Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Fourth of July Surprise!


Here we are again with one of Susanna Hill's inspirational writing contests!  I'm so thankful for these because they get my creative juices flowing.  The rules are plain and simple:





The Contest: Write a children's story, in poetry or prose, maximum 400 words, about the 4th of July in which a secret is revealed or a mystery is solved!







So, here is my entry. Thanks to my critique group I was able to pare it down from 475 words to 388:




                                 The Fourth of July's Surprise!

     The frightened kitten darted back and forth in the middle of the street, 

dodging the feet of the band members parading by. The onlookers pointed and 

nudged each other, aware of the kitten's dilemma. At one point, she froze, and 

then, in the confusion, she scurried into the lap of a boy sitting on the curb.

The kitten panted, but remained motionless, somehow knowing she was in a 

safe place.

     Trevor came home that day with July the kitten. She was always into 

mischief.  Now July had grown from a scraggly kitten into a handsome reddish-

brown tabby cat. But lately, she wouldn't eat, and laid around all day.

     "Meooowwww. . . aaaauuuuggghhh. . . mrrrrrooooow," complained July. 

Twitch went her long skinny tail.

     The next morning, July couldn't sit still. She paced back and forth. "What's 

wrong, July?" Trevor asked. "You're not sick, are you?"

     July did not answer. Instead, she curled up behind the couch. At lunch, 

Trevor took his hot dog into the living room and sat near July.  He watched her 

intently as he munched his lunch. She shuddered. She shook. She moaned and 

shuttered again. Then, July began to clean her bottom. Trevor saw a

balloon-shaped object under her tail. What was THAT?  July licked and licked 

until a tiny kitten appeared. Trevor stared with amazement. "Mom, MOM. 

MOMMMMMMMM...."

     Mom came running. "What's the matter?"

     "Look. . . July is having a baby!"

     "She'll probably have more, Trevor."

     Sure enough, a second kitten appeared.  July kept cleaning. The first kitten 

was striped and ginger-furred, just like July. The second had gray stripes.

     "Do you think she'll have more?"

     "I don't know.  Let's watch and see," Mom suggested.

     A few minutes later, July cleaned a third kitten, all black with a white nose.

     "Now, don't touch them, Trevor. July knows what to do. She will be a good 

mom, but she'll want to be left alone."

     "Can I at least stay to see if she has any more? Please, Mom?"

     "Alright, but keep your distance." She went into the kitchen.

     Soon Trevor called, "Mom, come quick! Look! This last one is white with 

reddish spots. They look almost like, like. . ."

     "Well, well. The fourth of July's kittens is covered in stars. Stars and Stripes. 

Well done, July! You really know how to celebrate the birth of our nation!"



To see more creative entries for the Fourth of July Secret Surprise Contest click HERE.




HAPPY 4TH OF JULY, FELLOW AMERICANS, and may we honor God so He can bless us!





36 comments:

  1. A stars and Stripes kitten, how very original! Good luck with the competition!

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  2. I loved the beginning of your story with the kitten dodging the feet of parading band members. Very cute story.

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    1. Thanks, Heather. . .the opening was fun for me to write!

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  3. That's awesome! I'm glad July came through the kitten birthing process with flying colors!

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  4. LOL! A fun 4th of July surprise indeed, and July is a great name for a cat. :)

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  5. Stars and striped kittens! Now THAT was clever Jarm! What a fun secret mystery. Loved your story - well done! Thanks so much for joining the fun!

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    1. Thank YOU, Susanna! I love your contests. . .they spur me on to write creatively. And you always have such brilliant prompts to challenge us.

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  6. Hip hip hooray, Jarm! What a great Fourth of July story! I loved that the cat found a good home, for herself and her new babies...and what a creative way to show the patriotic spirit...with a stars and stripes kitten.:) Lovely story!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Vivian. . .thanks for your encouragement!

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  7. Jarm- I definitely didn't see a Stars and Stripes kitten coming! That was quite a surprise.

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    1. Thanks Lauri! It was a fun story to write. . .

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  8. Very cute, Jarm! A 4th of July kitten! A sweet surprise!

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    1. Thanks Tina! Hope you have a good trip to the US. Wish we could meet up some day!

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  9. What a fun story! I love kitten stories. :-) And what a great surprise ending. I really enjoyed it.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Cheryl. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. This makes me really want to see a drawing of The Flag Kitten. Here's hoping an illustrator will tackle this some day!

    Great story!

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    1. Thanks Mike, for your words of encouragement!

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  11. Jarm - this is so sweet and what a surprise!! I'm amazed by the variation of all the 4th of July stories.

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    1. Me, too, Laura. I'm sure glad I'm not the one judging the contest! Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. What a great, sweet story! Just so you know, my mouth literally dropped open when July began to give birth to her kittens. This is a wonderful story.

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    1. Thanks Pam. . .I'm glad you were surprised!

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  13. KITTENS! What a delightful story. Like others, I particularly liked the description of the bewildered kitten surrounded by marching band members. So glad she escaped and grew up to be the mother of 4th of July kittens!

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  14. Jarm, this is a wonderfully written, super fun kitten story with an equally wonderfully written end. Excellent job.

    P.S. I love your message at the end. May we always honor God.

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  15. Very cute and imaginative. Nice mystery :•)

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    1. Thanks, Penny! It's been fun to be a part of the contest again this year. . .

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  16. Love that July Kitten. Such a good mommy cat!

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  17. Your story was clever and original, and you definitely captured the mysterious / surprise element. Thanks for the fun story.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Joanne! Thanks for stopping by. . .

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  18. I just love kitties! What a sweet story. I hope the boy gets to keep at least one of the kittens (July needs company, right? :))

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I would love to have you comment...thanks!

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