Tails and Tales Writing Contest Submissions
By Pamela West-Finkle
Librarian, Andes Public Library
We received four official entries into the writing contest we held this summer. Because all four submissions were amazing and from the same family, we couldn’t possibly make a decision between them, so we awarded at gift certificate to the Phoenicia Diner (made possible by Anne Shea) and will be showcasing the original stories in laminated storybook form near the circulation desk. Below are the four adorable stories from the Collins family, but please stop by the library to see the wonderful illustrations that go with the stories.
Snowflake and Her Babies
By Pippa Collins (4 years old)
Snowflake is a rabbit. She has blue eyes and is a White Blue-Eyed Viennese rabbit.
Snowflake has newborn babies. She has four babies. One baby it has a stripe and it is named “Stripe.” One of them is named “Coconut” and she is mine. She is a good bunny. The other two bunnies are white and grey.
Stripe is very bitey. Coconut is friendly and she loves to hop. The other two bunnies are very mad because they don’t like to play with us. They were in Snowflake’s tummy. Snowflake picked out her fur and the babies came out. They were born. They had closed eyes and they couldn’t open them yet. They were tiny and pink.
They grew bigger and bigger and got bulgy like Snowflake. Snowflake felt happy, happy, happy about her babies being born. Coconut felt good about that too.
Snowflake was a good mummy. Snowflake did not hug them but she licked her paws and cleaned them. She fed them.
Snowflake felt angry when she had the babies in her tummy. She was sitting down waiting or them to come. She was angry and said “I do not care about you!” She did not want any pats from us. When the babies were born she was happy again. Snowflake loves her babies and never bites them.
The Underground Home
By Oliver Collins (age 6)
Once upon a time, there was a snake named “Slithery,” a worm called “Tuddy,” a mole named “Tole,” and a chipmunk called “Chip.” They were a family and lived together in a dirt home underground.
They had a little table and chairs, and one big bed that everyone slept in. They all helped out. Slithery cleaned the dishes. Tole folded the laundry. Tuddy cleared the table and Chip vacuumed.
They had a happy life until, one day, a big yellow giant digger came and dug up their home. Suddenly they were being lifted up into the air and dumped into a big pile of dirt. They felt scared and sad. The digger destroyed their home!
They got out of the pile of dirt. Chip, who was the big brother, said “We have to find a new home!” so they all went to find a new home.
That night they stayed on a rock but it was too hard! Slithery fell out of their bed and hit his head. Slithery was hurt and he felt tired. He had a headache.
Slithery said “We have to find a new home!” So they all went off to find a new home.
The next night they slept in a pipe. In the middle of the night, their bed was washed away. The pipe was full of water because it was a drainage pipe. They were scared that Tuddy would drown because he could not swim.
Tuddy said, “We have to find a new home!,” so once again, they went and looked for a new home.
They found a tree and climbed up. When night came, they slept in this tree. But then an owl and squirrel came and tried to eat them. The owl pecked Tole, who could not see. They felt very scared. Tole said, “We have to find a new home!”
They decided to dig a new home far away from houses, diggers, drains, rocks, owls, and squirrels.
Their new house was a very nice house because it was dry, warm and safe. They found some wallpaper lying on the ground and put it up. They set up their table and chairs, their very big bed and everything else they had.
They also had an escape exit. They put a ladder in a corner of the house up against a window in the roof. They felt happy and safe. They lived happily ever after.
The Chicken Mystery
By: Lucy Collins (age 8)
Happy Farmer Liddle had 140 chickens. Had had 138 hens and two roosters. The hens were clucky and the roosters said “cook-a-doodle-doo” in the morning.
The chickens lived in a coop where the roosters fought and the hens laid eggs. The coop was painted red and it always shone in the sun unless it was night.
One day, Farmer Liddle noticed that his chickens were disappearing. Each morning he woke up and discovered the two chickens were missing.
“Why are my chickens disappearing?” Farmer Liddle said. “How come my chickens are disappearing? I only have 111 chickens left!”
Farmer Liddle thought the culprit might be a hippopotamus. He knew that hippos need water and mud. So Farmer Liddle drained the pond.
It didn’t work. The next day two more chickens were missing!
Farmer Liddle was nervous about this chickens. “What is stealing my chickens?” he said to himself. “Why are they leaving my farm?”
Farmer Liddle thought and thought. “Is it a lion or tiger?” Farmer Liddle remembered seeing some chipmunks by the coop. Maybe, he thought, the culprit is a chipmunk!
He knew chipmunks like acorns so he chopped down all the oak trees on his farm.
It didn’t work. The next morning another two chickens were missing!
Farmer Liddle simply had to find out what it was that was taking his chickens. Farmer Liddle throught the culprit might be a giraffe, so he made the coop smaller. He made the door very small and took off the coop legs to make it short. No giraffe would get into that coop!
It didn’t work. The next day two more chickens were missing!
Farmer Liddle was not happy. Perhaps, he thought, the culprit was a bull.
Farmer Liddle knew that bulls like red, so he took everything that was red on the farm away and painted the coop white.
It didn’t work. The next morning more chickens were missing!
Farmer Liddle thought hard. Finally he came up with an idea. “I know what to do.” he said.
Farmer Liddle put up night vision cameras.
The cameras worked! The next morning he saw the footage and saw that the culprit was a FOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Farmer Liddle looked in the coop and found a letters. The letter said:
Dear Farmer Liddle,
Thank you for your chickens. They were delicious!
I also love your eggs.
Finally, Farmer Liddle knew who the culprit was! This was a big relief! It wasn’t a hippo or a chipmunk. It wasn’t a lion or tiger. It wasn’t a giraffe or a bull. It was a fox and Farmer Liddle knew exactly what to do!
His solution was to block up all the hopes in his coop. It worked and none of the chickens went missing again.
It was a happy and hopeful life for Farmer Liddle and his chickens ever after!
The Chickens Who Would Not Eat Quinoa
By Maria Collins (age 10) July 2021
Once upon time, there was a girl named Lavinia. She had fifty-two broiler chickens. One day, a famine hit the land and the only thing to eat was quinoa! The chickens were very picky and would not eat their quinoa.
“Those fussy and spoiled chickens”, Lavinia thought. Lavinia tried to feed it to them in all different ways. They did not like quinoa wet. They did not like it dry. They did not like it warm and they did not like it cold. They would not eat it cooked. They would not eat it uncooked. They did not like it seasoned but they did not like it bland.
The thin chickens were very sad and bored of eating quinoa. It was flavorless and the texture was not to their liking. They much preferred cracked corn, grain and kitchen scraps.
So the chickens came up with a plan. They decided to escape and find something else to eat. The rebellious chickens dug up some of the dirt that made up the floor of their coop. They made a tunnel to get out and ran away.
They came to a stream. The stream was pleasant and cool. One chicken decided to go in and nearly drowned. They discovered that as chickens, they could not swim! They found only fish to eat. The fish were simply too big for the unhappy chickens to eat and they did want to risk falling into the water again. The very tired chickens were sad and decided to look elsewhere.
Next, they went into a forest! In this dark and frightening forest, the chickens (who were very small compared to the large forest and menacing trees) found only sticks and stones to eat. One silly chicken tried to eat a stone and hurt her beak. They were beginning to feel very hungry.
While they were foraging there was a constant crackling of dry leaves and twigs. The feather-brained chickens did not notice this noise. Nor did they notice two red paws creeping out of the bracken. A sly fox pounced on one of the chickens who managed to escape just in the nick of time. The flock squawked and violently flapped their wings. One plump and brutal-looking chicken flew at the fox and pecked his nose. This made the fox yelp and retreat.
The chickens ran out of the forest and went onto a road. There they found only gravel and straight lines that seemed to lead to nowhere. A silly chicken tried to eat a loose piece of gravel. It had a horrible tar taste! Suddenly a big loud thing came roaring down the road and frightened the chickens. The chickens scattered in all directions. It was a huge, red pick-up truck. Fortunately, the chickens were not hurt!
After the truck disappeared, the chickens regrouped in the center of the road and went back to the farm. The tired chickens went into the farmhouse. They got in by the back door, which had been left open. Inside, they found only laundry. The curious chickens tasted some of the laundry. It was disgusting and inedible. It was so unappetizing that the chickens decided it was better to eat the bland quinoa.
While they were discussing this, Lavinia’s mother came into the laundry room, waving a broom at them and squawking like a chicken herself. She chased them all the way back to the coop. All the exhausted chickens felt relief about being back in the coop where they were safe from sly fox, roaring cars and Lavinia’s squawking mother! The chickens were happy and grateful to have two meals of bland quinoa a day. They thought that quinoa was better than sticks, stones, gravel and laundry. They became very plump indeed. A few weeks later the famine ended, but being meat chickens, the broilers were not around to enjoy it. THE END