Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts
Fiction   /   Nonfiction   /   Poetry

Burgers Fried in Salt

by Julie Kane


Once upon a time there was a wicked Queen who fried hamburger patties in salt: a giant patty for the King; a medium patty for herself; and three eeny-weeny patties for the three princesses. The burgers came out of the pan as black and as hard as lava rocks, because the salt leached all of the juices out of the meat. One day after the Queen had died of meanness, the oldest princess, to whom she had been the meanest, decided to fry a burger in nothing but its own juices. It was delicious! She didn’t know that the middle princess, who had run away from home as soon as she was able, had been frying her burgers in big fat gobs of butter for years. But the youngest princess, who had squeezed a few dribs and drabs of love out of the Queen by being cute as a chipmunk when she was little, kept on frying her burgers in salt. That one gave birth to a daughter, loved even before she was born, who refused to eat any meat at all, saying that her dreams were haunted by milk cows bellowing for their stolen veal calves, and by slaughterhouse cattle bellowing for their long-lost mothers.