Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! The small dog, snow and The Story Reading Ape

It’s Chriiiistmaaas!

Well, okay, maybe not yet. But it will be soon… and I can’t wait, whatever old grumpy she might say! But at least I can start counting down… and have some friends over for my Advent Calendar!

There is such a lot to look forward to, this time of year. Not just Santa and trees and turkey (though I should prob’ly not remind her about that after disposing of hers the other year…), but it might even snow!

I like snow. I remember the very first time she opened the door for me at night…and the world had changed. Instead of being all dark and shadowy, it was all cold and white…it was quite scary! And, even worse, I couldn’t find my ball anywhere! I had to go sniffing for it, and while I looked for it frantically, all she could do was laugh at me!

Since then, though, I have got to know snow. There has been the odd mishap…like when I didn’t listen about the ice on the pond. Well, I didn’t know! And I was excited… and she was coming in to get me when I waded out…

But, I love the stuff… and she understands. She lets me out to play with the first snowflake, and as soon as it settles enough, she puts on her boots and we both go out to play and share the fun.

And sharing is the best bit about Christmas. Cheese, turkey, ham, pork pies… cuddles, magic and having special people around… I like Christmas for that.

But, as my Big Hairy Friend points out, not everyone gets to share things at Christmas and it can be even lonelier than usual for those who are on their own when everyone around them is sharing smiles. A bit like a small dog with her nose pressed to the glass in the oven door, watching the turkey she is not allowed to eat…  But, maybe we can help…?

From Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape

The following poem was influenced by a recent news report about school children who were sending Christmas cards to the elderly and other lonely people, I think the theme was – Send an Extra Card.

Send an Extra Card this Christmas

When all about are full of doubt
in these troubled times of ours.
Spare a thought for what was wrought
Before the Earth had flowers.

No Christmas cheer, not even beer
was anywhere to be found.
The world was hot, and believe it or not,
it wasn’t even round.

Years in millions, nay, even billions,
have passed since that forming time.
Yet somehow life grew from that strife
And pushed up through the slime.

So why complain, and talk of pain,
because you’ve spent some money.
Enjoy the food, and try to be good,
it’ll surely please your honey.

One more thing I ask, it’s only a small task.
Please spare a thought for others.
The young, the old, the meek, the bold.
No Fathers or Mothers, no sisters or brothers.

No family, no friends, no pet, and yet
they too deserve some joy.
So send them a card, it won’t be hard
Tis a small thing, but, Oh Boy.

The difference it might make, so for their sake
Select a nice card full of good cheer
Go to your den, pick up your pen,
write, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I could suggest more, but don’t want to bore,
(an invite would not go amiss)
To join you for dinner, would be a winner.
and give them a day of bliss.

About the Ape

Chris Graham, also and perhaps better known as The Story Reading Ape, is an avid reader and the most supportive Ape known to Indie, Dog or other literary bipedal and quadrupedal lifeforms.

His website offers a huge array of resources for writers,as well as humour, publishing news and a platform where writers can be read, share their expertise and promote their work. If you don’t already follow TRSA, grab a banana and head on over.

Chris seldom promotes his own work, but he has published a book of poems, My Vibrating Vertebrae, which is the legacy of his mother, Agnes Mae Graham.

Find and follow Chris

TRSA     Twitter     Facebook    Goodreads    Tumblr    Amazon

Pinterest    Google+   Mix    LinkedIn

My Vibrating Vertebrae: and other poems by [Graham, Agnes Mae]My Vibrating Vertebrae

Agnes Mae Graham

Edited by Jo Robinson

We all have dreams, loves and hopes; but what if you are a girl growing up in 20th century Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’? From the poetic thoughts of our Mother, we get a sense of what it was like, ranging from humour, sadness, wistful thinking and sometimes just downright nonsensical, these are the words of one such girl.

Available via Amazon UKUSACAAUS and worldwide.

An Invitation from the Small Dog

If you would like to help Ani make her advent calendar this year, send your letters to Santa, festive memories, short stories, flash fiction or poems to the Small Dog. She will post them every day through December until Christmas…and there are still spaces left!

She would especially like to hear from her four-legged or feathered friends (she has a special place very close to her heart for turkeys)… but she says that two-legs are better than none, so she will accept submissions from humans too.

To get in touch, please use the form on the contact page or email Ani at

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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45 Responses to Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! The small dog, snow and The Story Reading Ape

  1. What a great poem from Chris, Sue. A lovely idea; his and yours.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Darlene says:

    A wonderful poem and a great way to kick off the advent calendar.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Geoff says:

    What a splendid start!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love Ani’s snowy picture, I bet falling through the ice was a big shock! Chris’s poem is lovely 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jenanita01 says:

    Wonderful choice, Sue…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    My little Doggie Friend, Ani, gave me the honour of filling the first space of her Advent Calendar 😀 ❤
    Ani still has vacancies in her calendar, so send your contribution over quickly, to give her Mum, Sue, time to schedule them in.


  7. Lovely. And great reminders, too. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post, Ani. Rosy and Zelda also delight in a good snowfall, of which we have plenty around here. The ground is already coated in white. The poem you included and its message really touched my heart, my grandmother resides in an assisted living facility and even a simple phone call can really make all the difference in her day. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love turkey, and snow, and spending time with others.

    Lots of licks,

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Waht a wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing, Sue! Have a great weekend. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  11. amreade says:

    Ani’s story of snow is wonderful! And Chris’s poem is beautiful, too. Great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wonderful post and poem! 🙂 Sharing… xo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Truly a beautiful poem from Chris that brought a tear or two. And what a wonderful way to start the Advent Calendar… with love, compassion, and thoughts of others. Excellent choice, Ani. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Widdershins says:

    What a wonderful 1st day story. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. dgkaye says:

    What a wonderful idea and poem from Chris. And thank you Ani for your winter weather report LOL ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  16. We hope we get snow, too, Ari. Like you, we also love trying out the ice on the canal of the pond.
    Thanks to Chris for a wonderful poem about thinking of those less fortunate than ourselves at this time of the year. We always make a point of talking to the people with dogs who we know only have each other when we are out walking.
    Lots of barks from us,
    Toby and Austin.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: #PoetryReadathon – The poetry and other great things bloggers – Robbie's inspiration

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