It was a very cold day in the Antarctic. The Antarctic is located at the southern tip of the earth. Sammy Penguin woke up early on that particular day. He was very excited and couldn’t sleep very well. Today was his birthday.
Mommy Penguin was in the kitchen making Sammy his favourite breakfast, fried fish. Penguins love to eat fish!
“My!” said Mommy. “You’re up early.”
“I’m too excited to sleep,” said Sammy.
“Why?” asked Mommy. “Is there something special happening today?”
“It’s my birthday,” said Sammy, proudly. “I’m five years old today.”
“Yes,” said Mommy. “My little boy is growing up awfully fast.”
Sammy ate his breakfast and then went outside to do his morning chores.
“Make sure you dress warmly,” said Mommy. “It’s really cold outside today and, please make sure you’re home early. We will be having some guests over around dinner time.”
“Okay,” said Sammy.
Sammy put his warm parka, boots and mittens on. The first thing that he had to do was to check for fish. He went down toward the Antarctic Ocean and took a breath of the fresh, cold air. The air was nippy and stung Sammy’s lungs, but it felt good.
As Sammy bent over to check the fish holes in the ice, he saw Peter Seal sunning himself on a nearby iceberg.
“Hello Peter,” called Sammy.
“Hi Sammy,” Peter called back. “Do you want to play?”
“I’d like to,” said Sammy. “But I can’t today. I have to get my work done and get back home. Today is my birthday.”
“Well,” said Peter. “Happy Birthday!”
“Thank you,” said Sammy.
“Couldn’t you just play for a little while?” asked Peter. “Besides, you don’t have to work on your birthday, do you?”
“Well,” said Sammy, thinking very hard. “I guess I could play for a minute.”
Sammy swam over to Peter’s iceberg.
“What do you want to play?” asked Sammy.
“Let’s play touch tag,” said Peter.
“Okay,” said Sammy.
The two friends played touch tag and Sammy enjoyed himself so much, that he lost track of the time. Soon it started to get very dark outside.
“Oh no!” cried Sammy. “Peter, I’ve got to go home! I’m going to be late for my birthday party.”
Just then, a big blizzard started. The cold wind just about knocked Sammy over.
“Oh Peter,” cried Sammy. “What am I going to do? I can’t be late for my own birthday party. Mommy is going to be so mad at me!”
“Hop on my back,” said Peter. “I’ll give you a ride home.”
Sammy hopped onto Peter’s back. Peter swam as fast as he could in the cold Antarctic water. Within minutes, he was outside Sammy’s home.
“Thank you, Peter,” said Sammy. “I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
“Just have a happy birthday,” said Peter.
“Why don’t you come in and have some cake with us?” asked Sammy.
“Are you sure?” asked Peter.
“Yes,” said Sammy. “I would really like you to be at my birthday party.”
“Alright,” said Peter.
Sammy and Peter entered the house. The guests were just beginning to arrive.
“Sammy,” said Mommy, who was worried sick about her son. “Where have you been?”
“I was playing with Peter,” said Sammy.
“Playing!” exclaimed Mommy. “I suppose you didn’t check the fish holes, did you?”
“I did check one,” said Sammy.
“Sammy,” said Daddy, walking into the kitchen as he overheard what Sammy had just told Mommy. “Are you supposed to be playing before your work is done?”
“It’s my fault,” said Peter. “I was the one that wanted Sammy to play with me.”
“I see,” said Daddy. “Well Sammy, from now on, I hope that you will do your work first, and then, you can play.”
“Alright Daddy,” said Sammy. “I will, I promise.”
“That’s a good boy,” said Daddy. “Now, come on out here and open up your presents.”
From that day on, Sammy did all his work first, and then he and Peter played touch tag all afternoon. Sometimes, Peter helped Sammy with his work, so that they could play together that much longer.