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March 14: Story Challenge in 99-words

Today, Finlandia University is giving away free pie. No, it’s not yet another regional snow festival. It’s not a fundraiser for the local fire department or a student hall community builder. It’s Pi Day.

We can do the math at Carrot Ranch. After all, we count to 99 every week.

Pi Day occurs on March 14 (3/14) every year and is based on the Greek letter pi (representing the ongoing number, 3.14). It has to do with circles and infinity. Pi is a number that sounds like it could be on an epic story in any mathematician’s journey.

And that brings me to a fun observation — colleges like to be both studious and hilarious. So, why not celebrate Pi Day with Free Pie? Students need the cheer. The snow continues despite the evenings extending daylight. Covid protocols lessen but continue. Midterm grades are posted and studies grow intense. Free Pie will add some smiles.

If I made pie this time of year, likely it’d be raspberry or peach because those are the summer fruits I freeze. I’d make great big pies the size of wagon wheels and share them with all of you to celebrate the way math and stories come full circle. Cheer to cherries in pastry and the continuation of Pi.

Plans are still under development at Carrot Ranch. What I can tell you today, is that the Saddle Up Saloon will return on April 1 as Carrot Ranch’s stage for stories, instruction, and games. I’m currently working on the editorial calendar and designing a Cowsino (don’t worry Pal, we are only installing a single one-armed bandit in the Saloon).

For today, let’s be grateful for even the smallest joy and share pie.

March 14, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about free pie. What kind of pie and freedom? Who is involved with pies? How is it free? Go where the prompt leads!

  1. March 19, 2022. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. The Collection publishes on the Wednesday following the next Challenge. Rules & Guidelines.
  2. Carrot Ranch only accepts stories through the form below. Accepted stories will be published in a weekly collection. Writers retain all copyrights.
  3. Your blog or social media link will be included in your title when the Collection publishes.
  4. Please include your byline which is the name or persona you attribute to your writing.
  5. Please include the hashtag #99Word Stories when sharing either the Challenge or Collection posts in social media.

Submissions are now closed. Find our latest challenge to enter.


  1. “Whoa. Stop. Back up. A cowsino? I bet that’ll be fun!”
    “Don’t be a April fool, Kid. We best git over there an give thet saloon a good spring cleanin. Last I knew yer dang kid goats were gambolin aroun the place.”
    “I’m 3.14159… steps ahead a ya Pal. Farmed the goats out couple weeks ago. An, as I’d ruther be doin jist bout anythin asides cleanin, I hired Pepe an Logatha’s cleanin service.”
    “Yep. Fresh Air Cleanin Company— fer a clean that lingers. So zipper yer pie hole Pal. I got this.”
    “I got anxiety bout thet.”

    • Charli Mills says:

      A clean that lingers! Oh, no… that story needs some air. But, yes, I think the cowsino might had been Pal’s idea. Or maybe it was Curly’s.

      • Curly is getting pretty broad in the beam these days. She’s no longer a spring puglet. But she will be willing to be a porcine broadside for the Saddle Up, advertising events on her sides as she parades the ranch. Better a sandwich board than a sandwich is the thinking there.

      • Charli Mills says:

        Curly will make a great promoter!

  2. restlessjo says:

    That looks an awesome pie! I might just have to join you.

  3. Don’t know if this will show here but I have a TikTok already for Pi Day. I bet your fruit pies are delicious

  4. Norah says:

    I hope you had a hearty chunck of pie, Charli. The one you’re serving looks great. I’m pleased it’s low on calories at the moment. 🙂

  5. Cowsino? You got my attention. But, I don’t consider myself a cow… Intriguing!

    And yum for pie!

  6. Jules says:

    Ah… spin the wheel and mash the prompts? Kinda like them cooking shows where you get a High End, a Low End ingredient and a Wammy?!

  7. HA HA! A Cowsino? Oh this is going to be fun. <3

  8. Liz H says:

    Can’t remember if I submitted earlier or not, but here it is, late (03/22./2022).

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