Dee and Ding are in the back and Tine and Tee are in the front.
Happy Birthday, Tine and Tee
by Tee and Mommy
After another day exploring and mapping the woods around the park, Tee and Ding have one more thing to do before going home.
"Would you help me gather a bouquet for Tine?" Tee asked.
"What if they see you?" Ding asked, always ready to protect his cousin.
"Then they see me. Today's Tine's birthday too, and she likes bouquets as much as our mommies do. She doesn't get her own personal bouquet often," Tee answered.
"OK. Just making sure. Not many flowers this early in the season," Ding said as he scrutinized the ground of the woods.
"The trees are flowering. Do you think their branches will be OK in a vase?"
"I'm pretty sure we picked flowering tree branches during some spring," Ding said.
"Yeah, down the shore?"
"Oh yeah, our vacation a couple of springs ago," Ding said.
Both boys were already walking towards the nearest flowering tree, a weeping cherry.
"This will look nice hanging down out of the vase. She likes pink!" Tee said.
"Don't all girls?" said Ding.
They chuckled and cut branches with the scissors Ding carried on his back, behind his backpack, whenever they went exploring.
The next flowering tree wasn't drooping at all.
"I should get them. I'm her brother. Can I borrow your scissors?" Tee asked.
"Just let the branches drop when you cut them. I'll collect them down here," said Ding.
After searching, climbing and cutting, the boys inspected their collection.
"Is this enough to make a full bouquet in Grandma's pink vase?"
"I think so, let's go. Don't want to be late for dinner," Ding said.
The two small stuffed animals ran back to the family boxcar, next to the hotel. They were about to climb in when Tee stopped.
"Wait! Got to trim the bottom leaves and flowers off, or it won't look like a proper bouquet," he said. They laid the flowers on the ground, spreading them out to grab each branch easily, taking one at a time to pull off the flowers and leaf buds off the bottom half of each branch, and then putting the finished branches in a pile on the front seat of their box. The Garden Gals had taught them, at a very young age, that flowers and leaves in the vase's water made the bouquet wilt quicker.
A pile of flower petals surrounded them, just as the three bullies came out of the hotel from an afternoon swim. The bullies harassed Tee about picking flowers, but they were ignored. The bullies kept chiding the boys, trying to get some reaction. When the bottoms of the branches were cleared, the two cousins gathered them together, wrapped them in an old paper napkin from the floor of their vehicle, and then placed the bouquet carefully in the back.
"Come on," said Tee, "that hot wind is going to wilt the bouquet." Ding smiled at the bullies as the two cousins leapt into their boxcar.
The boys flew their vehicle home, anxious to see if Tine would like their gift.