The Rules: Write a children's holiday story beginning with any version of "Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh." ... not to exceed 350 words....
(This post takes the place of my book list this week and I'm taking time off until 2013! One of my resolutions is to start a children's literature book club for adults in the new year. I'll hope you'll join me when I get it off the ground. Happy Holidays, Everyone.)
Here is my entry:
HUMPHREY THE HUMBUG
by Laura Renauld
Dropping through the mail slot in a BAH-Mobile, came Humphrey. Humphrey was no ordinary bug. He was a Humbug. And being a Humbug, Humphrey had to follow one simple rule: ‘Make Christmas cheer disappear.’
It was Christmas Eve. Humphrey’s well-trained eye zeroed in on the slightly tilting Christmas tree. “All I have to do is give that tree a push, knock over the glitter, and let the cookies burn and the Holly Household’s Christmas cheer will soon melt into the Grinchy grumps,” Humphrey said to himself.
But I can’t wreck another Christmas, thought Humphrey. The truth was, Humphrey was a half-hearted Humbug. He secretly liked everything about Christmas: the tree, the lights, and especially the music.
He poked his head out of his BAH-Mobile. The coast was clear. First, he made his way to the tree but, instead of giving it a push, he made it stand taller, tightening the bolts in the stand. Next, he took the jar of glitter and tightly screwed on the lid. Finally, he set the kitchen timer so the Holly’s would take the cookies out of the oven.
Humphrey settled down inside his BAH-Mobile, happy for the first time. I spread Christmas cheer this year, he thought, as he drifted off to sleep.
Humphrey awoke to a laugh. “Ho, Ho, Ho,” chuckled Santa. “I’ve caught a Humbug!” He gently placed Humphrey on his knee.
“I know I’m on the Naughty List, Santa, but let me explain,” started Humphrey. Santa held up his hand.
“You are mistaken, Humphrey. You are on the Nice List this year.”
“You, my friend, have had what is called a ‘Change-of-Heart.’
“Yes!” said Humphrey. “I don’t feel like a Humbug anymore.”
“Did you know,” asked Santa, “that Humbugs are very musical?”
“I do like to hum,” said Humphrey.
Santa handed Humphrey a small package. “My first present!” he shouted. Tearing it open, Humphrey found a book of Christmas carols. “Oh, thank you!” he beamed.
Now, at Christmastime, Humphrey, the humming bug, follows his own rule: “Hum carols far and near to make Christmas cheer appear!”