Since it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, it must be time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Annual Holiday Contest. This year’s challenge is to write a story for children about a holiday helper with no more than 250 words. One of the most celebrated holiday helpers I know is Rudolph. But what if that story took place in a different setting, like the ocean? Instead of Rudolph, you might meet Ozzy.
Ozzy, the Extra-Armed Octopus (248 words)
by Rose Cappelli
Ozzy Octopus wriggled into the hustle and bustle of Christmas Eve under the sea.He was happy to lend an arm, especially since he had a few extra – sixteen to be exact. Given the chance, Ozzy could reach deep into a cave for a special gift, hang a string of lights faster than a bottlenose dolphin, or lickity-split bake a batch of cookies. But no one wanted Ozzy’s help. The other sea creatures just chuckled at his array of appendages. So Ozzy nestled near his favorite rock in the tide pool, gazed at the starfish in the sky, and dreamed of escape.
Santa’s sleigh zipped across the sky and landed like a beached whale. Ozzy watched in wonder as Santa donned scuba gear and got to work. He unlatched and unlocked, pressed and pulled.
Something was wrong. Santa jimmied and pried, but that sleigh would not transform to the submarine he needed.
Santa peered into the tide pool. He scratched his beard.
“Ozzy, is that you? I sure could use your help tonight,” said Santa. “Can you lend me an arm, or better yet, all sixteen?”
Ozzy and Santa dove down, down, down. With Ozzy’s extra arms they delivered all the gifts long before the light from the starfish faded into dawn.
So, next Christmas Eve, if you see a sleigh zipping through the sky, look a little closer. You might get a glimpse of Santa’s new helper – Ozzy, the Extra-Armed Octopus.
Be sure to head over to Susanna’s blog for more stories about holiday helpers, and thanks for reading.