Saturday, August 09, 2014
FUNLAND PARTY BY LOUISE LAWRENCE DEVINE
Timothy watched the clock for a long while. It ticked so slowly! This was his birthday and nothing was happening. He went to the kitchen and sniffed. But there was no good birthday cake smell.
"Mother," he asked, "are you sure you haven't forgotten what day this is?"
"No I haven't forgotten," Mother said with a mysterious smile on her face. "It is your sixth birthday, and I promised you a surprise. It will be here at two o'clock. Just seven more minutes to wait."
CLANG, CLANG, CLANG! What was that? Timothy forgot all about counting minutes. "Mother!" he shouted. "There's a fire engine coming--and I think it is stopping in front of our house!"
Mother came out of the kitchen, looking very excited, and she and Timothy hurried to the front door and looked out. Timothy's eyes were big and shining as he stared in surprise. It was a very small fire engine but as red and shiny as it could be!
A man wearing a fireman's suit and a fire helmet on his head jumped out of the truck and came up to Timothy's front door. "Timothy Brady?" he asked. "Yes," Timothy said. "I have come to take you to Funland in the Happy Birthday Fire Truck." "Is it all right if I go?" Timothy asked his mother. "Of course," she said. "This is your birthday surprise." Timothy ran out to the fire truck and was just climbing in when--"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" came from the back of the truck, and four heads popped up.
The children shouted and waved happily at the people on the street and at Timothy's mother who was following in her car. Out to the edge of town sped the little fire truck, and at last it stopped. "We're here!" shouted the children. "We're here!" "Welcome to Funland," the fireman said.
"What shall we ride first?" Timothy asked. "You choose!" said the others, so Timothy closed his eyes, spun around, and pointed.
"Let's ride on the ponies!" Don and Terry said together, so the children raced to the pony track.
"We want the fast ones," the children cried and ran to the other side of the track. They picked otu their ponies and climbed into the saddles. Around the track the ponies trotted, heads bobbing and saddles squeaking, while the children whooped and shouted like cowboys.
The children waved to Timothy's mother. A little girl who was standing near, holding her mother's hand tightly, watched them. They waved to her, but she didn't wave back. After the merry-go-round the children rode in the little autos, turning the steering wheels and honking the horns.
Merrily, the little train puff-a-chuffed along. Through a tunnel, over a bridge, up a hill, down a hill, through another tunnel, and back to the station again. When it stopped, it blew a long loud toot on its whistle.
As the children jumped off the train, they saw the little girl still watching them. They walked over to her. "Don't you want to ride on something?" Jean asked her. The little girl backed away and didn't answer. "We live in an apartment building, and Ellen doesn't have anyone her age to play with," Ellen's mother explained. "That is why she is shy."
"Today is my birthday," Timothy told Ellen, "and we are having a party at Funland. It's my birthday surprise."
"It's my birthday, too," Ellen said. "I'm five years old."
"I'm six. Come on the rides with us--we are going for the second time--and it will be a double birthday party," Timothy invited her.
"I guess maybe I will come with you," she said. "I have never been on a pony." "It's fun," Timothy said. "Come on." Ellens eyes were bright as she clombed into a saddle. Up and down she bounced as the pony trotted along, and her eyes grew bigger and bigger.
The children used their last tickets to ride on the little train. As they were getting on, Timothy's mother said to the engineer, "We have two birthday children today. Could you let them toot the whistle once or twice?" "Why, sure!" the engineer said. "I will even let them help me run the train."
After the train ride it was time to eat. Timothy's mother and Ellen's mother took the children to a refreshment stand in the park and everyone had hot dogs and soda pop and ice-cream cones. Then they sang Happy Birthday to Timothy and Ellen.
They left the park and walked toward the car and climbed in. As they went down the street, Terry and Mary Ann and Jean and Don and Timothy looked back for a long time and waved and waved until Funland was out of sight.