Sunday, June 22, 2014

Storytime Sunday #5: Jack and Jill and the Bean Stalk

Jack and Jill and the Beanstalk
Jack and Jill were very poor. Their only source of income was one boney old milk cow. One day the cow quit giving milk. She had dried up and so had their income.

“Oh no,” moaned Jack, “we are going to starve!”

“Well,” said Jill, “this is the way things are now. What are we going to do about it?”

“Let’s eat the cow,” proposed Jack.

“Once the cow has been eaten,” suggested Jill, “we will starve. Let’s take the cow to market instead and sell her. We can then buy a little food and some seeds to plant. If we raise a garden we won’t starve.”

Jack agreed.

The next morning Jack took the cow to market. Well, you all know how the story goes. We may never know if Jack was a good horse trader, but we know that he was not a good cow trader for he arrived back that evening with only a small bag of “magic” beans. By the time he arrived home, Jack had a serious case of buyer’s remorse. Even he knew he had made a poor bargain.

“Well,” said Jill when she heard the news, “this is the way things are now. What are we going to do about it?”

“I’m hungry. Let’s eat the beans,” suggested Jack.

“Once the beans have been eaten,” Jill said, “we will starve. Let’s plant them instead and see if anything good comes of it.”

So they planted the beans and went to bed. Yes, you know the story. The next morning there was a giant beanstalk growing up through the clouds.

“Wow,” said Jack, “what great shade! I’ll bet my hammock will just reach from the corner of the house to the beanstalk.”

“There are certainly a lot of beans growing on it,” observed Jill. “At least we won’t starve.” 

“Yea,” admitted Jack reluctantly, “but I wish we had the cow back. I like steak better than beans.”

“Well,” murmured Jill gazing thoughtfully toward the top of the beanstalk, “this is the way things are now. What are we going to do about it?”

“I’m taking a nap in my hammock,” mumbled Jack around a mouthful of raw beans.

Jill, on the other hand, decided to investigate their only asset. She climbed the beanstalk. Yes, you are ahead of me again. She did find a castle belonging to a giant, a singing harp, and a hen that laid golden eggs. Before Jill could decide what to do with her discovery, the giant came home. Now for the sake of time, let’s skip all the “fee, fi, fo-ing” and cut right to the chase—well not much of a chase because the giant caught Jill in about 5 seconds flat!

“Well,” thought Jill as the giant flipped through his favorite Not for Vegetarian’s Cookbook, “this is the way things are now. What am I going to do about it?”

While the giant was looking for a good recipe, Jill seized her opportunity and changed careers. She became a talent agent. Talking fast, she convinced the giant that a 40 foot tall giant, a singing harp, and a hen that lays golden eggs are not every day sights. She pointed out that by going into show business and traveling with the circus they could both clean up. The Giant could eat anything he wanted (other than a stringy Jill) and Jill’s percentage as the Giant’s agent would insure that she wouldn't starve either.

That is exactly what they did.

Jill and the Giant traveled all over the country for many years performing with the circus. They even traveled to Europe three times. Jill’s percentage accumulated over time and she bought a nice vacation home in Sarasota. The Giant, harp, and hen bought a mondo-condo in Ft. Lauderdale. And they all lived happily ever after.

Oh that’s right, I forgot Jack.

Well, Jack lay in the hammock munching on beans and wishing he had the cow back until one day the beanstalk became so old and brittle that it fell over and crushed Jack’s house. He too, eventually took a job with the circus. It wasn’t quite as glamorous though—mainly because of the size of the elephants and how hard they are to housebreak.

But, this is the way thing are now. What are you going to do about it?
Moral: Circumstances seldom change themselves.
©2006 William L. Steen

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