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Jack and the Beanstalk

Once upon a time there lived a poor widow with her son Jack on an old farm that smelled of cow dung. They could no longer afford food for themselves or their old cow so, Jack went to the market to exchange their cow for something to eat. He was persuaded in to trading the cow for 5 magical beans but, when he brought them home his mother was very upset with him and threw the beans out their window.

The morning after, when he stepped outside, Jack saw an amazing sight. A gigantic beanstalk, reaching far into the clouds, had grown overnight.

"The beans must have really been magic," Jack thought happily. Being very curious, the boy climbed the beanstalk and found himself above the clouds once he reached the top.

While looking around in amazement, Jack saw a gigantic castle, much larger than any he had ever seen.

"I wonder who lives there," he thought. Jack was very surprised to see a path leading to the castle. He cautiously stepped on the clouds and, when he felt that they could hold his weight, he walked to the main door of the castle. As he stood in front of the huge door, his curiosity increased. With great effort, he was able to push the heavy door until it creaked open.

Once inside, Jack could smell fresh food and his stomach growled intensely. He climbed up on to a giant table where he found hot dinner, milk and a biscuit. The biscuit was the same size as Jack and he could surely drown in that glass of milk.

Jack began to eat but then he could hear what sounded like giant footsteps entering the room. He took shelter under the biscuit and tried to be as still as possible as the footsteps came closer. Jack felt a thump and realized that something had just sat down at the table to its dinner. Jack popped his head out from beneath the biscuit and could see what appeared to be an gigantic ogre!

The ogre sat a golden hen down on the table and, poking it gently with a finger, it began to lay golden eggs. Jack immediately thought about how rich he could make his mother if he could only steal the hen without being noticed.

Suddenly, the giant ogre started sniffing and looking around.

"Fee fi fo fum! I smell cow dung!" boomed a tremendous voice.

The ogre started to search around for Jack and he removed the very biscuit that he had been hiding under.

"What do we have here?" he asked. "It looks like I'll be having human for dinner tonight!"

Jack dodged as an enormous hand swept above his head. He had to act fast if he wanted to live. Jack snatched the golden hen by the legs, ran and leaped off the table as fast as he could. The hen flapped its wings so hard that it carried Jack safely to the floor and he was able to escape the castle through its main door.

"Thief! Thief!" shouted the ogre. But Jack was already far away down the path. He slid down the beanstalk and could see the giant ogre awkwardly climbing down after him. Jack ran inside his house.

"Fee fi fo fum! I smell even more cow dung!" shouted the ogre from high above.

"Quick, bring me an axe!" Jack said to his mother. She brought him an axe and he chopped down the beanstalk just in time. The giant ogre came crashing down to Earth and Jack and his mother had been saved.

"Is that all you stole? A hen?" she asked Jack, disappointed.

"Just wait," he said to his mother. Jack poked the hen with his finger and it began to lay golden eggs, and it continued to lay these eggs every single day after that.

Jack and his mother became very wealthy. They could finally afford all the food that they ever wanted and their home was completely rebuilt. In fact, their house was made even more luxurious by their new swimming pool, which had formed in the ground when the giant ogre came crashing down. Their farm no longer smelled of cow dung and now smelled of fresh beanstalk, which continued to sprout up all around their home.

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