Penny-dog’s birthday was just around the corner, and the Village Hall was buzzing with activity. Tiny watched from the door and gave a silent cheer—the brightly-colored bunting, balloons, and polka-dot tablecloths were so festive, Penny-dog was going to love the surprise party the villagers had planned. Tiny zipped her mouth shut to stop the secret from fluttering out, and headed on her way.
On birthday morning, Tiny felt the jitterbugs dance about her belly. They left for their morning stroll, but as they passed the Village Hall, Tiny slowed and pulled out a silk handkerchief. Penny-dog cocked her head to one side, raising a golden eyebrow.
“Ready for your surprise?” asked Tiny. Penny dog twirled on the spot. Tiny tied the scarf around her best friend’s eyes, and after a count of three, they leapt through the open doorway. When Penny-dog entered the hall, her howls could be heard in the Wild Briar Wood. The villagers had outdone themselves. There were tables filled with gifts and cards, chocolate, cigars, and champagne. There were scones oozing with jam and cream, sandwiches and sausage rolls, lemon tarts, and a Victoria sponge festooned with fresh raspberries.
It was a feast fit for a princess—and definitely not for a dog. Tiny watched in horror as Penny-dog salivated at the delicious spread.
“I’m so sorry Penny-dog,” she cried. “You can’t eat this food, it will make you sick!”
“But I’m so hungry, Tiny!” thought Penny-dog, unable to look away from the feast.
“It’s my fault,” Tiny continued. “I told them how much you liked the British baking-show on the telly-box.”
“Just one,” pleaded Penny-dog, her nose inches away from a red-velvet cupcake.
“Step away from the cake,” said Tiny, her voice now serious. Penny-dog’s eyes narrowed. She inched closer. Tiny glared, eyes like laser beams. In a flash, they both grabbed for the cake. Splat! It smashed to the floor, now broken into pieces.
“Uh oh,” said Tiny. But as she stared at the remains, she noticed something peculiar. It wasn’t a cake at all, but made from watermelon and whipped cream. Tiny frowned, and examined a sausage roll. It was a marrow bone. Every item had been carefully crafted from Penny-dog’s favorite foods: chicken, bacon, salmon, carrot and pumpkin, all lovingly sculpted to resemble a high tea. Penny-dog wiggled with delight, and the two friends giggled, sending sparkles of light through the air like streamers. It was going to be the best birthday ever.