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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)

By Sue Dent


Fire-fighter Johnny

Young Johnny watched the older boys
as they gathered twigs and stone.
He couldn’t wait to see the fire
that would warm them to the bone.

They’d rub two sticks together
‘til a white smoke soon appeared.
Then they’d blow and rub the twigs some more.
Young Johnny had to cheer!

To see the first small trace of fire
was always such a sight.
It warmed the air around them
It brightened up the night.

Yet when Johnny tried to start a fire,
the older boys would chide,
“You’re much too young to do that.
Maybe next year you can try.”

But next year wasn’t soon enough.
Sad eyes began to swell.
He’d kept their fires burning,
and he’d learned the lessons well.

It seemed young Johnny had a point.
And they took his words to heart.
They gave him sticks to start the fire
in hopes he’d get a spark.

Young Johnny tried the best he could
And finally had to rest.
“That’s okay,” he heard one say,
“At least you tried your best.”

He tried again, to no avail.
He started to perspire.
When someone from behind him
stood straight up and hollered, “fire!”

While watching Johnny’s efforts,
another fire, left unattended,
crept outside it’s boundaries
and spread quickly, undefended.

A tent went up in flames
with another in it’s path.
Johnny grabbed a bucket and
quickly went to meet it’s wrath.

The dirt inside, he flung on it.
Then water that he found.
With very little effort,
the fire he had drowned.

Blackened face and sooted hands
he announced, “I ain't no lighter. But it sure is good to know I make a real good Fire-Fighter.”

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This article has been read 961 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Neilson10/12/06
how cute! I love the last line though it seems to leave the pattern that you have set.

*snickers* “I ain't no lighter. But it sure is good to know I make a real good Fire-Fighter.”

Now, if only my brother could get that into his head...
Helen Paynter10/12/06
Light, amusing and touching. I must admit I stumbled once or twice with the meter, but I did enjoy it. Great take on what I found a very difficult topic.
Brenda Craig10/12/06
Wonderful job on a topic I didn't enter. On second note: per the author, which of course isn't me,it seems the last line appeared in its correct form when " unknown said author" hit the submit button. Then for some reason known only to the cyber-space discombubilator (is that a word?)everything came out jumbled. So please forgive lol.
Marilyn Schnepp 10/12/06
The rhyme and meter is off a bit - but very cute and creative story in poetry. Good job.
Susan Johnstone10/13/06
Interesting topic; I initially thought there was some deeper background to the reason why boys where trying to light fires(?). But the ending had a nice little punchline.
Sue Dent10/13/06
The author of this entry asked me to apologize for their not putting Scouts instead of boys thus not eluding to young pyromaniacs. LOL Oh, and I too thought it was a fun take on the topic.
Linda Watson Owen10/14/06
What an enjoyable and charming piece! So cute! Loved it!
Donna Haug10/16/06
Cute story. I'm glad he found out he was good at something. ;)
Jan Ackerson 10/16/06
Love the last line.

A question: if boy scouts can make fire so easily, why can't the contestants on "Survivor" ever do it?

Well, that has nothing to do with your clever poem, just an observation. I liked this a lot, Sue!
Joanne Sher 10/16/06
So very sweet, Sue - I really loved this! Just a MINOR MINOR thing - it's means "it is" - the possessive is its. Also ADORED the final stanza.
Donna Powers 10/18/06
I enjoyed this sweet little poem. Thanks for sharing it.
Shari Armstrong 10/18/06
Very nice -I like the way it shows everyone has a different gift -in a fun way :)
Sara Harricharan 10/18/06
This was cute-an enjoyable read. The third sentence in the second paragraph/stanza was a little awkward for me though. Otherwise-Great!
Tabiatha Tallent10/18/06
I loved it. It drew me in and kept my attention. Great piece!
Bonnie Derksen10/18/06
I would like to add my diddo to the above. Though the meter may have been out a teensy bit I loved it... especially the last stanza.

Creative and fun... well done, Sue.
Jen Davis10/18/06
Cute, fun and light-hearted. I especially liked the last stanza even if it didn't print as the author intended:)
Aylin Smith 10/18/06
Well done!