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No Voice

Her voice disappeared. Gone. Not one croak, could she manage.

She had not been shouting or angry. No. Time with Granny was full of fun and once the school year ended on the last Friday in June, it was off to Granny for the week. They arrived on Friday and left on Friday, so Thursday was always their 4th of July.

In Ireland, the 4th July celebrations were not on the normal calendar of events, but granny had travelled over the ocean to visit a distant cousin, many a long year before and never forgot the excitement of the holiday. So here she was re-living the fun with her grandchildren.

They made a flag with coloured fabric and tied it to the yard brush. Jimmy had a feadóg stain, Joey played the washboard, Johnny was master of the spoons and Mary Kate provided the singing.

Who mentioned singing? Mary Kate lost her voice. Not a peep all day long  and the sucky sweets were no help.

Granny made warm drinks with honey and told her not to try talking, but use sign language instead. The boys, typical brothers, asked her questions all the time, but Mary Kate just shook her head and went to sit in a quiet corner with her new book.

The boys sat in a circle to practice the tunes they would play. Granny joined them with a large saucepan. Inside, stood glasses of juice. Once everyone had their juice Granny turned the saucepan upside down and began playing it like a drum.

Mary Kate, finished the mystery story and walking back through the trees she suddenly stopped. There in front of her on the narrow sun dappled path was a colourful tiny bird.

It was exactly like the one mentioned in her book: A kingfisher. The short rounded wings were whirring rapidly, it had green-blue upper parts with pale azure-blue back and a black bill. Mary Kate had never seen one in real life before and this was almost magical. The bird hovered for a few minutes before flying off in the direction of the lake.

Suddenly, finding her feet she ran to share this exciting news with Granny and her brothers.

“Granny, Granny, guess what I saw?” she shouted as she rounded the last bend.

Everyone turned in surprise.

“You found your Voice!” they chorused.

Tomorrow would be the best 4th of July, EVER!


This little story is my effort as part of The Fourth of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest  hosted by children’s author – Susanna Leonard Hill.

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!

If you wish to join in the fun, there is still plenty of time to take part.

Your entry should be posted on your blog between Monday July 1 at 12:01 AM EDT and Friday July 5 at 11:59 PM EDT, and your post-specific link should be added to the link list on the official Fourth Of July Secret Mystery Contest post on Susanna’s blog from Monday July 1st. The post will remain there until Sunday to give everyone plenty of time to read, but the entry list will be closed at midnight Friday so Susanna has time to judge.

May the best one win!