written by Debbie Williamson
Hi! My name is Racum Raccoon. I live in the Big Dark Forest with my Mom and Dad.
Today, I am very excited. I was invited to a birthday party in Mountain Grove, Ontario. It is Jennifer Leigh Hanna's birthday. She is seven years old, now. Jennifer is my best friend.
I am going to Bear's house first. He is going to come to the party with me.
"Hello Bear," I said when I knocked on his door. "Are you ready?"
"Ready for what?" asked Bear.
"Today is Jennifer's birthday party," I told him. "We have to go to her house."
"Oh no!" exclaimed Bear. "I forgot all about it. I don't even have a gift for her."
Bear was very upset. He loved birthday parties very much and he did not want to miss this one. Jennifer was his best friend.
"What are you giving her for her birthday present?" asked Bear.
"I am giving Jennifer the most important gift that anyone could ever give her," I said. "I am giving her the gift of love."
"Love!" laughed Bear. "That is a silly gift!"
"It is not," I said. "Love is very important. Without love, this world would be in very sad shape."
"Maybe you're right," said Bear, thinking. "Love is a good gift, after all. That gives me an idea. I think that I will give Jennifer the gift of friendship for her birthday."
"Friendship," I thought aloud. "That is a very good gift, too."
"Yes," agreed Bear. "Everyone needs friendship."
"Well," I said. "We'd better be going. We don't want to be late for the party."
"No, we don't," said Bear. "Don't forget that we have to stop at Mad Dog's house."
"Oh yes," I said. "I almost forgot."
"Hello Mad Dog," I said, when we got to his house. "Are you ready?"
"Ready for what?" asked Mad Dog.
"Ready for Jennifer's birthday party," said Bear.
"Oh no!" exclaimed Mad Dog. "I forgot all about it! I didn't even get Jennifer a gift yet."
Mad Dog was very upset. He loved birthday parties, too, and he didn't want to miss this one. After all, Jennifer was his best friend.
"What are you two giving Jennifer for her birthday present?" Mad Dog asked.
"Well," I said. "We are giving Jennifer the two most important presents that anyone could ever give to her."
"Yes," said Bear. "Racum is giving Jennifer the gift of love and I am giving Jennifer the gift of friendship."
"Love and friendship," scoffed Mad Dog. "What kind of gifts are they?"
"They are very good gifts," I said.
"This world needs more love and more friendship," said Bear.
"Hmm," said Mad Dog, thinking. "Those are good gifts, after all. I have a good idea. I will give Jennifer the gift of happiness for her birthday."
"Happiness," I said. "That is a very good gift, too."
"Yes," agreed Mad Dog. "It is. We need more happiness in this world."
"Yes," said Bear. "We do!"
Mad Dog, Bear and I finally made it to the party. Jennifer opened the door for us.
"Happy Birthday, Jennifer," we shouted.
"Oh guys!" exclaimed Jennifer. "My three very best friends in the whole wide world made it to my party. I am so happy! I love you guys!"
The three friends winked at each other.
Happy 7th Birthday, Jennifer!