The Animals’ Twelve Days of Christmas

It’s time for the sixth annual holiday contest!

Here is a condensed version of the rules, as taken from Susanna Leonard Hill’s website: “Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) using the basic format/concept of The Twelve Days Of Christmas!  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 300 words.”
Now this is a challenge! After starting with 424 words, I managed to whittle it down to 299. I hope you enjoy it.

The Animals’ Twelve Days of Christmas

Blinky Elf rubbed her hands together. Winky Elf stomped her feet.
“I just don’t understand why we have to do this,” said Winky.
“You’ll see,” said Blinky.
Winky frowned. “We have to do this how many places?”
“You’ll see why…”
Both cleared their throats.
“On the first day of Christmas…my true love gave to me…Some black oil sunflower seeds.”
Blinky scattered the seeds.
“On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Two bales of hay.”
Winky put down the hay.
“On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Three pine cones.”
Blinky hung them up.
Winky saw a few birds land.
“On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…four corncob pipes…”
The elves stopped and looked at each other.
Blinky shuffled the papers. “Ah, this is the right version.”
“On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…four cobs of corn.”
Winky dropped the corn.
“On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…five water tubs…”
Both elves heaved the tubs of water over.
Rabbits and squirrels joined the birds.
“…Six balls of suet.”
Blinky hung up the suet.
“…Seven tempting raisins.”
Winky saw some deer now and more birds.
“…Eight yummy flowers.
Blinky put them down.
“…Nine scrumptious hawthorns.”
More and more animals arrived.
“…Ten tasty carrots.”
Blinky flung the carrots.
“…Eleven luscious berries.”
Winky scattered the berries.
“Last verse,” said Blinky.
“On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…twelve fragrant apples.”
Blinky threw the apples.
“OK, let’s go,” said Blinky. “We have a tight schedule.”
Winky looked back. Deer, rabbits, mice, cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, squirrels, nuthatches, and woodpeckers feasted.
Winky smiled. “We have to do this how many places?”

<Phew!> I look forward to reading the rest of the entries.

And for those of you who want to sing it, here’s the whole last verse:

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me:
Twelve fragrant apples,
Eleven luscious berries,
Ten tasty carrots,
Nine scrumptious hawthorns,
Eight yummy flowers,
Seven tempting raisins,
Six balls of suet,
Five water tubs,
Four cobs of corn,
Three pine cones,
Two bales of hay,
And Some black oil sunflower seeds.

And if you haven’t read the distinctly Canadian version “A Porcupine in a Pine Tree” by Helaine Becker, you’re in for a treat. See a preview in the video below.

Merry Christmas! Happy holidays!

The Gift of Inspirational Words

I love Alayne Kay Christian’s idea of “giving the gift of inspirational and touching words” to blog readers. She is doing this for a contest; however, we should make this a regular feature in our kidlit community, don’t you think?

My journal

My journal

While looking for an appropriate quote, I revisited my journal, one where I had saved quotes and pictures and cartoons over the years. I had not looked at it for many years, and I really enjoyed myself. I should do it more often.
In the end I decided to go with two quotes that I have had hung up for years. But because they have been hung up, they have sort of blended into the landscape. Yesterday I read them with fresh eyes.
Both quotes have to do with the topic “Believe”. “Believe” is something especially relevant to my life right now, as I have been really struggling with my writing since September. Last week’s five rejections in three days didn’t help…
And so I present to you my two inspirational quotes. I hope you like them as much as I do.


When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things:

There will be earth to stand on,
or you will be given wings to fly.

Author unknown


Come to the edge.
No, we will fall.

Come to the edge.
No, we will fall.

They came to the edge.
He pushed them, and they flew.

Guillaime Apollinaire


I look forward to reading the other inspirational quotes. Perhaps I will find several to add to my journal.
I encourage you to take a look at the quotes too. Maybe you will find something that you needed today.
And if you want to enter the contest, it is open until December 25.