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When soup meats woke.

by Maricellus 

Posted: 08 December 2022
Word Count: 1149
Summary: A retelling of the Princess and the Pea fairytale (sort of)

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When soup meats woke

Once upon a time in a land not so far away there was once, in the shire of Wokeham, a university called Wokeham University.

Universities are places where young people go to do not a lot really and it costs mummy and daddy many thousands of pounds to send them there, but mummy and daddy think it’s worth it because they get rid of their little darlings for a few years and they can start to live again.

The people that attend university are called students and when their time is finished at the university they are awarded a degree. A degree is a sheet of paper and on it is written these words. The owner of this sheet of paper is a really, really clever person. Honest! And then they leave university and get some more money off mummy and daddy and travel abroad to exotic places. This is called a gap year and when they have done that they go back to live at mummy and daddy’s house because they can’t get a job 

Now, it was a tradition at this university that students had to run the student union kitchen and this year it was the turn of two students: Jessica and Camilla. 

‘Oh dear, but what are we going to do?’ said Jessica. ‘I don’t know the first thing about cooking and kitchens are nasty, horrible places and I only eat vegetables. There is no way that I could chop up a lovely animal and cook it. In fact, I hate all people that eat animals. If I had my way all the university restaurants would be vegan.’

‘Me too,’ said Camilla ‘I wouldn’t even know how to boil an egg. Not that I ever would because I am a vegan too.’ And so they decided that they would have to appoint a cook.

Now, in this university was a girl by the name of Madeline and when Madeline saw the advert for the canteen cook she knew she had to apply and get the job. Madeline was wise to Jessica and Camilla’s plan to turn all the university restaurants into vegan restaurants. Madeline couldn’t let this happen because daddy was a farmer and he kept cows and pigs and he said if everybody became a vegan he wouldn’t be able to sell his meat and then he’d have to give away all his animals and then they’d all starve. Madeline didn’t like the sound of starving, but she loved the taste of cows and pigs and, as if to prove it, she ate a sausage from the plate of sausages in front of her and said ‘I love the taste of pigs yum yum,’ to absolutely no-one at all.

Madeline’s big idea was to become the cook and to list all the meaty things on the menu with the prefix ‘Veggie’. So there would be veggie sausages and veggie bacon and veggie burgers and veggie cottage pie and veggie (I think you get the idea) but, here’s the clever bit, they wouldn’t be made of veggie at all! No, they would all be made of meat. Ha ha!

Madeline was very chuffed with herself when she completed her application. She was so chuffed in fact that she slid another delicious sausage between her grateful lips.

And so Madeline turned up for the interview and Jessica and Camilla asked her loads of questions about veganism. ‘Oh yes,’ said Madeline. ‘There is no way I could cook meat. I have never eaten meat in my life. I think it is the most terrible thing to eat animals and anybody who thinks that it is alright to do so is a beastly, horrible person.’

Needless to say, Madeline passed with flying colours and when she had gone Jessica said to Camilla ‘Oh my gosh she is absolutely perfect. She’s just like us isn’t she Camilla.’
‘I’m not so sure,’ said Camilla and she pulled a face that made her look like she wasn’t so sure.
‘Why ever not,’ said Jessica
‘Because… ,’ said Camilla ‘… because, I think I smelled sausage-meat on her breath.’
With that, Jessica gave a little shriek and had to be helped to sit down and gather herself. When she was sat and gathered she said ‘What are we going to do now?’

‘We will set her a trap,’ said Camilla. ‘We will invite her over for supper and we will make her a pea soup.’ Jessica was just about to cut in to remind her that neither of them can cook
‘Don’t worry,’ said Camilla, ‘I’ll buy a can of the soup but, here’s the clever bit, I will drop into the soup the tiniest amount of ham.’
‘Yuk! How will you pick up the disgusting little piece of ham to drop it into the soup?’
‘With a tweezer,’ said Camilla
‘Oh, of course,’
‘… And when she tastes the soup. If she is truly a vegan, like she says she is, then she will taste the ham in the soup and spit it out. If she doesn’t then we will know she was lying.’
‘You are a genius.’
‘I know,’ said Camilla and then she pulled a face that she thought a genius would pull when they are thinking the most genius of thoughts

And so it came to pass that all three of the girls were sat around the supper table and Jessica ladled out the pea soup (with the tiniest piece of ham going into Madeline’s bowl). 
Jessica sipped at her soup and said, ‘My soup is a bit too cool.’
Camilla sipped at her soup and said, ‘My soup is a bit too warm.’
Madeline sipped at her soup and said, ‘But my soup is just right.’
Then Jessica turned her head to one side as if to face a TV camera that wasn’t there and said, ‘I think we are in the wrong fairytale.’

They all shrieked with laughter at this but, alas for Madeline, as she drew in a mighty breath to charge her lungs with another bout of guffawing, the tiniest piece of ham shot to the back of her throat and lodged itself there.

Well, she cluttered and she stuttered and she flustered and she blustered as she pointed at her throat and her eyes bulged to almost popping out of their sockets. Then with one great heave she coughed and the tiniest piece of ham shot out of her mouth onto the floor. 

Naturally, Camilla and Jessica interpreted Madeline’s convulsions as proof that she was a vegan and so was telling the truth all along. They gathered around Madeline and congratulated her and told her that the job was hers. Madeline was so happy because now she could put her plan into action and Camilla and Jessica were happy because now they didn’t have to do any cooking.

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Comments by other Members

crowspark at 11:27 on 11 December 2022  Report this post
Hi Mark, I enjoyed your modern fairy story!" A smooth and engaging read.

Maricellus at 11:50 on 11 December 2022  Report this post
Thanks Bill. I'm glad you liked it. I read a few weeks ago about a university in Scotland where the students wanted the student union canteen to become vegan, followed by all the other canteens. It was fun writing it.

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