by Jamie Harbison
It was the night before his birthday and Jem could barely sleep. He had no idea what he
was getting from his parents but he knew it would be big. He had not seen any boxes in
any cupboards (he had looked) and there wasn't any wrapping paper lying around. He
just knew by the excited look his mother had in her eyes when she kissed him
goodnight that it was going to be a very special birthday indeed. He turned on to his
side to get more comfortable and drifted off to sleep with a smile on his face.
He woke up the next morning just as the sun peeked its cheery face over the distant
hills. Jem still wore the same smile with which he had fallen asleep. The rest of the
house was still quiet so he had to wait before he could get out of bed. His Mom always
used to say to him: ‘When you wake up early, Jem, turn around and go back to sleep’
but he was bursting with excitement and he just could not wait. He stretched over and
pulled the curtain open to see what kind of day it would be. It was just about light and,
as far as he could see, there was not a cloud in sight. It was sheer torture for him to
have to be so still but he did not want to make a noise and wake his parents up.
Luckily he did not have to wait very much longer because, just when he thought he
could not stand it any longer, he heard the door to his parents' room open with a soft
"click". Jem bolted out of bed and ran into the hall, almost knocking his mother over as
she tiptoed to the kitchen.
"You're up early, my precious little elfling. Is it somebody's birthday?" she teased.
“It’s mine, it’s mine!” said Jem, laughing and he hugged her fiercely.