"Snippet" -- a small piece or brief extract
Writing contests have been a huge part of my writing journey since 2020 when I became part of the kidlit family on Twitter. They're so fabulous for so many reasons. Now that I'm (eek! :-D) an agented author with some exciting things in the works, I'm navigating which contests are applicable in this new stage. Every stage of the process is different, and I'm excited to navigate this very new and super-exciting stage!
SpringFling KidLit was the very first contest that I entered after joining the kidlit community. The contest is sponsored by Ciara O'Neal and Kaitlyn Sanchez. You can find out more about the contest here. The gist of the contest is that it must be inspired by a GIF, be written for kids, and be 150 words or less. (Mine clocks in at 147 words.)
This year, the inspiration for this year's story literally came from my own back yard. The painted bunting is like a flying rainbow -- so beautiful! Seeing one of these birds was on my bucket list for a while. Then 3 years ago, as I was washing dishes in my kitchen, a rainbow blur visited my backyard bird feeder. I was ecstatic to realize it was a painted bunting.-- my first sighting -- and in my own back yard! Their range is limited, so it was a real treat. My little multi-colored friend has continued to visit for a few months out of each year. This year for Valentine's Day/birthday, my (very sweet) husband got me a bird feeder that takes pictures of our feathered visitors. We were very excited to catch these photos of Rainbow. He is the inspiration for this year's Spring Fling KidLit writing. I hope you enjoy my informational fiction piece about Rainbow the painted bunting.
These two pics were taken from our feeder bird cam in February of this year! Isn't he a handsome fella? The GIF below is not my creation. The original link is included at the end of my story. Painted buntings are only typically found down South -- Carolinas westward to Texas and into South America. Brown-headed cowbirds do parasitize the nests of Painted Buntings, and many of the areas the buntings inhabit are also home to alligators. They are drawn to water features, and eat seeds, but also eat insects, especially when they are feeding their young. They are beautiful and fascinating birds!
A Bath for Rainbow
Rainbow, the painted bunting, had migrated far and he was tired, hot, and thirsty. He needed a beverage, a breather, and a bath.
First, he tried a puddle, but there was a plethora of brown-headed cowbirds and no room for Rainbow.
He tried a pool, but it was full of kids – and noise!
He flew over the river. It looked refreshing, but dark and dangerous – and full of alligators!
Then, Rainbow flew over a lovely yard full of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet flowers! It was as colorful as he. In the middle of the flowers was a small statue –full of water and empty of everything else!
Rainbow cautiously fluttered to a rest in the birdbath. He ducked, dipped, and dove through the cool refreshing water. It splished, splashed, and splattered. When the rainbow formed in the droplets, Rainbow knew he was home!
I've been a teacher of K-3 students for over 20 years; I'm also a writer of poems, short stories, devotionals and picture books. I'm wife to an amazing husband and mom to Sparkles, Mocha, and Rusty -- our feline fur babies . I love reading, writing, singing and listening to music. I enjoy nature, Bible study and spending time with friends and family!
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