Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

Once upon a time, a little boy named Jack lived with his poor mother. One day, Jack's mother said, “Son, we have nothing left but our old cow. Take her into town and sell her so we can buy some food.” So, Jack set out to sell the cow. On his way to town, Jack met a man.

“I'd like to buy your cow,” the fellow said. “I don't have gold, but I have some magic beans. They will bring you great fortune.”

Jack thought for a moment and then agreed. He gave the man the rope and kissed the cow good-bye. He took the colorful magic beans and went home.

When Jack arrived there, his mother said, “Well, Jack, I see you've sold the cow. How much gold did you get for her?”

“Oh, Mother, I got something even better than gold,” Jack said.

“What could be better than gold? Diamonds? Pearls?” she asked.

“Look,” Jack said as he spilled the beans on the kitchen table.

“Four beans?” his mother asked incredulously.

“They're magic beans,” Jack said. “The man told me so.”

“Jack, you are a fool!” his mother cried. “You've been swindled, you silly. These beans are worthless. Hungry or not, they're not even worth cooking.”

With that, she picked up the beans and threw them out the window. Then she sent Jack to bed.

The next morning, Jack woke up and looked out his window and saw the most amazing thing: A beanstalk that was thick and strong had grown overnight, reaching high into the sky. Jack looked up the beanstalk and decided to climb it in hopes of finding his fortune.

Jack climbed until at long last he reached the top of the beanstalk, which just poked through a patch of clouds. Jack stuck his head up and was surprised to discover a beautiful field of grass. Way off in the distance, he saw a huge castle.

He jumped off the beanstalk onto the grass and began walking to the castle. It took quite some time to get there, and by then he was very hungry, since he hadn't had a meal for at least a day.

When he reached the castle, he knocked on the massive front door.

“Who's there?” said a woman's booming voice.

“Just a hungry boy,” Jack shouted back. He looked everywhere but didn't see anyone, until he looked up and saw a giant woman looking back down at him.

“You're very small for a boy,” said the woman, “but I don't suppose you'll eat much. You can come in. But my husband will be home soon, and when he comes, you'll have to hide in the cupboard. If my husband sees you, he'll eat you in one bite!”

The giant's wife picked Jack up and carried him into the kitchen, where she gave him a crumb of brown bread the size of a boulder and a bit of cheese the size of a piano. Jack ate and ate until he was very full.

Suddenly, he heard a distant rumble coming toward the castle.

“My husband!” shouted the giantess. “Run, run, into the cupboard.”

Soon a giant burst into the kitchen. He had feet the size of horses, legs as tall as tree trunks, a head the size of a house, and just one eye.

“Fee, fi, fo, fum,” roared the giant. “I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive, or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread.”

The giant began sniffing and looking around the kitchen.

Just then, the giantess brought her husband his dinner, and so hungry was the giant that he forgot all about finding Jack.

When the giant had finished eating his dinner, he barked, “Wife, bring my golden goose!”

The giant's wife hurried from the kitchen and was back in a minute with an ordinary-looking goose that looked surprisingly tiny in her hands.

“Goose, lay!” the giant ordered.

The goose sat down and laid a golden egg! The giant picked the egg up, squinted at it, and then put the egg in his pocket. Then he fell asleep at the table.

Jack saw his opportunity. He jumped from the cupboard onto the table and snatched up the goose. Then he ran as fast as he could out of the castle, across the great green field, and began climbing down the beanstalk.

When he returned home, his mother said, “Jack, where have you been?”

“Winning riches,” said the young boy. He reached into his shirt and brought out the golden goose, which had fallen asleep while he had climbed down the beanstalk. Then he commanded, “Goose, lay!”

And the goose sat down and laid a golden egg. Jack and his mother hugged each other and jumped for joy.

And from that day on, Jack and his mother lived happily ever after.

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