"Get out of bed, sleepyhead! Today is OUR day!"
It was a very, very special day indeed! The twins, Peyton and Penny, knew what they wanted to do and had dropped a lot of hints.
"I hope our hints worked," Penny said excitedly.
Peyton stretched. "Me too, but Mom and Dad have been acting like they haven't heard us at all. Surprises are so hard to wait for." Peyton sniffed the air. "Wow! Mom's pancakes!"
The twins dashed downstairs.
Penny prayed a breakfast prayer and dropped another hint by thanking God for their birthday adventure.
Dad chuckled. "Guess where we're going today."
Peyton felt like he'd burst. "Mr. Chapman's Perfect Pet Pal Emporium?"
Penny added, "Please, please, please?"
Mom smiled and simply said, "Yes."
The kids exploded with excitement. They were going to the most amazing pet store on the planet! It was like a zoo, a museum, a theme park, and a birthday party palace all in one place.
Shortly afterward, Peyton held the door of the family truck open for his mom and sister. Penny climbed in right next to her dad. "Dad, did you hear ALL our hints?"
"Oh, we heard ALL your hints, Dad teased. "You're having a party there ..." (the twins cheered again) "... and getting perfect per pals."
This time Peyton's cheer wasn't so loud. Mr. Chapman matched each customer with the perfect pet. Peyton knew that Penny really wanted a perfect pet pal to spend time with, but he didn't think per matching would work for him. He was just really excited about their party.
Mom grinned. "There's also a surprise you didn't hint about. Your friends' parents are getting them pets as well." "Cool!" Penny said.
Peyton opened the colossal doors. He had always wanted a super pet—like a circus animal or a horse—that could do tricks and helpful things. He didn't want just a regular pet, even if everyone else was getting one.
"You must be Peyton and Penny," Mr. Chapman said. "I hear you're getting perfect pet pals today."
"I'm not so sure," Peyton answered.
Just then a super-cute monkey surprised the twins with bags of jelly beans. Penny squealed.
"Your birthday guests are inside exploring," said Mr. Chapman.
Penny and Peyton were already moving.
The twins scanned the map. Penny really wanted to visit the Petting Zoo and the Sea area with its aquarium tunnels. Peyton was curious about all the birds. He also didn't want to miss the Reptile area; it had life-size models of dinosaurs that moved.
"Where do you want to start, sis? It's ginormous!"
"Let's hang out together and take turns choosing," Penny answered.
As they set off to explore, they heard an incredible symphony of animal sounds that seemed to be calling them on.