Ask Kytka Archives: July 22, 2002
Q. Do you know about the Father Birthday story?
A. Yes, I do… There is the version that was given to me to share… Enjoy!
Once upon a time there was an old man. He lived in a log hut deep in the wood. A long time ago, his grandchildren had come to the hut to visit him. They had planted fir trees around his hut. The trees had grown taller and taller, so that now they were taller than the hut.
The old man lived happily in his hut. But one day his eyes were sad. Tomorrow was his birthday and he would be all on his own. In the evening he sat in front of the fire and watched the flames, thinking about the time when he was a little boy. Then he had woken early in the morning and heard
his mother sing to him and he always had a birthday cake with white candles on it. One birthday there was a small gift. He did not know who had given it to him and when he asked his father he was told that this gift must have come from Father Birthday.
The old man smiled a little smile. We watched the flames of the fire turn the wood to ashes: “Time for my bed”, he said. He slipped on his nightshirt and put on his night cap, pulling it right down over his ears. He said his prayers, then got into bed. Soon he fell asleep.
Very early in the morning, the old man stirred. He opened his eyes. Something was shining near his bed. Yes! There was something on his table. It was a white candle. He sat up and looked at it. Something else was there too. A white egg lay beside the candle.
The old man was wide awake now. “Today is my birthday,” he said. “Where could this candle and egg have come from?”
But first the stove had to be fed. The old man went into the forest and gathered wood, to bring it home to his hut. He stoked up the fire and soon it was hot enough to bake the cake.
Carefully the old man cracked the egg. He took some butter, sugar and flour and mixed them well with his wooden spoon. He spread the mixture in the tin and put it in the oven. Soon it was baked enough. Not too much. Not too little. It was just right! He covered it and left it to cool. All day he kept the white candle burning. In the evening he placed the cake on the hearth beside the fire.
The old man looked into the flames. A smile spread over his face. “It must have been Father Birthday who came to me this morning”.
He broke a piece of cake for himself. Then he broke off another piece and placed it on the heart.
Written by A. Hope
Image from the book: Grandfather Twilight (Paperstar Book)