Jenny and James were ten-year-old twins. They were always together, playing different games, thinking about adventures, and supporting and helping each other in difficulty. They knew each other’s likes and interests: Jenny played video games with her bother while James helped his sister in brushing her dolls’ hair.
It was their mother’s birthday on the coming Saturday and the twins wanted to give her a surprise. What could they do? Baking a cake seemed quite impossible.
Jenny was sitting on the stairs, wondering how she could make her mother’s day special when James came running in and said to Jenny, “Hey Jen! Mummy is inviting her friends and some relatives on her birthday. I think she intends to give a party!”
“It means we have to do something great so mum can feel really happy when we surprise her in front of all her guests,” replied Jenny. “We must bake a cake for her! We could have prepared other food items as well if we were only old enough to do so. We’ll order them to be delivered from the bakery.”
The twins were making serious plans for the birthday party. They organised the seating plan, prepared the menu, bought the ingredients for the cake and decorated the dining hall the evening before the birthday.
On the big day, they woke up very early in the morning, wished their mother and asked her to watch the TV or read some magazines.
“We will take care of everything,” said James.
“Yes,” said Jenny. “Don’t worry about the party, we have everything under control.”
After ensuring that their mother was all comfortable, the twins headed for the kitchen. They were baking a chocolate fudge walnut cake. Both of them worked fast, reading the recipe and measuring the ingredients.
As soon as the batter got ready, they greased the pan and poured the batter in it. They asked mummy to put the pan in the oven and went to their rooms to get ready.
Soon, people started arriving and gave gifts to the twins’ mother. The guests and the hosts conversed for some time and then everyone went to the dining hall for the cake-cutting ceremony. The hall looked colourful and cute. Balloons had been put up and there was a big poster in the centre saying ‘Happy Birthday Mummy’. The most attractive part was the dining table which was laden with yummy treats.
Everyone was admiring the decoration when the doors from the kitchen flew open and the twins marched in. They carried a big cake full of candles. It was a beautiful one and looked yummy. James and Jenny placed it on the table and handed mother the knife. She blew the candles, cut the cake and everyone sang the birthday song.
Now it was time to eat the cake. Mother distributed it among the people but alas! The cake was a disaster! It was hard from the outside, and gooey and underdone from the inside. The taste was horrible as well!
Soon the twins realised that there was something wrong about their baked creation. They were really sad and upset.
“We’ve ruined your birthday,” James said miserably.
“Yes, we are so sorry for this!” said Jenny with tears in her eyes.
Mother hugged the twins and said, “No problem dear. It was your first attempt at baking. I am happy that you tried. Keep trying and never give up. This is the best birthday surprise of my life!”
None of the guests said that the cake was not right because everyone knew that the twins had tried to do something new and this had been their first attempt. The hall sounded with praise and appreciation for the twins’ efforts and the birthday party proceeded.
James and Jenny were glad that, despite the cake mess up, the birthday party turned out great.
Published in Dawn, Young World, October 3rd, 2020