Mr and Mrs Daley wanted a baby. Now, babies don’t just sprout from the ground like strawberries—that would be silly, and dirty, and the way babies are made is neither silly nor dirty. Well, actually, I suppose it is a bit silly. Mr Daley put on his best suit, and Mrs Daley wore her prettiest dress, and they went to the police station. They filled out an application form with lots of important questions like, “What is your favourite football team?” Once finished, they had to do a drawing of the police sergeant. He was fun to draw: he had squinty eyes and a big, bushy moustache. Mr and Mrs Daley handed in their form and their drawings and went home.
Two weeks later a package arrived at their house. There was a letter attached, which read:
Dear Mr and Mrs Daley,
We are delighted to inform you that your application for a baby has been approved. We will contact you when your baby is ready. In the meantime, please enjoy the muffins.
They opened the package and inside were twelve blueberry muffins. Mr Daley said to Mrs Daley, “I love you so much that I want you to have all the muffins.”
Mr Daley did love Mrs Daley very much. Also, he didn’t like blueberries. So Mrs Daley got to eat the muffins. She ate them all. After she ate all the muffins she didn’t feel well and she got a big tummy.
A few months later, Mr and Mrs Daley received a phone call from the hospital: their baby was ready and they could pick it up Tuesday. They were so excited.
When they arrived at the hospital they were handed a map of the baby department. Near the bottom of the map was a big red X. Mr and Mrs Daley followed the clues on the map. They went down the long corridor with the squeaky carpet to the elevator that smelled like bananas. Up in the elevator they rode to the third floor, where grass grew on the ceiling and every room had a different coloured door. They needed to find the room with a green door.
As they walked around searching, Mr and Mrs Daley saw doctors helping many patients. They passed a man with a piece of bubblegum stuck up his nose; every time he breathed out, a pink bubble expanded under his right nostril. They saw a girl who had eaten a crayon, turning her face bright orange. Then they had to squeeze past a man whose belly button would not stop singing. It was quite distracting. Eventually though, they found the room they were looking for.
Mr and Mrs Daley went inside. They looked around but could not see a big red X anywhere. They checked their map—they were in the right room—but there was no X. They started to worry. Then Mr Daley noticed a tin of red paint on the floor. “Look,” he said to Mrs Daley. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
Mrs Daley smiled but her eyes looked sad. “Yes I am,” she said. She opened the paint tin with the screwdriver she always carried in her purse. A tear rolled down her cheek as she lifted the open tin right up to her face.
“Good grief, Karen, no!” yelled Mr Daley. He lunged and knocked the tin from her hands. The paint spilled onto the floor. “You can’t huff paint! We’ve talked about this.”
“Look!” said Mrs Daley.
The paint had formed a perfect X shape on the floor. Mr and Mrs Daley were amazed. It was then they heard a sweet, soft voice making tiny goos and gahs. They looked under the bed and there, in an old pizza box, sat their brand new baby girl.
The Daleys were the happiest they had ever been. They took their baby home, where they fed her, cuddled her, played with her and read her stories. Mr and Mrs Daley thought having a baby was one of the best things they had ever done.
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