Fall down on the iceEvery now and then, much to her readers’ delight, Susanna Leonard Hill holds a writing contest on her blog. The entries are always a joy to read, and the prizes are pretty much amazing (this time it’s picture book manuscript critiques!). This is the first time I’ve entered one of these contests… and I want to say right now, I had a lot of fun writing this entry!

The rules are thus (copied and pasted from Susanna’s blog — follow that link for the linky list to all the entries): Write a children’s holiday story beginning with any version of “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh.”  You may use that actual opening, or you may change it to any similar version “[Verb of your choice]ing through the [any substance you choose] in a [conveyance of any kind].”  For example, “Dashing through the sand in a two-wheeled donkey cart” or “Sloshing through the swamp in a green and white canoe” or “Flying through the air in a striped hot air balloon…”  You get the idea, I’m sure 🙂  But “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh” is completely acceptable too – whatever works for you 🙂  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 350 words.

So… here I go, verb-of-my-choicing through the any-substance-I-choose…

New Skates Please,  Santa!

by Beth Stilborn (264 words)

Wobbling on the ice
In my sister’s worn-out skates,
I might as well be wearing
Great big wooden crates!
The blades are really dull,
They’re too big for my feet,
and when I try to glide along
I end up on my seat!

Ohhhhhh,
Scrape, scrape, scrape,
Skid, skid, skid,
I do a crazy dance,
I can never learn to skate
While sitting on my pants!
Ohhhhhh,
Thump, thump, splat,
Ow, ow, drat,
Falling’s not much fun,
I’d really rather glide and twirl
And whirl like everyone.

My friends all have new skates
They glide around with ease
While I just watch them swish right by
Me, fallen on my knees.
It’s almost Christmas Eve,
I’ve wished upon a star,
I hope that Santa hears my plea
And brings skates from afar.

Ohhhhhh,
Scrape, scrape, scrape,
Skid, skid, skid,
I do a crazy dance,
I can never learn to skate
While sitting on my pants!
Ohhhhhh,
Thump, thump, splat,
Ow, ow, drat,
Falling’s not much fun,
I’d really rather glide and twirl
And whirl like everyone.

The presents are unwrapped,
No shiny skates in sight,
Just sweaters, hats, and oranges —
but what about tonight?
My sis hands me a box
and much to my surprise
Bright shiny skates, the kind I wished,
And look! They’re just my size!

Ohhhhhh,
Swish, swish, swish,
Zip, zip, zoom,
My skates are really fast,
I can whirl and twirl all day
And never be outclassed.
Ohhhhhh,
Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh,
Jump, twirl, spin,
Across the ice I glide,
This is better than I dreamed,
I’ll never go inside!

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