Jack and the Beanstalk

April 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm (Fairy Tales, Humor, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Once upon a time there was a poor widow who lived with her son, Jack, and their cow, Milky-White (real original name there). Every morning Jack would milk the cow and he and his mother would sell it at the market. Milky-White’s milk was their only source of income, but she was getting old and one day she no longer gave milk. The poor widow and Jack were not very good investors (preferring to use the Bank of Under their mattress), and so because they had no milk to sell they only had enough money to last them through the week.

“Oh! What shall we do? Jack! Go get a job!” Cried the Widow.

“Don’t worry Mother; I am sure to get a job in no time.” Jack said from the couch as he played an outmoded version of a video game.

“You think you can get a job in this economy? With no job experience? And no skills? No, we must sell Milky-White, and use the money to start a shop or something like that.” His mother replied. “Now get up, and go sell Milky-White!”

Jack said “OK,” and continued sitting playing his game.

“I said NOW!” Yelled his mother.

Jack scrambled up, and ran outside to grab Milky-White. He then started off towards the market with the cow. He never made it all the way to the market however, because he met a strange little man part way there.

“Good Morning Jack!” Said the little man.

“Ummm, Good Morning,” replied Jack, wondering how this stranger knew his name.

“Where are you off to on this fine morning, Jack?” Asked the creepy little man.

“To the market, to sell this cow,” Jack had never learned about stranger-danger, and so he continued talking to the man with Stalker-like tendencies.

“Oh, you look the proper sort of chap to sell cows,” said the stalker. “I wonder if you know how many beans make five.”

“Two in each hand and one in your mouth,” says Jack, in a snarky sort of way, wondering what beans had to do with his cow.

“Right you are,” says the man, “and here they are, the very beans themselves,” he went on, pulling out of his pocket a number of strange-looking beans. “As you are so sharp,” says he, “I don’t mind doing a swap with you — your cow for these beans.”

Jack was very confused, he was just joking when he had answered the bean question. How the heck had ‘two in each hand, and one in your mouth’ been the right answer?”You must be crazy,” said Jack. “My cow is worth much more than your little beans. Now, I really must get to the market. See ya.”

“No, no, no. You don’t understand, Jack. These are Magic Beans. If you plant them overnight, by morning they grow right up to the sky.”

“Seriously, dude. I don’t want the beans. I’m going now.”

Jack tried to leave, but the little man blocked his path. Two more little men appeared out of nowhere to prevent Jack from going home. “Now, Jack, if these beans don’t do what I say, then you can have the cow back tomorrow. Trust me.”

Jack didn’t believe the menacing stalker-man, but he didn’t see any way out of this conversation, except to accept the little man’s offer. So he said, “Ok, fine, I’ll take the stupid beans. Can I go home now?”

The little creep grabbed the cow, handed Jack the beans, and disappeared.

When Jack got home, his mother said, “Back so soon? I don’t see Milky-White anywhere, so you must have sold her. How much did you get?”

Jack held out his hand holding the five beans, and tried to explain that he had basically been mugged. His mother would have none of his excuses, and confiscated the beans and sent him to bed with no supper. She looked down at the beans, bared her teeth, and threw them angrily out the window. Why was she so unlucky as to have such an idiotic son?

The next morning Jack woke up to a room that looked different. His window faced towards the East, so normally when he woke up it was filled with light, but his morning, what little light came through the window was tinted green. He got up (which was very unusual for him to do without being yelled at by his mother), and looked out the window. HE saw a huge green beanstalk soaring high into the sky. The top of the beanstalk was so high it was obscured by the clouds.

Jack was too afraid to face his mother, so he jumped out the window and began to climb the beanstalk. He climbed, and he climbed, and he climbed, and he climbed some more. Then he climbed, and climbed, and climbed, and climbed even further, until, finally, he reached the top of the beanstalk.

Jack looked around in wonder at the world above the clouds. He had never seen anything like this, even in video games. The trees were ten times larger than the trees at home, the road was four times wider than the roads at home, and the house at the end of the lane was at least six times as large as the King’s Palace in the land below the clouds. Jack followed the huge road all the way to the huge house. When he arrived at the house, he found a giant woman bringing in the morning paper.

“Please mum, I have traveled very far this morning, and haven’t had anything to eat since yesterday morning. May I perhaps have some breakfast?” It turns out that Jack did know how to be polite.

“Its breakfast you want, is it?” says the great big tall woman. “It’s breakfast you’ll be if you don’t move off from here. My husband is an ogre and there’s nothing he likes better than boys broiled on toast. You’d better be moving on or he’ll be coming in from milking the cows.”

“Oh please, mum!” Pleaded Jack, “I might as well be broiled, for I shall surely die of hunger if you do not broil me.”

The Ogre’s wife (Whose name was Francine) took pity on the boy, and brought him inside for some breakfast. Jack had only eaten half of his extra-large portion of French toast when Thump, Thump, THUMP. The house began to tremble with the sound of a very large someone approaching.

“Oh dear, it’s my husband,” exclaimed Francine “Quick, hide in the oven!”

Jack jumped into the oven just as the Ogre came inside the house.

“Good morning, Max! What would you like for breakfast, dear?”

Jack peeked out of the oven window and saw the giant ogre unhook three calves from his belt buckle.

“Broil the calves up for me; they should make an excellent breakfast.” Replied Max the Ogre as he gave his wife a kiss. “What is this I smell?

Fee-fi-fo-fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I’ll have his bones to grind my bread.”

“Nonsense, darling, you just need to take a shower, that is all. Or perhaps it is the leftovers from the little boy you had yesterday for dinner. You go tidy up, and when you are dressed breakfast will be ready.” With that Francine shooed her husband out of the room.

Jack was just about to jump out of the oven, when Francine stopped him. “Just wait till after breakfast, Max always takes a snooze after he eats.” So Jack waited. Max came back from his very short shower, and ate breakfast. After he ate, the Ogre went over to a large chest, and took out two large bags of gold. He put the bags by his boots, and then fell asleep on the couch. Francine freed Jack from the oven, then went off to make the bed. While she was away, Jack snatched the bags of gold, and ran to the beanstalk. He dropped the bags of gold down to the world below, and climbed back to his mother’s house.

“Look Mother! I have two bags of gold from the beanstalk! It wasn’t such a waste getting those beans for Milky-White!”

The days passed, and like many people who have a sudden windfall, they spent the money on all sorts of ridiculous things until they had run out of gold.

“Jack! We have run out of money once again! Stop playing that stupid video game, and get a job!”

“Mother, why don’t I just go back up the beanstalk? I am sure I can get more gold from the ogres.”

Jack’s mother was against stealing, but, like many villagers, she believed that ogres were monsters undeserving of gold. She also knew that Jack would never get a job, because he was a deadbeat loser. So back up the beanstalk Jack went.

Things progressed as they had before, but this time, he saw Max the ogre playing with a hen that laid a golden egg every time it was told “lay.” Jack waited until Max was napping, and Francine was making the bed, then he took off with the hen. As he was running out, the hen gave a loud squawk and woke Max.

“What? Francine, Where is my hen?” Max shouted.

“Why?” Shouted back Francine, but Jack never heard the reply, for he was already climbing down the beanstalk.

He and his mother were very glad of the golden hen, but soon became greedy and dissatisfied with only having golden eggs. So Jack went up the beanstalk for a third time. This time Jack knew that Francine wouldn’t let him back in the house; too much had gone missing after he had been there. So he waited, hidden in the bushed, until Francine came out for the morning paper, then he crept into the house and hid in the copper milk jug by the breakfast table.

Thump, Thump. THUMP! In came the ogre. “Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman,” shouted Max. “I smell him, Francine, I smell him.”

“If it is that little punk who stole your gold and hen, then he will have hidden in the oven like the last two times!” Francine looked in the oven, but Jack wasn’t there. “Oh! It must be the boy you caught last night. I forgot that I had broiled him this morning for your breakfast. Silly me.”

“I would have sworn that I smelled a live English boy…” muttered Max as he ate his broiled boy on toast.

After Breakfast, Max brought out his new toy: a golden harp that sang when it was told to. The harp sung the ogre to sleep, and Francine went off to make the bed. Then Jack hopped out of the milk jug, grabbed the harp, and ran for the door. The harp gave a shriek, and called out “Master! Master, this boy is trying to steal me!”

The ogre woke up and chased after Jack, following him all the way to the beanstalk which Jack scrambled quickly down. Max hesitated at the beanstalk, afraid it couldn’t hold his weight, but then his anger overcame his fear and he followed Jack down the beanstalk.

Jack was very fast, and made it all the way to the ground before the ogre even made it out of the clouds. He then ran and grabbed the ax, and started cutting down the beanstalk. He chopped and chopped, until the beanstalk toppled over. The giant just managed to grab a hold of the world above, saving himself from certain death.

Jack and his mother never learned to live modestly with their new-found wealth, and were often stolen from. Max and Francine Ogre learned to never trust little boys, and got a guard dog. No one lived very happily ever after, except for Jack, for he never did have to get a job.

Want to read an original version? Check out http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0328jack.html

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