There's something magical about Aunt Millie's handbag!

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"Don't worry," said Aunt Millie. "We'll be fine."One morning Aunt Millie arrived to take Ashley to the city.

Ashley had never been to the city. In fact, she had never been very far from the farm, so she was a bit nervous when they got on the bus.

“Don’t worry,” said Aunt Millie, patting her handbag. “We’ll be fine.”

Soon the bus was turning off Ashley’s little country road onto a big highway. Then it stopped.

Aunt Millie's Handbag“Flat tire,” announced the bus driver. He removed the old tire and took out the spare. “Oh no!” he cried. “This one’s flat, too.”

Aunt Millie climbed off the bus. She smiled at the driver. “Don’t worry,” she said, patting her handbag. With that she pulled out an air pump she used for her bicycle.

Whoosh — whoosh — whoosh. She filled both tires.

The bus driver grinned. “We’re back in business!” he said, and off they went.

By the time Ashley and Aunt Millie reached the city, they were feeling hungry.

Aunt Millie's Handbag“May we go to a restaurant?” asked Ashley.

“I have an idea,” replied Aunt Millie. “Let’s have a restaurant come to us.”

To Ashley’s amazement, down the street came a hot-dog vendor pushing a cart.

“Two hot dogs with mustard, please,” said Aunt Millie.

“Sorry,” said the vendor. “I’m all out of mustard.”

“Well, now, let me see,” said Aunt Millie, digging into her handbag. “Aha!” Out came a large jar of mustard. Aunt Millie traded the mustard to the vendor for two lemonades.

Aunt Millie's HandbagThen Aunt Millie marched to the fountain in the park. “This is my favorite place to eat lunch!” she exclaimed.

But the fountain was dry.

“Must be a plumbing problem,” said Aunt Millie. She rummaged around in her handbag until she found a wrench. She went right to work.

Soon the water was shooting into the air—and so was Aunt Millie.

Damp but smiling, Aunt Millie pointed to a nearby bench. “Let’s sit here,” she said.

But no sooner did they sit than the bench collapsed. Hot dogs and lemonade toppled to the ground.


Aunt Millie's HandbagOut of Aunt Millie’s handbag came a hammer and nails. After she had repaired the bench, a second plunge into her bag produced two new hot dogs with mustard.

“The ones from home never taste as good as the ones you buy on the street,” she sighed.

When they finished lunch they went to a bank so that Aunt Millie could cash a check.

There was a long line at the bank. Suddenly, the man at the head of the line sneezed, and money went flying into the air.

Aunt Millie's Handbag“Wow!” exclaimed Ashley. “It’s a dollar-bill blizzard!”

“My vacuum cleaner is in here somewhere,” said Aunt Millie. In a jiffy, she vacuumed up all the money and returned it to the bank teller.

The bank president was so grateful he gave Aunt Millie a handshake and a blue pen with the bank’s name on it. He gave Ashley a peppermint taffy. A photographer from the City News took several pictures.

After Aunt Millie and Ashley had waved good-bye, Aunt Millie said, “We must hurry to the Music Academy. The Great Spagatini is going to sing today.”

“I don’t think so,” said Ashley when they arrived. She pointed to a sign that read: CONCERT CANCELLED.

Aunt Millie's Handbag“Well,” huffed Aunt Millie. “Let’s see what this is all about.” She led Ashley through the side door of the theater.

“The Great Spagatini has a sore throat,” the conductor announced.

Aunt Millie laughed. “Not to worry,” she said. She searched in her handbag. … “Squeeze this lemon,” she told Ashley.

“Pour this honey,” she told the conductor.

“Open wide!” she told The Great Spagatini.

Soon the singer was on stage in fine voice, and Aunt Millie and Ashley had front-row seats.

When the concert was over, the sun had set. Aunt Millie checked the cuckoo clock in her handbag. “Oh dear, I’m afraid we’ve missed the last bus home,” she said.

Ashley’s eyes fell to Aunt Millie’s handbag. She sighed. “No,” she said, “I don’t suppose you have a bus in there.”

Aunt Millie giggled. “Of course I don’t have a bus in there, silly. I have something much better. But we have to go back to the park—away from the buildings and wires and trees.”

When they got to an open space in the park, Aunt Millie dug into her handbag one last time.

Aunt Millie's HandbagShe tugged and tugged … and pulled and pulled. …

“I’m going to need help,” she gasped.

Ashley helped.

Together they pulled … and pulled … and pulled … and pulled … until the handbag turned completely inside out into a hot-air balloon!

Aunt Millie fired up the propane tanks, and the balloon began to rise. “All aboard!” she called.

“All aboard!” called Ashley.

Soon they were high above the city, heading for home.