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Lazy Jack - fairy tales for kids

Once upon a time there was a boy named Jack. He lived with his mother in a small house in a small village. Jack and his mother were very poor. What little money they had, the old woman earned by spinning wool into thread.

But Jack did nothing, for he was very lazy. In summer, he sat all day in the shade of a huge tree. In winter, he sat all day by the fire. His mother could not get him to do anything to help her.

Finally, the old woman had had enough.

"You lazy boy!" she shouted.

"If you do not go to work for your porridge, I will turn you out of the house."

Frightened by his mother's threat, Jack thought he had best go to work if he wanted to eat. The very next day he went out and hired himself to a neighboring farmer for a penny.
After he got his penny, Jack was very pleased. He had never had any money before. As he walked home, he kept tossing the penny into the air and catching it. But as he crossed a bridge, Jack dropped his penny. He watched in dismay as it rolled off the bridge and into the river below.

When his mother learned what had happened she was very angry.

"You stupid boy," she said.

"You should put the penny in your pocket."

"Ill do so the next time," said Jack.

The next day Jack went out and hired himself to a cowherd. This man gave Jack a jar of milk for his day's work. Remembering what his mother had said, Jack put the jar of milk into the large pocket of his jacket.

Long before he got home, all the milk had spilled out.

"Dear me, you foolish boy," his mother said.

"You should have carried the jar of milk on your head."

"Ill do so the next time," replied Jack.

The next day Jack again hired himself to a farmer.
The farmer agreed to give Jack a cream cheese for his work. In the evening, Jack took the cheese. Remembering what his mother had said, Jack put the cheese on his head and started home. But by the time he got home most of the cheese had melted and run into his hair.

"You stupid lout!" his mother shouted.
 "You should have carried the cheese very carefully in your hands."

"I'll do so the next time," replied Jack.

The following day Jack went out and hired himself to a baker. When Jack had finished work, the baker gave him a large tomcat. Remembering what his mother had said, Jack carried the cat very carefully in his hands.
But in a short time the cat had scratched him so much he had to let it go.

When he got home, his mother said to him,

"You silly boy. You should have tied a string to the cat and dragged it along after you."

"I’ll do so the next time," replied Jack.

The next day Jack hired himself to a butcher.  This good man paid Jack with a leg of lamb. Remembering what his mother had said, Jack tied a string to the leg of lamb and dragged it through the dirt after him.

By the time Jack reached home, the meat was spoiled.

This time, Jack's mother was out of patience with him.

The next day was Sunday, and now they would have nothing but boiled cabbage for their Sunday dinner.

"You ninny-hammer!" she cried.

"You should have carried the leg of lamb on your shoulder."

"I’ll do so the next time," replied Jack.

Well, on Monday, Lazy Jack went out once more to look for work. This time he hired himself to a cattle keeper. At the end of the day the man gave Jack a donkey.

Remembering what his mother had said, Jack hoisted the donkey onto his shoulders.

Although he was very strong, Jack had difficulty doing this. At last, however, he got the donkey up on his shoulders and started home.

Now it happened that on his way home Jack had to pass the house of a very rich man.

This man had an only daughter, who was very beautiful.  Unfortunately, she could not speak or hear, and she had never laughed in her life.
The doctors had told her father that she would never speak or hear until someone made her laugh.

Many people tried, but without success.

At last, despairing of all hope, her father offered to give her in marriage to the first man who could make her laugh.

Now it happened that the young lady was looking out the window as Jack struggled along with the donkey on his shoulders.

The poor beast, its legs sticking up in the air, was kicking violently and hee-hawing with all its might. Well, the sight was so funny the young lady burst into laughter. Instantly she recovered her speech and her hearing.

Her father was overjoyed. He kept his promise, and gave her to Jack in marriage. He also made Jack a rich man.

After Jack and the girl were married, they went to live in a large house. And Jack's mother lived with them in great happiness for the rest of her life.

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