The Six-Thousandth Present

It was Maya’s birthday, and she had about 6,000 presents to open. She started in the morning before breakfast, and opened her first present, which was an American Girls doll, and before she finished her bowl of cereal she had opened thirty presents. Then before lunch, she opened two hundred more, including a horse that was very happy to be unwrapped. She ate a big lunch to make sure she had the energy to get through all the rest of the presents she had to open. By dinner, she had gotten halfway, and the torn sheets of colored wrapping paper filled three whole dumpsters. Maya’s fingers were sore from ripping and her eyes were tearing up from all the excitement and all of the presents. She unwrapped a working nuclear submarine, and world peace, and a car that was artificially intelligent.

Three days later, she reached her last present. She’d gotten everything she ever wanted, and she had no idea what this last one would be. She unwrapped it with blistered fingers slowly, savoring the mystery. She closed her eyes and ripped as hard as she could.

Her last gift was the moon, and it was bright and beautiful and all hers.

Written at the RMSC on 1/28/17 for a girl on the occasion of her birthday.