Education is my theme. It’s my passion. Sometimes I think I should get another interest, but I’m stuck with this one. Sometimes I get stuck with a theme within a theme too. That’s happening at the moment.
A couple of weeks ago, I uploaded an innovation on the traditional story of Goldilocks to readilearn, a collection of teaching resources for the first three years of school. I also added some suggestions for using the resource to teach reading and writing, including sight words in context. I have other supporting resources in progress to be added to the collection soon.
While my story Goldilocks and her Friends the Three Bears is not really a fractured fairy tale, it’s simply a retelling with an alternative ending; I’ve also been thinking of fractured fairy tales for my Carrot Ranch Rodeo Contest coming up next month. (Look for further details to be published at the Ranch this week.)
So stuck on this theme am I, that I wrote a 297 (3 x 99) word story as a response to Charli’s Tuff prompt “Papa’s Bar”. While this Free-Write contest is now closed (writers have only twenty-four hours to respond to the prompt), there will be four more chances to enter the TUFFest Ride event with the next one scheduled for September 19. Be sure to look out for it if you want to be in it.
Note: I’m not sure where or what the Papa’s bar is that Charli alluded to, but I am sure that it’s not what I wrote my story about. In Australia, when we play tiggy, that you might know as tag or tig, or some other name, we might allocate a certain spot as ‘bar’. This means that you are safe and cannot be tagged when on or touching that spot. Sometimes, players will attempt to allocate a spot as bar just as they arrive at it in order to avoid being tagged.
While I have no thoughts that I may win any of the TUFF contests, it is fun having a go. This is what I wrote in response to the Papa’s Bar prompt. I hope you enjoy it.
Out in the woods lived a family of bears; Papa Bear, Mama Bear and baby bears five. All summer long, Papa Bear toiled, ensuring his family were contentedly fuelled, ready to sleep through the winter’s long dark. They filled up their bellies with berries hung low, with fish in abundance in streams flowing clear, and hives’ full bounty of gold. Mama and babies had no need to complain, every meal Papa made, a sumptuous feast. When autumn arrived, and food became scarce, Papa Bear said, ‘Now’s time for bed. Close your eyes little ones, dream sweet dreams until spring.’
The babies were restless, not ready for sleep.
‘We need a story,’ a little one said. ‘Tell us about life when you were a cub. What did you eat? Where did you play?’
‘Just one story — then sleep.’
‘We need a drink first,’ said the cubs.
‘Okay, but lickety-split.’
They had just settled back when another voice said, ‘I’m hungry.’
‘Me too,’ chimed the others.
‘Can’t be,’ said Papa Bear. ‘No food until spring.’
‘Awh,’ they chorused.
‘I could make some porridge,’ yawned Mama Bear.
‘Yay! Porridge!’ said the baby bears.
‘But then you must sleep,’ said Papa Bear.
But they didn’t. Before his story was through, Papa Bear was snoring with Mama Bear nestled beside him.
‘Let’s play tag,’ smirked one.
‘I’m It,’ said another.
They took turns to run and catch, and through it all, the parent bears slept.
At last, the littlest bear yawned. No more running and catching, he was ready for sleep. He scrambled over Papa Bear, escaping the tagger’s clutches with a warning, ‘Can’t get me. Papa’s bar.’
His eyes closed and then, one by one, they snuggled into a big bear hug, murmuring ‘Papa’s bar’ as they drifted off to sleep.
When Charli Mills of the Carrot Ranch posted this week’s flash fiction prompt, challenging writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes pasta. It can be spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, or any variety. It can be a meal or a work of art. Go where the prompt leads, how could I not get the bears in on the act again.
This is my response. I hope you enjoy it too.
Pasta for Breakfast
Papa Bear pushed back his chair. “Not this muck again.”
Mama Bear stopped mid-ladle. “It’s Baby Bear’s favourite. I— I thought it was yours too.”
Baby Bear’s lip quivered.
“Pfft! Sometimes a bear needs real food.” He grabbed his hat. “I’m going for a walk.”
“Papa!” Baby Bear went after him.
Mama Bear dumped the porridge, pot and all, into the bin, grabbed her hat and followed.
“Where are we going?” asked Baby Bear.
“Somewhere nice for breakfast. It is spring after all.”
Papa Bear paused outside BreakFasta Pasta, then went in.
Mama Bear smiled; pasta was her favourite.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.