"What is it Rafa?" Ryan asked, still half asleep.
"Get up! It’s nearly time to leave; mom made breakfast and soon it will be time to head off to the lake." Rafa said. "Come on, come on, come on!" he repeated excitedly as he bounced from the room.
"I’m all set for our camping trip." Rafa gushed, as he hopped back to the room with his backpack. "I packed my boots, tons of snacks and even a compass, just in case we lose our way". Rafa shoved more things into his already overflowing backpack.
"Come on Ryan, what are you waiting for? Are you alright? You don’t look so good." Rafa observed as he noticed that Ryan was still sitting in bed.
"I’m fine. My head just hurts a bit, that’s all." Ryan said weakly.
"Oh no; what happened?" Rafa asked.
"I’m not sure." Ryan said.
"Shall I go get mom?" Rafa asked.
"No, no. I’ll be fine. I just need to get up and all will be well. Besides we have been planning this trip for forever and I sure don’t want to miss it. It is going to be so much fun!"
"Ok, if you are sure that you are alright. Come on. It smells like a great breakfast mom has prepared for us. Mm-mm." Rafa continued to talk excitedly as he walked out of the room.
In the kitchen Mama Bunny was busy bustling around making pancakes and chocolate sauce for her little bunny’s big day out.
"Mm, yummy! These sure are good. Thanks Mom." Bianca, Ryan older sister, was saying.
"Thank you Darling. Now eat up; you need to have lots of strength for your hike today." she said with a smile as she patted her on the head.
"Ryan, what’s wrong? You have barely touched your food. Normally you love pancakes. Are you feeling okay? You look a little bit sick." Mama bunny said, as she came over to where Ryan was sitting.
"I’m fine Mama. My head just hurts a little." Ryan replied in a soft voice.
"Here, let me see." Mama said, as she leaned over to touch his forehead.
"I think you have a fever, little one. Your head feels all hot."
"But Mama, does that mean that I can’t go out camping with Rafa, Bianca and uncle Bob?" Ryan asked, his face already looking a little tearful.
"Well sweetheart, if you are not feeling well, then you should stay home and rest so that you can get better."
"But mom, the trip, the hike, the camping, I can’t miss that." Ryan spluttered.
"I am sure that there will be another chance for you to go again Ryan. Right now you need to take care of yourself and become healthy again."
Ryan choked back the tears and despondently walked back to his room and lay on his bed. He looked out the window. The sun was out and the birds were singing, it was a perfect day for a hike, a perfect day to go camping.
"It’s not fair." Ryan thought to himself. "Why do I have to be sick today of all days? I have been looking forward to this trip for so long. All week long I have been planning and preparing and now I can’t even go." Ryan sadly eyed his camping backpack, where he had so meticulously and carefully placed everything that he needed for his trip.
Outside he could hear his Uncle Bob arriving and the last minute details for the trip being arranged, the food being packed and the map being checked one final time. It was all too much for poor Ryan. He rolled over and covered his head with his blanket, trying to shut it all out.
"Goodbye Ryan, I hope you get better soon." he could hear his brother Rafa say as they all hopped out the door. Ryan just lay there, crying and trying not to think about all the fun that he was going to be missing: the hike up the river, the marshmallows and stories around the campfire.
"Ryan, how are you feeling?"
Ryan rolled over and pulled the blanket off his face at the sound of his mother’s voice.
"Ok, I guess." Ryan mumbled. "I really wanted to go, Mom. They are going to have so much fun, and I am going to miss it all." Ryan sniffled.
"Well I wouldn’t say that you would miss all the fun. It is true that you will not be there with them and do the things that they are doing but, you can still have fun here."
"How mom? I am stuck in bed."
"Well, why don’t you get some rest now and then we can discuss some things that we can do together. Maybe we can play a game, or I can read you a story, or we can put together that new puzzle that you got for your birthday. I know it seems like you are missing out on all the fun but if you just try to look on the bright side of things, we can still have a lot of fun."
"Ok Mom, I’ll try." Ryan agreed as he rubbed his eyes.
"I know you will. There now, get some sleep ok?" Mama Bunny said as she stroked the fur on his long ears. Ryan closed his eyes and soon he was fast asleep.
The birds are singing, their song ringing
Through the air, the joy they share
There’s a smile on my face
That can’t be replaced
I’m happy as can be
Come on and sing with meRyan opened eyes.
"Is that singing I hear?" He wondered aloud as he sat up and looked around. His attention was drawn to the window, outside of which was the vast forest.
"It sounds like it’s coming from there." Ryan thought to himself. And there, sure enough, in the tree sat a monkey, singing merrily to himself as he sat there, peeling one banana after another and popping it in his mouth.
"Uh, hello there." Ryan called out his window.
"Hello, my name is Max. What’s yours?"
"Well Ryan, it’s so nice to meet you. It is a beautiful day isn’t it?" Max said cheerfully.
"It is." Ryan said a bit glumly.
"Why, what’s the matter, friend?" Max enquired.
"Well you see we were supposed to go on a camping trip today—me and my brother and sister, my Uncle Bob and some of my other friends. We have been planning it for weeks. Then, when I woke up, I wasn’t feeling very well and mom said I was sick. So now they are all out having fun and I have to stay in bed and miss it all."
"Oh, I’m sorry" Max said. "You know today I was supposed to go into the forest with my uncle, but something came up and it got cancelled. I was all set, I even packed plenty of bananas. Look." Max said, holding up a half eaten bunch of bananas.
"I was disappointed, but then I realized that there is always so much to be happy about. Maybe I didn’t get to go to the forest, but I went for a long walk and swing in the trees this morning. I found a new spot that I never have seen before with a pond there too. I swam in the water and explored. It was fun, and it got me thinking that if I had gone, I never would have found that place."
"I guess so." said Ryan.
"Cheer up Ryan. Try to look on the brighter side of things." Max said. "Before you know it, you will already feel better."
"Ryan, I brought you some cookies and milk." Mama Bunny said as she entered the room with a tray. "Did you have a nice rest?"
"I did Mama, and look, here’s my new friend. Meet max, the monkey."
"Hello Ma’am. I was just swinging by outside, singing my merry little song, when I saw Ryan."
"What’s that in your hand Mama?" Ryan asked.
"Well, I thought that maybe we can read something together, so I brought your favourite storybook for us to read. Max, you should join us as well."
"I would love to! I love stories." Max said.
They all settled on the bed. They munched cookies and bananas and drank milk while Mama read to them.
As it turned out, Ryan did have a very fun afternoon. After their story time, Ryan and Max played a fun game together. Ryan was enjoying himself so much that he hardly noticed the hours tick by.
Soon it was bedtime. Max had gone home, after promising to come back the next day. Ryan lay in bed thinking about the day and all that had happened. He thought about the trip that he had missed and realized that he no longer felt sad about missing it. He had had such a fun day, and he had made a new friend.
"It was actually a great day!" Ryan thought to himself as he drifted off to sleep.