Retell A Fairy Tale In 3 Sentences

How many of us can retell a fairy tale in no more than 3 sentences? As writers we tend to go on a bit. Finding words is the easy part, it's what we do. But could you tell a story in about 3 sentences? Many scholars believe that brevity is a writer's true acid test of his/her ability. Here are some familiar fairy tales below, told in no more than three modern-speak sentences. Can you can work out what they are? Answers in the comment box, please. 

Additional reading: Writing opportunities

Popular fairy tales in no more than 3 sentences

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1. This juvenile delinquent deceives a giant's wife. He steals their valuable stuff, and when the guy tries to defend his property, the youngster murders him.

2. Absentee dad and his new partner abandon a couple of kids in a forest. The kids vandalise an old woman’s house and end up in a pot of trouble when she turns out to be a witch.

3. Sometimes you gotta kiss a few frogs to find your Prince.

4. A group of greedy goats, not content with their lot decide to pop over to the property next door to feast on the green grass there. The first two deceive the gate keeper in order to get in, and the last one tops him.

4. A rich brat ends up lost in the rain. A noble family with time on their hands takes her in and stupidly puts a pea under her mattress. Brat gets up in the morning, complains about the accommodation and gets rewarded for her troubles.

5. Some fat pigs decide to get their hooves on the property ladder. An estate agent in a wolf-disguise decides to have them for tea, but ends up in hot water when they join forces in their sub-let.

6. Grow up already!

7. Idiot emperor bares all. Sidekicks agree he looks good naked.

8. What’s up with these stepmothers? This one's delusional and thinks she’s prettier than her step daughter. She crazy-talks with some freakish mirror and puts her stepdaughter in a deep sleep. Wonder guy happens along and plants a kiss on girl's smoochers.

9. Crazy parents makes a stupid deal with some witch. Witch locks their daughter in a high castle and grows her hair to bizarre lengths. Guy comes along and actually climbs up the chick’s hair but they soon get into trouble when the witch goes mental on them.

10. Pervert with fancy flute steals mice and kids.

11. Lazy geezer with an uncontrollable pet cat allows his animal to run riot in the neighbourhood. Cat wears human clothes and shoes, kills a larger guy and manages his owner's stolen property and love life.

12. Spoilt brat, irked about her frizzy hair, breaks into a hairy family's home, eats their food, breaks their furniture and valdalises their property.

Could you tell what all those fairy tales were? Are there other fairy tales you could tell in no more than 3 sentences? If you enjoyed 'Retell a Fairy Tale in 3 Sentences' please share it on your social networking sites. Thank you. 


Unknown December 17, 2009 at 2:08 AM  

In college English class they assigned us fairy tales and told us to tell the story in a sentence. I remember I had the 3 little pigs and said something like The wolf planned on eating the 3 pigs for dinner but they ate him instead.

You're right. It's hard to keep the words at a minimum.

Take care & Merry Christmas!

Agnieszkas Shoes December 17, 2009 at 8:02 AM  

Love it. And I love the cheeky political take with Jack & the Beanstalk

Anne Lyken-Garner December 17, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

Thanks Judy and Dan. I had fun doing this short piece. I'll probably do some more later on.

Don December 17, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

this is such a rich site, and yes i follow someone on twitter who tweets stories that are told in three sentences or less. i love it. thanks for sharing, i will add this blog to my favorites.

Anne Lyken-Garner December 18, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

Thanks Don. I really do appreciate that.

•°°• IcyBC •°°• December 21, 2009 at 1:56 AM  

Great ones, Anne! In college, like Judy, I had to pick out one fairy tale, and summarize it in three sentences.

Anonymous January 3, 2010 at 1:34 AM  

I've been looking all over for this!


Chubskulit Rose August 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM  

You are obviously a talented writer! Following your blog now.

Anne Lyken-Garner August 20, 2012 at 3:48 PM  

Thanks for the compliment, Rose.

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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