Birthday Boy by Angela Arkle
Written and illustrated by Angela Arkle.
“Happy Birthday to you Happy Birthday to you “ Kenneth kept hearing the song over and over again. Today was such a big day for him; he was turning 9 years old. At school all his friends and his teacher had sang it to him. He felt so proud, standing at the front of the class. They all cheered “Hip hip hooray!”
Now here he was walking along the dusty road on his way home he sighed again. If only he could have a cake with 9 candles on it, it would have been so special to have shared it with his mother, younger brother and sister. But he knew there was no money for a Birthday cake . His father had gone far away to a town to try and find work he had said to Kenneth “You soon will be 9 years old; don’t forget to look after your mother , brother and sister while l am away. l will be home for Christmas.“
As Kenneth turned the corner he saw ahead of him an old lady , she was walking slowly and carrying a box and two bags, it was a hot sunny day and he could see she was very tired . Forgetting his troubles he ran up to her and said Gogga (Granny) please let me help you carry one of your bags . The old lady turned around and smiled, she had a happy smiling face and eyes that twinkled “Oh that would be very nice “ she said. “Will you take the box and be careful not to drop it.”
Kenneth walked slowly with the old lady he told her it was his Birthday and that today he was 9 , she laughed and said “Oh when l passed the school l heard the children singing so that must have been for you.” , he grinned and said “yes it was”. They were by Kenneth’s house and he said “ Gogga this is my house would you like me to carry your box further “?
“ No Kenneth “ she said “ I do not have much further to go.”
“It is very hot would you like a drink of water?” asked Kenneth
“Oh that would be lovely l will just sit and rest awhile on this rock.”
Kenneth ran inside , his mother was waiting for him with a large glass of water, he took it from her and yelled he would be back in a minute; he just wanted to give a old lady outside a drink.
Kenneth walked quickly along the path to the rock and stopped and looked for the old lady there was no sign of her.”Gogga Gogga” he cried” l have your water “ , no reply. He ran along the path but there was still no sign of her.
That is very strange, he thought, walking back. Just then by the rock he saw the box. She had written ‘Kenneth’ on it. Slowly he picked it up and carried it inside. His mother asked him what was wrong he told her about meeting the old lady and helping her carry her parcels, stopping by the rock and fetching her a glass of water.
“But now she has gone and she left the box with my name on it.”
“Well,“ said his mother “you had better see what is inside.”
Slowly he opened the lid his eyes grew wide in amazement “ I don’t believe it” he cried . There in the box was a birthday cake with blue icing and 9 candles on top was written ‘Happy Birthday Kenneth.’
Later as he helped his mother wash the dishes after they had had tea, and sung to Kenneth once again his mother said “Kenneth l don’t think you will ever forget today because today you met your guardian angel.”
Kenneth smiled “ Mom you are right that Gogga was my guardian angel and l shall never forget her.”
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