My sister came into my room to wake me up.
"Dad got you a puppy for your birthday! Dad got you a puppy!"
By way of background, I had wanted a dog ever since I could talk. My first word was "dog." My best friend had been the neighbor's cocker spaniel, Molly. (I was three or four years old when she died -- my parents told me it was because she went into the creek in our backyard and got poison oak -- and honored her memory by subsuming her identity and insisting on eating my dinner underneath the table.)
Anyway, this was the most exciting thing I had ever heard in my life (certainly more exciting than when I was three and they told me I was getting a brother). I shot out of bed and bolted upstairs, my sister trailing behind. I ran into my dad standing near the front door.
"Where is it?! Where is the puppy?!"
"It's outside," he said, "playing on the porch."
I opened the door and looked around, but there was no puppy to be seen. Confused, I turned back to see my dad, with my sister standing next to him.
"Where is it?" I asked.
"April Fool's!" they both said.
To clarify, my birthday is not on April Fool's Day, it is today. My father explained that it would be too obvious if they had waited until the one day of the year that is reserved for telling lies to six-year-olds and laughing at them when they believe you.
Any readers out there still trying to come up with a gift idea?