The pigeon was very excited about Yuletide. "Oh, I do want to take part!" he said. "It will be so nice to get a story all for my very own self. A story that's all mine! I love stories."
But the pigeon was worried. It seemed like so many of the things he wanted to do, other people didn't want him to do! They thought he wasn't big enough. They thought he wasn't responsible enough. The pigeon knew they were wrong, of course – he was one of the biggest, most responsible pigeons in the whole world. And he could do anything!
Still, he knew that any minute, someone would come along and say, "No, pigeon, you can't write a story for Yuletide!" and then he would be very sad. So he decided to make a list of the things he would say, all the great reasons for them to say 'Yes' instead of 'No.' (The pigeon didn't like the word 'No.' It was the pigeon's least favorite word ever.)
Why I Should Get To Write For Yuletide by The Pigeon
1. I like stories.
2. More stories should be written by pigeons.
3. I'll write a good story.
4. I'll write a really long story.
5. If I don't get a story, I promise I won't poop on anyone's head.
This, the pigeon decided, was a very good list.
As the time came for sign-ups, though, no one said anything to the pigeon. No one said, "No!" No one said, "Shoo, go away, pigeon!" No one said, "Pigeons can't write."
"Yippee!" said the pigeon. "At last I get to do something I want to do. And I get a story!"
The pigeon thought long and hard before submitting his requests. He was very excited when, only a few minutes after pressing the "submit" button, a copy of his sign-up appeared in his email box.
Subject: Your Yuletide sign up
Thanks for signing up for Yuletide! Below is your sign-up information – please check it carefully.
Request 1: The Birds (any)
Details: This movie is great! I don't know why more people don't think it's funny! The birds are really smart. You could maybe write me a missing scene about how the two lovebirds came up with their prank on Melanie – was it when Melanie buys them in the pet shop? Or was it when Melanie left them at Mitch's house? Did the seagull help, or did he just want to show off? You could also write about the crows and how they learned to dive-bomb like that – so cool! I would really be happy with any story about a bird from this movie. But maybe no falcons, okay?
Request 2: Tom Lehrer – Poisoning Pigeons In The Park (song) (any)
Details: This song is really scary. Sometimes when I listen to it I have to go and hide for a while until I feel better. I would like a story about how the pigeons are too smart to be poisoned. Maybe they get back at the man who is poisoning them somehow. Maybe they like to go on Sundays and poop on his head. Ha!
Request 3: RPF – Misc. Authors (Mo Willems)
Details: I would like a story where Mo doesn't get to drive a bus. At all. It doesn't matter if he begs. It doesn't matter if he pleads. He doesn't get to drive the bus. In fact, I bet he doesn't get to drive a tractor, either. He doesn't get to drive anything.
Fandoms you offered:
The Birds (any)
Hans Christian Andersen – The Ugly Ducking (any)
P. D. Eastman – Are You My Mother? (any)
Richard Bach – Jonathan Livingston Seagull (any)
Robert McCloskey – Make Way For Ducklings (any)
RPF – 12th Century (St Francis of Assisi)
The pigeon was very excited indeed. "Yes," he said, "soon someone will be writing a story for me. It will be just great!"
A few days later, the pigeon received another email.
Subject: Your Yuletide assignment
Below is your Yuletide assignment! Remember that you only have to write one story for one of the fandoms below, and that stories must be at least 1000 words. Optional details are optional.
Request 1: Lolcat Bible (any)
Details: Possible passages you could write about: Elisha and the 133t Bears (2 Kings 2:23-25), or Samson pwns teh Philistines (Judges 15:15-16)
Request 2: Muppets (Camilla)
Details: I think Camilla should have her own act, not just be Gonzo's assistant.
Request 3: Carl Hiaasen - Hoot
Details: For a book about owls, this book didn't have enough owls in it. I'd like to see what the owls thought of all those goings on!
"Oh, goodness!" said the pigeon. "I should get started writing my story right away. I am sure it will be easy to write a story about Camilla, since I do like her so much."
The pigeon sat down at his computer and thought very hard. Then he thought some more, and then he thought some more. When he looked up, the sun was shining through the window, and the sky was bright blue, and very tempting.
"I know," he said. "I'll just go out and fly for a little bit, and that will give me inspiration."
The pigeon went outside, and though the air was cold it was such a nice day, that he flew and flew and flew, and didn't come home until it was dark.
The next day the pigeon started to work on his story, but then his friend came by, and asked if he would like to go to the zoo. Of course the pigeon said, "Yes! I would love to go to the zoo!" and off they went.
The day after that the pigeon went to school, and when he came home he was very tired. "I should work on my story," he said. "But first I'll just take a little nap." Then he slept until it was morning.
This went on for several weeks. One day the pigeon sat down to write his story, and he pecked out a few words, but then another friend knocked on his door and asked if he wanted to play. The pigeon had many friends, and he always liked to play with them. "I can finish my story later," he said.
Finally it was the day Yuletide stories were due, and the pigeon suddenly realized that he hadn't written hardly anything at all. "Oh, no!" he said. "I really must write my story now!" The pigeon sat down at his computer and opened the file for his story, very determined. First he read over what he had written, and he liked it. Then he wrote a sentence, decided he didn't like it, and erased it. Then he did it again. Then he did it again.
Finally the pigeon wrote a sentence that he liked, and then another. He decided that his story would be about Camilla learning to sing, and that she would have a tremendous success with her touching rendition of "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens." Then, he decided, she would have an adventure, and stay up as late as she liked, and never go to bed. "Everyone will like that story, I bet," said the pigeon.
But when he tried to write it, somehow the words just wouldn't come as easily as he thought they should. When he wrote about Camilla saying goodbye to Gonzo, though he meant it to be triumphant, it came out sad. And when he wrote about Camilla staying up late, though he meant to say how much fun it was for her to cluck at the moon, it didn't seem right. Probably, he thought, she'd get tired.
"Awwwk!" squawked the pigeon, flapping his wings in frustration. "I never knew it would be so hard to write a story! All those words! How will I ever write a thousand of them?"
The more he tried to write, the harder it was, until the pigeon was bouncing up and down in his chair.
"I hate stories," he said. "I think I'll go and fly instead."
He got up from the chair and ran to the door, pulling it open, happy to feel the wind already whipping at his feathers. But then he looked back, saw the big white screen of his computer and the lonely flashing cursor at the top of the page, and he felt so heavy, he didn't think he could fly.
"Hum," said the pigeon. "I bet ORLY is really excited to get a story, too. Maybe I could try writing again."
Very slowly he shut the door, and walked back across the room. He sat down with a sigh.
And then it was done.
"Oh, my!" said the pigeon. "That was hard. That was very hard." But he felt so much better. With a few clicks he uploaded the story to the archive. Then he ran outside and flew.
A few days later, the pigeon woke up and had his breakfast. "What shall I do today?" he wondered. Then he thought, "Oh! It's Yuletide day! There will be a story for me!"
There was a story for the pigeon, a long story, a very fun story about Mo and an out-of-control bus that made the pigeon laugh. There was also a comment from ORLY, saying how much she had liked the story that the pigeon had written. "Oh, mystery author!" said ORLY's comment, "all my base are belong to you, because this story is so awesome!" The pigeon wasn't sure what that meant, but he knew it was good.
"I already want to write another story for Yuletide next year," said the pigeon.