Birthday Story for a Four-Year-Old

Andrew and Fred
Grandma Baadsgaard
Here is a story I wrote just for you Andrew.
Have a Happy 4th birthday.
I love you forever.

Once there was a boy named Andrew who had a best friend named Fred.  Fred was stuffed frog with green and black spots and a bright yellow belly and toes. Fred’s plastic eyes looked like green marbles.  Fred was soft so Andrew could snuggle with him in bed or put him on his lap at dinner time.
Fred went everywhere Andrew went so he got a little ruffled and muffled and one of his eyes fell off. When Fred got a hole in his side and his stuffing fell out, Andrew gathered the white stuff in handfuls and brought it to his mother.
“His soft fell out,” Andrew said with a frown.
“Now let me see this,” his mother said. “I think I can fix Fred in a wink.”
Before long Fred was fixed and Andrew took him outside to play. He sat Fred on the grass while he dug holes in the sand box around the swing set in their back yard. That is when the neighbor’s dog ran through Andrew’s yard, grabbed Fred in his teeth and took off running for the field next to their home.
“Fred!” Andrew screamed casing after the dog.
Andrew saw the neighbor’s dog dig a hole, plop Fred inside and then cover the hole with dirt.  Andrew waited until the neighbor’s dog left, then sneaked up to that small mound of dirt.  Andrew dug the dirt away with his hands and there was brown and muddy Fred with his head almost ripped off. Andrew picked up Fred and ran to his house.
“Fred’s broken,” Andrew screamed as he raced into the kitchen.
Andrew’s mother looked at Fred and shook her head.
“I don’t think I can fix him this time,” his mother said. “Maybe we should throw Fred away and buy another frog for you.”
“No,” Andrew said frowning. “Fred is my friend. If you won’t fix him, I don’t care. I still want him.”
Andrew’s mother took Fred and did her best to sew him back together but most of Fred’s stuffing was gone and his eye was nowhere to be seen. So she gave him a bath and dried him in the sun.
The next day Fred was flat, missing an eye and still a little stained from all the mud, but Andrew did not care. He took Fred in his arms and hugged him like nothing had ever happened.

No one told Andrew this but he just knew . . . when you are a real friend, you never leave each other - no . . . matter . . . what.