Vivian Kirkfield is hosting another fun-filled 50-word writing contest! If you’re new to the game, here are the rules:

Write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, with a beginning, middle, and an end, using only 50 words. The title is not included in the word count.

Easy, right? Ha. WRONG. But with constraints comes creativity! And the 49 words below have become precious to me, since they took me hours and hours to assemble just-so. The more I chipped and chiseled away, the more an underlying meaning revealed itself. Of course, this is just a children’s story about a frustrated zebra. (But pssst! There may be a layer of social commentary in there for tweens/teens/adults, too, if you care to “read between the stripes” ;-)!)

Izzy (or A Zebra & Her Hitchhikers)

Two birds perch

on Izzy’s back.

Two o’ pinions

white and black.

Feathered ‘friends’

who kindly

TWEET!

-where she should go!

-whom she should meet!

-what she should eat

for her ice cream:

“Choc’late!” “Vanilla!”

‘Til Izzy screams,

“RAINBOW SHERBET!

…Let ME be ME!

The birds depart.

Izzy is free.

zebra-1169262_1920

43 Comments

  1. Rajani LaRocca 2 March 2017 at 12 h 27 min

    LOVE this little story! Beautiful, poignant, and in rhyme, no less! Great job, Katelyn!

    Reply
  2. katelyn888 - Site Author 2 March 2017 at 13 h 05 min

    Rajani, thank you SO much. I wasn’t sure how it would be received! I’m so touched that you like it! I hope you’re entering Vivian’s contest, too! Would love to read your entry <3.

    Reply
  3. Traci Bold 2 March 2017 at 14 h 46 min

    Katelyn, I love this story. Most pictures I see of zebras in the savanna have little birds hitchin’ a ride and you captured the perfect story for such pictures. This is really cute.

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 2 March 2017 at 15 h 01 min

      Ahaha! Thank you so much, Traci! I’ll be sure to visit your entry as well. Best of luck in the contest! 😉

      Reply
  4. Patricia Nozell 2 March 2017 at 15 h 25 min

    Lovely entry – I especially like the poignant reminder to ignore the “tweets” of others & be yourself.

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 2 March 2017 at 15 h 29 min

      Thank you for reading, Patricia! Maybe we’ve each been in Izzy’s place at some point in life… All the black & white thinking…when we must find our own nuance ;-). Looking forward to reading your entry, too!

      Reply
  5. Pam Miller 2 March 2017 at 16 h 13 min

    Great story and the rhythm, outstanding.

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 2 March 2017 at 16 h 27 min

      Thank you, Pam!

      Reply
  6. Vivian Kirkfield 2 March 2017 at 17 h 34 min

    Beautifully done, Katelyn! I love the message…all wrapped up in a wonderfully crafted story! Perfect!

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 2 March 2017 at 18 h 04 min

      Thank you, Vivian! 🙂 Love your contest. Such great “condensed” picture book practice!

      Reply
  7. Jean James 2 March 2017 at 17 h 42 min

    Glad Izzy is free! Love your story.

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 2 March 2017 at 18 h 06 min

      Thank you, Jean! I’m glad she is, too! 😉 I hope to find your story among the entries.

      Reply
  8. Maria Marshall 3 March 2017 at 0 h 38 min

    Wonderfully done snippet with a great rainbow message between the stripes. Even got a bit of commentary on tweets! Love the picture, too.

    Reply
    1. Maria Marshall 3 March 2017 at 0 h 51 min

      Wonderfully done snippet with a great rainbow message between the stripes. Even got a bit of commentary on tweets! Love the picture, too. I think Izzy should hang out with my giraffe. 🙂

      Reply
      1. katelyn888 - Site Author 3 March 2017 at 7 h 53 min

        Thank you for stopping by, Maria! I’m high-tailing it over to read about your giraffe!

        Reply
  9. Joanne Roberts 3 March 2017 at 14 h 23 min

    “Read between the Stripes” makes a great subtitle! Thanks for your fun story.

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 3 March 2017 at 16 h 10 min

      Thank you for reading, Joanne :).

      Reply
  10. Christyne 3 March 2017 at 16 h 30 min

    So well done… well-crafted, sentimental and a bit of humor (TWEET!). Great entry!

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 3 March 2017 at 16 h 32 min

      So kind of you, Christyne! Thanks very much. Excited to go read your entry…

      Reply
  11. JEN Garrett 3 March 2017 at 16 h 32 min

    Wow, how profound 50 little words can be! Loved your story Katelyn!

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 3 March 2017 at 16 h 36 min

      HA! Thank you, Jen! That means a lot that you liked it :).

      Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 3 March 2017 at 23 h 03 min

      Thanks, Gregory! Good luck to you, too!

      Reply
  12. Linda Schueler 4 March 2017 at 12 h 30 min

    This is an awesome story! I love the message!

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 4 March 2017 at 13 h 44 min

      Thank you, Linda! I’ll be sure to check out your entry, too!

      Reply
  13. Lynn Davidson 4 March 2017 at 17 h 33 min

    Very nicely done, and with humour. 🙂

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 4 March 2017 at 17 h 34 min

      Aw, thanks very much, Lynn! I’m not sure I’ve seen your entry yet? Off to check!

      Reply
  14. Janie Reinart 4 March 2017 at 21 h 28 min

    What fun. Well done!

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 4 March 2017 at 22 h 33 min

      Thanks, Janie!

      Reply
  15. Norah Colvin 5 March 2017 at 5 h 28 min

    Love it, Katelyn. Well done! It’s great to see the contrast in black and white ideas. Zebra doesn’t want any of that – wants to make her own choices where every colour is welcome and appreciated. A very cute story of not being defined by limitations.

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 5 March 2017 at 8 h 45 min

      You got it, Norah! Thanks so much for reading :). I’ll go try to find your entry, now!

      Reply
  16. Elaine Asaidali 5 March 2017 at 7 h 54 min

    Nice work, Katelyn! Love the social commentary, too!

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 5 March 2017 at 8 h 46 min

      Aw, thank you for stopping by, dear Elaine! That means a lot to me :).

      Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 6 March 2017 at 11 h 16 min

      Thanks, Theresa! 🙂

      Reply
  17. Pamela Courtney 6 March 2017 at 3 h 09 min

    Hahaaa, no one’s gonna dictate to Izzy. Love it. Go’n girl, Izzy. Love this.

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 6 March 2017 at 11 h 17 min

      Well, she’s nice for a while…Then she let’s ’em have it. Haha! Thanks for reading, Pamela! 😉

      Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 7 March 2017 at 8 h 09 min

      Thanks, Virginia!

      Reply
  18. Claire Noland 7 March 2017 at 5 h 41 min

    This is a lovely story. You packed a lot into a few words.

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 7 March 2017 at 8 h 09 min

      Thank you, Claire! Looking forward to reading your entry, too.

      Reply
  19. Gabi Snyder 7 March 2017 at 6 h 15 min

    Clever and original entry, Katelyn. Well done!

    Reply
    1. katelyn888 - Site Author 7 March 2017 at 8 h 08 min

      Thank you so much for dropping by, Gabi!

      Reply

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