Lazytown – "The Birthday Surprise"
By Trousle Undrhil
Stephanie awoke in her room when sunlight came pouring in from outside. She lay there for a moment listening to the birds chirping and the sounds of her uncle rummaging around in the kitchen.
(He's probably getting breakfast ready,) she thought as she sat up in bed. Her eyes scanned the room and came to rest upon the calendar she kept hanging above her dresser. Her eyes went wide with excitement.
"Today's the day! Oh, I hope he likes the surprise!" she said out loud to no one in particular. She quickly changed out of her nightgown and ran to the kitchen to eat breakfast. She found a plate of pancakes, eggs, fruit and toast sitting there waiting for her. She quickly ate it all and drank her orange juice.
"Good morning, Stephanie! Did you sleep well last night?"
"I sure did, Uncle Milford! I went to bed extra early last night so I could be up and awake all day today! And I'm eating my breakfast cause I'm going to need my energy!"
The mayor chuckled. He had always adored his niece. She was so innocent and sweet and she was so happy to be in Lazytown. Having her there helped to get the other kids active and playing outside … well, for the most part. "That's a good idea, Stephanie. Say, isn't today—"
"Yep! I've gotta go to Pixel's house. I'll see you later!" She waved as she ran out the door. Mayor Meanswell sighed and picked up the plate. (Well, at least she's eating all of her food,) he thought.
Pixel's house always had some kind of noise going on in it. This morning, when Stephanie ran past the window, she could hear a computer voice saying "Today's the day" over and over. She peeked in the window and saw that Pixel was still asleep in his bed. She tapped on the window and shouted, "Pixel! Wake up! The others will be here any minute! Today's the day!" She saw him start to stir so she ran over to the front door.
She saw Trixie and Ziggy standing there, waiting on Pixel as well. Trixie appeared to be still half-asleep but Ziggy was hyper as always. (He probably had his usual breakfast of taffy and lollipops,) Stephanie thought, admiring how the youngster could be so hyper this early in the morning. She waved to them and said, "Good morning! Where's Stingy?"
Trixie stifled a yawn and said, "I haven't seen him but his car wasn't at his house, so he's not at home either."
"Well, I hope he shows up. I know Robbie hasn't been the friendliest guy in town, but it's his birthday and everyone should be able to celebrate their birthday!" Stephanie said.
"Yeah, but Robbie would probably rather sleep than have a party, " Ziggy said as Pixel opened the door. The three kids went inside and were surprised to find Stingy sitting inside on the couch.
"Stingy! How long have you been here?" Trixie asked.
"Yeah!" Pixel said, in surprise. "How long have you been sitting here?"
Stingy laughed and help up his hand, holding a bag which looked like it contained streamers and ribbons. "I got here about thirty minutes ago. Pixel's mom let me in as she was leaving for work."
"Where's your car? It's not at your house and it's not here..."
"Oh. My father took it to the repair shop. It hasn't been running right all week."
Stephanie shook her head and gave a sweet laugh. She took the bag from Stingy (who tried to put up a fight about it) and began filling in the kids on her plans for the day.
Meanwhile, below Lazytown, Robbie Rotten was asleep in his orange, overstuffed chair. He was sleeping so soundly, that he never heard his alarm clock going off. He finally awoke when he heard the sounds of laughter coming from his Peek-a-scope. He got up and slouched over to the scope to see what was going on.
"What are those kids up to today?" he mumbled as he swiveled the scope all around. He didn't see any of the kids outside. "Where are they?" He then realized that he didn't even hear them now. "Did I just imagine hearing them?"
He looked around one more time and then glanced over at his clock. "No, they should be up by now. They are usually up and outside making noise at this time! What are they up to?" He scrambled up the ladder leading out of his lair and made his way into town.
He went to the town hall, the ice cream stand, the soccer field and couldn't find the kids anywhere. He knew something fishy was going on and he was going to find out what. He went back to the town hall and knocked. Mrs. Busybody was busy inside, as usual, talking on the phone.
"Oh! Mr. Rotten! What can I help you with today?"
"I'd like to lodge a complaint! Those kids are up to something! I just know it! I mean, listen!"
"Well, I don't hear anything…"
"Exactly! They aren't outside playing." He said with a shudder. "They aren't making any noise at all! What are they up to! I demand to know!"
"Oh, my! Mr. Rotten. I didn't expect to see you today. After all, it's a special day and, well, you don't usually—" the mayor started.
"What? Special Day!? What day is it?" Robbie asked, perplexed.
"Well, don't you know? It's –" the mayor started, but was cut-off by a sound like a piece of paper flying in the wind. A paper airplane flew in and landed in the mayor's hand. "Oh! It's from Sportacus! Let's see … Had an emergency. Won't be in town today. Be back tomorrow. What?! Sportacus isn't going to be in town today?"
Robbie had listened to the mayor's gibbering and suddenly he realized what he had just heard. "What? Sporta-kook isn't here?" (What kind of Special Day can they have without Sporta-kook?) Robbie thought. He left the town hall and went back to his lair.
He started pacing around and talking to no one in particular. "I need to know what today is. It's not Christmas. It's not New Years or Easter. It's not Thanksgiving. " He accidentally hit his head on the Peek-a-scope. "ARGHH! What day is today?"
"I hope Stephanie knows what she is doing," Sportacus said to himself as he flew the airship away from Lazytown. "I won't go too far from Lazytown. I'll still be here in case of trouble. But Stephanie said she's not going to let anything ruin this day for Robbie. She is such a sweet girl to be so selfless, even for Robbie Rotten."
He piloted the ship for a little while then put it into hover mode and started doing pilot training. "This is going to be a long day."
Stephanie and Ziggy had set up the streamers and Trixie had hung up the ribbons all around Pixel's house. Pixel was working on programming his computer for the big surprise and Stingy was holding a box and sitting on the couch. He had bought a special gift for Robbie and he sat on the couch, worrying that the other kids might make fun of him if they knew about it.
Finally, Pixel said the program was finished and he flipped a switch to start the computer up. All of his monitors started flashing and a song started playing. The kids danced to the song while finishing up the decorations. As they finished up, there was a knock on the door.
Pixel walked over and peeked out to see who it was. "Uuh! It's Robbie! Quick! Turn off the computer! Everyone hide!" He opened the door and said, "Well, hello, Robbie. Can I help you with something?"
Robbie eyed Pixel and tried to look inside the house. "Where are the other kids, Pencil?"
"The name's Pixel, Robbie. I don't know where the other kids are. I'm just in here working on my computer." Pixel suddenly had a wonderful idea. "Hey! You wanna come in and see it? It's really cool!"
Robbie started backing away and Pixel dashed around behind him to push him into the house. "Oh, come on! It'll be fun! You won't have to stay long!"
As Pixel pushed Robbie into the house, all of the kids were lazily laying around on the floor and the couch. They all looked up at Robbie and said quietly, "Happy Birthday, Robbie!"
"Wha .. What is this?" Robbie asked, confused.
Stephanie sat up and said, "Well, we know how you don't like noise all that much, so we decided that, for your birthday, we would all play inside and make as little noise as possible. We wanted to ask Sportacus to join us, but we know you wouldn't have liked that, so we asked him to stay away for today. We --- I just wanted today to be special for you."
Robbie looked taken aback. No one had ever been nice to him in all of his years living in Lazytown. He had always been mean and nasty to everyone and everyone had been mean and nasty right back to him. Now, this child, who he had tricked and been mean to all the previous year, had planned him the perfect birthday. (No noisy kids, no jumping-swishing Sporta-kook. Why is she being so nice?) He eyed her warily and said, "What's the catch?"
Stephanie laughed and said, "There's no catch. It's your birthday! Here! We even got you a cake." Pixel wheeled in the humongous birthday cake and parked it in front of Robbie. Then, Stingy walked over to Robbie and handed him the box.
"Stingy?" Stephanie asked. "What's that?"
"It's something I got for Robbie. I thought he might want it." He looked up at Robbie and said, "Open it."
Robbie took the box and opened it messily. Inside, he found a small medallion and a chain. He held the medallion in his hand and turned it over. There was an inscription.
"To Robbie, you may not know it
but we all care about you in Lazytown."
Robbie was all chocked up with tears. For the first time in his life, he felt genuinely happy. Tears of joy ran down his cheeks and he hugged Stingy in a great bear hug. He hugged each of the kids in turn and said, "Thank you, kids. I won't forget this day, ever!"
For the next two hours, they all sat playing Pixel's video game while Robbie ate the birthday cake. Every now and then, he would peek at the medallion. As it started to get dark outside, he decided it would be best to go home now. He went outside and Stephanie followed him.
"You know, Robbie, you don't have to be lonely. You can play with us whenever you want! We don't mind." She gave him a big hug and then ran back inside.
Robbie couldn't move. He was overcome with some emotion, something he couldn't describe. He felt happy and angry and sad all at once. He started walking and was about to get to the outer wall of the town when he heard a noise. He heard a kitten, meowing. He looked around and saw the kitten on the branch of a tree just above him. He realized that the kitten couldn't get down. Ordinarily, Robbie would have just walked away but, for tonight, Robbie wasn't ordinary.
He walked over and picked up the ladder, effortlessly and hoisted it back over to the tree. There, he started to climb it. As it hit the third step, his rational brain started working and he remembered that he was afraid of heights. He looked down and then back up at the kitten. He felt the medallion around his neck and remembered the words there.
He took another step. Then another one. He was so intent on climbing the ladder that he never noticed Sportacus's airship approach from above. He made it to the branch with the kitten and picked it up. It meowed at him, pitifully and he held it to himself. He climbed back down the ladder and gently put the kitten on the ground.
"There you go, little kitten. Safe and sound, on the ground. That's my motto, you know." Robbie smiled to himself without realizing it. He heard a sound and realized that the kids were all watching him from the window. They started cheering and clapping, which embarrassed Robbie. He huffed away, knowing that he had friends in Lazytown, even if he wasn't really interested in having them.
As Sportacus approached the tree, he thought that it had been Robbie which had set off his crystal. He saw Robbie climbing a ladder up into the tree. Only when he got the airship a little closer, did he realize that Robbie was helping the kitten down from the tree.
(Well, if Robbie Rotten can change, I guess anything can happen,) he thought, remembering Stephanie's words from when Robbie had tried to "return" a fake crystal to Sportacus when he had lost his crystal. "That's still true," he said, shaking his head and laughing. "We shall see what tomorrow brings. Now…" he looked at his clock. "It's almost 8:08. Time for bed!" He called for the bed, flipped under the covers and let the airship hover over Lazytown as he bedded down for the night.