Hester Saves Christmas – Susanna Hill’s 8th Annual Holiday Contest

Dust off the decorations. Strike up the band. Bake, bake, bake and bake some more (especially if it’s chocolate). It’s time for

Susanna Hill’s 8th Annual Holiday Contest!

The Contest:  Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as age 12 and under) about A Holiday Hero!  Your hero’s act of heroism can be on a grand scale or a small one – from saving Christmas to leaving a fresh-baked loaf of Challah bread for a homeless person to something like Gift Of The Magi where two people give up the thing most important to them to be sure someone they love has a good holiday.  Your hero can be obvious or unlikely.  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 250 words.  Entries are posted, or linked to, Susanna’s post. Grab some cocoa, scurry over & enjoy some wonderful holiday stories! You’ll be glad you did (and so will the writers, if you leave comments).

And now, for my 246-word entry…

Hester Saves Christmas

Hester loved jingling bells, the scent of sparkling pine trees, and the promise of present-filled stockings hung by Farmer O’Neill’s chimney. She especially loved stories of Santa and his reindeer.

“Mama, can I can pull Santa’s sleigh next year?” Hester asked.

“Flying reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh, Hester. And everyone knows Highland Cows can’t fly.”

But I can dream, thought Hester. And practice.

She hopped over heather and thistles.


She jumped across rocky streams…almost.


She trotted uphill, leapt, and…

tumbled down a steep slope.


Hester kept trying…

and trying…

and trying…

but not quite succeeding.

As Christmas drew near, Hester turned her nose from pine trees and looked away from the chimney. She hung her shaggy head. Large tears fell, freezing like a glistening beard.

“A blizzard,” sighed Farmer O’Neill on Christmas Eve.  “No presents tomorrow. Santa’s reindeer can’t fly through this mess. Into the barn, girls.”

All but one shuffled into the warm barn.

Hester trudged through deep snowdrifts. She shivered in the blustery wind and slipped on icy paths until…

She heard a faint jingle-jingle. She scrambled and spied…

Santa in his sleigh with eight grounded reindeer stuck in a snow pile.

Hester pulled, tugged and led the reindeer, sleigh and Santa along the snowy trail.

The next morning, presents filled stockings.  Laughter rang like jingling bells across the farm.

“Merry Christmas, Hester,” Farmer O’Neill said.  “Wake up! Somehow Santa came!”

Hester yawned and wondered,

Can a cow hide Easter eggs?



42 responses to “Hester Saves Christmas – Susanna Hill’s 8th Annual Holiday Contest

  1. Whoa, I did not see that ending coming. Can’t wait to see what Hester does for Easter. Mayhaps she tries to sit on the eggs? Yipes!!

  2. Oh my goodness…Hester is a clever and very determined cow! Hurray for her! She knew what she wanted to do and she did it! What a fun unique hero story, Patricia…and your surprise ending is great!

    • Thanks Vivian. The idea for this character has been around awhile – since we lived in London & visited Scotland years ago. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to writer her story.

  3. I love it! Way to go, hero Hester and her hero cows! 🙂

  4. Love Hester’s optimism in this Christmas story, Patricia!

  5. Very nicely done! I think this is the first story I have ever read of a Christmas cow. 🙂 Good luck in the contest!

  6. Hester is so determined. What a hero! I love the cute ending, too!

  7. Hester’s true identity was the cow that jumped over the moon, so I am not surprised that she could fly in a pinch too! Cheers to Hester for saving Christmas!

  8. Lucretia Schafroth

    Wonderful story, Patricia. I enjoyed Hester’s display of determination while practicing and rescuing Santa’s team. Love the surprise ending!

  9. What a fun story! I love Hester the hero … and her thoughts towards expanding her hero shenanigans – I mean help – to other holidays in need.

  10. Super cute story, Patricia! Hooray for Hester! Love her name too.

  11. kaleegwarjanski

    I love Hester! The illustrations would be so hilarious.

  12. Hooray for Hester! And way to go, crossing holidays off the bovine bucket list. Very cute story!

  13. Can a cow hide Easter eggs? Awesome. So original. So sweet. Get this published somehow. I can picture the scenes with the cow trying to fly.

  14. The “steaks” were high and Hester pulled through. A very aMOOsing story. Good luck!

  15. Patricia, this is SO cute and what an unlikely hero! Well-written, fun, and you STUCK the ending. I’m ready for “Here Comes Easter Cow.” Merry Christmas, friend.

  16. Great humor, great ending. I love how visual the story is. Terrific, Patricia!

  17. Great story Patricia. The twist at the end added even more delight!

  18. Very fun! I love Scottish highland cattle and so glad Hester brought Christmas to the farm!

  19. Oh my goodness, Patricia! I LOVE Hester! She’s my kind of gal – plucky, determined, and not to be beat! I love how hard she tries, and how her determination to help pays off. Hurray for Hester, a hero of a highland cow 🙂 And love the last line… I guess I’m going to have to run an Easter contest now! 🙂 Thanks for joining in the Holiday fun!

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