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Aaron Shepard’s First‑Ever Story!

Christmas for the Orphans

For more treats and resources, visit Aaron Shepard at www.aaronshep.com.

Copyright © 1997 Aaron Shepard. May be copied and shared for any noncommercial, educational purpose, as long as the author note is included.

This is my first‑ever story, written in fourth grade. I’ve split it into paragraphs, fixed the punctuation, and corrected a misspelled word (horrors!)—but besides that, this is just how I wrote it. The story features a character of mine that I often daydreamed about, called “Little Orphan Ronald.”

Today in the U.S., orphans who haven’t been adopted live in foster homes, but when I was a kid, they lived together in special boarding houses called orphanages. The orphans there might be treated well enough, but a boy like Little Orphan Ronald needed more freedom—so he was careful not to be caught and put into one. (He was a lot like Pippi Longstocking, my favorite book character at the time.)

If you think this is a good story, I hope you like the ones I write now even better!


It was three days before Christmas. Ronald was eating at Joe’s Grill. (Joe was his friend. Joe gave him free meals.)

All of a sudden, some people from the orphanage came in. Ronald was safe from them, because while he was there Joe wouldn’t let them take him. Ordinarily, they would have had the authority to take him. But the mayor was Ronald’s friend too.

The two people from the orphanage started to talk about Christmas. Ronald was listening to what the orphans would do for Christmas.

“How is this for an example, Don?” said one to another. “On Christmas Eve we let them stay up till midnight. Then, you come in with a Santa Claus costume and a sack with the toys in it. You give out the presents, say ‘Merry Christmas,’ and go away. They’ll open their presents, then go to bed.”

“That’s pretty good,” said the other man.

When they had finished, they went away. Ronald left too. He went straight to the mayor’s house. They had a long talk about the party. The mayor said he would do his best.

It was Christmas Eve, 11:55. Then one of the men who had discussed the party said to the children, “In five minutes Santa is going to be here.”

Meanwhile, the other man was getting into a Santa Claus costume. All of a sudden, someone grabbed the sack of toys from him.

Then at 12:00 Santa Claus walked in. “Merry Christmas,” he said.

He handed out all the toys and said, “How about going for a campout?” Then they all went outdoors and got into the sleigh.

Then Santa started to drive towards the woods. They came upon a little clearing. There were some tents. Then everybody went to bed.

In the morning they had an outdoor breakfast of bacon and eggs. Then they all went on a nature hike. They had a hot dog lunch at Joe’s, and then went to the movie, “Operation Petticoat.” Then they went back to Joe’s, for a spaghetti supper.

Then at 7:30 they all went back to the orphanage. The children were all so tired, they went straight to bed.

The next day, Little Orphan Ronald threw into the water stilts, a big white beard, a white mustache, Santa Claus boots, coat, belt, and hat, and a big sack.

A few minutes later, he was walking down the street whistling, as if nothing had happened. But while he was whistling he was saying to himself, “That’s a Christmas the orphanage won’t forget.”

He meant the men too.

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