from Shippensburg News
A Nameless Gift
by Ellis Parker Butler
When Sister Mary began it she intended it to be a lamp mat, and the receiver was to be my Cousin Sarah.
Sister Mary is rather touchy about some things, but I never knew anything to affect her so severely as the mere mention of that lamp mat does now. In fact, I studiously refrain from all mention of it unless I particularly wish to rile her.
Cousin Sarah and Sister Mary are about the same age. I shall not mention Sister Mary's age, as she is still unmarried (having broken with the doctor that Christmas), but I think I am allowed to state that Cousin Sarah was 45 last August, for, since she is married, she is not so particular about concealing her years.
Of course Sister Mary would never have attempted making a lamp mat (for she had never crocheted one before) if Cousin Sarah had not bought the Dresden lamp, so I blame the whole trouble on the Dresden lamp.
The lamp mat began all right with a little round flat center. Sister Mary got that finely. But as the size increased the thing seemed to curl up around the edge, like the tail of a dried herring, and the larger it grew the more it curled up, until it got to be the shape of a china wash basin. I don't know what was wrong with it, for I am not an expert in that line, but before the lamp mat was complete Sister Mary decided to call it a bag of some sort or other, and put ribbons on it for handles and a tassel on the bottom. You see, when a lamp mat makes up its mind to be a pudding bag you just have to let it have its own way.
So, as I said, she put long ribbons on it, pink ones, and some bows, and I took it over and gave it to the bald-headed doctor, with her compliments and a "Merry Christmas."
She was engaged to him then.
That was all right, but what do you think that doctor did? Why, he sat right down and wrote her a note thanking her for her kindness in sending him such a "tasty and comfortable nightcap" and assuring her that it would bring him pleasant dreams. Yes, sir! And I don't wonder Sister Mary got mad and broke the engagement.
But you can bet she hasn't tried to make any lamp mats since.