Jack and the Beanstalk

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Jack and The Beanstalk

An English folk tale retold by Niz Smith and Avril Lethbridge


Once a poor widow had a son called Jack.  She loved him dearly.  They lived in a little house and all they possessed was a cow called Daisy.

Sadly, the time came when all their money was gone and the widow decided that all they could do was to sell Daisy. 

“Jack, it’s no good, you’ll have to take Daisy to market. She’s worth a lot of money so make sure you get a good price for her”.

Jack set off and on his way he met a strange man who offered him 5 beans which he said had magic powers.  In return he wanted Daisy as his own. Jack agreed and, taking the beans, ran back to his mother.

“Mother, mother, look what I’ve got! Magic beans in return for Daisy”.

Much to his surprise his Mother was very angry “Oh, you stupid boy!” she cried “How can we live on 5 beans?”

Snatching the beans she threw them out of the window in disgust and sent poor Jack straight to bed.

The next morning, looking out of the window, they couldn’t believe their eyes.  For, where the beans had landed, there was a giant beanstalk reaching up into the clouds. 

Jack climbing the beanstalkJack decided that it would be an adventure to climb up the beanstalk and see what was at the top.  Up and up he climbed, higher and higher but still he hadn’t reached the top.  He paused for breath.  Up and up he climbed again, higher and yet higher until, to his amazement, he found himself at the entrance to a huge castle.  Boldly, he pushed open the heavy door and entered. 

At first there seemed to be no-one there and so Jack wandered about.  To his surprise there were giant chairs by giant tables. Clambering onto a chair, Jack could see giant golden coins lying in heaps on the table.  Snoring loudly, with his head on the table, was a diabolical giant.  Jack held his breath and, picking up one of the golden coins to take to his mother, crept silently away afraid he might wake the giant.

As he scrambled down the beanstalk it started to shake and, in the distance, he could hear the rumbling voice of one, very, angry, giant:

“Fee, fie, foe, fum

I smell the blood of an Englishman”.

Jack slithered down the stalk as fast as he was able.

“Mother, mother”, he cried “look what I’ve found”

She couldn’t believe her eyes.  “Where did you find that coin?  It’s worth enough to feed us for the year”.

Jack told her of his adventure and she told him how proud she was.  That night they ate the biggest dinner they had eaten in years.

That night, as his mother slept, Jack decided to creep up the beanstalk again and see what else he could find.  At the castle his eyes alighted upon more coins and glittering diamonds, rubies and emeralds.  Quickly, he scooped into his pouch as much as he could carry and hurried back to the beanstalk.

But this time, the giant had been waiting for him.  The ground began to shake beneath Jack’s feet, the beanstalk trembled and the sky turned black.

“Fee, fie, foe, fum

I smell the blood of an Englishman” roared the giant lumbering after Jack.  Trembling with fear Jack climbed onto the beanstalk and began to slide down.

He nearly lost his balance as the giant put his foot on the top of the beanstalk and clambered after him muttering to himself

“This is diabolical, absolutely diabolical, you can’t trust anyone these days.  Just wait ‘til I get my hands on that Englishman”.

The beanstalk shook as though in a storm.

Quicker and quicker Jack slid, but quicker and quicker the giant followed.

Faster and faster Jack slid, but faster and faster the giant followed.

Gathering speed Jack tumbled down the last few feet.  Breathless and afraid he rushed to the woodshed and grabbed an axe.  Without a moment’s delay he dashed back to the beanstalk and, with one mighty swing of the axe, he severed the stalk.

The beanstalk toppled over and, with a thunderous crash, the beanstalk and the giant fell to the ground causing a huge hole in the M1 and a tailback for 50 miles.

You will be happy to know that Jack and his mother bought back Daisy the cow.  Together they lived happily ever after, boring all their friends with their story.