The Holidays are upon us. And that means another contest! I’m a huge fan of Susanna Hill’s contests – they’re free, the prizes are excellent, and it’s a fun and supportive place to practice your writing technique. Rules in a nutshell: Write a story for children using any version of this first line: “Rocking around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop,” in 350 words or less. For more details and to read the entries go to Susanna’s site.
Here’s my entry (343 words), enjoy!
Sneaking past the iron gate at City Central Zoo was not that hard. Sheila checked her watch, then bee lined to the camels pen. She shook the smallest camel awake. Her pockets were full of treats so the camel happily followed her.
But over at the petting zoo, the sheep wanted all of the treats for themselves. Their baa baa BAAAA set the donkey off. His loud bray startled the cows. They mooed even louder. Only the camel was quiet. It was busy nipping at Sheila’s pockets. Sheila passed out treats as fast as she could, swatted at the camel, and shushed the sheep.
Somehow Sheila made it back to the gate with the animals. Climbing over would be impossible this time. So Sheila unlatched the gate and carefully nudged it open. C-R-E-E-E-A-K. Sheila jumped but the guard was fast asleep and snoring loudly. When the gate slammed shut behind the last sheep, the guard yawned. But he didn’t wake up. He just cozied further down into his chair and snored louder.
The strange procession made its way along the frozen sidewalks. Sheila checked her watch again. She didn’t have much time. She tried going faster but the littlest sheep couldn’t keep up. He was too big to carry. Sheila took her scarf off and used it to tie the sheep onto the donkey’s back. The donkey wasn’t thrilled, but Sheila bribed him with a double helping of snacks. Now the procession was noisier, but faster.
Finally they arrived at Sheila’s front yard. She divided the last of the treats and gave each animal a small pile to keep them busy. Then she snuck inside. A few minutes later she came back with a toy cradle, fleece blankets, and her baby brother, Ted. Sheila tucked Ted into the cradle. Then she knelt down beside him. A thief had stolen their last nativity scene but this one was way better and she just knew her parents would love it. And they would be up any minute now. Sheila couldn’t wait to see their reaction.
The holidays are a busy, bustling time, so I didn’t have time to illustrate my story. Which is driving me crazy. So instead I’m posting this painting: Freddy at Night. Perhaps the little procession passed right by?
14 thoughts on “Happy Holidays (Contest)”
I know Sheila. This sounds like non-fiction.
Oh boy! I BET her parents are going to be surprised!!! Love the child-like thinking.
So cute! I bet her parents aren’t going to be too thrilled, but I’m not sure which part they’ll like the least – the “borrowed” animals or using baby brother!
I would like to see your illustrations for it eventually. This story sounds like something I would dream of doing as a child. I loved petting zoos. Good job and good luck 🙂
Cute story and premise! Merry Christmas!
Now that’s a girl I’d want to know more about! Great story.
Great story. =)
I love your story! Sheila is a very clever, creative, and determined girl. She took matters into her own hands, had a kid-like solution, and planned well. 🙂
What a creative way to assemble a nativity scene! Love the ending and wonderful illustration.
Sheila was quite sneaky, but she got the job done! Cute story.
Oh yes, Maria…Sheila is quite clever…and I’m glad her folks will be up soon, otherwise baby brother might be a bit chilly. Such a cute story…GREAT pacing and twist at the end.;)
Sorry, Marla…I wrote Maria…my eyes aren’t what they used to be. 😉
No worries! I get Maria all the time.
Hahaha! I can just IMAGINE her parents’ reaction! 🙂 Sheila is quite the spunky, problem-solving little character, isn’t she?! Happy Holidays, Marla, and thanks so much for joining in the contest fun!