Alex carefully squeezed the last glob of frosting onto the roof.
There! Her gingerbread house was finished. The pretty cookie cottage featured a pretzel stick fence, red brick licorice chimney, and ribbon candy shingles.
Alex imagined her photo on the front page of the Tiptown News, holding her prize-winning masterpiece.
Daisy sniffed, and wagged her tail.
“Uh-uh! No licks or nibbles, Daisy!” warned Alex. “I’m bringing this to school tomorrow.” She climbed on a stool and carefully slid her project on top of the fridge.
Early the next morning, Alex’s dad shuffled into the kitchen for coffee.
“Woof!” barked Daisy, waiting for her walk. She whined and stared above the fridge.
“Want a biscuit?” Dad reached for the treat jar. “Oh – a new bird feeder. Let’s put this up!”
As Daisy played outside, Dad wedged the gingerbread house between two branches.
“Mmm… I must be hungry. That bird house smells pretty good!” he said.
Soon Alex came down for breakfast. Chirp! Chirp! Tweet-tweet! Chunk! Chunk! What was going on?
Alex looked out the window. Birds, squirrels and chipmunks swarmed around her gingerbread house, picking and pecking.
“NOOOO!” she shouted, dashing outside.
The birds flew away. The squirrels scooted off. One tiny chipmunk sat frozen with fear, a licorice rope dangling from his mouth.
“Put that back!” said Alex, stomping the snow.
The chipmunk flinched. He stuffed the licorice in his cheek and turned to run.
Then his eyes bulged.
His shoulders bunched.
His tail went straight and stiff.
He fell – WHUMP! – onto the ground.
Alex stared in disbelief, then she knew just what to do. She ran inside, grabbed the phone and dialed 9-1-1.
“He’s choking…on candy…he’s so little…Help!” she sputtered.
The operator spoke calmly. Alex followed her instructions step by step.
“The ambulance is coming. Is your baby brother OK now?” asked the operator.
“Uh, well. He’s actually… ummm… a chipmunk?” Alex replied sheepishly as the EMT’s rushed in with a giant stretcher.
And that’s how Alex’s photo, with her gingerbread house and a chipmunk, made the Tiptown News front page after all!
Suggested Additional Activities:
- Try baking a gingerbread house with tips from Simply Recipes
- Make birdseed ornaments with ideas from Eclectically Vintage
- Read wonderful winter backyard wildlife books chosen by Amy at Delightful Children’s Books
For more sweet, silly or serious stories for children about holiday mishaps and mistakes, rush right over to Susanna Hill’s website where wonderful writers are posting 350 word (or less!) stories for the 3rd annual Holiday Contest! Come celebrate the season!
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