April is a busy month for birthdays in Arkshire, and that means lots of cake.
Declan O’Connor’s birthday was 1 April. His auntie Laura made a soccer cake complete with goal nets and cheering fans in the bleachers.
On the day of the party all the kids were outside enjoying the perfect spring weather. Declan’s mom called everyone, "Time for cake!” The kids gathered around Declan, ready to sing "Happy Birthday", while his mom went to the kitchen to light the candles. When she returned, she looked at the anxious faces and said, “The cake is gone!”
Across town, old Mr Dingle was turning 100. His family had ordered cake to feed all of the family and friends who had been part of his life. The village baker arrived at the hall and asked for help to carry the enormous cake. But when he got back to his delivery truck the cake was gone.
Also missing were cupcakes on their way to a baby shower and the birthday cakes for the Sterling twins across town.
Stories of disappearing cake were all over town.
Little Evelyn couldn’t wait to see the ballerina cake that she'd asked for on her birthday. When no one was looking, she lifted up the corner of the cake box to get a peek. The box was empty!
Mr O’Grady had made a cake to surprise his wife for her birthday. He put it outside to cool while he made the icing. When he went back, the cake was gone!
He saw some muddy footprints and followed them to the harbour. There he saw a little covered boat. As he got closer to the boat, he saw a table full of cake and candles. In fact, every stolen cake from town was in that boat. At the end of the table sat a friendly looking pirate. As he took a bite from each cake, he giggled and tears of joy spilled down his cheeks.
Mr O’Grady approached the boat. “So, you're the one who has been stealing all the cakes in Arkshire! You have made a lot of people very unhappy on their birthday.”
The pirate stopped eating. “I didn’t mean to make them sad. I just couldn’t help myself. You see, my mother never let me have birthday cake … she said it was bad for my teeth … and I was hungry.”
Mr O’Grady had an idea. He told the pirate to meet him in the village the next day. Then Mr O’Grady explained to the baker what had happened to the cakes and how the pirate felt bad for ruining so many birthdays. Once the baker found out how good the pirate was at moving cakes, he hired him.
Now, instead of stealing the cakes, the pirate delivers them. Of course, he is such a friendly pirate that everyone invites him in for a slice of cake. And the pirate brushes his teeth after every piece.
Jennifer Huls lives near Toronto, Canada, and has a bachelor's degree in psychology. She fell in love with children's books while reading them to her own children, and believes in the importance of books to stimulate children's imaginations, foster curiosity and contribute to emotional development and communication skills. Jennifer gets her best ideas while walking the dog. To find out more, visit Jennifer's website.
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