That evening, Leila climbed her tree and wondered if Charlie would remember to bring her a present. She wondered how he would give it to her as she was so high up in her olive tree, and they weren’t allowed to cross the wall.
Charlie came as promised.
“Catch!” he said.
A paper aeroplane came gliding through the air and Leila caught it in her paws.
“Open it!” Charlie called.
Leila opened the aeroplane and inside was a bunch of flowers that Charlie had threaded into a bracelet. The message on the wing of the plane said: ‘Happy birthday Leila. Love from Charlie’. Leila grinned from ear to ear.
“Thank you!” she called back.
Charlie saluted her and then ran off because the police tigers had started to growl at him. Cheetahs and leopards were not allowed to be friends.
Leila wore her new bracelet to her birthday party on the beach. She felt happy and had a lovely time with her friends. They played stuck in the mud, and sleeping leopards, where you had to lie very still in the sand even though the little crabs would crawl over your tummy and their feet felt tickly.
Leila was allowed to stay up till midnight as a special birthday treat. Her father arrived home very late. He had missed her party. He said,
“I travelled all day to pick you some strawberries from the strawberry bush. I’m sorry I don’t have enough money to buy you a cake, but you are my little girl and I wanted you to have something special on your birthday.”
Leila gave her father a big cuddle. She had not had strawberries in a year and they were her favourite fruit.