crowIt’s time for the Second Annual Valentiny Writing Contest, hosted by the talented and generous Susanna Leonard Hill. This year’s challenge is to write a Valentine’s story for kids, featuring someone who is confused, in 214 words or less. You can peruse all the contest rules and enter your own story (and read all the other fabulous entries!) here:


My entry for 2017 comes in at exactly 214 words:


Sonia stared out the window. Three days until Valentine’s Day.

She missed Texas.

She missed sunshine and mockingbird songs.

In Portland, the sky poured rain and crows cawed.

Sonia dreaded Valentine’s Day in this wet and lonely place.

“Why don’t you play outside, Noodlebug?” asked Mom.

On the porch, a silvery button shone.

A Valentine’s gift? Who is it from?

“Is this from you, Mom?”

“No, Doodlebug.”

“From you, Dad?”



Sonia stared up at a crow staring back at her.

The next day, rain sprinkled.

On the porch, a copper coin sparkled.

Another Valentine’s gift? Who is it from?

“Is this from you, Mom?”

“No, Poodlebug.”

“From you, Dad?”



The same crow in the same tree stared at Sonia.

“What do you want?” asked Sonia.


“Sunflower seeds?” Sonia tossed a handful.

“Caw.” The crow flew down, pecked up the seeds, and blinked at Sonia.

“More tomorrow.”

The next day, rain showered.

Sonia fed the crow.

On Valentine’s Day, a line of sunlight fell across Sonia’s pillow.

Outside, green grass shimmered.

On the porch, something glimmered – a tiny golden heart.

“A Valentine! Mom, is this from you?”

“No, Froodlebug.”

“Dad, is it from you?”



“Are the gifts…from you?” asked Sonia.

“Caw,” said the crow.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, crow!”



59 thoughts on “Valentiny Writing Contest: MYSTERY VALENTINE

  1. Lovely story, with a valentine twist. I enjoyed Crow’s role in this! (Incidentally, my story also features a bird who likes shiny things.) What a sweet friendship between Sonia and Crow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cute story! I love crows and have always loved stories of them bringing gifts. 🙂 Also… are you from Texas? I’m a TX transplant, living in Bend, OR!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the presents came from the crow. Crows get such a bad rap so I am happy you gave a crow a new persona and let him make a friend. Sweet story Gabi. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oooo. I wish this would happen to me. The crows come almost every day. They eat our seeds, but they don’t leave us presents. Of course, they often get chased by the turkeys, so maybe they’re feeling as confused as your Sonia. Thanks for sharing your story. It was fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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