2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #3

Ok, writers, are you ready?

Forget the dishes in the sink, the pile of work in your inbox, and the fact that it’s your mother-in-law’s birthday on Thursday and you still haven’t thought of a good present!

It’s time to Mix ‘n’ Match your way to a new story! 😊

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini is a 7 week writing challenge for anyone who needs a little boost, a little inspiration, or a little encouragement to get writing. . . or maybe just a little fun!

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 which continues to grow!)

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

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

To read the Week #2 entries or add your Week #2 entry, please go HERE (Week #2)

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #3 for Week of May 24:

So far we’ve played with character needs/goals, and with writing a cumulative story.  This week we’re going to play with a picture prompt, 3 random words. . . and a secret!

Here’s the picture, drawn by the incredibly talented Julie Rowan-Zoch (author/illustrator of I’M A HARE, SO THERE! HMH Books For Young Readers 2021, and illustrator of LOUIS by Tom Lichtenheld HMH October 2020!) and used with her permission for your writing fun 😊 (Thank you, Julie!!! 💕)

illustration copyright Julie Rowan-Zoch 2021 used by permission, all rights reserved

And here are random words! Choose one from Column A, one from Column B, and one from Column C.

Column AColumn BColumn C
raindropspicnicstrawberry tart
nestrope swingpond
cherry treemistakebucket/pail
unicornlosttantrum
bridgespringadmire

But wait! There’s a twist! One of the characters has a secret! Which character? What secret? And how does it impact the story? You will probably want to think up your own secret, but in case anyone needs an idea, here are a few suggestions:

-took something that didn’t belong to them
-hid something on purpose
-told someone something that wasn’t true
-doesn’t want to play hide ‘n’ seek (or duck, duck, goose, or musical chairs, or tag, or. . .)
-only wants to play hide ‘n’ seek (or duck, duck, goose, or musical chairs, or tag, or. . .)
-is allergic to acorns
-wants to invite someone to their birthday party (or for a sleepover, or. . .)
-is afraid of dogs (or cats, or bicycles, or bees, or swimming, or. . .) and doesn’t want anyone else to know
-plans to bake a surprise cake for someone
-has a special present for someone
-isn’t telling someone something they should
-secretly really likes someone
-secretly doesn’t like someone
-is getting something they know everyone will love

Write a 100 word story for kids about the pictured characters, using three random words and giving one of the characters a secret which you incorporate into the story, and post your in the comment section below! (If for some reason you have trouble posting, you may use the contact form to email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you.)

  • 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 random words that are not on the list you can use them instead – the purpose here is inspiration and to get you writing!
  • For simplicity’s sake (and to aid skimming readers who might be interested in a particular thing) please say which random words you’re using you’re using at the top of your entry along with your name, word count, and title if you have one.

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!


Ruth’s Birthday Surprise – Sue Lancaster

The Perfect Gift – Erika Romero

Getting There – Rose Cappelli

A Hare Raising Mistake – Bru Benson

Acorn Day – Jen Subra

The Secret – Marty Findley

The Secret Spot – Isabel Cruz Rodriguez

The Smashed Bash – Laura Bower

The Secrets of Beryl The Bunny – Elenore Byrne

Hare…Or Not – Susan E. Schipper

Better Than Acorns – Erin Cleary

Acorns And, Er, What?! – Marty Bellis

Bunny’s Problem – Deb Sullivan

Floppy And The Rope Swing – Dawn Young

Untitled – Elizabeth Volkmann

The Cherry Pie Problem – Ashley B. Pedigo

Chip, Drip, And Skip – Meg King-Sloan

A Small Mistake – Leslie Degnan

Turtle’s Strawberry Hill Surprise – Joyce Uglow

Disappearing Dewberries – Candice Marley Conner

Rabbit Won’t Have To Wait – Sara Kruger

Hare Today And Gone Tomorrow: From Brey To Form, A Secret That Saved! – Sally Yorke-Viney

Miss Bun’s Secret – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf

A Happy Tail – Marta Cutler

Safe Cracking Squirrels – Susan Summers

Clueless Squirrels – Lyn Jekowsky

Scratch And Scritch’s Show Stopper – Ashley Sierra

Fireworks – Aly Kenna

Late Lunch – Hannah Roy LeGrone

Bunny’s Magic – Dianne Irving

Thoughtful Harry – Padgy Soltis

A Secret Entrance – Lauri Meyers

The Scavenger Hunt – Barbara Renner

Vanishing Act – Marta Cutler

Rabbith’th Thee-cret (Rabbit’s Secret) – Allison Strick

Harah Helps Look – Sarah Meade

Momo’s Cherry Tree – Bevin Rolfs Spencer

In The Mood To Play? – Amy Leskowski

A Couple Of Nuts – Jill Lambert

Mr. Bunny’s Secret Skill – Mia Geiger

B-U-N-N-Y Spells Trouble – Jeannette Suhr

Rainy Picnic – Nicole Loos Miller

The Secret of Sassafras – Linda Schueler

A Friend In Need – Candace Kubinec

Untitled – Lauren Scott

The Unicorn – Lynn Katz

Unicorn’s Secret – Michelle S. Kennedy

The Happiest Habit – Christine Alemshah

The Bunny’s Secret – Marla Yablon

Watch Out For Bear? Watch Out For Hare! – Katie Schwartz

The Will To Win – Colleen Owen Murphy

Magic Unicorn – Robin Currie

Happy Spwing – Deb Buschman

The Unicorn’s Mistake – Brenna Jeanneret

Tantrum Blues – Sarah Hawklyn

That Hare – JC Kelly


PRIZES & PRIZES OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES!

When it comes time for prizes, names of all those who complete 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! 😊

⭐️ Picture Book Critique from Penny Parker Klostermann, the lovely and talented author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (Random House 2015) and A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE (Random House 2017)

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⭐️ 30 Minute Q&A with Penny Klostermann

⭐️ Picture Book MS Critique OR Query Letter Critique (Winner’s Choice) from Jennifer Buchet, debut author of LITTLE MEDUSA’S HAIR DO-LEMMA (Clear Fork/Spork May 11, 2021)

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⭐️ Picture Book MS Critique from Jen Raudenbush, agented writer of picture books, middle grade, and poetry. (Represented by Natascha Morris of The Tobias Literary Agency)

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Jen Raudenbush

⭐️ 30 minute Zoom chat about anything industry related (manuscript, query letter, best practices for querying) with Becky Scharnhorst, amazing author of MY SCHOOL STINKS (Philomel Books, July 6, 2021)

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⭐️Picture Book Manuscript Critique with Audio Recording by author and poet Sarah Meade Sarah will do a written critique of your manuscript and include an audio recording of her first read-through of the manuscript. The audio recording is to help the author hear how the story flows and/or where a new reader may stumble when reading aloud.

⭐️ Webinar: How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro by author and editor Alayne Kay Christian

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⭐️ A copy of Mary Kole’s Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Writers, donated by Nicole Loos Miller

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⭐️ A personalized signed copy of SASSAFRAS AND HER TEENY TINY TAIL (MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 2021) by Candice Marley Conner


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⭐️ Making Picture Book Magic Self Study Class (any month)

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⭐️A copy of A FLOOD OF KINDNESS by Ellen Leventhal

⭐️A copy of MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe by Vivian Kirkfield

⭐️A copy of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT by Penny Parker Klostermann

⭐️A copy of SLOTH AND SQUIRREL IN A PICKLE by Cathy Ballou Mealey

⭐️A copy of BINDU’S BINDIS by Supriya Kelkar

⭐️ 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

295 thoughts on “2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #3

  1. Sue Lancaster says:

    Ruth’s Birthday Surprise
    (113 words, bridge, picnic, strawberry tart)

    Sammy and Simon scampered to where Ruth was waiting.

    “Your birthday picnic’s ready,” said Simon. “With all your favourite food.”

    “There are lettuce chips, acorn fritters, and for pudding a delicious carrot-…”

    “Sssshhh, Sammy!” Interrupted Simon. “That’s a surprise.”

    Ruth blushed. “Thank you, you’re very kind,” she said. “But I have something to tell you.”

    “What?” asked Sammy.

    “I can’t stand carrot cake,” she whispered.

    Sammy looked disappointed.

    “You must think we’re terrible friends,” he said, as they crossed the bridge. “But what I was about to say was… a delicious carrot-FREE strawberry tart! Of course, we know you hate carrots!”

    Simon pushed aside the bushes to reveal a group of animals.

    “SURPRISE!”

  2. Erika says:

    The Perfect Gift
    By Erika Romero
    Nest, Picnic, Pond

    Sally and Tally were so excited to be invited to Buster’s birthday picnic.

    “We need to find the perfect gift!” Sally decided.

    “A gift Buster will never forget!” Tally agreed.

    They decided to start their search for the perfect gift at their favorite red maple tree.

    This tree had grown so much since they first visited that it now cast a big shadow over the calm pond.

    “Maybe Buster would like a vacation to this pond. The tree keeps this area cool and the fishes are friendly.”

    Tally wasn’t convinced by Sally’s choice.

    “I think Buster would like the tree more than the pond. He can enjoy seeing all the growing families in the birds’ nests.”

    Sally didn’t think Buster would find bird eggs that interesting.

    They collected a few acorns while thinking the matter over.

    “Maybe Buster will like spending time by the pond AND the tree,” Sally suggested.

    “Two gifts are better than one,” Tally agreed.

    Decision made, they gathered their favorite acorns and made their way to Buster’s birthday picnic.

    What they didn’t know, and wouldn’t find out until Buster’s vacation, was that the fishes and birds had heard Sally and Tally’s plan. They had never meet Buster and were always looking to make new friends.

    When Sally, Tally, and Buster arrived at the pond by the tree, or maybe it’s the tree by the pond, an extra birthday surprise was waiting.

    A perfect gift that Buster would never forget.

    What do you think the surprise gift could be?

  3. rosecappelli says:

    Getting There
    by Rose Cappelli
    (111 words; bridge, rope swing, strawberry tart)

    Rabbit contemplated Hedgehog’s sweet strawberry tart waiting for her on the other side of the pond.
    “What’s wrong?” asked Squirrel One.
    “I’m trying to figure out the best way to get to the other side. I might get lost if I walk around, the rope swing isn’t strong enough, and I’m too big for Crow’s back.
    “What don’t you just hop across the bridge?” inquired Squirrel Two.
    “What about Troll? I’m afraid he might eat me! But…I have another idea. Will you help?”
    Rabbit and the squirrels constructed a sturdy raft out of acorns.
    “Come with me!” said Rabbit.
    “You two go ahead,” said Squirrel One. “I’m afraid of the water.”

  4. readmybook2002 says:

    Thank you for showing my entry:

    Word Count: 100
    Words: Cherry tree, mistake, bucket

    A HARE RAISING MISTAKE
    By Bru Benson

    “That’s not what I wanted,” Hare said, “I need cherries from the cherry tree.”
    “Acorns are the best,” said the squirrel.
    “I can’t climb trees,” Hare said, “I can’t use acorns.”
    The squirrel knew a secret.
    “Can you help us carry our heavy bucket back to our nest?” the squirrel asked.
    Hare followed them to the acorn tree.
    “We covered the bucket with twigs so it wouldn’t spill,” said the squirrel.
    Hare lifted it up. It felt light.
    “There must be a mistake,” Hare said.
    Squirrel removed the twigs to reveal cherries.
    “Surprise. Now you can make your cherry pie.”

  5. jensubra says:

    ACORN DAY by Jen Subra
    words: raindrops/spring/picnic/pail

    Biffy and Buffy were Bunny’s best friends. They did EVERYTHING together! In the spring, they romped through raindrops. In the summer, they picnicked on plump peaches. But fall was the finest season of all. Every fall in the park where they picnicked, the acorns would fall–plink! And every fall the three friends met to fill their pails–plunk! Acorn Day was a special day.
    “I think we should surprise Bunny this year,” said Buffy.
    “What should we do?” asked Biffy.
    “Let’s gather all the acorns before Bunny arrives and surprise him with a full bucket!”
    In a dash, the two squirrels had filled three buckets to the brim. And just in time! Bunny hopped into the clearing and stared in amazement.
    “Look how surprised he is!” whispered Buffy.
    Then Bunny’s ears drooped, and his smile slumped.
    “Bunny, look!” exclaimed Biffy. “We already picked a pail full for you!”
    Bunny’s eyes brightened, but he was still sad.
    “Do you not like our surprise?” asked Buffy.
    “It’s a wonderful surprise! But the best part of Acorn Day is not a pailful of acorns. The best part is spending the day with my friends, but now all the work is done,” sighed Bunny.
    Buffy and Biffy looked at each other, smiled, and tossed the buckets in the air! Acorns rained down, and Bunny laughed out loud. What a wonderful surprise!

  6. martyfindley says:

    The Secret
    By Marty Findley
    Words: raindrops, picnic, tantrum
    Hare has a secret!

    Hare watched his best friends, the twins, Chitter and Chatter, come to the picnic. Chitter was throwing a rip-roaring tantrum. “What is wrong with you?” demanded Chatter!

    “This is my last acorn!” replied Chitter “and I’m still hungry!”

    “Calm down,” said Hare. “I have a secret to share!”

    Suddenly raindrops began to fall and the friends dashed to Hare’s house. “Come inside,” said Hare.

    “Surprise!” The room was filled with furry forest friends and on the table under a HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner sat the biggest cake Chitter and Chatter had ever seen! It was decorated all around with acorns! And on top was a big orange carrot. After all, rabbits get hungry too!

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    POSTED FOR ISABEL

    The Secret Spot
    By Isabel Cruz Rodriguez

    The pompous hare curled her hair
    “It looks like rain. I must take care.”
    “Don’t want to mess my coiff so rare.”
    “No time to waste. Time to make haste.”

    Across the pond two chipmunks rest
    From dumping acorns in their nest.
    “We need to hurry”, the youngest said
    “Or rain will fall upon my head.”

    Hippity Hop the hare jumps up
    She spots the bridge to go hide under.

    Skippity Skip the chipmunks zip
    They see the bridge to which they skip.

    Drippity Drip. Plop Plop Plop.
    The raindrops begin to Drop Drop Drop.

    Hippity Hip. Trot Trot Trot.
    The hare hops to her secret spot.

    The chipmunks skip to do the same.
    To their secret spot to miss the rain.

    Hippity C-R-U-N-C-H!
    Skippity S-C-R-U-N-C-H!
    Curlers fly! Acorns roll!
    The SECRET SPOT belongs to all!

  8. Laura Jensen Bower says:

    The Smashed Bash
    By Laura Bower
    (unicorn, mistake, raindrops, tart)
    234 words

    “Hey Gus – how come you’re sitting still?
    Today’s the party day!
    Uni-Corn is turning six –
    Come on! We know the way!”

    “I..uh…don’t…uh…feel so good.
    I have a stomach ache.
    Going to this party would be
    such a big mistake!”

    “You’re feeling sick? Lil’ Skippy asked.
    That doesn’t make much sense.
    I saw you just an hour back
    dancing on the fence.”

    “Uhh… you know? I’m feeling better,
    but really shouldn’t go.
    Uni-Corn is mad at me.
    For what? I do not know!

    “Oh, don’t be silly!” Nutsy yelled.
    I heard from Uni-Corn
    that you’re the guest of honor and
    you’ll get the golden horn!”

    “Oh, are those clouds? And raindrops too?
    WE should stay indoors.
    I’ll race back to my cozy home.
    and you can go to yours.”

    “But Gus, the day is nice and bright.
    What’s really going on?
    The party ends at 5 o’clock.
    We should have been long gone.”

    I guess it’s time I told you this
    (should’ve from the start).
    I’m sitting on a pile of super
    squishy, smashed-up tart.

    I was in charge of the dessert.
    Poor Uni will be sad!
    I can’t attend the big soiree
    with nothing good to add?

    Don’t worry Gus. It’s YOU who will
    make your best friend’s day.
    (and if you clean up really fast –
    a bake shop’s on the way).

  9. Elenore Byrne says:

    The secrets of Beryl the Bunny
    Word Count 137
    Using bucket, nest, mistake

    Beryl the Bunny’s embarrassment stung,
    caused by her peers and the slip of a tongue.
    She sat with a bucket to capture her tears,
    while mean nasty words lingered on in her ears.

    She lifted her hankie and patted her eyes,
    upset they’d discovered her carrot supplies.
    She’d hidden a stash in the back of her nest,
    coz bunnies found acorns quite hard to digest.

    The duet approached “We come with a gift.”
    Beryl stared blankly her feelings still miffed.
    “We made a mistake being careless and feral.
    We shouldn’t of said it. We’re so sorry Beryl.”

    “We know you love acorns as much as we do,
    so here are some red oaks we picked just for you.
    We vow not to snoop, it’s such a bad habit
    and promise we’ll never – call you a rabbit.”

    Warning: Please never feed rabbits acorns (from my 9 year old son).

  10. seschipper says:

    Please disregard the “Hare ..Or Not story above 😦 I mistakenly submitted one of my drafts instead of the real deal! UGH! So embarrassed! )

    Hare…Or Not
    By Susan E. Schipper
    Unicorn, Spring, Admire
    WC 140

    There once were two friends who loved adventures
    One squirrel named Clyde and one called Spencer.
    They took acorns with them wherever they went
    They loved everything “acorn” even the scent!

    One spring day they met a hare
    Who stared at them and said, “Beware!”
    Do not come closer or you’ll be sorry!
    I’ll send you off to Kalahari!

    Trembling, they offered acorns to hare
    But suddenly hare was not there!
    In his place right before their eyes
    Sat a bright, white Unicorn about six feet five!

    What happened to hare, where did he go?
    Oh Mr. Unicorn we have to know!
    He was right here before our eyes
    Now he is gone! What a surprise!

    Unicorn said, I admire your generous offer to “me”
    You both are so kind, as kind as can be!
    I know you love acorns yet you would share
    Your treasured treat with a mean old hare!

  11. Erin Cleary (ClearyWriter) says:

    BETTER THAN ACORNS by Erin Cleary
    (words: cherry tree, lost, spring, pond)

    Chester and Shirley were searching for acorns when they spotted their friend sitting under a cherry tree.
    “What are you doing, Bonnie?” Chester asked.
    ”I’m thinking about a story I want to write,” Bonnie said.
    “Ooh! I know, I know! You can write about acorns and how delicious they are!” said Shirley.
    “I’ve never eaten an acorn,” said Bonnie
    “Here, you can have this one,” said Chester, handing her one he’d been saving for a snack.
    “Thank you, Chester,” said Bonnie.
    “Or, you could write about how fun it is in the spring to find a lost acorn you buried for the winter,” said Shirley.
    “That does sound fun, but I’ve never buried an acorn.”
    “Here’s an acorn we found by the pond. Maybe you can bury it and then look for it later,” said Chester.
    “That’s a nice idea, Chester,” said Bonnie.
    “Or, you could write about a great big tree that grows acorns that magically grow into new trees that grow more acorns!” said Shirley
    “You mean an oak tree?”
    “Oh, right,” said Shirley.
    They sat quietly together for a little while.
    “I know just the story!” said Bonnie.
    “Tell it! Tell it!” the squirrels cheered.
    “Once upon a time there were two squirrels. One squirrel was very good at sharing his acorns. The other was very good at sharing her ideas. Together they helped their friend write a story. It was a very good story. The end.”
    “Those are very nice squirrels.” said Shirley.
    “They are, Shirley,” said Bonnie. “Do you want to know a secret?”
    Chester and Shirley looked at Bonnie.
    “That story is about you!”
    “It is? I liked that story, Bonnie,” said Chester.
    “Me too,” said Shirley. “That story is even better than acorns.”

  12. marty says:

    ACORNS AND, ER, WHAT?!
    by Marty Bellis ( mistake, pail, bucket, admire, unicorn )

    “Look, Rabbit, we collected twenty pails of acorns for the contest. Where are yours?”

    Rabbit dutifully admired the squirrels’ work, but had to admit he had none.

    “We thought you were helping us,” said Eddie.

    “I did, too.”

    Poor Rabbit’s whiskers turned bright pink.

    “You couldn’t find any?” asked Freddie.

    “Ummm, well, I thought you said, er, it was a unicorn contest.”

    Reluctantly, he showed them what he’d collected.

    “Wow! They’re perfect!” cried the twins.

    “They are?”

    “Yes, unicorns LOVE acorns. They’ll collect buckets full in no time. We’re sure to win the contest now.”

    A relieved rabbit hopped away to clean his ears, before he made any more embarrassing mistakes.

  13. sullyweston says:

    Bunny’s Problem
    by Deb Sullivan
    97 Words

    rope swing, strawberry tart, unicorn, pond, lost

    “Just tell us,” said Squirrel 1.
    “I can’t,” said Bunny.
    “Please?” said Squirrel 2. “You can have my last acorn.”
    “No thanks,” said Bunny.
    “I’ll push you on the rope swing,” said Squirrel 1.
    Bunny shook his head.
    Squirrel 1 nudged Squirrel 2.
    “I’ll make you a strawberry tart!” said Squirrel 2.
    Bunny sighed.
    “I dropped my lucky unicorn near the pond,” said Bunny. “I feel lost without it.”
    “Maybe it’s still there,” said Squirrel 1.
    “I doubt it,” said Bunny.
    Squirrel 2 squeezed the trinket in his pocket.
    “Let’s check,” said Squirrel 1. “You never know…”

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    POSTED FOR DAWN

    #3 cherry tree / rope swing / pail /secret
    100 words

    FLOPPY AND THE ROPE SWING
    By Dawn Young

    Floppy tried his best to climb the rope swing hanging from the cherry tree in the park.

    He watched his friends, Rover and Clover swing back and forth. Squirrels made it seem so easy.

    Floppy tied reaching for the rope with his front legs while trying to grab the rope with

    his back two. NO LUCK!

    The next day, his friends had a secret surprise for Floppy. They found a pail and tied

    it to the bottom of the rope swing. When Floppy arrived, they urged him to hop into the pail.

    Up-up-up he sailed into the air.

  15. lizluvselephants says:

    E. Volkmann (180 words)
    pond-bridge-picnic

    Celeste turned from the still pond.
    She glared at Hazel and Pip.
    “Quiet, please! I’m contemplating Big Questions.”
    “But Celeste … we need help. We’re, umm, lost.”
    “Lost? You live over the bridge, just past my burrow.”
    “Could you take us there, Celeste? We keep going in circles.”
    Celeste sighed and stood.
    “What are Big Questions?” Hazel asked.
    “Why are we here? What is our purpose? Things like that.”
    “We miss playing with you,” Pip said.
    “When I have the answers, maybe I’ll play again.”
    The three friends stopped on the bridge.
    They watched ducklings, listened to birdsong and dropped wishing pebbles.
    ‘It feels good to help my friends,’ Celeste thought. ‘When I have answers to the Big Questions, I’ll do this more.’
    At Celeste’s burrow, they stopped.
    Streamers draped over branches, balloons danced in the breeze.
    A bright picnic blanket held berries and nuts, fruits and leafy greens.
    “Surprise!”
    All of Celeste’s friends jumped out from the bushes.
    “Why?” Celeste stammered.
    “Because we love you!” the squirrels chattered.
    Then Celeste shouted,“Let’s play!” – because she had all the answers she needed.

  16. ashleybpedigo says:

    The Cherry Pie Problem (cherry tree, picnic, strawberry tart)
    -Ashley B Pedigo

    All the animals were busy preparing for the first picnic of the summer, and Bunny had finally been put in charge of desserts. She knew just what she was going to make. But there was one problem— the squirrel girls.

    “We have to make cherry pie for the picnic,” the squirrels said. “We have to, we have to!”

    “Oh, um…” Bunny nodded, and bit her bottom lip. She didn’t want to argue with the squirrel girls. They scampered away to their favorite cherry tree, while Bunny lagged behind.

    “I can get more cherries that you can!”
    “Well I can get juicier cherries than you can!” The two squirrels were already arguing by the time Bunny arrived, racing back and forth from the top of the tree to an ever growing pile of cherries.

    “Actually, I—” Bunny began, but the squirrel girls were already so involved in their games that they didn’t even notice when Bunny hopped away into the strawberry bushes.

    The squirrel girls began to get hungry, racing up and down the tree was exhausting. Lucky for them, they had already picked so many cherries. Surely a cherry or two wouldn’t be missed.

    When Bunny came back, she saw two very ashamed squirrels with very full tummies, covered in dark red juice and sitting on a pile of cherry pits.

    “We— we don’t have any cherries for our pie!” They wailed.
    But Bunny smiled. “That’s okay— truthfully, I don’t know how to make a cherry pie.”
    “Then, what will we bring to the first picnic of the summer?”
    “Do you think these will work?” Bunny said, and then showed them a tray of perfect strawberry tarts.

    The squirrel girls heard their tummies rumble looking at the tarts. Perhaps they should taste one— just to be sure.

  17. Meg says:

    Chip, Drip and Skip
    by Meg King-Sloan

    131 words
    cherry tree, picnic, pond

    Chip and Drip were twin squirrels. They lived near a pond and that’s how Drip got his name. He liked to splash around and didn’t use a towel to dry off. Chip liked to pull bark off their cherry tree but never took any cherries. Their friend Skip the bunny preferred skipping to hopping so he was frequently late when they wanted to play.

    Skip didn’t like his name though. He secretly wanted a new name because he liked to roll down hills. On their next picnic he made an announcement.

    “Please call me Flip.”

    They were startled and then said, “Please call us Pip and Trip. We just like those names better and they still rhyme!”

    They were all happy. Chip, Drip and Skip were now Pip, Trip and Flip.

  18. Leslie Degnan says:

    A SMALL MISTAKE by Leslie Degnan
    (WC: 106)
    (cherry tree, mistake, tantrum)

    “Go away!” cried rabbit.
    “You are not my friend.”
    “Yes, but…” began the squirrels,
    Their fun came to an end.

    “It was just a small mistake…”
    “A small mistake you say!”
    “An acorn hit me on the head!”
    “Just a mistake? No way!”

    While rabbit had his tantrum,
    Squirrels tried to explain,
    That they would not intentionally
    Cause their good friend pain.

    Rabbit wiped his eyes and rubbed
    The spot where acorn hit.
    Still angry with his friends,
    Because it hurt a little bit.

    We’re sorry, but we should have played
    Beneath the cherry tree.
    Just then, another acorn fell.
    The squirrels looked up—you SEE!

  19. Joyce Uglow says:

    TURTLE’S STRAWBERRY HILL SURPRISE by Joyce Uglow
    (bridge, pond, strawberry tart)

    “I guess I’ll just stay home,” said Turtle. “The Garden Party is out of the question. I’ll never make it across the bridge in time for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.”

    “Here, take my acorns. They’ll bring you good luck,” said Squirrel.

    “Thanks, Squirrel,” said Turtle. “Maybe it’s luck that I need.”

    “Balderdash! None of us needs luck,” said Ace, “we have STEM!”

    “Stem?” said Turtle.

    “You know: science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Cottontail as she hopped away. “I pondered our problem, reviewed the research, did the math, and put my design in place. Follow me.”

    Turtle pulled his head out of his shell. “Ok… If I don’t start now, I guess I’ll never get there.”

    “SURPRISE!” said Cottontail as Turtle rounded the corner. “Climb on our new Strawberry Hill Zipline, Turtle. We’ll zip across the pond before you can say Strawberry Tart.”

  20. candicemarleyconner says:

    DISAPPEARING DEWBERRIES
    By Candice Marley Conner
    raindrop, picnic, bucket
    116 words (I only used 80 words last week so I’m invoking rollover words ;))

    Little Bunny sat at the edge of the picnic blanket, barely keeping raindrop-sized tears from wetting his whiskers.
    “What’s wrong?” asked Chitter.
    “I collected a bucket full of dewberries and now they’re gone!” Bunny wailed.
    Cheep-Cheep tsked.
    “Let’s retrace your hops,” Chitter suggested.
    “I picked them off this brambly patch,” Bunny said. “Then I washed them in the creek.”
    “They probably floated away,” Cheep-Cheep said. “Oh well.”
    Bunny frowned. “Then I warmed them in the sun.” He led them to a sunny meadow.
    “A bird probably ate them,” Cheep-Cheep said. “Oh well.”
    “Then I folded them in a cobbler…”
    “Oh! Well…”
    “Cheep-Cheep, your cheeks are as pink as the dewberry cobbler staining your whiskers!” Chitter chirped.

  21. savoringeverymoment says:

    Rabbit Won’t Have to Wait
    by Sara Kruger
    Cherry tree—rope swing—pond

    “Are you ready to go to the pond?” Rabbit asked the twins. “I want to get there early so we don’t have to wait for the rope swing.”
    “We won’t have to wait,” Squirrelay said.
    “How do you know?” Rabbit and Squirrelbee asked.
    “You’ll see when we get there ,” Squirrelay said.
    The trio hopped across the meadow.
    As soon as the cherry tree came into view, Squirrelay dashed ahead.
    When Squirrelbee and Rabbit caught up, they saw four rope swings dangling from the tree branches. Only one was in use.
    “Did you put up the other swings?” Rabbit asked.
    “Happy birthday, rabbit!” Squirrelay exclaimed.

  22. syorkeviney says:

    Hare Today and Gone Tomorrow: From Brey to Form, a Secret that Saved!
    (nest, spring, pond, admire)

    Why can’t they just leave me alone?
    Can’t they tell I’m in a mood?
    I’m so sorry and they don’t even know!
    What? They’re bringing me acorns! No!
    Don’t they know what I did?
    Look, I will just sit here and ignore them!
    I can’t. I’ll just take a peek and see if they’ve gone away…
    Nope, they’re still there!
    Alright here’s the truth….

    I really didn’t mean to…I was just having some clover,
    Yummy leaves and a purple flower desert.
    A spring here, a hop there, zig zagging just to stretch my legs.
    Stopped for a drink and to admire my lovely long ears in the pond.
    Just minding my own business when it happened….

    I spotted that stack of sticks
    That mound of moss and that green gray grass.
    So perfect, all there, just what I needed for my fabulous form.
    And… I took it all. I didn’t know it was yours, really I didn’t!
    So now you know my secret… I was your Drey Destroyer!

    What’s that? I didn’t destroy your babies’ nest?
    You have two other dreys and they are so much safer?
    When your stuff disappeared, you knew you had made the right decision…
    So these acorns are for me? A thank you gift? What’s that you say?
    Hare today and gone tomorrow? No, no I’m always hare for you! No matter what the drey!

    (Back Notes: Squirrels and hares both use sticks, moss and grass for their nest. Squirrels make numerous nests called dreys, as many as ten! Hares do not make nests in underground burrows, but in sunken areas lined with nesting materials that are called forms. Wild hares do eat acorns, but never feed acorns to your pet rabbit!)

  23. Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf says:

    Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf
    Miss Bun’s Secret
    nest, mistake, tantrum
    100 words

    Miss Bun was sitting quietly when the squirrels came by.
    “Want to play?” one asked.
    “Not now. I’m busy.”
    “You don’t look busy,” said the other.
    “It’s a quiet busy,” she replied.
    “Want a nut?” said the first.
    “No. I’m concentrating.”
    “On what?”
    “A secret.”
    “A secret?” they asked together. “What is it?”
    “It’s a secret,” she said, “so I can’t tell you.”
    “If you tell us,” said the second, “we won’t tell anyone. So it’s still a secret.”
    “I am sitting on an egg. It fell out of the nest by mistake. The bird inside was having a tantrum.”

    • Ashley Sierra (@AshleySierra06) says:

      The suspense to find out that secret. Nice connection to making the bird inside the egg having a tantrum.

  24. Marta Cutler says:

    A Happy Tail
    By Marta Cutler

    Nut and Natter looked up as thunder boomed.
    “We better get our acorns home!” said Nut.
    On their way, they saw Bunny. Great big tears rolled down his small pink nose.
    “What’s wrong Bunny?” asked Natter.
    “Blossom says I’m different!” cried Bunny.
    “How?” asked Nut.
    “I can’t tell you,” said Bunny.
    “Can you whisper it?” asked Natter.
    Bunny whispered to Natter. Natter whispered to Nut, who nodded.
    The two squirrels turned their backs to Bunny.
    “What do you see?” asked Natter.
    “Your tail is smaller!” said Bunny.
    “Exactly!” said Natter.
    “No two tails are alike!” said Nut. “Yours is just right!”
    Bunny brightened.
    “I feel better!” he said.
    Raindrops started to fall.
    “Better enough to help us get our acorns home and share a strawberry tart?” asked Natter.
    “That sounds just right!” said Bunny.

  25. susaninez0905 says:

    Safe Cracking Squirrels
    By: Susan Summers
    Bridge, nest, bucket, secret
    WC: 138

    “Psst, rabbit? You hungry?” asked the squirrels.
    “Why do you ask?” answered rabbit.
    “Follow us and we’ll show you.”
    A quick scamper across the bridge and through the yard to the tall oak tree brought them to the squirrel’s home.
    “Check it out!’ They proudly shouted as they hopped into a bucket and hoisted themselves up.
    “Your nest is brimming with walnuts! How’d you manage that?”
    “We’re safecrackers.”
    “Excuse me?”
    “We can outsmart any bird feeder in the neighborhood,” said squirrel one.
    “Together we conquered Fort Knutz,” said squirrel two. “The most packed walnut hole there is!”
    “Impressive, but there’s a problem. I don’t eat walnuts,” said the rabbit.
    “Don’t worry, if you join our team, our next mission will be to get the goods from the farmer’s garden.”
    “You in?”
    “You bet! Let’s hop to it!”
    ——————————————————-
    Want to see the squirrels conquer Fort Knutz?
    This video was my inspiration – enjoy it. 🙂

  26. lynjekowsky says:

    Clueless Squirrels
    By Lyn Jekowsky, WC 105
    (cherry tree, unicorn, picnic, strawberry tart)

    “Hey rabbit,” asked a squirrel, “what’s on your mind?
    My friend here and I only see your behind.
    We’d like to make friends and share our acorns
    Maybe go on a picnic down by the pond.”

    Rabbit peaked behind her, saw two tiny squirrels,
    buit still sat by the cherry tree dreaming of castles
    filled with strawberry tarts and pink lemonade.
    “The squirrels are clueless of my masquerade.”

    I stood up and faced them, my horn glowed in the sun.
    “I’ll join in your picnic. Together we’ll have fun.”
    The squirrels were surprised, a unicorn as a friend?
    Unlikely friendships are always on trend.

  27. Ashley Sierra (@AshleySierra06) says:

    SCRATCH AND SCRITCH’S SHOW STOPPER
    by Ashley Sierra
    186 words
    raindrops, spring, bucket

    “You stole our buckets of acorns, Rabbit! Bird said you didn’t like our spring show,” Scratch said.

    “Yeah! Give them back!” Scritch said. 

    “I don’t have them!” Rabbit yelled.

    “We HAVE to have those acorns. They’re the raindrops. We can’t put on Singing In the Rain without rain,” Scratch said. 

    “Yeah! We need rain!” Scritch said.

    “I did NOT take them!” Rabbit shouted. 

    “Well, you’ll have to answer to Deputy Duck. We’re on our way to report you,” Scratch said. 

    “Yeah, Deputy Duck . . . Wait, we are?” Scritch said. 

    “Yes, let’s go!” Scratch said.

    “IT WAS ME!” Scritch said. “You used up our stash of acorns. And acorns as raindrops . . . kind of hurt.”

    “Why I don’t like your show,” Rabbit muttered. 

    “Sorry, Rabbit,” Scratch and Scritch said.

    “Yeah. Yeah. You may leave now,” Rabbit grumbled. 

    “Why didn’t you say something before?” Scratch said.

    “I tried,” Scritch said. “But you were too busy rehearsing.” 

    “What do you think we could use for rain?” Scratch said. 

    “What about . . . leaves?” Scritch said.

    “Yes!” Scratch said. 

    “See you at the show, Rabbit!” Scratch and Scritch said.

    Rabbit chuckled, “Not a chance!”

  28. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    POSTED FOR ALY

    FIREWORKS
    by Aly Kenna
    UNICORN/LOST/STRAWBERRY TART & A SECRET.
    (195 words)

    Morris sat on the knoll watching the unicorn spit fireworks.

    “There’s Morris!” said Slick the squirrel.

    Not the least bit interested in watching a unicorn show off, Speedy shouted “Hey Morris, how about a game of catch?”

    Morris turned to see the twins tossing acorns back and forth.

    “Maybe later” replied Morris.

    Slick nestled up, “What’s going on?” he asked.

    “Uni lost his strawberry tart. You know how he gets when he runs out of sweets.”

    Not wanting to be left out, Speedy climbed up on Morris’s shoulder. But before he could get settled, a rocket whizzed past his head. Ducking for cover, Speedy dropped his most prized possession.

    “My acorn!” he cried.

    Morris dove for the acorn, launching Speedy through the air like a missile. Caught up in Morris’s ear, Speedy yanked Morris through the air after him, landing at Uni’s hoof.

    Slick couldn’t help himself, he rolled on the ground laughing at their misfortune. Slick’s antics drew Uni’s attention up to the knoll.

    “What’s that on your nose?” asked Uni.

    Startled, Slick stopped laughing. He was covered in strawberry tart!

    “Oh, oh,” he said. And like that, Slick was gone in a flash.

  29. Hannah Roy LaGrone says:

    Late Lunch
    (unicorn, lost, pond) – WC 115
    By Hannah Roy LaGrone

    “Where’s Yuliana?” Harold asked. “She’s got the onion rings!”

    “I’m sure she’s close. We brought some protein for now!”

    “Yuliana was supposed to FOLLOW you. She’s new here, remember? Now she’s lost!”

    “Oh yeah…she was right behind us!”
    “…Until we saw that shiny pond…”
    “…And jumped from tree branch to tree branch to look into it.”
    “We’ll scurry back for her.”

    The squirrels searched the forest.
    Finally, they saw the unicorn with snacks on her horn!

    “We didn’t mean to leave you! We’ll stick together this time.”

    They headed back to the meadow.

    One hour later…
    “Sorry lunch is a little late, Harold.”

    “LUNCH?! Oops…I ate all the sandwiches while you were gone.”

  30. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    POSTED FOR DIANNE

    Bunny’s Magic
    By Dianne Irving
    Unicorn, lost, strawberry tart

    Bunny’s friends were playing acorn tag and saw bunny sitting alone.

    “We thought you were working today. Come play with us”, they shouted.

    Bunny’s cheeks blushed as red as a strawberry tart. He didn’t want them to know that he lost his job playing Easter Bunny at the Mall. To a Unicorn no less!

    “We need the kids to feel a different sort of magic this year”, they told him.

    Bunny felt like he lost his magic touch.

    “I don’t want to play today”, he said sadly to his friends.

    “Please play with us Bunny. You always add a special magic to our games”, they sang happily.

    Bunny smiled, maybe, he could create a different sort of magic and hopped off to play with his friends.

  31. Padgy Soltis (@PadgySoltis) says:

    Thoughtful Harry
    By Padgy Soltis
    Word count: 104
    Cherry tree, mistake, strawberry tart

    MIX! ROLL! BAKE! POUR!

    Harry raced to set up the surprise birthday party—under the cherry tree.

    It was hard keeping a secret from the twins.

    15 minutes. 30 minutes. 45 minutes. 1 hour.

    No one showed up! Not even the twins! Harry was sad.

    “Harry!” said a familiar voice. “What are you doing all alone?”

    “SURPRISE!” Harry shouted.

    “Our birthday is tomorrow!” laughed Seth.

    Harry made a mistake. “I ruined the surprise!” he exclaimed.

    “It’s ok Harry,” said Sid.

    “I ate the strawberry tart,” Harry whispered.

    “It’s the thought that counts,” said Seth.

    MIX! ROLL! BAKE! POUR! Today was Sid and Seth’s birthday!

  32. Lauri Meyers says:

    This was a fun one!
    A Secret Entrance
    By Lauri Meyers
    143 words
    nest, bucket, picnic

    Chippy and Scrams invited Fluffy to their picnic.
    “I love a picnic!” Fluffy said. “Will there be carrots and dandelions?”
    “And acorns!” Chippy said. “See you at noon at our nest.”
    “Up there?” Fluffy looked up the oak tree. “I can’t climb.”
    “Don’t worry we have a secret entrance.” Chippy winked.
    Fluffy did worry. She asked Cardinal to teach her to fly up the tree. But apparently she needed wings. She asked Lizard to show her how to hold on. But she didn’t have sticky feet. She practiced jumping, but couldn’t get high enough.
    When she arrived at the tree at noon, she was exhausted.
    “Come on up,” Scrams called.
    “I wish I could,” Fluffy said. Just then a bucket dropped in front of her.
    “Climb in,” Chippy called. “We’ll pull you up.”
    Fluffy giggled all the way. “That was arriving in style!”

  33. Barbara Farr Renner says:

    THE SCAVENGER HUNT
    By Barbara Renner
    Word Count 123
    cherry tree, picnic, pond

    Squeaky Squirrel and his sister, Sneezy, invited all the animals to a picnic down by the pond to celebrate the arrival of Spring.

    Everyone was there, even Bashful Bunny.

    “Let’s go on a scavenger hunt,” suggested Squeaky. “We’ll look for the acorns Sneezy and I hid last fall. We forgot where we hid them.”

    The animals scattered, looking under the rocks by the pond, in the grassy meadow, and deep in the forest green. But nobody found any acorns; not one.

    They gathered back at the picnic area. Bashful Bunny was sitting alone, a sly grin on her face and bright pink cheeks. “I have a secret. I found all the acorns last fall and hid them under the cherry tree. I win.”

  34. Marta Cutler says:

    I have so much fun with these, I couldn’t resist adding another! Thanks Susanna!

    Vanishing Act
    By Marta Cutler
    (unicorn, picnic, strawberry tart – 97 words)

    And just like that, the squirrels’ acorns vanished, all but two.
    “How did you do that?” they asked.
    “A magician never reveals his secrets,” said Rabbit.
    “What about our strawberry tart?”
    Rabbit twitched his nose. The tart disappeared.
    The squirrels chittered in delight.
    “Unicorn!” they clamoured.
    Twitch. Unicorn was gone.
    The squirrels applauded. Rabbit bowed.
    “May we have our acorns and tart back?” asked the squirrels.
    Rabbit twitched his nose. Unicorn reappeared.
    “What about our picnic?” asked the squirrels.
    Unicorn burped contentedly.
    “Most delicious!” he pronounced.
    “Rabbit!!!” yelled the squirrels.
    But just like that, Rabbit had vanished.

  35. Allison Strick (she/her) (@byallisonstrick) says:

    Rabbit’th Thee-cret (Rabbit’s Secret)
    By Allison Strick
    100 Words
    words: spring, lost, admire

    —————————–

    “Rabbit!” called Tilly. “Happy spring potluck day!”

    Rabbit smiled, tight-lipped. “Hmm-hmmph,”

    “Cucumber? Carrots? Hummus?” Taffy offered. “Eat, eat!”

    Rabbit’s eyes lit up, but he sighed. “I have a thee-cret. I lotht my front teeth. I can’t chew, and I have a thilly thmile.”

    “Wait here!”

    The squirrels scampered away and returned with two shining acorns.

    “What are thothe for?”

    “Watch!” said Tilly.

    With a few gnaws of their jaws, Tilly and Taffy carved some impressive dentures.

    Rabbit tested out his new grin.

    Taffy giggled. “Now that’th a thmile to admire!”

    And who ate the most hummus–with crunchy carrots–that year?

    Rabbit.

  36. Sarah Meade says:

    HARAH HELPS LOOK
    By Sarah Meade
    Word Count: 226
    Words: raindrops, cherry tree, bridge, rope swing, lost, pond, bucket/pail

    “Bert! Squirt!” Harrah called. “I have something to show you!”

    The squirrels scurried over.

    “Harah, we can’t find our berry pail!” said Bert.

    “We lost it yesterday,” said Squirt.

    “The raindrops came down in buckets,” said Bert.

    “So we forgot OURS!” said Squirt.

    “I’ll help you look,” said Harah. “Then I’ll show you my secret surprise!”

    “Let’s retrace our steps,” said Bert.

    First stop: the pond.

    They searched by the rope swing and in the water, too.

    “No pail here!”

    Next stop: the woods.

    Bert and Squirt searched high. Harah peeked under trees.

    They scampered over the bridge to their last stop: the cherry grove.

    “We were picking cherries when the rain started,” said Bert.

    They looked and looked.

    “There!” said Bert, hurrying toward the tallest cherry tree.

    “Yes!” said Squirt. “It’s upside-down.”

    “That’s my surprise!” said Harah. “My new chair!”

    She skipped over and sat happily.

    “Harah,” said Bert, “That’s our berry pail!”

    Harah flopped down.

    Squirt flipped Harah’s “chair” upside-down.

    “Oh.” Harah hurried away and hid.

    Bert and Squirt followed and found her.

    “Thanks for your help today,” said Squirt.

    Harah stared. “You’re not mad at me?”

    “Not one bit!” said Bert.

    Squirt held up the pail. “Let’s pick cherries!”

    Harah heaved a sigh of relief and hopped off with her friends.

    After they picked cherries, Harah even got to try her chair again.

  37. Bevin Rolfs Spencer says:

    Momo’s Cherry Tree
    By, Bevin Rolfs Spencer
    words: cherry tree, rope swing, tantrum
    250 words

    Beneath a blooming cherry tree, is Momo’s happy place. She has cherry blossom tea parties. She plays bunny games and naps on a creamy, almond-scented breeze.
    Then one day, a surprise.
    “A rope-swing!”
    Momo’s brothers and sisters cheer and clap.
    But Momo did not. “That’s my tree.”
    They swing all day, blossoms falling like rain.
    “What a perfect spot,” says Mama Bunny.
    “For my birthday party,” says Momo’s sister Lola.
    Momo stomps on the blossoms. She grinds them under her feet. She tantrums and melts. “That’s my tree!”
    “Oh, Momo!” Says the Bunny family. They carry on decorating the tree for the party.
    The next day, friends arrive for the party. Then, a surprise.
    Lola sobs. “The swing!” [Ill. Note: swing is hanging by one rope.]
    Momo watches two squirrels offer their gifts.
    They tell Lola, “Acorns make you feel better.”
    “Did you break the swing?” Lola asks. “Squirrels chew through everything!”
    “Not us,” say the squirrels.
    “Not me,” say the other animals.
    Momo can’t hold her secret any longer. “I chewed the rope,” she says. “I didn’t want to share my tree. But I didn’t mean to ruin the party.”
    “Oh, Momo!” Mama Bunny cries. “You have a very special spot. We should have talked to you about the swing.”
    Then, surprise! Momo makes her cherry blossom tea. She shows everyone her bunny games. “Sharing my tree sometimes is kind of fun,” says Momo.
    After a fun and busy party, they all fall asleep, on a cherry-almond breeze.

  38. Amy Leskowski says:

    In the Mood to Play?
    By Amy Leskowski
    raindrops, lost, tantrum

    Two girls (both squirrels) approach someone new.
    The rabbit seemed pouty, so what did they do?
    Offered an acorn. Asked, Are you lost?
    But the rabbit ignored them, with arms tightly crossed.

    Avoiding a tantrum, the squirrels retreated,
    down, disappointed, discouraged, defeated.
    Why did the rabbit not smile or speak?
    They strategized, role-played, and toned their technique.

    Song-and-dance squirrels, they offered a show.
    One belted high. The other crooned low.
    Their tap-shuffle-hop guaranteed to bring cheer.
    But her grimace suggested, “You’re NOT welcome here.”

    When sprinkle-y raindrops mounted to pouring,
    they offered umbrellas—and noticed her SNORING.
    Asleep the whole time? The two friends sat in shock.
    She’d not seen their show, and she’d not heard them talk!

    The squirrels both cackled, completely amused,
    which startled the rabbit. She scowled, confused.
    “We thought—” one began.
    “You—” the other one tried.
    How could they explain? Neither one could decide.

    They instead offered acorns. They asked, Are you lost?
    And this time, the rabbit said, “No,” arms uncrossed.
    The three dashed and played. They tagged, joked, and hid.
    While they planned to reveal their goof—neither one did.

  39. Jill Lambert says:

    A Couple of Nuts
    By Jill Lambert
    WC:176 Options: nest, picnic, tantrum

    “We have a proposition,”
    Sid and Sally said to me
    while I meditated on my hill
    beyond their nesting tree.
    I had reached a state of calmness
    when the squirrels butted in.
    I exhaled and turned to face them,
    with my patience wearing thin.

    “Okay, you two, what is it?”
    They responded with a chitter:
    “It’s that backyard barker, Charlie,
    giving chase–he’s not a quitter.
    We’re exhausted! Will you help us, Lily?
    Here’s some ammunition.”
    Then they handed me two acorns,
    so I’d pelt their opposition.

    “You need to find a hiding place
    and fling these at his head.
    When Charlie is distracted,
    we can raid the garden bed.
    It’s our secret spring indulgence.
    HEE-HEE-HEE…he’ll have a tantrum!
    We promise to grab carrots
    while we’re in the inner sanctum.”

    I followed their instructions
    to the letter and I lobbed
    both the nuts at the dog’s noggin.
    Next those nutty squirrels robbed
    all the produce from the garden.
    Then we three enjoyed a picnic.
    Poor old Charlie, sighed, perplexed.
    How did they pull off that trick?

  40. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    POSTED FOR MIA

    Mr. Bunny’s Secret Skill
    By Mia Geiger
    172 words

    Little Squirrel flagged Mrs. Bunny.
    “Slow down, please! You are too runny!
    Hip and hop, and hip and hop.
    Please, oh, please! I hope you stop!

    “Hiding acorns is my thing,
    each and every day of spring.
    But someone came and moved my treats.
    Now I have nothing for eats!

    “My tummy grumbles all day long.
    Ping-itty-pong, ping-itty-pong!
    I’m too small to scale the gate.
    But you could help! It’s getting late!”

    “Climb on up,” the bunny said.
    “Hold on tight and look ahead.
    Leap-itty leap, and leapi-tty leap.
    Looky there! A great big heap!”

    “Thank you, pal, you saved my tummy.
    Have some acorns. Crunchy-yummy!
    Hopping is your special skill.
    Soaring high gave me a thrill!”

    “Here’s a secret you should know.
    Mrs. Bunny’s on the go.
    But any time you need a ride,
    shout my name and I’ll abide!

    “Call me any day or night.
    Late or early is all right.
    Hopping’s fun, you probably guessed.
    But helping friends is just the BEST.”

  41. Jeannette Suhr says:

    B-U-N-N-Y spells trouble.
    Nest – lost – admire
    Jeannette Suhr – w/c 215

    “Bunny,” said Squirrel, “help us gather acorns.”
    “Winter is coming and our nest is empty.”

    “You mean like these two?” asked Bunny, as he reached behind Squirrelella’s ears.
    “How did you do that?” asked Squirrel.
    Acorns are very hard to find.

    “Ha, got to run,” said Bunny.
    And he hippity-hopped into the forest.

    “He’s a bit strange” said Squirrella.
    “Did you notice how he’s always disappearing?”

    Bunny appeared again three days later.
    “We thought you were lost,” said Squirrel.
    “Me?” said Bunny. “HA HA. I’m always coming and going.”

    “We need more acorns,” said Squirrelella.
    Bunny performed a binky.
    He jumped high, twisted in mid-air and kicked his legs out.
    He said something the squirrels couldn’t decipher.
    Then he landed with five more acorns in each paw.

    “I don’t believe what I’m seeing,” said Squirrel.
    “Do you have acorns up your sleeves?”
    “HA HA,” laughed Bunny and he hip-hopped away again.

    “I really admire his talent,” said Squirrel.
    “Let’s check his den,” said Squirrelella.
    And lo and behold, Bunny’s den was full of magician’s tools and books.

    “HA HA,” said Bunny.
    “You’ve learned my secret.”
    “I spent years in magic acts and being pulled out of hats.”
    And I’ve learned a trick or two.

    And he hip hip hopped away never to be seen again.

  42. Nicole Loos Miller says:

    RAINY PICNIC
    By Nicole Loos Miller
    159 words (raindrops/picnic/strawberry tart)

    Bernadette flinched as raindrops plip plop plopped on the picnic blanket.
    “Quick,” she said. “Eat the strawberry tart! It’s no good when it’s soggy.”
    Maple and Willow were happy to oblige.
    One slice. Two slices. Three slices. Four!
    Bernadette was stuffed but glad her tart had not gone to waste.
    Maple was full and delighted.
    But Willow felt a little bit…guilty. “I confess,” she squeaked. “I knew it was going to rain.”
    “Why would you invite us to a picnic on a rainy day?” asked Bernadette.
    “Because I knew we’d have to eat the whole tart.” Willow hung her head.
    Bernadette began to giggle. “Silly Willow, we still would have eaten the whole tart.”
    “Really?”
    Bernadette nodded. “But we would have eaten it slowly. Now you’ve just made it harder to keep up with me.”
    “Keep up with you for what?”
    “Puddle tag!” Bernadette shouted. “You’re it!”
    Stuffed, soaked, and full of laughter, it was the best picnic ever.

  43. Linda Schueler says:

    Words: raindrops mistake strawberry tart
    Word count: 100

    The Secret of Sassafras
    by Linda Schueler

    Sassafras Squirrel’s tail drooped. “Look at Rabbit’s strawberry birthday tart!”
    Sandy Squirrel squinted. “It looks like some raindrops splattered on it.”
    Sassafras sighed. “Rabbit will be disappointed.”
    Sassafras and Sandy hopped to the meadow. Rabbit sat, waiting. Rabbit rubbed her belly. “Mmmm, that strawberry tart will be yummy.”
    “Ummm…”
    “What’s that behind your back, Sassafras? Is it a secret?” asked Rabbit.
    “This? This is your birthday acorn!”
    “No tart?”
    “I’m sorry, Rabbit. I made a mistake by leaving it on a branch to cool.”
    Rabbit smiled. “Do you want to hear my secret? I like your acorns just as much.”

  44. Candace says:

    A Friend in Need
    by Candace Kubinec
    Bridge/mistake/pond
    150 words!

    Rabbit sat on the bridge, did not want to play
    He thought it might be the very worst day.

    He didn’t feel sick, or happy, or mad,
    Poor Rabbit was just undeniably sad.

    Squirrel asked him why.
    Rabbit started to cry.

    Squirrel looked closely at Rabbit, then he sat down too
    “What’s making you sad, friend? I haven’t a clue.”

    “It’s a secret”, he whispered. “I made a mistake.
    “Please don’t tell my sister.” Rabbit started to shake.

    “I lost her best hair clip somewhere near this bridge,
    Or under that tree just over the ridge.”

    “We’ll go search together”, Squirrel said with a grin.
    “Off to the tree, that’s where we’ll begin.”

    So Squirrel and Rabbit looked high and looked low.
    They found the hair clip and some string and a bow.

    Back home they went, running around the small pond.
    Smiling and laughing, with the treasures they found.

  45. Lauren Scott - Children's Author (@SpeechieAuthor) says:

    WEEK 3
    Cherry tree picnic strawberry tart
    Bunny-Boy, Chomper & Spud

    “You should play without me.” Bunny-Boy whispered.
    “C’mon BB. It’s not a picnic games day without you.”
    “Please” quietly urged Spud.
    Spud had longed for BB’s attention since that fateful day in the woods. That day had changed things forever. BB knew this, which made his shame burn deeper.
    Sweet berries had always been his weakness, which was why he had found himself in the blackberry thicket long ago. The one Spud had been trapped in.
    But today, giving in to his weakness did not lead to a rescue.
    Pretty cherry tree, picnic blanket and a strawberry tart. No getting out of this one.
    “I ate the missing tart. All of it.”
    Gulp
    “Your…. birthday tart, Spud. You deserve better than me for a friend.”
    Spud looked up to BB. “You saved my life BB. You’re worth everything. Scoffed cherry tart or not” he cheekily smirked.
    “Tag” Chomper sang out as he playfully honked BB’s cotton tail.
    The trio was united beyond picnics and birthdays. Their brotherly type love for each other would stand strong for years to come. Through thicket and thin.

  46. katzlynn says:

    140 words: The Unicorn
    by Lynn Katz

    Oh, look Chippy! It’s a unicorn.

    I am not a unicorn.

    I’ve never seen a unicorn, but from what I’ve heard, that’s definitely a unicorn.

    You’ve made a big mistake. I am not a unicorn.

    Let’s try the strawberry tart test.

    What’s the strawberry tart test?

    Unicorns love strawberry tarts.

    If you eat the strawberry tart, then we’ll know you’re a unicorn.

    See. . .you took a bite.

    Ooh, and another bite.

    YOU ATE THE WHOLE THING! You’re a unicorn.

    Everyone likes strawberry tarts. That doesn’t make me a unicorn.

    If you’re not a unicorn, what are you?

    I’m a rabbit.

    WHAT? YOU’RE A RABBIT? Prove it.

    Can a unicorn hop like this?
    Can a unicorn rotate its long ears?
    Can a unicorn’s teeth grow longer and longer like mine?

    OH NO! IT’S A LION, CHIPPY! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

    (ILLUSTRATION: Unicorn removes its rabbit costume and reveals a laughing unicorn underneath.

  47. Michelle S. Kennedy (@MichelleSKenned) says:

    (I got carried away and used ALL the prompt words in my story this week!)

    UNICORN’S SECRET (WC 267)
    By Michelle S. Kennedy

    Unicorn has a secret. She used to be a donkey…

    One spring day, Donkey was sipping water from the pond by the cherry tree. Suddenly, raindrops began to pelt down on her. Donkey hastened under a nearby bridge to wait for the rain to stop. She fell asleep…

    When Donkey woke, the sun was shining. “Chittle! Chittle! Chittle! Twee!” She heard birds chirping from their nest in the distance. She LOVED birds! Donkey wanted to admire their song up close, so she followed the happy sound until she realized she no longer knew where she was. Her familiar valley was gone, and she found herself in a strange wood. “I made a mistake! I shouldn’t have wandered off. “Oh, HEE-Haaawwww!” she cried in a tantrum. “How will I EVER find my way back home? HEE-Haawwww.”

    “What’s wrong little donkey?” said a sweet voice behind her.

    Donkey turned and saw a fairy dangling from a rope swing on a nearby tree.
    “I’m lost.” whimpered Donkey.”

    “I can help you get home! My name is Flauna. I’m a forest fairy. But before I send you on your way, won’t you join me for a picnic?” Flauna fluttered off the swing, grabbed a nearby pail and floated down next to Donkey.

    “This here is the best strawberry tart you’ll ever eat!” exclaimed.

    Donkey took a bite. Glitter and sparkles filled the air…

    “It’s also magical!” said Flauna mischievously.

    Donkey looked at her questioningly. “HEE—-” But before Donkey got out her “Haawwww!” she sneezed. When the glitter faded, Donkey was a Unicorn…

    “Shhhhhh! Now don’t you tell anybody!” said Flauna.

    — TO BE CONTINUED…

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