Hither, Thither and Yon Save Christmas – A Holiday Contest Story

Polar Express

My grandson spent the weekend with his mom at the North Pole, riding the Polar Express and meeting Santa. Tuesday, we’ll be putting up the tree and getting ready for a welcome visit from my son and his family who are flying in from Chicago to spend a few days with us for Christmas.

I hope all of you are able to get into the spirit of the season…no matter whether you celebrate one of the winter holidays or not. Our backyard is a snow-covered wonderland – there is a special hush that falls in the woods when there is snow on the ground.

Today I have a special treat for you – well, I hope it will be a treat. My friend, children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill, is holding her famous annual Holiday Contest. All week, writers can post a holiday story for children on their blog and link it to her post or they can add their story to the comment section if they don’t have a blog of their own.

hoilday contest 4

Rule rundown: 350 words or less, kid-friendly (for children under 12), story must include some weather event that impacts the holiday.

At the end of the week, Susanna and her assistants will pick some of the stories and put up a poll where you can go and vote for the one you think is the best. There are great prizes…the quality of the stories is incredible…I hope if you are not participating, you will visit some of the blogs and read the entries.

My story is about three musicians, Hither (a mouse who plays acoustic guitar), Thither (a jazz-funk drumming toad) and Yon (a swan who plays classical violin). When a tornado rips through the town of Delight, will their music be able to soothe the savage storm?

tornado_noaaPhoto courtesy: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-tornado.htm (This is a GREAT science site for parents, teachers and kids!)


Hither, Thither and Yon Save Christmas – (303 words)

Have you heard about Hither and Thither and Yon,

a mouse and a toad and an elegant swan,

who battle with music one dark Christmas night

in the midst of a storm in the town of Delight?


Hither and Thither love Club Razzmatazz

and evenings of improvisational jazz.

Guitar on his shoulder, and drums at her hips,

they be-bop along with a song on their lips.


And Yon, he is headed the opposite way.

His violin sings at the Swan Lake ballet.

Each night the whole audience rise to their feet.

“Encore!” they all clamor. “Please maestro, repeat!”


The wind whips and whistles – a dust-cloud appears.

It whirls and it swirls and it deafens the ears.

And Hither and Thither turn up the wrong street.

They enter the ballet with toe-tapping feet.


Around the next corner at Club Razzmatazz

the jazz band is missing some guitar pizzazz.

Again the wind howls and rumbles and roars

and Yon and his fiddle explode through the doors.


As Hither plays jazz funk and Thither, the blues,

the dancers don taps on their soft ballet shoes.

At Club Razzmatazz, things are going quite well

as Yon and the band are beginning to jell.


But outside the spiral of wind picks up steam,

rip stripping the roofs – “Help!” the dancers all scream.

The storm is a monster – a villain – a beast

gobbling gaily wrapped gifts like a fine Christmas feast.


But Hither’s guitar strums a soft lullaby,

and Thither’s drum whisks with a hush and a sigh,

and answering back is Yon’s sweet violin.

Soon the twister starts losing its devilish spin.


The town has been rescued, and Christmas is saved,

and good boys and girls who all year have behaved

get tickets to Hither and Thither and Yon,

now appearing on Broadway in “MOUSE, TOAD AND SWAN.

The End

Ta-Da! I hope you enjoyed that.

Logo final BB2 1 inch 300dpi

And I hope you sign up for my newsletter so I can send you the Anti-Bullying Toolkit Guide for Kids: http://eepurl.com/8pglH. Everyone who subscribes will be entered into a raffle for a copy of my parent-teacher resource book, Show Me How! The winner will be announced in the first blog post of the year.

Stay warm! Eat chocolate! Read books!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on December 8, 2014, in Susanna Leonard Hill 4th Annual Holiday Contest and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 69 Comments.

  1. Catherine Johnson

    Vivian I love that! So creative and fun to read. It reminds me of Wind in the Willows.


  2. SO much fun! And you got “improvisational” in there.. That’s talent!


  3. Love this! You are so talented! Fun, fun, fun!


  4. Very creative and clever. I love it!


  5. I DID enjoy it!! Such Rhythm!!!!


  6. This is just too cute. Love how you interweave the different music genres!


  7. Fabulous, Vivian! Wonderful use of language and a fun story!


  8. Oh, I like this one a lot! Great imagery and twists (no pun intended). Good luck!


  9. Trust a classy lady like you to work jazz music in a story, Vivian! 🙂 Love it.


  10. I am going to try commenting again. I am glad you left the characters w/their fun names! Love all the music going on in this!Club Razzamatazz, be-bop, it’s Yule Cool.


  11. It was fun reading this! Such great rhythm. I loved how music calmed the storm 🙂


  12. Wonderfully done, Vivian! And on Broadway no less. My toes were tapping all the way through. 🙂


  13. This story is such a delight. Loved the names and what a knockout rhythm!


  14. Ooo, Vivian. This sings with rhythm. So much fun to read aloud. You made me realize how far mine has to go. FANTASTIC!


    • Thank you, thank you! You know I’m a rhyming fool, right Robyn? And I’ll bet yours is lots of fun, too…is it posted yet? I haven’t checked Susanna’s site this evening…I was at the last webinar for Mira’s class. 🙂


  15. Vivian, what an absolutely delightful piece! Bravo!


  16. Very creative, Vivian! Love the music theme and how they all got mixed up! I like how you incorporated a swan for the Swan Lake Ballet!


  17. What a fantastic title and so clever. Loved it.


    • I couldn’t get ‘Hither, Thither and Yon’ out of my head…so I figured I might as well use it for a story. 🙂 🙂 Then I thought I should change the character’s names because it was somewhat archaic…and kids might have trouble saying ‘thither’…but I just couldn’t do it. 🙂 🙂 Thanks for the vote of confidence!


  18. And a Broadway play!!! This is a clever treat.


  19. This is fantastic, Vivian! You have a talent for rhyme. Keep it up!!


  20. Nice job, Vivian! Perfect rhythm for a musical story. Very fun and creative. The kind of story that can be read over and over with pleasure.


    • Oh yay, Alayne…having kids want to read it over and over is a key element in a pb…it’s what I was hoping for, so I’m glad you think that. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. ..I know how busy you are. 😉 😉


  21. Ah! Music doth soothe the savage storm! 🙂 What a fun story, Vivian! Love the repetition of all the “z” sounds in Club Razzmatazz with the jazz and pizzazz! 🙂 And such musical words for your musical story along with lovely rhythm and meter! Nice job! Thanks so much for once again joining in the holiday fun! 🙂


  22. Vivian, this is wonderful! I love these delightful characters and the musical twist to the story. And I’m so glad it all ended on a happy note. (HaHa!) Well done!


  23. I loved this, Vivian. You have a wonderful way with words and images.


  24. Very fun Vivian… I hope I see a version of this in the new year in critique group.


    • Yes, ma’am! Glad you enjoyed it, Stacy…you will definitely be seeing this in 2015. 😉 Are we having a critique round this month? I know everyone is uber-busy. and wonder if it will be too stressful, especially for Jeanine and Sheri.


  25. Wonderful from first to last, Vivian. Perfect for wee little ears. Have a Merry Merry Christmas with your family. So glad that your son’s family is able to fly in and join you.


  26. Vivian, this was wow! Your rhyme is perfect, no stretching to make words fit. The story is wonderful and a pleasure to read the way it flowed.


  27. This was awesome, Vivian! Intricate rhymes and very nice meter, along with a unique plot that didn’t miss a beat. I love, love, love the way the music tamed the twister. Super razzmatazzicaly cool!


  28. The rhyming is fabulous. The photo is amazing. I love this!


  29. Great job with the rhyme and the story! So unique and fun!


  30. Very nice. I must have been tricky to fit “improvisational” in there!


  31. lovely rhyming and great visuals. terrific job


  32. Rebecca Sheraton

    Great poem and I lived Razzmatazz


  33. So cute, Vivian. Who could not love a mouse, a toad, and a swan in a rhyming, musical story? Great job!


  34. Oh, how I love it when musicians cross over! And they save Christmas by doing it! Yay! Thanks for a fun read! I love the names. Just brilliant! Good luck in the competition!


  35. I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your content. This
    great article has truly peaked my interest.
    I’m going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week.
    I subscribed to your Feed too.


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