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A birthday present for Dad

Author

Ann Walton

Illustrator

Magriet Brink

“It’s Dad’s birthday today,” said Mom.

“Oh, I want to get him a present!” said Alex. “What should I give him, Mom?”

“We have to go to the shop to buy some flour for Dad’s birthday cake,” said Mom. “We will try to think of a present for Dad on the way to the shop.”

“Okay! I’ll carry the shopping bag,” said Alex.

So Alex and his mother set off. Alex ran ahead of his mother on the well-trodden path. It was a lovely day. The sun was shining through the pine trees, and onto the pine nuts that had fallen to the ground. Alex picked one up.

“Look, Mom. What is this?” he asked.

“It’s a pine nut,” said Mom.

“It looks as if it has a wing,” said Alex.
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“That’s so it can float on the wind and find a good place to grow into another pine tree,” said Mom. “All these pine nuts on the ground have fallen from the pine cones on the trees.”

“Can I taste one?” asked Alex.

“Yes, but we have to get it out of its shell first,” said Mom, and she crushed the shell with a stone.

“Here you are,” said Mom, and she gave Alex the little nut.

“It tastes good!” he said. “Do you think Dad would like some pine nuts for his birthday, Mom?”

“Maybe,” said Mom.

So Alex picked up lots of pine nuts and put them in the shopping bag. As they walked along, Alex noticed the sun reflecting off some stones. He picked one up.

“Look at this brown stone, Mom,” he said. “It is so smooth. Do you think Dad would like it for his birthday?” asked Alex.

“Maybe,” said Mom.

So Alex put the smooth brown stone in the shopping bag and off they went. Then Alex saw some wild blue flowers next to the path.

“Look at these flowers, Mom,” said Alex. “They’re the same colour as the sky.”

“They are little wild flowers, and they’re facing the sun,” said Mom.

Alex picked one. “Do you think Dad would like this blue flower for his birthday, Mom?” he asked.

“Maybe,” said Mom.

Alex put the little blue flower in the shopping bag.

Just then Alex and his mother reached the shop. Mom bought flour to make Dad a birthday cake. She also bought little candles to put on top of the cake.

When they got home, Mom baked the birthday cake and Alex took the pine nuts and the smooth stone and the little blue flower out of the shopping bag.

“Oh, no! Look,” said Alex, “the little blue flower is curled up, and its face is closed.”

“Yes,” said Mom. “Wild flowers like to show their faces to the sun, and they like to stay in the ground.”

“Oh,” said Alex.

“Why don’t you draw a picture for Dad for his birthday?” said Mom.

“Good idea,” smiled Alex. He fetched his crayons and some paper to draw a picture for Dad. He drew a house with a red roof. Then he drew a big green tree next to the house. He added a garden path all the way from the front door to the edge of the page, and he drew blue flowers all along the path. He drew the blue sky at the top of the page and also a big yellow sun. Then he drew green grass at the bottom of the page. Finally he drew Dad, Mom and himself standing on the grass.

Then Dad came home from work.

“Happy birthday, Dad,” said Alex and gave him his presents. First he gave Dad the pine nuts. “I love pine nuts,” said Dad.

Next he gave Dad the smooth brown stone. “What a special stone!” said Dad. “I’ll keep it in my pocket for luck!”

Then he gave Dad the drawing. “Oh!” said Dad. “This is our house and our tree and here we are! You, Mom and me. And I really like the blue flowers along the garden path.”

“Those blue flowers are the same blue as the sky,” said Alex.

“Thank you for my birthday presents, Alex,” said Dad, and he gave Alex a big hug. “I think we should plant some wild blue flowers,” said Dad. “We’ll plant them all along our garden path, just like the flowers in your picture.”

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“Good idea!” said Alex. “I’ll help you plant them, Dad!”

After supper Mom lit the candles on Dad’s cake. Dad blew them all out in one big whoosh! Alex and Mom sang “Happy Birthday” to Dad.

“I love finding presents for you, Dad,” said Alex with a great big smile.