“The Red Paper Bird,” Friend, December 2019
Eve loved Christmastime. Her class at school had spent the morning coloring cards and listening to fun music.
“Now it’s reading time,” Mrs. Grunig said. “And if you finish all your reading today and tomorrow, you won’t have any homework during the holiday break.”
All the kids in Eve’s class cheered. But Eve didn’t feel much like cheering. She shivered a little as she pulled out her book to read. She felt very cold, and her throat hurt. Her eyes felt hot as she stared at the words on the page. By the end of school, Eve’s stomach felt sick too.
Finally it was time to walk home with her brother and sister, Tim and Wilma. Usually they had fun on the way home. They would play tag or make a snowman. But today all Eve wanted to do was get home and lie down.
When Eve got home, Mama felt her forehead.
“You have a fever,” she said. “You need to drink plenty of water and get lots of rest.”
Eve climbed into bed and fell asleep right away. The next morning, everyone else in her family was busy getting ready for the day. But Mama said Eve was too sick to go to school.
Then Eve remembered something that made her sad. Today was the school Christmas party! They were supposed to finish their art projects and sing songs and have treats. She just had to go!
But Mama wouldn’t change her mind.
“I’m sorry you’ll miss the party, sweetie,” she said. “But your health is more important.”
Eve started to cry. Mama tried to help her feel better with yummy soup. But all Eve could think about was all of the fun her friends were having without her.
In the afternoon, Tim and Wilma got home from school. Their cheeks were red from playing in the snow.
“The school party was lots of fun,” Wilma said. “We made red paper birds to hang up at home.”
Tim pulled something out of his pocket.
“And look—your teacher sent us home with a special present for you. Now you can make a red paper bird too!”
Eve smiled. “Can you show me how?”
Tim and Wilma showed Eve how to cut on the dotted line and fold it just right. They helped her tie the string in a loop.
“Mama, look what I made!” Eve said, showing off her new favorite Christmas ornament.
Eve thought of how nice Mrs. Grunig was to remember her when she was sick, and how Tim and Wilma had helped her too. Now whenever Eve looked at her red paper bird, she would feel lots of love.
Cut out and glue this page to red paper. Then cut out the bird and wings.
Carefully cut a slit on the dotted line on the bird. Slide the wings through the slits.
Poke a hole above the wings and loop a piece of string through to hang it up.