This is my entry for the 3rd Annual Valentiny Day Writing Contest. The contest asks for a childrens' Valentine's Day story of no more than 214 words. I loved doing this contest! It was so...oddly liberating...having such tight restrictions. I tried a few different directions with this story before settling on this rather silly tale. I hope you enjoy it!



Heart-Shaped Butt

“Help!” hollered Hen, “I must make a valentine for Cow, so she’ll love me and let me ride around on her magnificent horns. But look at this place! There’s not a speck of glitter or a scrap of ribbon! No red paper, no glue!”

“How about a feed sack and string?” Suggested Cat.

“UGH,” moped Hen. “Those horns deserve fabulous, not feed sack.”

“Scratch a heart in the dirt!”

“Dirt?! She’ll walk right through it and break my heart.”

“Heart-shaped haystack?”

No, no, no, Hen moaned hopelessly.

“Well,” Cat said, “even if you can’t make a valentine, you still have the biggest butt in the whole barn. It’s fantabulous! It’s glorious! It’s the fluffiest butt ever!”

Hen sighed, comforted. She did have the fluffiest butt.

A red feather fell from the rafters, one of Hen’s own.

She shoved her butt in Cat’s face. “My butt! Is it heart-shaped?”


Hen primped and preened and braided all night.

She waited on the fence for the sun to rise. As Cow came over the hill, Hen presented the prettiest, poofiest, floofiest valentine the farm had ever seen.

“Will you be my valentine?”

Cow swooned. She’d been feeling so unappreciated.

Hen perched her glorious behind on Cow's magnificent horns, and off they went, best friends forever.


This is the first story I tried for the Third Anual Valentiny Day Writing contest, sponsored by Susana Leonard Hill over at her wonderful blog. The word count had to be 214 or less, which was a challenge, but surprisingly fun and clarifying. I might use a strict word count in the future to figure out the bare bones of stories without all that extra verbiage. 

I really liked this little snip of a story, but tragically, I had only skimmed the instructions (typical) and missed the part that the story needed to be about Valentine's Day, not just a hopeful love story. 

Still, I want to share it. I'll probably develop this a bit more in the future. 



I want to fly.

They say, “no, you’re a mouse, it can’t be done.”

But it’s all I think about.

I watch the moon, weightless and huge, soaring across the night.

Then I see him: A mouse with wings! Flapping and free! My heart rushes.

I climb the tallest tree, racing away from the ground, and cling to the tip-top swaying branches.

I wave and call to the fabulous flying mouse. “I am a bat,” he says, settling beside me. “But that’s a lot like a mouse.”

We talk about life, above and below the ground, and stare at the mysterious stars. We sing with the crickets in the cool, flowery breeze. It’s wonderful to have a friend, but still, I want to fly.

“I will carry you!” he says.

It doesn’t work. His wings aren’t strong enough for us both.

I build my own wings. Stiff grass, twigs, and wide oak leaves. But my arms don’t reach, and I never leave the ground.

He finds it for me: a bright scrap, light as air, and a long, strong string. He helps me tie the right knots, tight around my body, and grabs the ends of the string with his curled toes.

“Hang on!”

And we run, and he flaps, and then…


We fly together, floating on the wild wind beneath the brilliant sky.