Pablo’s First Christmas

9 Dec

Here’s a competition I couldn’t resist. Children’s writer Susanna Leonard Hill has launched her fourth Annual Holiday Contest – a December tradition that has hitherto passed me by. The task this year: write a children’s story of 350 words or less in which wild weather impacts the holidays. Here’s my effort:


Pablo’s First Christmas by James Lloyd (349 words)

Like most parrots, Pablo had never heard of Christmas. After all, not many animals celebrate Christmas in the wild and windy jungle.

But, one December, Pablo had a rather unexpected adventure.

It all began when he was out looking for some breakfast. He’d just spotted some nice, juicy mangoes when a hurricane appeared out of the blue, ripping through the trees and sucking him into its spiralling winds.

Whooooosh! Before he knew it, Pablo had been carried high above the clouds, and when the hurricane finally died down, he found himself in a quiet, suburban street. Christmas lights shone overhead, and the ground was dusted with a layer of fine, untrodden snow.

“How pretty!” said Pablo, smoothing down his feathers. He peered through the window of the nearest house. Inside was a beautiful Christmas tree, glittering with baubles and tinsel, and around it were three children, excitedly opening their presents. Rich smells of roast turkey wafted through the letterbox as Pablo watched them play, but as much as he wanted to join in, he was already missing his home.

“Brrrr,” shivered Pablo. “It’s much too cold here for a parrot. I’m going to go home and show all the other animals how to celebrate Christmas.” So Pablo spread his wings and flew off towards the jungle.

When Pablo arrived home a few days later, the other animals hurried towards him.

“Where have you been?” they asked.

“Well, you’ll never guess,” said Pablo. “A hurricane swept me away to a cold, faraway place where they celebrate Christmas.”

“What’s Christmas?” they asked.

“Oh, it’s amazing,” said Pablo. “There’s snow and there’s lights and the humans all give each other presents.”

“And what do they eat?” asked the lion.

“Roast turkey,” said Pablo. “It smells delicious!”

“You know, there aren’t any turkeys in the jungle,” said the crocodile, a mischievous glint in his eye. “We’ll have to find another bird instead.”

Pablo noticed that all the other animals were looking in his direction, their mouths drooling.

“Oh guuuuys!” said Pablo. “Come on!”

And from that day on, he never mentioned Christmas again.


Check out all the other entries on Susanna’s blog here.


41 Responses to “Pablo’s First Christmas”

  1. Patent Attorney December 9, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    I really love that first line, I don’t know why, It just made me laugh! You’ve got a very open and accessible writing style!

  2. elainekielykearns December 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    What a cute story! I love parrots! Good luck!

  3. tinamcho December 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    Cute story! Love the setting!

  4. Ariel Bernstein December 9, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Ha! Poor Pablo! Who knew Christmas could get a parrot into trouble? Very cute story!

    • thesoftanonymous December 14, 2014 at 10:33 am #

      Thanks Ariel! Really enjoyed ‘Molly’s Christmas Gift’, especially the tension of the gathering storm – feels quite apocalyptic!

  5. teresarobeson December 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Too funny! Poor Pablo learns the hard way that sometimes it’s best not to share stuff with others. 😉

    • thesoftanonymous December 14, 2014 at 10:39 am #

      Yep, it’s not always good to share! Loved your Martian Christmas… glad to hear that Santa visits other planets too.

  6. jdewdropsofink December 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    We have wild parrots that stop by every now and again. Loved the spunky parrot and his name.

    • thesoftanonymous December 14, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      Look out for Pablo… he’ll be the one wearing a little Santa hat.

  7. lindaschueler December 9, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Glad Pablo got out of his predicament.

  8. Tracey M. Cox December 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    Poor Pablo. He’s going to have to stay on the high branches for a while. Maybe he should offer them a cracker? HA!

  9. lindaboyden December 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    So glad Pablo learned his lesson, without becoming dinner!!

  10. Patricia Tilton December 10, 2014 at 12:07 am #

    Love the twist at the end of the story. Well done!

  11. Alayne Kay Christian December 10, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    Ha, ha! Very funny ending. I enjoyed reading your story, James. Very engaging.

    • thesoftanonymous December 14, 2014 at 11:06 am #

      Thanks Alayne. Loved all the onomatopoeia in your story… great fun to read aloud.

  12. Christie Allred December 10, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Oh, poor Pablo! Very unexpected twists and turns in your story. Good luck. 🙂

    • thesoftanonymous December 14, 2014 at 11:10 am #

      Thanks Christie! I’m a big fan of the magic goldfish… “holy fish sticks” is my new favourite phrase.

  13. Sylvia Liu December 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    Heh heh. Poor Pablo.

  14. Lynn A. Davidson December 12, 2014 at 2:48 am #

    What a different approach. Very nicely told. 🙂

  15. Stacy S. Jensen December 12, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    Poor guy. That’s a funny twist and a great reason to never ever mention Christmas again. 🙂

    • thesoftanonymous December 14, 2014 at 11:26 am #

      Definitely… I like to think he secretly ventured back to that town some Christmases, though.

  16. Carrie Charley Brown December 13, 2014 at 5:03 am #

    As soon as I heard the word “turkey” I thought, “RUUUUUUN!” Poor little Pablo didn’t get to celebrate Christmas, but at least he didn’t get eaten. 🙂

  17. Margarer Greanias December 13, 2014 at 7:15 am #

    Cute story! Very glad the animals did not eat Pablo!

  18. Susanna Leonard Hill December 13, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

    Since I can see this comment and not the original one, I’m going to assume it didn’t go through and try again!

    Fabulous first line, James, and what a terrific ending! Love Pablo’s innocent enthusiasm. And your description of Christmas to a parrot who has never experienced it before is beautiful. I’m so glad you found the contest! Thanks so much for joining in the holiday fun!

    • thesoftanonymous December 14, 2014 at 11:37 am #

      Oops, sorry Susanna… my blog’s set up to require approval for comments for some reason. Thanks for the kind comments, and for organising this competition – it’s been great fun reading through the other entries.

  19. kathalsey December 14, 2014 at 3:02 am #

    Great use of setting and a very original idea. Yay for Pablo.

  20. Cecilia December 14, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    ha ha ha ha oops Pablo best stick to mangoes 🙂

  21. viviankirkfield December 15, 2014 at 1:56 am #

    Hi James…one of the best things about Susanna’s contests is that we get to meet other writers. 😉 I love your story…Parrot has a great sense of humor…he’ll be watching his back from now on, I guess. 🙂 😉

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