I took the day off work and Burfit rearranged his students so we both had the whole day free. To help Burfit avoid feeling too old, I wrote him a children’s book day called “Is this my present?” and organised for six friends to be involved in a treasure hunt of sorts. Each person had a small wrapped box and one double-sided page of the book. Each box contained a clue about his present and each section of the book contained a clue about who we should visit to get the next clue.
I’ll insert bits of the book as blue text.
After breakfast I briefly explained about the book I’d written and gave him the first few pages and the first wrapped box.
Burfit woke up with a stretch. He rubbed his eyes, put on his glasses and exclaimed, “Today’s my birthday! Hooray!”
“I wonder what my present will be?”
He looked at his cat, Doctor Octagon who was curled up at the foot of the bed. The Doctor stirred and stared back at him.
Burfit asked, “Doctor, do you know what my present is?” but the cat just winked at him, yawned and went straight back to sleep.
Burfit got out of bed and went to ask Durdlin.
“Durdlin, where is my present?” he enquired. Durdlin didn’t say anything but raised an eyebrow and looked pointedly at a bright red box on the table.
“Oh!” exclaimed Burfit, “Is this my present?”
“Open it and see” she replied.
In the box was a bag of Freddos.
“I like Freddos” said Burfit, “but they’re very small. I think my present is bigger than a Freddo”.
“I wonder who would know?”
“Maybe I should ask someone who knows about small things. Hmmm, someone I know who is a ‘small’ or maybe knows someone very small!”
We visited Kellee (and Toby and Charlie and Kerry) who happened to be grocery shopping in aisle 7 of Coles and she gave him the second wrapped box and the next page of the book.
Nahum’s box contained cheese which is mature and sharp like… Grandma. And Grandma’s box contained napkins which hinted it was time for lunch.
So we went to New Farm Park for a picnic and lay about looking up at the sun through the trees.
“Hey! I still don’t know what my present is! I’ve asked Kellee, Nahum and Grandma and none of them could tell me.”
He thought for a moment.
Out of the corner of his eye, he spied something bright blue. Durdlin was holding another box.
He looked inside.
In this box was a packet of Beef Jerky which meant we had to visit a jerk. We caught the City Cat from New Farm Park up the river to the city and visited John at work.
John’s box had blank cassette tapes in it which was a reference to the tome of recordings done by Tom.
We saw Tom at work and his box contained a sticky hand which was very childish so we had to visit someone who had known Burfit since he was a child: his brother Dranes.
The box Dranes gave him had a cat toy in it so we went home to see Doctor Octagon.
So, Burfit and Durdlin went home. Doctor Octagon – who had been playing outside all day – ran to greet them.
“Prrrustennn” the Doctor said.
“Oh look! A kyet who wants pyets! HULLO TO YOUUU!!” said Burfit picking The Doctor up and squeezing him vigorously.
“Rreow” protested the cat.
“He likes it!” said Burfit, but put him down anyway.
Doctor Octagon ran up the stairs and waited expectantly at the door.
Burfit opened the door and squealed with delight.
A VERY big box was waiting for him just inside the door. It was wrapped in many bright colours and was topped off with a large yellow bow.
“Is THIS my present?” said Burfit grinning at Durdlin.
“You know it!” she answered as he gleefully ripped into the colourful paper.
“Well, it’s NOT small or flimsy. It’s NOT edible or childish. And it’s VERY EXCITING!”
Earlier that day when we left the house, I had alerted my Dad and he brought the present (a Maton electro/acoustic guitar) over to our house. When we arrived home that afternoon, Burfit opened the door and found a big colourful box waiting for him, just like the story said! Coincidence, no?
“THIS is my present! Hooray! A guitar is just what I wanted!”
“And look how many people helped buy it for me. I feel very special.”
He looked over the list of names, smiling.
Thank you to everyone who contributed money to help me buy the guitar. I think it was worth every dollar.