Category Archives: ENGLISH

THE THREE BEARS

THE THREE BEARS

LITTLE Goldilocks was a pretty girl who lived once upon a time in a far-off country.

One day she was sitting on the hearthrug playing with her two kittens, and you would have thought she was as happy as a queen, and quite contented to stay where she was instead of wanting to run about the world meddling with other people’s property. But it happened that she was rather a mischievous little maid, and could not resist teasing her pets, so one of them scratched her, and then she would play with them no longer.

She got up and trotted away into the wood behind her mother’s house, and it was such a warm, pleasant day that she wandered on and on until she came into a part of the wood where she had never been before.

The bear family
The bear family

Now, in this wood there lived a family of three Bears. The first was a GREAT BIG BEAR, the second was a MIDDLING-SIZED BEAR, and the third was a little teeny tiny bear, and they all lived together in a funny little house, and very happy they were.

Goldilocks stopped when she came to the Bears’ house, and began to wonder who lived there.

“I’ll just look in and see,” she said, and so she did; but there was no one there, for the Bears had all gone out for a morning walk, whilst the soup they were going to have for dinner cooled upon the table.

Goldilocks was rather hungry after her walk, and the soup smelt so good that she began to wish the people of the house would come home and invite her to have some. But although she looked everywhere, under the table and into the cupboards, she could find no one, and at last she could resist no longer, but made up her mind to take just a little sip to see how the soup tasted. The soup had been put into three bowls—a Great Big Bowl for the Great Big Bear, a Middling-sized Bowl for the Middling-sized Bear, and a Teeny Tiny Bowl for the Teeny Tiny Bear; beside each bowl lay a spoon, and Goldilocks took one and helped herself to a spoonful of soup from the Great Big Bowl.

Ugh! how it burnt her mouth; it was so hot with pepper that she did not like it at all; still, she was very hungry, so she thought she would try again.

This time she took a sip of the Middling-sized Bear’s soup, but she liked that no better, for it was too salt. But when she tasted the Teeny Tiny Bear’s soup it was just as she liked it; so she ate it up every drop, without thinking twice about it.

When she had finished her dinner she noticed three chairs standing by the wall. One was a Great Big Chair, and she climbed upon that and sat down. Oh, dear! how hard it was! She was sure she could not sit there for long, so she climbed up on the next, which was only a Middling-sized Chair, but that was too soft for her taste; so she went on to the last, which was a Teeny Tiny Chair and suited her exactly.

It was so comfortable that she sat on and on until, if you’ll believe it, she actually sat the bottom out. Then, of course, she was comfortable no longer, so she got up and began to wonder what she should do next.

There was a staircase in the Bears’ house, and Goldilocks thought she would go up it and see where it led to. So up she went, and when she reached the top she laughed outright, for the Bears’ bedroom was the funniest she had ever seen. In the middle of the room stood a Great Big Bed, on one side of it there was a Middling-sized Bed, and on the other side there was a Teeny Tiny Bed.

Goldilocks was sleepy, so she thought she would lie down and have a little nap. First she got upon the Great Big Bed, but it was just as hard as the Great Big Chair had been; so she jumped off and tried the Middling-sized Bed, but it was so soft that she sank right down into the feather cushions and was nearly smothered.

“I will try the Teeny Tiny Bed,” she said, and so she did, and it was so comfortable that she soon fell fast asleep.

Whilst she lay there, dreaming of all sorts of pleasant things, the three Bears came home from their walk very hungry and quite ready for their dinners.

But, oh! dear me! how cross the Great Big Bear looked when he saw his spoon had been used and thrown under the table.

“WHO HAS BEEN TASTING MY SOUP?” he cried, in a Great Big Voice.

“AND WHO HAS BEEN TASTING MINE?” cried the Middling-sized Bear, in a Middling-sized Voice.

Who has been eating up my soup?
Who has been tasting my soup?

“But who has been tasting mine and tasted it all up?” cried the poor little Teeny Tiny Bear in a Teeny Tiny Voice, with the tears running down his Teeny Tiny Face.

When the Great Big Bear went to sit down in his Great Big Chair, he cried out in his Great Big Voice:

“WHO HAS BEEN SITTING ON MY CHAIR?”

And the Middling-sized Bear cried, in a Middling-sized Voice:

“WHO HAS BEEN SITTING ON MY CHAIR?”

But the Teeny Tiny Bear cried out in a Teeny Tiny Voice of anger:

“who has been sitting on my chair, and sat the bottom out?”

By this time the Bears were sure that someone had been in their house quite lately; so they looked about to see if someone were not there still.

There was certainly no one downstairs, so they went up the staircase to their bedroom.

As soon as the Great Big Bear looked at his bed, he cried out, in his Great Big Voice:

“WHO HAS BEEN LYING ON MY BED?”

And the Middling-sized Bear, seeing that the coverlet was all rumpled, cried out, in a Middling-sized Voice:

“WHO HAS BEEN LYING ON MY BED?”

But the Teeny Tiny Bear cried out, in a Teeny Tiny Voice of astonishment:

“who has been lying on my bed and lies there still?”

Now, when the Great Big Bear began to speak, Goldilocks dreamt that there was a bee buzzing in the room, and when the Middling-sized Bear began to speak, she dreamt that it was flying out of the window; but when the Teeny Tiny Bear began to speak, she dreamt that the bee had come back and stung her on the ear, and up she jumped. Oh! how frightened she was when she saw the three Bears standing beside her.

She hopped out of bed and in a second was out through the open window. Never stopping to wonder if the fall had hurt her, she got up and ran and ran and ran until she could go no farther, always thinking that the Bears were close behind her. And when at length she fell down in a heap on the ground, because she was too tired to run any more, it was her own mother who picked her up, because in her fright she had run straight home without knowing it.

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THE THREE LITTLE PIGS

THE THREE LITTLE PIGS

ONCE upon a time, when pigs could talk and no one had ever heard of bacon, there lived an old piggy mother with her three little sons.

They had a very pleasant home in the middle of an oak forest, and were all just as happy as the day was long, until one sad year the acorn crop failed; then, indeed, poor Mrs. Piggy-wiggy often had hard work to make both ends meet.

One day she called her sons to her, and, with tears in her eyes, told them that she must send them out into the wide world to seek their fortune.

She kissed them all round, and the three little pigs set out upon their travels, each taking a different road, and carrying a bundle slung on a stick across his shoulder.

The first little pig had not gone far before he met a man carrying a bundle of straw; so he said to him: “Please, man, give me that straw to build me a house?” The man was very good-natured, so he gave him the bundle of straw, and the little pig built a pretty little house with it.

No sooner was it finished, and the little pig thinking of going to bed, than a wolf came along, knocked at the door, and said: “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”

But the little pig laughed softly, and answered: “No, no, by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.”

Then said the wolf sternly: “I will make you let me in; for I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!”

So he huffed and he puffed, and he blew his house in, because, you see, it was only of straw and too light; and when he had blown the house in, he ate up the little pig, and did not leave so much as the tip of his tail.

The second little pig also met a man, and he was carrying a bundle of furze; so piggy said politely: “Please, kind man, will you give me that furze to build me a house?”

The man agreed, and piggy set to work to build himself a snug little house before the night came on. It was scarcely finished when the wolf came along, and said: “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”

“No, no, by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin,” answered the second little pig.

“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!” said the wolf. So he huffed and he puffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and at last he blew the house in, and gobbled the little pig up in a trice.

Now, the third little pig met a man with a load of bricks and mortar, and he said: “Please, man, will you give me those bricks to build a house with?”

So the man gave him the bricks and mortar, and a little trowel as well, and the little pig built himself a nice strong little house. As soon as it was finished the wolf came to call, just as he had done to the other little pigs, and said: “Little pig, little pig, let me in!”

But the little pig answered: “No, no, by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.”

“Then,” said the wolf, “I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in.”

Well, he huffed, and he puffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and he huffed, and he puffed; but he could not get the house down. At last he had no breath left to huff and puff with, so he sat down outside the little pig’s house and thought for awhile.

Presently he called out: “Little pig, I know where there is a nice field of turnips.”

“Where?” said the little pig.

“Behind the farmer’s house, three fields away, and if you will be ready to-morrow morning I will call for you, and we will go together and get some breakfast.”

“Very well,” said the little pig; “I will be sure to be ready. What time do you mean to start?”

“At six o’clock,” replied the wolf.

Well, the wise little pig got up at five, scampered away to the field, and brought home a fine load of turnips before the wolf came. At six o’clock the wolf came to the little pig’s house and said: “Little pig, are you ready?”

“Ready!” cried the little pig. “Why, I have been to the field and come back long ago, and now I am busy boiling a potful of turnips for breakfast.”

The wolf was very angry indeed; but he made up his mind to catch the little pig somehow or other; so he told him that he knew where there was a nice apple-tree.

“Where?” said the little pig.

“Round the hill in the squire’s orchard,” the wolf said. “So if you will promise to play me no tricks, I will come for you tomorrow morning at five o’clock, and we will go there together and get some rosy-cheeked apples.”

The next morning piggy got up at four o’clock and was off and away long before the wolf came.

But the orchard was a long way off, and besides, he had the tree to climb, which is a difficult matter for a little pig, so that before the sack he had brought with him was quite filled he saw the wolf coming towards him.

He was dreadfully frightened, but he thought it better to put a good face on the matter, so when the wolf said: “Little pig, why are you here before me? Are they nice apples?” he replied at once: “Yes, very; I will throw down one for you to taste.” So he picked an apple and threw it so far that whilst the wolf was running to fetch it he had time to jump down and scamper away home.

The next day the wolf came again, and told the little pig that there was going to be a fair in the town that afternoon, and asked him if he would go with him.

“Oh! yes,” said the pig, “I will go with pleasure. What time will you be ready to start?”

“At half-past three,” said the wolf.

Of course, the little pig started long before the time, went to the fair, and bought a fine large butter-churn, and was trotting away with it on his back when he saw the wolf coming.

He did not know what to do, so he crept into the churn to hide, and by so doing started it rolling.

Down the hill it went, rolling over and over, with the little pig squeaking inside.

The wolf could not think what the strange thing rolling down the hill could be; so he turned tail and ran away home in a fright without ever going to the fair at all. He went to the little pig’s house to tell him how frightened he had been by a large round thing which came rolling past him down the hill.

“Ha! ha!” laughed the little pig; “so I frightened you, eh? I had been to the fair and bought a butter-churn; when I saw you I got inside it and rolled down the hill.”

This made the wolf so angry that he declared that he would eat up the little pig, and that nothing should save him, for he would jump down the chimney.

But the clever little pig hung a pot full of water over the hearth and then made a blazing fire, and just as the wolf was coming down the chimney he took off the cover and in fell the wolf. In a second the little pig had popped the lid on again.

Then he boiled the wolf, and ate him for supper, and after that he lived quietly and comfortably all his days, and was never troubled by a wolf again.

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JOHNNY AND THE GOLDEN GOOSE

JOHNNY AND THE GOLDEN GOOSE

THERE was once a man who had three sons. Johnny, the youngest, was always looked upon as the simpleton of the family, and had very little consideration or kindness shown him.

It happened one day that the eldest son was going out into the wood to cut fuel; and before he started, his mother gave him a slice of rich plum-cake and a flask of wine, so that he might not suffer from hunger or thirst.

Just as he reached the wood, he met a queer old man, dressed in gray, who wished him “Good day,” and begged for a piece of the young man’s cake and a drink of wine.

But the greedy youth replied: “If I were to give you cake and wine, I should not have enough left for myself; so be off with you, and leave me in peace.”

Then he pushed the little man rudely on one side and went his way. He soon came to a likely-looking tree, and began to hew it down, but he made a false stroke, and instead of striking the tree he buried his axe in his own arm, and was obliged to hurry home as fast as he could to have the wound dressed.

And this was what came of offending the little gray man!

The following day the second son set out to the wood, and his mother treated him just as she had done her eldest son—gave him a slice of cake and a flask of wine, in case he should feel hungry. The little gray man met him at the entrance to the wood, and begged for a share of his food, but the young man answered:

“The more I give to you, the less I have for myself. Be off with you.”

Then he left the little gray man standing in the road, and went on his way. But it was not long before he, too, was punished; for the first stroke he aimed at a tree glanced aside and wounded his leg, so that he was obliged to be carried home.

Then said the Simpleton: “Father, let me go to the wood for once. I will bring you home plenty of fuel.”

“Nonsense,” answered the father. “Both your brothers have got into trouble, and it is not likely that I am going to trust you.”

But Johnny would not give up the idea, and worried his father, till at last he said:

“Very well, my son, have your own way. You shall learn by experience that I know better than you.”

There was no rich cake for the simpleton of the family. His mother just gave him a little loaf of dough and a bottle of sour beer.

No sooner did he reach the wood than the little gray man appeared.

“Give me a piece of your cake and a drink of your wine?” said he.

But the young man told him he had only a dough loaf and a bottle of sour beer.

“Still,” said he, “you are welcome to a share of the food, such as it is.”

So the two sat down together; but when Johnny took his humble fare from his pocket, what was his surprise to find it changed into the most delicious cake and wine. Then the young man and his guest made a hearty meal, and when it was ended the little gray man said:

“Because you have such a kind heart, and have willingly shared your food with me, I am going to reward you. Yonder stands an old tree: hew it down, and deep in the heart of the roots you will find something.”

The old man then nodded kindly, and disappeared in a moment.

Johnny at once did as he had been told, and as soon as the tree fell he saw, sitting in the midst of the roots, a goose with feathers of purest gold. He lifted it carefully out, and carried it with him to the inn, where he meant to spend the night.

Now, the landlord had three daughters, and no sooner did they see the goose than they wanted to know what curious kind of bird it might be, for never before had they seen a fowl of any kind with feathers of pure gold. The eldest made up her mind to wait for a good opportunity and then pluck a feather for herself. So as soon as Johnny went out of the room she put out her hand and seized the wing of the goose, but what was her horror to find that she could not unclasp her fingers again, nor even move her hand from the golden goose!

Very soon the second sister came creeping into the room, meaning also to steal a feather; but no sooner did she touch her sister than she, too, was unable to draw her hand away.

Lastly came the third, anxious to secure a feather before the goose’s master returned.

“Go away! go away!” screamed her two sisters, but she could not understand why she should not help herself as well as the others.

So she paid no heed to their cries, but came toward them and stretched out her hand to the goose.

In doing so she touched her second sister, and then, alas! she too, was held fast.

They pulled and tugged with might and main, but it was all of no use; they could not get away, and there they had to remain the whole night.

The next morning Johnny tucked the goose under his arm, and went on his way, never troubling himself about the three girls hanging on behind.

Then what a dance he led them: over hedges and ditches, highways and byways! Wherever he led they were bound to follow. Half way across a sunny meadow, they met the parson, who was terribly shocked to see the three girls running after a young man.

“For shame!” he cried angrily, and seized the youngest by the hand to drag her away.

But no sooner did he touch her than the poor parson was made fast too, and had to run behind the girls, whether he would or no.

They had scarcely gone half a dozen paces before they met the sexton, who stared with astonishment to see his master running at the heels of the three girls.

“Hi! stop, your reverence,” he cried. “You will be late for the christening.”

He seized the parson’s sleeve as he ran past him, but the poor sexton had to join the procession too.

So now there were five of them, and just as they turned a corner the parson saw two peasants, and called to them to set him and his sexton free.

They threw down their spades at once and tried to do so, but they too, stuck fast, and so Johnny had a fine string of seven folk hanging on to the wing of his golden goose.

On and on they ran, until at length they came into the country of a powerful King.

This King had an only daughter, who all her life had been so sad that no one had ever been able to make her laugh. So the King made a decree that the man who could bring a smile to his daughter’s face should have her for his bride.

When Johnny heard what the King had promised, he at once made his way into the Princess’s presence, and when she saw the goose, with the seven queer-looking companions hanging on behind, she burst into such a hearty fit of laughter that it was thought she would never be able to stop again.

Of course, the Simpleton claimed her as his bride, but the King did not fancy him for a son-in-law, so he made all sorts of excuses.

“You shall have her,” said he, “if you can first bring me a man who can drink up a whole cellarful of wine.”

Johnny at once remembered the little gray man, and, feeling sure that he would help him, he set out for the wood where he had first met him.

When he reached the stump of the old tree which he had himself hewn down, he noticed a man sitting beside it, with a face as gloomy as a rainy day.

Johnny asked politely what ailed him, and the man answered:

“I suffer from a thirst I cannot quench. Cold water disagrees with me, and though I have, it is true, emptied a barrel of wine, it was no more to me than a single drop of water upon a hot stone.”

You can think how pleased Johnny was to hear these words. He took the man to the King’s cellar, where he seated himself before the huge barrels, and drank and drank till, at the end of the day, not a drop of wine was left.

Then Johnny claimed his bride, but the King could not make up his mind to give his daughter to “a ne’er-do-weel” who went by such a name as “Simpleton.”

So he made fresh excuses, and said that he would not give her up until the young man had found someone who could eat up a mountain of bread in a single day.

So the young man had no choice but to set out once more for the wood.

And again he found a man sitting beside the stump of the tree. He was very sad and hungry-looking, and sat tightening the belt round his waist.

“I have eaten a whole ovenful of bread,” he said sadly, “but when one is as hungry as I am, such a meal only serves to make one more hungry still. I am so empty that if I did not tighten my belt I should die of hunger.”

“You are the man for me!” said Johnny. “Follow me, and I will give you a meal that will satisfy even your hunger.”

He led the man into the courtyard of the King’s palace, where all the meal in the kingdom had been collected together and mixed into an enormous mountain of bread.

The man from the wood placed himself in front of it and began to eat, and before the day was over the mountain of bread had vanished.

A third time the Simpleton demanded his bride, but again the King found an excuse.

“First bring me a ship that can sail both on land and sea, and then you shall wed the Princess,” he said.

Johnny went straightway to the wood, where he met the little gray man with whom he had once shared his food.

“Good day,” he said, nodding his wise little head. “So you’ve come to visit me again, eh? It was I, you know, who drank the wine and ate the bread for you, and now I will finish by giving you the wonderful ship which is to sail on either land or sea. All this I do for you because you were kind and good to me.”

Then he gave him the ship, and when the King saw it he could find no further excuse.

So he gave the young man his daughter, and the pair were married that very day.

When the old King died, the Simpleton became King in his stead, and he and his wife lived happily ever after.

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JACK AND THE BEAN-STALK

JACK AND THE BEAN-STALK

Once upon a time there was a poor widow who lived in a little cottage with her only son Jack.

Jack sells the cow for some beans
Jack sells the cow for some beans

Jack was a giddy, thoughtless boy, but very kind-hearted and affectionate. There had been a hard winter, and after it the poor woman had suffered from fever and ague. Jack did no work as yet, and by degrees they grew dreadfully poor. The widow saw that there was no means of keeping Jack and herself from starvation but by selling her cow; so one morning she said to her son, “I am too weak to go myself, Jack, so you must take the cow to market for me, and sell her.” Jack liked going to market to sell the cow very much; but as he was on the way, he met a butcher who had some beautiful beans in his hand. Jack stopped to look at them, and the butcher told the boy that they were of great value, and persuaded him to sell the cow for them! And Jack was so silly as to consent to this foolish bargain.

The bean-stalk grows out of sight in a night
The bean-stalk grows out of sight in a night

When he brought them home to his mother instead of the money she expected for her nice cow, she was very vexed and shed many tears, scolding Jack for his folly. He was very sorry; but, he said, he might as well make the best of his bargain, so he put the seed-beans into the ground close by the side of the steep hill under shelter of which their cottage was built, and went to bed. The next morning when he got up, he found that the beans had grown, till the bean stalks reached right over the top of the hill, and were lost to his sight. Greatly surprised, he called his mother, and they both gazed in silent wonder at the bean-stalk, which was not only of great height, but was thick enough to bear Jack’s weight.

“I wonder where it goes?” said Jack to his mother; “I think I will climb up and see.”

His mother wished him not to venture up this strange ladder, but Jack coaxed her to give her consent to the attempt, for he was certain there must be something wonderful in the bean-stalk.

Jack instantly began to climb, and went up and up on the ladder-like bean till everything he had left behind him, the cottage, the village, and even the tall church tower, looked quite little, and still he did not see the top of the bean stalk.

Jack felt a little tired, and thought for a moment that he would go back again; but he was a very persevering boy, and he knew that the way to succeed in anything is not to give up. So after resting for a moment he went on, and at last reached the top of the bean, and found himself in a beautiful country, finely wooded; and not far from the place where he had got off the bean-stalk stood a fine and strong castle.

Jack wondered very much that he had never heard of or seen this castle before; but when he reflected on the subject, he saw that it was as much separated from the village by the perpendicular rock on which it stood as if it were in another land.

While Jack was standing looking at the castle, a very strange-looking woman came out of the wood and advanced towards him.

Jack climbs the bean-stalk
Jack climbs the bean-stalk

Jack took off his hat to the old lady, and she said, pointing to the castle, “Boy, that castle belongs to you. A wicked giant killed your father, and took it from your mother; try and win it back from the monster who now has it.” As she ceased speaking she suddenly disappeared, and of course Jack knew she was a fairy.

Jack asks about the castle
Jack asks about the castle

He was much surprised; however, he walked up to the castle door and knocked, and an old giantess came out. She did not wait till he spoke, but pulled him in at once, for she thought he would make a nice supper for her when her husband was asleep. Just at that moment, however, she heard the giant’s step approaching, so she put Jack into a press, and told him to hide there, or the giant would eat him. As soon as the Ogre came in, he cried in a terrible voice

“Fee, fa, fie, fo, fum,
I smell the breath of an Englishman.”

“Oh!” said his wife, “there is nobody here. You only smell a crow that is flying over the chimney.” Then the giant sat down to dinner, which was quite ready, and when he had eaten a whole sheep, he said, “Bring me my hen.”

The giantess brought a hen, and put it on the table before him, and then she went away. “Lay,” said the giant to the hen, and she laid a golden egg. Jack could see quite plainly through a little hole which he had bored in the door. Three times the giant said “Lay,” and each time the hen laid a solid gold egg. Then the Ogre, being drowsy, shut his eyes, and soon snored very loudly. Directly Jack found that the giant was asleep, he stole out of the press, caught up the hen, ran out of the room, opened the door of the castle, which the giant had left ajar, and descended the bean-stalk as fast as he could go. His mother was glad to see him again, and much surprised at seeing the hen, which laid them three gold eggs every day. Jack’s mother took them to the next town and sold them, and soon grew quite rich. Some time afterwards Jack made another journey up the bean-stalk to the giant’s castle; but first he dyed his hair and disguised himself. The old woman did not know him again, and dragged him in as she had done before to eat him by-and-by; but once more she heard her husband coming and hid him in the press, not thinking that it was the same boy who had stolen the hen. She put him into the same press, and bade him stay quite still there, or the giant would eat him.

The hen that lays golden eggs
The hen that lays golden eggs

Then the giant came in, saying:

“Fee, fa, fie, fo, fum,
I smell the breath of an Englishman.”

“Oh!” said his wife, “it is only the cowherd, who has just been here. We cannot spare him for your dinner.”

Jack takes the giant's money-bags
Jack takes the giant’s money-bags

Then the giant sat down, and when he had eaten half an ox, he told his wife to bring his money-bags to him. She instantly went and fetched two large bags full of gold; and then left him to go about her usual house-work.

The Ogre counted out the gold twice over, and then put it into the bags and tied them up. In a few minutes Jack heard him snore. He directly crept out of the press, seized the bags, and hurrying out of the castle, carried them home quite safely. Jack’s mother was glad to see him safe at home again, and for a long time she would not let him go up the bean-stalk; but Jack knew he had not yet obeyed the fairy’s command to win back the castle, so after a time he set off once more on this adventure, and tapped again at the castle door.

The giantess, who was very stupid, did not know him again, but she stopped a minute before she took him in. She feared another robbery; but Jack’s fresh cheeks looked so tempting that she could not resist him, and so she bade him come in.

But at that moment she heard her husband’s step approaching.

Afraid of losing her supper, the Ogress at once shut Jack in the press; and she had hardly hidden him when the giant came in, saying as usual,

“Fee, fa, fie, fo, fum,
“I smell the blood of an Englishman.”

“Oh no!” said his wife, “it is only the shepherd, who has been up with a sheep for your dinner.”

The giant sat down, and when he had eaten a whole sheep he said, “I should like some music; bring me my harp.”

The Ogress went and brought a golden harp to him, set it on the table, and went away. Then the Ogre said, “Play,” to the harp, and it played so delightfully that Jack was charmed.

Jack takes the talking harp
Jack takes the talking harp

By-and-by, however, the giant snored so loud that he could not hear the music; and Jack quickly stole out, and seizing the harp, ran away with it. But the harp was a fairy belonging to the giant, and as Jack ran, it cried out, “Master! Master!” The giant woke up slowly and rushed after Jack, but the boy was very nimble and outran him. You may imagine how fast Jack went down the bean-stalk this time, hearing all the while the tramp of the giant’s feet behind him.

The giant breaks his neck
The giant breaks his neck

Just as he reached the bottom he saw the Ogre looking down on him.

The next moment his great feet were on the bean-stalk.

“Mother, mother! bring me the axe,” cried Jack.

His mother hastened with it, and just as the giant was half way down the bean-stalk, Jack succeeded in chopping it in halves; the lower half fell; the upper half swung away, and the giant, losing his hold, fell heavily to the ground on his head and broke his neck.

The same moment the fairy again stood beside Jack, and touching the broken bean-stalk was turned into a flight of broad, easy steps.

“Go up,” she said, “and take possession of your own home, so long kept from you. The Ogress is dead, and there is no more danger. You have been brave and good. May you be happy.”

Jack thanked the fairy very warmly for her aid, and she again departed to Fairyland, after explaining to Jack that she had been the butcher who sold him the beans.

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