Joe and his birthday
by Nicole Mahler
(Oak Park IL, U.S.A.)
There once were five dogs named Joe, Matt, Bill, Mark, and John. Joe is a small black dog. Matt is a brown and white dog. Bill is a small white and light brown dog. Mark is a brown shaggy dog. And John is a black and white big dog.
In four days it is going to be Joe's twenty-first birthday. Joe didn't really care. His only wish was to never get a year older as long as he lived. He just wanted everybody to just forget about his birthday. Joe never told anyone about how he felt.
Then one day Bill said "Yo Joe your birthday's coming up, can't wait!" Matt was planning to have a surprise party for Joe. He told Bill, Mark, and John about it, and John invited tons of Joe's friends. But Joe decided to go for a walk instead. He was just feeling sorry for himself.
Meanwhile John, Matt, Mark, and Bill were setting up for the party. Which they all hoped that Joe would attend happily and with grace. And soon all of Joe's friends arrived. They had games planned and a cake with tons and tons of presents.
When Joe finally came back from his long walk he still felt sad. And when all of his friends yelled "surprise" Joe pretended to be happy but Matt could tell that something was wrong. When Joe went to his room, Matt followed him and asked what was up. Joe kept saying that nothing was wrong, but Matt knew Joe was lying. So with a little persuasion Joe finally confessed what was on his mind. And Matt told him that "getting older wasn't so bad. You're only as young as you feel."
"Ya know what? Your right!" replied Joe. "Age is just a state of mind." And with coming to that realization, Joe felt better and enjoyed his party. After the party was over, Joe was very happy and felt lucky to have really good friends. Nowadays Joe's comfortable with getting older. In fact these days he actually likes it.