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     “May I help?”
     Audree turned around and saw a somber figure wrapped all in grey standing behind her observing the proceedings. He appeared more curious than scary. Audree just stared at him. His voice was hollow, and two wide 'moon' eyes looked at her earnestly from under a long pointy hat that made him only slightly taller than her. Hearing no objection, the little fellow whisked over to the tail, and patted the dragon's rip as if petting a friendly dog. “A child's hug leaves an impression even on giants, does it not?” Upon lifting his hand, the seam was patched. And just like a big friendly dog, the dragon's tail wagged in glee. “There! Stitched it up good as new.” 
     “He IS new,” said Audree, applying a gentle caress of her own. All tears were swept away by a wide smile displaying each baby tooth that had inflicted the wound. “His name's Poof. I didn't mean to hurt him … I was so excited … He's my birthday present ...”
     “I know,” said the moon-eyed boy. “I've been watching. Such joy and affection for your present is admirable. Where I come from, nobody hugs dragons.” Audree was about to ask just where that was, but her visitor kept talking. “I see you have lots of toys. You're very fortunate. I've never had a birthday present … never had a birthday ...” The moon-eyed boy fell silent and turned away. 
     “That's silly; everyone has birthdays.” Audree thought maybe her visitor needed cheering up. “This is my third one already. Since your here, I think it must be your turn … how old are you?”
     “The moon-eyed boy wiped his eyes. “I don't know when I was born, or even how to measure such things ... in weeks, or years … or centuries?”
     Audree just giggled. “You're funny. Tell you what, it doesn't have to be your birthday, you can share mine.” She took the stranger's hand and ushered him over to the center of her room, where she had a table all set with teacups and saucers, and a delicious paper cake waiting for her birthday party to start.