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Congratulations on Your Birthday

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“Congratulations on your birthday, Natashenka!”

Mama and papa are smiling all bright and happy, and they give her a present. There is going to be a party later today and birthday cake, but right now there is birthday pie and pink ballet-shoes.

Pink satin ones.

“I am going to wear them forever,” Natasha says, and she means every word. Mama helps her put the shoes on and papa picks up his violin. He starts to play so mama grabs her hand and they dance and dance, and they are making up all the steps, and it's the very best birthday.