Mom, author, nurse, teacher . . . reading the world around me

2020 Spring Fling Entry

Hi everyone! I’ve decided to enter the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest for the first time. The rules (in a nutshell) are to find a GIF and write a short story for kids inspired by the image you choose. The story can’t exceed 150 words, and has to appeal to kids. Thanks for stopping by to read my entry, and thanks to talented authors Kaitlyn Sanchez and Ciara O’Neal for sponsoring the contest! Here’s my GIF (from followed by my story. Enjoy!


Mac’s Stage Fright

My class is meeting online today! When it’s my turn to share, I have a perfect plan.

My hamster, Mac, loves carrots. He does the silliest little happy dance—flipping over in his scramble to gobble it to bits, while making some hilarious squeaking sounds. It never fails.

I can’t stop smiling as I set up for my video. I know it will make them laugh. My mom’s a nurse, so I worry about her these days…an awful lot. Sharing what makes me happy will help my friends too.

I get some broccoli for my brother’s hamster, Malware—I can’t risk him making any moves on Mac’s carrot. I’m all set. What could go wrong?

Ms. Ratchford calls my name, my heart pounds.

Lights, Camera, Action…Rolling…

I wait. Nothing.

Mac, how could you?! I want to cry.

Then I look at my screen. Everyone’s laughing. So I do too!




Treasures from the Past


Building a World for Kids


  1. How cute are these two!? Really enjoyed your story!

  2. Cute, especially the hamster names and ending! Good luck!

  3. Colleen Owen Murphy

    Ha ha!! I really like your hamster names too! And of course the hamster wasn’t going to accommodate, but I am glad everyone saw the humor in that! Good luck!

  4. Nancy Riley

    Very fun. Animals and kids are unreliable actors! Good luck!

  5. This truly captures our state of the world right now, thank you for entering this comical heartfelt piece to the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest

  6. I really enjoyed this camera shy hamster in the days of quarantine. I teach 7th graders; and they all have been eager to show me their pets on our Zoom meetings.

  7. Melissa, I totally get Mac! Zooms are difficult for me. How sweet of entry and perfect for the new school age. Your MC and Mac definitely captured this teacher’s heart!

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