Francesca’s Birthday Dream

Posted: March 25, 2014 in Dream
Tags: , ,
Image courtesy of franky242 /

Image courtesy of franky242 /

When the alarm clock rang, Francesca had hardly slept. She loved her birthday, and she loved birthday surprises even more. This was her 10th birthday. She already felt different. Her age showing two digits instead of just one – she felt great! She jumped out of bed and hurried to the door, carefully opening it a crack. Her parents were downstairs in the kitchen, whispering and laughing.

As she knew that it didn’t make sense to go downstairs without having showered and brushed her teeth, she obediently went to the bathroom before getting dressed. She put on her new green T-shirt and her favourite pair of jeans. Then she grabbed her school-bag and bounded downstairs. Her parents hugged her and produced the first birthday present of the day. Francesca curiously opened the package. Inside was a card with the picture of a donkey and hieroglyphs? She looked closer. “Mirror writing!” Laughing, her father handed her a mirror. Her eyes grew bigger when reading the invitation.

Her mother had prepared her favourite breakfast. Francesca was way too excited to really enjoy it, though. “Really? We’re really going?” Her parents nodded. Her mother drove her to school. Francesca was still thinking about the card she had been given, softly humming to herself. Her mother watched her in the rear-view mirror and smiled. Francesca was happy by nature; now she was really thrilled.

Her friends greeted her at the gates, asking about her birthday gifts, and her birthday party. Francesca told them that presents were opened in the evening. She didn’t tell them about the present she had already been given, though. Her birthday party was scheduled for the upcoming Saturday.

In class, it was her turn to select a story to read, her favourite tune to sing, etc.. Francesca could hardly sit still. The lessons seemed to last forever. Finally, the last class of the day was coming to an end. The class cheered when they were told that there would be no homework for the next day. The pupils were released from class. Francesca raced to the school gates where her parents were already waiting. Her mother hugged her and deposited her school-bag in the boot of the car. They got in, fastened their seat belts, and set off.

Half an hour later, they turned right through an open gate and halted in front of a farm house. A couple in their mid-thirties stepped through the front door and waved. They introduced themselves as Inga and Fred Hofmann. After one glance at Francesca’s eager face, Inga asked them to follow them to the pens. The two pens were really large, Francesca couldn’t see where they ended. There were trees, smooth hills, and in the right pen some of the donkeys approached the visitors curiously.

Image courtesy of dan /

Image courtesy of dan /

“Let’s have some coffee and cocoa, first.”

Francesca turned around and saw there that was actually an already set coffee table in front of the shed. There was even a cake on the table. Inga smiled as she saw how astonished Francesca was. “Your mother told us that this is your 10th birthday. Please bear with us for starting with coffee, cocoa, and cake. As soon as our children have done their homework, you can care for the donkeys.”

Francesca was speechless and happy. Now she enjoyed sipping hot cocoa and the cheesecake was just delicious. When the Hofmanns’ kids came round the corner, she hastily gulped down the last cocoa, looking questioningly at her parents at the Hofmanns. “Off you go!”

For three hours, Francesca and the Hofmann kids – Darla and Ben – only talked donkey. They collected them from the pen, groomed them, cared for their hooves, haltered them and went for a long walk. They talked all the time. Darla and Ben were a little older, not that it mattered. They had a great time together. Darla mentioned that they had moved there four years ago. Their parents were members of an animal welfare society. They bred rare domestic animals to prevent their extinction. They focussed on certain types of sheep, poultry, and endangered donkeys. “Everything for the good cause,” Ben said.

Francesca was thrilled. Protecting animal rights was important. “Is there something I can do, like – now?”

She learned that there was actually the possibility to ‘sponsor’ an animal. “You might have seen the odd badge at a zoo. People who want to support animals often cannot handle tasks like mucking themselves. They approach the organisations and pay a monthly fee for an animal. The prices differ. It is more expensive to sponsor an elephant than meerkats.”

Image courtesy of franky242 /

Image courtesy of franky242 /

When the kids returned from their walk, they took care of their donkeys’ hooves and let them back in the pen. When they got back to their parents, Francesca seemed to be away with the fairies. Then she burst out “I want to help! I absolutely want to support animals in need!”

Her parents and the Hofmanns were thunderstruck. “There is a lot to learn, to be really supportive, Francesca,” Fred told her.

“You can spend your next school holiday here, and learn more about our animals.”

Francesca wanted to reply and thank Fred Hofmann, however, the alarm clock rang and – was immediately switched off. Francesca opened her eyes, sitting up in bed as she realised that all had been a dream. Her parents enclosed her in a hug. “Happy birthday, Francesca!”

‘Maybe…’ Francesca glanced at the toy donkeys on her night-stand and thought with a big grin on her face, ‘Maybe part of my dream does come true.’


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This fictional short story is dedicated to Francesca Grund,
celebrating her 10th birthday,
today, 2014-03-25.

As you can see – she adores donkeys.  😀


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  1. Topaz says:

    Oh, what a lovely story! I was disappointed to learn that it was only a dream… but I hope that Francesca’s dream does come true. Have a very happy 10th birthday, darling – double digits are indeed something to celebrate! 😉

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