Sunday, July 7, 2019

It's Raining Cats and Dogs: The Story of Felines and Canines Falling from the Sky

It’s raining; it’s roaring.
The old sky is pouring
Cats and dogs at such a rate
That I have to set the record straight.
The sky has opened with its pets.
Everyone open up your nets!
Catch a feline if you can;
Catch a canine with a plan: 
Cocker spaniels with their curls,
Collies loved by boys and girls,
Basset hounds with dangly ears,
Beagles who raise their tails for cheers.
A Shetland Sheepdog and a Pomeranian
Are not at all subterranean.
A Golden Retriever is man’s best friend,
A Labrador Retriever is a different blend.
Poodles melt your heart to pieces.
German Shepherds know what peace is.
Dachshunds are a short-statured pup.
Boxers are always looking up!
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Is the kind of dog that avoids a scandal.
The Bichon Frise is small but vocal
And friendly to everyone who’s local.
The Maltese is almost like a cat, 
And cats aren’t dogs and that is that.
Maine Coon cats are a friendly fluff.
British Shortshair are adorable enough. 
Persians have the sweetest beard.
Ragdolls are sometimes sheared. 
Bengals have stripes and rosettes.
Munchkins are the happiest of pets.
Siamese are black and white.
Abyssinian would never ever bite.
Scottish Fold are cute as pie. 
Birman have a striking blue eye.
Russian Blue have silver coats. 
These cats are cuddly anecdotes. 
The sky has opened up to spit.  
Every cat has a dog for it!
Dogs and cats like wind and rain
Tend to line your windowpane. 
Full of fur and friends galore!
Open up the sky and pour!

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters


An angel troubles the waters for a brother and sister on Christmas Eve. 

When a magical old bridge breaks on Christmas Eve during a lantern festival on the Rhine River, 10-year-old Jule Schmidt, and her 7-year-old blind brother Killian, descend into freezing water. Since Killian cannot swim, he almost dies except for the divine intervention of the Angel that Troubled the Waters. As the children arrive on the bank of the river with the help of their father, Killian reveals a Christmas miracle took place—he can see for the first time.

Holding hands, 10-year-old Jule Schmidt and her 7-year-old brother named Killian admire glowing Christmas lanterns on the Rhine River. Since birth, he has been blind, and she always tries to see for him, pointing out all the wonderful sights in the world. On this special night, Jule and Killian decide to sit by the bridge, wandering from their parents to a rickety old bridge at a narrow part of the river. Jule likes to make prayers to the angels and has insisted that she has met a large angel by the bridge on the river. She tells Killian that she once met an angel who told her that he would be healed of blindness. She wants to know if Killian has ever seen her—an angel with wings, long golden hair, and a pink dress with a blue flowing jacket.

As Killian sits down on the corner of the bridge, Jule sits beside him, hoping that the angel would appear for Christmas. The brother and sister are so caught up in the excitement that they don’t notice the loose boards on the bridge. When Jule spoke to the angel, she said the angel told her that at certain seasons she descends into the river and stirs up the water, whoever then first, after she stirs up the water, steps into the river is made well from whatever disease is in their body. Killian says he thinks that he shouldn’t get into the river because he cannot swim, and he might drown. With that, a mighty wind blows the lanterns across the river in a squall, and the side of the bridge where Killian and Jule are sitting breaks, and the brother and sister fall into the river. Although Jule kicks as hard as she can, it’s not enough to keep her and her brother afloat in the river. 

While the air begins to run out in each of the children’s lungs, weeping is not an option, and fear fills their bodies. As Jule looks at her brother with remorse, knowing he can’t see her, a bright light shines on them from above the river. Then a loud voice booms throughout the rippling water: “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened.” Suddenly, scales fall from Killian’s eyes into the bottom of the sea, and the angel with long golden hair, and a pink dress with a blue flowing jacket stands before them with their father at her side. She is twice as big as their father. Mr. Schmidt, whose first name is Christoph, grabs both children by the arms, and swims to the surface. Oddly enough, both children feel a second pair of large hands on their forearms from the angel in the pink dress. The crowd of people on the riverbank throw a scarf into the river, which Christoph grabs. The father and his two children are pulled to shore as the angel did more than her share of towing the family to the bank. Killian covers his eyes from the shining lights from the Christmas lanterns, burying his head in his father’s shoulder. Killian reveals that he can see because of the Angel that Troubled the Waters on Christmas Eve.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

TOY TRAINS synopsis

All aboard the Christmas Railroad!

When 11-year-old Joyce accidentally runs the locomotive from her father’s toy train off the tracks, she tearfully asks for an angel to help her rebuild the family’s prize possession. Then the angel Gabriel and Joyce spend Christmas Eve secretly renovating the Christmas Railroad. On Christmas morning, Joyce rejoices that her parents love the gift of the newly decorated railroad where everyone is welcome. 

Even at age eleven, Joyce Trewyn hasn’t grown tired of watching her father set up the toy train for Christmas. Not only has he handpicked the locomotives, coal cars, train cars, boxcars, caboose, and trolleys, but he also set up the track on the railroad and hand-painted every snowy building and mountain. Joyce runs down the stairs in her red and green striped Christmas train pajamas. She wears her own conductor’s hat and hands her father a plastic bag of people who would soon get the ride of their lives. Mrs. Trewyn serves up hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream. As Joyce helps her father set up the train set, piecing together the curving train track, her mother watches It’s A Wonderful Life on television in black and white. 

After Clarence the angel has finished saving George Bailey in the film It’s A Wonderful Life, Mrs. Trewyn turns off the television and heads to bed with her husband. Joyce decides to stay up a little longer and play with the train. Only minutes after both her parents are asleep, Joyce runs the locomotive off the train tracks, hitting the covered bridge, which topples the water tower and collapses the entire train set, closing Grand Central Terminal. The locomotive smokes, blinking its headlight, and the caboose loses a wheel. She runs into the storage closet, crying. Looking at the supplies, Joyce decides she needs an angel, like in the TV movie. Joyce prays for angels to hear her and come help her fix the Christmas Railroad. All of a sudden, a cold breeze blows the family room window open, blowing the curtains to the ceiling. Joyce runs to shut the window, only to be greeted by Gabriel, an elderly-looking man, trying to climb through the window. He explains he is a Christmas angel that works extra hours on Christmas Eve. For the next five hours, despite a few setbacks, Joyce and Gabriel paint, glue, and hammer, emptying every toy train box from Gabe’s bag. Then Gabriel crawls back through the window, telling Joyce that God’s angels are always nearby, even if you can’t see them. A flash of light blinds Joyce for a moment, and she can no longer see Gabriel. 

When Mr. Trewyn wakes up, he catches Joyce with her head sticking out the window. Joyce closes the window and nervously turns around to find her mother and father in their Christmas pajamas and robes. Her father is thrilled that she spent all night renovating the Christmas Railroad as a gift. Joyce says the angel Gabriel helped her. Both Joyce’s parents give her a funny look, thinking she must have had an extra-large imagination on Christmas morning. Joyce and her father rejoice all Christmas day that the Christmas Railroad is open for business, working better than ever. Everyone on the train arrives to his or her destination right on time.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters


When true love fails, try holiday shopping with a pair of boxing gloves.

Because Frances Mountbatten’s boyfriend Spencer doesn’t propose on Christmas day, she slugs him for it with his Christmas gift, a new pair of boxing gloves straight out of the box. When Spencer doesn’t show up at Christmas World at Harrod’s the next morning to buy her an engagement ring on the British holiday of Boxing Day, Frances is wearing the gloves, ready to slug Spencer for the second time. Instead, she finds a gentleman who is willing to fight for her, and she never has to fight Spencer again. 

On Christmas morning, Frances Mountbatten wakes up to a glowing Christmas tree and waits for a knock on her door. Spencer Arthur, her longtime love, finally stands at the door with a pile of packages. She hopes that he finally asks her to marry him. On the side table sits a stack of Frances’ romance novels. Of course, she is one of Britain’s most famous authors. When he doesn’t propose, she stiffly hands Spencer a large, heavy box. He rips open the gold wrapping paper, pulls off the lid, only to find a pair of red boxing gloves. Frances grabs the gloves and shoves them on her tiny hands. Then, she punches Spencer on the cheek, knocking him over in one full swing—he topples onto the wooden floor. 

Moments later, when Spencer regains consciousness, he holds his head, sporting a right black eye. Frances tells him that tomorrow, on Boxing Day, Harrods is having a sale. It starts at 10 o’clock sharp. He is buying her an engagement ring by noon, or she’s knocking him out for good. He says he was planning on doing just that. She will not take off the boxing gloves until he puts a ring on her left hand and tells him to serve himself breakfast. When she arrives in Christmas World the next morning, she takes a seat next to Santa Claus’ house, waiting for Spencer. As noon arrives, Spencer has still not arrived, and she starts to cry, causing the Harrods shoppers to stop with tissues. 

Then, a handsome gentleman with a handkerchief tells her not to cry because it’s Boxing Day, and everything is on sale. Aware of the holiday, she shows the man her gloves. The man, who introduces himself as Harry Williams, asks if he can take her to lunch up on the second floor at The Tea Room. In fact, the gentleman, who works in publishing, has read her novels. Harry helps Frances take off the boxing gloves and leaves them in Christmas World for Santa. Months later, when Spencer appears in shame at Frances’ flat to propose, Harry quickly gets his own pair of boxing gloves and sends him away once and for all. By summertime, Harry proposes on one knee, and Frances marries Harry on Christmas Eve in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Spencer only hears about the wedding, and by this point has several black eyes from other women that he never married. Happier than ever, Frances never puts on boxing gloves again, she only makes sure to catch the good sales with Harry on Boxing Day—the most brilliant shopping holiday.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters


A little Dutch girl from Holland and seven musical elves from the North Pole defeat a wicked witch with the help of Sinterklaas at Christmas. 

Reminiscent of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Mistletoes are Joyful, Cheerful, Merry, Peaceful, Carol, Nightfall, and Claus, who come bearing gifts for Sinterklaas in Holland. The magical Mistletoes live with the aunt of a twelve-year-old Dutch girl named Daniëlle Kappel, whose witch of a stepmother tries to kill her and her father until Sinterklaas and his elves help the heroine save herself and find true love. 

A twelve-year-old Dutch girl named Daniëlle Kappel lives in a castle on the Holland coast with the windmills. She places her wooden shoes next to the fireplace for Sinterklaas, kissing her father on the cheek. She also sits her large Christmas bouquet of mistletoe from her friend Niels on the fireplace mantle. Flipping open her father’s pocket watch and looking at the late hour, she hopes to receive many gifts for Christmas. After all, her father is a very rich merchant who sends ships all over the world and trades rare goods in foreign lands. When she was young, she and her mother would spend hours in the fields by the ocean, frolicking by the windmills. Her mother’s sister lives in a cottage on the coast with seven musical elves from the blistering cold North Pole. Very few people know that the elves, also called the Mistletoes, live with her aunt, who hides them in her attic. Sinterklaas asks them to live in Holland instead of the North Pole, so they can deliver gifts for him at Christmas. Of course, the Mistletoes pretend to be humans, but they have magical powers in song that they use for good deeds. Their names are Joyful, Cheerful, Merry, Peaceful, Carol, Nightfall, and Claus. 

This Christmas, the Mistletoes explain to Daniëlle that they found her aunt dead. Apparently, her aunt could never find the words to tell Daniëlle, but her stepmother is a witch and killed not only her mother, but now her aunt. At once, the Christmas Dutch Girl and the seven musical elves set out to save Daniëlle’s father from the witchy stepmother. Daniëlle must get to her father before the hands on his pocket watch stop, or the witch will have killed him. 

When Daniëlle and the elves reach her father’s home, Daniëlle bursts through the castle with the Mistletoes who sing in full voice. The witch—who grew as big as the ceiling—holds a large knife at Daniëlle’s father’s throat, as the Mistletoes sing in harmony, shrinking the witch back to normal size. Before the witch can regain her large stature, Sinterklaas lands in the front yard with Rudolph and his sleigh of reindeer. Daniëlle wrestles with the witch until she drops the knife on the kitchen floor. Her father stabs the witch in the heart until she dies. As the years go by, Sinterklaas brings both Daniëlle and Meneer Kappel true love. Dead as a doornail, the wicked witch never bothers anyone in Holland again, and Christmas lives on in peace.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters