Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Funniest Birthday Presents Ever!

By Ryan Traynor, Contributing Writer


Sydney Snake sat up on her ground cot and glanced over the lawn. The glint of the morning sun made her squint her eyes as she slivered over to the bushes to get her morning shower. She rustled the branches of the bush and let out a hissing sound as the droplets of dew were shaken loose and cascaded over her long, smooth body.

Ah, now my lime green and polka dot skin will sparkle in the sunshine.

As the last drop made a loud “kerplunk” on her head, she shook it, remembering an important thing – My birthday is in TWO DAYS!

Sydney did a swirly snake dance as she thought about all the nice presents she would receive this year from her forest friends.

Meanwhile, Mikey the Monkey was swinging through the trees. Glancing through the clearing, he saw Sydney the Snake. “Happy almost birthday, Sydney!” he screeched down to her.

He swung to the next branch and thought, Oh my! I have no idea what to get Sydney for her birthday! I’ll have to start thinking about that fast!

Next came along Timmy the Turtle. He had been making his way through that couple of feet of the forest for the past two hours. Finally, he lifted his head and said in a slow deep voice, “Hello Sydney! How are you today?”

Sydney slowed down her swirl and stopped to look at Timmy eye to eye. It didn’t matter how many times they crossed paths during the day, Timmy still was shocked when Sydney looked directly at him with those yellow wide eyes. He pulled his head back into his shell and peeked out hesitantly.

“Oh Timmy,” Sydney spit out, “You know I won’t sssstrike you. Come on out.”

With that, Timmy slowly pulled his head out once again from his shell. “Hi Sydney. What do you want for your birthday?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Sssssurprisssse me!” she hissed.

Sydney then happily slithered off into the pond, skimming along the water’s surface and dipping up and down happily in the water and then flicking herself onto the shore. She slivered along the water’s edge, looking for a morsel for lunch.

“Hey Sydney,” someone yelled over the bellowing of the bullfrogs on the pond. “What’s up?”

She scanned the surface of the water and then saw Bruce the Black Bear galloping across the open space. He was the only creature in her habitat that made Sydney want to wind into a crevice. It wasn’t his personality; Bruce was as sweet as a teddy bear. It was his long, sharp teeth. Saliva dripped off them as he spoke and it made Sydney’s scales shiver. Then Bruce would talk with her and his deep, low voice would soothe her nerves. She could relax into the soft, warm ground instead of coiling up in defense.

“Hey, Bruce. What are your planssss for today?” Sydney hissed.

“I’ll be spending the day thinking about your birthday present, Sydney. What are you planning?” he bellowed.

“I’m having a party down by the pond at noon. Can you let Timmy and Mikey know?”

“You got it!” he boomed, and then pounced out of the clearing.

The next two days seemed to crawl by at a Simon the snail’s pace. Sydney kept swirling through the forest – anxious to see what her friends would give her for her birthday.

Finally, the day was here. Sydney took a nice long bath in the early morning puddle under the large oak tree. She stared at herself in the water’s reflection and felt that she didn’t look a day older than 5 years ago. She prepared for the party. She laid out a table of delicacies for her guests – black berries for Bruce, lettuce leaves for Timmy, and bananas for Mikey. It took her quite a while since she had to push her stash with her nose to get all items in their proper place.

Finally, the noon hour arrived and her guests strode in. Timmy had to begin the journey as soon as he awoke since it took him so long to get anywhere. Mikey’s hair stood on end from swinging in the trees. It made Sydney laugh when she saw him. Bruce lumbered in, carrying a small package under his arm.

Sydney did not want to seem anxious to find out what her presents were, so she ignored the brightly gift-wrapped present under his arm. They went to the makeshift log table and chatted loudly while laughing at the occasional story. Sydney had never had such a fun party in her life.

“Let’s get to the presents then,” Bruce exclaimed. “Let me go first!”

He pushed his small gift towards Sydney and she quickly swirled back and forth on top of it to loosen the seams. Out poked something black with teeth. She swiveled backwards, afraid of what would come out.

“Ha, ha, ha,” Bruce chuckled. “Sydney it’s only my prized comb.” He used his paw to get the comb all the way out of the paper and he pushed it in her direction.

“A comb?” Sydney asked in dismay as she stared at the black spikes and then glanced back at her smooth, shiny, HAIRLESS, skin.

“I, uh…wanted to give you my most prized possession,” Bruce quickly explained. “I use it every day.”

Looking at the droopy eyes of Bruce, Sydney realized that she was unable to hide her disappointment.

“Oh, I sssee, Bruce,” she began. “Although I don’t have any hair, I think I can use this comb as a great… back-scratch.” With that, she moved it over to the rocks and wedged it into the rocks. She swiveled her head over backwards and saw the grin start to cover Bruce’s face.

She went back over to Timmy who was pulled halfway into his shell. He stayed there for long enough that Bruce, Sydney, and Mikey began to inch backwards to make him feel more comfortable. Finally, he stuck his head out fully, a shiny canister between his beak. He laid it down in front of Sydney’s head and waited.

Sydney used her nose to pull the lid off the canister. Inside there was a slippery, clear gel.

“What is this, Timmy?” Sydney asked, getting better at hiding the disappointment in her voice.

“Sydney, that is my favorite shell shiner. Without that I wouldn’t have been able to meet my wife Tamara.” He looked at Sydney with wide eyes, suddenly realizing that Sydney did not have a shell, and withdrew back into his shell.

“Oh Timmy, this is what I’ve always wanted!” Sydney began. Her mind was whirling, trying to figure out what she could possible use this for so she wouldn’t disappoint her dear friend Timmy.

“What is that?” Timmy asked as he pulled out his head again.

“Yes, Timmy. I can use this to polish the hill near the pond. We can all use it then to slide into the pond more quickly. It will be our ‘Friend Slide’ and we will use it together.”

Timmy shook his head up and down emphatically as he realized her idea would work.

Mikey pounced forward with his long arms swinging forward. “Here you go, Sydney,” he said, shoving a large vine in her direction, unwrapped and simple, just like Mikey.

Sydney looked at the vine and was speechless. She couldn’t think of anything she could use the vine for in the forest.

“Don’t worry Sydney. I’ll set it up for you.”

She still stared at the vine, not understanding what he meant.

“You know…for the path…from my house to your rock?” he continued, prompting her with his eyes to understand what he meant.”

“But, Mikey, I don’t have any hands to swing with,” she said with a quick breath.

Mikey, Timmy and Bruce began to laugh.

“No Sydney, it’s not for swinging. I will tie this vine from my tree to your crevice so you can slither from your place to mine. Best friends should be able to be there for each other. Now, instead of me always swinging down to you, you can come up to me.” He looked at Sydney with intense eyes to make sure she understood.

Sydney smiled. “I have the best friends in the whole world. You each gave me your favorite things and even though we’re different, we can use them together for fun. Thanks guys! You’ve made this my best birthday ever!”

With that, she slivered around the legs of all her close friends and gave them a hug. They smiled at each other, not seeing the differences, just the fun they would have together in the days to come.