"Well," said Lesley, "You’ve got one whole day and night to wait. You know we always get our present on our birthday morning. I hope you get what you want. Mom and Dad know you are a good boy.
You study hard and do your regular chores too. You and your friend Ray are good helpers and you are the best recycle collectors in the whole neighborhood. Everybody saves their newspapers for you guys since you started taking them all down to the Cub Scout bin at the store every week too."
All that day Billy wondered what he would get for his birthday. Ray, his friend and neighbor, helped Billy look all over the neighborhood for hidden surprises. They even looked in the garage behind all of the recycle stuff. Ray and Billy were the same age and they both were in the second grade. Ray’s brother Brian was in the first grade with Billy’s sister Lesley so they all played together.
Their street was kind of hilly so part of the fun was to ride bikes up and down. Lesley and Brian had Big Wheels and Ray had a small two wheeler. Billy was the only one with no bike, and he really wanted one!
Knowing how Billy’s parents were about tricks and surprises, they thought even if Billy was going to get a bike for his birthday they would find some funny way to give it to him, so they kept on looking. They tried to think of every hiding place they could. After they looked all over at Billy’s house, they went down to Ray’s. They searched and searched and found nothing-no bike. They pretended to be detectives and they even looked all around the recycle center at bottom of their hill for a hiding place for a bike, but did not even find a clue to where anything might be hidden. Ray thought his mom, Ann, night know something but she said all she knew was that they might all go out for breakfast in the morning.
While Billy and Ray were looking, Lesley and Brian were up to some tricks of their own. Billy’s mom and dad knew Brian and Lesley could keep a secret so they let them help with the surprise. Billy was going to get his bike, but he was going to be totally surprised at how it was going to happen and Brian and Lesley were helpers in the fun.
In big brown grocery bags, they were wrapping up lots of different things: a bike horn, a bike seat, a cool helmet, some reflectors for the back fender, a little tool kit, and finally in the last two bags, training wheels. They made the bags look like they were full of newspapers for the recycle center.
Later on that day Billy said to Ray, "What do you think I might get for my birthday if I don’t get a bike? A bike is pretty big gift, even if it is only a junior sized one. We have looked everywhere I can think of-even at your house."
"I don’t know," answered Ray. "I was sure you would get a bike too. The junior sized ones aren’t too much money and your mom and dad know we would be safe and careful around the neighborhood. My mom and her friend Mrs. Chou are putting a load of newspapers to recycle in the back of my mom’s mini-van in my garage so let’s go check out your house again. Don’t be discouraged, Billy, we'll just keep looking."
That night as the family sat down for dinner, Billy asked, "Dad, can I have my birthday just as soon as I wake up in the morning. I can’t wait to be seven."
"Sure," said Dad. "We thought we would go down to the pancake house for your birthday breakfast too since pancakes are your favorite. How about if we ask Ray and his family to join us?"
"Oh, Boy," cried Billy. "That would be perfect!"
Ray asked his mom and she said that they could go. He thought she looked kind of funny when she said it though. She looked like she already knew what he was going to ask. He wondered if his mother was in on the secret.