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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: The In-Law Test
By Verna Cole Mitchell


Sylvester Squirrel in best gray suit
Went searching for a mate.
He found a perky little miss
And asked her for a date.

This sweet young squirrel was quite a girl;
Samantha was her name.
It wasn’t long before she’d joined
His running, leaping game.

Samantha Squirrel quite won his heart
With soulful big brown eyes.
Her tiny ears and fluffy tail
Made her the perfect size.

They played and scampered all about
Atop the tall oak trees.
Before you’d say, “Squirrel Robinson,”
She’d brought him to his knees.

They said their vows with Preacher Squirrel,
Then went home to the nest,
Where family had gathered ‘round
To give the “in-law test.”

His siblings checked her out to see
If she would help them work.
In gathering the nuts to save,
They found she would not shirk.

They also had a need to know
If she would let them tease
And play tag with the rest of them.
She passed their tests with ease.

While Father Squirrel had welcomed her,
He did not chatter much.
He left it to his wife to speak
Of married life and such.

When it was time for Mother Squirrel
To have her little say,
She set Samantha on a limb
And spoke to her this way.

“I had the first part of Syl’s life,
His tender growing days.
I’ve given him a mother’s love
And taught him proper ways.

Please nurture him and care for him
As I’ve done in the past,
And he’ll protect and cherish you
To make your marriage last.

I’d have you know the greatest news
About the Lord of all.
He loves the living things He’s made,
If they are great or small.

Now when your wee ones come along,
As baby squirrels will do,
You’ll share with them this awesome truth
That I have shared with you.”

Samantha then embraced them all
And said, “Oh, Sylvie Dear,
No finer in-laws could I find.
I’ll be so happy here.”

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This article has been read 1141 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Wilber05/15/08
Charming--and a good message. I loved this.
Laury Hubrich 05/16/08
This is so sweet. I love it and the in-law test is so very true:)
Joanne Sher 05/16/08
So sweet, darling, and charming in every way. I smiled through every line.
Lollie Hofer05/16/08
Absolutely charming! Story telling at its best. You did an excellent job staying true to the meter and cadence throughout the entire poem. With longer poems that is sometimes difficult to do but you did it quite successfully. Loved every word!
Holly Westefeld05/16/08
This was a fun read, and a nice job with the verse.
Kristen Hester05/16/08
This is precious, precious, precious! Perfect-o!
Beth LaBuff 05/16/08
Your rhyme is so perfect and your message is so good! I enjoyed reading this!
Betty Castleberry05/18/08
I LOOOOOVE this. It is just precious. This made me giggle:

Now when your wee ones come along,
As baby squirrels will do

If I could reach you, I would hug you for sharing this.
Lyn Churchyard05/18/08
Just superb! I loved the rhyme and flow of the whole thing. A wonderful story in verse.
Dee Yoder 05/18/08
Oh so cute and happy! I love the messages in this poem, Verna, from the "test" right down to the advice from mom-in-law-to-be-squirrel! Poetry perfection.
Jan Ackerson 05/18/08
Very cute!
Mariane Holbrook 05/18/08
Your rythm and rhyme are perfect as is everything else about this poem. Oh, to be an illustrator and sketch it out. It begs to be given that kind of treatment which kids would enjoy for years to come! It's priceless!
Yvonne Blake 05/18/08
You don't just marry a boy, you marry the whole family!
What a great way to show this!
Well done.
LaNaye Perkins05/18/08
This was just adorable. You did a fine job in writing this poem story. Well done my FW friend.
Joy Faire Stewart05/18/08
Oh, I loved this. Creative and lots of fun!
LauraLee Shaw05/18/08
Awesome, awesome, awesome! Love the creativity!
Debbie Wistrom05/19/08
Your father squirrel is like my Dad.
This was mighty fine, indeed.
Thanks for the grins!
Marita Thelander 05/19/08
Nice flow and cute story. I hope they get to have their own little nest. ; )
Joshua Janoski05/19/08
I loved the flow of this. A very cute piece. It is one of my favorites this week in Masters. :)
Sharlyn Guthrie05/20/08
Awww...so sweet!
Beckie Stewart05/20/08
This was an absolutely adorable poem. I loved it! You do have a gift indeed.
Helen Dowd05/20/08
This sweet little poem brought a lump to my throat. How very well told, and amusing too. I love poetry, and this one is among the best. You told the story of this little squirrel's test of acceptance into her new family in such a delightful way. It was easy to visualize the scrutiny the poor little bride-to-be was going through. I am so glad she passed the test.... Just LOVED this little poem. Well done!...Helen
Dianne Janak05/21/08
Great job as always. Only thing more fun than reading this kind of work is writing it and having it flow out of you... with a fun message and good feeling for the day. Love the imagess you wrote in my heart about squirrels and the play on words about squirrley families... which most can relate to.. loved it.
Benjamin Graber05/21/08
This one is cute... :-) It is very creative, and yet is real enough that I can relate to it myself, since I am in the process of becoming part of a new family...
Cheri Hardaway 05/21/08
This is quaint and true to heart. I love it. Very creative and well done! To tell a story is one thing, but to tell it in rhyme and verse is quite another. Excellent work! Hope to see this one in the winner's circle. Blessings, Cheri
Sara Harricharan 05/21/08
Awww! So sweet and CUTE! I loved Samantha and especially the MIL and her 'truth' that was simply wonderful! ^_^
David Ian05/21/08
Very fun and engaging, I really like the story and its characters. I was never sure about the rhythm in the first line each time, the rest fell in so easily, though. Quite a delight, very nice.
Willena Flewelling 05/21/08
Very delightful, rhythmic read!
Aaron Morrow05/21/08
Charming entry, I love it. Of course all my nutty friends found it slightly disturbing :)
Wonderful job capturing the essential squirrel!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/21/08
I'm partial to the feelings of the mother giving her son to her future daughter-in-law. Well done.
Joanne Sher 05/23/08
Congratulations, Verna, on placing 15th in your level and 24th overall. Great job!
Betsy Markman05/23/08
Very cute! My kind of poetry - good rhyme and meter. Very imaginative, too. (And thanks for your comments on "Prayer for a Stranger!")