Fleecetown’s Turnaround – Holiday Contest Story

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…..

A story to warm the chocolate of your heart….


Fleecetown’s Turnaround


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

  1. willowwrites says:

    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

  2. FictionFan says:

    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* 😉

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      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!

  3. Sherri Jones Rivers says:

    This story read smoothly and well, and really conjured up the images as I read. Unique and timely. Good job and good luck.

  4. Pamela Courtney says:

    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!!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      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!

  5. blbachmann says:

    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. 🙂

  6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    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!

Leave a Reply to Carrie Rubin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.