The Birthday Surprise!

In the story “The Birthday Surprise”, it was decided to send the man-servant on vacation to somewhere nice for his birthday … but where, and how? Odessa had the answer:

*** ***** ***

Odessa was jumping up and down. “It’s easy!” she said. “I’ve been flying over the nearby towns, and just recently, they’ve been releasing lots of balloons for some reason.”

Dewey looked at her in disbelief. “What do balloons have to do with the man-servant going on vacation?”

Odessa was still jumping up and down. “Look, Dewey, you’re a cat, so you don’t understand things like air currents, thermals, air travel, gravity, and all that stuff, but I do. We need to get a lot of those balloons, and we’ll soon have the man-servant on his way! Simple! What could possibly go wrong?”

The towns were too far away for Dewey and Jaxon, so they cleared a space in the barn near the roof, as Odessa instructed, and waited. It wasn’t long before they heard the familiar whoosh-whoosh and Odessa arrived with two balloons. Dewey and Jaxon watched in amazement as Odessa let go of them, and they rose gracefully up into the roof of the barn. By the end of that day, all three of them looked in awe at all the balloons that were up in the roof.

Dewey suddenly turned to Odessa. “That’s all very pretty, but how are they going to help us?”

Odessa gave a little grunt of frustration “I wish you were a Barn Owl. Talking to you would be so much easier. Look at those balloons. Don’t they give you any ideas? Have you no imagination?”

Jaxon then started hopping around excitedly. “I know!” he said. “I know! I know how it’s going to work!”

Odessa looked at him. “Good for you, Jaxon. Now, would you mind explaining it to this cat?”

Jaxon looked straight at Dewey. “Now concentrate, Dewey. Odessa brought all those balloons from the town, right?” Dewey nodded. “They don’t belong to us, right? Like, Odessa stole them, right?” Dewey nodded. “Well then, once we tell the man-servant what happened, he will want to take them all back to that town to return them. He can then have a vacation. Brilliant!”

The barn went very quiet as Dewey tried to make sense of what he had just heard. Meanwhile, Odessa had walked away, shaking her head and muttering something about being surrounded by idiots.

A few moments later, Odessa walked back to them. “Listen up you two! You may have no clue about much of anything, but you do have to understand what we are going to do here. This is my plan. We take all those strings hanging down from the balloons and tie them together. Then we all pull hard to bring the balloons down here, where we tie them to something really heavy … say that old tractor in the corner. Then we invite the man-servant over. We give him the balloon strings, cut the ties to the tractor, and then voila! Man-Servant will be able to fly with the balloons, and go wherever he wants to go. He’ll have a lovely adventure-filled vacation!”

Dewey had a big smile on his face, but Jaxon was looking serious. “I have one small question.”

“Okay.” said Odessa. “What part of my plan are you not understanding, Jaxon?”

“Well,” said Jaxon, “when we give him the balloons, and cut the ties on the tractor, the man-servant will fly upwards with the balloons, right?”

“Exactly!” said Odessa. “Now, if only Dewey could grasp that!”

But Jaxon hadn’t finished. “Odessa,” he said, “when the man-servant flies upwards, he’s going to hit the roof of this barn. How does he get himself out through the open door?”

Odessa look stunned for a moment. “Ah … mmm … well … I see you spotted my deliberate mistake, Jaxon. Congratulations! Of course, we need to get the balloons outside the barn before we give them to the man-servant.”

Jaxon was still not happy with Odessa’s plan. “Odessa,” he said again, “won’t the balloons fly away in whatever direction the wind is blowing?”

Odessa looked at him. “Well … yes, of course.”

“Well then,” continued Jaxon, “how will he know where he is going for his vacation, and how will he get back here?”

“Well,” said Odessa, “that’s a minor detail, which I shall have to work on. Give me a few minutes, but in the meantime, let’s get all those balloons tied to the old tractor.”

*** ***** ***

What happens next? You will need a copy of “The Odessa Chronicles”. It is sold by the major on-line book retailers all around the world, as well as direct from the Friesen Press Bookstore (link below)

https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000053250745/Carolyn-Shelton-and-Colin-Chappell-The-Odessa-Chronicles

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