This is the second chapter of Aaron the Dragon
Aaron the Dragon. Chapter 2.
Petra Zebra’s Birthday
There’s a party in Dragonvillage today: it’s Petra Zebra’s birthday and that needs celebrating. King George and Queen Georgette are giving a party at the castle and everyone is invited. Everyone. Except Aaron the Dragon.
The birthday girl, or rather the birthday zebra, turns 100 manehairs today. She’s in the flower of her youth, because zebras become about 300 manehairs old. For every manehair they grow older they get a new manehair on their heads. That’s why you now precisely how old a zebra is when you count its manehairs.
It promised to be a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky! Raven Black, who got up at the crack of dawn, flew in the air. “It’ll be a nice day today,” he thought while floating in the sky on his own. “The sky is even less cloudy than it was on Royal Familyday a while ago.” He thought back to the party with a smile on his face. The party was organised that day by the inhabitants of Dragonvillage for the celebration of the birthdays of King George, Queen Georgette and Princess Georgina, who were all born the same day. Meanwhile they slept 30 times. That’s the way it goes in Dragonvillage. When there’s a bank holiday or a birthday, they have to wait another 30 nights for the next festive event.
Booster the Rooster got up very early too. From the moment the sun reached the horizon, he opened his eyes. “Rooster-a-doodle-doo, cok-a-doodle-doo,” he yelled very loudly so everyone could hear him. “Rooster-a-doodle-dooooooooooo. Get up! It’s time! Out of bed everyone! Rooster-a-doodle-doo!” Booster cackled and everyone was awake, the inhabitants of Dragonstein too. They were up and about at once, because a lot of things still had to happen before they could party.
Nearly all inhabitants of Dragonvillage gathered in front of the hospital. They lined up in two rows under Petra’s window. Princess Georgina had come especially from the castle. She stood in front of the animals, just as a conductor stands in front of his orchestra, and counted: “One, two; one, two, three!” at the count of three all animals began to sing together: “Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear Petra. Happy Birthday to yououououououou!”
Upstairs a window opened and Petra’s head appeared. She laughed at seeing all her friends and tears came to her eyes when they ended their song with: “Hip, hip, hurray! Hip, hip, hurray!” She leaned out of the window and shouted to the singers: “Thanks everyone, that’s a great surprise, a marvellous start to my birthday. Many thanks.”
“Congratulations Petra,” said Claire Bear. “I invented a new sort of cake especially for your birthday, one with black and white chocolate stripes. Narrow Sparrow thinks they’re very yummy and she’s nibbling the crumbs at the bakery right now.” To prove it, she removed the cloth from the tray she was holding and everyone could smell the delicious black and white cake.
“It looks great Claire,” Petra said. “I’ll come and get it at once!”
Her head disappeared, the window was closed and a few moments later Petra was at the hospital door. She was immediately congratulated by Booster the Rooster, Crocodile Lyle and Ape Abe, who gave her Raven Black’s best wishes. He couldn’t be there in person; his working day had started very early. Sean Swan and Penguin Lin even gave her a kiss. Gigi and Trunk-Trunk wished her a firefree year and Jake and doctor Rox also brought along only good wishes.
“A few animals apologise for their absence, but wish you all the best for your birthday anyway,” doctor Rox the Fox said. “Jeep the Sheep will come later. He has to eat a lot in the morning. That’s the time the grass is covered with dewdrops and that’s what makes sheep grow.” He took a deep breath and gave Petra an envelope: “This is a birthday card from Tiger the Silent,” he said.
“Thank you,” Petra replied as she took the card. She then turned to Penguin Lin who patted on her back.
“Pat the Cat can’t make it either. She’s preparing a surprise for you and still has a lot to do.”
“Make room, make room!” they suddenly heared Joyce the Tortoise’s voice. They turned round and saw Joyce approaching groaning and moaning, voraciously stepping on the pedals of her bike with trailer. She stopped just in front of the group “Special delivery for Miss Petra Zebra.” She scrambled for something in her trailer and finally got something out of it.
Everyone laughed. Joyce had Millar the Caterpillar in her paws, who was shouting as loud as he possibly could: “I’m not the delivery! But many congratulations anyway Miss Zebra.” Joyce shook her head, put Millar on the ground and took the real delivery out of her trailer, a wonderful bunch of flowers.
“They are beautiful,” said Petra. “I’ll put them in a vase right away. You will all come to my party at the castle this afternoon, won’t you?” she asked and everybody nodded in approval.