Well, well, well. Somehow we’ve made it to the end of yet another year. And once again we have Susanna Hill’s 7th Annual Holiday Contest.
- 250 words or fewer,
- written for children ages 12 and under, and
- must contain a holiday surprise of some kind.
Mine is 248 words. Here goes…..
By Jilanne Hoffmann
Battling Betty, Fleecetown’s bully, toppled snowmen on their faces.
Tattling Teddy, Fleecetown’s ratfink, watched from secret hiding places.
Tattling Teddy documented everything that Betty said.
“I’m not stinky!” “I’m not ugly!” “I’m no stupid poopyhead!”
In the wake of shattered snowmen, children gathered lumps of coal.
What they’d give to battle Betty, gang up on her sour soul.
Mrs. Flunk, the principal, captured Betty by the school.
“Unacceptable behavior! It’s against the golden rule!”
Fleecetown’s children cheered with gusto! Betty’d get what she deserved.
Flunk would break her battling spirit. Finally justice would be served.
Maybe Betty’d be suspended! Thrilling rumors raced through town.
But then something unexpected turned the children upside down.
Tattling Teddy called a meeting, bringing kids from near and far.
“I’ve been watching you,” said Teddy. “I am Santa’s avatar!”
“Every one of us is naughty. No one here is being nice.
We all need to change for better. Santa’s put our gifts on ice.”
“Everyone’s been mean to Betty. Betty’s being mean right back.
Let’s extend an olive branch, instead of planning to attack.”
Mrs. Flunk stepped to the forefront. “I will pledge to be more kind.”
One by one they took the pledge. Even Betty changed her mind.
Children gathered olive branches and rebuilt their snowmen, too.
Living proof, in Santa’s eyes, that their change of heart was true.
Now these snowmen serve as symbols; kind behavior will not cease.
That’s why all their hands are branches, gesturing in signs of peace.
58 thoughts on “Fleecetown’s Turnaround – Holiday Contest Story”
Love your entry! Fun to read.
Thanks, Carrie! Just as much fun, for the most part, to write. I struggled with the word count limit but finally made it fit. Cheers!
A great story, Jilanne! Wonderful message just right for the holiday season. Peace! xx
Thank you, Ann! I feel the need for a little peace this holiday season. Susanna’s contest helps us spread a little of that good cheer around. Thanks for stopping by!
What a fabulous ending! Branches of peace used for arms on cold, frozen, snow formed men (and women). Lots of layers in this little tale you’ve told. good job! Best of luck to you. ~Vicki
Thank you, Vicki! The ending was a surprise to me. I love it when that happens!
nice! Vicki DeArmon, 707-776-7284 All Things Book, supporting independent bookstores & authors with creative collaborations & events& http://www.allthingsbook.org, the online indie bookstore for women who love to read
Thanks, Vicki. Playing with a net is always more fun than just about anything else.
Very clever and great job and the rhyme! Nice job!
Thank you, Judy! It turns out that I really enjoy writing in rhyme. Happy Holidays!
Nice entry. Everyone can use a reminder to be nice!
Thank you! Yes, sometimes my son reminds me that I need to be a little nicer when I’m being impatient. Oops!
Love your story, Jilanne! Your theme is such an important one. And I ESPECIALLY LOVE your clever ending. Peace to you and all the world. 🙂
Thank you, Jill! That’s my wish for the world. Thanks for stopping by!
Jilanne, Fabulous turn around. Love the ending. Well done. Just what we need—Peace on earth.❤️
Thanks,Janie! Hope that someday this wish will come true. Thanks for stopping by!
A crime, a mystery, a detective, a denouement! Bit graphic though… the ground littered with snowman corpses… *shudders* Still, at least nobody sang carols… *shudders even more* 😉
Are you trying to tell me that I should be a crime/mystery writer?
Great message and I love the ending! I like that all of the children realize that they need to make amends. Best of luck to you!
Thank you! You know, so often it turns out that meanness precedes a backlash of escalating meanness, something I think we need to remember as adults, too. Thanks for stopping by!
Meanness precedes a backlash of escalating meanness–so true! Nice job on your story!
Thank you, Rebekah! And thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for reading mine. Yours made me laugh. 🙂
Yay! Laughter is the best! I love this contest. Thanks for stopping by!
Oh, Jilanne, this is so sweet and has so much truth to it. YAY for peace, kindness, and self-reflection!
Thank you, Delfina! It was important to me that everyone involved in this escapade reconsider how their actions contributed to the problem. Funny thing is, I didn’t know that on the first draft. Thanks for stopping by!
Love your rhythm and rhyme, Jilanne…and a great message at the end! Well done!!!
Thank you, Vivian! Now for the rest and relaxation! Hope you have a warm and wonderful holiday season.
This story read smoothly and well, and really conjured up the images as I read. Unique and timely. Good job and good luck.
Thank you, Sherri! Being nice to each other is really on my mind right now. Thanks for stopping by!
Now how were you able to do this in so few words. I mean a bit of folklore flavor, with a savory mix of a messaging (without being didactic and overly emotional I might add). Man this is just great. Well done!!
Thanks, Pam! The word limit nearly killed me. I had several other versions with rhymes that tickled me, but they didn’t fit the word count. It was agonizing to revise. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words!
I love the spirit of forgiveness in your story! 🙂 Thanks for reading mine too! Good luck!
Thank you! We all need to forgive or be forgiven sometimes, don’t we? Thanks for stopping by! Good luck to you, too!
Love the humor here and also the message of peace and kindness! Well done, Jilanne. And good luck in the contest!
Thank you! My mother used to sing the Poppins’ song “A spoonful of sugar…” quite a bit. Guess that applies to humor and any underlying “message.” Thanks for stopping by!
Lyrical fun laced with humor and the spirit of the season! Well done! Good luck, Jilanne 🙂
Thank you so much! Reading everyone’s stories is giving me that little “umph” I needed to find the holiday spirit. Thanks for stopping by!
This is GREAT! Love the message and the ending. Best of luck!!!
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Great story. Good luck!
Love this! You show how we all need to check ourselves and you bring the peace of the season! Nice twist too.
Thanks, Liz! I was just now thinking of the David Bowie-Bing Crosby duet. It makes me cry. Have you heard it?
I love that duet! Peace on Earth & The Little Drummer Boy!
Yes! ❤ ❤
Love your entry, Jilanne! Fun rhyming, great theme, and perfect ending!! I love the idea that snowmen are symbols of peace with their branchy arms. 🙂
Thank you! You never know where peace may pop up! Thanks for stopping by!
Awesome entry! Merry Christmas!
Thanks, Kate! Merry Christmas to you, too! Hope yours is peaceful and filled with kindness.
Well! I almost stalled out completely at that delicious-looking hot chocolate, Jilanne….! 🙂 But once I forced myself past it, what a wonderful story! Love that everyone took responsibility for their behavior, didn’t just expect Betty to be different. And love the use of the olive branches – very symbolic! Thanks for a lovely entry that embodies the true spirit of Christmas!
Thank you, Susanna! I added that hot chocolate just for you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the story, too. Peace to you and yours!
This is great! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Thanks, Letizia! Merry Christmas to you and yours, too!!
I love that, such a wonderful story and one that will stay with me whenever I see a snowman. Wonderfully penned!
Thank you! Happy holidays to you and yours! Cheers!
And the same to you my friend!