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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)

TITLE: On Christmas Guard
By Jessica Smith


Sitting beneath the prickly edges of the evergreen pine, Sam almost nodded off to sleep for the third time that evening. One would think that the bright blinking reds, greens, purples, and blues would keep him awake. But it did no good; it just hypnotized him back into a sleepy lull. Being as old as he was, staying up half the night was a shock to his system. Maybe he shouldn’t have eaten those left over chili dogs.

It wasn’t his stomach that kept him awake; it was his excitement, mixed with a sense of duty. He was on guard that night. The kids were not allowed to come near the presents, and last year little Jimmy knocked the tree over causing some of the presents to be crushed into millions of electronic pieces. Not this year, no Sir!

Maybe walking around some would calm his roaring stomach. Glancing at the clock, Sam decided to hide around the corner of the stairs. Knowing Jimmy and Jane, 7am was 5 am to them.

“Creek, creek, creek.”

“What was that?” Sam got on his knees, listening intently.

“Shhhhh, Jane. You don’t wanna wake up Mama.”

“You shhhh too, why are ya wearing those stupid skate shoes?”

“Cause, in case Santa catches me, I can roll away faster than him.”

“Jimmy, Santa can do whatever he wants, he’s magic. He can catch you.”

“Nuh uh.”

“Uh huh, he can too.”

“Shut up Jane, you don’t know whatcha talking about.” Jimmy said in anger.

Shaking his head, Sam had heard this argument before. This was almost the same thing as last year, except, Jimmy didn’t have skate shoes, he had Batman slippers that glowed in the dark.

“Jimmy, wait, Sam might be down here. He’s gonna catch us, then make us go back to bed.”

Jimmy glanced around the corner, and saw a dark shadow moving closer to him. “Jane, run, hurry, Santa’s after me.” Running up the wooden stair case, as fast as their little feet could carry them; the kids ran into their rooms, turned off the light and waited until morning to come back down.

“I did well this year”, Sam thought to himself. Not only did he save the tree, the presents, and keep Jimmy’s foot from being hurt, he kept them from discovering what their Mama kept hidden from them, mostly because of his persuasion.

“I can finally sleep, come on little one, let’s go to bed.”

Fuzzy headed Jimmy and curly haired Jane came down the stairs for breakfast. After a big meal of chocolate chip pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon, the kids could not stop from being giddy.

Finally, with Mama’s approval, they went into the living room to distribute the gifts. “Sam, come here!” Bettie called. “Bring your son with you too.”

Sam trotted into the room, his son jumping all over the place; thank goodness he had slept most of the night. “Calm down, Bandit, I know you are happy, but you can’t destroy the presents. Ribbons are not for eating, they are for makn’ boxes look pretty.”

“A new puppy! Thanks Mama” Jane said as her eyes danced in merriment.

“He’s mine, and I’m hav’n him be my side kick.” Jimmy shouted at Jane.

“No, he’s our puppy, and he is going to stay with his daddy, Sam.” Bettie told her two augmentative kids. “Isn’t that right Sam?”

“Resss”, Sam barked back. What a wonderful Christmas present to live with such a wonderful family.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/20/08
Cute twist to this story!

One question--do dogs have knees? That threw me off a bit.

I like the jolly mood and the dialogue in this sweet story.
Deborah Porter 11/27/08
Jessica, I just wanted to let you know that you did very well in the Challenge this week. Even though you didn't quite make it into the winners' circle, you came very close, placing 7th in Level 1.

The competition is always quite intense in Level 1, so well done. Keep up the great writing.

If you would like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can see them here:


With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)