Monday, December 17, 2012

What if a Humbug was really a bug?

Have you heard? Susanna Leonard Hill's 2nd Annual Holiday Contest is underway!

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
(347 words)

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.”

“I am?”

“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!”  

26 comments:

  1. I love this transformed Humbug! Of course they are musical!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joanna. Two simultaneous challenges (a Christmas story and a bug story) came together in this one. I'm glad you liked it.

      Delete
  2. Aw! What a lovely story of transformation! And how clever that the humbug turned out to be a musical hummer! Very fun, Laura - great job! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I could make the play on words work! Your writing challenges are a lot of fun. I admit, I need that external motivation.

      Delete
  3. Really enjoyed your entry. Such a fun transformation for Humbug -- he found his heart and his voice. Two beautiful gifts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "He found his heart and his voice." Nicely said! Thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  4. A fun idea! I've been so busy picking on elves, I forgot how much trouble those little humbugs can cause!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those mischief makers! What if we put them together??? :)

      Delete
  5. I love the "change of heart" lesson in your story. This would really make a fun read for little ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pam. I read to it to my 3 year old, but without illustrations (and me having to explain the Humbug reference) left him a bit lost :)

      Delete
  6. I love that twist that turns him from a humbug into a "hum" bug -- cute idea, Laura!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Replies
    1. I wonder if any of his fellow Humbugs will join him in his transformation? Another story, perhaps...

      Delete
  8. That was delightful. I'm so glad the little humbug changed his tune!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Love your pun, Beth. Thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  9. I loved this! What a great twist. You are thinkin' outside that box. Thank you for sharing! (It made me smile)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you liked it, Robyn. It was a lot of fun!

      Delete
  10. True story: I had a similar idea about a humbug who was actually a bug, but couldn't figure out how to spin it. Now I'm glad I didn't, because you did it so well! I particularly like the new motto about HUMming Christmas cheer :)

    Maria @novalibrarymom.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My original Humbug idea was going to be a miserly singing group doing a charity concert with the BEETLES. :) But I couldn't figure that one out. I love the mysterious process of writing when you just don't know where it will take you.

      Delete
  11. GAH! That is so stinkin' cute! I am in love with Humphrey! I must write a poem for Humphrey! I can't stop using exclamation points! This is one of my faves, Laura. Just adorable, everything about it. Love the dialogue! "I do like to hum." Sweet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your enthusiastic comment, Renee. So glad you enjoyed it :) (Let me know if you write Humphrey a poem. I'd love to read it!)

      Delete
  12. A Humbug who changes his ways and hums good Christmas cheer? I love it, Laura...so funny and sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Laura,
    This little humbug has stolen my heart. I have read your story many times. It is soooo darling.

    I am enjoying rereading the entries now that I have time to leave comments.

    Congrats on the finals! Well deserved!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Penny! Congrats on your placement, too. I really liked your Bash-a-Roo :)

      Delete