Short Stories for Children


When I Was a Kid

When I Was a Kid They grow up so fast, sadly (2/18)   When Peter was just a kid, he never noticed how dark it got at night. Now, he was aware of the seemingly infinite blackness that enveloped him and his little sister, Sally, every night now that they slept in the park. His night vision had improved dramatically. Now, he could see through the gauze of dusk until about 9:00PM. After that, he sensed rather than saw, but he’d quickly acquired the ability to know when someone was coming with enough advance warning to wake Sally and hide. […]


New Leadership

New Leadership Two men attempt to replace their village’s Chief (2/2018)   As the sun disappeared over the distant mountains, Togé sat on the rocky canyon ridge and pondered his fate. Would the Gods smile on him? He’d led a pious life, lived kindly, sacrificed to the Gods as required. Would it be enough? In an hour’s time, he would compete for the title of clan leader. His rival was formidable: a huge bear of a man named Thèr. Thèr was strong and powerful. The villagers all knew the stories: Thèr killing a bear with his bare hands. Thèr wrestling […]


Spring Dance

Spring Dance Oh, Meagan and that lavender dress (2/2018)   The gymnasium had been transformed into a wonderland. The rickety wooden stands were pushed into the wall, and tables with white tablecloths and tall vases of daisies surrounded a dance area in the center of the gym. Black and silver balloons and streamers were everywhere. Everything seemed covered in silver glitter. It was the Spring Dance at my school. Our teachers made us come. All of us. You could only get out of it if you had a doctor’s note. And they told us that the boys couldn’t invite the […]


Why Did the Eagle Cross the Road?

Why Did the Eagle Cross the Road? Even yet another wacky story similar in style to “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly” (11/2006)   Why did the eagle cross the road? To get to the other side. Why did the hawk cross the road? Because he was epoxied to the eagle that crossed the road to get to the other side. Why did the parrot cross the road? Because she was hitched to the hawk that was epoxied to the eagle that crossed the road to get to the other side. Why did the vulture cross the […]


Why Did the Fish Cross the Road?

Why Did the Fish Cross the Road? Yet another wacky story similar in style to “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly” (11/2006)   Why did the fish cross the road? To get to the other side. Why did the turtle cross the road? Because he was fastened to the fish that crossed the road to get to the other side. Why did the pufferfish cross the road? Because she was taped to the turtle that was fastened to the fish that crossed the road to get to the other side. Why did the frog cross the road? […]


Why Did the Penguin Cross the Road?

Why Did the Penguin Cross the Road? Another wacky story similar in style to “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly” (11/2006)   Why did the penguin cross the road? To get to the other side. Why did the tiger cross the road? Because he was pinned to the penguin that crossed the road to get to the other side. Why did the llama cross the road? Because she was tied to the tiger that was pinned to the penguin that crossed the road to get to the other side. Why did the walrus cross the road? Because […]


Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? A wacky story similar in style to “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly” (11/2006)   Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side. Why did the pig cross the road? Because he was chained to the chicken that crossed the road to get to the other side. Why did the rooster cross the road? Because she was paper clipped to the pig that was chained to the chicken that crossed the road to get to the other side. Why did the sheep cross the road? […]


Marty the Magnet Plays Baseball

Marty the Magnet Plays Baseball Oh, my head hurts! (11/2006)   This is a Microsoft PowerPoint document that you can view or print.  


Marty the Magnet Goes to School

Marty the Magnet Goes to School Oh, my head hurts! (11/2006)   This is a Microsoft PowerPoint document that you can view or print.  


The Not-So-Ordinary Adventures of Zachary Zilla

The Not-So-Ordinary Adventures of Zachary Zilla A boy and his friends start middle school (4/2006) Chapter book; Target ages: 9-13   This is a Microsoft Word document that you can read online or print  


Goldilocks and the Nine Planets

Goldilocks and the Nine Planets Before she met the three bears, Goldilocks was a space explorer… (9/2006) (Written before Pluto was declassified as a planet)   Once upon a time, there was an astronaut named Goldilocks. She went for a ride through space in her rocket ship. Pretty soon, she came to a solar system with nine planets. It looked interesting, so she flew right in. Goldilocks wanted to get out of her rocket and sunbathe. She landed on Venus. “This planet is too hot!” she said. “It’s the hottest planet even though there is one closer to the sun. […]


Sarah Has a Blanket Lamb

Sarah Has a Blanket Lamb A poem for my daughter, who really does have a blanket lamb… (11/2006) (To the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)   Sarah has a little lamb, Little lamb, blanket lamb Sarah has a blanket lamb, A present on her birthday   Sarah has a blanket lamb, Brown eyed lamb, pink nosed lamb Sarah has a blanket lamb, With trimming pink and satin   Sarah has a blanket lamb, Sleep pal lamb, best pal lamb Sarah has a blanket lamb, Who’s with her all the time   Sarah has a blanket lamb, Cotton lamb, […]


What a View!

What a View! A hawk, a worm, and a rock… (11/2006)     This is a PowerPoint document that you can view/print.  


Three Powers

Three Powers The village chief gives his son a jewel, a sword, and a mirror upon his death (1/2009)   Ito’s father lay dying of fever. No one in the village knew how to help, not even the village shaman. Through four sunrises and four sunsets, Ito, just 17, sat by his father’s side while the women of the village cared for their chief. On the evening of the fifth sunset, Ito’s father whispered hoarsely to one of the women who quickly left the room and soon returned with a crimson velvet pouch. “Ito, my son, come closer.” Ito’s father […]


Ben, Bob, and Benny Cross the Lake

Ben, Bob, and Benny Cross the Lake Another Ben, Bob, and Benny adventure. Will Benny outsmart his brothers again? (10/2009)   This is the story of a family with four brothers, Ben, Bob, Benny, and baby Bobby. Ben, the oldest, was very competitive. One day, while his family was on vacation at the lake, he said to Bob and Benny, “I bet I can beat you to the other side of the lake.” Bob said, “I’ll take that bet.” Benny said, “All right, I’m in.” Baby Bobby said, “I know how to swim,” and scampered away. Ben, Bob, and Benny […]


Ben, Bob, and Benny Make Pancakes

Ben, Bob, and Benny Make Pancakes Another delicious Ben, Bob, and Benny story. Will Benny outsmart his brothers again? (10/2009)   This is the story of a family with four brothers, Ben, Bob, Benny, and baby Bobby. Ben, the oldest, was very competitive. One day, he said to Bob and Benny, “I bet I can make more pancakes than either of you.” Bob said, “I’ll take that bet.” Benny said, “All right, I’m in.” Baby Bobby said, “Ooh! Pancakes! I love pancakes!” They agreed the competition would take place Sunday morning. Each would have ten minutes to make as many […]


The Kind Frog

The Kind Frog Will Franklin the frog be kind to mean ol’ Jake the snake? (10/2009)   Franklin the frog was a kind frog, always proper and polite. Instead of saying “ribbit,” he said “good day.” After croaking, he apologized. After eating flies, he always wiped his mouth—and not with his sleeve, either. Like I said, he was very polite. One day, Franklin was waiting in line to get tickets to the opera. Jake the snake squirmed in line in front of Franklin. “Excuse me,” Franklin croaked. ”You cut in front of me. That’s not fair.” “Hisssssss,” Jake the snake […]


Rainbow Cat

Rainbow Cat A boy and his parents are pleasantly surprised. (1/2006; children’s story)   At dinner one night, Peter and Katherine asked their parents if they could get a pet. Mom looked at Dad. Dad looked at Mom. They said yes! “We could get a horse,” Peter exclaimed. “Horses are too big and they eat too much,” Dad explained. “We could get a dinosaur,” Katherine suggested. “Dinosaurs are even bigger than horses,” Mom said. “And they eat more, too,” said Dad. “We could get an alligator or a lion or a tiger,” Peter tried. “Alligators and lions and tigers have […]


Building a Bridge

Building a Bridge A king gets help with an important project from a young boy. (10/2001)   There once was a King who ruled in a far away land. His name was King Two Sides. King Two Sides ruled a land called Yarzach. This land encompassed many hundreds of acres of land, with two large lakes and a river that snaked its way between the lakes, dividing the land into two regions. Both regions of the land were beautiful in their own way. The regions were also very different from one another. The King wanted to commission a bridge so […]


The Bubble Catcher

The Bubble Catcher A tale of the rarest of gifts (6/2003)   Through the years, the legend grew. Through the years, the children of the town listened with eyes gazing upwards and ears alert as their parents and grandparents spread the legend, amazed them with the tale of the Bubble Catcher. Through the years, most kids didn’t think it was possible. No way, they’d say. But for every child that doubted, there were two who believed. The legend of the Bubble Catcher stretched back almost a hundred years. The legend spoke of a boy so free of pain, fear and […]


The Monopoly Gang

The Monopoly Gang What if? Inspired by a question asked by Zachary Fine, age 5 (7/2003)   Smitty’s father had been a cop. Smitty’s grandfather and great grandfather had been cops. So Smitty was a cop. Being a police officer was as hereditary in Brian “Smitty” Smith’s family as, say, cancer was in others. Not quite the same thing, but just as potentially deadly. Brian Smith had been on the Boston police force for over twenty years, and he’d been a part of busting most of the city’s notorious thieves in that time. He collared the McDougal Brothers in just […]


Food Fight

Food Fight The things we’ll do for love… (1/2004)   Entered in the Writers’ Journal Write to Win contest (Story beginning with “The spitball whizzed…”)   The spitball whizzed past my ear, but the pie hit me smack in the face. Lemon meringue. Yuck! Now I was really mad, so I retaliated by squirting ketchup at Ronnie and heaving a tray full of Jell-O at Katherine. I managed to bloody Ronnie’s t-shirt, but missed Katherine altogether. Man she’s sneaky. I hadn’t even finished chastising myself for missing Katherine when Becky came at me with a tray of mashed potatoes. Luckily, […]


Like Father Like Son

Like Father Like Son Inspired by a recent trip to India. May I never have to say these words… (6/2004)   Amit’s family lived in a town five kilometers from Udaipur, India between a cement wall and a brick wall, under a large Gulmohar tree. At four, Amit’s mother and father sent him out onto the streets to beg. Each day, he would walk with them into the city. Each day, he would do as his father had taught him and look for the tell-tale signs of affluence: light skin, strange canvas “tennis” shoes, short pants or short sleeves in […]


The Coin

The Coin A boy suddenly finds himself in a strange land of curves. (1/2006)   I began feeling disoriented and nauseas immediately. It took me a while to realize what was different: nothing as far as the eye could see was straight. Everything was curved or round or spherical. The walkway was a series of slate circles laid along a gentle arc. The roadway, like a snake, undulated its way ahead of me. At least the cars looked familiar: they all resembled VW Bugs, but somehow even rounder. How did I get here? And where was “here” anyway? I wracked […]


The Painter

The Painter Determination pays off for this polite young girl. (1/2006)   A chill ran down Jane’s spine when the shopkeeper handed her the paintbrush. She had saved up for almost six months, stashing pennies and nickels and dimes under her mattress. When she first saw the paintbrush in the window of the store, she gasped and slowed to see it. Her mother, who was holding her hand as they walked, practically yanked her arm out of its socket. Hundreds of times since, Jane had snuck visits to the store and stared longingly through the window. The shopkeeper noticed her […]


Shave

Shave What an amazing sensation! (3/2006)   Our swim team finished the season 9-1 overall, and 6-0 and in first place in our league. In the fourth meet of the season, we managed to beat our cross-town rival, Lathrup, by just two points by going 1-2 in the final relay. But in our seventh meet, we lost badly to Kimball. It seems like we always lose to Kimball. It’s like those guys are all 6’5”, have webbed fingers and toes, and are able to breathe underwater. Even more exciting than our record that year was the fact that five of […]


The Money Tree

The Money Tree What if money really did grow on trees? (7/2006)   At first I just thought someone kept dropping quarters. I kept finding them at the base of a funny-looking tree in our backyard. When I say it was funny-looking, I mean it was funny-looking, like no other tree I’d ever seen. And I know trees, let me tell you. It was in the center of our backyard, between the two lemon trees and in front of the cluster of liquid ambers along our back fence. It wasn’t until the fifth or sixth quarter that I started seriously […]


Lippy’s Gone

Lippy’s Gone A daughter with lip, and a great imagination (9/2006) Inspired by my daughter, and her great imagination   Elizabeth’s mother tried to pull the covers over her daughter, but Elizabeth kicked them off. “I don’t want to go to bed. I’m not tired,” Elizabeth said. Elizabeth’s mom put on her serious voice and said, “It’s bed time. Tomorrow’s a school day. You know that.” “I don’t care,” Elizabeth said. Then she pouted, hoping it would work, like it usually did. Elizabeth’s mom looked at the clock then back at her daughter. “I’m sorry, honey,” she said, “It’s bed […]