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Starting Sparks: February Edition

Starting Sparks is a monthly writing link up hosted by Emily @ Ink, Inc. and Ashley G. @ [insert title here].  Each month they give us a prompt and then we respond however we like with a short story, a scene, a poem - whatever.  The point is to get those creative juices flowing!

This month's prompt is to rewrite a fairy tale with your characters.  Since I don't have a WIP handy with my own characters to work with, I'm going to do my own thing for this one.  I thought about using already known characters from a tv show, but then I decided to forgo that route.  Instead I decided to use my own fractured take on "The Frog Prince".  I actually wrote this ages ago for a children's lit class during our fairy tales/ fractured fairy tales unit - every one in class had to come up with their own version of "The Frog Prince" and as you can imagine no two were alike.  Here's mine:

Britney was playing with her new videogame.  It let her pretend she had a real dog.  Her parents wouldn’t let her have a real dog because they thought she wasn’t ready to take care of one all by herself.  Instead they gave her a videogame so she could practice everything to make herself ready for a real dog.  Britney had to show her parents that she could take care of a real dog.

She played her hand-held game all the time getting perfect scores in everything, but her parents still wouldn’t get her a dog.  They told her that taking care of a virtual dog was easier than a real dog, but Britney was still determined to show them that she deserved a dog so she kept playing – longer and harder than before.

Late the next afternoon, Britney sat down at the edge of the pond in her backyard.  She was still playing her game so she didn’t see the green frog looking at her from across the pond.

Britney was at her favorite spot in the game where she could teach her virtual-dog to do tricks.  In her excitement, she lost her grip on the game and dropped it.  She tried to catch it but it fell down into the deep pond!

“Oh, no! My game!” she cried.  She didn’t know if it would ever work again if she fished it out of the water.  If it didn’t, she was afraid she would never get a dog.  She looked down through the water, but she couldn’t see the game.

Just when Britney though she would never see her game again (or a real dog in the near future), she heard a voice say, “I could swim down and find your game, Britney.  There’s still a chance it might work.”

Britney was startled.  She didn’t know anyone else was outside.  She looked around but she only saw a small frog sitting beside her.  The frog looked her right in the eye and said, “but if I get it back for you, you have to promise to be my friend, okay?”

Britney almost forgot all about her game and future dog.  “Whoa! A talking frog?!” Normally, she would’ve said a frog was gross, but no other frog had ever talked to her before.  Then she remembered her game and without thinking it through promised the frog that she would be his B.F.F. if he could get it back to her.

The frog disappeared into the pond and a few seconds later he surfaced with her game.  Eagerly, she grabbed it and tried to turn it back on.  She was very upset when the game wouldn’t work no matter what she did.  All of her perfect scores were gone!  How could she prove to her parents that she could take care of a real dog if she couldn’t even take care of a toy?  Britney ran all the way back to her room crying and completely forgot about the talking frog.

At breakfast the next morning, Britney sat down to eat with her parents.  They noticed she wasn’t playing her game, but before they could ask her why, a green frog jumped up on the table right in front of their daughter.

“Britney,” the frog cried.  “You ran away so fast! I thought we were going to be best friends forever.”

Britney’s parents were even more surprised than she was.  Before the frog could say more, Britney did her best to explain what had happened at the pond.  She even told them what happened to her game.  She expected to be punished for ruining it, but her parents only seemed concerned that she had forgotten her promise to the frog.  They told her that she could have a dog if she could take care of this frog.

Britney was thrilled that her parents were giving her another chance!  Although she didn’t really like frogs, she decided she would try to befriend him, but she found it difficult to accept him as a friend.

“Why not?” asked the frog.

“Because you aren’t a dog – and it’s weird going on walks and brushing a frog.”

“I may not look like a dog but I can be just as loyal and friendly,” he replied.

Britney gave the frog another chance and realized that he was more loyal and friendly than she first expected.

He was right, she thought.  She really began to enjoy their activities and she saw him as a friend. She also noticed he was acting more dog-like as time passed, or at least as she imagined one would act.

Later, Britney was scratching behind his ears while watching TV when she realized she was scratching long silky fur instead of slimy frog skin.  She jumped back in surprise – the frog had turned into a golden retriever!

The now-dog said, “Thank you, Britney!  I knew you could change me back!”  Britney didn’t know what to say so the ex-frog continued, “I don’t know how but I was turned into a frog because I ran away from my family.  They didn’t treat me as princely as I thought they should’ve so I left to find a better family; everyone loves a golden retriever, but not everyone can love a frog.  I had to find a loving family if I wanted to change back, and thanks to you I have!”

Britney couldn’t believe her luck!  As she hugged him, she knew she definitely had enough proof now.  Both of them ran to tell her parents the news.  They were more than thrilled but they suggested that Britney call his old family first (their telephone number was on his collar).

Britney called his old family and told them the story.  His old family told her that they loved him very much, but they were glad he’d found a loving family.  They gave Britney permission to take care of him, with her parents’ permission of course.  Britney thanked them again and again.  Dog could stay!


  1. This is a pretty neat twist on the Frog Prince. I like how she had one of those pet video games too. I remember those. :)

    Thanks for joining!

    1. Thanks! I never quite got those games, but they were everywhere. :)

  2. This is such a good twist on the prompt - I knew it would be good from the first paragraph and the discussion of how "Britney had to prove she could have a real dog" xD

    Thanks for sharing :)

    ~TT @

    1. Thank you! I was so pleased to see that I had actually saved this! :)

  3. Lauren!

    I love this story. I don't mean this in a condescending way AT ALL but in the name of constructive criticism, my honest opinion is that your writing quality has improved with each SS story you've posted. This is the best yet! It seems more natural than the earlier ones.

    It also made me laugh out loud (it doesn't happen often when I'm reading) with the line "The frog had turned into a golden retriever!"

    I bet your teacher loved it -- she/he probably got a heap of stuff about princes and kissing and here's this one! Very refreshing.

    I used to want a Nintendo SO BADLY and whenever I was with my friend who had one I'd play Nintendogs on hers ... even though I had a real dog?? So I'm not sure what that was about. Because, in my opinion, Nintendogs kinda sucked ... !

    Britney's parents are absolute idiots! XD “Ah yes, daughter, we want you to be mature and responsible sooo ... we're going to give you a video game to play all the time, even at mealtimes (hence our surprise when it doesn't appear at breakfast), and hope it makes you into a good person who loves going outdoors!" Right, good job, parents XD

    My other fave bit was:

    "Britney almost forgot all about her game and future dog. “Whoa! A talking frog?!” Normally, she would’ve said a frog was gross, but no other frog had ever talked to her before. Then she remembered her game and without thinking it through promised the frog that she would be his B.F.F. if he could get it back to her."

    You totally capture a child's willingness to believe the bizarre :D

    All in all, absolutely love it! Thanks for linking up!

    1. Thanks! I'd bet part of that is because at that time I would have been writing all kinds of papers and stories on very regular basis, and then I dropped off when I didn't need to be every time I turned around. :)

      We actually had to read our stories out loud to the class, and I remember that many of my classmates took made some extreme changes to the story! Some things I wouldn't have even considered in the four days we had to put it together.

      I never got the pet video games - maybe like you because I already had a real one.

      Thanks very much for hosting!


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