Competition: story rewrite

[Exasperated sigh after story hour at the Zooks]

Are there or are there not just some really psychotic characters in the story of Rumpelstiltskin?


First we have the proud father, who tells a complete lie to the king and sends his daughter’s future up in smoke. Oh, good thinking, Pops.

Then we have the king. We forgive him for being so in love with gold that he sacrifices everyone else’s happiness for it; this is the stuff we are used to in fairy tales. But honestly. He believes the thing about spinning straw into gold? And then he has to prove it three nights in a row before realizing what a gold mine he is perched upon?

And then of course the marriage… Night One: I’m going to cut off your head in the morning. Night Two: I’m going to cut off your head in the morning. Night Three: I’m going to marry you in the morning. Aw, thanks, king; that’s sweet of you. HOW IS THIS NOT AS GREAT A THREAT AS NIGHTS ONE AND TWO??

Which brings us to the girl. She weeps three nights in a row. Perhaps something more creative could have come to mind, such as burrowing into the straw, conning a guard, or jumping out a window? And then promising the baby?! This chick has no scruples, as evidenced by her smiling face on the wedding photo.

And our illustrious Rumpelstiltskin. His heart softens enough to prolong the queen’s agony for three days before the kidnapping?

Not to mention the messenger, who apologetically claims he “can find no new name but one” after hitting the jackpot?

If anyone can hand me a better version that actually makes sense of the key elements in the story, be it a paragraph or a page, I will publish it here. Put on your thinking cap; ask your children for solutions; dig out your reference books. Serious, satirical, or sappy—anything would be better than the above. I’m grading for logic, not polish. Best version gets a prize, and I’m not joking. You have three weeks. Send it to [email protected].

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Travis Zook
9 years ago

I did come up with a slightly different version for you. Still all of the same stupidity, but maybe things aren’t quite as bad as it seems.

9 years ago
Reply to  Travis Zook

Whooo! That is awesome! 🙂

9 years ago

Brilliant! Burrowing her head in the straw would be so perfect. And I just love the whole story rewriting idea very much. But alas. Much as I love you, I can’t write in a story competition where Shari Zook is the judge. 🙂

9 years ago
Reply to  Luci

You, my dear, should be ashamed of yourself. You are a much better writer than you think you are. So there.

🙂 Love you too.

9 years ago

I think that you should have your 3 kids each write a modified version and then let us be the judge as to which one we think is best. 🙂


9 years ago
Reply to  Shaunda

I vote for this idea!! 🙂

Mama Zook
9 years ago

and I second this…does that mean it carries?

Join the conversation to share your comments.x
Scroll to Top