This 5×7 inch notecard features an image of James Willoughby, a red squirrel on his way to deliver a birthday gift to his most special friend in the world. The artist has provided all of the details of James’s adventure on the back of the card and you can read James’s story below.
The inside of the card is blank, so why not write to your special friend to let them know you are thinking of them?
Here is James Willoughby’s complete story as told to the artist.
James Willoughby Red Squirrel wanted to celebrate the birthday of his best friend in the whole wide world: Thomasin Healing Evening Grosbeak and he wanted to give her a very special gift – one that effectively conveyed the depth of his feelings. But she was a tiny little bird, and lived in an equally tiny little nest, so there wasn’t room for anything extraneous. Her utilitarian personality only made presents more of a challenge. On top of that, the longer he knew her, as more celebratory occasions passed, the list of gift possibilities grew fewer still.
So, he thought rather than giving her a traditional gift, he’d give her nothing. Nothing she has to keep, nothing she has to clean, nothing she has to eat, nothing she has to store, nothing she has to do. Nothing.
Of course, James thinks presentation is everything, so he packaged his nothing in the biggest, roundest, most beautiful bright red balloon he could find. It must’ve been three feet around if it was an inch (as he tells it, anyway). He had it filled with helium and set on his way, quite pleased with himself. Only a few steps into his journey, however, he got to thinking he might have made a mistake. With a few more steps, only his tippity toes were still touching the ground. Approaching halfway, he was 20 feet up, just a little panicked and catching a bit of a breeze.
Fortunately, the big red balloon caught Thomasin’s eye and she flew out to tether him. Rather than helping him land his gift, though, she guided James and the balloon – his grip loosening a little – around the treetops. His eyes widened and his ears pricked up taking in everything from this new perspective. To Thomasin, this really was the best gift ever…not the nothingness but, through the unexpected experience, that he is able to know her deeper and understand her better. Being truly known by someone is such a beautiful feeling and, for that, she loved him all the more.