“Winter Wonderland Adventure”

Jan 28, 2022 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

One of the most gratifying experiences our company enjoys is receiving mail, especially from appreciative students. We recently received an email directed to Andrew Pudewa from a student who had responded to a writing opportunity presented in our blog. “Experience Unit 5: Frosty Paws” appeared December 10, 2021. The student, Abbie, had decided on her own to write about the image of the dog in the snowy forest. She then shared her composition, emailing Andrew Pudewa the following letter:

Mr. Pudewa,

Your writing curriculum is the best I have ever taken. Since I have taken multiple different classes, I can confidently reply that yours is unsurpassed compared to the others. I used to dread writing time. It was the boringness of boring. Now I lovingly adore writing. Amazingly, I can write essays, stories, and even reports. Even on Christmas break I enjoy a little bit of putting pen to paper. When I saw the Unit 5 writing challenge, I couldn’t resist. I spent a day and a half coming up with a key word outline, writing, and adding dress-ups to this short story. I hope you enjoy it.



P.S. I love your Star Trek jokes.


It pleases us to no end to hear from students who share that they enjoy writing so much that they actually choose to write for the sheer pleasure of it. That is perhaps the highest accolade we can receive! We are delighted to share Abbie’s composition with you. It is printed below, but you can also find it in the latest edition of the Magnum Opus Magazine Newsletter. If you’re not familiar with the magazine, it is IEW’s premier showcase for student writing. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.

In addition to accepting submissions that follow IEW’s writing units, the magazine also accepts submissions of poetry, original fiction, journalism, and original artwork. Although students are welcome to submit compositions of all of the types mentioned above at any time, currently the magazine is seeking compositions for Unit 6 for publication in February. Students find it personally rewarding to see their efforts published and appreciated by others. We hope you’ll encourage yours to send their work for consideration to MagnumOpusMagazine.com!

Winter Wonderland Adventure

by Abbie, age 17

The night was cold, unusually freezing cold. The fire was warm in the small mountain cottage. All was quiet except the crackling fire and the snoring human fast asleep in the chair. I was curled up on my bed, which was by the fire. A lonely, distant howl pierced the cold night air, beckoning me to come into the wild. I lifted my furry head to listen. No other sounds came. I listened for a while though my eyelids were heavy with fatigue. The warmth of the fire lulled me to sleep; the night was cold.

It was early morning when I awoke. The air was crisp with a hint of frost since the fire had gone out sometime in the night. The snores of the human wafted into my ears. It was still young in the day. Adventure floated in the air. I stood and stretched. I looked at the door. I supposed to myself, “I have time for a minute adventure before the day starts.” I nosed the door open and stepped out into the wild. Fresh snow, which had fallen the night before, lay at my paws. A faraway howl reached my ears, calling me into the wild. I took a step. In the cold morning air, my breath formed a mist. I took another step. Snow crystals sparkled in the light, casting a magical appearance on the forest. I spied movement. Immediately I went into full alert. My nose twitched. My eyes searched. My ears listened. I got a whiff of it before I saw it. A petite hare bounded into my line of sight. I crouched down into the snow, my muscles straining to release and catapult me toward the small creature. Like lightning I was propelled toward my prey. In a flash the hare caught my scent and took off. The hunt was on. Over frozen streams, under snow-covered trees, we darted to and fro. The hare, spying his last opportunity, dove for a cluster of underbrush and disappeared in a small rabbit hole. A cloud of frosty snowflakes flew up where the hare had been, and like a morning sunrise which only lasts a short, sweet moment, the hunt was over.

With my breath coming in short, steaming puffs, I skidded to a stop before the underbrush. Ice had started to form on my shaggy coat. Making a sound like clinking glass, the ice on my coat jingled as I shook to free the ice off my tufts of fur. I surveyed my surroundings. A heavy fog had descended onto the forest. Every way looked the same. I started to shiver. The temperature had dropped; another snowstorm was moving in. I had to get back, but which way was home? I could tell it was late morning. I know my human would be looking for me now. I was starting to feel frightened. If I could cry, I think I would have at this point, but I was determined to find my way back or at least freeze trying. A howl split the air closer than it had before. I froze. What was this sound? Was it the wind? No, it could not be because the air was still. Was it a monster of some type? I trembled not because of the cold but because of a freezing fear. A fear of the unknown. The wild didn’t seem all that exciting anymore. I just wanted home. A gray shape moved in the fog. It came closer. It morphed and formed into a furry, four-legged creature. The breath caught in my throat. I wanted to run, but I could not. I was frozen in fear. A whimper came out of my throat, but that was all I could muster. The thing slowly became clear. My steaming breath caught in my throat.

Surprisingly, it was like me but superior. It had large paws to spread its weight in the snow, much like my human’s snowshoes. It had long, thick gray fur. Its tail swished from side to side. Its ears were pointed and keen of hearing. The legs, strong and powerful for running long and hard, displayed piercing claws to cut into the thick hide of a prey. The muzzle was long and full of sharp teeth, but even though I knew those teeth were made for tearing flesh, they would not tear my flesh, at least I hoped not. The most captivating part of this creature were the eyes: sharp, hard and yet kind, playful and serious. I didn’t know if this wild version of myself wanted to eat me or play with me. I wagged my tail. The other wagged his tail back. We were friends. He walked past me toward a direction I did not know, gazing back at me. I felt compelled to follow. We walked for a while. I had no idea if I was headed toward my home or away from it. I just knew the one in front of me knew where he was going. All I could do was hope it was the right way to home. Suddenly, a sound hit my ears. At first I was not sure what it was. Then it came louder, clearer. I could hear it. It was someone calling my name! I barked with glee. It was my human! The wild, shaggy gray animal turned toward the forest. He looked at me, then to the direction where my human stood. Though he said nothing, his meaning was clear. I belong with my human. He belonged in the wild. His furry shape disappeared in the mist. I was sad to see him leave; he was kind to help me. Even though I knew he was right, a part of me left with him. A part of me was wild, but only a part. I turned in the direction where I knew my human was and pranced to him like a puppy. We met with hugs, barks, and laughter. Though I was not built for the snow like the superior version of myself, I didn’t mind, for I had found my Human.

We traveled back to our small cottage. My day had been spent in the woods. A warm meal and a long nap by the fireplace were a dream come true. My bed was soft. The sounds of my sleeping human reached my ears. A lonely howl split the night. I wagged my tail and smiled, remembering the day I had spent in the forest. A part of me longed to run in the wild like that morning that already felt long ago, but I stayed on my bed. The fire was warm; the night was cold. But I didn’t mind, for I was home.

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