"Where did the Hairy Fairy Bearmother go?" Honey whispered, as she and Beezer sneaked quietly back into their warm den and underneath their mountains of warm blankets.
"I guess she just disappeared," said Beezer. "After all, she's magical, you know."
Honey didn't even hear Beezer answer. Her eyes wouldn't stay open any longer. Beezer himself felt his mouth stretch into a gigantic yawn.
In her room next door, Mama smiled at the sound of soft little bear cub snores. Just as she was crawling into bed, she noticed the pile she had left on the floor. In it were a shimmery gown, a lopsided crown, a sparkly veil, and a branch from the walnut tree right outside.
"Oh, well," she said, snuggling down under her own mountain of blankets. "I'll pick those things up next spring. The way it sounds, I may need them again next winter."
Commentary: So now you know that the story is really about a mother's resourcefulness as she comes up with a creative solution to the problem of two little bears who don't want to go to sleep. Hopefully, it is not apparent until the end that she and the Hairy Fairy Bearmother are one and the same. I want that to be something children can figure out for themselves.
I didn't know myself that this was going to be the case until I was trying to think how to end the story within the 750-word maximum imposed by the contest. For me, watching a piece develop in the actual act of composition is always a real thrill.
The names Honey and Beezer, I suspect, arose from my subconscious through a circuitous route that winds back to A.A. Milne and the honey-loving, bee-beleaguered Winnie-the-Pooh. The kids and I have read a lot of those charming tales over the past five years. Last weekend, Sooby said she would again lend me her illustrating expertise when she comes for her extended visit this summer. If that happens, I will share her illustrations here on the blog.
As I mentioned several posts ago, the fiction-writing thing is relatively new to me. However, the recent experience of having five grandchildren in five years has given me much opportunity to contemplate and analyze the literary strategies of those who write for children. Likewise, I have had a lot of fun trying my own hand at it, so I was glad for the opportunity to enter the contest sponsored by my local senior center.
Thanks for giving the story a look here on the blog. I have learned much from your comments, and I thank you for those as well.
And--oh yeah--I promised to tell you the outcome of the contest. Honey and Beezer, it seems, garnered second place. Good enough to be encouraged. Room to grow.