Once upon a time there was a boy whose name was Jack, and he lived with his mother on a
This motivated Jack. He went out and hired himself for the next day to a neighboring farmer for a penny, but as he was coming home he lost the penny as he passed over a stream.
“You stupid boy,” said his mother, “you should have put it in your pocket.”
The next day, Jack went out again and hired himself to a dairy farmer, who gave him a gallon of milk for his day's work. Jack took the jug and put it into the large pocket of his jacket, spilling it all long before he got home.
“Oh, Jack!” said the old woman. “You should have carried it on your head.”
So the following day, Jack hired himself again to a farmer, who agreed to give him a wheel of cheese for his services. In the evening Jack took the cheese and carried it home on his head. By the time he got home the cheese was ruined; part of it melted, and the rest was matted into his hair.
“You stupid lout,” said his mother, “you should have carried it very carefully in your hands.”
The next day, Lazy Jack went out and hired himself to a baker, who gave him nothing for his work but a large tomcat. Jack took the cat, and began carrying it very carefully in his hands; but in a short time, the cat scratched him so much that he was forced to let it go.
When he got home, his mother said to him, “You should have tied it with a string and dragged it along after you.”
On the following day, Jack hired himself to a butcher, who rewarded him with a lamb shoulder. Jack took the meat, tied it to a string, and trailed it along after him in the dirt. By the time he got home, the meat was completely ruined. His mother was this time quite out of patience with him, for the next day was Sunday, and they only had cabbage for dinner.
“You should have carried the meat on your shoulder,” she said to her son On Monday, Lazy Jack went once more and hired himself to a dairy farmer, who gave him a donkey for his trouble. Now, though Jack was strong, he found it hard to hoist the donkey onto his shoulders, but at last he did it and began walking slowly home with his prize.
It so happened that in the course of his journey, he passed a house where a rich man lived with his only daughter, a beautiful girl who was deaf and dumb and had never laughed in her life. The doctors said she would never speak until somebody made her laugh. So her father had said that any man who made her laugh could marry her. Now this young lady happened to be looking out of the window when Jack passed by with the donkey on his shoulders. The poor beast, with its legs sticking up in the air, was kicking violently and
Her father was overjoyed and kept his promise by marrying her to Lazy Jack, who then became a rich gentleman. They lived in a mansion, and Jack's mother lived with them in great happiness for many years.