Once again, Susanna Hill is hosting her Valentiny Story Contest! (Loud applause accompanied by stellar cheers, please.)
THE RULES: Write a Valentine story appropriate for children ages 12 and under with a maximum of 214 words in which someone is confused! Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone confused. (It can be the main character but doesn’t have to be.) You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.)
I admit I struggled to write this story, and my struggle had nothing to do with keeping my word count to 214 words. Instead, I felt confused as to how I should incorporate confusion into my story. After all, what is confusing about Valentine’s Day? You like him. He likes you. You give him a card. He gives you flowers. People wear red or pink… You get the picture. Nothing much confusing here. My inspiration for this story came when I thought back to when I was so young my mother had to explain this holiday to me.
Coming in at 210 words…
By Leslie Leibhardt Goodman
Edgar poked his head above his nest. Down below, the animals behaved strangely.
Squirrel sneaked home, clutching wildflowers in one paw. By the stream, Frog handed
heart-shaped lily pads to his friends. Outside his den, Bear recited a poem to his wife.
“Mama!” Chirped Edgar. “Is today special?”
“Every day is special,” Mama said. “But today is Valentine’s Day, a day when you show
Edgar flitted to the forest floor and picked poppies. When Squirrel scurried close, Edgar
asked, “Are these flowers love?”
“Flowers aren’t love,” Squirrel said, “but yours are lovely.”
Edgar plucked a lily pad from the pond. When Frog hopped near, Edgar asked, “Is this
heart-shaped lily pad love?”
“Heart-shaped lily pads aren’t love,” Frog said, “but yours is lovely.”
When Bear ambled by, Edgar asked, “Is my poem love?” He cleared his throat and
“I’m glad I hatched inside this nest.
In all the world, Mom you’re the best.”
“Poems aren’t love, Bear said, “but yours is lovely.”
Edgar thought a moment. Then, he flitted and fluttered. “I know how to show Mama my
love!” he said.
Up, up, up. Edgar flew to his nest. He wrapped his wings around his mother.
“I love you so much,” Edgar said. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mama.”