Even the child in question agrees with that. Chickenfoot is suffering from Peter Pan syndrome: “I don’t want to grow up!” This week, someone asked him, “You’re 17, aren’t you?” Not yet, but 13 has passed into memory…
I got tricky with the hidden present this time. The outside of the envelope changed insignificantly. It read:
I’m your last present.
Can you find me?
I’m hiding some place
That you cannot see…
But the real departure from normal came with the poetry inside. The poem was a success, in that he laughed at all the appropriate spots, but the hiding place turned out to be a little too good. Can you find the two clues in all this mess?
Where I am hiding it’s dark and it’s cozy.
I’m comfortable here. But hey, if you’re nosy,
Then don’t sit around! You can’t find ’till you look,
And you know how Mom is — she’ll write you a book,
Or at least a real long poem, and it’s time you knew:
In all of this verbiage, there’s hardly a clue.
So get off your duff, and start looking about.
If I had a voice, I would stand up and shout,
“Come one! Find me now!” ’cause I don’t want to wait,
And everyone else wants some cake on a plate,
But they don’t get a snack until you come find me,
So what are you waiting for? Can’t you yet see
That there’s really no point in your reading this poem
‘Cause Mom left the clues out. You’re all on your own!
And history won’t help you, I’m sorry to say —
No present has hidden here until today.
(That’s what your big sis said, and she doesn’t lie.)
Still I’m sure you can find me, if you’ll only try.
Besides, sister’s old now, so her memory may
Not be what it used to be back in her day.
Go search every place that a present might be.
You just might get lucky. Have a heart! Hear my plea!
Who knows how much more your strange mother will write?
I don’t want to stay here the rest of the night.
I’m a present worth having. I’m sure you’ll agree,
So put down this paper right now and FIND ME!
In the end, I had to limit Chickenfoot’s search to one room, and the rest of the family broke with tradition and started in on the cake without him. But he stuck with his search until he found the present — behind the sheet of paneling that we put up to keep the ferrets out of our old fireplace.