Sam woke up with a feeling of excitement bubbling inside him. Beside the bed stood a new scooter, and a football lay on the table.
‘It's my birthday today!' the boy remembered. He jumped up quickly and raced out of the room.
Everyone wished Sam a happy birthday and kissed the birthday boy . His friends came round to his house with presents. Sam's best friend, Will, gave him a homemade toy car and said :
‘This car has secret powers. If you turn the steering wheel to the right, it'll be your birthday again and you'll get to celebrate for another day. You always dreamed of doing that.'
Everyone laughed at Will's joke. Sam's favourite present was a book about racing cars. He spent ages looking at the book with his friends, and then they held competitions in the garden with cars they had made themselves. After they had eaten Sam's birthday cake, everyone got ready to go home.
‘Hey, Sam, do you want to turn the steering wheel on the car I gave you ? ' Will asked suddenly.
Sam grinned and turned the steering wheel.
The next moment, he woke up again in his bed and to his amazement, caught sight of two completely identical homemade toy cars in his room. Only, one was a bit grubby, and the other was shiny and new. Two footballs lay beside the cars, and two identical new navy jumpers were hung over the chair. Sam chose the one which was slightly crumpled and had a stain on the sleeve.
Feeling slightly unsure, he walked out of the room . Once again he was greeted by cries of ‘Happy birthday!' His friends came round to his house again. And when Tom handed Sam a book about racing cars, Sam gave a start and whispered:
‘I've already got the same one . '
‘So what? You can give the extra one to someone else,' Tom suggested.
‘Lunch is ready!' mum called out merrily.
Sam was so full that he couldn't even finish one of his favourite peanut butter sandwiches. The other guests also hardly touched the food.
Mum looked upset as she cleared the plates of food from the table.
‘Come on, let's have a look at your book about racing cars,' Will suggested.
‘I don't want to - we've already looked at it. Change everything back to how it was. It's no fun celebrating the same day twice!' Sam shouted.
‘Well then , turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction,' Will replied calmly.
Sam grabbed the car and quickly turned the steering wheel. His friends disappeared, and Sam was left alone with his toy car in the middle of the room.
‘Sam, come and help me clear the table, then you can play with your car,' mum said.
‘Of course I'll help you, mummy!' said Sam. ‘But I'm not going to play with the car.' And under his breath he added, ‘Especially not with that car!' and he put it away on the shelf.
Questions to accompany the story about family
- Would you like to have two birthdays a year, or even more ?
- If you had a time machine, what would you use it for ? Make up a story about it .
- Why did the boy in the story decide he didn't want two birthdays, even though he ended up with twice as many presents?
- Make up a story about a magician who seized birthdays from naughty children, and about how these children got their birthdays back.