The local paper invites readers and area students to contribute original poems and short stories for its annual Christmas Story Book, an insert in the paper's Christmas Eve edition. They make it into a contest with prizes, too, for the best entry in each of these categories: 1st grade, 2nd-3rd grades, 4th grade, 5th-6th grades, junior high, senior high, and adult. The rules: The story must be 150 words or fewer, and it must relate somehow to Christmas. That's it.
Many teachers in the region make entering the contest a classroom activity, asking their students to write in class and then submitting all the stories from the class to the newspaper. That's what Suzanna's teacher did. Suzanna showed her story to Susan and me before turning it in to her teacher, and then we didn't hear any more about it . . . until the newspaper phoned our home to arrange to get a photograph of Suzanna because of her having won a prize for her story!
Suzanna was pretty excited, thinking she had won the best story in the 5th-6th grade division. Susan took her to the mall to meet the newspaper photographer at R Books, the business sponsoring the prize that Suzanna had won. Suzanna told me that there were three big surprises waiting for her there:
- her story was framed and posted on the wall outside R Books for all mall shoppers to see while passing by;
- her prize was a $40 gift certificate to R Books, an enormous amount of money to Suzanna; and
- the certificate presented to Suzanna named her as the winner not of the 5th-6th grade division but of all divisions--Suzanna won for the best story overall!!
(If you're not from around here, you should know that Killdeer is a city about a half-hour north of Dickinson. Also keep in mind that So You Think You Can Dance is a nationally televised dance contest on network TV. Okay, now get to readin'.)
"My Reindeer Tail"
by Suzanna Moberg
Many people wonder what the reindeer do when it's not Christmas. I've got the answers.
Dasher is a track star in Reindeerville. His name gives it away. Dancer runs Dancing by Dancer, his very own ballet studio--not in Reindeerville, though . . . in Deerkinson.
Prancer is the head judge for So You Think You Can Prance. Vixen is a trainer for the Reindeer Games.
Comet is an astronaut and has a home (that's not with Santa) on the moon. Cupid is the priest at a church that does just marriages. He loves that kind of stuff!
Donner works with blood donors at the North Pole Clinic. Blitzen owns Blitzen's Books, a bookstore in Don't Killdeer about 40 miles away from Deerkinson.
Finally, Rudolph: He's a lighthouse manager on the coast.
Even with their busy lives, Santa, Christmas, and we kids are the reindeer's biggest priority!