The Pine Forest was caught up in a heatwave and the air was very very hot. Despite this, Lorem walked out of his house with a big smile on his face. This was a peculiar sight: very hot days usually didn’t make Lorem happy — but today was different. Today, he didn’t care about the weather. You see, today was his birthday! Lorem never made a big fuss around his birthday, and if we’re completely honest, he’s never even had a proper birthday party. He spent his previous birthdays just visiting friends and being genuinely happy. And this was exactly what he planned on doing today. He put on his sunglasses, picked up his compact umbrella —just in case— and drove off on his scooter. His first stop was Otja’s house.
“Huh, this is strange,” Lorem pondered. “Otja’s bicycle isn’t here! This means that Otja isn't home. He probably just went out to get something! I know, I’ll go see Ipsum instead!”
And so he went, but Ipsum was also not home.
“Well, isn’t this a pickle!” said Lorem. “I guess I'll go visit Lix the Llama — and then I’ll go back to Otja’s place...”
But Lix was also not home. His neighbour said that she saw him leave early in the morning; he didn’t have much to say but he was carrying an awful lot of baggage. Lorem found this very strange. He then tried his luck at Freja’s house, where he only encountered her mother Nanna. She was fast asleep in the shade of her garden and he didn’t want to disturb her, so he just left.
Lorem couldn’t find his friends and that made him sad. He drove his scooter out to the lake, sat down by a tree and looked out into the distance. In the middle of the water, he saw a boat. He observed it for a while; it seemed to be getting closer. He could now make out several figures in the boat and it looked like they were having some kind of party. “How wonderful!” Lorem said to himself. He thought how much more wonderful it would have been if he was having a party with his friends, right now. He let out a sigh.
Meanwhile, the boat got even closer… and closer… and closer. And then, Lorem’s mood suddenly improved: he could hardly believe it, but the figures in the boat were actually his friends! Otja, Ipsum, Freja and Lix!
“Happy birthday, Lorem!” they all yelled.
Lorem threw himself into the lake and began swimming as fast as he could. His friends gave him a hand and lifted him onto the boat.
“Gotcha!” Otja laughed. “You didn’t really think we would all mysteriously disappear on your birthday, did you?”
The party could now really start; Lix began taking photos of the merry bunch, Ipsum played the guitar and Freja set up a little table on the boat. She put a big chocolate cake on the table, and then put a candle on top of the cake. Lorem closed his eyes and wished for… well, we don’t know what. Only Lorem knows that.
But we do know one thing: surprises only come when you least expect them.