Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Ugliest Christmas Sweater in the World: The Story of Fashion Gone Bad at the Holidays

If you’ve ever had an ugly Christmas sweater, 
Then, you know you only need one for the better. 
It might have jingles on it with all the bells and whistles,
Or it might be as touchy as prickly holly thistles. 
You usually have socks that match it to a T,
But of course, don’t let anyone fashion-fancy see.
Then, you have gloves that also blend its frosty hues
And a hat that coordinates with snowy freezing dews. 
A reindeer or a Santa or a wreath of red and green
Is on your stomach and always right across your spleen.
Mine is the ugliest Christmas sweater in the world.
I know because I knit it, and I became unfurled, 
But I love it because it keeps me warm at night, 
It makes me think of Christmas when all the world is right. 

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Most Silent Night: The Story of a Broken Organ at Christmas

“It’s such a silent night,” said Father Joseph on a quiet Christmas Eve in 1816 in a church in Salzburg, Austria. The day before, he had visited a sick child in the Austrian countryside, reminding him of the Christ child. He prayed for peace and asked God to bless the family and their child amid the snowy winter hillside. 

A day later, when he tried to play his church organ, he discovered that mice had chewed through the bellows that were used to supply the instrument with wind. Although he tried to fix them, the music was stilled. Water from a nearby river had also flooded parts of the church and damaged organ parts, making them icy.

“What are we going to do?” Father Joseph said, cleaning up the water and mice droppings in the sanctuary. 

“Maybe if I write a new song, we could use the guitar instead of the organ for the Christmas Eve service. Then I could raise money with Christmas Eve offering to buy a new organ for the church.”

As he made his way into his office, he considered the sickly baby he had met just yesterday. He stuck his pen in the ink jar on his desk and scribbled a batch of lyrics onto a crumpled piece of paper. 

The lyric read: 


My Yuletide Lullaby

Tonight I hold you in my arms

Soft and tender

I try to keep you from all harm

Love you forever


You are my son

You are a savior

You are my love

You are baby


So I sing this cradle song

So I guard you all night long

I soothe you as you cry

With my yuletide lullaby

My yuletide lullaby


You are not mine, it’s understood

Time has a purpose

I give you back to God for good

I must have courage


Sleep in peace

Peace be still

Sleep and dream

Dream God’s will

For the world


So I sing this cradle song

So I guard you all night long

I soothe you as you cry

With my yuletide lullaby

My yuletide lullaby


I bless you with my tears

My heart will not give way to fear


So I sing this cradle song

So I guard you all night long

I soothe you as you cry

With my yuletide lullaby

My yuletide lullaby


Considering that the new song needed music, Father Joseph ran off to his friend, a schoolteacher, Father Franz, in a nearby village church. Although Father Franz could play the organ, he could also play the guitar. 

“Can you finish my song before service tonight?” Father Joseph said, bursting through Father Franz’s front door. “Our organ broke, and I thought you could write something special for the guitar. I can’t do it myself.”

“Finish your song?” Father Franz said. “Even if I could finish it, who will play it at Mass tonight? I’d have to play for your service and then run right back to my service in the snow. I’m still writing my homily.”

“Mozart could figure out how to do it,” Father Joseph said. “Can’t you use a homily from last year?”

“I could use the end of a homily from two years ago,” Father Franz said. “No one will remember it anyhow.”

Franz took the crumpled piece of paper from Joseph and began to hum a melody while playing the guitar. As Father Joseph paced back and forth in Franz’s home, Franz finally finished the music to the lyric. 

“Oh, it’s gorgeous, Father Franz,” Father Joseph said with a tear in his eye. “My congregation will love it. The next time the mice eat the organ bellows in a flood, I’ll just know it is time to write another new song.”

At the midnight Mass, Father Joseph prays silently, worried that the congregation will reject the new hymn.

“What happened to the organ?” some of the people in the pews snapped. “It smells like mold in here.”

“Why couldn’t he clean up the mess with the organ before Christmas Eve service?” someone else judged.

“I would like to now perform a new Christmas hymn for everyone,” Father Joseph announced. “Sometimes, new songs come from the most unlikely places at the right time when we need them the most.”

In awe of the beautiful new hymn, two families of glovemakers sat in the front pews, filled with tears.

“It makes me think of our children when they were younger,” one of the glovemakers told another. “How thoughtful of Father Joseph and Father Franz to write a new song for Christmas,” the glovemakers whispered. 

In fact, Father Joseph and Father Franz performed the song with just enough time for Father Franz to return to his service to give his last-minute homily, which he cut short to perform “My Yuletide Lullaby.”

After giving enough money in church offerings to buy a brand-new organ for Father Joseph’s church, his congregants went home in the dark singing the new standard to themselves, remembering every word. 

“Could we please have a copy of the new hymn, Father Joseph?” the glovemaker said to the priest after service. “I would like to teach it to my children and friends. I could learn to play it on my own guitar.”

“My Yuletide Lullaby” was so loved at the Christmas Eve Mass in Salzburg that it spread to neighboring villages across Austria and eventually to singers who toured the world, performing for kings and queens. 

As legend has it, the song is only to be sung on Christmas Eve and not a minute too soon, offering a peaceful blessing in tumultuous times. Everyone needs a silent night, but most of all at Christmas. 

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Christmas Accordion: The Story of a Holiday Melodeon

The Christmas Accordion has magic in its notes.
It makes you think of merriment and happiness floats.
The melodeon is a squeezebox with a secret inside. 
It holds music and melodies and brings the Yuletide. 
The concertina is a symphony you hold upon your lap
When you’ve just settled down for a short winter’s nap. 
It only plays Christmas songs, not a note of May or June. 
The stomach Steinway has a song vault that’s always in tune.
So wind up the box, and see what it plays for you. 
It will pick your holiday song, a song that’s bright and true. 
It’s almost as a fortune of old mysteries from the deep. 
The songs are something that the Accordion couldn’t keep. 
Now sit by the fireside and instead of a Christmas chat,
Expect a song from heaven with musicality that’s pat. 
You might even see the notes linger from the box. 
Catch them if you can, like a little sly silver fox. 
The songs will make you sing ‘till you can sing no more,
Make you dance ‘till you scratch your shiny kitchen floor. 
It always plays the song that you need at the time,
Giving you Christmas gifts that are like a brilliant chime. 
Then your heart becomes an accordion just like the instrument
And your life becomes the world’s most precious ornament. 
All because you squeezed room for Christmas chorus reeds
With lots of love and light and a season of very good deeds.  

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Little Christmas: The Story of an Irish Mouse with a Big Heart

If you need a little Christmas inside your dreary house, 
Then you might need nothing more than a cheery mouse.  
Little Christmas is a Godsend on a stormy winter’s day. 
He has a big heart and always has something good to say. 
With an Irish accent, he carries luck inside his vest.
A three-leaf clover behind his ear brings some extra zest. 
He can sneak inside your stocking above your fireplace
And sprinkle cinnamon in your cider with a lot of grace.
He can snuggle on your shoulder, then slip into your shirt,
And sing carols right on key as he cooks a sweet dessert. 
Almost like a Wise Man with epiphany in his soul, 
He comes bearing gifts instead of ugly bags of coal.
So before you turn away a new friend with a tail, 
Welcome him in your home, and merry will prevail. 

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Hallowed Scarecrow: The Story of a Straw Man in a Pumpkin Patch

If you see a scarecrow on the corner of your fence, 
Stop and say hello and try not to have pretense.
The Hallowed Scarecrow could be a person, 
And if you ignore him it will surely worsen
His straw body and his fragile feeble frame.
Much better if you would give him his own name.
He isn’t just a decoy or a plastic mannequin.
Not ever saying hello will leave him panicking.
He needs some new clothes and a house over his head.
He needs his own pillow and his own special bed.
Birds already hate him when they could have been friends. 
He was told to scare strangers, and it left him at wit’s ends. 
The pumpkins and the horses in the fields are irate, 
But they can’t do a thing to stop the human hate. 
Be the first one to think a thought that’s clever.  
You are the one who can change his life forever. 

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Imaginary Spice Cupboard: The Story of Happy Recipes that Make Your Heart Full

My mother had a cupboard full of jars with spices. 
If you didn’t use them properly, the flavors caused vices. 
If you used too much allspice, the neighbors did strange things. 
They would run in crazy circles and start to wear nose rings.
The bay leaf and the basil mixed in bad proportion
Would cause chaos and confusion and even extortion. 
Chili pepper burned your tiny tongue to little pieces, 
And dill was so boring that it gave you sleep increases. 
Fennel and ginger made you giggle ‘till you cried. 
Horseradish and lavender made you talk until you lied. 
Nutmeg and oregano always made you snort and sneeze. 
Paprika and parsley made drop right to your knees. 
Rosemary blessed you if you used the right amount, 
But in double doses, it would raise your blood count. 
Saffron and savory would go right to your head. 
Tarragon and thyme would turn you cherry red. 
Vanilla made you dizzy and sent you to outer space. 
White mustard made you cough and turn green in the face. 
So I used the spices sparingly and never took them for granted. 
All the seeds my mother sowed were for spices she had planted.

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Monday, August 20, 2018


Give away your pennies, and you get more pennies that can start small miracles, which lead to bigger ones.


Almost like manna from heaven, pennies come to nine-year-old Coral Graf, who lives on the Upper East Side of New York City. Always wanting to cause good in the world, she gives the pennies away, hoping to create larger miracles. Interestingly enough, whenever she shares her pennies with others, she gets more coins. The stream of pennies never stops and neither do the miracles with them. 

Nine-year-old Coral Graf lives on the Upper East Side of New York City with her father and mother in a red brick high-rise apartment with many neighbors. Her father owns a local deli with Jewish delicacies that all the neighbors love. At least three days a week, her mother works as a telephone operator at the Empire State Building. Ever since Coral was a baby, The Man Upstairs dropped pennies through the heating vent. At first, her father yelled at The Man Upstairs, explaining that he didn’t want the pennies. When The Man Upstairs continues to drop the pennies, Mrs. Graf sets out a tin can to collect them. She decides that the family should give away the money to needy people in the neighborhood. After the Grafs grow tired of giving the pennies away and want to keep them for themselves, The Man Upstairs stops dropping them. Believing in the power of small miracles to create bigger ones, Coral insists that she must give the pennies away. Later, when Coral places the tin can under the apartment vent, more pennies come out, faster than ever before. The Man Upstairs only drops pennies when someone from the Graf family gives the coins away. From that day on, Coral is in charge of the pennies that fall in the tin can from The Man Upstairs. She promises never to hoard the pennies, but to do good with every penny. The more pennies he gives her, the more she gives away. She might even be a millionaire; all because The Man Upstairs knows she will keep her promise.

When The Man Downstairs steals Coral’s pennies from The Man Upstairs, she tiptoes down the apartment stairs with her tin can, knocks on his door, and demands her pennies back. Slowly, the door cracks open and an ugly hand drops a pile of pennies in the hallway—the same hand that reached through the heating vent in the apartment floor to steal pennies from Coral’s tin can. When The Man Next Door tries to spend Coral’s money on frivolous junk during his Saturday morning sales calls, she eats desserts and watches TV cartoons instead, saving her money for The Man Across the Street, who needs to pay his rent, and The Man Around the Corner, who needs hot coffee. Of course, Hanukkah candles that Coral buys with her pennies from The Man Upstairs cause the rent to be paid for The Man Across the Street, and the daily cup of coffee from Coral to The Man Around the Corner causes him to leave his cardboard box on the street and take a job at her father’s deli. During Passover, Coral decides The Man from Central Park, who is sick and living on a bench, must visit the emergency room so bad things can “pass over” him. After explaining to the doctor that The Man Upstairs is paying for the visit with money from her tin can, The Man from Central Park has an affordable doctor bill, and he is well. 

More certain than ever that she has the power to cause small miracles, Coral makes an impromptu appointment with The Man from The Synagogue, a Rabbi at Fifth Avenue Synagogue, and explains to him that she has been receiving pennies from The Man Upstairs. Coral’s father warns her that The Man from The Synagogue might not understand her relationship with The Man Upstairs. He says not everyone has enough faith for miracles to happen and that Coral herself is a miracle. Although Coral gives her latest batch of pennies to the Synagogue, the Rabbi tells Coral that he enjoys the baked goods from her father’s deli, and she has quite an imagination. He compares her pennies to manna from Old Testament stories. He tells her that her good deeds are mitzvahs, where her actions show what she believes. When she asks the Rabbi to talk to God for her and ask God where to give her pennies, the Rabbi again says that she has a wonderful imagination. He reminds her to keep the Sabbath and tells her that he must get back to work. She asks the Rabbi to let her know what he does with her money and insists that her pennies came from heaven, believing The Man Upstairs gave her enough pennies to change the world. 

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Cookie Bandit: The Story of Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Ginger Almond Macadamia Nut Sugar Cookies

Once there was a Cookie Bandit,
That had a scheme, and he planned it.
His hand was in the cookie jar.
Cookie crumbs were never far. 
He couldn’t eat a normal cookie.
At baking, he was not a rookie. 
He mixed his favorite recipes, 
To leave lasting legacies.
Instead of a cookie that was simple,
He created a sweet with a dimple:
Chocolate chip, banana, and oatmeal
Combined with zest and much appeal. 
Then ginger, almond, and macadamia 
Can be eaten from here to Mesopotamia. 
So, if you need a special dessert, 
Dress in your cookie-eating shirt, 
And have a Cookie Bandit biscuit. 
It’s almost like your mother fixed it. 

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Donkey Riddles: The Story of Puzzles and Problems

If you meet a donkey on the side of the road, 
Make sure to ask him to speak to you in code. 
Yes, donkeys talk a lot in languages galore. 
There are many topics that you can explore. 
Ask the donkey to tell you a simple riddle. 
If you feel inclined, you can play him like a fiddle. 
Then you will know the riddle, and you can share
With neighbors and friends, when they’re acting square. 
Riddles are tricky, and you have to think twice. 
Sometimes it’s like lying and that’s not very nice,
But riddles make you think far beyond yourself,
Or the books that are sitting on your lofty shelf.
So, stop and tell a donkey “hello” from time to time. 
Donkeys have a lot to say and even speak in rhyme.

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Friday, June 15, 2018

Fishtail: The Story of a Girl with a Summertime Braid

Each summer when you sit by the swimming pool, 
And you try to find a bit of shade to keep cool, 
Listen to the tales of fish in the open sea.
They might involve you, and they might involve me.
I like to braid my hair and tell stories aloud. 
I’m so good at spinning tales that my family is proud. 
The normal-type braid, I don’t ever do.
Fishtails are my favorite, let me braid one for you.
The fairytale will have a knight or a valiant king, 
And a princess that has a song to sing. 
An evil rotten witch is always a must,
But her plan in the end will need to go bust. 
The king saves the princess in the castle on a hill,
And love will win out, even if hope seems nil. 
Why don’t you braid a fishtail with your own hair?
I’ll listen to your story; it only seems fair. 
But a warning to tell you, fishtails have the charm. 
Other types of braids might bring you alarm. 
They have no story-magic or fancy at best.
Use your heart to practice fishtails; you will be blessed.
Divide the long hair in two larger sections, 
From which you take the outermost selections. 
Criss-cross the hair until you reach the end. 
By the end of the story, make a brand-new friend. 
You could braid three-strand or French braids all day, 
But none will bring you characters in a play. 
Three-strand braids use three sections to make one, 
And it stays together until you make it come undone. 
A French braid is classy but requires an accent,
So do Dutch braids which are having advent. 
Waterfall braids look good in long hair. 
Four-strand braids have a certain flair. 
The simple solution seems to be rope braids, 
Where two strands are twisted in double shades, 
But once again, none of these braids have tales. 
Only fishtails have stories that involve whales!
I’m listening to your fable as you make a braid,
Like fins in the sea, fishtails are handmade!

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Thursday, May 10, 2018

OAK APPLE DAY synopsis

A little girl longs for romantic love but goes after it in quite the wrong way. 

Ten-year-old Poppy Marigold, inspired by the kiss in Sleeping Beauty, imagines being kissed by her own prince and thinks each of her three favorite boy classmates should by now have kissed her more than once. But they ignore her. Using the annual Oak Apple Day parade as cover, Poppy climbs a tree and pelts the boys with apples, planning to kiss them when they’re down. If one of them wakes when she’s kissing him, it will be true love, and everyone will know it. The first apple only hits Alastair in the shoulder. The second hits Duncan in the head but doesn’t knock him down. The third toss smacks Fergus to the ground. Poppy jumps out of the tree and kisses Fergus. He tries to run, so she takes chase and pelts him with apples. Finally, Fergus gives up and makes Oak Apple Day history by kissing Poppy. 
The British celebrate Royal Oak Day on May 29 in honor of King Charles II’s birthday. Ten-year-old Poppy Marigold wears an oak apple round her neck because if a student doesn’t wear a costume they are to be pinched—in the bum. Poppy sits at lunch with Alastair Glover, Duncan MacGregor, and Fergus Laird. None of the boys say anything to her. She wants to pinch them in the bum for their bad attitudes. Inspired by the kiss in Sleeping Beauty, she imagines being kissed by her own prince. For weeks, Poppy was sure she was in love with each of the three adorable boys, and now was the time to finally be kissed. She decides that the large Oak Tree outside the School is about to help her get that first kiss.

As Poppy pinches the boys’ bums, their teacher announces that the Heart of Oak Friendly Society Parade starts at three o’clock. This year Poppy plans to sneak up the Oak Tree and drop apples on Alastair, Duncan, and Fergus. More determined than ever, she remembers how wonderful love is supposed to be, according to Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince. So, when no one is looking, she stuffs her dress pockets and backpack with apples. Poppy thinks if she hits the boys in the head, they’ll pass out, and she can kiss them before they wake up. If one of them wakes when she’s kissing him, it will be true love, and everyone will know it. When Poppy finishes her Maypole, she slips out to the Oak Tree and positions herself on a sturdy tree branch where she has good aim at any of the boys. 

Her classmates walk out with their Maypoles, oak boughs, and flowers. They look so festive Poppy almost forgets her plan to drop the apples, but when she sees Alastair, she drops the first apple and hits his shoulder. She drops the second apple on Duncan. It hits him in the head, but it isn’t strong enough to knock him out. When she sees Fergus, she throws the apple so hard that it smacks him to the ground. She declares it’s true love. Poppy climbs down and the rest of the apples fall on everyone. As her teacher scolds her, she runs to Fergus, grabs him, and kisses him. A few moments later, Fergus opens his eyes, looking so shocked and confused that he can hardly breathe. Yelling, Fergus gets up off the sidewalk and runs down the parade route as fast as he can. Poppy calls after him and runs to try to catch him, throwing apples from the sidewalk at his head, with good aim. After a few minutes, Fergus gives up, and makes Oak Apple Day history when he kisses Poppy. 

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Christmas Pudding: The Story of the Holiday Silver Coin

Christmas pudding isn’t just a dessert,
That you try to keep from spilling on your shirt. 
It’s filled with fruit and a silver coin, 
That you search for after eating tenderloin. 
Made weeks or even months in advance,
With thirteen ingredients not by chance. 
The British pudding is steamed and lit,
And doused with custard when it cools a bit. 
If you find the silver coin inside your cake, 
Luck has found you through a pudding bake. 
Happy December becomes happy all year,
Sweet blessings filled with love and good cheer.
Top it with holly and red berries for show.
Plum pudding tastes better than holiday snow. 
Stir up the wishes with a round of applause,
And be sure to save a piece for Santa Claus. 

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters


One brave and visionary individual can inspire and improve the lives of many others . . . even if they’re a chicken.

Roberta the Chicken has had enough of mean old Farmer Bosworth and has decided to fly the coop and head to the Big City to make a new life for herself. She invites the rest of the Barnyard Animals to join her. Each one has a personal reason why they don’t think they can leave, but Roberta’s logic and enthusiasm sway them to the idea of a great escape. Piled into Sam the Taxi Driver’s cab they head out, pursued by Farmer Bosworth with his shotgun. Thus begin the adventures of the Barnyard Animals & The Big City.  

Roberta the Chicken is flying the coop, going to the Big City, and leaving the Barnyard behind. Anyone brave enough to come with her is welcome. Farmer Bosworth paces through the Barnyard with his shotgun and cup of hot coffee with whisky. Olga the Pig wonders why Roberta would do such a thing—like leave them. Of course, Farmer Bosworth is crazy mean, but the Big City might not be much better. Gobbler the Turkey doesn’t understand how Roberta would ever stay there. Possibly visiting would be tolerable but living there is another circumstance altogether. 

If Ezequiel the Sheep goes to the Big City, he is sure that everyone will try to make him into a wool sweater. Olga the Pig thinks she might even become bacon, and Apple Dumplings the Cow is hesitant because the whole neighborhood will want milk from her all day long. If the Barnyard Animals moved to the Big City, Gobbler the Turkey fears every Thanksgiving the Pilgrims would try to make him into flaming turkey wings, or Nanny the Goat would be used for goat cheese. It just seems altogether too dangerous. Stallion the Horse and Jack the Donkey think they might have to go with the Chicken anyhow. When Sam the Taxi Driver arrives at the farm, Roberta suggests that everyone pile in the car, and even ride in the trunk. Jack the Donkey insists that he cannot let Roberta go-it-alone and asks everyone to accompany them. Taking last gulps of water and food from their troughs, the Barnyard Animals ready themselves for their trip. 

They all pile in and Stallion the Horse runs beside the Taxi. Sam triples the fare since the entire Barnyard comes with Roberta, who says not to worry because she swiped money from Farmer Bosworth. When the Farmer sees the animals fleeing, he comes after them with his shotgun and shoots out the right back tire. Threatening to track them down in the Big City, the Farmer keeps shooting at the car. Sam promises that he has friends who can help them out in their new life. He worriedly says he will have to teach them everything he knows, but at least he will get them away from crazy Farmer Bosworth. Of course, Farmer Bosworth follows them all over the City with his shotgun, but he is never able to catch them. Sam the Taxi Driver has too many friends in low and high places in the Big City—and soon so does Roberta the Chicken and her friends. 

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

Friday, March 30, 2018

Cockatoo: The Story of a Parrot Who Lost His Voice

Cockatoo, Cockatoo, I can’t hear you!
Wherever did your voice go? 
Is it traveling to-and-fro?
Cockatoo, Cockatoo, can you hear me?
I’m talking rather loudly. 
I’m feeling rather proudly. 
Cockatoo, Cockatoo, I think I caught a glimpse!
Your voice is in your throat, 
But you swallowed it like a goat. 
Cockatoo, Cockatoo, can you burp it up?
Find your voice again. 
So, you can speak to men. 
Cockatoo, Cockatoo, it might be coming back. 
I hear it growing stronger. 
Speak out a little longer!
Cockatoo, Cockatoo, your voice is loud and clear.
I'm glad I made you find it. 
Now you'll have to get behind it.

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Time-traveling shoes offer a twelve-year-old girl a world of adventures, but her first mishap-ridden journey warns her to seek some experienced advice before her next trip. 

Twelve-year-old Aiyana Mitchell sits on the back porch of her home in Philadelphia wearing her Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels. With these time-traveling shoes, a secret gift from her adventurous Aunt Olivia, she can travel to the future and the past. Despite her mother’s warning to stay in the present, Aiyana decides to travel to the early 1900’s and finds herself in a boat on a lake with swans, wearing a lace dress with a fancy parasol. Surprised to be there, she lets the parasol slips from her hand, the boat capsizes, and she falls into the lake. When her time-traveling shoes slip off and sink to the bottom she fears she’ll be stuck in the 1900’s forever and calls for help. Aiyana decides if she ever comes back to the past or braves the future, she needs to ask her aunt for advice. It has to go better next time, she hopes.

Twelve-year-old Aiyana Mitchell has her Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels on. She loves to sit on the back porch in the suburbs of Philadelphia. With her time-traveling shoes, she can travel to the future and the past. The shoes are a special, secret gift from her Aunt Olivia, who used them to travel so many places it seems she is on a constant vacation. But Aiyana’s mom always says: “It’s better to stay in the present—forget about the past and wait for the future.”

Despite her mother’s warning, Aiyana wants the adventure and mystery of the time-traveling shoes. She hides them under her bed and her mom never notices them. Now that she’s ready to use them, she thinks about traveling to the early 1900’s to a lake with a boat and a fancy parasol and swans. When she closes her eyes, she appears with a lace dress on, sitting in a boat on a lake. Aiyana grabs the side of the boat with her left hand. The parasol slips from her right hand.

Then the boat capsizes, and she falls into the lake. In all the commotion, Aiyana’s time-traveling shoes slip off and sink to the bottom. Fearing she’ll be stuck in the 1900’s forever, she pulls herself back up the side of the boat and cries: “Someone help me get my shoes back!” A proper gentleman in a full-body swimming suit, dives in her direction. Insisting she’s from the future she says she’d appreciate it so much if he would dive in and find her shoes, so she could return to 2018.

He makes a couple of dives then finally a hand arises with the Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels and hands them to Aiyana. She pours out the sand and puts the shoes back on. Aiyana returns to the present on the back porch with her mother calling. As Aiyana walks into the kitchen, she creates a trail of footprints and a puddle of lake water. As her mom cleans up the mess, Aiyana runs upstairs before her mom can see her Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels. Before she goes time-traveling again, she’ll ask her aunt for advice. It has to go better next time; she thinks to herself.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

Friday, February 16, 2018

Chubby Cheeks: The Story of the Skunk Who Wanted To Be a Squirrel

“I wish I had chubby cheeks instead of such a stinky scent, but then I’d have to be a squirrel, and I’m only a skunk,” said Patches the Skunk, whisking his black and white tail behind him. 

“If I had chubby cheeks like a squirrel boy, then I could find my own squirrel girl, and I wouldn’t have to be made fun of for smelling and making everyone hold their noses,” he said, hanging his head. 

There was a certain squirrel girl named Nibbles that Patches the Skunk had admired for quite some time. He adored her blue eyes and brown coat, but he was too embarrassed to tell her how he felt because of his overwhelming odor. The smell was so bad that animals could smell him coming for yards.

Every time Nibbles smelled Patches, she usually hurried the other way before he could speak to her. Though he was sure he loved her more than any other animal, Patches had never spoken to her. 

“I have to find a way to speak to Nibbles,” he said, hiding behind a large green bush with twigs. “Maybe she could just pretend that I’m a squirrel instead of a skunk and everyone would like me.”

Gathering sweet-smelling flowers from the forest, Patches tied them to his tail to cover up his scent. 

“I suppose it’s now or never,” Patches said to himself, jumping from behind the bush to greet Nibbles on her daily hunt for nuts. “I’ll just pretend like I don’t smell anything other than the flowers.”

As Nibbles gathered nuts, her adorable cheeks got bigger and bigger, almost like they would soon burst. 

“Darling, these flowers are for you,” Patches said. “You have the cutest chubby cheeks I’ve ever seen.”

“Chubby cheeks! I look fat and ugly,” she said, talking with her mouth full of nuts. “Umm, but those are the most beautiful smelling flowers I’ve ever received. All the squirrel boys think I’m overweight.”

“What nonsense! You’re beautiful just the way you are,” Patches said. “I love your chubby cheeks!”

Although it seemed like the oddest story of true love, Patches the Skunk and Nibbles the Squirrel lived happily ever after for the rest of their lives in the forest, and as long as he gave her flowers, she pretended that she didn’t smell is odor, and he loved her for her chubby cheeks. 

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Synchronicity: The Story of Wishes on a Clock

Let me tell you a secret,
In case you didn’t know:
Every time the clock
Has numbers that show
All the same at once,
Like three thirty-three,
You get to make a wish,
And your wish is free.
The same is true with
Two twenty-two,
And four forty-four.
So, wish out of the blue.
By five fifty-five
Or ten minutes past ten
You have more chances
To make a wish again.
By eleven-eleven or
Twelve minutes past twelve,
You can pull out the wishes
That you put on the shelve.
Keep your eye on the clock
And wish throughout the day!
By the time you go to sleep,
You wished the bad away,
And all things are good,
As good as can be.
Wishes are child’s play,
And wishes are key.

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters