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Boxy cat was very happy today. It was his birthday and everyone who met him, wished him as they passed by. Though naughty by nature, Boxy was an innocent and sincere cat. He would always lend a helping hand to anyone in need.

“Happy birthday, Boxy. You are looking quite handsome today, buddy!” said Mangu jackal as he wished Boxy.

“Hello Boxy, wish you a very happy birthday!” shouted Gappu elephant who was carrying a big bunch of bananas in his trunk.

Thank you Gappu. But why did you take so much trouble for me?” said Boxy.

“Wish you a very very happy birthday, brother Boxy,” said Golu bear as he entered.

“Hey Golu, how did you know that today is my birthday?” asked Boxy.

“Boxy, all the animals in the forest are aware about it. It’s the birthday of the most unlikely friends, Mini mouse and Boxy cat.”

Hearing that, there was big smile on Boxy’s face.

“Boxy!” he suddenly heard his mother calling his name and rushed home.

“Your father has been searching for you since a long time. He is planning a special dish for your birthday party,” she said.

“Mother, please tell me, what dish is father cooking for me?” asked Boxy.

“I, too, don’t know son, but he was sure that you will definitely like it.”

“Okay mother, then I will just go and meet my best friend. Today is her birthday too,” said Boxy.

“Who is your new best friend, son?” asked his mother.

“Not now mother. I will give you a surprise by introducing her to you in the evening,” answered Boxy as he raced towards Mini’s house.

Mini mouse lived with her parents, brother and sister on the banks of the river.

She was waiting for Boxy to come. Both of them let out squeals of excitement on seeing each other.

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“Happy birthday to you!” “Happy birthday to you!” they both said to each other.

Mini hugged Boxy and said, “Come, mother and father are waiting for you since morning. Mother has made your favourite sweets.”

Happy birthday Boxy! Both of you are celebrating your birthday today. May you both remain together forever,” said Mini’s mother to both of them.

“Thank you aunty. You are so nice. You have made my favourite sweets too! Hey Mini, now let’s play outside,” said Boxy after eating and they rushed outside to play. They were so lost in playing that they did not realise that it was past afternoon now.

Boxy told Mini, “Hey buddy, I am getting late. My father must be waiting for me. He is making a special dish for me. You must come home in the evening. We will have a lot of fun.”

Saying so, Boxy ran in the direction of his house. Boxy thought he would be scolded for coming late but his father cuddled him lovingly.

“Father, what is the special dish that you have cooked for me? Please tell me. I have invited all my friends to come home today.”

“It is a surprise for you, Boxy. You will miss the fun if I tell you about it. Your mother also does not know about it. Go and play with your friends. I still have to make a lot of arrangements for your birthday party,” said his father.

Both his parents started discussing about the arrangements to be done for the party.

Boxy left them alone and went into the kitchen to drink milk. As he came out, he overheard his father talking.

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“I am thinking of hunting down the plump and healthy mouse family living near the bank of the river for Boxy. I have heard that someone in their family too is celebrating their birthday today. I have even traced a secret way to enter their hole.”

Boxy was astonished to hear his father say so. His father was about to hunt down his best friend’s family!

Boxy thought about it for a while. He then asked his mother’s permission to go out and ran towards Mini’s house. He told everything to Mini and her parents. He told them to be careful and asked for their forgiveness.

“You are facing all these problems because of me. Alas! If only I could help you!” he said.

Mini’s mother hugged him and said he had done his best and should not worry.

Boxy was sad after coming home. He went and sat in a corner of the house.

Seeing him like this, father asked, “What’s the matter, Boxy? Why are you so sad? You were so excited a while ago.”

Boxy didn’t answer him.

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When his father questioned him again, Boxy mustered courage and asked, “Father, how much do you love me?”

His father said, “I love you more than my life.”

“Father, today is my birthday. How would you feel if something happens to me today?” he asked.

Boxy’s mother stepped in at this moment and said, “You should not say such things. We won’t be able to bear it if something happened to you.”

Boxy said, “Then I want you to promise me something.”

Boxy’s father thought for a while and smiled and said, “Tell me, what do you want?”

Hearing his father say so, Boxy had tears rolling down his eyes.

Boxy said, “The family that lives near the river is my best friend, Mini mouse’s family. I don’t want a birthday gift in return for this promise. Mini is my best friend. I will feel lonely without her. Please father, don’t hurt her or her family.”

Boxy’s parents were happy to see this love of Boxy for his friend, Mini and her family.

Boxy’s father promised he will not ever harm them.

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He said, “Now go. Run to your friend Mini’s house and tell her to come here along with her family and friends. We will celebrate both your birthday. Every person has the right to live happily and enjoy his freedom.”

Both of them celebrated their birthday together with a lot of noise and happiness.