Jack and the Beanstalk
ONCE upon a time there was a poor
widow who had an only son named Jack, and a cow named Milky-White. And all
they had to live on was the milk the cow gave every morning. They carried the
milk to the market and sold. But one morning Milky-White gave no milk, and
they didn't know what to do.
"What shall we do, what shall we do?"
cried the widow.
"Cheer up, Mother! 1
I'll go and get work somewhere," said Jack.
"We tried that before, and nobody
wanted a boy like you," said his mother, "we must sell Milky-White and with
the money start a shop, or something." 2
"All right, Mother," said Jack, "it's
market-day today. I'll soon sell Milky-White, and then we'll see what we can
So he drove the cow to the market. He
hadn't gone far when he met a funny-looking old man, who said to him, "Good
"Good morning to you," said Jack and
wondered how the man knew his name.
"Well, Jack, and where are you going?"
asked the man. "I'm going to the market to sell our cow." When he heard where
Jack was going, the old man offered him some strange-looking coloured beans in
exchange for the cow. 3
"Take them," he said, "and you'll
never be sorry about it. They are not ordinary beans. They are magic beans. If
you plant them in the evening, by morning they will grow right up to the sky."
"Really?" said Jack. "You don't say
so!" 4 "Yes, that is so, and if that doesn't happen, you can
have your cow back."
So Jack agreed, put the
strange-looking coloured beans in his pocket and started back for home. It was
dark when he reached home.
"Back already, Jack?" asked his
mother. "I see you haven't got Milky-White, so you've sold her. How much did
you get for her?"
"You'll never guess, Mother," said
"How much? Five pounds, ten, fifteen,
no, it couldn't be twenty." 5
"I told you couldn't guess. What do
you say about these beans? They're magic; plant them in the evening and—"
"What?!" cried Jack's mother. "Have
you been such a fool as to give away my Milky-White for a few beans? Take
that! 6 Take that! Take that! And as for your magic beans,
here they go out of the window."
The mother was so angry that she threw
the beans out of the window. Then she said, "And now go to bed without
So Jack went upstairs to his little
When he woke up next morning, the room
looked so funny. The sun was shining into part of it, and yet all the rest was
quite dark. So Jack jumped up and dressed himself and went to the window. And
what do you think he saw? The beans his mother had thrown out of the window
into the garden had grown up into a great beanstalk which went up and up and
up till it reached the sky. So the man had spoken the truth after all.
The beanstalk grew quite close by
Jack's window, so all he had to do was to open it and put his feet on to the
beanstalk, for it went up and up just like a big ladder. So Jack climbed and
he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed till at
last he reached the sky. And when he got there, he found a long wide straight
road. So he walked along and he walked along and he walked along the road till
he came to a great big tall house, and on the doorstep there was a great big
"Good morning," said Jack. "Would you
be so kind as to give me some breakfast?" 7 For he hadn't had
anything to eat the night before, you know, he was as hungry as a hunter.
"It's breakfast you want, isn't it?" asked the great big tall woman. "It's
breakfast you'll be if you don't move off from here. My man is an ogre, he
kills and eats people, and there's nothing he likes better than broiled boys.
You'd better go away 8 for he'll soon be back home."
"Oh! please, give me something to eat.
I've had nothing to eat since yesterday morning, really," said Jack. "I may as
well be broiled as die of hunger." 9
Well, the ogre's wife was not such a
bad woman. She took Jack into the kitchen, and gave him a piece of bread and
cheese and a jug of milk. But Jack hadn't finished eating when the whole house
began to shake with great thuds. Somebody was coming to the house.
"It's my old man," said the ogre's
wife. "What shall I do? Come along quick and jump in here." And she quickly
hid Jack in the oven just as the ogre came in.
He was a terribly big one. Three
calves hung by the heels to his belt. 10 He threw them down
on the table and said, "Here, wife, broil me two of these calves for
breakfast. Ah! What's this I smell?
"Fee, fi, fo, fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he alive or be he dead
I'll grind his bones to make my
"You are wrong, dear," said his wife,
"there is no one here. Perhaps you can smell the scraps of that little boy;
you liked so much for yesterday's dinner. Here, you go and have a wash and
change your clothes, and by the time you come back your breakfast will be
ready for you."
So the ogre went off, and Jack was
just going to jump out of the oven and run away when the woman told him not
to. "Wait till he's asleep," said she, "he always sleeps for a while after
Well, the ogre had his breakfast, and
after that he went to a big chest and took out of it two bags of gold. He sat
down, put the bags on the table and began to count the money. Soon his head
began to nod, and he began to snore, and the whole house shook again.
Now Jack crept out on tiptoe from the
oven, and as he was passing the ogre, he took one of the bags of gold, put it
under his arm, and ran off along the road till he came to the beanstalk. Then
he threw down the bag of gold, which, of course, fell into his mother's
garden, and then he climbed down and climbed down till at last he got home.
Jack told his mother all that had happened to him and showed her the gold.
"Well, Mother," he said, "wasn't I
right about the beans? They are really magic, you see."
Jack and his mother lived on the gold
for some time, but at last it was all spent, and Jack made up his mind to try
his luck once more 12 at the top of the beanstalk. So one
fine morning he got up early, and got on to the beanstalk. 13
He climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he
climbed till at last he came out on to the long wide straight road again. He
walked along it till he came to the great big tall house he had been to
before. And there was the great big tall woman standing on the doorstep.
"Good morning," said Jack, "would you
be so good as to give me something to eat?"
"Go away, my boy," said the big tall
woman, "or else 14 my man will eat you up for breakfast. But
aren't you the boy who came here once before? Do you know that very day my man
missed one of his bags of gold?" 15
"That's strange," said Jack, "I could
tell you 16 something about that, but I'm so hungry I can't
talk till I've had something to eat." 17
Well, the big tall woman was so
curious that she took him in and gave him something to eat. But he had
scarcely begun to eat when they heard the great thuds of the ogre's feet, and
his wife quickly hid Jack away in the oven. All happened as it did before. The
ogre came in as he did before, said, "Fee, fi, fo, fum," and had his breakfast
of three broiled oxen. Then he said, "Wife, bring me the hen that lays the
So she brought it, and the ogre
ordered the hen, "Lay," and it laid an egg all of gold. And then the ogre
began to nod his head, and to snore till the house shook.
Then Jack crept out of the oven on
tiptoe, seized the hen that laid the golden eggs, and rushed off. But the hen
gave a loud cackle and the ogre woke up, and just as Jack got out of the house
he heard the ogre's voice, "Wife, wife, what have you done with my golden
And the wife said, "Nothing, my dear.
I didn't touch it."
But that was all Jack heard, for he
rushed off down the road to the beanstalk and climbed down safely. And when he
got home, he showed his mother the wonderful hen, and said "Lay" to it; and
the hen laid a golden egg every time he said "Lay".
It wasn't very long before Jack wanted
to try his luck again at the top of the beanstalk. So one fine morning, he got
up early and got on to the beanstalk. He climbed and he climbed and he climbed
and he climbed till he got to the top. But this time when he got near the
ogre's house, he waited behind a bush till the ogre's wife came out with a
pail to get some water. Then he slipped into the house and hid in the copper.
He hadn't been there long before he
heard the great thuds of the ogre's feet, and the ogre and his wife came in.
The ogre cried out:
"Fee, fi, fo, fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he alive or be he dead
I'll grind his bones to make my
"If you can smell that bad little boy
who stole your money and your magic hen, he is hiding in the oven," said the
ogre's wife, and they both looked in the oven. But Jack wasn't there. He was
in the copper.
So the ogre sat down and ate a very
large breakfast. When breakfast was over, he called out, "Wife, wife, bring me
my golden harp."
So she brought his harp and put it on
"Play!" ordered the ogre, and the harp
started to play most beautifully, all by itself. 18 And it
played on till the ogre fell asleep, and began to snore like thunder.
Then Jack crept out of the copper and
seized the harp, but the harp cried out, "Master! Master!" The ogre woke up
with a roar, saw Jack with the harp and rushed along the road after him.
Jack ran as fast as he could, and the
ogre ran after him. When Jack got to the beanstalk, the ogre was not more than
twenty yards away. Jack began to climb down, but the ogre was heavy and he was
afraid of such a ladder, so he stood and waited. But just then the harp cried
out, "Master! Master!" and the ogre began to climb down the beanstalk, which
shook with his weight. 19
Jack climbed down, and the ogre
climbed after him. By this time Jack had climbed down and climbed down and
climbed down till he was very near the ground. So he called out, "Mother!
Mother! Bring me an axe! Bring me an axe!"
And his mother rushed out of the house
with the axe in her hand. When she came to the beanstalk, she stood still with
fright, for there she saw the ogre's legs just through the clouds.
But Jack jumped down, took the axe and
gave a chop at the beanstalk. 20 The ogre felt the beanstalk
shake, so he stopped to see what was the matter. 21
Jack gave another chop with the axe,
and the beanstalk was cut in two. Then the ogre fell down and broke his head,
and the beanstalk came down after.
After that Jack showed his mother the
golden harp. Then Jack and his mother began to show people the golden harp and
they became rich. Later Jack married a beautiful princess, and they lived
happily ever afterwards.
1 Cheer up, Mother! —
He унывай, мама!
with the money start a shop,
— ад. и на вырученные деньги открыть лавку или заняться каким-нибудь другим
3 offered him some
strange-looking coloured beans in exchange for the cow — предложил ему
несколько необычных разноцветных бобов в обмен на корову
4 You don't say so! —
зд. Не может быть!
be twenty — нет, не может быть, чтобы
6 Take that! — Вот
7 Would you be so kind
as to give me some breakfast? — зд. Будьте
так любезны, дайте мне, пожалуйста, что-нибудь поесть на завтрак!
8 You'd better go away
— Тебе бы лучше уйти
9 I may as well be
broiled as die of hunger — И не все ли равно: поджарят меня или я с голоду
10 Three calves hung
by the heels to his belt.— зд. На поясе у
него были привязаны три теленка.
Дух британца чую там.
Мертвый он или живой,—
Попадет на завтрак мой.
(Перевод М, Клягиной-Кондратьевой)
12 Jack made up his
mind to try his luck once more — Джек решил еще раз попытать счастья
13 got on to the
beanstalk — залез на бобовый стебель
14 or else — иначе; а
15 ...that very day
my man missed one of his bags of gold? — ... что в тот самый день у мужа моего
пропал один из мешочков с золотом?
I could tell you
— Я мог бы сказать вам
17 till I've had
something to eat — пока я не поем чего-нибудь
18 started to play...
all by itself — заиграла (сама по себе)
shook with his weight — который закачался
под его тяжестью
20 gave a chop at the
beanstalk — ударил топором по бобовому стеблю
21 The ogre felt the
beanstalk shake, so he stopped to see what was the matter.—
Великан почувствовал, что бобовый стебель закачался
сильнее, поэтому он остановился, чтобы посмотреть, в чем дело (что случилось).