Thursday, March 20, 2014

THE THREE WIGGLY WORMS BLUFF

     Springtime is here!
     How do I know? I don't need to listen to the weather forecast. Susanna Leonard Hill told me it's here!
     If you don't follow Perfect Picture Book Fridays, you should. Not just for the great picture book reviews, but also because Susanna shares fun writing contests for pitches and short stories. Today is the kick-off (I know, imagery for the wrong season)--okay today is the first pitch (but that could be confused with a writing pitch)--today a new challenge SPRINGS forth, hosted on Susanna's blog. Can you tell I'm giddy with excitement?
public domain image by Vera Kratochvil
     The challenge was to write a fractured fairy tale of less than 400 words, post it on our blogs and link to Susanna's. I chose to incorporate the theme of Springtime in my story. It's based on TWO fairy tales. Can you guess which two?
     So here is, drum roll please: THE THREE WIGGLY WORMS BLUFF
    

THE THREE WIGGLY WORMS BLUFF          

“Melting snow is swamping the soil! Time to head to higher ground,” said Papa Worm.

Papa, Mama and Baby Worm squirmed to the surface and wiggled up the grassy slope to face—
the dreaded sidewalk.

“Ow! It’s rough,” said Baby.
“Go as fast as you can.” Mama gave him a pat. “And keep a lookout for birds.”

Baby wiggled as fast as he could.
But he was only halfway across when a robin swooped down.

“I’m going to gobble you up and take you to my babies!” the robin squawked.

“I’m a baby myself. Barely a bite, and not worth your flight. Mama is coming, she’s more than a morsel. Why don’t you wait for her?” said Baby.
The robin thanked Baby and sent him on his way.

When the coast looked clear, Mama wiggled as fast as she could.
But she was barely halfway across when the robin hopped out from a bush.
“I’m going to gobble you up and take you to my babies!” the robin squawked.

“I’d make an adequate dinner, but if you want to treat your babies to a feast you might want to wait for Papa worm. He’s coming next,” said Mama.
The robin thanked Mama and sent her on her way.

Papa did calisthenics, warming up his wiggle. Between the birds and the pavement heating up, He needed to be fast!

Papa wasn’t halfway across when the robin landed in his path.
“I’m going to gobble you up and take you to my babies!” the robin squawked. “You are plump perfection!”

“Is it true that the early bird gets the worm?” asked Papa.
“That’s true.” The robin opened wide.

“Stop! How do I know you’re the early bird? Maybe someone else is supposed to eat me,” said Papa.
A second bird saw its chance. “I was here first.”
“No, you weren’t!” the robin screeched.
“I’m the early bird!” they both insisted.
The two birds went beak to beak, pecking and pulling feathers.

While the birds quarreled, Papa wiggled,
across the concrete and—Ploop!—down a hole in the grass.

“No worm for the early bird today.” Papa hugged his family.
They wiggled down to enjoy their damp, but not flooded, springtime home. . .

until summer heat baked the soil and they had to return across the sidewalk again.

For those of you who are counting-that's 383 words! Welcome to Spring. :))


38 comments:

  1. What a clever and fun twist on the fairy tale! Well done, Wendy!

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl. I always enjoy reading the entries for Susanna's contests.

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    1. Ooh, thank you! The title came to me first and I knew I had to write their story.

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  3. I like the spring time tie in with this story and how papa worm used quick thinking to get out of trouble. Great job!

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    1. Papa worm's action and the response is the "hint" to the second fairy tale I poached and twisted!

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  4. Absolutely fabulous, Wendy! I love this! A clever twist, very kid-friendly, tons of fun all around! But I confess... I'm having a little trouble guessing the second fairy tale! The Three Billy Goats Gruff is clear... but is the other Goldilocks? (For Papa, Mama and Baby?) Or something else I'm not remembering...? Either way, it's a great story, and thanks so much for joining in the Springtime Madness :)

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    1. Should I give it away? Shh. Don't read on if you don't want to know. Am I the only Valiant Tailor fan? I always admired how he got the others to turn on themselves. So there it is.

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  5. Haha! I love your outsmarting worms! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Julie. Worms everywhere appreciate your support (me too!)

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  6. This is fantastic - very, very clever.

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  7. Very cute Wendy! I love how you incorporated two fairy tales - creative! I am a big fan of worms so love how they triumphed. I'm off to write mine now!

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    1. Good luck, Leslie! I haven't had time to read them all but the ones I've read are springtime fun and funny.

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  8. Wendy, Wonderful! Especially on this first day of spring!

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    1. Thanks, Pat. It doesn't mean automatic sunshine and warmth, but the day does feel special!

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  9. So clever, Wendy...worms...who would have thunk it. :)
    And what a great solution Papa came up with...a fast talker, if not that fast a walker.:) Great job...isn't spring wonderful...and Susanna...and reading all of these amazing stories.:) :)

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  10. I cannot wait to actually see the worms come out! So glad Papa Worm decided to use his noodle to outsmart those two birdbrains!

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  11. This was really fun. I loved that Papa Worm outsmarted the birds:)

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  12. oh what a good chuckle, clever worm family. :)

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  13. This makes me like worms just a little bit more. ;)
    Cute story!

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  14. Oh that's hilarious, Wendy! We'll done.

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  15. Yay for clever Papa Worm! Lots of fun and kid-friendly. I confess I haven't heard of the Valiant Tailor.

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  16. Very clever. I love your word choices, especially ploop. I've filed that away. 8~)

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  17. Thanks, Steve! Many happy ploops to you!

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  18. Cute story, Wendy. I love how Papa worm outsmarts the birds.

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  19. Those are some wise worms! Such fun!

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  20. The idea of Papa Worm doing calisthenics cracks me up! Cute story!

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  21. Hi Wendy, this is funny! I like your smart worms.

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  22. Wonderful Wendy. It's fun and rhythmic. The ending reminded me a little of the quarreling tigers at the end of Little Black Sambo.

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  23. Oh, Wendy that's great! Did you know papa had the early bird excuse at the start or did it miraculously hit you one day?

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  24. I could clearly picture the illustrations for this story, Wendy. Well done!

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  25. Wendy, I just voted for yours over on Susanna's site. Then I decided I HAD to know who wrote it. I'm glad I figured it out! It is a great story, esp. the clever ending! Fingers crossed for a win for you.

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