My Entry in the Susanna Leonard Hill’s 4th Of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest!

English: A chocolate cake during the 4th of July

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Here is my entry in the Susanna Leonard Hill 4th of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest. 🙂 The rules are –

“Write a children’s story, in poetry or prose, maximum 400 words about the 4th of July in which a secret is revealed or a mystery is solved!”

This one was hard for me because my original story was like 700 words and I had to cut it down to 400 (actually 396 words). I hope you like it. To read all the awesome contest entries, visit Ms. Hill’s blog HERE.

Facts Are Stubborn Things

By Erik

I watched the old widow, Clara Waltor walk out of the Pearly Pet Mart.

We were standing in front of the Snax&Pax Convenience Store across from the Town Square. Clara wobbled over to us.

“It’s a shame that someone would steal our town’s statue so close to Independence Day.” She said glumly. We turned around. The statue of John and Abigail Adams wasn’t in the Town Square! We looked back to Clara. She looked sad.

“That statue stood for everything good about Adamsville,” she said.

Then an adventurous look lit up her eyes. “If those thieves decide to show up in this town again, they better be careful, ‘cause I know Tai-Chi-Do! HAI-YA!!!” She yelled as she tried to jump, waving her cane like a sword, but ended up startling some birds.

The guys started to make up crazy scenarios about what happened to the statue. I told them to keep to the facts.

“We know that the statue is missing,” I started.

“And that Clara “knows” Tai-Chi-Do,” Timmy chuckled.

“We have to find out who did this and I have a plan!” I exclaimed.

I told the guys we had to spread the word about the statue someone will know something about what happened and turn the thief in.

We handed out flyers:


TOWN SQUARE, July 3rd, 10:30 AM


Everyone showed up for the speech, including Taylor Nix, the mayor.

I went up to the podium.

“Citizens of Adamsville!” I started in my loudest voice. “I’ve called you here today to celebrate being a citizen of Adamsville!”

Cheers came from the audience. I raised my voice, not noticing the workers behind me.

“We are good, honest people, but our town has been the VICTIM of a horrible crime!” I bellowed.

A gasp went through the crowd.

“WE the citizens of Adamsville MUST find out who did this!” I pointed behind me. “SOMEONE has stolen our beloved statue!”

The crowd was silent. Then the place exploded in laughter. I turned around to see the workers uncovering the freshly restored statue of John and Abigail Adams.

Mayor Nix walked up to me and explained that the town paid to have the statue fixed up before the Independence Day celebration. She also thanked me for making her laugh so hard.

Clara just rolled her eyes and said “You kids and your imaginations!”


July 4 celebration

July 4 celebration (Photo credit: afagen)

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35 replies

  1. Erik – What a hoot! You are giving the rest of us some stiff competition! My I thoroughly enjoyed your post (as I do most of them), but you’ve really outdone yourself this time. I had to laugh even harder, because I just finished reviewing “Catscape” by Mike Nicholson for a guest review post on MD Book Reviews…one of the lead characters is a karate-chopping old lady. A coincidence that made me think I need to start reevaluating the concept of retirement…thanks so much for joining in and Happy 4th!

  2. Good twist at the end there! 🙂 And I liked Clara’s Tai-Chi-Do moves!

  3. OH good stuff Erik. Excellent piece. Full of wit and humour. Well done.

  4. What fun! Great humor and fantastic twist at the end! Well done, Erik!

  5. Great story, Erik. It’s really hard to pack so much punch into less than 400 words. You did a fine job of it. Wish you the best of luck in the contest.

  6. I love your story, Erik. Great surprise ending! Yay! Good luck in the contest.

  7. Erik, that is fabulous! Happy Independence day and thank you so much for the picture book, the kids love it. It’s wonderful!

  8. Great entry, Erik! I love that Clara accidentally mislead them – that they jumped to a conclusion that was incorrect. And you did a good job surprising me with the ending! Thanks so much for joining in the July 4th fun! Hope your 4th is terrific! 🙂

  9. What a fun story, Erik! lol. Great twist at the end. I love the feisty Clara character. Cute story! I enjoyed it.

  10. You can never trust little old ladies who say they know martial arts! That was a very funny story. 🙂

  11. Oh so funny! I actually laughed out. I don’t believe for a moment Clara accidently mislead the kids. I think she knew and played a prank on them. Love her last comment! Great entry!

  12. Ha! I didn’t see that ending coming at all, Erik! Good job. And have a very Happy Fourth of July.

  13. Great story Eric <3

  14. Happy 4th of July, Erik! Love your story! The ending was a total surprise and your characters were so much fun, especially the ninja old lady.:) Hiya!!!!

  15. Super surprising ending, Erik. Funtastic, very well written story. Clara is so cool. Love that name too. Hahaha. So much fun! 🙂

    P.S. I needed a smile. Thanks for giving me one.

  16. Happy 4th, Eric. Your story made me smile. 😀

  17. Aww snap! I bet that was embarrassing. I think is would say, “sure they returned the statue, but they stole the patina! And I’m nit going to stand for it!” Great story!

  18. From this ninja old lady, I like feisty Clara and the twist in the tail of the story! The photo, from over here across the pond, looked like an Irish Round Tower, it made me really feel part of the 4th!

    Best of luck in the contest.

  19. Oh Clara’s a hoot! What a great character 🙂

  20. Your piece reminds me of Encyclopedia Brown, which we’ve been reading a lot about lately. Great job, Erik!

  21. Ha! How embarrassing for those poor kids! Excellent story Erik. It put a great big smile on my face. Well done.

  22. Clever solution to the mystery, Erik. . .well done! So, is Adamsville a real town?? I liked the way you set the scene for your story. . .

  23. Good job Erik! That was a real mystery! Clever, clever!

  24. Aw, Erik!! You had me fooled too. I was ready to come help look for the statue! Terrific story!

  25. Ha! I love it! You get my vote, Erik. 🙂

  26. Great job, Erik! Loved the humor that you added to your mystery.

  27. What a fun story, Erik! I love that it was such a simple misunderstanding and that your main character has such a good sense of humor.

  28. I love your storytelling and detail. You managed to tell a great story despite the need for drastic revision. I think we all struggled with 400!

  29. I love this old granny who knows tai-chi! Very clever!

  30. Another great story, Erik! I love stories where kids stand up for what is right.

  31. I like the tai-chi granny and how she scared the birds with her moves. The reveal of the restored statue made me laugh- that would be so embarrassing!

  32. How fun and I didn’t see the end coming. I was thinking who would steal a statue and how heavy is it (so I would know if they needed a truck or other large equipment). 🙂 You are a great writer, Erik!

  33. You have a good imagination, that’s for sure. 😀

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