Dear Jessica and Jacob,
Grampa and I wish the happiest of birthdays to our darling grandchildren. We hope you enjoy your fun birthday presents and your yummy birthday cake. Speaking of birthday gifts and birthday cakes, have you kids heard of Birthday Boar? No, I don’t mean the human bore that you have to yawn in their face every time they speak. Oh no, not that bore. What I mean is the savage, snorting, two-tusked boar. Oh yes, I mean the boar that moves ferociously and attacks ferociously.
Of course, you have heard of and celebrate with Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Great Pumpkin. But, do you celebrate with Birthday Boar? I don’t think so! Although, Birthday Boar was a wild and savage and ferocious animal, he once had a splendid idea and because of that idea he needs to have his story told. So here we go.
Long, long, long before people remember, Birthday Boar decided it would be fun to honor each animal’s day of birth by giving presents to them on their day. Birthday Boar put his idea into practice the day of Lion’s Birthday. He found an old forgotten shank of meat under a bush. “Oh good,” he thought, “Lion loves the taste of meat.” So right away Birthday Boar grabbed that shank of meat between his teeth and trotted over and dropped it in front of Lion. As soon as he dropped the meat, he planned on singing a Happy Birthday tune to Lion.
But, before Boar could open his mouth to sing Lion roared, “Ugh, what is this foul garbage? Are you crazy?” Lion jumped up and away from the shank of meat and, blew out his breath and huffed, “ Phew, whatever possessed you to drop this stinking thing right in front of my face?
“But I thought you liked the taste of meat,” said Birthday Boar.
Did you really think I’d eat this putrid mold infested rotted meat?”
“But, it’s your birthday and I…”
“Birthday, smirthday,” Lion roared louder and louder. “ Get out of my hunting ground before I am forced to damage your body in a way you will certainly regret.”
Trembling with fear, Birthday Boar whispered, “Well, I never.” as he retreated into the jungle as fast as his legs could carry him. He kept going until he out-ran the thundering roars of Lion.
Did Birthday Boar give up his splendid idea, you may ask? The answer would be, oh no not Birthday Boar. In fact, a few months later, Bear had a birthday. Learning his lesson from the rotten meat fiasco, Birthday Boar found a huckleberry patch loaded with fresh ripe juicy berries.
He took a long time carefully pulling each berry off the bush with his teeth until a huge pile of berries lay at his feet. Wrapping the berries in a large leaf, he presented them to Bear.
After he presented the berries, Birthday Boar sang, “Happy Day of Birth to you, Happy Day of Birth to you, Happy Day of Birth to you dear Bear.”
Bear ignored the singing as he asked, “what’s this mess?
“I gathered these fresh huckleberries especially for you to celebrate your day of birth.” said Boar with a happy voice.
Bear reached down and speared a few huckleberries with a big bear claw. He held the berries up to his eyes and stared at them briefly. He then sniffed them three or four times before he shook the berries from his claw with distain and growled, “these berries are covered with boar spit, and double-ugh, they smell like nauseating boar- breath. Get these disgusting berries and yourself gone from my sight before I have to use my sharp bear teeth and slimy bear spittle on your body.”
“You are a rude Bear,” Birthday Boar snorted and strode away with as much dignity as a boar can possess. But he decided against dignity when he felt the splat of ripe huckleberries smash against his backside and ran lickety-split into the forest as fast as his short legs would carry him.
Never one to give up easily, Birthday Boar tried again on Monkey’s day of birth. This time, Birthday Boar knew the perfect present. So, he busied himself. First he gathered two long branches laid them side by side about two feet apart and tied short limbs with vines between the long branches. He worked for days. He finished just in time for Monkey’s Day of Birth. Knowing he had created the perfect gift, he felt so excited he could hardly contain himself. He half carried and half dragged his prize and presented it to Monkey. “Happy, happy day of birth to Monkey, ” sang Boar.
“What the heck is a birthday, and what the hey is that crooked piece of junk you’re carrying with you.”
“This is a ladder to help you climb trees. I made it myself. See how it works,” said Boar. He then set the ladder against the tree trunk and climbed the tree. Actually, it was the first time Boar had ever climbed a tree and it was quite fun, although it was also quite scary when he looked down and thought of falling to the ground from such a high place.
“Ladder smadder,” shrilled Monkey, as she scampered up the tree with her own feet and hands. “I climb trees seven times as fast as you do without your rickety ladder. Now get out of here or I’ll push you and your crumby ladder off my tree. And believe me, it’s a long ways down and when you stop falling it will not feel good on your body.”
“If you think I’ll ever get you another birthday present, you can think again,” screamed Boar as he stomped down the ladder. He then used his tusks to gore the ground in anger and trampled and flattened the underbrush as he stampeded back into the jungle grunting and raging at the top of his voice all the way.
To make a long story short, Birthday Boar tried on and off for about a hundred years to celebrate birthdays with the animals, but to no avail. The animals never appreciated the presents and never understood the birthday concept.
But wait a minute, not all was lost, a degree of success happened when Birthday Boar tried celebrating birthdays with humans. Humans liked celebrations. Humans liked presents. Humans liked cake and berries. But then again, humans did not particularly like boars. Boars are not pretty. Boars are scary. Boars charge toward a person at a very fast pace and tend to grunt loudly as they approach. Even when Birthday Boar came loaded with presents, berries, and cakes Children ran away screaming and crying with terror. But every once in awhile after Birthday Boar ran off, the human children snuck back and enjoyed the gifts. In this way, they came to like celebrating days of birth with goodies but celebrating with Birthday Boar, not so much.
Feeling rejected and unappreciated, Birthday Boar took early retirement soon after humans began living in caves.
But, at least his idea remains. Humans, to this day celebrate birthdays with presents, berries, and cakes but Birthday Boar does not deliver the goods. Unlike Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Great Pumpkin, Birthday Boar did not survive as a holiday symbol.
So the mail-person or UPS will deliver your birthday presents again this year. We are sorry, but Birthday Boar remains in retirement.
Happy Birthday, Jessica and Jacob.
We love you, Gramma & Grampa