Sprue Stories: The Fairy-Tale Edition

This comic in the New Yorker got me thinking about how celiac/gluten intolerance and food allergies do sometimes take the “magic” out of things. Romance and mystique are good and all, but some of us need a little more certainty in our happily ever afters. (File that one under “sad but sprue.”) I was inspired to adapt a few fairy tales into more relatable bedtime stories for me and my celiac-having friends.

Sleeping Beauty

After a run-in with an offended fairy and an enchanted spindle, Sleeping Beauty slept for a hundred years in a thorn-covered castle. When a handsome prince broke through the brambles to find her, he fell in love instantly and awoke her with a kiss. Unfortunately, the princess had celiac disease, and the prince had just quaffed an entire flagon of ale to psych himself up. When she came to, she was so ill from their kiss that she never forgave him. “Eternal sleep,” she moaned, clutching her abdomen, “would at least have been painless.”

Jack & the Beanstalk

Having ditched gluten years before on doctor’s orders, and given up lactose when his cow stopped producing milk, Jack was finally free of the brain fog that had plagued him all his life. Plus, he knew the cost of a sack of rice flour. When a strange old man tried to bargain for his cow, Jack was far too clearheaded to believe in his “magic beans.” He sidestepped the man, sold Bessie at market price, and lived with his mother penniless but sensible the rest of his days.

Goldilocks & the Three Bears

A hungry little girl once came across an unlocked cottage where three bowls of porridge sat on the table: one hot, one cold, one warm. The warm bowl looked just right, but she couldn’t be sure that the cook had used gluten-free oats, and she didn’t want to risk getting glutened alone in the woods. And besides, she remembered how annoyed she always felt when people ate her expensive gluten-free snacks without asking first. So she went on her way, and the three bears to whom the cottage belonged smiled and waved as they crossed her path in the woods.

The Frog-Prince

The princess was not about to kiss that slimy frog, no matter what he promised. It’s not that she didn’t believe he was a prince; she just knew he was lying about not eating the breadcrumbs children threw into the pond for him. “You may be a prince,” she said, “but if you’re not going to take my health seriously, you’re not charming enough for me.”


When the miller told the king his daughter could spin straw into gold, he never expected he’d have to prove it. Sadly for them both, the king locked the girl in a dungeon and commanded her to spin for her life. After a time, a small man appeared and asked the girl why she was crying. When she told him her tale, he shook his head and said, “Alas, love, I would help, but I got out of that line of work years ago. The straw is always cross-contaminated and it’s just not worth it.” He bade the miller’s daughter good night, and that’s pretty much the end of that story.

The Gingerbread Man

You tell me this one!

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20 thoughts on “Sprue Stories: The Fairy-Tale Edition

  1. Amanda says:

    I love this! Too many celiac blogs post the same old information or just rant and rave! Thanks for this funny post ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Molly says:

      Yay, thank you for reading! These silly things were just bumbling around in my head all day at work today until I had to take a break and write them. Ran out of break time before I got to ole Ginger, though.

      • Amanda says:

        I’m glad you wrote them! I love reading stuff like this and I feel like it helps to keep a positive attitude! Like I said,almost all Celiac blogs are either recipes, or ranting. And I mean, you can only rant for so long before you start re-writing fairy tales, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Amanda says:

    Reblogged this on Celiac and Allergy Adventures and commented:
    I love this blog post! Celiac disease inspiring creativity and humor rather than negativity.

  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS!!!!!! I was just thinking of a mold and fragrance version of your stories. Gingerbread man – will have to think about it and see if I can come up with something. I definitely have to reblog this, too good not to share.

    • Molly says:

      Hey, we’re already limited enough. No need to confine yourself to the Gingerbread Man if you’d rather write about Snow White! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for reblogging.

  4. Ok, this is genius! I love these “fairy tales” and may give Gingerbread a shot, though I think you would probably do a better job as you’re on a roll (um, gluten free of course).

    • Molly says:

      Thank you! You really know how to butter me up (using a clean knife that hasn’t just touched a wheat roll, of course). Will look forward to your take on Ginger. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Reblogged this on allergictolifemybattle and commented:
    I found this to be so light hearted and a good spoof on fairie tales from the view of a celiac. I immediately started thinking of a way to spin these with a mold and chemical sensitivity slant. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

  6. arcavanaugh says:

    The gingerbread man strikes back by attacking the fox’s intestines! I guess that’s not really how celiac works. Anyway, this was funny! I like your other post too. I’m totally LOL-ing in the library, yikes. I did have to look up “sprue” in the dictionary, but I’m loving the puns now.

    • Molly says:

      Love it! Actually, he’s so sly he gets the fox’s intestines to attack THEMSELVES. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Sprue is, according to my dictionary, perhaps related to the Flemish word for “sprinkle.” Doesn’t that make it sound cute?

  7. thglutenfree says:

    How awesome!! Love it!! Reblogged with plenty of love =)


  8. Courtney says:

    Too funny! Very creative ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. […] came for lighthearted, please check out my archives, where you will find plenty of absurd musing on fairy tales and brain fog. No doubt I will be back tomorrow babbling about citrus (no, but […]

  10. thglutenfree says:

    I love this post and so many of your other ones, and here’s some blogger love to prove it ๐Ÿ™‚ No obligations, just some well deserved recognition for your hard work!



  11. […] you liked this post, check out theย fairy tale edition, […]

  12. […] I thought I’d share some with you. You’ve read the fairy tales; you’ve seen the Disney remakes; today, it’s time for the Christmas Edition, with a […]

  13. […] disease doesn’t demand bedtime storiesโ€”though I’ve got you covered if it ever comes […]

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