The entire house staff woke me on my birth-day morn singing "Sleep, My Child and Peace Attend Thee" perhaps the first-ever attempt at art or beauty by these low-born laborers. Clearly, after their daily work at polishing our silver, preparing our meals, scouring our chamber-pots, minding the stables, tenderizing our footpaths, wrestling one another for our amusement and suchlike, they had struggled to learn song - melody, tone, harmonies... tried and failed of course.

When they placed my full English breakfast-in-bed in front of me, I tossed it all at the nearest slack-jawed hired hand, screaming as the black pudding dripped down his shocked pate, "I WAS asleep and peace WAS attending me until you shovel-faced ninnies came in here to warble me awake! You cannot carry a tune, which is why you were hired to carry pales and plates! Now to your labors and bring me a fresh break-fast!"

The second breakfast looked much more appealing. The hashed-browns were significantly crisper and the cumberland sausages were cooked to a much more pleasing shade.

Mother and father had both left a first round of presents for me to be opened in the morning. From mother, a gorgeous new velvet suit of deep lavender with a delicate embroidery all over and intricate cream-colored lace collar and trim. Father's gift was a new knife: the handle featured lovely paterns carved out of pure ivory, likely from an elephant that father had felled himself. Best of all, I could see my reflection in the shining blade. How splendid I looked on this, my birth-day!

When it was time for the party to begin, I took my appointed place at the window seat. I was surprised to see most of the boys and girls arriving with their parents in tow. I hadn't realized their parents had been invited too. There were several nannies along as well, of course, but even those who were burdened with their help typically had their mothers and fathers along as well. How curious!

Nanny pointed to the multi-tiered cake as it arrived and clapped her hands a little at the sight of it. "Ooh, it does look delicious," she cooed as if someone had asked her opinion. I had to admit it did (though I would not agree with her aloud).

I watched for some time as the children ran to and fro across our grounds from activity to activity. Some of the children even seemed to engage one another in unstructured play! A pair of boys wandered closer to the house than most and scanned the windows. Finally, one of them spotted me. I decided to grant them a courtesy of a wave. After all, they had come to celebrate my birthday and it would surely thrill them to be acknowledged by their host. The boy pulled at the sleeve of his compatriot and then pointed up at the window towards me, and do you know what the boys did when they both looked upon me?

They laughed. And something in their manor seemed to suggest they were not laughing with delight from being greeted by me. Just then, their parents discovered them and ushered the pair back toward the other children.

Stupid, unobservant nanny missed the whole thing and merely made another inane comment about the delectable appearance of the cake.

"Why don't you go have some?" I suggested.

"Oh, I couldn't do that," nanny said. "It wouldn't be allowed."

"I WANT you to have some," I said, standing and stomping my foot. "I'm the birthday boy and if I want you to have some of my cake, you shall! Go have some at once and tell them Winthrop Merriweather Pinfeather-Smythe says that you should!"

Nanny stared at me for a moment, dumbfounded, her mouth agape in shock. Finally, she stammered, "th-thank you, Master Winthrop" before hurrying out the door.

I waited just a minute or so after Nanny was gone to check myself once more in the mirror to ensure there were no wrinkles on my suit and my ringlets were all just-so.

I'm going out-side. It's my birth-day and I shall do what I wish.

Just like always.