How hungry is the hungriest you’ve ever been? Did your belly rumble? Did that big lunch you wolfed down seem like weeks ago? Now imagine being TEN TIMES hungrier. Can’t? Not to worry, a little boy called Jack could tell you exactly how it feels.
You see, once upon a time, Jack and his mum were very, very poor…
They were so very poor that one day, when they had already sold everything they had, Jack’s mum said:
"Jack, you will have to take our only cow to market, and sell her so we can buy some food.”
Jack was sad about the cow, but he was so so hungry. He set off.
But wait! On his way, Jack met a strange old man.
“Hello Jack,” he said. “Are you going to sell your cow?” Jack nodded.
“Well,” the old man said, “Let’s swap - your cow for my magic beans. Just plant them and they’ll grow as high as the sky!”
“Wow,” Jack gasped, wide-eyed. “Yes please!”
When Jack got home, he was in trouble to say the least. His mum was so angry about the swap she threw the magic beans out the window.
“Go to bed, you silly boy!” she told Jack.
While Jack tossed and turned in his bed, feeling stupid for believing in magic, something incredible was going on outside…
The magic beans were growing into a beanstalk! A magical beanstalk that was as high as the sky!
When Jack opened his eyes the next morning, something was blocking the light through his bedroom window. He ran outside to look and there it was - the magic beanstalk! Jack didn’t waste a second:
“Who cares if I’m in my pyjamas?” he said wildly. He began to climb.
Just when Jack felt like he couldn’t climb any further, he saw something amazing. A castle! Resting in the clouds!
Jack swung further up the beanstalk and pushed open the huge castle door. You’ll never guess what he found inside…
Treasure! Piles and piles of treasure!
But suddenly, a loud voice boomed through the castle
I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he alive or be he dead,
I'll grind his bones to make my bread.”
It was a giant! An ugly, mean, smelly giant who was ready to make a meal of Jack!
Jack hid in a corner and thought hard.
“I need to make a run for it, but I know how much the treasure would help poor Mum.”
So what did brave Jack do? He ran over to a beautiful harp that was playing music all on its own, and grabbed it.
As he ran through the door, he saw a hen that laid golden eggs, so he took that with him too.
If you’d have seen Jack as he climbed back down the beanstalk that day, you would have been amazed that a little boy could move so fast.
With the giant’s angry howls still ringing in his ears, Jack carried the harp and the hen back down to earth.
When he reached the ground, Jack took an axe from the garden shed and chopped down the beanstalk so the giant could never come down after him.
His mum came over and stared at the harp and the hen, before crying with happiness as she realised all their money problems were over.
From that day on, Jack and his mum sold golden eggs, making enough money to live comfortably, and even to buy back their beloved cow.
They enjoyed the beautiful sound of the magical harp and it reminded them to be thankful for what they have, but also reminded Jack that if you believe, there is magic in the world.