Short-Story-Writing-Exercises-old

Group: Short Story Writing Exercises - old

Can you write a short story about this?

The Milk-Woman and Her Pail A FARMER’S daughter was carrying her Pail of milk from the field to the farmhouse, when she fell a-musing. “The money for which this milk will be sold, will buy at least three hundred eggs. The eggs, allowing for all mishaps, will produce two hundred and fifty chickens. The chickens will become ready for the market when poultry will fetch the highest price, so that by the end of the year I shall have money enough from my share to buy a new gown. In this dress I will go to the Christmas parties, where all the young fellows will propose to me, but I will toss my head and refuse them every one.” At this moment she tossed her head in unison with her thoughts, when down fell the milk pail to the ground, and all her imaginary schemes perished in a moment.

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 42). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

The above is one of Aesop's fables. Can you write a short story of about 1000-1500 words using this fable as the plot?


Don Yarber

15th October 2011


Okay Don! It's a little rough as yet but it's kind of a fusion between this story and Jack and Jill. I hope you like it. (and it's not as long you requested) I had fun with it!

Jill was a farmers' daughter off for her morning chores
Jack is a family friend and Jill, the one whom he adores
Up over the hill and to the barn, racing she did go
with scheming mind her wildest dreams began to grow
What if she could fill this pail a hundred times or more?
She's had this thought and many others, countless times before
What amount of money could the milk provide to her?
She had a plan she must fulfill and no one could deter
She would sell the milk to buy at least 300 eggs to yield
at least 250 chickens to fill the farmers' field
The chickens they would grow big and strong and healthy
The farmer would become so happy proud and wealthy
When at the height of the poultry market he would sell his lot
The highest bidder would make him a hefty profit on the spot
And as reward for a job well done; a gift would be passed down
The daughters pick of her favourite silken gown
For Jill to wear at a Christmas dance and other special fare
Men would flock to propose to her from everywhere
“Oh no, I could not accept your offer sir”, Jill would reply
Because dear Jack ; he waits for me under watchful eye
My heart belongs to him for he is always at my side
He gives me all I need and no other could provide.
As she walks back to the farm with a heavy pail
She stumbles head over heels; and lets out an ugly wail.
All her dreams, now washed away with all of the spilt milk
She lets go of her dream of a dress made of the finest silk.
In the distance, Jack hears a scream from Jill
He runs as fast as he can to that distant hill
He’s just in time to see his girl tumble amongst dirt and pail
And he follows in hot pursuit after the girl with the ugly wail
To fall along side of her amongst the dirt and pail
Does she really need to cry over her spilt milk
And does she really need her dress made of the finest silk?
She had her man; no need for her to impress
He loves her anyways!~ Even in a simple dress!


Cindy Beitinger

22nd November 2012


Cindy I love this. Very clever.
A typo though (where) should be 'For Jill to wear...'
& capital 'Oh no!'


Davide Castel

22nd November 2012


Thank you so much Lucy for your comments and the corrections!


Cindy Beitinger

22nd November 2012


This is a terrific contribution! I really like it. I posted this a long time ago and no one could rise to the challenge. You have! Great job, and in poem form as well. Very talented.


Don Yarber

23rd November 2012


Nice and sweet.


Manya Mishra

23rd November 2012


Awesome cindy. What a great addition to this exercise.


Deborah Boydston

23rd November 2012


very sweet .....awesome...


Tanvi Nikalje

24th November 2012


Thank you all!


Cindy Beitinger

24th November 2012


Here's my contribution, Don.


My name is Mugie Vacca and I am talking to you whilst in transit to my new home. It is dark and crowded in the back of this truck and the stink? Don’t get me started, but suffice to say fresh air is at a premium. The road we are on is dusty, and as for the driver, well he steers like a cow, which is pretty ironic, when you think about it.

I’ve seen others enter this truck before me, all moving onto greener pastures while I have been left behind. Often I have stood next to the rain glazed wheel barrow (you know the one beside the white chickens), daydreaming of what this promising demi paradise may look like and now here I am, on my way. What fun!

A week or so ago Farmer McCarthy's daughter, Penelope, drew me a crude picture of a pail of milk and an arrow leading to what looked to be two s-shaped worms with verticle lines through the middle of them. Below this were young chickens hatching from eggs and a smiling stick-woman at the markets carrying a large sackfull of money.

The next morning in the milking shed Penelope showed me a fashion catalogue of scantly-dressed female humans with flashy apparel. She pointed from the catalogue to her drawing, and then to herself. After that she opened a magazine, flicked through the pages and picked out a photo of a very well-dressed man with a gormless smile. I honestly had no idea what the hell she was on about.

Next Penelope picked up a discarded pitchfork and bounced the tip of the handle against the ground. After each bounce she would draw it closer and closer towards her as if being stalked by some-sort of hopping creature (that girl, I swear she's dingbats). She said something untellable rocking it back and forth, then cast it aside with an air of indifference and laughed.

Suddenly I heard deep throated baaing and knew that Fitzroy de Lamb was acting the goat again. I took my leave of this crazy girl and started towards the grassy uplands of the farm. Unfortunately in my haste I carelessly kicked over the pail of milk she had extracted from me.

Penelope screwed her face up and cried. She then kicked the magazine and drawing pad and pointed from the kicked over bucket to me and sobbed something spiteful, but no matter how many tears she shed the spilt milk would not re-enter the pail. It was no use. I think there may be a lesson to be learned here.

Wait a minute, what’s this…ah we have arrived! And lover yonder? Iguess that must be the Abattoir Working Shed my spirit guide once spoke of.

The truck’s stopped and its back is lowering. The smell is escaping and I can feel fresh air. An entourage is gathering to greet us. Such hospitality! Now we are being arranged into groups…bet ours is the A-Team.

Oi- hey watch it buddy!

That fella just zapped me!

Guess I’d best be heading to the main office for induction before someone else zaps me. Boy are they strict.

I’ll be back later to tell you how it all went. I shall return!


Leslie Blackwell

25th November 2012


This is very good ! I am often amazed at the talent we have here on Scribeslice, but then I stop to realize that talent is the reason we are all here.

In this case, you have aptly written a humorous and well fitting story to the old Aesop's Fable. Great work !! Congratulations to all who attempted this difficult task.


Don Yarber

16th October 2013


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