Three Cheers for Spring!
Hip-hip-hurray! Hip-hip-hurray! Hip-hip-hurray!
Today is the First Day of Spring! And Susanna Leonard Hill is having a spring writing contest on her site, details below.
Basically, The March Madness Writing Contest is a challenge to write a fractured fairy tale in 400 words or less. Having a spring theme is optional, and I decided to give it a try since today is the official first day of spring… at least on the calendar! My story is based on an old favorite, Jack and the Beanstalk. Now, before you get all outraged at using a familiar folk tale, remember that fairy tale is the umbrella for fables, folk tales, myths, and legends. Besides, on her own website, Susanna uses a picture of The Three Little Pigs, and her sample story (which is great, by the way) is based on The Gingerbread Boy, both folk tales under the fairy tale umbrella.
So without further ado, I present to you a 400 word fractured fairy tale….
Jackie and the Beanstalk
(A fractured fairy tale formally known as Jackie and the Three Beans)
Jackie’s mother sent her to buy milk, eggs, and bread for the umpteenth polar vortex of the year. Obviously, she was preparing French toast for breakfast. Along the snow-covered path to the market, Jackie met a kindly old man; I think his name was Winter. He offered to sell Jackie three magic beans, which he assured her, would trumpet the arrival of spring. Removing her gloves, Jackie traded the man the coins her mother had given her for his mysterious magic beans.
Jackie raced home; okay, maybe she slipped and slid and skated home. Either way; she kicked the snow off her boots, unwrapped the scarf from her neck, flung her overcoat on the table and announced, “Good News: Spring is on the Way!”
Upon hearing her freezing child’s tale, Jackie’s mother raged. “How could you fall for that old geezer’s trick?” She opened the door, letting in another cold blast of artic air, and flung the beans into the snow.
Well, you know where this is going, right? Overnight, a giant beanstalk grew outside Jackie’s door. In the morning she saw that it reached up, up, up, over fresh-fallen snow, above frosted trees, and past crystal clouds. Jackie donned her gay apparel, which wasn’t a gay as it had been three months earlier, and climbed the sturdy beanstalk.
When she arrived at the top, breathless and a little dizzy, Jackie saw a radiant glass castle shimmering under the sun. A lively elf with green thumbs greeted her. “Come in,” he welcomed her. “We were just preparing breakfast.”
Jackie, tired and extremely hungry from her long ascent, accepted. She filled her belly with the most delicious French toast she had ever eaten and then immediately laid down for a quick morning nap. She dreamt of lush green lawns, fragrant flowers, and warm sunshine on her face. Waking up, she noticed that she was in a greenhouse. Why she didn’t realize that earlier, we’ll never understand. Regardless, Jackie tracked down the elf and pleaded her case. Joyfully he explained that this was Mother Nature’s greenhouse. He sprinkled a little magical soil over her and sent her home.
As Jackie descended, she could feel the sunshine on her back and a warm breeze in her hair. She noticed the buds on the trees and the robin’s return. She jumped into a puddle and ran into the house.
“Spring has sprung!” she proclaimed.