“‘What’s handy for catching flies?’” Matthew laughed as he read the riddle tied to his birthday gift. “It’s a jelly sandwich? You got me a jelly sandwich for my birthday?”
Matthew’s father chuckled. “No, Matthew. Guess again.”
“One of Mom’s pies,” said Matthew.
“Try again,” said his father.
“I think I know what it is,” said Matthew. “Is it a baseball glove?”
Matthew tore the wrapping from the package. “All right!” he said, holding up the new glove. “It’ll sure be handy for catching flies,” he added with a grin.
Matthew’s family always put riddles on the gifts they gave. The riddle was a hint about what was inside. But you could open the gift even if you couldn’t guess the riddle.
Dad’s birthday is coming soon, thought Matthew. I want to find the perfect gift and make up the riddle myself.
The next day Matthew’s father was raking leaves. The rake looked rusty. A new rake might be a good birthday gift, thought Matthew. “Hi, Dad, how’s the raking coming?” he asked.
“Fine,” said his father. “This old rake never lets me down.” Matthew frowned. Dad didn’t need a rake.
Later that day Matthew saw his father washing the car. I wonder if Dad would like a new car brush for his birthday, thought Matthew.
“Look at that car shine,” said Matthew’s father proudly. “This car brush does a great job.”
On Saturday Matthew saw his father in the garage cleaning his fishing reel. That reel looks old, thought Matthew. A new reel would be a good birthday gift.
“This was Grandpa’s reel,” said his father, as if he had read Matthew’s mind. “Grandpa and I had many good fishing trips together. Someday it will be yours.”
That evening Matthew thought about what his father had said. I know what to give Dad for his birthday, thought Matthew. And I know what to say in the riddle, too.