Jack and the Beanstalk

“No, dear,” she said soothingly. “You have got bacon and mushrooms. You must still be smelling the boy you ate last week.” The giant sniffed the air suspiciously but at last sat down. He wolfed his breakfast of bacon and mushrooms, drank a great bucketful of steaming tea and crunched up a massive slice of toast. Then he fetched a couple of bags of gold from a cupboard and started counting gold coins. Before long he dropped off to sleep.

Quietly Jack crept out of the oven.

Carefully he picked up two gold coins and ran as fast as he could to the top of the beanstalk. He threw the gold clown to his mother’s garden and climbed after it. At the bottom he found his mother looking in amazement at the gold coins and the beanstalk. Jack told her of his adventures in the giant’s castle and when she examined the gold she realized he must be speaking the truth.

Jack and his mother used the gold to buy food. But the day came when the money ran out, and Jack decided to climb the beanstalk again.

It was all the same as before, the long climb, the road to the castle, the smell of breakfast and the giant’s wife. But she was not so friendly this time.

“Aren’t you the boy who was here before,” she asked, “on the day that some gold was stolen from under my husband’s nose?”

But Jack convinced her she was wrong and in time her heart softened again and she gave him some breakfast. Once more as Jack was eating the ground shuddered and the great voice boomed: “Tee, Fi, Fo, Fum.” Quickly, ackjumped into the oven.

As he entered, the giant bellowed:

“Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum,

I smell the blood of cm Englishman,

Be he alive or be he dead,

I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.”

The giant’s wife put a plate of sizzling sausages before him, telling him he must be mistaken. After breakfast the giant fetched a hen from a back room. Every time he said “Lay!” the hen laid an egg of solid gold.

“I must steal that hen, if I can,” thought Jack, and he waited until the giant fell asleep. Then he slipped out of the oven, snotched up the and rim for the top of the beanstalk. Keeping the hen under one arm, he scrambled Jack and the Beanstalk clown as fast as he could until he reached the bottom. Jack’s mother was waiting but she was not pleased when she saw the hen.

“Another of your silly ideas, is it, bringing an old hen when you might have brought us some gold? I don’t know, what is to be done with you?”

Then jack set the hen down carefully, and cornmanded “Lay!” just as the giant had done. To his mother’s surprise the hen laid an egg of solid gold.

Jack and his mother now lived in great luxury. But in time Jack became a little bored and decided to climb the beanstalk again.

This time he did not risk talking to the giant’s wife in case she recognized him. He slipped into the kitchen when she was not looking, and hid himself in the log basket. He watched the giant’s wife prepare breakfast and then he heard the giant’s roar:

“Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum,

I smell the blood of an Englishman,

Be he alive or be he dead,

I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.”

“If it’s that cheeky boy who stole your gold and our magic hen, then help you catch him,” said the giant’s wife. “Why don’t we look in the oven? It’s my guess he’ll be hiding there.”

You may be sure that jack was glad he was not in the oven. The giant and his wife hunted high and low but never thought to look in the log basket. At last they gave up and the giant sat down to breakfast.

After he had eaten, the giant fetched a harp. When he commanded “Play!” the harp played the most beautiful music. Soon the giant fell asleep, and jack crept out of the log basket. Quickly he snatched up the harp and ran. But the harp called out loudly, “Master, save me! Save me!” and the giant woke. With a roar of rage he chased after Jack.

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