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So there's one, two, three, four,
five sleeps until... Oh! Hi! I'm Kym.
I'm really excited as I'm going to a friend's birthday party soon.
I was just working out how many sleeps I'll have before the big day.
It's a good way of working out when something will happen.
That's what the little mouse in tonight's bedtime story is doing.
Toast is very excited. It's nearly his birthday.
He can't wait and he's very busy counting.
The story is by Amber Stewart and Layn Marlow
and it's called "How Many Sleeps?"
Toast woke early one morning.
He knew that something exciting was going to happen
and it was going to happen soon.
He could smell it in the morning air,
in the mists hugging the ground and autumn leaves trembling on branches,
ready to tumble a golden blanket over the wood.
Toast watched, waiting for the first leaf to fall,
because when the first leaf fell,
it meant that it was nearly his birthday.
"How many sleeps till my birthday?" he asked, as Mummy tucked him in.
"Too many to start counting now," smiled Mummy.
"How many sleeps till my birthday?" Toast asked the next night,
and the next, until one night, Mummy said,
"Just enough sleeps to deliver party invitations to all your friends."
So the next day, that is exactly what they did.
They delivered invitations all the way from Little Hollow
to Big Oak Tree, to Rabbit, Mole and Squirrel Red Tail.
"How many sleeps till my birthday now, Mummy?" murmured Toast,
so tired from his long walk.
"Just enough sleeps to go collecting party treats," whispered Mummy.
After breakfast, they gathered armfuls of gold and rubies
and special leaves for wrapping.
"How many sleeps till my birthday from this exact moment?"
Toast wondered, right in the middle of his bedtime story.
"Exactly enough sleeps to help Mummy decorate the cake," said Daddy.
In the morning, Mummy and Toast picked petals and berries
and nuts for the cake.
Then together, they decorated it
so that it was the best birthday cake Toast had ever seen.
In bed each evening,
Toast lay dreaming of invitation delivering, of party treats,
of birthday cake and at what his present might be
and each evening, Daddy wondered quite worriedly,
"How many more sleeps until Toast's birthday?"
"Just enough, I'm sure," Mummy always said,
secretly crossing her fingers.
"Guess how many sleeps now, Toast," said Mummy one morning.
"How many?" wailed Daddy.
"Just enough to wrap the party treats,
"put the candles on the cake and get an extra special early night."
"But that means..." squeaked Toast,
"..That means my birthday's tomorrow!"
And it was, and there was easily enough time to love the gifts,
play the party games and eat up all the cake
and best of all, time for Toast to open a very special present
and let all his friends share in the fun.
When Toast's day had drawn to an end and he was giving Daddy a hug,
he whispered dreamily, "How many sleeps till my next birthday?"
"Just enough sleeps for Daddy to start on your next present,"
Mummy whispered back, but Toast was already asleep.
And that story was called "How Many Sleeps?"
I've got one, two, three, four,
five sleeps until my friend's birthday
and it's nearly time for the first sleep right now.
Maybe you're counting sleeps until something special happens, too.
Well, it's time for you to go to bed now.
Sleep tight and I'll see you soon for another story. Night-night!
Now I think I'll just make myself a cosy cuppa before bedtime.
Subtitling by Red Bee Media Ltd