Jack and the Beanstalk - Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a poor widow who had an only son named Jack and a cow named Milky-White.
And all they had to live on was the milk the cow gave every morning, which they carried to the market and sold.
But one morning Milky-White gave no milk, and they didn't know what to do.

"What shall we do, what shall we do?" cried the widow, wringing her hands.

"Cheer up, mother, I'll go and get work somewhere," said Jack.

"We've tried that before, and nobody would take you," said his mother. "We must sell Milky-White and with the money start a shop or something."

"All right, mother," said Jack. "It's market day today. I'll soon sell Milky-White, and then we'll see what we can do."

So he took the cow's halter in his hand and off he started. He hadn't gone far when he met a funny-looking old man who said to him, "Good morning, Jack."

"Good morning to you," said Jack, wondering how the man knew his name.

"Well, Jack, where are you off to?" asked the man.

"I'm going to the market to sell our cow."

"Oh, you look the proper sort of chap to sell cows," said the man. "I wonder if you know how many beans make five?"

"Two in each hand and one in your mouth," said Jack, as sharp as a needle.

"Right you are," said 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," said he, "I don't mind doing a swop with you—your cow for these beans."

"Go along," says Jack; "wouldn't you like that!"

"Ah! you don't know what these beans are," said the man. "If you plant them tonight, by morning they will grow right up to the sky."

"Really?" said Jack. "You don't say so."

"Yes, that is so. And if it doesn't turn out to be true, you can have your cow back."

"Right," said Jack, handing him Milky-White's halter and pocketing the beans.

As Jack hadn't gone very far, it wasn't even dusk by the time he got to his door.

"Back already, Jack?" said his mother. "I see you haven't got Milky-White, so you've sold her. How much did you get for her?"

"You'll never guess, mother," said Jack.

"What was it? Five pounds, ten, fifteen? No, it can't be twenty."

"I knew you couldn't guess. What do you say to these beans?

They're magical, plant them tonight and—"

"What!" cried Jack's mother,

"Have you been such a fool, such an idiot, as to give away my Milky-White for these beans? Take that! Take that! Take that! And as for your precious beans, here they go out the window! Now off with you to bed. There'll be no supper for you!"

So Jack went upstairs to his little room in the attic, a sad and sorry boy.

When Jack woke up, the room looked very strange.

The sun was shining into part of it, yet all the rest was quite dark and shady. So Jack jumped up and dressed himself and went to the window.

And what do you think he saw?

Why, the beans his mother had thrown out of the window into the garden had sprung up into a big beanstalk that went up and up and up till it reached the sky!

So the man spoke truth after all.

The beanstalk grew quite close to Jack's window.

All he had to do was open the window and jump on to the beanstalk, which ran up just like a big ladder.

Jack climbed and climbed and climbed till at last he reached the sky. And when he got there he found a long, broad road going as straight as an arrow. So he walked along the road till he came to a great big tall house. And on the doorstep there was a great big tall woman.

"Good morning, mum," said Jack, politely.

"Could you be so kind as to give me some breakfast?"

"It's breakfast you want, is it?" cried the great big tall woman.

"It's breakfast you'll be if you don't move off from here. My man is an Ogre, and there's nothing he likes better than boys broiled on toast."

"Oh! please mum, do give me something to eat. I've had nothing to eat since yesterday morning, really and truly, mum."

Well, the Ogre's wife was not half as bad as she looked or sounded. So she took Jack into the kitchen and gave him some bread and cheese and a jug of milk. But Jack hadn't half finished when he heard a great thump! thump! thump! and the whole house began to tremble.

"Goodness gracious me! It's my old man," said the Ogre's wife.

"What on earth shall I do? Come along quick and jump in here." And she bundled Jack into the oven just as the Ogre came in.

He was a big one, to be sure. At his belt he had three calves strung up by the heels. He unhooked them and threw them down on the table and said: "Here, wife, fix me these for breakfast. Ah, what's 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, dear," said his wife, "you're dreaming. Or perhaps you smell the scraps of that little boy you had for yesterday's dinner. Go and wash, and by the time you come back your breakfast'll be ready for you."

So off the Ogre went.

 Jack was just going to jump out of the oven and run away when the woman told him to stay. "Wait till he's asleep," she said. "He always has a nap after breakfast."

After breakfast, the Ogre went to a big chest and took out a couple of bags of gold. He sat down and began to count, till at last his head started to nod and he began to snore till the whole house shook.

Then Jack crept out of the oven.

Taking one of the bags of gold, he ran until he came to the beanstalk. Then he threw down the bag of gold into his mother's garden and climbed down and down till at last he got home.

He showed his mother the gold and said, "Well, mother, wasn't I right about the beans? They are really magical, you see."

They lived on the gold for some time, but at last it came to an end. So Jack made up his mind to try his luck once more up at the top of the beanstalk.

One fine morning he rose early and climbed and climbed and climbed till at last he came out to the road again and walked up it to the great big tall house. There, sure enough, was the great big tall woman standing on the doorstep.

"Good morning, mum," said Jack, as bold as brass. "Could you be so good as to give me something to eat?"

"Go away, my boy," said the big tall woman, "or else my man will eat you for breakfast. But aren't you the lad who came here once before? Do you know that very day my man missed one of his bags of gold?"

"That's strange, mum," said Jack, "I dare say I could tell you something about that, but I'm so hungry I can't speak till I've had something to eat."

Well, the big tall woman was so curious that she took Jack in and gave him something to eat. But he had scarcely begun munching it as slowly as he could when thump! thump! thump! they heard the giant's footsteps.

"Into the oven with you!" cried the Ogre's wife. "You can tell me about the gold when he goes to sleep."
came the Ogre, with three great oxen tied to his belt. Throwing them down, he began to sniff the air.

"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, dear," said his wife. "It's only the bones of the boy you ate last week. They are still in the garbage."

"Humph! Well, broil these oxen over the fire and I'll have breakfast."

After he had eaten, the Ogre said, "Wife, bring me the hen that lays the golden eggs."

So she brought the hen and the Ogre said: "Lay," and it laid an egg all of gold. And then the Ogre began to nod his head and snore till the house shook.

Then Jack crept out of the oven, caught hold of the golden hen, and was off before you could say "Jack Robinson." But the hen gave a cackle which woke the Ogre. Just as Jack got out of the house, he heard him calling:

"Wife, what have you done with my golden hen?"

But that was all Jack heard, for he rushed to the beanstalk and climbed down like a house on fire. When he got home, he showed his mother the wonderful hen, and said "Lay." And it laid a golden egg every time he said "Lay."

Well, it wasn't long before Jack determined to have another try at his luck. So one fine morning, he rose early, got on to the beanstalk, and climbed and climbed and climbed till he got to the top. But this time he knew better than to go straight to the Ogre's house.

When he got near it, he waited behind a bush till he saw the Ogre's wife come out with a pail to get some water.

Jack then crept into the house and hid in a huge copper pot. He hadn't been there long when he heard thump! thump! thump! as before, and in came the Ogre and his wife.

"Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman," cried the Ogre.

"I smell him, wife, I smell him."

"Do you, dearie?" said the Ogre's wife.

"If it's that little rascal who stole your gold and the hen that laid the golden eggs, he's sure to be in the oven."

And they both rushed to the oven. But Jack wasn't there, luckily, and the Ogre's wife said, "There you go again with your 'fee-fi-fo-fum.'

Why of course it's the boy you caught last night that I've just broiled for your breakfast."

So the Ogre sat down to breakfast, but every now and then he would mutter, "Well, I could have sworn—" and he'd get up and search the cupboards. Luckily, he didn't think of the copper pot.

After breakfast was over, the Ogre called out, "Wife, wife, bring me my golden harp." So she brought out the little harp and put it on the table before him.

Then he said: "Sing!" and the tiny golden harp sang most beautifully. And it went on singing till the Ogre fell asleep, and commenced to snore like thunder.

Then Jack very quietly lifted up the lid of the big pot, and got out like a mouse, and crept on hands and knees till he came to the table. He crawled up until he could reach the golden harp. Then he dropped to the floor and, holding the harp under his arm, dashed towards the door. But the harp called out, "Master! Master!" and the Ogre woke up just in time to see Jack running off with his harp.

Jack ran as fast as he could, and the Ogre came rushing after him. When Jack got to the beanstalk, he began to climb down for dear life. Well, the Ogre didn't like trusting himself to such a ladder. While he stood there, Jack got another start.

But just then the harp cried out: "Master! Master!" and the Ogre swung himself down on to the beanstalk, which shook with his weight. By this time Jack had climbed down till he was nearly home. So he called out,

"Mother! Mother! Bring me the ax, bring me the ax." And his mother came rushing out with the ax in her hand.

Jack jumped down, took the ax, and gave a chop at the beanstalk. The Ogre felt the beanstalk shake and quiver. Then Jack gave another chop with the ax, and the beanstalk began to topple over. Then the Ogre fell down and broke his crown, and the beanstalk came toppling after.

What with showing the people the singing harp, and selling the golden eggs that the hen laid, Jack and his mother soon became very rich. Jack then married a beautiful princess and they lived happily ever after.

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