THE FORGOTTEN BIRTHDAY
It was winter time, but maybe it was summer or spring, who knows, it might have been autumn. It was the king’s birthday that day; however he had completely forgotten his age. He tried to think hard, so hard that he almost broke his crown in the effort to remember. What will happen if he only finds out tomorrow? It is going to be too late, as this day will be soon over and he would have no idea how much older he had gotten. When he has almost lost all hope and tears were about to roll down his cheeks, an idea has suddenly occurred to him. He had realised that there was no use to weep, since a very special goose lived in his kingdom, which could surely help him out on this difficult day. He quickly sent for his servant to bring the strangest goose of the kingdom, called Smooth Goose, to his castle.
The particular feature of Smooth Goose was that he could make as many different faces, that is was impossible to count, so no one could recognize him and he could hide whenever and wherever he wanted to. The king was aware of this special skill, so he has never asked his cook to prepare goose liver or goose leg for him. He thought that a goose, which is neither silly nor fat, might come in handy for him one day. And this day has come!
– I am so glad to see you today. I have an important task for you! You have to find my lost birthday, as I had completely forgot how old I became today! – ordered the king the goose decisively.
Smooth Goose got a little scared of this special mission, even his white feathers started to shake a bit. However, he knew that there was no way out, if this was the king’s wish. He thought it was still better to be searching for a lost birthday than getting baked in a hot oven to be eaten for dinner. He could always count on his friends, so he asked them to go with him on this big adventure.
He called the oldest inhabitant of the kingdom, Sausage Dog, for help. Where Sausage Dog goes, there goes Mini Kitty, who always finds everything easily, because she is so easy-going and is never anxious about anything. When Baby Chick, the youngest chicken in the kingdom, heard that they were about to go on an adventure, he immediately let them know that he wanted to be part of their mission with his instant growling! As a matter of fact, Baby Chick thought that he was a bear with enormous claws and fur and ate honey for breakfast instead of millet seeds. He arrived to the kingdom at a very young age, when he was still inside of an egg.
The people of the kingdom had grown to love him so much, that they have never told him the difference between a chick and a bear since then. However, he was not the only funny character, who had interesting dreams. Fun Frog made such great jokes, which even the glum mosquitos laughed at even on sleepy, rainy Monday mornings. Fun Frog believed that if he was kissed by a girl he would become a handsome prince. Since the king had no daughters at all, he did not have much chance to find out the real truth about the magic kiss. Tummy Piggy thought that such a transformation was impossible; therefore it was useless to wait for it. Tummy Piggy, as all pigs in general, has loved his belly just as much as he has loved constant lecturing.
The not so small gang has left for the adventure and started discovering the hidden rooms of the Castle. They followed Sausage Dog, who sniffed out the direction and finally they ended up at the basement. Fun Frog was sure to find a princess hidden behind the doors that he would kiss on the lips and they would enter a fairy tale together being completely and crazy in love. However, he only found a labyrinth and sadly no trace of any princesses.
As soon as Mini Kitty saw the hidden labyrinth of the basement, she was absolutely confident that this was a piece of cake and they would find their way out in a mere five minutes. Tummy Piggy said that it was impossible for the king to be 5 years old, because that would be terribly young and even the crown would fall off his head. Baby Chick interrupted the conversation with a huge growl, hoping that this would make him bigger and less afraid in the dark. Only Smooth Goose remained calm and decided to get going without any hesitation. The others took their time, hesitated a bit, but eventually started to follow him quietly. They crossed a secret chamber, a danger corridor and the labyrinth of stairs. At the end of the curvy path they saw a number, which was sitting there a bit indignantly.
– What are you doing here? – asked Smooth Goose.
– Me? Nothing, I am not looking for anything at all. I am just sitting here – replied the grumpy number.
– By the way, aren’t you the number for the king’s birthday? – asked Tummy Piggy suspiciously.
– Maybe I am. It is not important at all anyway – replied the number with a round belly.
– I think it is you! Moreover, I am sure you are the birthday number! – said Baby Chick jumping up and down excitedly, who forgot it for a moment if he was a bear or a chick.
– Yes, it is me! So what? They forgot about me! There was no celebration! – said the number angrily, almost crying.
– Well, this is why we are here; to find you and to make sure that you would not be forgotten! Do not worry, we will solve this problem! – said Mini Kitty in her usual, easy-going manner.
– Have you really come for me? – asked the surprised number.
– Yes, the king has sent for you, because he misses you terribly! – calmed him down Fun Frog, who had nothing funny on his mind at that moment.
– Come with us! Let’s play and celebrate together! We would be glad to be your friends – said Smooth Goose, who was absolutely in the clouds to have found the lost birthday number.
– All right. Let’s hurry then! – replied their new friend enthusiastically.
They started running towards the throne room, taking the steps four by four, and they were all exhausted by the time they got there. The king had been so sad and exhausted that he has almost fallen asleep. However, when he had seen the number he suddenly jumped up from his seat with joy.
– Oh, dear 40, finally I have found you! How nice and round and big you are! – hugged the king the number happily.
– Thank you for not forgetting me! – whispered the number quietly.
– I have almost forgotten about you, but Smooth Goose helped me out. Thank you all! – said the king to the little heroes. Then the king turned back and spoke to the number again: – Please forgive me! I will grant you a wish, so that you forgive my forgetfulness!
The number has thought for a bit and then remembered one of his old dreams.
– I would very much like to be a house number in Eötvös street! – murmured the number quietly.
– Why particularly in this street? – asked the king.
– When I was a small number I used to play a lot there and it has been my dream to return since then.
– Your wish is my command! – replied the king happily.
Smooth Goose and his friends could make a wish too, as they had completed the task assigned to them. This is how Smooth Goose, his friends, the whole kingdom and number 40 have been living together since then in a castle in the basement at Eötvös street no. 40. They play games and hide-and-seek all day long and never forget a birthday!
If you do not believe it, come and see it yourself!