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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk"

Jack and the Beanstalk

`I am quite ready to help you, and do all I can to serve you, madam,' he said, `only I beg you will be good enough to hide me from your husband, for I should not like to be eaten at all.'

`That's a good boy,' said the Giantess, nodding her head; `it is lucky for you that you did not scream out when you saw me, as the other boys who have been here did, for if you had done so my husband would have awakened and have eaten you, as he did them, for breakfast. Come here, child; go into my wardrobe: he never ventures to open THAT; you will be safe there.'

And she opened a huge wardrobe which stood in the great hall, and shut him into it. But the keyhole was so large that it ad- mitted plenty of air, and he could see everything that took place through it. By-and-by he heard a heavy tramp on the stairs, like the lumbering along of a great cannon, and then a voice like thunder cried out;

`Fe, fa, fi-fo-fum, I smell the breath of an Englishman. Let him be alive or let him be dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread.'

`Wife,' cried the Giant, `there is a man in the castle. Let me have him for breakfast.'

`You are grown old and stupid,' cried the lady in her loud tones. `It is only a nice fresh steak off an elephant, that I have cooked for you, which you smell. There, sit down and make a good breakfast.'

And she placed a huge dish before him of savoury steaming meat, which greatly pleased him, and made him forget his idea of an Englishman being in the castle. When he had breakfasted he went out for a walk; and then the Giantess opened the door, and made Jack come out to help her. He helped her all day. She fed him well, and when evening came put him back in the wardrobe.

THE HEN THAT LAYS GOLDEN EGGS.

The Giant came in to supper. Jack watched him through the keyhole, and was amazed to see him pick a wolf's bone, and put half a fowl at a time into his capacious mouth.

When the supper was ended he bade his wife bring him his hen that laid the golden eggs.

`It lays as well as it did when it belonged to that paltry knight,' he said; `indeed I think the eggs are heavier than ever.

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