I admit it–I plan to write a draft of a picture book story every week this year, with a sketch.

When I wrote “The Story of the Three Shoes” last week, I had this idea that I would write a young children’s story every week this year–just a draft–or you could call it flash fiction if you like the way that sounds, like I do.  Anyhow, I had the idea, but I didn’t tell anyone until today.  I went to the SCBWI website and one of the featured blogs was titled “52 First Drafts” by David McMullin.  He’s almost at the end of the year.  So I took courage and decided to say what I was thinking; it’s surprising how hard that can be for me.

So here we are on week 2 already–and now you know!  This week’s story is “Peep and Pop go outside.”  But if you have any story ideas/titles that you’d like me to take a shot at, send them along and I’ll do my best to write them (as long as there aren’t more than 50–I should be so lucky!)

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy–

Peep and Pop Go Outside

It was finally here!  The first day of spring.  The animals had stayed warm and cozy  all through the long, cold winter in the barn.  But they were ready to go outside.  And no one was more excited that Peep and Pop, Mama Hen’s new chicks.  They had heard stories about Outside.  Soon Farmer Ginnie would open the big barn door to Outside

“What’s Outside like?” they asked Hollis the horse.

“The wind blows through my mane and the grass tastes sweet and green,” he said.

“What’s grass?” asked Peep.  “What’s green?” asked Pop.

But Hollis went back to munching on his oats and swished his tail at them.

“What’s Outside like?” they asked Prudence the pig.

Outside it rains and makes big mud puddles that you can roll around in.

“What’s rain?” asked Peep.  “What’s mud?” asked Pop.

But Prudence rolled onto her back and squirmed around, imagining the soft, mushy mud on her back.

“What’s Outside like?” they asked Gloria the goat.

“Outside there’s lots of things to eat and the sun warms your back and you can scratch your itches on tree bark.”

“What’s the sun?” asked Peep.  “What’s tree bark?” asked Pop.

But Gloria hopped onto a bench and looked out the window.

Peep and Pop hopped up and down.  They were so excited to see Outside.  They knew Owl flew in and out all winter long, and spent a lot of time outside.  But they were afraid of Owl, so they didn’t ask her what outside was like.

Finally, they found their mother.

“Mama, Mama, what’s outside like?” they asked.

“My little ones, you are about to find out.”  she answered

Farmer Ginnie opened the big barn doors.

Bright light flooded in.  Peep and Pop couldn’t see a thing.  They hid behind Mother Chick.

She put a wing over each of them.

“Come follow me, my little chicks.  Let’s stay together. I think you will like Outside.”

Peep and Pop stayed so close that they kept tripping over Mama Hen’s feet and falling down.

When Mama Hen stopped walking, they both ran into her and fell down again.

“Here we are,” she said.

Peep and Pop looked all around.  They saw many things that they didn’t know the names for.  They watched  Hollis the horse happily munching on what must be both grass and green.  Prudence the pig was rolling around in something that now covered her and must be mud.

Gloria the goat was rubbing against something tall and round, which must be a tree.

The world went up so high that Peep and Pop couldn’t see the end of it.  There was a yellow round ball up the sky that made them feel warm.  But soon it was covered with gray fluff and water started to fall from the top of Outside.  Peep and Pop looked up and drops of water fell into their beaks.

Mama Hen clucked.  “Come inside, my chicks. Time to get out of the rain.  We’ll come outScan when the sun shines again.”

Peep and Pop followed Mama Hen back into the barn.  They nibbled on a little corn and then snuggled under Mama Hen’s wings.

“Outside is wonderful,” they both agreed, “But so is home.”  And they fell asleep.

I am a writer, handworker, artist and teacher (a WHAT!), and a mom of two beautiful daughters who are amazingly 17 and 21. I am working on getting my first book, a fantasy novel for young people, published and am busy spinning on my new spinning wheel. I have been a Waldorf early childhood teacher for 10 years now, and before that, I was a lawyer. Teaching is much more fun.

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