Darwin, Chagall, and Lindbergh's Gifts
For Jack on His Fifth Birthday

This is one of Jack's birthday celebrations when he turned five. This article contains notes and gifts from various people. This is the first one from Charles Darwin.

Dear Jack,

Happy Birthday.

I know that your papa is into rocks, fossils, and dragonflies. Interestingly, when I was his age, so was I. I went on digs all over the world looking for bones and things. It was a hoot. Nevertheless, many people dissed me about my digs and my book, On the Origins of Species, which I wrote in 1859.

I want you and Owen to have some additional fossils for your collection. We all evolved from lower life forms. However, I want you and your brother to continue to evolve into adulthood.

Be brave. Do not worry about what others think or say. Just think, reason, and do what is correct. You will go far in life if you do.

Oh, by the way, I hear that you like trilobites. I did too.

Take care,

"Charles Darwin", with the surname underlined by a downward curve that mimics the curve of the initial "C"

Charles Darwin


Jack is excited about having another trilobite.


Then Jack opened a fossil of a sea urchin and a chambered nautilus that Darwin gave him.

Jack's next note and gift was from Marc Chagall.

Dear Jack,

Your papa talks about you all the time and your love for the arts. He also says that you like my painting, I and the Village. I know that Turner's The Fighting Téméraire is his favorite painting. Nevertheless, when he was in college, he had I and the Village in his dorm room.

Therefore, I want to give you I and the Village for your bedroom. I hope that you will enjoy it and all the other art forms that you see now and will in the future.

In the meantime, Happy Birthday,


Marc Chagall


Jack knew what Chagall had sent him. The following photo is his own I and the Village painting by Chagall, which was quickly hung in his room.


This is Owen's picture by van Gogh in his room.


The next note and gift came from Charles Lindbergh.


Happy Birthday.

I hear that you are 5-years old. Wow! You are growing up fast. When I was 27-years old, I flew across the Atlantic Ocean. I was successful. However, humans have always wanted to fly.

Centuries before, Icarus flew but failed. However, do not give up. You can do the impossible. I flew to France on my plane, the Spirit of Jack.

Fly young man, fly.


Charles Lindbergh signature.svg

Charles Lindbergh


Finally, the long awaited cake and a note from William Turner.

Happy Birthday, Jack!

Your papa and I got into a lengthy discussion about what should adorn your fifth birthday cake. He wanted to do this blue masked ninja.

However, I thought that I could paint a miniature drawing of The Fighting Téméraire.


Nonetheless, we compromised. This year, we would do an orange masked ninja. Maybe next year, I could help him with The Fighting Téméraire. In the meantime, Happy Birthday, my man.

Love you,

Joseph Mallord William Turner


Jack was able to read parts of Turner's note.


Okay, let's light the candles....


I can hardly wait...I have to blow out five candles in one breath.



I'd better get them all....


Papa said to eat the ninja's eye first.


The ninja's eye tastes good...kind of like one on my Big Bird birthday cake.


Yep. It tastes just like Big Bird's eye.


This is pretty good. What are you planning for our birthdays next year?

After the party, out we went to the airport to try out Lucky Lindy's gift.




The following three videos contain some very nice material on Chagall, Darwin, and Lindbergh.

Finally, if you wonder about my creative use of pretzels for the Ninja Turtle's eyes, I was introduced to coating pretzels when I was hardly 10-years of age. I worked for Brooks Oakford at Aunt Charlotte's Candy Store one Christmas season.

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