Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas (04/25/05)
- TITLE: Whose Birthday is it anyway?
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At Joshua’s thirteenth birthday, the whole town decided to pitch in and throw him a big birthday party. They planned to honor both him and his father Eli for their kindness and generosity they had shown to the townspeople. Just a year before, the town was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Eli paid the price of the towns debt right before they were about to lose everything to their creditors.
The night came for the big party, and the town’s community center was decked with ornaments, bows, ribbon, garland; you name it. Eli and his son pulled up to the community center, and most of the townspeople were already inside enjoying the festivities, but something strange seemed to be looming about the whole scenario. The first thing they noticed was that not very many people except a couple greeted them as they rode up in their horse-drawn carriage.
“What’s going on?” Joshua asked his father. “I don’t know”, Eli replied. “I guess we’ll find out when we get inside.” They entered the hall where the party was, and to their surprise, everyone largely ignored them, except two, maybe three of the townspeople even acknowledged their presence. Eli and his son saw several people gathered around these ornately decorated trees, singing songs and completely ignoring the presence of Eli and his son. They listened a little more closely and some were singing song about Joshua—how he was born, what a joyous occasion it was, and how generous his father was to pay all the town’s debts.
Instead of experiencing joy at the scene, Eli and his son was aghast. “I thought this was a party for my son”, Eli said to himself—not in an angry tone, but a sad one. Then to make matters worse, they saw a man in one corner of the hall with many of the townspeople’s children around him, pining for the gifts he was giving out. Some would even sit on his lap in order to receive a gift. “Who’s that father!” Joshua asked. “I don’t know son. The kids seem to be enjoying themselves”, Eli replied. Joshua then asked his father, “Where are the gifts they were supposed have given me?” Joshua said. “I don’t know son. I believe they’ve forgotten whose birthday it really is.” Joshua said to his father, “I want to leave. I don’t feel very welcome here.” Eli responded, “Well son, if they don’t welcome you, then I’m not welcome either. Let’s go!”
After Eli and his father left, some of the townspeople said, “Where is Eli and his son?” Someone replied, “I don’t think they were even here. That’s a shame; you have a party for someone and they don’t even show up for it!”
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