Máire Zepf

Maire Zepf’s story starter ‘The Mysterious Gift’ is read byt actress Fionnuala Ní Fhlatharta 

Máire Zepf is the first ever Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland, 2017-2019. Máire has published 12 books for children and is the winner of KPMG/CBI Children’s Book of the Year, the Réics Carló Award and a White Raven in 2020.
Máire’s story is read by actress Fionnuala Ní Fhlatharta who can be seen in Ros na Rún, which she has been a part of since its pilot episode in 1992.

The Mysterious Gift
The tree was decorated, its lights twinkling in every colour. Over the mantelpiece, stockings were hung, ready for Santa. With only three sleeps left until Christmas, Lorcan’s tummy was so full of butterflies that he thought he might actually burst. 

When Mum and Dad were busy, he slipped quietly into the living room and lifted the presents into his hands. He gave them a careful shake-shake-shake to hear what was inside. 

The shiny red box, card from Granny, rattling sound inside? Lego, maybe? The L-shaped parcel, messily wrapped, from Aunty Rosie. Was it a scooter?

But when he touched the gift with the starry paper – the one on the left at the back of the Christmas tree – it began to jitter. Lorcan jumped back, hand-on-mouth with panic. The whole tree was shuddering now – lights, decorations, everything. Even the star on the very top shook.

‘Meek – Beek – Boop…’ said the parcel. It was shaking now like a washing machine.

‘Beeky – Booky -Moop!’ it said, even louder. 

‘MOOKY – BOOMPY – BEEK!!’ came from the present, and then BANG! – the box opened.