For the Busy Business-Parent
Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages

Gilbert Henry Tries Again

Gilbert with Ball
Gilbert Henry did everything fast.

He ran fast.

He played games fast.

He ate dinner fast.

One day, with his arms full of boxes, Gilbert's father said, "Gilbert, tomorrow is your mother's birthday. Let's wrap these gifts and hide them  so she'll be surprised."

"Yes, yes, yes!" Gilbert shouted, running circles around his father. Gilbert loved birthday parties, because he loved cake and ice cream.

Gilbert got the tape, his father got the wrapping paper and they went to work.

Wrapping Box
After his father carefully folded the paper around a box, Gilbert ripped off a piece of tape and slapped it on the seam -- fast. They finished in almost no time at all and hid the gifts on the top shelf of the hall closet.

What a great surprise! Gilbert thought, and he turned to leave, with visions of balloons, cake and ice cream filling his head.

"Gilbert," his father said reaching into a small bag. "You forgot to sign the card." He pulled out a large greeting card covered with colorful flowers and a large white swan.

Gilbert's nose wrinkled. "Daddy, that's a yucky card. It's got flowers all over it."

"Mommy likes flowers," his father replied.

"Mommy also likes trains, and cars, and puppies, and dinosaurs." Gilbert said.

His father thought for a moment. "You know, you could make a special card for Mommy all by yourself."

A smile brightened Gilbert's face. "Can it have trains, and a plane and a cake on it?"

"It can have whatever you want on it."

Gilbert ran another tight circle around his father yelling, "Yes, yes, yes!"

His father then set him up at the table with all the colored paper, scissors, paste and crayons he would need.

In seconds, Gilbert drew a plane and a large purple sun. Mommy loved purple. He folded the paper in half so it looked like the store card and he signed his name inside.

As he held out the card before him, his nose drew into a wrinkle.


Even though his card didn't have any flowers on it, it wasn't as neat as the store card.

Gilbert tossed it aside and grabbed a new piece of paper.

His crayons flew. He tried to draw a big train, but he went too fast and the smoke stack had a big ugly line going through it.

He crumpled up the new card and tried again.

This time a bird, he thought, but he went so fast the wings weren't right.

Gilbert crumpled up the page with the bird on it.


Again and again, try after try, Gilbert crumpled up the pages. Finally, with his head in his hands, Gilbert gave up.

"What's the matter?" Gilbert's father asked, coming in to check his progress.

"I can't do it!" He yelled, pushing at the balls of crumpled paper in a huff. "Now Mommy will only get the yucky card!"

His father picked up one of the balls and unfolded it. "Why Gilbert, this is very good."

"Daddy, the wings are too big. I've tried a bunch of times."

"You've only been at it ten minutes. Try slowing down. Take your time and you'll make a picture that you're happy with." Gilbert's father smiled. He cleared the table of all the crumpled paper balls and gave the boy a fresh piece of paper.

Gilbert looked at the blank page. He took a deep breath, gave a good thought as to what he wanted to do, and then, he reached for a crayon.

Gilbert worked steadily and slowly. He made each line as perfect as he could. The green bird had wings to suit him. The blue train had wheels that touched it's brown tracks, and he pasted what he thought to be his best plane ever, right next to a gleaming purple sun.

When the picture was done, he carefully folded the page in half and wrote his name neatly inside. A smile crossed his face as he held his card before him.

It was perfect.

The next day, when Gilbert's mother was ready to open her gifts, he gave her his card. She looked it over closely, then opened it up and read his name inside.
For you!

"Gilbert," she said with a wide smile, "This is the most wonderful card ever. All my favorite things look just right." With that, she leaned forward and gave him a kiss on the top of his head. "Thank you."

Gilbert beamed.

After his mother opened all her gifts, Gilbert asked if it was time for cake.

"Yes," she said, "and there's an extra big piece for you because you made such a wonderful card."

Yes, Yes, Yes!
"Yes, yes, yes!" Gilbert shouted, as he ran a small circle around his parents.

It was good to go fast, but sometimes, it was good to go slow.

Gilbert ran fast to his chair in the kitchen, but he ate every bite of his cake nice and slow.

Gilbert Henry Tries Again
Written and Illustrated by Jeff Meyers

Story and Illustrations Copyright 1997 - All Rights Reserved

About the Author/ Illustrator:

Jeff Meyers is a talented writer and a talented illustrator. Jeff makes his home in Ohio. He enjoys writing fiction for all ages and has been drawing and painting all his life. His artwork includes cartoons, illustrations, computer graphics, and still life drawings. When he's not working at his computer, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. Jeff has wonderful examples of his artistic as well as his writing talent on display throughout Bedtime-Story. Check the Author/Illustrator directory for a complete listing of Jeff Meyers work. Contact Jeff at or visit his new website: The JEFFWORKS for Creative solutions to your communication needs.

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