It was Peacock’s birthday, and he was having a party in the garden. He spent all morning brushing his feathers and polishing his beak.
“This is going to be the best birthday ever,” said Peacock. “Everyone will say how handsome I look. Everyone will admire my beautiful feathers.”
When his peacock friends arrived, they all said “Happy birthday!” and gave him presents.
Then they went to play hide and seek at the muddy end of the yard. “Come and join in,” they called to Peacock. But Peacock didn’t want to get dirty.
Peacock’s mother filled up the wading pool, and everyone splashed around in the water. “It’s lovely and cool!” they called to Peacock. But Peacock didn’t want to get his beak wet.
Peacock’s father put on some music and the guests started a game of musical chairs. “Play with us, Peacock!” they called. But Peacock didn’t want to mess up his sleek feathers.
Peacock strutted around the yard with all his feathers on display. He knew that he looked splendid, but he felt a bit lonely. All the other peacocks seemed to be having a much better time.
Then his father came over. “You know, feathers can be cleaned,” he said. “But if you miss out on having fun with your friends, you will always feel sorry about it.”
Peacock thought very hard. He liked to look smart… but he liked his friends even more. “Wait for me!” he yelled.
He dashed across the yard to join the game, and his father smiled. Soon, Peacock was covered with water and mud, and his feathers were sticking up in the air. He was messy and mucky, and it was the happiest birthday he had ever had!