Then she noticed a beautifully wrapped gift box!
And there was the Space Alien, smiling happily!
"It's your birthday so I got you a gift!" said the Space Alien. "I hope you like it!"
Your Editor quickly opened it and found a stuffed toy bearing remarkable resemblance to the Space Alien!
She gave stuffed toy a hug and turned to the Space Alien: "This is amazing!" she cried. "Why, it even looks something like you!"
"Oh, I'm probably much better looking," answered the Space Alien modestly, "but see, it's a handy neck pillow because sometimes you tell me that I'm a 'pain in the neck' and this could help!"
"It will certainly come in handy," said Your Editor, "But how did you buy it?"
"Well, you know I am imaginary and can't get my own credit card, so I used yours. But I COULD have gotten a LOT more money!"
"Really? How?" asked Your Editor.
"A highly placed individual offered me LOT of money for 'insights' into how you make decisions about stories in the Space Alien Gazette! I think this individual wanted me to influence you in some way, and I could have gotten a LOT of money for that!"
"You didn't accept that, did you?" asked Your Editor, horrified at the thought.
"Of course not!" answered the Space Alien. "I make all of these decisions anyway! You just get the grammar and spelling and punctuation right -- at least you do most of the time. But we both want the Space Alien Gazette to observe the very highest standards of journalistic integrity, and no amount of money could change that!"
"I'm so proud of you!" exclaimed Your Editor. "Your kindness and integrity are the very best birthday gifts of all!"
The Space Alien gave a happy nod of acknowledgment, and then scurried back into the kitchen, emerging with an enormous birthday cake!
"Happy Birthday! I made this cake for you early this morning!"
"It's beautiful!" cried Your Editor. "Your cakes are legendary and they are always so delicious! But why just three candles?"
"Well, we almost burned the house down with all those candles last year, so this year I'm playing it safe!" answered the Space Alien.
"I guess you're right," said Your Editor. "At my age I suppose it's safety first!"
"Your words, not mine," murmured the Space Alien, scurrying to bring plates and forks, as well as some lovely flowers. "But now let's sing 'Happy Birthday' and enjoy a nice piece of cake!"
And they did!