By Keith McNeill
There were 68 entries in the Times’ Christmas stories contest this year.
That compares with 90 last year, 81 received in 2015 and in 2014, and 53 entries in 2013.
Once again, nearly all this year’s entries were from Raft River Elementary School.
First place in the Grade 4 to Grade 7 category went to Reid Muddiman. His humorous variation of The Night Before Christmas begins with, “’Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house, Wrapping paper was strewn by my mechanical mouse.”
Owen Thon took second place in the Grade 4 – 7 category. His story, written under the title The Dog Who Saved Santa, tells of Jimmy a German shepherd who used to steal wreaths and tear them to shreds. The dog redeemed himself by pulling Santa’s sleigh when the reindeer went missing.
A dog that helped Santa was also the theme of third place winner Brook Fowler’s story. Foxy was a Jack Russel terrier with wings – a bird dog. Her last line is, “Santa boomed, ‘Merry Christmas to all and to all bird dogs a good night.’”
First place in the Kindergarten – Grade 3 category went to Kai McFayden and her story “The Puppy who Saved Christmas.” It tells of a puppy and other dogs that helped Santa after his sleigh became stuck.
Parker Wright took second place in the Kindergarten – Grade 3 category. His story tells of how a dog named Tank saved Santa after an elf named Evil tipped him out of his sleigh. The story’s last line is, “And almost everyone had a happily ever after” … except, presumably, Evil the elf.
Third place in the Kindergarten – Grade 3 category was taken by Tia Lindgren-Wilson. Her story, titled The Snow White Cat, told of how a cat avoided a cat-napper by hiding in the snow – because it was snow white in color.
We had several excellent entries this year that had to be disqualified because they were over the maximum length of 300 words – not just a little over but a lot over.
This is important because we are always short of space to fit all the stories in and one lengthy story can take up the space of two or three shorter ones.
All of the stories, long and short, can be viewed at our website, www.clearwatertimes.com.