and we're starting right now. Pinky, Slinky, Binky, and Buff. Come!"

            The birds fluttered about not paying any attention to Dulcie.

            "Pinky, Slinky, Binky, and Buff! Stop running around, I've had quite enough!"

            The flamingos halted and craned their necks in Dulcie's direction.

            "So, you like rhymes, huh? Okay, it's rhymes, then."

            She thought for a bit. "There are things that are acceptable. You must learn to be respectable."

            The pink birds continued to stare at her.

            "Come with me. It will be fun, you'll see," Dulcie said lamely. She was surprised when the flamingos came toward her. "Okay, now we'll take a walk, if I can just keep up this talk."

            She led the birds around the room. She marched and they marched.  She skipped and the flamingos skipped. This might not be so bad.

            When North Pole Phil arrived with the mail, he found Dulcie and the flamingos hopping. "What's going on, Dulcie?"

            "Watch this Philly. I know it's silly." She skipped, and so did the birds. "As long as I rhyme, they do fine."

            Phil shook his head. "Well, you make a sight, alright."

            “That’s the idea,” Dulcie said laughing. "Their names are Pinky, Slinky, Binky, and Buff, and training them is a little tough."

            "Well, you look funny, honey." Phil chuckled.

            Dulcie rolled her eyes.

            "Hey, it was the best I could do, now here's the mail for you." Phil laughed heartily and left Dulcie's Doll Shop.


            Ted E. Bear felt a little bad that he had left Dulcie alone with the flamingos, so he decided to go back. He found Dulcie and the flamingos doing kicks."What happened? How'd you do it?"

            "I have to rhyme all the time." Dulcie raised her arms, and the birds raised their wings. "It's hard." Dulcie collapsed in a chair.

            "How'd you find out about rhyming?" Ted asked.

            "It was by accident. I was frustrated, and said something that rhymed.  I don't know what it was, but they liked it. I just got lucky."

            "Well, they're certainly a lot calmer," Ted said.

            "They're tired. They've had quite a workout."

            "You seem pretty tired yourself. You go on home, and I'll sweep up for you."

            "Thanks, Ted. Just put the birds in the back room and close the door.  They can stay in there until I get back tomorrow." Dulcie yawned. "If I can move, tomorrow. Good night Ted. Good night Pinky, Slinky, Binky, and Buff.  It's time for bed, and all that stuff."





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