Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge – Week #3!

I know.  It’s Monday.  When the last thing we need is confusion!

Here’s the situation:

It was brought to my attention that “Eenie Meenie Miney Mini” was a poor choice of name for my writing challenge.

I chose it innocently, thinking of the rhyme as a childhood game of random choice that was fun to say.  Nothing more.  I thought it a good representation for the challenge because it’s something kids (and kid lit writers) are familiar with and it represents making random choices, as we do with the prompt selection.

But someone more educated than I pointed out that it was based on a rhyme that was racist and potentially terribly offensive to anyone who knew its origin.

Now that I know, I cannot in good conscience keep the original name in such a public way.  I would never want to offend anyone.  So I have changed the name to the less-fun-to-say-but-more-appropriate Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge.  I changed the graphic and tried to go back and correct all the places I used the original term.  If I missed any I apologize and hope no one will be offended.

But it is still the same writing game and you are still in the right place!

Onward then, to the newly named but still the same

Mix 'n' Match Mini Writing Challenge

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini is a 7 week writing challenge for anyone who needs a little boost or a little encouragement to get writing. . . or maybe just a little fun during this bizarre stay-at-home spring!

You get to write your own story, enjoy and be entertained by everyone else’s stories, and get yourself in the running for some awesome prizes (please see the end of the blog post for a list of all the prize goodies!)

To be eligible for the prize drawing you must enter all 7 weeks.

For a full description of the challenge or to add your Week #1 entry, please go HERE (Week #1)

To add your Week #2 entry, please go HERE (Week #2)


Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #3 for Week of May 25:

So far we’ve played with characters, setting, and emotion (or a combination, depending on where your random choosing landed you), and with nursery rhymes and point of view. 😊   This week we’re going to play with a picture prompt, fun names, and a plot point!

Here’s the picture, drawn by the incredibly talented Julie Rowan-Zoch (illustrator of LOUIS by Tom Lichtenheld forthcoming from HMH October 6, 2020!) and used with her permission for your writing fun 😊 (Thank you, Julie!!! 💕)


illustration copyright Julie Rowan-Zoch 2020 used by permission


These will be the characters in your story!

Now, choose character names from the following list and one of the plot points!

Character Name Plot Point
Mugsy Make a friend
Tick Tock Share a secret
Delphine Get in an argument
Henry Cook up a plan
Marigold Get in trouble

Write a 100 word story for kids about the pictured characters, using two of the name choices and one of the plot scenarios and post it in the comment section below!

  • Stories can rhyme or not – totally up to you!
  • You can go under or over 100 words if you want to – also totally up to you! – 100 is a guideline
  • If you’re deeply inspired by character names that are not on the list you can use them instead – the purpose here is inspiration and to get you writing, not specific names!
  • For simplicity’s sake (and to aid skimming readers who might be interested in a particular thing) please say which plot point you’re using at the top of your entry along with your name, word count, and title if you have one.


I’m going to have to skip my sample today – I have a deadline this week and I used up my blog post writing time on tasks I hadn’t planned for – but if I have time and can add a sample later in the week I will! 😊 Meanwhile, I am SO looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with!  There have been so many amazingly creative, clever, fun, and entertaining stories written so far!!!

Now come join the fun! Get some writing done! Encourage your kids (or students) to give it a try! Or just have a good time together reading what other folks have written!

Ready, set, WRITE! 😊

(And remember, for full details on the 7 week challenge you can check HERE)


Check out the Week #3 stories!

Mugsy Shares A Secret – Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf  (share a secret)

Time For A New Bird Feeder – Jess Murray (cook up a plan)

Who’s The Favorite – Sue Lancaster (get in an argument)

Ball Trouble – Genevieve Petrillo (cook up a plan)

Henry And The Wind-Up Chick – Rose Cappelli (share a secret)

Name Game – Brenda Whitehead (share a secret/make a friend)

Tick Tock Pip – Leslie Denkers (get in trouble/cook up a plan)

Pip’s Plan – Barbara Renner (cook up a plan)

Duck Hunt – Colleen Murphy

Henry And Marigold – Linda Staszak (make a friend)

Marigold And Mugsy’s Dance Battle – Jamie Bechtelheimer (get in an argument, make a friend)

Henry And Marigold Get In An Argument – Sara Ackerman (get in an argument)

Hank, Pip And The Garden – Susan Schipper (get in trouble)

Mugsy And Marigold’s Morning – Deb Sullivan (cook up a plan)

Delphine’s Secret – Linda Schueler (share a secret)

Pip’s Perfect Partner – Jill Lambert (cook up a plan)

Miss Marigold Fluffington – Susan Inez (hatches a plan)

A Day At The Dog Park – Matthew Lasley

Pip And Dip – Sarah Meade (get in trouble)

Tik Tok Of Zico – Candice Marley Conner (get in trouble)

Henry And Pip Make Friends – Marley Conner age 9! (make a friend)

Tick Tock Makes A Friend – Mary Van Beuren (make a friend)

Mugsy And Marigold – Cindy. S. Boyll (share a secret)

A Pal To Play With – Ashley Congdon (make a friend)

Dot And Edna: Chick Trouble – Deb Buschman (get in trouble)

Storm Secrets (Zack & Pip Share A Secret) – Di Litwer (share a secret)

Tick Tock’s Luck – Michelle S. Kennedy (get in trouble)

Different And Yet Alike – Eleanor Ann Peterson (get in an argument)

Marigold And Mugsy Hatch A Plan – Patricia Nozell (make a plan)

Henry And Marigold – Beverly Baird (make a friend)

Pip And Zico Share A Secret – Corine Timmer (share a secret)

Henry And Marigold Cook Up A Plan – Susan Krevat (cook up a plan)

Mugsy The Chick’s Tricky Trick – Rebecca Gardyn Levington (cook up a plan)

Pip And Zico Cook A Plan – Ketan, Aiyka & Ravi Ram (cook up a plan)

Pip And Henry – Mia Geiger (plot a secret)

Pip And Zico Share A Secret – Kristy Nuttall (share a secret)

Big News – Dawn Young (share a secret)

Untitled – Kay DiVerde (share a secret)

Butch And Kip Cook Up A Plan – Liz Kehrli (cook up a plan)

Limerick – Marty (make a friend, Delphine)

Untitled – Dot Anson (cook up a plan)

Pip And Delphine Cook Up A Plan – Tracy (cook up a plan)

Tick Tock (and GusGus) Come Up With A Plan – Penny Adler (cook up a plan)

Bing And ShickShick – Amy Flynn

Mugsy And Marigold Share A Secret – Alicia Meyers Kelly

A Chick For My Hat – Lily Erlic (cook up a plan)

Zico And The Fiesta – Katie Schwartz (cook up a plan)

Untitled – Lauri Meyers

Pip And Tick Tock Cook Up A Plan – Ugo Anidi




When it comes time for prizes, names of all those who completed the challenge will be drawn randomly and matched with prizes drawn randomly until we run out! 😊

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazone, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, suggesting them for school visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

For Spacious Skies by Nancy Churnin, award-winning author of so many fabulous books I don’t have space to list them all! Visit her website or Amazon Page!

For Spacious Skies

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Kirstine Erekson Call, author of THE RAINDROP WHO COULDN’T FALL (Character Publishing 2013) and the forthcoming MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD (Little Bee Books, September 2020), COW SAYS MEOW (HMH March 2021), and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown Spring 2021)

Kirsti Call Mootilda

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Ellen Leventhal, author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork 2017), HAYFEST: A Holiday Quest (ABCs Press 2010), and LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork 2018)

Ellen Leventhal Lola Can't Leap

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Lindsay Hanson Metcalf, author of BEATRIX POTTER, SCIENTIST (September 2020), FARMERS UNITE!: PLANTING A PROTEST FOR FAIR PRICES (Calkins Creek November 2020), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Lindsay+H.+Metcalf+(CREDIT+ANNA+JACKSON)+copy Beatric Potter

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non rhyming) from Kaye Baillie, author of BOO LOVES BOOKS (New Frontier Publishing October 2020), and MESSAGE IN A SOCK (Midnight Sun Publishing 2018)

kaye-baillie-author-headshot Boo Loves Books message-in-a-sock-cover-1_2

Your choice of EITHER a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a Virtual Visit with Keila Dawson, author of THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican 2015), and NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY (Charlesbridge September 2020)

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.51.59 PM King Cake baby Keila No Voice Too Small


Winner’s Choice of Webinar from the amazing Alayne Kay Christian, author of picture books Butterfly Kisses, An Old Man And His Penguin, and the forthcoming The Weed That Woke Christmas and the chapter book series of Sienna The Cowgirl Fairy, and editor at Blue Whale Press!  Webinar choices include: How A Picture Book Is Made, Perfecting Your Critique, Top Ten Reasons For Rejection, and How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro!

Alayne butterfly kisses An Old Man and His Penguin


15 Minute Video Chat – ask your questions about writing, research, submissions – whatever’s on your mind! –  with Christy Mihaly, author of DIET FOR A CHANGING PLANET: Food for Thought(Twenty-first Century Books/Lerner 2018), HEY, HEY, HAY!
A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them (Holiday House 2018) , and FREE FOR YOU AND ME: What Our First Amendment Means (Albert Whitman March 2020)

Chris closeup Free For You And Me HEY, HEY, HAY! Cover

Quick Impressions on your Picture Book Manuscript from Rosie Pova, author of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU (Spork 2017), SARAH’S SONG (Spork 2017), the forthcoming SUNDAY RAIN (Lantana Publishing March 2021) and others.

Rosie Pova Sunday Rain

RONAN THE LIBRARIAN, (Roaring Brook Press April 2020) brand new fromfabulous author Tara Luebbe


Your Choice of EITHER A Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction, non-rhyming) or an Ask Anything 15 Minute Video or Phone Chat with Tara Luebbe, author of  SHARK NATE-O,(Little Bee Books 2018), I AM FAMOUS ( Albert Whitman 2018), I USED TO BE FAMOUS (Albert Whitman 2019), OPERATION PHOTOBOMB (Albert Whitman 2019), and RONAN THE LIBRARIAN (Roaring Brook Press 2020) (see above)

Tara Luebbe Shark Nate-O

Sherry Howard, author of Rock And Roll Woods (Spork 2018) and a series of Nonfiction Middle Grade titles for Escape Publishing (2019)

Sherry Howard (4) Cover Rock and Roll Woods

Sherry Howard MG NF Books

is offering 6 of her nonfiction middle grade titles which will go to 6 lucky winners!

Ann Whitford Paul, author of Writing Picture Books (being donated by Becky Scharnhorst below), the book we ALL use as our picture book bible 😊, and countless wonderful picture books, is offering signed copies of her IF ANIMALS… Series (Farrar Straus Giroux):

Ann Whitford Paul

If Animals Went To School                     If Animals Kissed Good Night

If Animals Went To School (2019)         If Animals Kissed Good Night (2008)

If Animals Said I Love You                     If Animals Celebrated Christmas

If Animals Said I Love You (2017)        If Animals Celebrated Christmas (2018)

If you would like to benefit from her picture book wisdom, please sign up for her newsletter HERE!

A hand lettered quote of someone’s choice from a picture book,  or a quote about reading or writing that could be framed as a gift for a child’s bedroom, a writer you know and love, or an inspiration for writing in your own work space (why shouldn’t you give yourself a present?!) offered by Kristy Roser Nuttall! (Samples below – you can choose your own quote!)

Kristy Nuttall 20200512_092224 20200512_091604

Making Picture Book Magic – Self Study Class any month (x3)


Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by [Ann Whitford Paul]

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert donated by Becky Scharnhorst whose debut picture book P.S. Camp Wildwood Stinks will be released in Summer 2021 from Philomel!

Big Magic

The Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman (only available for Kindle) (x2)

The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books by [Linda Ashman]

Magnetic Poetry – Little Box of Happiness

Magnetic Poetry - Little Box of Happiness Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on The Fridge - Made in The USA


The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty

storybook knight

This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

This Book Is Gray

Story Cubes

Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 11.23.08 PM

Writing Journal (x10)


Scythe by Neal Shusterman

270 thoughts on “Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge – Week #3!

  1. Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf says:

    Writing Challenge: Week 3
    Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf
    115 words
    Mugsy, Pip, Share a Secret

    Mugsy Shares a Secret

    “I have a secret!” said Mugsy.
    “What is it?” asked Pip.
    Mugsy looked into the distance and scratched himself.
    Pip hopped around. “Tell me, tell me!”
    “Are you sure you want to know?”
    “Promise you won’t tell?”
    “Yes, yes!” said Pip and hopped up into and around the nearest tree. Then he flew back down to Mugsy.
    “OK,” said Mugsy and looked Pip straight in his tiny black eyes. “I like eating Alpo with fruit juice.”
    “That’s your secret?”
    “Well, nobody knew about it. So it was a secret.”
    “That’s not much of a secret,” said Pip contemptuously and preened his feathers.
    “Well, now you know,” said Mugsy, “so it’s not a secret anymore.”

  2. ejessmurray says:

    Time for a New Bird Feeder (cook up a plan, 100 words)

    Pip fumed as the squirrel stuffed her cheeks, paw over paw, clinging to the feeder. (Design, humans!)

    Tick-Tock had one job: get the squirrel.

    Tick-Tock sprinted. He bared his teeth…and began eating all the dropped birdseed.

    “Focus!” Pip tweeted, but Tick-Tock was focused. On eating!

    After a Pip-talk, Tick-Tock was RrrRrrrRrrrready! He charged…rolled on a peanut, lost his balance, and crashed into the fence!

    Pip squeaked. “How???”

    “Rrrouch,” said Tick-Tock.

    Pip had one last idea. She picked a switchgrass stem and made a bridle.



    Pip spurred her steed. The squirrel scrambled. The dog/bird leaped. Smash! Seeds for everyone!

    (Thanks, Susanna! I look forward to your sample later in the week, if you have time:) And I appreciate that you changed the name of the challenge and shared with us why.)

  3. Sue Lancaster says:

    Who’s the Favorite?
    (Get in an argument, 102 words)

    “I’m definitely their favorite,” yapped Pip.
    “Er, I think you’ll find I am,” chirped Delphine.
    “What?! I get taken out for walkies. You don’t even leave this room.”
    “I sit on their shoulders while you’re shut outside.”
    “So! I’m still their favorite,” repeated Pip.
    “No, I’m their favorite,” retweeted Delphine.
    The bickering continued. Until…
    “What’s that awful noise?” barked Pip.
    “It sounds like a smoke alarm. Or a shrieking siren.”
    “But it’s so loud and it’s getting… louder.”
    The door flew open. The pets recoiled.
    “Pip, Delphine… We’d like you to meet the most precious thing in the world.”

  4. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    TickTock/the dog and Pip/the wind-up chicken – Cook Up a Plan – 100 words


    My ball rolled under the sofa. “UGH! Why?”
    I stuck in my snout. Too short. I bit the pillows. Delicious, but no help.
    “Hey, TickTock!”
    “PIP! Just the guy I need.”
    “Your ball? Again?”
    Pip twisted his wind-up key and headed into the abyss. He pushed out a sock, an army guy, and a dust bunny.
    “Hang on,” he chirped returning to the shadows.
    Finally, out popped my ball!
    He gave a webbed thumbs up and ambled off.
    I tossed the ball, bounced it, bit it, licked it, and kicked it, until….
    It rolled under the sofa. “UGH!” Why?”

  5. rosecappelli says:

    Henry and the Wind-Up Chick (share a secret – 106 words)

    Pip the Chick hopped around the room.
    Henry yipped and yapped. He jumped and pawed.
    “This is fun! Let’s race!”
    Pip boing- boing-boinged under the table, around the chair, and through the door. Henry was hot on her heels, until…
    Boing…boinnnng…boinnnnnnnng. Pip’s hops stopped.
    “What’s wrong?” yapped Henry.
    Pip stared.
    Henry nudged Squeaky Squirrel in her direction.
    Pip ticka –ticked once, but didn’t move.
    Henry tried to share his best bone.
    Pip wasn’t interested.
    Henry rolled his favorite ball. Bump!
    Pip toppled.
    That’s when Henry noticed Pip’s key.
    Before long Pip was boing-boing-boinging again.
    “No worries, Pip! Your secret is safe with me!” yip-yapped Henry.

  6. Brenda Whitehead (@BrendaW_Prof) says:

    This was written as an untagged dialog exchange, where the speakers were differentiated via italics/non-italics. This isn’t alowed in the blog comments, so I’m using quotes for speaker 1 (chick) and no quotes for speaker 2 (dog). 🙂

    NAME GAME (share a secret/make a friend, 121 words)

    “I am Tick-Tock, you are Pip!”

    Um, excuse me, Pointy-Lip,
    I think I know my name is Rex,
    But I will call YOU Little Pecks!

    “Little Pecks is not my name!
    I tick-tock-cheep, it’s brought me fame!
    So you can call me Tick or Tock,
    And I will call you Stinky Sock!”

    Stinky Sock?! Hey that’s not nice!
    I am Rex, I’ve told you TWICE!
    Let me hear that tick-tock-cheep,
    And maybe I won’t call you Peep.

    “Tick-tock cheep, cheep-tick-tock!”

    Wait—your fluff-neck hides a clock!

    “Well, you know what I can see?
    On your collar—P-I-P!”

    You are Tick-Tock, I am Rex!
    We have secrets ‘round our necks.
    But now we know each other best.
    Friends forever, who’d have guessed??

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Leslie Denkers
    Tick Tock, Pip
    79 words
    Get in Trouble/Cook up a Plan

    Tick Tock, Pip
    Cook up a plan
    (130 words)

    Tick Tock, Pip heard,
    Tick Tock, Pip watched
    A chick march ‘cross the ground.
    Peck, peck, pause, turn,
    Peck, peck, pause, turn,
    The chick head looked around.
    Pip barked, but once,
    And sniffed it twice,
    But Tick Tock marched straight on
    Pip bounded once,
    Tick Tock dropped flat,
    And Pip fell in the pond.

    When Pip swam out,
    and shook his fur,
    he looked for that strange chick
    But all he found
    was honeycomb
    stuck to a curly stick
    Tick Tock was gone,
    and chicks ate on,
    not heeding little Pip
    Pip slunk back home,
    And feared to roam,
    near chicks who pecked and ticked.

    If you’re a dog
    who chases chicks,
    beware–they will fight back;
    A pond, though fun,
    Is filled with scum,
    and makes a nice attack.

  8. Barbara Farr Renner says:

    (Cook up a plan, 111 words)
    By Barbara Renner

    Pip and Marigold are best friends. Marigold rides on Pip’s back when he runs. Pip finds Marigold when she hides.

    “Hey Marigold, we’re best friends, right?”

    “Right, Pip.”

    “We’d do anything for each other, right Marigold?”

    “Right, Pip.”

    “See the biscuit bowl on the counter?”

    “Right, Pip.”

    “No, it’s to the left of the toaster.”

    “Right, Pip.”

    “Fly up there and grab a biscuit for me, and I’ll share some crumbs with you.”

    “Right, Pip.”

    Marigold flies up on the counter, grabs a biscuit, and sits down.”

    “Marigold, bring the biscuit down here to me.”

    “Right, Pip.”

    Marigold flies down from the counter, over Pip’s head, and . . .

    right out the door.

  9. betlw says:

    I just noticed your post now at lesson three. Can I still participate? Do I have to sign up or something? Do all the stories have to be picture book text? Or can a few be middle grade or chapter book style? This sounds like something to fill my days stuck at home and get me writing too. Thanks

    Elizabeth Westra elizabethwestra@gmail.com

    On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 3:02 AM Susanna Leonard Hill wrote:

    > Susanna Leonard Hill posted: “I know. It’s Monday. When the last thing > we need is confusion! Here’s the situation: It was brought to my attention > that “Eenie Meenie Miney Mini” was a poor choice of name for my writing > challenge. I chose it innocently, thinking of the rhyme as a c” >

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Hi Elizabeth. I believe I replied to your question on this on another post but yes, you can still participate. There is no sign up. Just add your week 1 story to the week 1 post, week 2 to week 2, etc. All instructions are on the original post, as mentioned above. I look forward to reading your stories 😊

  10. Colleen Owen Murphy says:

    So this story was inspired by a video I had watched the same morning I read this post. I am aware the awesome illustration is showing a chick, but I used a duck. AND, this is not a finished story, but it IS already over a 100 words, so I decided to leave you in suspense. LOL


    Marigold said, “Quack, quack, quack!
    I need to get my children back.
    Quack, quack, quack, where can they be?
    I once had six and now have three!”

    “Miss Marigold, no need to fret,
    my nose has never failed me yet.
    I’ll sniff them out,” barked Pip the Pup.
    “and help you round your children up.”

    Then right away Pip said, “Here’s one!
    He’s napping in the noonday sun.”

    “Quack, quack,” said Mom. “Now that makes four,
    but still I’ve lost a couple more.”

    “Just trust the nose Miss Marigold!
    Its sensing strength is sevenfold.”
    With snout to ground Pip found the scent,
    which led him to a sewer vent.

    “Oh cats!” said Pip. “It’s not the snout
    I’ll need to get these ducklings out!”

  11. Linda Staszak says:

    Such fun! Thanks!

    By Linda Staszak 100 words, make a friend

    Henry sniffed his toys.
    His bowl was still empty.
    Humans were gone–boring day!
    But wait—there was something new. It was fuzzy and yellow.
    Henry’s ears perked up. His stubby tail wagged.
    “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.” His tail wagged faster.
    “What’s your name? What’s your name?”
    The little yellow thing was quiet.
    “Marigold,” said Henry. “That’s what I’ll call you. Marigold.”
    His tail wagged faster.
    “Want to play? Want to play?” Henry’s tail was going as fast as a hummingbird’s wings.
    “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, we’re best friends!”
    Henry snuggled next to Marigold and smiled.

  12. Jamie Bechtelheimer says:

    Marigold & Mugsy’s Dance Battle
    (Get in an argument and Make a friend, 153 words)

    Mugsy’s human twisted the crank on the wind-up chick’s back and set her on the floor.
    “Hi, I’m Mugsy, and you’re my new pet! I’ll name you… Marigold!” Mugsy bounced around Marigold.
    Marigold hopped, too.
    “Nice hopping! But can you dance like this!?” Mugsy stood and danced on her back paws.
    Marigold danced, too!
    “Woah!” Mugsy was impressed. Then he whispered, “Just don’t upstage me in front of my owner. I’m supposed to be the star of the show.”
    Then Marigold spun, jittered, and jiggled. Her dance moves were the best Mugsy had ever seen!
    “Hey, cut that out! You’re making me look bad!”
    Mugsy yipped and batted at Marigold – Marigold fell dead!
    “Oh no, Marigold,” Mugsy whimpered, “Please get up!”
    Mugsy’s owner picked Marigold up, twisted her crank, and set her on the floor.
    Marigold danced again!
    Mugsy leaped with joy! “Thank goodness! From now on, we’ll just be dance partners!”

  13. Sara Ackerman says:

    Henry and Marigold Get in an Argument
    (100 words)

    In the morning, Marigold was fed first. “Tweet! I’m the favorite!”
    In the afternoon, Henry was petted first. “Woof! They love me best.”
    At night, the people left and took too long to return.
    “It’s your fault for jumping!”
    “You drove them away with twittering!”
    Ding dong!
    “Woof! They missed my snuggles.”
    “Tweet! No—my singing!”
    “Waaaaaaa!” screamed a new thing.
    Marigold’s breakfast was late.
    Henry ached for a walk.
    “Tweet! Guess we know the real favorite.”
    “Woof! I’ll say.”
    “WAAAAAAA!” screamed the thing. “WAAAAAAA!”
    So Henry snuggled it. Marigold sang a lullaby.
    The thing quieted and everyone got treats.

  14. seschipper says:

    Susan Schipper
    Plot Point – Get in Trouble
    Henry (aka Hank) and Pip
    Word count 210

    Hank, Pip and the Garden

    Hi, I’m Henry, but my friends call me Hank! My very best friend in the whole universe (yes, universe!) is Pip, a wind-up chicken. Speaking of names, Fun is our middle name! My family disagrees, they think our middle name is Trouble!
    Let me tell about one of our fun adventures, which, you guessed it, turns into trouble! Picture a beautiful Spring day! Perfect for planting a garden. That’s exactly what my mom did!
    Pip and I were wandering along when Pip saw my most favorite treat, a yummy bone! Great pals that we are, we were able to drag the bone home. We needed to bury it as quickly as possible so no one else would find it. Ahh, Pip saw the perfect spot, mom’s flower garden. I dug and Pip helped “move” Mom’s flowers out of the way! Suddenly we heard a familiar voice …mom was wailing, “Hank, you and Pip have destroyed my garden!”
    Destroyed the garden? We had just found a great hiding spot!
    Well, we tried to lay low the rest of the day, that is until the siren at the fire station began to blare…..

  15. Deborah Agranat Sullivan says:

    Week #3: Mugsy and Marigold’s Morning; Plot Point – Cook Up a Plan (99 words)

    Marigold’s heart raced as she stared at the clock.
    “C’Mon…” she said.
    Mugsy scampered back and forth.
    “Are you ready?” asked Marigold.
    Mugsy pushed his dish across the floor.
    “Shhh,” said Marigold, flitting through the air.
    She gently placed the dish on the counter.
    Mugsy panted. Quietly.
    Marigold nudged the sugar bowl towards the dish.
    The cream was trickier to manage.
    Then the big hand struck 12.
    The aroma sent Marigold spinning. Mugsy’s tongue twitched.
    Drip, drip, drip…
    Marigold poured. Mugsy mixed.
    Henry shuffled in the kitchen. “I could have sworn I made a full pot.”

  16. Linda Schueler says:

    Thanks, Julie, for this adorable picture.

    Delphine’s Secret

    “Hey, Mugsy, I’ve got a secret,” cheeped Delphine.
    Mugsy wagged his tail. “A secret, Delphine? I love secrets. What is it?”
    Delphine cheeped, “I’ll give you three guesses.”
    Bugsy panted. “Is it bigger than a breadbox?”
    “How can a secret be bigger than a breadbox?”
    “I dunno, Delphine.”
    Mugsy twirled around and then stopped. “Is it a good secret?”
    “Yes, a very good secret.”
    Mugsy jumped up and down. “I can’t wait anymore. What’s the secret? What’s the secret?”
    “OK, Mugsy, here you are.” Delphine handed Mugsy a flower.
    “Is that the secret? The flower?”
    Delphine blushed. “No, Mugsy, the secret is…you are my best friend.”
    Mugsy did a back flip. “Wow! That’s the best secret ever!”

  17. Jill Lambert (@LJillLambert) says:

    Pip’s Perfect Partner
    By Jill Lambert
    (170 words/Henry/Pip/cook up a plan)

    Henry was snoring,
    his favorite routine,
    after he gobbled
    his morning cuisine.

    Just as he entered
    a yipping good dream,
    a wee yellow bird
    perched aloft on a beam.

    “My name is Pip
    and I stopped by to say
    I need a prep partner.
    I’m making soufflé.

    If you could assist
    I’d be ever so grateful.
    I cooked with the cat
    but alas, she was hateful!”

    Henry perked up
    at the mention of food.
    He never missed meals
    because that would be rude.

    Pip soared above
    to her home in a tree.
    Henry, intrigued,
    donned an apron with glee.

    They blended and stirred
    till the batter was high,
    set the timer to bake it,
    then sat down nearby.

    They both sipped some tea
    while their recipe baked.
    Henry was drooling.
    His poor stomach ached.

    Finally, the timer
    went DING–it was done!
    They sampled their efforts.
    Oh, yum! A home run!

    Pip paved the way
    when she cooked up a plan.
    Now Henry’s her sous chef
    and her biggest fan.

  18. susaninez0905 says:

    Miss Marigold Fluffington (hatches a plan/Mugsy)
    WC: 143

    Miss Marigold Fluffington wanted to be,
    Inside a warm house, where a chick could be free.
    From pecking and clucking and searching for food.
    And running from raindrops. “I’m not in the mood!”

    “Ole Mugsy will help me, he’s such a sweet pup.”
    She chirped in his ear the plan she’d hatched up.
    He opened his eyes and then jumped on his paws.
    And bounded away; this dog had a cause!

    Propping open the dog door; he let the chick in.
    On top of the food bags, she hopped. “Let’s begin!”
    They ripped open bags; treats fell to the floor.
    And when they were full, they slept with a snore.

    Marigold snuggled into the dog’s fur.
    Her very best friend, of that she was sure.
    She’d gotten her wish; a night in the house.
    But tomorrow she’ll be kicked out by the mouse!

  19. matthewlasley says:

    A Day at the Dog Park

    Henry loved going to the dog park. Rain or shine, hot or cold, there was always something new to see or do.
    And today was no different.
    Just down the hill from the path in the bushes along the edge of the pond, Henry heard something moving. With tail up and nose to the ground, he went to investigate.
    Two tiny legs scurried behind the leaves. Henry followed as quietly as he could go, even though he was panting with excitement.
    The little feet stopped and Henry approached slowly. Inch by inch he crept until his nose was inches from the feet.
    “WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!” the feet bellowed.
    “Ar! Ar! Ar!” Henry ran away crying.
    Then he stopped and chuffed.
    He crept closer. And closer. The little feet danced as he crept closer.
    “Hi!” the feet cried out as a small yellow creature jumped from the bushes.
    Henry was to surprised to bark or run.
    Penelope motioned him closer, “Guess what! You don’t have to be afraid. I’m not really a dog.”

  20. Sarah Meade says:

    Thanks for another fun prompt, Susanna! I like the challenge name change and appreciate your sensitivity and explanation. The colorful candy is delightful, too!

    (plot point: get in trouble)

    Pip & Dip
    By Sarah Meade
    Word Count: 105

    Pip the pup winds up Dip the duck.
    Time for adventures!
    Pip claps. Dip flaps.
    Pip and Dip duck out the door.

    Pip and Dip slip off to the library.
    So many books!
    Pip yap-yap-yaps!
    Dip quack-quack-quacks!
    Time to zip!

    Pip and Dip slip off to the movies.
    So much popcorn!
    Pip yap-yap-yaps!
    Dip quack-quack-quacks!
    Time to zip!

    Pip and Dip slip off to the daycare.
    So many nappers!
    Pip yap-yap-yaps!
    Dip quack-quack-quacks!
    Time to zip!

    Pip and Dip trip-trap home.
    So. Many. Steps.
    Pip yip-yap-yawns.
    Dip quick-quack-sighs.
    Home. At. Last.
    Pip flops. Zip plops.
    Time to nip-nap.

  21. candicemarleyconner says:

    Hope you met your deadline, Susanna!

    TikTok of Zico (124 words, get in trouble)

    Delphine had travelled through tornado, balloon, and now over sea. None were her favorite mode of travel which was picnic basket. But now she was on an island full of oddities, including a tree with Lunchables hanging from its branches. Yum!

    “How dare you eat our food!” creatures on wheels yelled.

    Delphine was surrounded. She leaped onto a nearby rock. Safe but stuck, how could she escape?

    On a boulder higher up, something gleamed. She jumped again and sniffed. A mechanical bird! She saw a sign on its belly.

    TikTok of Zico
    Turn Key

    Delphine snuffled and sniffed until she found a key.

    Twist, twist.

    “Cheep! Thank you! I wound down and got stuck.”

    TikTok and Delphine hatched a plan and escaped to safety.

  22. candicemarleyconner says:

    My daughter saw how much fun I was having with this writing challenge and wanted to play too ❤

    Henry and Pip Make Friends (130 word count, make a friend)
    By Marley, Age 9

    One rainy day Henry and his owner, Mr. Mugsy, were playing fetch. Mr. Mugsy threw Henry’s ball so far all you could see was a tiny dot! Henry ran super-speedy—he didn’t notice the little chick he was about to crash into.



    Henry and Pip fell on the muddy ground. Henry was dizzy so Pip fetched Henry’s ball while Henry was getting better and made a nest for both of them. When they were both okay, they played with pebbles for X’s and O’s and sticks for pretend sword-fighting.

    It was now nighttime. Henry was lost. But Pip remembered where the ball came from. They retraced their muddy footsteps and found Mr. Mugsy looking around. Pip found a new home and they both found a new best friend!

  23. maryvb says:

    Week #3

    Ticktock/Make a friend.
    Word count: 260
    Mary van Beuren

    Ticktock Makes a Friend

    Ticktock the Terrier trotted down the hill.

    She stopped, halfway down, tilted her nose high and sniffed the air.

    Something was different.

    She followed the scent, nose to the ground, tail in the air, to the bottom of the hill.

    The scent led her to the barn.

    As she neared the barn, she heard strange, high pitched sounds.

    Could it be a cricket?

    A frog?

    A chipmunk?

    Ticktock hoped it was a chipmunk. She loved to play with chipmunks.

    She poked around the tractor, but nothing was there.

    She peeked into the horse stalls, but the horses just said, Neigh.

    She looked behind the hay bales, but there was just hay.

    Chirp, chirp, chirp!

    At last, she looked underneath the garden wagon, and there was a baby (guinea fowl) chick.

    When the chick saw Ticktocks nose, he cried louder, CHIRP, CHIRP, CHIRP!

    Ticktock didn’t want to scare the chick away and stood quiet and still.

    Ticktock was not used to feeling so big.

    She stayed still, and let the chick run around her.

    CHIRP, CHIRP, CHIRP! Cried the chick, trying to flap her tiny wings.

    The chick ran circles around Ticktock.

    Ticktock laughed. The chick laughed too.

    Ticktock remained very still, and when the chick grew tired of running in circles, flapping it’s little wings, and chirping at the top of its lungs, he curled up next to Ticktock and took a nap.

    And, now, every afternoon, at nap time, Ticktock trots down the hill.

    Thanks for reading!!

  24. boyll says:

    Mugsy and Marigold
    By Cindy S. Boyll
    (Share a Secret, Week 3)

    Marigold found Mugsy whimpering.

    “Mugsy? What’s wrong?”

    “My name is what’s wrong!” declared Mugsy.
    “It rhymes with bugsy. Other puppies yell, ‘Bugsy Mugsy.’”

    “I like your name.”

    “Not me. I would rather be Pip or Zico.”

    “Really?” Marigold pecked the ground and said, “Pip and Zico are also teasing names.”

    “What?” Mugsy sniffed.

    Marigold illustrated. “Hello, Zippy Pippy Pepper. Come here, Zico, Zicee, Wicky. See, each name bends with good or bad words, depending on the speaker.”

    “I never thought of that,” Mugsy said.

    Marigold said, “Mugsy is a strong name!”

    Mugsy wagged his tail. “I agree! I will ask the puppies to call me Mugsy.”

  25. Ashley Congdon (@AshleyCCongdon) says:


    by Ashley Congdon
    (make a friend)

    “I want a pal to play with that can keep pace with me,” Henry declared, wagging his tail.

    He dashed off to the place where all the pets played, The Pet Playground. 

    “Hey, Tina Turtle, want to run?” Henry asked.

    “Sure. Try to keep up!” Tina shouted.

    But, she took her time. Too much time.
    She was left behind.

    Then Carlos Cat zoomed by. 

    “Hey, want to run?” Henry asked.

    “Meowww! Dog chasing me,” Carlos yelled, sprinting up ahead. Henry was left behind.

    “Picking a pal to play with that can keep pace with me is . . . hard,” Henry cried, stuffing his face in his paws.

    “This chick can. I’m Pip. Let’s go!”

    “Ruff, ruff. A pal to play with!” 

    Henry and Pip raced at the perfect pace. 

  26. Deb Buschman (@DebBuschman) says:

    Get In Trouble
    96 words

    By Deb Buschman

    Edna gazed out the window.
    “What’s wrong?” asked Dot.
    “I wish I could go outside. Look at the chicks play,” said Edna.
    “But you’re a toy chick,” said Dot. “Toys aren’t allowed outside.”
    “Pleeeease Dot, carry me through your doggie door.”
    “Alright,” Dot picked up Edna.
    “Ewww, slobbery.”
    Not listening Dot trotted with Edna to the chicks.
    Edna stared at the chicks.
    Peep, peep, peep! The chicks circled Edna and began to…peck.
    “Dot! Help!”
    Woof, woof!
    The chicks ran into the coop.
    “Dot, can you take me inside?”
    Dot picked up Edna.
    “Eewww, slobbery.”

  27. Diantha Litwer says:

    Storm Secrets
    (318 words – Zack & Pip Share a Secret)
    by D. Litwer

    “Tick-tock.,” droned the clock.

    “Snerrttt – snort. Wheeeze,” snored Zack.

    “c l i c k – zurrr, zurr, zurr,” drowsed Pip.
    Massive, black clouds shoved the sun from the afternoon sky. Thunder rumbled in the distance.

    Zack’s ears popped up. His eyes flew open. Oh, no! A thunderstorm!

    “I am a brave dog,” Zack whispered to himself. “Jenny says I am.”

    The thunder rumbled louder. Zack leapt to his feet.

    “Zack,” called Pip, “it’s thundering! I’m not scared. I just want to make sure you’re not scared,” said Pip.

    “I’m not scared,” Zack called back. But his heart began to pound.

    “I … am a brave dog,” Zack repeated to himself.

    Rain hammered on the windows. The wind whooshed and whirled.

    RUMBLE! KA-BOOM! CRACK! An enormous bolt of lightening zig – zagged across the sky.

    Zack shot off Jenny’s bed like he had been fired out of a cannon.

    “Zack, just wanted to let you know that it’s lightening!” yelled Pip. “Nothing to be alarmed about.”

    “I’m not alarmed, Pip,” yelled Zack. But his heart pounded harder and his legs shook.

    “I… AM a brave dog,” he told himself again.

    Sizzzzzzle. Pop!

    “ZAAAAAACK!” screamed Pip, “The power has gone out! Don’t worry though, I’m not scared and you shouldn’t be either.”

    “I’m not scared!” screamed Zack.

    “Oh, but you are,” whispered his fear.

    “No! I AM A BRAVE DOG!” shouted Zack.

    I’m going to find my friend, Pip, right now. We’ll get through this frightening storm together,” barked Zack.

    Zack raced to his toy basket. He dug frantically through his toys until he found Pip, hiding under Mr. Squirrel.

    “I’m so happy to see you,” said Pip. “I’ll tell you a secret. I’m just a tiny bit afraid of thunderstorms.”

    “I am, too,” said Zack. “But that’s okay. We can help each other be brave. Let’s go check on Kenzie Kat and make sure she’s not afraid of the storm.”

  28. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Mix N’ MatchMini Writing Challenge-
    Writing Challenge: Week 3
    by Michelle S Kennedy
    144 WC
    Tick-Tock / Pip / Get in trouble

    Tick-Tock’s Luck

    With a twist, turn, twist, I gently get wound up.
    I’m just a little toy, for Pip, the spotted pup.
    They call me Tick-Tock, since I sound just like a clock.
    Pip loves to seek me out, while I do a funny walk.
    I chirp, cheep, peep, as Pip then wags his tail.
    I pass him on by, but he’s sniffing out my trail.
    I tick, tock, tick- beneath the coffee table.
    Pip is so excited that the glass is now unstable!
    I hear a loud bark, then his drool’s upon my beak.
    I’m really not enjoying this new game of hide and seek!
    Then a crash! Boom! Bang! Something shatters to the floor.
    “Oh, you’re in trouble now, Pip!” I hear the owner roar.
    Luckily for me, Pip is taken to his crate.
    And in that single moment, I escape before I’m ate!

  29. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Different and Yet Alike- Get in an argument WC99
    By Eleanor A. Peterson

    “Sit. Stand. Roll-over. Good boy!” The toddler cheered and left.
    Henry sat up, scanning his new home.
    Then a yellow thing shuffled into the room.
    “Who are you, and what’s your name?” asked Henry wagging his tail
    “Can’t you see? I’m a chick. Look, my name is right here,” chirped the nestling.
    Henry stared at the tag on the bird’s chest. “Zico! That’s a stupid name.”
    “Is NOT. What’s your name, and what are you?”
    “Can’t you see? I’m a dog, and my name is Henry.”
    “NOT true. Your tag says your not a Henry but a dog bot.”

  30. ptnozell says:

    Like several other writers, I did not interpret the cute tail on the chick as a wind-up mechanism. I also seem to be envisioning the dog’s tail being a bit longer. As Julie is not only an awesome illustrator but also a wonderful person, I’m sure she won’t mind!

    Marigold and Mugsy Hatch a Plan (95 words, make a plan)

    The egg rolled out of Farmer Bessy’s basket. CRACK! Peck-peck-peck.
    SLURP! Marigold’s wet tongue brushed Mugsy’s fuzzy head. “You ok, Little Chicken?”
    “Who you calling a chicken,” Mugsy cheeped. She crossed the gravelly road, tiny eyes searching…
    “Watch out for the…”
    “fence,” Marigold panted.
    “Peep-peep-peep,” Mugsy cried. “I can’t get back to Mama!”
    “Woof,” Marigold barked.
    She tried digging under the fence. Mugsy tried climbing over it.
    “We need to hatch a plan!”
    “What if…”
    “…and then…”
    Mugsy grabbed Marigold’s tail.
    Marigold sprinted, aimed…
    “I’m home, Mama! Thanks to Marigold!”

    • Diantha Litwer says:

      Great idea to start off with Mugsy hatching and then wandering around looking for Mama. I like Mugsy and Marigold working together, just like little kids would do, to solve their problem.

    • Corine Timmer says:

      There’s a lot going on in your 95 word story. Well done! A cute friendship story. I especially enjoyed the beginning. I can feel Mugsy’s desperation and determination.

  31. bevbaird says:

    My entry: Henry and Marigold – make a friend (130 words)

    Henry and Marigold
    “What’s the matter Marigold? Henry lay down in front of the little chick.
    “I’m lost!”, sobbed Marigold.
    “Not to worry. Climb aboard and I’ll get you home.”
    Marigold hopped onto Henry’s leg, then made her way up, up, up to his head.
    “Dig in your feet and hang on. Here we go.” Henry carefully stood up and walked forward.
    “Oh, it’s beautiful up here!” Marigold chirped and wiggled.
    It wasn’t long before they found the hen house.
    “There’s my mom! Thank you, Henry. You are a wonderful friend.”
    Henry once again lay down. Marigold quickly hopped down from Henry’s head, to his shoulder and down his leg. He watched as Marigold reunited with her family. There was lots of clucking and flapping of wings. Henry gave a happy woof.

  32. Corine Timmer says:

    I was short of time this week but here is my contribution:

    Pip and Zico Share a Secret
    174 words

    “I love my human mommy,
    but she’s always telling me
    Do you know what I mean?
    I don’t have the heart to tell her that
    so I just nod and play along.
    But when she’s on the phone,
    for a very long time, or
    when she’s talking to the neighbors
    over the manicured hedge,
    I escape her gaze, and RUN
    to the garden shed.
    Just behind it, near the hen house,
    I discovered WORMS!
    Shh! Don’t tell anyone. I’m not supposed to eat worms.”
    Zico’s mommy walked to the door.
    “You stay there, my sweet pea,” she cooed.
    NOW! Zico thought to himself.
    He ran and ran until he reached the
    compost heap, AND
    buried his nose deep into the mulch, when
    What’s that noise?
    “WOOF! Why are you all alone?”
    “I broke free,” Pip said. “I’m sick of chick starter, BLEAH!
    I want a juicy worm too! Promise not to tell anyone.
    I’m not supposed to eat worms.”

  33. Susan Krevat says:

    Henry and Marigold Cook Up a Plan (236 words)

    “Are you ready for our adventure?” chirped Marigold.

    “Ha, you know me, I was born for adventure,” responded
    Henry excitedly.

    “Well, we have a problem,” explained Marigod”. “It’s raining
    so we have to find an adventure in the house.”

    The two friends put their heads together and thought. Finally,
    They were rescued from having no ideas when they heard:

    “Ding, ding, dong!”

    “This could be our big adventure!” shouted Marigold and
    Henry as they ran to answer the door.”

    As they flung open the door, they saw a box sitting right
    outside the door. As soon as they got the box in the house,
    they tore it open.

    Inside they found ….recipes, bags with ingredients in them
    and meat.

    Their mother arrived just in time to rescue her food supplies.

    “Great!”, she exclaimed. “Our lunch and dinner are here.
    Now we can all prepare the food and cook it together!”

    “This sounds like the best plan we could cook up today!”
    replied Henry and Marigold. “Let’s get cooking!”

  34. RebeccaTheWriter says:

    MUGSY THE CHICK’S TRICKY TRICK (cook up a plan)
    By Rebecca Gardyn Levington
    136 Words

    Mugsy The Chick is cunning and slick.
    He’s quick with a trick or a prank.
    But Tick Tock The Pup is a gullible chump—
    He’s sweet, but a little bit… blank.

    So when Mugsy The Chick said to Tick Tock The Pup
    “I made brownies for you, on that plate!”
    Tick Tock The Pup wagged his tail and ran quick.
    “That’s terr-RUFF-ic! Oh, boy! I can’t wait!”

    “I’ll bring them right over,” said Mugsy The Chick.
    “Don’t be shy! Take as much as you please!”
    So Tick Tock The Pup sniffed and studied the batch…
    …of scissor-cut brown letter “E”s??

    “Gotcha again!” giggled Mugsy The Chick.
    “You get it? I made you “BROWN E’s!?”
    “Oh Mugsy!” said Tick Tock. “But how did you know?!
    I’ve been looking for “E’s” just like these!”

  35. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Pip & Zico Cook a Plan Mix n’ Match Week #3
    By Ketan, Aiyka and Ravi Ram – word count 120

    Pip was a wind-up, yellow canary.
    Zico a bull dog, cuddly not scary.

    Daily they met at the stroke of 2,
    always looking for something fun to do.

    Today was grey, so they planned to cook.
    To Pip’s they went for a recipe book.

    Hot pot, ravioli, grilled asparagus with meat?
    It had to be grand, this mid-week treat!

    The menu: Veg Wellington with braised bone on the side,
    was the delicious combo they wanted to try.

    With just over two hours while Granny Carmel slept,
    they stormed the pantry where all was kept.

    Zico found veggies, flour, eggs and butter
    But where did Granny keep the pastry cutter?

    Then, while Pip was deboning the shank,
    the poor canary ran out of crank!

  36. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Week #3
    Pip & Henry
    By Mia Geiger
    137 words
    (words used: Henry, Pip. Plot: a secret)

    Pip and Henry
    sat in the shade,
    pondering pitchers
    of pink lemonade.

    Henry peered up
    at the sweltering sun.
    “We need to act fast,
    before the day’s done.

    “I know a secret
    place we can go.
    A few blocks north,
    where the daffodils grow.”

    Clickity, clack
    Trudgity, trudge
    “Gotta keep going —
    watch out for the sludge!”

    “Phew, we made it,”
    Pip said with a sigh.
    He heard lots of chatter
    and wondered why.

    The kids at the stand
    smiled at Pip.
    How could they not?
    “Such a cute chick!”

    Pip liked this group,
    so he wibbled and wobbled.
    He flapped his wings
    and bibbled and bobbled.

    Everyone laughed —
    fun in the sun!
    They poured Pip a cup.
    But Henry had none.

    “Hey,” the kids called.
    “This dog needs a drink.
    Get him some lemonade
    The fancy kind — pink!”

  37. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Pip (the dog) and Zico (the wind up chicken) Share a secret
    Kristy Nuttall

    Pip the puppy liked to hide secrets in silly places.
    Under pancakes, in socks, next to slippers, and even. . .
    On top of spaghetti!
    But. . .
    On Tuesday a little bird named Zico found one of Pip’s secrets in a puddle.
    “Do you know who keeps leaving these secret messages all over the place?” asked Zico.
    Pip shrugged, but then she giggled.
    “You must be the secret hider!” said Zico.
    “Well,” said Pip, “now that you’ve found one of my secrets, it’s your secret now.”
    “Really? Can I read it?” asked Zico.
    “Go ahead,” said Pip.“I’m waiting. . .”
    “Ok, ok, it says, if you find this secret message, you need to do a secret good deed for someone else,” said Zico. “Ooh I like that.”
    “Hey what are you doing?” asked Pip.
    [gives the dog a spiffy new hair do with her beak]
    “I can’t tell you, it’s a secret. But I think you’ll figure it out when you look in the mirror,” said Zico.

  38. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Week 3–


    Mugsy and Pip share a special pup-bird relationship. They may speak in different languages, one barks the other tweets, but they understand each other perfectly.

    Pip couldn’t wait for Mugsy to get back from his morning walk. He had a secret he was bursting to tweet.

    Entering the yard Mugsy raced over to the holly bush looking for his BFF.

    Pip flew to the ground leaving his mate behind in the nest. “Tweet -tweet- tweet,” said Pip.

    Mugsy replied, “Arf-arf-arf-arf.”

    The secret’s out … Pip is the proud Papa of three baby birdies.

  39. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Week #3: Zico, Share a secret (word count 225)
    by Kay DiVerde

    Zico sat under a big oak tree. He had a secret and didn’t know how to share it.

    Joanie sauntered by and asked, ”Hey, Zico. What’s up?”

    “Well, I have a problem, and I don’t know how to fix it?” Zico responded.

    “Tell me all about it. Maybe I can help,” suggested Joanie.

    Zico explained, “It’s a secret.”

    Joanie’s eyes grew wide. “A secret? I’m the best secret keeper around.”

    Zico scratched his head. “Well, if you’re sure.”

    “I promise,” Joanie proclaimed.

    Hesitantly, Zico said, “Mom thinks I like broccoli, so she keeps making it. I HATE the taste and smell of cooked broccoli. I don’t want to hurt her feelings by telling her I don’t like something she cooks for me.”

    Joanie laughed. “That’s not much of a secret. Tell your mom. She’ll understand.”

    Zico thought about what Joanie said and decided to talk to his mom.

    “Mom?” Zico whispered while his mom was working in the kitchen. “I have a secret to tell you.”

    “Okay, Zico. You can tell me anything,” Zico’s mom replied.

    “I have a secret. I don’t really like to eat broccoli. I’m sorry. I don’t want to hurt your feelings,” said Zico.

    “Oh, Zico. Thank you for sharing your secret with me,” Zico’s mom answered. “I always thought you liked it, and I HATE the smell of cooked broccoli!”

  40. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Butch and Kip Cook Up a Plan
    By Liz Kehrli

    “Hey Kip, let’s go on an adventure,” said Butch.
    “Where to?” asked the little chick.
    “Anywhere. Where would you like to go? I know you like the field of wild flowers where the butterflies take flight,” said Butch.
    “Not today. Wouldn’t you rather chase some chipmunks, or go to the butcher store to beg for a bone?” asked Kip.
    “I can do that anytime,” said Butch.
    “Well, then let’s do something we both enjoy!”
    “Sounds great. Like what?” asked Butch.
    Their eyes meet. Their smiles radiate.
    Together they scream out, “The beach!”
    “Can I have a ride?” asked Kip.
    “Sure, jump on!” Butch lowers his head and Kip hops on.
    They charge to the beach where they play in the sand and splash along the water’s edge.
    Best adventure ever!

  41. marty says:

    Limerick for Week #3
    (make a friend, Delphine, 33 wc)

    There once was a chick named Delphine,
    who longed to be out and be seen.
    She needed a windup,
    which she got from a kind pup.
    Now their walks are a daily routine!

  42. Dorothy Dot Anson says:

    Zico, Tick Tock and Cook Up a Plan( 170 words)

    “Hey Tick Tock, said Zico the puppy. “Do you want to come out and play?”
    Tick Tock the bird sat sadly in his cage. “I can’t. My cage is locked.”
    Zico jumped onto the lounge, then the head rest. He reached across to the cage and grabbed the door between his teeth. He pulled but it didn’t budge.
    “Do you know where the key is?”
    “Around John’s neck on a chain,” said Tick Tock. “So probably on its way to the city. ”
    “Oh,” After a moment Zico said, “We’ll have to find something else to open it.” He looked at the key hole. “We need something small, round and hollow. Any ideas?”
    They both thought and took turns at suggesting things.
    “A pencil?…. no, not hollow.”
    “A cup?… too big.”
    “A toilet roll?… too soft and too big….”
    This continued for a few minutes.
    Zico looked with sadness at Tick Tock. As the bird turned Zico saw the winding key in his back.
    “I found it! ” said Zico.

  43. LittleCornishWriter says:

    Pip and Delphine Cook Up a Plan-91 words-Tracy

    “I need to fly!” exclaimed Pip.
    “Why?” asked Delphine.
    “Why what?” said Pip
    “I don’t mean to pry…
    but why do you need to fly high?” asked Delphine.
    “Well, I just want to try!” shrugged Pip.
    “But WHY?” urged Delphine.
    Pip blushed. “Well…to spy!” he admitted.
    “Spy?” frowned Delphine. “On who?”
    “On the view!”
    “The view?”
    “Yes! To spy things that are new.
    You could spy too…just me and you!”
    “It’s out of the blue,” thought Delphine, “but just us two?”
    “Just us two!”

    “Then let’s get started!” smiled Delphine.

  44. Penny Adler says:

    Penny A
    WC: 240
    Tick Tock (and GusGus) come up with a plan

    Tick Tock was the kind of rooster that liked to butt into everyone’s lives. He could talk them into most anything.
    “I’m GusGus and those are my friends, Cricket Bug and Rosie.”
    Tick Tock told him, “My name is Tick Tock. My name is all right but your names are all wrong. But I can help you with that.”
    Just then Cricket Bug stopped by, “Whatcha doin? How many toes do you have? I don’t have any toes, but I have hooves. I can use them for karate. Do you want to see?”
    GusGus said, “Cricket Bug, your questions are a bother. Maybe you should go to the barn and practice your kicks and let us be.”
    No sooner had Cricket Bug left that Rosie stopped by. “Whatcha doin? Did you bring any treats? I love treats. Why is your nose so pointy? Do you ever snort? I can snuffle most anything…
    GusGus interrupted, “Rosie, you are pestering our guest. Give it a rest… over there.
    Finally alone, they whispered until finally, they nodded their heads. They were ready.
    Tick Tock gathered everyone in a circle, “Hello, my name is Tick Tock. My name is all right but your names are all wrong. But we can help you with that.
    Names are important and they must fit. Take mine for example. Tick Tock like a clock. And that’s exactly what I do. I keep the time for the farm.
    Rosie, let’s start with you…

  45. amyflynnnd says:

    Bing and ShickShick (94 words)
    By Amy Flynn

    Shick Shick Shick Shick Shhhhhiiiiick

    Bing eyed the ShickShick suspiciously.
    She was cute.
    This looked like a new pet.

    Bing nudged the ShickShick gently.
    She was soft.
    This felt like a new pet.

    Bing sniffed the ShickShick carefully.
    She was fresh.
    This smelled like a new pet.

    Bing was cute. Bing was soft. Bing was…mostly fresh.

    Why did Family need a new pet?
    Bing was all the pet they needed!

    Bing challenged ShickShick to a play battle.
    ShickShick was not playful.

    Bing let out a sigh of relief.
    No new pets here!

  46. Alicia Meyers-Kelly (@aliciamaekelly) says:

    Alicia Meyers Kelly
    Title: Mugsy & Marigold Share a Secret
    WC: 124

    “Mugsy! I have something to tell you!” Marigold tweeted softly.

    “SOMETHING TO TELL ME?! Mugsy yelped and rolled on her back playfully.

    “Not so loud! It’s a secret,” said Marigold, flapping her wings.

    “Ruff! What’s a secret? Is it a game?” Mugsy jumped up and down ready to play.

    “Sit Mugsy! A secret is something no one else can know but me and you! You have to promise you won’t tell anyone!”

    “Ruff! Ruff! A game just me and you?!” Mugsy grabbed his ball and brought it close to Marigold’s beak.

    Marigold smiled at her playful friend. “Come close Mugsy, only you can hear it…”

    Mugsy scooted close and laid down on his belly, ears sticking straight up.

    “….Mugsy, you’re my best friend.”

  47. lilyerlic says:

    A Chick for My Hat (cook up a plan) WC: 226

    A Chick flew,

    Upon my head,

    His wings

    Were spread.

    I shook my head,

    And sat up,

    And said,

    “Please Mr. Chick,

    Get off my head!”

    He flapped

    His wings,

    Up and down,

    I flapped my arms,

    All around.

    “Please Mr. Chick,

    Go away!

    Come back,

    Another day!”

    The Chick,

    Wouldn’t move,

    The Chick wouldn’t


    Not even for,

    Some chocolate,


    I waved a worm,

    Above my head,

    But he just lay,

    As if he were dead.

    So I jumped,

    On a trampoline,

    And flapped,

    My arms to the sky,

    He just looked down,

    And winked an eye!

    So I called my dog,


    To come on quick,

    He tried to pull,

    The Chick,

    Who sat,

    On my head,

    But the Chick,

    Stared and said,


    What was I to do?

    So I asked,

    The squirrel,

    To give it a whirl,

    To see what he could do,

    With the Chick,

    Who thought my head,

    Was a bed.

    So the squirrel and

    the Chick,

    Both sat,

    Upon my head,

    And thought,

    It was a bed!

    Then I saw a crow,

    I asked him to go,

    He flew up and sat,

    As Pip snored on his mat.

    Chick, Squirrel, Crow

    Knew where they had to go!

    They left my head,

    That they thought was a bed,

    Then they landed on Pip,

    Which they thought was a ship!

  48. Katie Schwartz says:

    Zico and the fiesta (cook up a plan). WC 166

    End of cuarentena, we are ready, fan-tas-TI-co!
    “Let’s start planning a fiesta”, said our super hoster Zico.

    “Platos delicioso, like a 5-star restaurante!
    We’ll start with invitations, the guest list is importante!”

    “All our best amigos, Enrique’s always fun!
    Angel, Carmen, Miles y Lupe. Hmm, that’s almost everyone!
    Clementine y Pablo y María de la Cruz
    José and Sebastian! Okay, no time to lose!”

    “The menu will be awesome! My world famous enchiladas,
    Frijoles, ravioles, nachos, tacos, and tostadas!”

    So much planning, we keep talking, where and when, and games to play!
    Zico’s grand casita’d work, “We just need to pick the day.”

    There’s no answer, Zico’s missing, no more planning, it’s no bueno!
    ‘Hey Zico”, Carmen spots him, “That looks like a cheese relleno!”

    “I got a little hungry talking ‘bout the party food.”
    “Was I gone that long? I’m sorry”, Zico mumbled as he chewed.

    “Oh not too long” they answered, “just long enough that we
    decided on su casa, si! Mañana, about 3.”

  49. susaninez0905 says:

    Katie, I love how you added all of the fabulous party food in your rhyme. Nicely done; now I’m hungry! 🙂

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