Rumpelstiltskin: a modern retelling (B1)

Do you know the fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin? Well, this is a modern version. Meet Chloe, a young woman who doesn't want to sing, crying at the audition for Find a Star ...


Do the preparation exercise first and then read the story. If you find it too easy, try the next level. If it's too difficult, try the lower level. After reading, do the exercises to check your understanding.

From all across the land, people came to audition for the TV talent show Find A Star. At the front of the line was Mr Miller and his daughter, Chloe Miller. Chloe was a singer, Mr Miller told anyone who was listening.

Chloe couldn't really sing. She didn't want to sing in front of the audience and the judges, including famous record producer Simon King. When the doors opened, she ran to the bathroom to cry. Mr Miller was outside, talking to journalists. 'Chloe's voice is like gold,' he said. 'Simon King will choose her as the winner.'

Just then a little man appeared and said to Chloe, 'I can help you win the audition. I'll turn your voice into gold – just like your father's promise. What will you give me in return?'

'I have only this ring,' said Chloe.

'I'll take that!' the little man said.

When Chloe sang for the judges, her voice was so beautiful that the audience stood up to clap.

'You're in the competition,' said Simon King.

The next month, Chloe and her father arrived for the competition on live TV. Again Chloe was afraid and she hid in the bathroom. How will I sing like that again? she asked herself. But, again, the little man appeared. 'Give me your necklace and I'll make you sing like gold again,' he said.

Once more, the audience and the judges danced, cried and cheered every song she sang. She won the first round, the second and third, all the way to the final. Her father told all the newspapers, 'My daughter is going to win.' Chloe tried to look happy whenever the cameras were on, but really she didn’t want to be a famous singer.

This time, when the little man came, Chloe had nothing left to give him and she was terrified. 'I'll open my mouth and everyone will know I can only sing a little bit.'

'I must have something in return,' said the little man. 'One day I will ask you for something and you will have to give it to me.'

Chloe agreed. She won the TV competition and Simon King signed her to his record label, King Records. Her first – and only – album sold millions and her manager – Mr Miller – became rich. Because she didn’t really enjoy singing and she knew she wasn't that good, she began to act instead. At first no one believed this singer could act, but she went to drama school and worked her way from small parts in TV shows to leading roles in films. She forgot all about the little man.

One year, she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress. The night before the ceremony, the little man appeared again. 'You remember your promise?' he said. 'Give me your first Oscar or I'll tell all those journalists how you really won the TV contest.'

'I'll give you all the money my record has made,' she said, 'but please don't tell everyone. I've worked so hard for that Oscar!' she cried.

'If you can guess my name in three days,' he said, 'you can keep your Oscar – and your secrets.'

On the first day, Chloe guessed all the names she could think of. 'James, Ahmad, Santiago, Danil, Ji-hun'. But they were all wrong. On the second day she guessed 'Drake, Justin, Kanye, Ed, Zayn'. But they were all wrong too. Chloe was afraid. She had only one more day to guess. So she went to Twitter and searched #guessmyname and #Oscars. After hours, she found a tweet from @Rumpelstiltskin saying, 'Ha ha ha, tomorrow the Oscar goes to …ME :)))) #guessmyname'.

The next day the little man came and said, 'Last chance. Guess my name or tonight I take your Oscar and share your secrets on Twitter.'

'Is your name … Rumpelstiltskin?' she asked.

'Ahhhh,' screamed Rumpelstiltskin, because she was right. He stamped his foot so hard that it made a hole in the floor and he couldn't pull it out. But he kept her secret and Chloe Miller accepted the Oscar for Best Actress and lived happily ever after.

Nicola Prentis


Did you like the story? Did you like the ending? Why/Why not?

Language level
No votes yet
Personal online tutoring
EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council’s one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds.


Submitted by Snus_Wayne6969 on Fri, 10/23/2020 - 08:44

I lik tis! But i also lik orginl. Rumpelstiltskin rip in haf
Profile picture for user Andrii

Submitted by Andrii on Fri, 12/27/2019 - 15:05

I like this story and its endind beacause it has happy end:)
English courses near you