Penguins vs Reindeer ICE BASKETBALL!

Welcome to Story Quest, a weekly podcast where we bring your stories to life!

In this episode we bring Sam’s story, Penguins vs Reindeer ICE BASKETBALL! – to life.

If you have a story idea, you could be like Sam and have it turned into a Story Quest. All you have to do is send us your story idea here. We know you have the best imaginations and together we can create the most brilliant stories!

That’s just what Sam did. You can watch the story they suggested come to life below, plus they tell us all about the inspiration behind the story at the end.

Listen out for brand new Story Quest episodes every Thursday!

Thank you to Poppy for coming up with PEGGY THE PENGUIN using the Fun Kids character creator! Thank you Poppy for such an excellent penguin. Love that everyone works together to create the Storyquest universe!

You can read along to the Penguins vs Reindeer ICE BASKETBALL! below 

There was a CRASH and a SPLASH and a CREAKING CRACK and SPLOOOOSH!  Some one in our story is about to have a lovely surprise swim.  We’ll find out more about that in a bit.  First off we have to meet the important people in our story.  And let me tell you they KNOW they’re important.  Santa’s Reindeers. 

You might wonder what reindeers do when they’ve finished helping Santa to deliver the presents and in today’s story you’re going to find out.  They magically travel to the tiny island of Frozinia, a winter wonderland that you won’t find on any maps. The reindeers were… well kind of a bit full of themselves.  I mean being part of the whole Santa Crew… Who hasn’t heard of them?  They’re like arctic CELEBS. 

The only other animals to be found on this snowy island were the penguins – well there were a couple of walruses but they don’t really come up in this story.  The penguin huddle had lived on the island for many centuries – millennia even, longer than the reindeers and the two well.. they just didn’t get along.  The reindeers were so BIG and took up so much space and well basically hogged everything, leaving the penguins with nothing more than a puddle of water, whilst the reindeers patrolled the Wide Glassy frozen lake and growling at any penguin who dared to come near. 

Peggy the penguin had had enough.  She wasn’t exactly in charge but she was the sort of penguin not to be messed with.  She would give Paddington a run for his money with her own HARD STARE. 

After another attempt to step on the Frozen lake, and being growled at yet again, I think it was Comet, or it might have been Dancer.  She stomped right up to Rudolph his red nose resplendent. 

“Give us back our lake!” She honked loudly in his face 

“Beg your pardon?” he said sleepily, contemplating whether to growl again. 

“Come on, what do you lot need a lake for?” 

Rudolph shrugged.  “We like to have a swim.”  The other reindeers tittered at this. 

“Reindeers don’t swim!!  And what are we supposed to eat if you’re hogging all the fish?” 

“There’s plenty of perfectly good snagglethorn bushes to chomp on” observed Vixen. 


A sly smile spread over Prancer’s face. 

“Tell you what.  We could have a competition – who ever wins gets to keep the lake” 

Rudoph smiled too – “now THERE’s a good idea.” 

“Whatever!” said Peggy, flapping her little wings in frustration. 

“So we can choose the game?” said Vixen fluttering her eyelids innocently. 

Peggy nodded.  Anything to get things back to normal. 

The reindeers looked at each other and said as one “Ice Basketball!” 

Peggy nearly fell over in amazement!  “BASKETBALL!? Hhave you seen how tall penguins are? Or rather how tall they AREN’T How in heavens name are we meant to reach a basketball hoop?” 

“Well that’s the deal.  Take it or leave it.” 

The penguins had no choice.   Grumbling to herself Peggy hurried back to the huddle and explained what they had to do. 

The game was planned for the very next month which gave both teams time to prepare.  The penguins ran in laps around the lake, and the reindeers lifted weights and did press ups which is harder than it sounds when you’ve got hooves and four legs to think about.  And then the day arrived bright blue skies and sunshine glinting on the surface of the Frozen Lake itself – it’s glassy surface marked out with the hoops at either end.   

A whistle sounded and the game was on!  The reindeers, towering and agile, boasted an impressive advantage with their lofty antlers, perfect for snagging high-flying rebounds. The penguins, however, were not to be underestimated. These dapper athletes slid across the ice with astonishing speed, their flippers whirling the ball in a blur of black and white.  Peggy almost flew upside down to intercept the ball before heading it into the hoop to a mass of cheers.   

Snowflakes pirouetted gently from the sky, dusting the Lakes surface. Prancer executed a majestic, albeit slightly clumsy dunk, her hooves thundering on the icy ground. Yet, every time a reindeer leaped for a basket, a squadron of Penguins would form a feathery fortress, bouncing on each other’s backs, and flapping wildly to block the shot. The penguins erupted into laughter when a particularly ambitious reindeer attempted a fancy hoof-work manouver, only to slip and send the ball bouncing off a confused yet amiable walrus. 

But in the second half the reindeers managed to use their antlers to knock ball after ball and their powerful hooves clatettered on the icy lake.   

In the excitement no one noticed a CREAK and a CRACKING sound and no one spotted the crack jump in lightning forks – forks which SPREAD and SPREAD until with a EAR SPLITTING CRUNCH the ice fell into glacial chunks and the penguins and reindeers were plunged into the freezing water. 


“HELP!!!!”  Shouted Comet as he thrashed around having fallen in. 

“GET ME OUT OF HERE!” Yelled Vixen as Rudolph tried desperately to remember how to swim which was a bit of a problem as well, he’d never actually learned to swim. 

The penguins of course were doing far better with this turn of events.  In fact it was bliss to finally submerge in the cool clear water amongst the fish. 

Peggy couldn’t resist it. 

“I thought you said you liked swimming!” she yelled back.  “You don’t seem to be enjoying yourself very much.” 

“Just get us back on land!!” 

“What’s it worth?” 


Peggy shrugged.  It seemed like the exactly right and very perfect time. 

Teeth clattering Rudolph rolled his eyes..   “DOH ALRIGHT THEN, HAVE YOUR STUPID LAKE BACK” 

There was no time to lose before the reindeers met an icy fate, they teamed up and using their beaks, towed the shivering reindeers to the shore where they slumped gratefully. 

The penguins whooped and cheered and dived and swam in the lake, going deep for fish which they ate and ate until they couldn’t fit another minnow in. 

“You can still drink the waters – you can even share it with us if you like.” Said Peggy kindly.  After all a bunch of very wet and bedraggled reindeers made a very sorry sight. 

Rudoph gave a small smile.  “To be honest I don’t think reindeers are designed for swimming, or being in a freezing lake in any way.  I think we’ll stick to the snagglethorn woods.” 

“Good.  Penguins aren’t designed for thorns, snaggles or otherwise so it’s all yours!” 

And with that the two shook hands.  Well Peggy held out a wing and Rudoph a hoof and it was a bit more like a fist bump.  Kind of.  And that’s how peace was returned to Frozinia and the animals got on peacably until it was time for the reindeers to travel back to the North Pole and as they got on so much better they even brought some of Santa’s special mince pies back too.  What?  You didn’t know Penguins liked mince pies?  Well now you do! 

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