March Madness Fractured Fairy Tale Competition-Once Upon a Table

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Here is my entry to Susanna Leonard Hill’s marvelous March Madness story contest. My story comes in at 398 and is a mashup fractured fairy tale. The rules are, “Write a children’s story, in poetry or prose, maximum 400 words, that is a fractured fairy tale. Feel free to add a theme of spring, or mix in one of the spring holidays if you like.” Do check out the other entries here on Susanna’s blog


Forklore – The Fairy Cook-Off.

Eight Fairy Tale Characters Participate in the Cook-off

to be crowned Fairest Chef of the Forest.

Judged by one of Cinderella’s mice-valets,

 a renowned pumpkin-pie expert, and Ms. Moldy-Locks,

a distant cousin of Goldi.


The contestants stand beside their best dishes, beaming at the judges.

Baby Bear purrs before his perfect bowl of porridge.

Hansel and Gretel are dwarfed by a humungous confectionary construction – a house built of bread, covered with cakes, windows cast of clear sugar.

Jack is sweating profusely by a steaming pot of bean and goose egg casserole.

The Pied Piper’s pie bubbles over with meaty gravy and boasts an undisclosed main ingredient.

The Gingerbread Man is caught taking a selfie in front of an empty table???!!!

The Princess keeps stirring her pea soup.

Snow White surprises everyone, NOT, with an apple pie big enough to feed seven!

Little Red has spread an entire picnic for her entry.

The two judges begin their round of tastings using silver spoons made of whale ribs kindly donated by a Mr. Grimm.

Baby Bear loses points for lumps, even though the temperature is just right, and for falling asleep in his bowl.

H & G are disqualified for pretending their work was all their own, when this was in fact the house that Jack built.

The judges are unable to try Jack’s soup, as it seems that a large, angry gentleman has already consumed it.

The tail-like latticework on the Pied Piper’s pie gives rise to certain sanitation concerns.

Two security men, after an exhausting chase, remove The Gingerbread Man for promoting cannibalism.

The judges slurp and gargle, but declare one pea insufficient to truly flavor the Princess’ soup.

The judging is temporarily adjourned while contest medics treat Mouse and Ms. Moldy-Locks for food poisoning after trying Snow’s apple pie.

Contestant #8 waits patiently, her red bonnet pulled over her pretty face. Mouse and Moldy reappear and partake of the picnic.

“These cucumber sandwiches are so dainty,” says Mouse.

“The Blueberry Mousse is divine,” says Moldy.

“Could you pour me another glass of the Dandelion and Burdock syrup?” asks Mouse, “It is so soothing on the stomach.”

“This picnic is just a perfect feast for spring!” They agree, crowning Little Red with the Fairest Chef of the Forest Daffodil Garland.

Little Red licks his lips and twitched his furry ears and prepared for dessert!

 Happy Spring!

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46 Responses to March Madness Fractured Fairy Tale Competition-Once Upon a Table

  1. Kathy Halsey says:

    Love this spin-off on cooking shows and the fractured characterizations. Very clever! Makes me hungry for lunch. This story is fun to read & original, a real mash-up.

  2. PatHaap says:

    Joanna, This is wonderfully inventive and hilarious! Especially like the Gingerbread Man line! Great job.

  3. Juliana Lee says:

    Oh no! I truly didn’t suspect the wolf! Great surprise ending!

  4. Clever, clever! Love the lumps in the porridge and the lonesome pea soup!

  5. Magnificent! I love the reasons they are disqualified, and the great twist! 🙂

  6. Hahaha! It’s like Chopped for the fairy tale folk! I love all the contestants special dishes (empty table??? undisclosed main ingredient :)) and all their reasons for disqualification! So funny and clever! And what a twist at the end! 🙂 Thanks so much for joining in the Madness 🙂

  7. Steve Moran says:

    Ah, very clever concept. Very enjoyable. I automatically clinked on the green ‘links’ which of course weren’t links or you’d have had 800 words, lol – but did think you could turn this into an e-book after the competition and have little potted bio’s behind the ‘links.’

    Great job.

  8. Cecilia says:

    I HATE Cooking shows but I enjoyed this one 🙂 I liked the intrigue and the ingredients, the characters and the judges and the twisted tails in the pipers pot.

    Well done

  9. Wendy Greenley says:

    Loved the ending! He’ll get his just desserts if he tries Snow White’s pie, too.

  10. Your entry is so funny and creative. A food cook off is brilliant. Love the reasons for disqualifications. entry. Great twist at the end.

  11. Catherine says:

    A cat! What a super story, so so clever Joanna!

  12. This is very clever Joanna. I agree with all of what Pat said. Brilliantly executed and great unexpected twist at the end.

  13. Joanna says:

    Thanks, Diane. It could do with some editing as i wrote it in a couple of hours, but it was fun to do once I had the idea!

  14. Food and fairy tales…two of my favorite things! I actually wrote a re-styled fairy tale with cannibalism (and anthropologists) as the theme, so I loved the Gingerbread boy and cannibalism comment. 😀

  15. Kudos for such an original approach! Love the selfie!

  16. clarbojahn says:

    What a great story! Love the take off on a cooking show and the surprise ending with it’s twist was so funny, it had me laughing out loud. 🙂

  17. Loved all the different characters and their entries — and the disqualifications were spot-on. GREAT twist at the end.

  18. What a fun story! Great twist ending too! I didn’t see it coming either! It was a wonderfully delivered surprise ending!

  19. nrhatch says:

    Very fun cooking contest . . . sounds like they all need a bit more practice in the kitchen. Except for the B.B.Wolf.

  20. Lauri Meyers says:

    What a fun cook off full of fairy tale favorites! That naughty gingerbread man…

  21. Joanna Marple says:

    I had to sneak a bit of naughty in there, Lauri!

  22. Joanna…so funny and clever. I love the cook-off idea…and the twist at the end was awesome!

  23. Dawn Young says:

    Too funny. Love how one pea is insufficient – ha! Great job.

  24. Rhythm says:

    Well, I ditto what everybody else has already said! Now I’m off to dinner!

  25. Alenat says:

    This one is a lot of fun. I love the reasons for disqualifications.

  26. Elliah Terry says:

    Awesome ending. I liked the Pied Piper’s lines best. 🙂

  27. Such a delightfully wicked twist–but I suppose it all depends on your point-of-view! 🙂

    Also, I’m very, very hungry now. 🙂

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