May 20th 6am. Kami could not contain herself. It was her birthday! It wasn’t any old birthday – it was her 9th birthday. One year before double digits. One year before 6th grade and only one year until she could ride her bike to school by herself. If only she had a bike! she thought, before quickly getting back to the task at hand. It was her BIRTHDAY!
Kami flew out of bed like her hair was on fire and opened the bedroom door, tripping flat on her face. There was an odd shaped present now lying beneath her. The Birthday Bunny had left a present at her door as he had done every year. Kami tore open the gold paper and gasped. It was a bike helmet! Where there is a helmet there must be a bike! Kami thought, as she raced down the stairs. Out on the front porch stood a light purple bike with a white seat and streamers hanging from the handlebars. It was the most amazing bike she had ever seen. Kami couldn’t wait to tell Miss Tarkington all about her bike. She jumped on her new bike and started pedaling.
Miss Tarkington was a grand lady. She wore the most beautiful clothing ornamented with jewels, lace and buttons. She had a matching handbag for every outfit and Miss Tarkington never had a hair out of place.
Miss Tarkington’s father, Francis Tarkington, was a shipping magnate and her mother, Honor Tarkington, was a trapeze artist. They met when Francis was traveling to Portsmouth and the circus troupe was performing there. Francis went to the show that evening and was memorized by Honor. He went backstage and bribed a stagehand with a pack of Maltesers to let him into Honor’s dressing room. When Honor walked in Francis presented her with a gift, a lovely snow globe. The snow globe had a lion and a mouse inside it. The mouse was perched on the lions hand. Honor gave the snow globe a shake and smiled as the white dots and glitter danced around the lion and the mouse. Francis and Honor decided from that moment on they would be together. They married the next day. Francis bought Honor a large mansion in the next town over for them to live. The town, previously named Port O’John, was so excited to have Francis and Honor that they renamed the town Tarkingtonville. On July 21st of the next year Miss Tarkington was born.
Miss Tarkington studied, traveled the world and eventually made her way back to Tarkingtonville to live in her home which she adored. Tarkington Manor was an ornate Victorian style house with three stories. It was surrounded by english gardens featuring roses and a maze and overlooked the most amazing town of Tarkingtonville.
One bright spring afternoon Miss Tarkington heard “Wahooo” coming from some distance. A voice shouted, “Leonard, Lionel, she’s here! Get everyone out to the backyard.” Leonard and Lionel were so excited. It was Kami’s 9th birthday and they couldn’t wait to celebrate with her.
Kami got to the manor gates as they opened in front of her. She rode up the winding drive and arrived at the front door. Carefully parking her new bike the door opened and she paused quickly at the empty door.
“Kami!” a small voice said. Kami looked around and still saw nothing. “Down here!” squeaked Lionel. Kami looked down and smiled as the tiny mouse greeted her. “Hello Lionel. Great to see you.” said Kami. “Happy Birthday my dear!” roared Leonard as he came to the door carrying a lovely glass of lemonade with a pink straw. “Please come this way. Miss Tarkington’s been expecting you.”
You see, Lionel is a mouse and Leonard is a lion. Leonard is a butler in Miss Tarkington’s home and Lionel is....well Lionel is a friend of Leonards.
Leonard and Lionel led Kami out to the back gardens where everyone was gathered. They started to sing Happy Birthday to Kami while the largest cake with the biggest sparklers were presented.
Miss Tarkington then placed a box in front of Kami. It was beautifully wrapped with the biggest silk ribbon Kami had ever seen. Kami gently opened the box and inside the box was a snow globe. Inside it was a lion with a mouse in it’s hand. Kami took the snow globe and gave it a shake. The white snow and glitter danced around the lion and the mouse. Kami was memorized.
“I was given this when I was a little girl” said Miss Tarkington. “This is the key.”
BEEP BEEP BEEP. The sound of her alarm clock rang in her ear. Kami sat straight up in bed and looked at the clock. It was 6am on May 21st. Kami was hit with a sudden sadness as she could only travel to Tarkingtonville on her birthday. If only there was another way she thought.
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