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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hum (06/06/13)

TITLE: It's For the Birds
By Pauline Brakebill
06/11/13


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It’s For The Birds
(A CHILDREN’S Story)
“Look Harold, there is a big round funny shaped thing peering out at us. It’s nose is pressed flat on the window. What do you suppose it is?”

“Gee Harmon, it seems to be a human. They are always staring at us wee little birds. One nice thing about those species of animals, they do bring us some nectar, so that we may eat without too much effort.”

“We better get over to that nectar jar before the big boys get back. There is always such a fight whenever they get here. That bright red head guy thinks he’s smarter and tougher than any of the other birds. Did you see him the other day? Why he almost pecked a hole in Sigfried’s head.”

“Yeh, it was real scary. I thought they were going to hurt each other. Those humans could put out more jars of nectar for us so we wouldn’t fight over it.”

On the other side of the window, stood Teddy 5 and Betsy 8. They had such fun looking out at the Hummingbirds as they would drink at the nectar jars.

“Mom, why do those little birds always fight each other? They are so tiny and their wings just hummmmmm so fast that you can’t even see them move. Do they ever stop moving? Why did GOD make them so tiny? I bet their eggs aren’t very big either.”

Laughingly mom answered, “Well Teddy, I guess that He made them that way so we could enjoy watching them. Yes. They have very tiny eggs, less than an inch long, Would you like to put up some more jars of nectar so the little birds can eat till they are full?”

“Oh yes,” chimed in both Teddy and Betsy.

So they all went out to the kitchen and found two more nectar jars. Teddy and Betsy insisted in stirring up the mix of sugar and water for the little hummers. They made one cup of sugar to four cups water. The birds watched them closely, as Teddy and Betsy helped mother fixed the jars.

“Look Harman, we are going to get some more nectar. Now maybe the tough guys won’t bother us as we fly south to Mexico for the winter. We can fill up here and maybe some nice humans will have more nectar for us on the way. “

“Right Harold, things are looking up. Here they come with the nectar!”

Racing over to the jars, the two birds started drinking vigorously. All of a sudden, the tough birds came back. They fought with Harold and Harmon. Finally, the tough birds got tired and went over to the other jars and drank, leaving the two smaller birds alone.

Inside, Teddy, Betsy and Mom were watching all the Humming Birds fighting and drinking. “Will they ever get to Mexico, Mom? Will they ever come back? The two children asked.
“I think they will. Maybe we will see them again next spring”

With everyone satisfied, the birds left and the family went on with their other games.


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Member Comments
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/15/13
I really enjoyed this. I think your POV was creative and fun. You do a nice job of setting up the conflict (not enough nectar) right away which made me eager to keep reading.

You did have what is called a POV shift. The reader can only know what the MC sees, hears, thinks, or knows. So when you switched from the birds to the kids inside you had a POV shift. One way to resolve it is maybe to have the kids' voices drift outside through a window and then have the birds eavesdrop.

Another thing that is good to do in a kids' story is to allow the children resolve the conflict not the adults'. It would have packed more of a punch had one of the kids thought of putting more nectar out to prevent fights and even to use a real life example like Mommy when you give us cookies you make sure we don't argue over it by giving us both enough. Maybe we should give the birds enough nectar so they don't have to fight.
Of course, that's not perfect, but I wanted to show you an example to help clarify what I'm trying to say.

You did a nice job of not only delivering a message about sharing and ways to prevent squabbles, but you also educated the reader about hummingbirds that I found quite informative and interesting. You totally nailed the topic. The ending was a nice, modern take on "living happily-ever-after." I also think you have a nice subtle sense of humor that kids would enjoy. I could easily picture a nose mushed up against a window as the birds flitted about. Keep writing, you have a knack for storytelling and this was a delightful read.
CrisC Ramirez06/17/13
I loved this piece completely! It was very creative and innocent. The point of view was perfect in shifting from birds to humans, as well as creating the conflict/resolution portion of the story. The story flowed well. It was educational as well in regards to hummingbird habits. Congratulations!