January brought fresh new snow and a brand new year. 

If that wasn't enough reason to celebrate, Cricket and Molly were having their second birthday too.  Now they were teenagers in "dog years."

"Tell us what we are getting for our birthdays!" said the girls giggling with happiness.

"Wiggle said she is giving you the most valuable gift that anyone can give," said Henry.
"I already have a diamond ring," said Cricket, "so it can't be that."

"Maybe it's gold," said Molly. "That is valuable."


"Money!" said Patrick.  "That is the most valuable gift.  You can buy anything you want if you have enough money.  Or maybe it's a gift certifurcate.  That's almost as good."

Henry listened to the younger ones try to imagine what was most valuable in the whole world.

"When you are hungry, food is most valuable," he thought.  "When you are homeless, a safe place from the cold and danger seems most valuable."

But it wasn't until Henry lost something precious that he understood what Wiggle believed was the most valuable thing of all. 

"Time," he thought, "time with those you love."